Monday, November 26, 2012

Outside Christmas Display 2012

Our 2012 Outside Christmas display is up and running!  I didn't count the lights (major task in itself) but I think we are about 40,000 lights in the display.  The display is set to music so lights go on and off with the song.  I think I need to do a video this year!

I never think the pictures do the display justice!  Judging is Dec 3rd thru the city.  If you live near Temecula you'll have to come see the display in person.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Outdoor Display almost done

This has certainly been an interesting year with my Christmas Light Display.  As promised my lights were up and running Thanksgiving night.  However, you'll have to wait a day for final pictures of the display.

I've had some difficulty with the electrical this year.  I barely managed to get everything hooked up on Nov. 17th.  Did a test run and although I had a few things burnt out the display was all lit and running correctly.

Then on my birthday, Nov. 18th my family gave me this awesome green LED Christmas tree for the yard.  Love it!  However, that meant I had to shift the display around to fit the tree into my display.  Don't get me wrong, I love the tree and would take more items if given to me but I needed my birthday to occur before I did the electrical :)

Since I had an empty space I wasn't happy with in the front of my display I went ahead and rearranged quite a few things in the front to fit the tree in and fill the gap.  Then the electrical problems occurred.  I always do electrical after I have placed everything since I max out all the outlets, plugs, extension cords, you name it.  I'm basically a poster child for the fire department on what NOT to do!

Yesterday after I finished the entire display and had it running for a few hours one of my 6 plug outlet timer started flipping off.  I've never tripped a timer.  Anyway, long story short I think now I have either a bad extension cord or a way way over maxed extension cord.  So I narrowed it down to one extension cord but it is one of those with three outlets along the length of the cord so I once again will have to figure out electrical to pull the cord tomorrow.  Once I do that you'll have final pictures.

In the meantime let me show you some of the display -

This is at the end of my street, I am at the end of a cul-de-sac.  I took green and red LED's (c-6's) and simply staked the end into the ground and ran the lights up and over a branch.  I like having the two at the end of the street and next year would like to do the third tree I have further up in my yard along the fence.  Might do that in red or blue.  The lights really are more vivid then they show in this picture.

The gap in lights next to my green tree is NOT by choice.  the silver box is the associations sprinkler system and it is leaking.  They have been going into the box daily and will need to replace the leaking part so I left them a small path to the box.

I kept the arches in my display this year.  I just love the look of them!

Now if you know me at all you know I love when I found these little guys I just couldn't resist.  Welcome to my three little frogs now proudly sitting in my yard.

My To Do list for tomorrow  -

  • Determine if I overloaded the extension cord or if I have a bad one and fix it.
  • Take pictures of the outdoor display.
  • Inside decorating major push.  I'll start the formal tree tomorrow and try to get ribbon on.  
I would love to have the inside done by Sunday so it should be a busy weekend.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

4 Day Countdown

Thank you to the rain gods for holding off all rain this weekend!

We were able to get almost the entire Christmas Outdoor Yard display set!  I need to add a few more multi-colored lights in the bushes and I have three things out in the display but other than that I have everything set. Normally I am out doing all the electrical on Wednesday/Thursday of Thanksgiving so it's a great feeling to be this far on Sunday.

Unfortunately the neighborhood associations sprinkler system is located at the end of our property and it is leaking really bad.  Didn't discover it until Saturday so I couldn't put the final lights for the bushes in that area along with a Santa I'm placing there.

Now, I'm never happy with the first run of the lights so I need to get home early enough to try out all the sensors at night (our entire display is on light sensors set to turn on at dusk).  Then I can see what changes or additions I need to make.  I still have some lights left over (now that never happens!) so I just want to think about it for a day and then see them all lit at night and make a decision on what still to do.

Here are some pictures of the display during the day.  Obviously the display looks 100% better at night!

 Not happy with the gap between the airblown polar bear to the far left of the picture and the row of four polar bears .  I'm going to have to move something forward or look for something this week.
I did the curved arches in the front last year so this year I made 6 more to be able to have three on each side of the driveway.  Then I was able to move the candy canes I used to have along the driveway to the long fence along the side of my yard.  That is one long fence.  Much longer than the picture shows.  

