Sunday, November 27, 2011

Outside Display 2011

I finished the outside display this weekend.  Most was done on Thanksgiving but I had some left over lights and well you can't have left over strings of lights.  Here are the finished pictures.  I did add a couple hundred more lights after I took these pictures but this still shows what our display looks like. 

I have some of these hooked up to music so I'll have to get a video and post that for everyone to see. 

I finished the inside today as well so I'll get you some pictures of the inside later this week. 

Let me know what you think -

 This last one is my purple LED tree.  I purchased 600 LED C5's and the tree turned out awesome.  I want to purchase some Greed C5's for my large tree after Christmas this year so I can continue to switch everything over to LED. 

Right now the display is a little too blue with all the LED's so I only want to add Green or Red for next year as I buy more LED's. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lights ON

2011 Christmas Lights are officially on.  I'm not actually 100% done but I would say I'm about 95% there.  I wanted to get all the electrical on and running tonight to make sure I still had some power left. 

After 10 years in this house I think I have finally figured out the electrical, how much I can put on each circuit without blowing the circuit, or the entire house (well that's another story).  And trust me I put alot on each one.  If a fire marshall ever came to inspect my yard I'd be shut down.  I LOVE LED's just because you can string so many sets together and not exceed the maximum allowed (which I might do occassionally). 

This yearI built some arches leading up to the front door and I put these new Shooting Star large icicles on the front arch and they turned out great.

Here is my front yard, again it's not done but you won't see much more.  The lights are to music so in this picture a few lights are out (like the large tree in the front) because of the timing of the music.

Tomorrow when I get home from work I'll put the finishing touches on and then call it done!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Only 4 Days Left!!!

Well this was the big outside light weekend.  We were threatened with rain all weekend but luckily it held off until Sunday afternoon. 

Saturday we were able to get the house finished off and all the major projects in the yard completed.  Most of the lawn decorations were built and put out.  Hardly any of the electrical is done and all the strings of lights still have to go out but we finished the day pleased with the progress.

Sunday was supposed to be rain starting at 9 a.m. so I wasn't sure if I would be able to get out and get everything completed.  Fortunately the rain held off until almost 2 o'clock so I was able to get all the remaining figurines built and out.  All items are out with the exception of all the strings of lights for the bushes and lawn.  I was able to get about 75% of the electrical hooked up.  The last hour I worked in the light rain but eventually I had to give into the rain.  Just something about electrical and rain didn't seem to be mixing well together!

I do have several pieces that arent lighting up for some reason.  I built a fake tree out of green lights and all the strings worked when I put them up but now it won't light.  I also didn't check the santa runway lights or the see saw and both of those are out so I've got some additional work to do.

Later in the evening the wind picked up and the rain just poured down and flooded some of the yard.  I refuse to go out and look, I'll have to cringe when I leave for work in the morning.

Now unfortunately I work straight thru all week so I will have limited time to get everything set.  I'll work in the dark a little Tuesday and Wednesday if I get home early enough and then Thursday I should be home by 2 or 3 so I can hopefully finish up hooking everything up and getting everything to work.  Looks like trees, bushes, and lawn lights might not get 100% complete until the weekend but you never know!

Here are a few pictures of work in progress from the last couple of days -

This was right after the rain set in!

Check out my new Helicopter!  It was my birthday present on Friday, of course that meant my husband had to go up and figure out how to attach it to the roof line :) 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

9 Days Until Christmas Display turns on...

Well I might be out of town for work but I still managed to find an amazing Christmas store in Chicago.  It's a local company with 9 stores in the Chicagoland area.  AmericanSale and it's amazing!
I closed the store down just wandering thru the aisles and wondering if I should go shopping for another suitcase to bring all my new loot home :)

But common sense took over and I narrowed down my purchases.  So check out my adorable new airblown.  Now my only dilema is where I place him in the yard, should he go with the polar bear display or in the Penguin display? 

While wandering around the store I also figured out what theme I want to use for my sixth indoor Christmas Tree - a candy/ gingerbread house theme.  It's a small tree (4') so I can use some of the ornaments I already have and I added three new ones from my new favorite Christmas Store.  Now I just have to figure out a spot in my house for a sixth tree!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Only 11 days left until the lights go on!

