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Did you know?
  • 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.

sparkleball

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sparkleball last won the day on November 16

sparkleball had the most liked content!

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About sparkleball

  • Rank
    Newbie

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Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    the one coming next!
  • Location
    NY
  • Biography
    New to the light arts but working on it.
  • Interests
    light, vision
  • Occupation
    maint
  • About my display
    color coordinated this year.

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  1. sparkleball

    OK, Now What?

    I'v got this far on this house. I was trying for elegant. It is OK, but not magnificent. I should mention that photographing it made it look messier, to the eye it is neater, perhaps because the icicle light twinkle doesn't all fit in one frame. The snowflake is steady. What should I add?
  2. I decided to wrap a 25' Elm tree (Ulmus USDA) in lights for this Christmas. I had somewhere around zero guidance and zero experience so I decided to write this up for the next guy. I have seen the occasional tree done up this way and liked it. On youtube I found Jerry's Tree (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG_iODz6e7E) which is magnificent. I went to www.holidayleds.com/ and bought a case of warm white 5 mm LEDS with brown wire, so as to blend in better with the bark. I chose warm white as being more cheerful looking. Cool white would be more wintery and architectural. Each string has 70 LEDs with a 4" spacing, 70 LEDs per string, 23' lighted length. I used the palm of my hand as a nominal 4" measure as I wrrapped, so the space from each bulb to its neighbors is the same left and right or up and down. A case of 24 strings gave me a total of 552' lighted length to work with. The strings came tightly twisted around themselves to make them as small as possible for shipping. It took me around 5~10 minutes per string to prep them. Prepping included: * Plug in to test. (they all worked) *Standing on a chair and dangling one end so it could twirl freely while I untwisted it. *Taping black electrical tape over the white labels. *Squirting dielectric grease into the female sockets. *Taping over the lower female socket with electrical tape as additional protection for the socket I thought might not be used. *Rolling them into a ball with the female end in the middle. *Tying them up with a wire and boxing them. I did not pull out the fuses (every string has a 3 watt fuse inside the male plug) and grease them, because they are so small that I hate handling them. One reason I chose this tree was that it was small enough to wrap without a cherry picker. I had a 6' stepladder, a 20' extension ladder, no helper. A helper would have made things go faster, a cherry picker, really faster. I found that I had to stop around 10' from the end of any given branch because they got too shaky to climb or lean a ladder against. Work got a little harder as I went along because every time I wrapped another branch I had to stop climbing on it. I picked October to put the lights up because I didn't want to be up there pushing snow out of the branches while I worked. I won't put them on until after Thanksgiving, because that would be tacky. I worked on two consecutive days and it ran around 7 hours up in the tree, which comes to less than a hundred feet of lights per hour. That they were cold days did not help. I wanted to wear gloves but had to keep taking them off to get the wires wrapped neatly. Cost: $ 310 lights $ 12 extension cord $ 25 deer netting to wrap around everything within 8' of the ground, to discourage vandals. $ 347 total. The results: Looking up into tree, day. Looking up at tree, night. Tree from a distance, day. Tree from a distance, night. In conclusion, it does look good, but the tree could probably hold two cases (1,100') of lights and look even better.
  3. Minimalism is about your personal style, how you choose to live in your own home.
  4. Your images have a lot of words and small details. You could add a couple that just look like an elegant Christmas package. Simple is always classy.
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