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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.

strrchristmas

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About strrchristmas

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/28/1952

Profile Information

  • Location
    Westminster, Colorado
  • Biography
    Terry & Sharon Miller have been decorating for over 25 years. Both of us are older than dirt and still happily married. Terry builds the animated items and Sharon does the cut outs.
  • Interests
    Keeshond Dog Rescue
    Trains
    Christmas and Halloween decorating
  • Occupation
    Crane Operator
  • About my display
    We are trying to keep with a "home made" theme. We have a LARGE train that runs completely around the house, Ski Lift running to the peak of the roof, Operating railroad crossing signal, 9 1/2' Ferris wheel. Over 75 plywood cut outs complete the display.

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  1. You might try Surplus Center - Burden Sales http://www.surpluscenter.com/ Go to Power Transmission. Great selection of gears, pulleys, sprockets, chain, and more. Good Luck, Terry
  2. Here's an idea. We make a "skating" pond every year by laying down chaser light strings, right on the grass. Cover with quilt batting over the lights. We have a long chaser string on ground spikes (plastic) that we poke through the batting into the grass as a pond border and to keep the batting in place. Trim off the excess batting, outside the spikes and plug it all in. We add cutout skaters right on/in the pond. To do this, we scratch a hole through the batting with a finger. We do this for two reasons; first, we don't want to cut the wires on the "under ice" chasers, and second; when we drive in the stake to mount the cut out, we don't pull the batting into the ground. As for effects on the grass. It's actually a benefit, as the batting keeps a slight amount of heat in the ground. When we pull up the pond, the grass is actually greener than any surrounding areas. Keep in mind, we're talking Denver, Colorado here. The lights twinkling under the batting have a very nice effect. One nice thing about the batting; any snow/rain will go through and not pool up. One bad thing about the batting: squirrels love it for nesting. Many days we find holes where the batting has been "stolen". While this would be cause for squirrel hunting to many, we just reactivate our "Squirrel Rehoming Project". We live trap them and transport them to "greener" pastures. I do NOT recommend laying plastic on grass. One exception to this is when the grass is totally dormant as in completely brown, NO green at all. This is pretty rare as most areas have some weather warm enough to cause grass to green & grow ever so slightly, but it is enough for plastic to do harm. Not something you want to see in spring. Good Luck, Terry Miller
  3. You could consider building your own large scale train. Plenty of help on this site. Ours is home made circa 1961. I have modified the drive train to better suit the weight and type of use. Plenty of power to haul more than 500 lbs of passengers and not even slow down. Keep in mind insurance and local public ride requirements. I do not have an exclusive video of our train but you can get a good idea in this one: Glad to answer questions. Good Luck, Terry
  4. Some ideas on how to build a Ski Lift to the top of your roof.
  5. How I built our Ferris Wheel. Hope you can get some ideas and build your own.
  6. You'll have to check out the stores and see what they have. That's part of the fun - shopping. I don't know of many pieces that already have the rabbits in them. You have the idea and understand what you are looking for so the best thing to do is go and ask. You may find a molding profile you fall in love with and then have to cut the rabbit yourself. It's all about what you want and how you want to make it look when it's done. Rabbits are not hard to cut. Actually, they are kind of a pain in the caboose. I find them easy to do but tedious. I tend to lose my focus and that ends up in more firewood and another trip to the lumber yard. If you go to a regular lumber yard, you might ask about having them cut the rabbits for you. Some will and some won't. Depends on the yard. Good Luck, Terry
  7. You are right on the money. Route a rabbit on the back inside edge just a little deeper than the plexi is thick and an 1/8" or so wider/taller than you plan on having the plexi sized. That way, the plexi will "float" in the rabbit and won't break due to friction stresses. You'll still have room for caulking if you choose to do so. Good Luck, Terry
  8. Jason, jerrymac has the idea only do it on the outside. You can put a square rabbit cut in the back of any type of molding you like. You can miter the corners or not. Depends on what you like. Put the bottom piece on first. Slide in the plexi, then do the sides and the top last. I recommend you use paintable caulk where the molding meets the siding and in the corners. Make sure to paint the molding backs prior to installation. This will keep any moisture out of the wood. I recommend good old exterior house paint. If you want to caulk the plexi along the bottom to keep out moisture, I think that would be fine. While the plexi will expand and contract with temperature, it is more likely to crack when there is a hole in it, like for a screw, to hold it in place. If you choose to drill it and use screws with washers, tighten the screws only tight enough to cause a little friction between the screw head and the washer. You should be able to turn the washer by hand. This will minimize the stress on the plexi. You may or may not have problems with keeping the caulking in place if you use it directly on the plexi. Expansion / contraction may cause the caulk to split or peel. A top grade silicone caulk may be the best bet here. Good Luck, Terry
  9. Jason, I suggest the picture frame method where you do NOT penetrate the plexi. I have drilled and screwed plexi both with and without problems. For the expansion and contraction due to temperature, I recommend the framing methond so the plexi is free to expand and contract under the wood frame. I have had better long term luck with this method. Your idea of the plexi being larger than the hole and on the outside of the hole is a good one. This way any moisture will not drain into the box but will drain outside. Good Luck, Terry
  10. Chuck and Everyone, Has anyone got their PMs back yet? Does anyone have their Albums on their profile page? Are these items going to be brought back or has the new vendor eliminated them? Are we going to get our old avatars back? Thanks and Good Luck, Terry
  11. I got an error message the first two times I tried to post. Then there were three posts up here.
  12. Every time I try the link, ebay says it has been removed or is more than 90 days old. I sure would like to check them out. I'll try searching ebay directly. Cheers, Terry
  13. Terry, You can cut C-9 regular bulb strings into any length you want. They are wired in Parallel so each bulb gets 120v. I have had success with taking the sockets apart and re using them. They are a vampire type so you can put them anywhere you want on the wire. I believe you can use SPT 2 wire but I'm NOT sure on that. Good Luck, Terry Miller
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