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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.

dallasmike

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About dallasmike

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  1. Sad to hear that the Clot family Christmas display in Miami has ended after 40+ years. I have many childhood memories making the annual visit to their display. Thanks to the Clot's for the holiday magic over the years! dallasmike
  2. Reviving this thread... ;) Has anyone attempted this yet or developed a basic cell phone app to do the same? I'm still thinking having more interaction would be fun, even with the con of having even slower traffic... dallasmike
  3. Hey... Very cool idea Jeff!! I'll have to consider adding this different concept to the mix. dallasmike
  4. Several years ago I added to my wood cutout scene motors from Winfield at: http://www.thewinfieldcollection.com/display.aspx?id=2598&catid=34 You could also use their wood patterns if you wanted to or make your own. I also reused motors from your standard animated reindeer displays from home depot / lowes. dallasmike
  5. Tropical Park has the yearly Santa's Enchanted Forest setup; Nice displays, also has the typical carny rides. One of my favorites growing up there was in Pinecrest (South Miami); Highlighted on HGTV several times: http://www.clotxmas.com. There are other good holiday spots to visit in both Miami and Tampa. http://www.miamiherald.com and http://www.tampatribune.com have the standard seasonal links for local decorated homes to visit. dallasmike
  6. Rankin/Bass classics are the best! Last year, I made about 30 figures (in 6 scenes)from the Rudolph Movie. I would suggest to buy the book and use a projector allowing you to outline+trace out what you are looking for. A lot of hard work to get the colors/details/etc right, but well worth the effort. dallasmike
  7. Good thread for newbies. Thanks for the contributions. I've taken all the hints and have almost completed my cutouts. One last remaining question is whether to use a sealer or not. My cutouts have 2 coats of primer followed with 2 coats of craft acrylic and/or exterior grade paint. This includes the cutout's top, bottom, and sides. I primarily use the exterior grade paint, but I do use the craft acrylic for detail colors where I only need small amounts. I want to ensure my efforts last for some time, both in ease of cleanup and not requiring touchup. - Should I use a sealer? What would a sealer provide vs not using a sealer. - If so, what brand/kind? I note polyurethane and polycrylic yellow over time, both the oil and water-based varieties. I did find something called Hydrocote Polyshield which advertises as non-yellowing, though I'm not sure if this is true: http://hydrocote.com/our_products.htm dallasmike
  8. What is the string of choice everyone goes with to stringup the c9 strobes from Darryl at christmaslightshow.com? I was going to go with the spt2 and c9 clips from Action Lighting, which would allow me to define the spacing between strobes. But now I see suggestions to use other vendors instead which have fixed spacing between c9 sockets. Is there a concern in using Action Lighting? dallasmike
  9. Darryl, How many of the new strobes can be safelyused on an LOR channel (rated at 8 Amp capacity)? This would also help us to calculate how many of the new strobes can be safely used onanLOR controller itself. dallasmike
  10. I need to start making some wooden cutouts and I would like to get ideas on the type of materials to use. This yard art will be the standard "stake-it in your front lawn and focus a spot light on it" variety. I've looked thru several pattern cutout web sites which offer good hints. I'd also like to get inputs from the PC community. Inputs on: 1. Type and thickness of wood to use? I've seen recommendations for exterior grade BC Plywood 1/4-1/2 inch, preferably pre-sanded. Is this the preferred choice or is there another type to consider? Is Home Depot/Lowes the best place to get this? 2. Steps for painting? Here is how I understand it. First: apply primer on front+back+side. Second: apply the top coat colors. Last: apply polyurethane. Correct? 3. Type of paint to use? I've seen recommendations to use exterior grade acrylic paint. Correct? 4. Where to get paints that have a good variety of colors and in a good size container? Home Depot/Lowes have a small choice of colors. Hobby Lobby, etc. and http://www.thewinfieldcollection.com/have good selections, but primarily are in 2oz containers. Is stocking up on the 2oz containers the way to go? I expect to have about 10-20 wooden cutouts I need to paint, with varying colors for Rudolf, Santa, etc type of cutouts. 5. Type of jigsaw and blade to use? I assume a middle of the road jigsaw, along with a plywood cutting blade, is sufficient. Correct? 6. Any other good hints that I should keep in mind when making wooden cutouts? dallasmike
  11. I'm kicking around the idea of having part of my display controllable via cell phone. Making it more interactive and fun for people driving by in their cars. My plan would be to buy a few cheap cells; nowadays, cheapo cells with simple plans can be found at walmart,target,etc. Setup part of my display to be controlled when a cell phone number is itself called, or even better, when after calling a number pressing certain digits. Example, after calling a number, pressing digit '1' would light up a holiday greeting sign, pressing digit '2' would light up a tree, etc. There would be several options for turning things off, such as using time outs or controllable features are mutually exclusive. Any inputs on how to actually use a cell phone to control displays? dallasmike
  12. I'd like to start making themed outdoor animated scenes where I have figures/dolls such as elves and reindeers. They can be purchased, but what fun would that be? I've gotten some great info from PC contributors regarding motors to use for animation, but now I'm looking for the how-tosfor making figures/dolls with the Christmas theme in mind. Can anyone recommend links or provide inputs for this? Such as the how-tos for making heads, body frames, vendors for purchasing head+body+doll parts instead of making from scratch, costuming, materials to use when making outdoor figures/dolls, etc. dallasmike
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