Eleven days, that is just insane.  All my outside lights have to be set and ready to be turned on Thanksgiving night.  Panic is about to set in.  This year is not going at all like years past. 

Today we accomplished quite a bit outside thanks to Mother Nature.  After rain ALL day yesterday it fortunately dried out and the sun came back out.  Because I lost a day I was worried but the house itself is completely done now.  Did a test run and everything works (always a worry even though I test all lights before they go up). 

In addition to the house we have two of the four trees completed.  Decided on all green lights for our Red Plum Tree and then I bought LED C3's last year after Christmas so those went on the Crape Myrtle.  Still have about 1400 blue lights to get up in the big Elm tree.  This year I also bought 600 Purple LED C5's from Big Lots (other web sites said they had a great price on LED's and good quality so I had to check them out), those will go on one of the smaller trees towards the back of the yard. 

This year I created 7 arches that will go along the front sidewalk on either side of the driveway.  I simply took 1/4" PVC Pipe and wrapped them with mini lights.  I used a hot glue gun to attach both ends to the pipe and also glued down two additional spots to ensure they didn't shift.  I took 12" rebar and placed the PVC Pipe over the rebar to create an arch.  It is a relatively easy project for anyone to do.  Just time consuming to wind all the lights onto the PVC.

Yesterday due to the rain I worked inside getting alot of the decorations set up throughout the house.  I haven't started on decorating the trees yet but I did get a lot of my other items out.  The staircase garland always takes awhile to get set up. 

Now for the bad part, I have to fly to Chicago for work tomorrow and I don't get back until Friday.  I'm loosing a lot of evenings working on Christmas!  Hence the panic setting in.  Normally I would take all my outside figurines and set them up each night so come Saturday and Sunday I just have to take them out, set them and hook the electrical up.  This will really cost me not having all my figurines pre set up for this next weekend. 

Guess I have the next five days to redesign in my head how I want to arrange all the items out on the lawn. 

Remember, only 11 days until Thanksgiving so have you started your Christmas decorating yet?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Today was the start of our outdoor Christmas Display. We actually got alot accomplished.  My husband always threatens to strike and not put out lights but in the end he comes thru for me.  Because we're  still weeks out from Thanksgiving we can't do the entire yard but we can do the house, fences and even a few bushes.

In total we put up about 7000 lights today so we made very good progress.  We have a two story house so the upper tier is always done first.  Two years ago I converted the entire house over to LED which has allowed me to have more lights out, oh and of course save electricity (wrong!).  Both stories get LED C5's in multi color lights with multi color LED icicle lights underneath.  I then added in motion lights around the garage and the upstairs shutters.  Next are some white framed figures we put on the roof.  I really need to come up with something different for the roof next year.  I think I need a airblown santa in a helicopter landing on the roof.   

So besides the upper tier we got most of the lower tier done, just above the garage has to be finished.  I did a green christmas tree out of green lights and I covered some of the larger bushes in net lights.

I would say we made good but not great progress.  Tomorrow is my husbands birthday so no Christmas decorating tomorrow.  I will fit in a Home Depot run for some supplies!  Saturday it is supposed to rain but if it doesn't I'll be back out there.  Wish me luck that it doesn't rain until Monday!

I'll get some pictures posted this weekend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Let the Christmas Decorating Begin....

I was actually able to start Christmas decorating today.  It's already November 7th so I'm officially six days behind but I'm still excited to officially kick off another year.

After Halloween I had to work out of town all week so it was a slow start for me.  Last night my daughter and I packed up all the Halloween and then I stripped the house of all the everyday decorations.
The house looks so empty!

Last week my husband dragged out all the Christmas tubs and boxes so I have two rooms of the house packed full that I will have to unbury. 

I was able to get a couple tubs unpacked for some of the decorations that I placed in the Living Room but I have a long way to go.

Tonight I started putting together some of my outdoor decorations.  My newest addition had to be built first - Mr. Flamingo.  He's adorable and had I known he would look so good I would have bought 8 of them.  Now to figure out where to place him in my outdoor display, it's not like he fits in with any of my other decorations!

Tomorrow I'm home all day (Vacation Day!!!) so I should make a lot of progress on the inside.