All the Penguins!  New this year is the little airblown mailbox to the middle right behind the lighted penguins.

The train is small and I did fix the top to the last car but isn't he cute!  Added new for this year.

So I have three days and Thanksgiving itself to get my display set.  Unfortunately I work everyday but I'll still find time!

Here's my to do list -

  • Fix the see saw - it's not lighting and one I always have problems with!
  • Fix the first arch in my entryway - one set of
  • Figure out why the lights running along the top of my arches don't work - might be the set that is out!
  • Fix one present - might be the controller so I need to figure that out first.
  • I still have multi colored C6 lights so I might place those on the back fence.
  • Use green lights to build a Christmas Tree from the tree along my fence line.
  • Use the remaining multi, red, and green light sets.
  • Decide if I'm going to use the clear icicle lights anywhere in the yard.
  • Fix the gap between the polar bears with something.
Ok so maybe I still have a little bit more to do then I realized!  I can get all this done Thursday after work so no worries!  Of course once I have it lit I'm sure I'll make some changes or additions to the display but I still was able to get alot accomplished this weekend!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

6 Day Countdown

6 Days left and I'm still out of town on business.  I'm actually in San Francisco and I'm watching the city workers put all their lights up in the trees around the city.  I think I need a city crew of workers :) 

Check out my new Outdoor Airblown.  Aren't they adorable.  I don't like to have too many airblowns, since it really is all about LIGHTS but some add character to the display and since my daughter loves penguins (and well who doesn't) we have quite a few penguins in our display.  I think they are now outnumbering my snowmen.  Since I like Snowmen I'm thinking I need to go find some cute ones!!!

I have to have all day Saturday to put out all my outside decorations! The weather report for Temecula still has rain all day! This is not good! I hope everyone reading this is calling to the rain gods, they don't seem to be listening to me!
DayForecastDescriptionPrecip Chance


Nov 15
Mostly CloudyMostly Cloudy
Day: Mostly Cloudy. High 65F. Winds SW at 8 mph. Air Quality:NA, UV Index:30%
Night: Partly Cloudy. Low 44F. Light winds.0%


Nov 16
Mostly CloudyMostly Cloudy
Day: Mostly Cloudy. High 72F. Winds SW at 10 mph. Air Quality:Good, UV Index:40%
Night: Showers. Low 44F. Light winds.20%


Nov 17


Showers. High 68F. Winds S at 8 mph. Air Quality:NA, UV Index:4

7 Days Until Thanksgiving!

Okay panic has officially set in.  Can you believe that I only have 7 days to get my outdoor light display done?  The worst part is I'm out of town for business all week so there really isn't anything I can do about it. 

Fortunately I took vacation last week and we did get quit a bit done.  The weather was awesome for the first three days so we did almost everything on the house, entrance, fence, tree's and a few bushes.  I know I could have done a little bit more but I think I did about 98% of what I could do last week.  The biggest issue is that with the weather as nice as it is we will need to mow the lawn at least one more time before I can fill the yard with all the Christmas decorations.  Plus having Christmas decorations filling my lawn for two weeks before Thanksgiving is even over the top for ME!

So....I'm left with this coming Saturday and Sunday to finish my outside display.  This is definately possible IF the rain holds off.  Hence the panic.  If I listen to one weather site it says rain all weekend, yet another one has rain Thursday only.  So let the rain gods be nice to me!

I don't have many pictures of what we have accomplished since the electrical isn't hooked up yet but I did want to take a few to share.

This is just lights shaped to make a Christmas Tree.  I used red C6 LED's to create this one at the end of my property.  I hope to do at least two others closer to the house along the fence.
okay this is way too wimpy, need to double the lights.  Fortunately I just happen to have more!
Not done but a preview. 
 I always check my lights before I put them up.  Of course this time I forgot to check the arches when I put them up and two are out.  I worked on them Saturday and I'm down to the front one not working.  Unfortunately all the top strings and icicles are run from the first arch so those are all out as well.   Gotta love it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Countdown to Thanksgiving has Begun....

