Friday, January 30, 2009

Tinsel, the New Copeland Puppy

We got a dog...a Christmas dog! Her name is Tinsel and she was born the week before Christmas.

She is a Yorkie and as soon as she outgrows her puppy fur, she should be silver and tan like her mom/dad...hence the name Tinsel. She is still a bit too young to leave her mom, but she is on puppy food and enjoys playing with the other two puppies.

A few weeks ago, John said he was ambivilant about getting a puppy. This week, he asked me why I haven't put down a deposit for her yet....and "what if somebody else wants her and gets her before us?" In fact, right now, he's on the computer looking up which hotels in the Orlando area are pet friendly. (We go to Orlando every couple months).
A few days after Christmas, a cute little chihuahua puppy came by to see the display.
I fell in love with the puppy and started searching for a chi. The more I talked to people and researched the breed, I realized it was not the right breed for us. It was then, that we started talking to neighbors about their little yorkie Popcorn. John said he likes the little dogs that get ta red bow in their hair...the rest is history.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

After Christmas Sale Stuff

The day after Christmas in 2008 was so much fun. The big difference between the 07 and 08 Christmas sales is that the sales this year started back 3-4 weeks earlier. Things like the mailbox were purchased in November for fear they'd be sold out if we waited. (Thanks again Jim/Cathy for the mailbox.) They were sold out the second week of Dec.

I'd say we spent about $1000 on $4000 of stuff during the after Christmas sales...which started before Christmas this season. To all the haters that think we spend too much, please know that we plan for this all year long. We save up.

Above: Here are a few things we purchased from Penneys.

The tree skirt from Homegoods was originally $125, on sale for $25. That was a good deal. The Mr. Christmas village pieces for $17 were a steel. There were 4 more receipts that I've already filed away.
$24 43" Deer
$17 Half Pipe
$17 Half Pipe
$17 Half Pipe
$12 Night Before House
$10 3 Village access.
total (tax and a few other things):
TOTAL: $117

$5 Princess ornaments
$9 white feather tree
TOTAL: $14

Santa face
tree skirt
shiny santa figurines (6x)
Total $63

Annalees (17x)
spiral decorations (6x)
Total $434

One thing that John has wanted since last year is the street light from Penneys. He liked the mickey one, but it was around $300. The snowman one went down to $125 and we didn't get it. I'm okay with it, but I gaurantee he'll get it as soon as he sees it this year. One interesting thing...we didn't get any new lights this year. We did purchase $150 in new icicle lights in November to use for the 08 season. After John pulled out the 5th bad set, we decided to throw away the whole's not worth putting them up to have them break a week later.
Posted by Picasa

All Signs of Christmas Are Gone

We have been done with "teardown" for a few weeks now. The living room has a nice monochromatic feeling to it. I'm ready for a few new pieces of furniture, but I've realized all I'd do is go purchase another wooden chocolate brown set that is ultra modern.

That's what I have now!

I love the combination of chocolate brown with lime green...or sky blue...or teal. We've been in this house for nearly three seasons now, and I've had each of these colors as accents to the chocolate brown. This year, I've chosen to put all three with the chocolate and I'm loving it.

You know how, after Christmas, you always find that gift, you quickly shoved under the bed to avoid being discovered? Well, we've finally cleared all that stuff out of the house. Except, with us, it's the last few red cups, bathroom towels, and miscellaneous ornaments that have fallen under furniture or are heaped in the bottom of the closet.

I am happy to report that the glitter situation from last January does not ail us again this year. How does one have a glitter situation on her hands?......

Let's think about a typical Target Christmas aisle containing ornaments, stockings, wreaths, china, cards, etc. I'd be willing to bet that 1 out of every 2 things you pick up from a store christmas shelf has glitter on it. I love glitter, but it seems like Christmas glitter lays dormant for a month after Christmas, then it slowly releases into the house for 6 months.

I still don't know why this year's glitter situation has been better than previous years. I've actually given serious thought to this.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Before and After Tear Down


After (below)

Below is a shot of the garage after the first day of tearing it down (today).

John helped a lot and so did Jesse, a neighbor. Joh kept going back and forth to storage and cleared out the packed up boxes that Jesse and I were getting through. We had kind of a system...John got the empty boxes from storage and also brought back full boxes to storage....all day. Jesse and I packed the stuff in their boxes and kept replenishing the "to go to storage" pile.

We trash most of the snow after Christmas. The snow blankets are saved for next year if they are clean. They also help insulate breakable items. The mountain made from wood, foam, styrofoam, and roofing paper will be trashed. I can't wait to have the garage back!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stuff we Got After Christmas on Sale

The 2008 after-Christmas sales weren't as good as the past two years. The 50-70% sales had been running throughout December. Michaels started 70% the week before Christmas. Sears and JC Penney were 50% the whole month.

