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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.


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About countrymanlife

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  • Birthday 09/30/1983

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  • My favorite Christmas story
    Growing up our neighborhood award "Best Christmas Display" annually, catch being you couldn't win multiple years. So every other year we would not unpack Santa and the reindeer and halved our display to not outshine others. :)
  • Location
    Spring, Texas
  • Biography
    love creating Halloween and Christmas displays
  • Interests
    woodworking electrical
  • Occupation
    drafting manager
  • About my display
    cutouts and lights
  1. They are c9 led bulbs at 12" spacing. I'm thinking of going with smaller spacing next year.
  2. So here are the pics of the decorations out. sorry for the big pictures. I can't wait to start adding more to these. I'll probably cut out the white portion above Santa's head. And a little story while setting these up. One reindeer antler broke off, it survived 2-3 weeks of being moved around in the shop, 1 - 20 mile trip to the house, and while deciding on where to put them it fell over on to my wife's foot and brook off, so for 2 days the middle reindeer had a piece of wood clamped over his face to glue hi antler back on.
  3. I free-handed them from images i found online. The elves came from images off shuttershack. The reindeer are based off http://www.thewinfieldcollection.com/product/Reindeer_Trio_Yard_Sign/Reindeer_Sleighs Santa and Rudolph are based off http://www.christmaslightshow.com/Falling-Santa-wood-patterns.html The Train is based off http://www.thewinfieldcollection.com/product/1017/Gingerbread I added the toy soldiers and am planning on hanging a sign off their candy canes to say "Merry Christmas" The penguins I do not recall where I found the image for that.
  4. Well got a late start on these but figured I would show where I am at on them. (sorry for the crappy pics, my phone messed up and had to use my old one) got a little more writing to do on the signs for the reindeer and penguins. Then I gotta seal them and put them out in the yard, more pictures coming later.
  5. http://www.michaels.com/Patio-Paint%E2%84%A2/cp0177,default,pd.html is the paint he is talking about. I remember using it many years ago as a boy scout.
  6. those look fun to make. I am hoping one day to add in motion to my display, think it will be a few years down the road.
  7. Man that sounds fun. For characters I would go with the main cast pretty much. maybe something like: King Candy = as a Grinch type character. Fix-it Felix = as a Santa type character. Vanellope and the Sugar Rush Racers = Carollers or just in Christmas clothing. (with candy accents) Ralph = as a Santa type character. Maybe add in the abandon game characters. http://cosplaywith.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/wreck-it-ralph.jpg and if you wanted to go further you could always get the "Bad-Anon" group together as carollers: M. Bison, Dr. Eggman, Bowser, Zangief, Neff, Zombie (plants vs zombie)
  8. thank you guys, I appreciate the feedback so far. I had heard about Disney licensing and since I only made these for myself I am not to worried. I don't really think I want to get into making too many for other people. It would take time away from my project. HAHA I think I might even just pass these on to a good friend who has children to enjoy them. A few years down the road I might revisit Disney characters but for now the wife has requested a different approach for the display. This year it's going more traditional with Santa, Reindeer, Elves, Gingerbread People, and Penguins. Here in the next week I should have all the sketches drawn up. I like to freehand my designs, I am working towards being able to come up with my own concepts without visual aides.
  9. So I have just stumbled on this forum while looking around for advice on Christmas cutouts. So I figured I would go ahead and introduce myself. I am no stranger to cutouts, growing up we had a set of Santa/Sleigh and Reindeer that my grandfather cut out and painted. I always enjoyed setting it up remembering that my grandfather put his time into creating them made them special. So I guess that's when I started to enjoy the prospect of cutouts. To me the season has been filled with blow ups and plenty of off the shelf products and I wanted to be different. So about 2 years ago I started my first cutouts. They are of your typical Disney Characters and all the neighbors just loved them. (I am the only cutout owner on my block and probably very few in the neighborhood all together) Below are some photos of them on display the first year. (sorry for crappy camera large pictures) I learned a lot from this first attempt. This year I have decided to change the display up all together and lend these out to friends. So starting soon I will create my next set of cutouts and would like some advice going forward. 1) What would be your recommendation for the plywood type? (I live in Houston for weather info) I believe I used 1/2" BC grade SYP, it seems to hold up well. 2) Do you use a paint sprayer to prime your boards? If so any recommendations, probably electric not too expensive. 3) I personally buy from the Big Box stores their "sample" paint, typically Behr Interior/exterior flat with primer. These pint size containers come in handy and usually don't have a lot left over. Is there anything wrong with this? 4) Do you paint the rear white or black? How about the edge, do you color match the front? I did black all around and was wondering if white would make the characters "pop" a bit more. 5) What kind of sealer do you use? I cannot recall but I used a spray can matte finish outdoor acrylic sealant on those, any other recommendation? 6) How do you secure your cutouts to the ground? Right now I have 1/2" EMT conduit strapped to the back and I auger out a hole and drop them in. (first year i just pounded them in) This year I am thinking of cutting the EMT flush and using rebar to pound in the ground and slip the EMT over it. Any other suggestions welcome. 7) How do you typically brace your cutouts? Mine after 2 years have started to slightly bow in, just curious if there is something I do not know to do to prevent this. And 2 off the wall questions: This year I am going to make a santa falling off the roof being held up by a reindeer similar to this http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/store/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=prodshow&ref=29_CYD34 How would you attach this to the roof edge? Also this year I am thinking of creating little 2' max height gingerbread man to line the walkway and was wondering if ya'll have any recommendation for mini spot lights to light them up and not much else. Would like to keep the lights no more then maybe a foot in front of them. I am sorry for my long winded post and all my questions (I am sure they are answered elsewhere but I have not stumbled on them all yet) Anyways I hope to update this thread later with progress pictures of my next cutout build. Thanks for your time.
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