With just 16 days left until Thanksgiving my Christmas decorating on the outside officially began yesterday.  With this years Thanksgiving one of the earliest we've had in years it really cuts down on the decorating days.  Since I do such a huge display inside AND outside I really can't afford those lost days.

Usually all outside decorations are done the two weekends prior to Thanksgiving but due to conflicting commitments we had to shift to working on the lights during the week.  I was fortunate to be able to take a weeks vacation, an entire week to just put out Christmas!

We were able to get quite a bit done Monday 11/5.  Here are a few pictures of our progress -

All lights are up on the eaves to the house.  We do both multi-colored icicles and multi colored C6 LED's around all roof lines.

The front entrance garland is up along with the handmade wreath over the door.

Our figurines all light up and are in place.

We typically don't change the house lights very much.  I'm fortunate that my husband will still put up the lights for me and he does not like change!  So, in order to get lights up high, I don't mind keeping them the same.  I did change up lights for around the window/shutters.

In after Christmas sales last year I found some great LED C9's that change from green to red.  They look great.  I have enough to go around the garage and both front windows so they should look great.  It's always best to add some motion to your house.

Tuesday we had a late start but all electrical for the house is done, trimmed back the yard and raked up all those darn leaves (tree's are still full so this could get fun!) and I placed LED icicle lights on the long fence line.

Stay tuned, I'll try to post progress daily.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tomorrow is Halloween!

Now I know that to the rest of the world tomorrow is all about celebrating Halloween and enjoying a great Holiday and I do get that.  However, for me it means I get to start decorating for Christmas the next day!  So tomorrow Halloween, Nov. 1st is all about packing up Halloween and then it is finally time to get to work and create my Christmas wonderland for 2012!!!

Since I can't decorate quite yet I worked on my wreaths again tonight.  Moved the brown wreath to the informal dining room off the kitchen since it matches the brown drapes.  I still need to find my ribbon tub so I can replace the wreath hanger with some wide ribbon tying it to the rod.

I then finished off my second wreath.  My glass ball wreath with gold and a deep red color.  it didn't turn out nearly as nice as my brown one and I think the difference is not using any matte bulbs.  this will be hung off this mirror but with wire ribbon so I can center it on the mirror.  Now where is that ribbon tub! 

Well it was still early so I went on and tried another quick craft project.

These were so easy to complete.  I simply took glass vases and wrapped a piece of thick metallic scrapbook paper around them and created a completely different look for a candle holder.

This is a great project for a beginner and relatively cheap.  I had most of the items already laying around in my house so this cost me just $1.00.

You'll need a glass vase, spray adhesive and a sheet of scrapbook paper or something equivalent to this.    I also used a paper cutter from scrapbooking in order to get a straight line.

Just cut the paper to the right size to wrap around the vase with a slight 1/4" overlap.  Spay the adhesive to the paper and then line the paper up to the side of the vase and then just roll the paper around the vase.  On the large one I managed to roll it perfect the first time.  The second one, well let's just say it took a few more tries!   I bought a couple more sheets in complimentary patterns all with the same silver look to them.
I plan on putting candles inside and then lining up about five of them together on a sideboard or location off to the side in a room.

Next time you hear from me I will be        
updating everyone on how the Christmas
Decorations are going up.  Watch out for
lot's of pictures this year!

Monday, October 29, 2012

How to Build a Christmas Ornament Bulb Wreath

With just four more days until Halloween is over and I can start decorating I just couldn't take it anymore.  So I set aside an evening to build a Christmas wreath made out of Christmas Ornaments.  Here is my first ever attempt at building one but I know it won't be my last -

I will have to find a better location to hang it but I really like how it turned out. 

Now I know there are a lot of methods on how to make one of these and I'm sure most will work out just fine I thought I'd share with everyone how I made mine.

First, you have to buy the supplies.  I actually had purchased glass bulbs about three years ago with the intention of making one of these but a friend told me to only use non shatterproof bulbs so I went shopping (this has never been a problem for me :) . 

