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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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Everything posted by jasonquick

  1. If the soil is frozen and you want to get a round object in, do what I do: 1. Get or borrow a 1/2" drill. You'll need an extension cord (I'm guessing you have those, if you're posting here.) 2. Put a spade bit in it that's slightly smaller than the rebar/stake you want to put in the ground. 3. Drill a hole as deep as you can. At this point you'll likely have gotten deep enough that you're past the frozen-solid soil and can hammer your stake/rebar/whatever into the ground. Best of luck.
  2. Hi there...I wandered in from the Blowmold forum to ask a question about a particular type of icicle lights. I've been searching online trying to find a reliable source for multi-color icicle lights that have no more than about 3 feet of lighted length. The drops form an arch shape. They typically seem to come in sets of 50 or 70 lights. They seem to be quite expensive, unfortunately - averaging about $9-10 a strand. The question: Does anyone have a reliable source for these sorts of lights, preferably not at $10 a string? Thanks!
  3. Saw this for sale. Anyone know anything about it - age, manufacturer, etc.? - Jason
  4. That is correct. The blue paint is the same kinda slapdash quality, too. I still like 'em though.
  5. It was an admittedly odd color choice on NOMA's part.
  6. Mel, I have a set of these, and the tops are all-red on them as well.
  7. They look great. That said, I believe the evergreen boughs were actually originally blue. I have a pair that have that color, anyway.
  8. Just got my Victorian Carolers yesterday. $80 w/ free shipping. Can't hardly beat it.
  9. Thanks for the support guys. I like to think I'm a nice guy but I hate being taken advantage of. Another data point on this individual's character - doing some Googling on the phone number I have for her, turns out she's got numerous complaints from people who've bought puppies from her, stating that she misrepresented the breed they were, that they were in terrible shape. So she's allegedly running a backyard puppy mill too. Nice.
  10. That noise you heard was my eyes falling clean out my head.
  11. This is not really a positive post, which I hope is okay. It's a warning and vent of sorts. Wayyy back in May, I answered an ad on Craigslist (placed on both the Des Moines and Omaha sites) asking for blowmolds. I had quite a few I was looking to sell. The lady who posted the ad said she was a collector in Southeast Iowa, looking to enlarge her Christmas display. Her hubby was recovering from some medical issues and she didn't have much to spend on molds, but really wanted to enlarge her display. The summer got away from me, and I got busy, so by the time we got something put together, it was the end of September. She couldn't come, so she sent a couple family members to meet me in Des Moines (I live outside Omaha) to do the deal the first Monday in October. Being a soft touch for fellow collectors, I sold her stuff at bargain-basement prices: $5 for the small ones, $10 for the big ones. A Union Mrs. Claus and a couple Union gingerbread men. A SB Minnie Mouse. A SB snowman. A TPI snowman w/ broom. A Beco-pattern GF nativity. I *gave* her a weathered Poloron/Empire Santa, and an Empire sleigh. Dirt cheap. But...whatever - a nice deal for a fellow collector who's a little tight on cash, right? She'll have the greatest display in SE Iowa! Not thinking any more of it, I took my $170 and went my merry way. You can tell where this is going, can't you...? Today I got a lowball offer message on a TPI Mrs Claus I'm selling on eBay. Turned out it was from the same lady, who didn't realize it was me she was messaging via eBay. And who was now selling nearly all the molds I had sold her so cheaply, on eBay, at a handsome profit. That $10 Union Mrs. Claus I had sold her was now $70. Snoopy was $100. The Union gingerbread snowman is now $80. My old beat-up Empire Santa is now $75. Suddenly, the little things that struck me as weird made sense: Why she really really wanted the Christmas molds I had right then, and not the passel of Halloween stuff I was offering to sell her (too late to really sell them for the Halloween rush, don't you know). Why, when I emailed her a week later to tell her I'd forgotten to bring the baby Jesus for the nativity, she never emailed back to tell me where to send it (she didn't care about the set - she was just parting it out). To be clear: I don't mind people selling molds for profit or as a way to fund their hobby. I do it myself. But it's pretty [email protected] to deceive someone who thinks they're doing you a favor. Had I known she was going to flip them, I'd have never sold them to her so cheaply. Or maybe at all. I won't broadcast names and such here. But if anyone wants more information on the person doing this (like their eBay account name), feel free to PM me.
  12. I've seen Garden Ridge's Halloween molds mentioned a couple times here, but no photos or lists. Anyone got a run-down on what they have?