HD and Lowes did go 50% and 75% on the 26th. Walmart went 50% on the 26th. Actually Macy's and HD went 50% Christmas night.

Shown above is special Annalee doll from Mr. Orth, a visitor who decided this little Santa needed to be at our house. He's such a special visitor who loves to tell us about old Christmas traditions.

Here are three of the big Annalees we got this year at Dillard's on the 26th. I couldn't believe the crowd that accumulated outside Dillard's on the 26th. They had their own jumbo bags, they were lined up 30 mins early. Some had scouted out the best door. They all ran once the doors opened. They were complaining about how one door opened before the other door. I've never experienced this before. Within 5 mins, every Annalee doll was gone. One lady even asked John if he was putting one back on the shelf... she had overheard us talking about how we didn't really need this particular Santa b/c we already had it.

The above photo shows the remainder of the new Annalees. We got three owls from Dillard's. I go to FAU, home of the owls, so there might be an FAU display next year. The pig and frogs are from Dillard's. The elves, elephants, bedtime mice, and monkeys are from

I think the circus scene will grow in 2009. I'll add back Rene's porcelain circus figures, circus train, these Annalees, and all the Lemax circus items I got this year. I think it might go inside on the table. Oh, I might beg Jim for his Kinex ferris wheel again. A dozen people asked about it this year and last.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 4, 2009

More 2009 Ideas

I'm about 80% done packing up the inside of the house. Today is Sunday and tomorrow ushers in another semester of Marketing coursework.

Before I lose these ideas for the 2009 display, I figured I'd jot them down. The other day, I did part 1 of this list.

Jim said he'd allow the first child at his display each night to choose which train accessories were placed one of his 2 dozen train sets. What a great idea! Perhaps we could announce that each night or on a certain night of the week, the first child at the house could have a special job or get to do something special. The giant light switch idea from last year would be perfect.

One of the top 5 questions from this past year was "how many people come here?" We know that on some nights this year, we had a couple hundred people. One family who was featured on this year's HGTV Christmas show counted their guests by knowing how many candy canes were passed out each night. Pretty good idea. We did have a guest book, but so many people don't sign, the candy cane idea is not a sure fire counting method. More brainstorming to do.

Edit: Added more below

Want to add a scene which requires a velvelt rope (inspiration: Ace of Cakes 21 b-day episode)
Want to add the Halloween fog machine, a waterfall, bubble machine, snow machine, a light that morphs from color to color
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 1, 2009

How to Photo Stitch Christmas Lights

I love Canon's photo stitch software that comes free with the camera. Sometimes it works better than others and I can't figure how to predict when a project will turn out good/bad.

This project used three photos. I didn't use a tripod and I did have to lighten and saturate the colors before posting to the blog. I use Picasa by the way for all my blog posting and photo organizing. I've never had to restore lost photos, but I have used all Picasa's other features and really like it. Reordering (by way of drag/drop) is the one thing that's a royal pain in Picasa.

I'm not afiliated in any way with Picasa or Canon.
Posted by Picasa

Let's Decorate the Neighbors

Here at the Copeland's, we decorate pretty much everything with lights. Today, the poor neighbor kids got decorated.

Posted by Picasa

Our Christmas Eve at Copeland Christmas

John and I snuck a photo early in the evening before the crowds hit. Christmas Eve was a busy day here at Copeland Christmas.

Here's a few of the more remarkable stories from this year...

A nice girl came from Gardens and asked if were the Copelands from Catalpha Rd. We nodded. She said, "my family bought that house from you and we had people for 10 years knocking on our door asking if we decorated the garage." She lives here in PC now.

We also had the chance to talk with Mr. Orth about "real nutcrackers" from Austria and Annalees from New Hampshire. A few days later, he came back to give us a 1990's Annalee doll from New Hampshire.

Gayle has come a few times with and without her 80 yr old mother. She brought us a newspaper article about Annalees. She said this summer, she's going to NH and will bring back a doll from the factory for us. Wow.

A woman came from PSL and commented about our fireplace DVD. Then her son came a few days later. He just filmed a new fireplace DVD that was featured on Jay Leno and in a Paltrow movie. Once he gets his DVDs printed, I'll try to find one for next year.

Lots of dogs have come to see the display, including a 9 week chihuahua. The best was the pet hampster that got out of the car and got to see the display from the driveway.

Gunner and Jagger from Palm City, both under 12 years old have come several times and totally understand how everything works. Hats off to them for reading the website and getting into the animation.

We've had people from Finland, Alaska, Austria, Norway, Canada, Columbia, Albania, and many more.

Some folks drove down here twice from Ft. Pierce. Another framily came from Lantana.
Posted by Picasa