I wanted my first attempt to be with all shatterproof bulbs.  I picked up a metal wreath frame for the base.  I almost used a styrofoam ring but thought this would hang easier and allow me to secure the ornaments on easier. 

I then bought approximately 100 bulbs for the wreath.  I know that sounds like a lot but I used every single bulb I bought and could of used a few more.  I started with the large brown collection to the left of the picture below.  I know several stores sell them but I found the brown I wanted in this pack of 55 bulbs at Hobby Lobby and paid around $15.00 for it.  The ornaments below are not all for this wreath but all clear packs to the front are.  I loved the multi pack I purchased but knew I needed some additional small ornaments to fill in the gaps and I wanted some with glitter and designs on them to add some dimension to the wreath.  I didn't plan it but I really liked having the matte bulbs along with the normal shinny ones in the multi pack.  I stayed with the brown theme, added in some ivory colored and at the last minute layered in just a few green bulbs.  You can find these shatterproof ornaments at any of the big box retailers, Hobby Lobby, Michaels or even Big Lots. 
In addition to the bulbs and wreath frame you will also need a glue gun, glue sticks and floral wire.  All can be found at a craft store such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby. 

Next I layed down newspaper to stop hot glue from getting on my table.  Somehow I missed not getting the hot glue on myself.  So one other item you might want is BandAids! 

I knew I didn't want to just hot glue all the ornaments on so I actually wired the whole first layer onto the frame.  You absolutely (yes you must listen to me here) must hot glue the tops down to the ornament and the little wire inside the lid.  I just lifted the lid, put a little hot glue under the lid and then set the lid back down and then ran a line of hot glue over the two openings on the top of the ornament lid.  Now you will want to skip this step since it takes so much time but DON'T.  You will have to go back and trust me gluing it first will save you time eventually.  I then connected the wire to the frame and slid on two or three bulbs at a time and then secured the wire to the fram and then moved down and around the frame this way.  I mixed large and medium sized balls as I went.  Below is the first layer I put on.  Using shatterproof bulbs you can really pull them tight before you secure the wire to the fram and then continue on.  It worked great and allowed me to fit in the right size ornaments as needed. 

After the entire bottom layer was complete then I stopped using the wire and just started hot gluing the bulbs into place as I layered in some large, med.ium and small ornaments. I loved the blend of shinny, matte, sparkly and all the different shades of brown.  I I tried to face the lid of the bulb down and hidden away where ever possible but with a few I wanted the design more prominent so I did leave the lid showing. 

I tried to fill in as many of the holes as possible so when the wreath hangs up you can't see the wire frame.  In some variations I have seen where people wrapped the frame with a matching color of ribbon or the tinsel garland in a gold or silver color.  I liked the ribbon idea but thought wiring onto the frame would be too difficult so I just left mine blank and you have to really look to see the wire frame beneath it. 

If you do use a styrofoam wreath rather than the wire one just remember to wrap a heavy wire around it so you have something to hang the wreath from when your all done. 

I constantly picked up my wreath to make sure it didn't get glued to my paper underneath but also to turn it and see where I needed additional small ornaments placed. 

I might add a bow to it but I think I'll just buy some wide ribbon and then hang it from the ribbon up to a curtain rod or attach it to my mirror.  The glass ball wreaths look great layered on top of a mirror because of the reflection and play of light. 

I let mine dry overnight and then hung in the next morning.  I did loose a couple of the ornaments I hadn't secured on with enough glue.  If you have the patience to wire all the layers of ornaments on you will probably like the effect a lot better, just pull them very tight so you have very little movement between the ornaments.  I didnt, I know I should of tried but the hot glue gun was calling my name.  Because they were shatterproof I was able to make the final adjustments to the wreath in the morning and it has now been up for over a day without a problem. 

Now I am working on the glass ball wreath with the ornaments I bought two and three years ago at after Christmas sales.  It is red and gold with a few light bronze colored bulbs.  I already know I like my brown one the best but I'll post pictures of my second creation when it is done. 

