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  • 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 Playful_Puppets

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    The Night Before Christmas
  • Location
  • Biography
    Studying to be a teacher of special education in elementary school
  • Interests
    Christmas, Halloween, film making and puppets.
  • Occupation
  • About my display
    Inside the house

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  1. Otis, yep. My wife and I hand make and sell puppets to help meet bills. ?
  2. 1983, that's great! My twins with autism are able to go to public school so far with minimal problems. My older son with autism is now entering 8th grade at a school that deals with special needs. His emotional melt downs didn't manifest until 2nd grade. Then it was emotionally exhausting to "deal" with the school system. The public school kept suspending him so they wouldn't have to deal with him. Ugh. Otis, glad to hear everything is going well! Hopefully this keeps up! ?
  3. This is my first time making coro cut outs this year. I’ve noticed from similar projects I’ve done in the past that sometimes it is challenging for me to see a clean edge where colors meet. This method helps me, so I figured I’d share. Hopefully, this tutorial may help someone else, too. The easiest way to find an outline is to use your search engine to look for a coloring page of your idea. The advantage to this is that it is quick and your graphic already has a nice bold outline. Sometimes though, you may want something different. Thankfully, there is at least one other way for you to do this yourself. My computers are PC. Mac may be a little different, but the process is similar. I use the FREE downloadable photo editing software called Irfanview. At this point, most of my money goes towards kids and my college. So, any time I can get something for free- it makes my wallet happy! https://www.irfanview.com/ Getting Started Go to your favorite search engine and type what you are interested in finding. In my case I’m doing a SpongeBob theme this year and I wanted a Pearl Krabbs graphic. Go to the images in your search and click on the picture you want. It should take you to the page with the image. Right click on the picture and select “Copy” (or highlight and press control + c ). Open your Irfanview program and press control + v . This will paste your picture I recommend you save your original image at this point, (Pearl Krabbs orig) then save it again under a different name (Pearl Krabbs org2 .) The reason for this is that a different name will allow you to make changes without hurting the original if you save before renaming your edited project. You don’t want to have to go through all that effort to find your graphic again, do ya? Outline Process #1 So, you’ve pasted the picture in your Irfanview- now what do you do to outline it? Your picture probably has several colors in it. We want to reduce those colors to only black and white. • Go to the horizontal tabs across the top and click on “Images.” • In the drop-down menu, click on “Decrease Color Depth.” You’ll find it around the middle of the menu. • Press the button that says “2 Colors.” • Press “Okay.” And you’re done! Save your edited picture under a different name. (Pearl Krabbs bw) Outline Process #2 There is another option that gives a bit of a different effect. • Go to the horizontal tabs across the top and click on “Images.” • In the drop-down menu, click on “Effects.” You’ll find it near the bottom of the menu. • Now click on “Edge Detection.” • Now we need to flip the colors. Click on the “Images” tab again. • This time in the drop-down menu we’ll click on “Negative (invert image).” You’ll find this on the lower middle of the menu. And you’re done! Save your picture under a different name. (Pearl Krabbs neg) The pictures are able to be printed on a transparency for overhead projector use. As a plus, color ink is saved in this process as well. Some extra tips to consider: • If you right click on an image you like in a webpage, a menu appears. Select “Copy Image Location” and put the URL in your browser window. Press enter to go to that graphic page. I mention this only because sometimes the webpage with the picture automatically reduces the size of the graphic, whereas the image location page may have a larger graphic to use. • If you’ve not heard of the image search “Tineye,” you may want to give it a try. For example, say you find a graphic you like, but it is smaller than you would like. By going to Tineye you can enter the URL of your image and it will search the web for any image that matches. Then you can sort by finding the largest image available to use. Tineye is also useful if you like a graphic, but a text or symbol has been placed over it. Using Tineye, you may be able to find that same graphic without the writing or watermark. https://tineye.com/ (Tineye for me has been so useful I have it as a Firefox browser add on. It appears in my right click menu as an option when I click on a picture. Saves lots of time. I hope this helps! If anyone has more helpful graphic editing tips, feel free to add to this thread! Note: I am not affiliated with any of the links in this article.
  4. I plan to! heh May be about a month or so until my paychecks kick in though.
  5. Well, asked my daughter what we should do for cut outs this year since I just got a job as a special Ed teacher assistant at the middle school and may finally be able to spend a couple bucks. She wanted the stereotypical looks- Santa, sleigh, snowman, etc. So, it looks as if that will be my direction for this year. I think I'll be going with coro because of my back. I found out both Menards and Homedepot carry coro in the windows department, so it will be simpler than ordering it.
  6. Thanks Bull and Big J! I was here several years ago and I remember this being much more active? Heh I guess times change.
  7. Jr- yes, we get quite a lot of wind in December where I am. Nice to know someone else has that challenge, too. Heh I'd like to do cut outs this year, but being in college and still trying to find a job makes spending $$$ just not feasible right now which is why I make/sell puppets to help with bills. If I can find a job soon enough, I'd love to do cut outs and have my kids help. I think it would be a great family bonding experience! My two boys are into video games, so maybe I can do a Mario theme or something. ???
  8. Thank you for giving me more ideas in my Arsenal. I'll talk to my wife and we'll decide what works best for us. Btw, I just finished reading your article and saved it. Wonderful job, as it answered many questions regarding coro! How long do you make the ground stakes? Have you tried an angled arm (tripod) in back to help with winds? Also, do you use outside wood for the frame, or it doesn't matter?
  9. Thanks, jrbryant. I have to admit that I'm around 50 and have a bad back, so the lightness is a welcome relief. I think the ply would be more sturdy, but the coro definitely lighter! I love that there are choices in materials. Each has pros and cons. Do you have problems with the wind ripping the coro or them flying off or getting turned around?
  10. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. ? This gives me a direction to head to!
  11. Wow! Nice display! Do you use a jigsaw? Do you do anything to the sides of the ply, too? How do you make them stand in the air? Also, are you using 2x4s to put them in the ground?
  12. Hi Big J! Thanks for the welcome!
  13. Thank you, Rich. Do you do plywood cut outs for your display?
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