  13. If you have a Menards near you, you might try there. They often have more unusual stuff like that.
  14. Nice, innit? I picked up a Goofy myself last year and couldn't have been happier. Now all's I need is a Taz...
  15. Got a couple molds I'm wanting to repaint (notably a Holiday Innovations Santa). Krylon Fusion and the Rust-Oleum plastic paint are available in my area, but not in a broad variety of colors. Paints for plastic models (you know, like airplanes, cars and suchlike) are readily available however, in a vast array of colors. What I'm wondering is - anyone tried using those to repaint a mold? They're suitable for *some* plastics, clearly - would they work on blowmolds? Jason
  16. I've used plastic electrical junction-box covers. They happen to be just about the right size and are cheap. Only downside of the one I have is that it's blue, but that can be easily rectified w some Krylon Fusion if it's a problem.
  17. >I like the Simpson Strong-Tie straps idea. Gonna have to remember that one. Thanks I hit on it a few years back when someone stole a big Empire snowman from my yard. He was screwed to a couple of runners made of 1x2 with holes for stakes in the ends. The screws just pulled out when they grabbed him, and the runners were left there, stuck by tent pegs in the frozen ground. It's much harder to pull a blowmold up when it's secured to a somewhat flexible metal strap with 1/4" toggle bolts. Toggle bolts are also a useful method for putting numerous small molds on a runner. I have a lot of my tin soldiers secured this way - three on a 4' long 1x4. Makes putting them out much easier, as I just have to stake the runners down, versus pounding a 3' metal garden stake in for each, zip-tying each mold to its stake, etc.
  18. I use a couple Simpson Strong-Tie straps, screwed to the bottom on either end w/ construction screws. Then I stake it down with tent pegs. I use this method with a lot of my molds. On molds that are larger, or have a higher theft potential, I will use a longer version of this strap and run a toggle bolt through the larger hole, with a fender washer beneath the bolt head to hold it in place. Works very well against wind also. Hope this helps. Jason
  19. I'm not fond of the switched ones either. One more point of failure IMO. I bought some unswitched sets last year from National Artcraft: http://www.nationala...=1&cid=1&scid=5 They also sell ones with multiple sockets (like you might use in a candy cane or candle mold): http://www.nationalartcraft.com/subcategory.asp?gid=1&cid=1&scid=17 Jason
  20. I've resorted to a variety of methods to secure molds, not only from theft but also high winds. If anyone wants a demonstrative pic let me know. For stakes, I generally use either 18" round metal tent pegs, or a 12" spike nail with a fender washer (typically used for landscape timbers). 1) Eye screws w/ 3/4" eyes, or even eye-bolts if the bottom is open (so I can reach in and tighten down the nut). Bore them into the bottom back-side of the mold, then stake down, 2) For taller, not-so-difficult-to-replace molds, I've bored two small holes in the back and run wire around and through the holes in a 3-foot metal garden fencepost. 3) For large molds that are theft targets, a couple 1/4" toggle bolts spun into the bottom, having first put them through a piece of plywood. The plywood is then wired w/ 1/8" steel cable to a large stake with a loop on top. 4) For tin soldiers, I also use toggle bolts - I put three soldiers on a 3-foot long board with evenly-spaced 1/2" holes bored through it, with the toggles popping up through the holes into the soldiers' feet. Other holes bored near the ends and middle enable staking down. This setup also makes them much easier/faster to put out and take in. 5) I've also used 18" Simpson tie straps (a pic can be seen here: http://imagethumbnails.milo.com/024/844/799/trimmed/24844390_26045799_trimmed.jpg ). Stick a toggle bolt through one of the large holes into the mold, then drive a stake through the other hole. Most molds will require a couple of these. My GF church is secured via three of these; one at the front and one near each rear corner. I chose the straps over wooden bases (soldiers excepted) because a) Wood bases are generally too cumbersome to store; The straps are far easier and quicker to install, and; c) The straps are far lower-profile in the lawn.
  21. I bought the skeleton as well. Arrived quickly and in great shape. Bonus: I now have a box to ship out some molds I'm going to be selling soon!
  22. A few things: 1) Forgot to add previously - I generally use 7W (25W equivalent) CFLs in my molds, except some of the huge ones, which will get a 40W equivalent. The brighter bulbs just overwhelm smaller molds IMO. 2) As suggested, too-frequent on/off cycles will shorten the life of a CFL considerably. Some are dimmable, but horribly expensive. If I had a huge switched/animated display and wanted to save power, I'd spring for LED bulbs. 3) I've never had a huge issue w/ CFLs not coming on quickly and/or not reaching full brightness. It might take a few minutes, but in my experience they get plenty bright. Jason
  23. I feel your pain. Boy, do I ever. In my own defense, I've at least learned to check them molds before I put them out. Nothing worse than fumblng around in the dark with numb fingers, trying to replace a dead bulb or fuse.
  24. In my experience, a hacksaw makes quick work of the light sockets. I wish they'd just fix the problem. You'd think they'd know that many/most molders use CFLs these days to keep the electric bill down.
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