I would love to get pictures and thoughts from any of you on wreaths you have made out of ornaments so send me pictures!

Start looking for daily updates because November 1st the Halloween gets packed away, the house gets a major cleaning and stripping of all home decor and by November 3rd I will be full blown Christmas decorating!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wine Themed Christmas Tree

Okay I have decided on a Wine Themed Christmas Tree for my husband's "man cave".  It's actually a Poker room with a bar and a large wine cabinet.  I place a small tree on top of a wine barrel each year in here but I haven't found that perfect tree theme yet.

Loved my lime green tinsel tree with jewel themed ornaments but just didn't fit into this room.  Last year went with a basic tree with gingerbread/candy themed display with pink ribbon...that lasted one day :)

So it's Wine Theme this year.  Started looking at wine ornaments but I don't want it too store bought so I'm going to attempt to make some of the decorations.  Now if I could just get a day off to do some crafting!

Figure the colors will be a deep purple and green for ribbon and I'll include some grape clusters on the tree in different sizes (found some in Hobby Lobby that will work great).  I told my husband I need lots of wine corks but he doesn't seem to be in a wine drinking mood.  I think he should drink a couple of bottles a day :) so I have plenty of corks.  Figure I can attach a ribbon or small decoration to the cork and hang them on the tree.  Buy a couple of pre made ornaments and that should fill in the tree nicely.  Now, what do I do for a tree topper?  Ok I'll have to work on that one.

Check out some cool wine Christmas decorations I found while looking around -

This wreath is more for the fall season but I could tweak the look and add in some Christmas flair.

Here are some of the styles of store bought decorations that are available in the stores.

Now if only I had some more room in my house this would be awesome!!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Themed Christmas Trees

It's actually September 1st!  I wait all year for Christmas to arrive and just hearing that it is September means fall and after fall comes CHRISTMAS!

Suddenly I'm thinking of all the items I want to get done for this years display both inside and out!

My first project needs to be my largest formal Christmas tree - I went with a green/gold theme for my formal living room tree the last two years so I really need a change in colors.  It looked great but I need a new look.  Any ideas?  The room already has some green's in it so I need to go with something along those lines or a compliment to green.    I need to establish the color scheme before I can create the tree. I am leaning towards brown and a mid green color.  Let the search begin.

In the meantime check out some of these great trees, any work for you?

White & Silver but I love the over sized dramatic ornaments.

I just love these themed trees!  Hmmm, where could I find a spot to duplicate this tree???

Love the pop of color with this aqua blue tree

Great surprise in color with pink and silver.

Is there really a tree in their?  Too cute!

So I still haven't found that perfect color scheme yet but heck, half the fun is shopping!

Let me know what your doing this year?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Is it too early to start planning your 2012 display?

So, I'm walking thru Hobby Lobby today and they are clearing out of a lot of merchandise so I overhear a customer asking why and the associate said "To make way for our Christmas Merchandise"....I was in shock!  Good shock, but shock non the less.

We didn't have Hobby Lobby open last year but I have heard they set Christmas earlier than most stores.  However, even I would be shocked if they set in June.

My mind has been racing though trying to figure out what to do different for my 2012 Christmas Display for outdoors.  Inside I want to do different this year to but it really is all about the outside :)

Checkout this great picture that was just posted, see I'm not the only one thinking it's not too early to start planning...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Time to start planning for 2012 Christmas!

In less than 9 months it's time to start decorating for Christmas.  I really wanted to find a lot of LED lights in the after Christmas sales but there were hardly any.  We found a few hundred of the color changing ones that change from red to green so I'll have to figure out a cool place for these.

We also bought a couple items for the yard.  Bought a little lighted 3D train that should look nice out in the yard.

I always start planning my next years display before I even take the current year down but I'm hitting a wall for this next year.  I know I want to do the arches again along the walk and by the front door but expand and go along the driveway this year.  I absolutely have to do better on the trees this year and move the Purple LED's up to a front tree.

I guess I just need to go online and find some great deals on LED's so I can figure out a creative way to use them in our display!