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Did you know?
  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.

spdif48

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About spdif48

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    You are all my heroes. Christmas is a celebration and planetchrismas members put on the best parties.
  • Location
    San Diego, CA
  • Biography
    Decorating my apartment balcony since 2004
  • Interests
    Sound a lights, not always in that order
  • Occupation
    IT
  • About my display
    .
  1. You are very welcome. Hope you have fun making one. I ended up finding a leftover ikea socket and cord set from a chinese lantern I had. I got a 4 watt LED bulb at the local hardware store and it worked great.. Mine lasted outside for 4 weeks and 2 rain showers which I think is pretty good for paper. Looks like I should make the tabs a quarter inch longer. Next time I get a working copy of autocad I'll update the PDFs. Here's a pic of the star in the display
  2. Instructions: 0. Gather paper, scissors, glue, and binder clips. A straight edge will make folding easier. 1. Print 18 square patterns and 8 triangles. (I left out one square pattern to make room for a light) 2. Cut out all the patterns on their outside edges 3. Fold up on all the inside lines, including the tabs 4. Glue all the long tabs to the matching inside face 5. Start with a square pyramid and glue a square to each of its short tabs with all the pointy ends pointing in the same direction, To keep everything lined up match up the two tabs as closely as possible then match the points. Put a binder clip on the tabs to hold them while the glue dries then remove the binder clip. 6. Glue triangles to the right side of each of the 4 squares 7. Glue the same triangles to the left side of the adjacent squares 8. Glue a square to each of the 8 existing squares and triangles 9. Glue the left and right sides of the 8 squares to their neighbors 10. Alternate attaching a square and a triangle to the top of the eight squares matching the shape on the opposite side of the square 11. Glue the sides of the squares and triangles together. Yes, the binder clip in and out on the last one is a doozy. 12. To attach the last point fold the tabs on the last square so they are facing out and fold the four remaining tabs on the star up and out. Glue in the last point with the tabs on the outside. I suggest adding a string before gluing the last two tabs. Notes: A. You can scale the PDF files bigger and smaller to make different sized stars. The default size will make a star approximately 22 inches across B. I used Elmer's white glue and it worked fine. I did spend a lot of time holding the shapes while the glue setup. I suspect there's a better adhesive for the job. It just has to be something that allows for a little re-positioning. C. Use this awesome Wikipedia article on the rhombicuboctahedron to visualize how all the pieces go together. My wife even printed and cut out the flattened diagram and folded it into the solid, D. Want a star with more points? Use the same square and triangle patterns to create this shape with 38 points. E. For a translucent star you may want to try to find a way to print the patterns in a light gray instead of black. Why'd I do it? When I was a kid my mom would take us grocery shopping at Stauffers. The store would turn the garden center into a Christmas wonderland and my mom could count on me being glued to the display the whole time we were there. The store always had a couple dozen Moravian stars on display which was quite a sight that has stuck with me. Last year I found someone had made some much better looking patterns for making a Moravian star but I didn't have the time. I went looking for the files this year and the site was gone. I found the Wikipedia article for the stars which links to the shape. Once I realized that the only trick is to keep the edges of the bases of the pyramid solids the same length it was pretty easy use CAD to create the pattern. If you make your own please post pictures, moraviansquare.pdf moraviantriangle.pdf
  3. It's about 75% text weight vellum and 25% elmers glue. Maybe closer to 60-40 although it's hard to tell how much glue is in the star and how much was on my fingers. The vellum is a really nice cross between transparent and durable. Since I;m in San Diego it should be okay outside under the eves for our balmy christmas season. If anyone wants to try one I can post the instructions.
  4. That is a great idea. I knew the PC members could save my project. I'll try a piece of balsa wood instead of cardboard to support the clip.
  5. I always wanted a Moravian star for my display but I didn't like what II saw for sale so I made my own. My original plan for lighting it from the inside was to leave one spoke out, cut a piece of cardboard to the size of the base of a spoke, run some SPT1 through a hole in the cardboard, put a C9 socket on one end of the SPT1 and a plug on the other then glue the cardboard to the star. Then I realized that Murphy's Law means as soon as I glued the cardboard in the lamp would fail. Does anyone have an idea how I could rig a removable lamp in my star? Yes, RGB pixels would be awesome. No, that;s not a solution for this star. Maybe next year if I have more time and money. =)
  6. I was looking at the garland hangers Costco is selling this year and needed more info so I checked out the web site in the manual, vlcpro.com They sell LED retrofit C9's with some features that got me interested so I bought a set to try them out. The first trick is supposed to be a "spotlight tip", similar to what BigChair85 was looking for I've seen c7/c9's cast a bright spot of light and I think it makes an interesting look. It's nice how what the light shines on is brighter than the bulb. Unfortunately these bulbs don't deliver. The next trick is they stack the LEDs in the middle of the bulb. It's no incandescent but it's interesting. Which leads to the next trick, they offer the lamps in translucent and opaque instead of the common LED faceted style. They've even got some glass envelope options. Unfortunately most styles are sold out. Well, unfortunately for me, fortunately for my wallet. Tonight I did a quick comparison between the Village Lighting bulbs, some 2012 MITS bulbs and 7watt triple dipped translucent bulbs. I had forgotten how bright the MITS bulbs are! The Village Lighting bulbs aren't bad but certainly don't offer the same bang for the buck. They do match intensity better than most LED lights, something I hope all the manufactures work on for 2014. Enjoy the pics!
  7. The only thing easier would be moving to Canada where every house comes with a free snow machine. =) So has anyone with a snow machine tried making their own with a leaf blower and a pump?
  8. I can't find the manual on that coin mech. http://na.suzohapp.com/images/pdf/ins_40-1500-05.pdf looks similar. I've been reading too many coin mech manuals. The one in the manual has an open collector output. So when it detects a coin it should ground the coin signal pin which is exactly what the commercial LOR controller inputs want. I think I'm going to rig a motion detector to an arduino (for time delay) to a Furman PS15 to run my snow machine this year, Not the most practical or cheap setup but it sounds like fun.
  9. I've been really happy with the snow machine that came with the Snow Masters (now Global Special Effects) 1st generation Amazing Snowman. The one their selling now looks like they just moved some controls and ports around in the case. I've had it for three years now and haven't had any problems. It looks great at home and really blew everyone one away when I put it on the roof of the four story office building where I work. I'm not saying it created a blizzard but it was enough to make a 75 degree Christmas Eve in San Diego special. I can't remember how much power it pulls, somewhere between 5-10 amps. It sounds like a vacuum cleaner and I wouldn't be surprised if that is where the blower comes from. When I was working in theater everyone used a CITC Little Blizzard. Because I know they work and I know they can survive in a rental environment if I was in the market for a snow machine today I'd try their "The Santa Snow Machine". A quick Google search found it for $280. Ooooo, CITC has glow in the dark confetti.... Jeff: Your best bet is to get an all mechanical arcade coin mech. with a micro-switch. That way the coin mech is just closing the switch to your input when a coin goes through..
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