Sunday, August 26, 2007

Got A Lot Done!

No photos yet. Here's what we got done over the last few days.
  • Made star tree topper for mega tree
  • Made device to put at top of flagpole that will hold all the lights
  • Took a bunch more stuff to storage (still cleaning the garage)
  • Fixed 4 more sets of mini light with lightkeeper pro
  • Talked more about the MERRY CHRISTMAS sign (don't know if it will be done this year)
  • Talked more about security (still need to figure out how to secure our yard)
  • Tested the Digital Decorator. Outlet # 2 is not working. Need to fix it
  • Talked to friend about renting bucket tree and workers for palm tree lights
  • Figured out where to put the manger (just outside our property line)
  • John's at HD now getting material to make the wooden manger

Friday, August 24, 2007

Yesterday I Painted Santa's Workbench

You can see it didn't make a HUGE difference, but I'm happy I found the time to paint the workbench before our October Workshop. If I had put this off, it simply would not have gotten done. I used whatever white paint we had in the cabinet, so the project was free ($). I made sure to paint the under side of everything because most of the people who come to see the garage get down on their knees (at a kids level). Cathy told me to put together that garage for the kids, and as if I was a kid. It sounds simple, but during my first year decorating, I had to remind myself of this concept almost hourly during set-up.

I also did some sequencing yesterday. We have a 13 hour flight to Italy in September. I had planned on doing a lot of sequencing on the flight, but now that I found out the laptop adapter is $100, I'm re-thinking my plan. I should probably sleep instead.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

How to Repair Outdoor Christmas Decorations

This angel was a thrift store find. The lights work and there's no rust. Someone had attempted to take the lights off, got through half, and then stopped. Then the thrift store ladies attempted to quickly repositions the lights so they could sell it. So, it took me so long because I had to figure out which lights were in the correct place and which ones weren't. Make sense?

Then I moved on to old strands of Christmas lights. We have dozens of half lit strands, and probably a bunch that don't light up at all. That's what the Lightkeeper Pro is for! You plug the lights into an outlet, take out one bulb, and insert the empty socket into the gun. Then, you pull the trigger, and all your lights light up! Everyone has to have one of these things.

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FM Radio Sign

Here's the sign we'll print on 18 x 36 coroplast. We'll put a spot light in front of the sign. I might build a frame for it (in my spare time).
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Checked with HOA Covenants Today

We're going to be installing the flagpole for the mega tree soon. I checked with the covenants to make certain there are not restrictions against flagpoles. We're good!

Annalee Mobility Dolls on eBay

I love eBay. Yesterday, I spent two hours swooping in on auctions. Each of the photos below represents an auction. One of these guys was $2.99! If you're a collector, you know what a deal that is. Most of them are from 1971. Some are from '91. I got a few duplicates because I figured my sister-in-law might want some of them. I can't wait to see what else the seller puts up. She said she recently inherited hundreds of the dolls.
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Monday, August 20, 2007

Today I Made the Danger Sign

Today, I made two signs. This is one of them. I know it looks like two signs, but it's really one. It will be printed by a local sign company on 18" x 24" coroplast. I went to three sign companies today and decided to go with Sign-A-Rama. They had the best price ($30) for a full color, full bleed sign. If I want their metal stake it's another $2. I don't need to have it printed for another few months.

I debated for a few months on how to construct this sign...
We thought about a backlit sign which is similar to a lightbox. It would have been too expensive/time-consuming. I have so many other things to do. I also thought about doing a reflective coating on metal, similar to a stop sign. I decided against this because it would have been heavy to store, limited to two colors, and it would have shown up blurry in photos. We also thought about putting a homemade stencil on a sheet of lexan, then spray painting it, but that was pretty involved too.

We'll have to get a spot light to light this sign, but that's fine. I am thinking about getting a few scrap pieces of wood from HD to build a frame to put around the sign. A frame would make it look more substantial. We'll see.
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Received my eBay Items

I just received the little lot of eBay animals I won last week. They look pretty good. We now have so many of these animal head stockings. I bet we have 10 different characters. I don't think Babar is a Christmas animal, but that's okay because I really like him. These guys will look good somewhere. For $5, this was a good deal.
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Received The Strobe Lights

Well, literally 4 hours after I placed the order, I received the FedEx tracking number. Then, I received the strobes a day and a half later. The strobes look and feel exactly as I imagined them. I got a nice two-page letter explaining strobes in general, specifics about these strobes, how to use them, and best practices. I'm excited. Now I just need to muster up some old C9 strands so I can plug them in and try them out.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ordered 10 Strobe Lights Today

Even though I have no idea how we're going to construct the mega tree this year, I do know that we need a few curtain strobe lights in it. I've ordered from Darryl Brown, a long-time PCer and a really nice guy. Everyone swears by his strobes. Anyway, they are on sale this week for $6 each; they are normally $12 each.

Here's how they work:
I take an old set of C9 lights that don't work anymore. I'll unscrew 10 of the burnt out C9s and screw in the 10 strobe lights. If any of the C9s still work, I'll paint them black or put a black out caps over them. Then, I'll hang the new strobe strand in the center of the mega tree.

Here's an example of how the strobes look in the mega tree before the lights are put up.

(Courtesy of Wayne Kremer of Nevada Christmas)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Today's Chores

Today, I'd like to finish my How To on the north poles I built a few weeks ago. Since I'm more comfortable with PowerPoint than anything else, that's what I used. I need to figure out the best way to post a pps show on the internet. I don't want people to be able to dowload it, just view it.

After that, I need to figure out what type of mega tree we're contructing, buy some of Daryl Brown's strobe lights, and continue updating the spreadsheet for the electrician.

Last night, I tried to win two eBay auctions. The first one was for a cute little Annalee boy on a sled. The other was for a lot of 14 Annalees. I must have narked when typing in the numbers because if I had typed in $130 like John suggested, I would have won. Those stupid Alice in Wonderland Annalees that I want so badly are on eBay for $39 and $49 each. What a rip off!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Got a Bunch Done Today

  1. Today, I signed up for a new blog at
  2. Then, I registered my new blog with
  3. Then, I activated BuzzBoost, which republishes my blog's burned feed content.
  4. After configuring my BuzzBoost settings, I was given a block of code that I pasted into a blank Dreamweaver template. I renamed the template file "blog.html."
  5. I opened up FileZilla (the FTP software I use) and published the new html file.
  6. Then, I updated my website with links to the new blog. Ta Dah!

Of course, having never done this before, it took me almost 4 hours to research and execute. But, I'm pretty darn happy!

Copeland Christmas Starts a Blog!

This is our first year with lights synchronized to music, so we have a lot of learning to do. I thought I'd document our learning for the benefit of others who may embark upon this same journey.