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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 blackmesa96

  • Rank
  • Birthday 10/03/1958

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Location
    Lindsborg, KS
  • Biography
    A person of limited artistic ability who wants to create unique decorations
  • Interests
    Woodworking, metal fab, scale modeling
  • Occupation
    Truck driver
  • About my display
    One of the biggest private ones in our community. We have some of pretty much everything-lights, blowmolds, inflatables, custom made plywood characters

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  1. Is it possible to run an inexpensive controller at 80%? Is there an easy way to do this or is this something that is only an option on higher end hardware?
  2. Thanks. That certainly makes sense. Have had the option to purchase some inexpensive controllers and wanted to begin to plan next year.
  3. How many of you run your inflatables on timers to preserve fan life? I have been debating back and forth regarding this, and can't come to a good resolution in my mind. Concerns for me center around weather: how well will they inflate if the are covered by 1"-2" of snow during their down time, or will they even come up at all if the sudden ice storm hits? Furthermore, do they readily return to the correct attitude, or do they often require some manual adjustments?
  4. As I begin to plan next year, I am wondering if anyone is able to tell me if using a controller to flash my conventional LED sets will shorten the life of the set. My thought is that repeated cycling will decrease their life, but are LEDs different from incandescents due to their solid state construction? Personal experience with incandescent projector bulbs seems to be that repeated hard cuts/ short dissolves seem to compromise the life of the bulb. Any input based on your experiences would be greatly appreciated.
  5. Merry Christmas to all! Thanks for the inspiration, help and ideas. Hope each of you have a fantastic 2020.
  6. It looks amazing. Moving to site and off season storage--the two things which tend to limit the size of one's creations...😢
  7. I have had success using acrylics sealed with clear topcoat. The cost is reasonable compared to using exterior latex paint, and they have held up well in our moderately wet climate (Kansas). The key is the same as any other painting project-prep. I prime my project with an exterior grade latex primer (prefer Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3) making care to assure the edges are covered/sealed well. White is the primer color of choice as it creates a nice canvas. I then paint my design over that, making sure to allow adequate time for the colors to dry completely (usually 2-3 days) prior to topcoating. I then clear coat the entire item with 3-5 coats of either Rustoleum clear gloss or Krylon Crystal Clear gloss. Gloss paint has a smoother surface and tends to shed moisture better. The clear coat also helps "wake" the color up and make it appear more vibrant. I protect the back side of the project with exterior paint. Black is my color of choice here, as I want to further seal the edges of the plywood and since most of our stuff are cartoon characters it helps with the outside line definition. I have used rattle cans for some projects, but they have been mostly a single color or basic combination or a few. The key remains the same here-prep and prime. The reflections can be eliminated if you light your items indirectly and benefit from diffusion. Spotlights placed at a 45 degree angle to the object work well. You can also diffuse the light to soften it, non metallic window screen wrapped around the bulb works well. Steal a trick or two from a portrait photographer, they have the same sorts of concerns.
  8. Our local Menard's has started putting out their merchandise too, Buy early for best selection , but wait until I am able to get what I want, please 😁
  9. While I am not certain what your lighting looks like, I guess it's probably the small sockets that have a metal clip which retains them in the decoration. If all you are looking for is the bulb itself, any C7 or candelabra base will fit. I make a habit of using LED bulbs in all our blowmold. You can find LED night light bulbs at Menards. I realize there isn't an appreciable difference in energy consumption in these smaller bulbs, but less heat is always better when plastic is involved. If you are looking to replace the socket assembly, there are replacements available, but they generally have a switch in the cord. I have cut the old switch out, re-spliced the wires and have had success that way. I would think you could replace the plug with an outdoor version in the same fashion if you desired. I will be glad to walk you thru my process if it would help. Feel free to email. Have a great Christmas.
  10. Thanks for this! I am excited to try using this for my first project next year (this year is already booked solid). I agree that the coloring page is the easiest way to start. I have an analog/trial and error system that I have used previously to get my original artwork. If anyone is interested in learning about it, or how I get from an 11" high original to something bigger, let me know and I will be glad to give you my method. While I don't claim it's the best, it does work pretty well for somebody such as myself who is has limited technological/artistic skills.
  11. I converted a Halloween dog (bigger, the kind that sits on its' own) to 120 by removing the entire LED assembly and replacing it with a socket salvaged from another blowmold. Cut a wooden circle slightly bigger than the hole and screwed it to the blowmold in the same fashion they are generally attached at the factory. Added a LED bulb and it works great.
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