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Here (above) is the Christmas display from 1996.
The 1995 display (below) was also a finalist in the city-wide lighting contest.
The house is a red brick "L" shaped duplex. It has white faux shutters on either side of the windows facing the street. The display is coordinated in red and white to match the house. Gold is used as an accent color. Red and white candy canes are used as accents along the sidewalks between lights and as edging.
The "shutters" are covered as "Christmas packages"--made from cardboard wrapped in gold mylar wrap and giant red plastic bows and ribbon. These are stapled to the shutters. (Fastest Staple Gun in the West!) The red "virtual" tree in the center of the yard is an 8-foot length of re-bar stabbed into the ground with guide wires staked in a circle around the base. Red lights encircle this to form a "virtual tree." A star of white lights sits atop the tree. More "packages" in gold, red and white are beneath this tree.
The following (thumbnail) photos are daylight close-ups of the four plywood decorations made by Kass. Select the images to see a larger close-up. They are designs by renowned wildlife illustrator, Linda K Powell. Kass projected them onto 4 by 8-foot sheets of plywood, cut them out with a jigsaw (somehow managing to keep all of her fingers intact!) and hand-painted them to match the original prints.
|This guy is sound asleep on the roof at the back of the display. Tucked into his walnut shell, kitty slippers at his feet, dreaming of Christmas morning.|
Meanwhile, in the foreground, mice cavort with merriment! So who's sleeping--not even these guys!
|Aha! so much for keeping track of the candy canes! Yum!|
Look who's juggling jingle bells in the bushes near the driveway!
(The braces disappear against the night sky after dark.)
|And just how many eggnogs did these two have? Better not fall off that roof!|
You might note that each critter has red & white on or about them in some fashion. This ties nicely to the lights. The sidewalk is lined with large red bulbs. The roof is lined with miniature white ones. And, the lilac bush next to the house also has white lights.
Close-up details in the exhibit:
|Window and patio for Kass' half of the duplex. Lighting of the red-stained park benches new for 1996.|
|Window and patio of other half of this duplex.|
|Single barrel detail. Fake poinsettias (it is Colorado, after all--too cold for the real thing outside!) and greenery fill the twin flower barrels nicely. And, of course, white lights with more candy canes.|
New for 1996, The North Pole! Also, candy canes now line the sidewalk, between the large red bulbs.
(Sorry about the quality of the photo--I am NOT a photographer!)
|New in 1995 were the 10-foot high "living candy canes" on each side of the end of the house. These are 12 inches in diameter and have red and white "chasing" lights strung so that the stripes appear to move. These have proven to be a real traffic stopper!|
|Seen here from 1995, the red tree on the end of the house between the candy canes was the first part of this puzzle. Made with three pieces of edging (in a triangular shape) stained to match the bricks, it is mounted permanently to the house, with cup hooks placed up both sides to string the lights on in forming the tree shape.|
|The original "triangle" tree was removed for 1996 and replaced with this nice "vertical" wall tree. Strands are staked to the ground then wrapped around cup hooks on the trim under the eaves. Also, the brick edging (at the base of the tree) of the new landscaping provided another item to line with (red) lights!|
|A simple wire frame with taped on lights makes a nifty heart decoration! This is simply hung on the triangular tree/cuphook frame on the end of the house.|
The wreaths and stockings come off the red foil-papered front doors to be replaced with white paper "lace" hearts! What a slick conversion!
Oh, but you didn't think it would stop there, did you? The red bulbs are replaced with green bulbs and the wire frame valentine is replaced with a shamrock. The red foil comes off the doors to be replaced with green foil and we are ready for St Patty's Day! (Sorry, we forgot to take a picture of that one!)
By then, the grass is beginning to green up and so the yard stakes must come up. Easter is represented by a simple non-lit display. Bunny in the bushes, eggs hanging from the tree.
For Summer 1997, Kass intends to make a wire frame (red, white & blue lights) flag to attach to the end of the house... Then we can cover Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Labor Day! This would take us right back to Halloween and we have come full circle!
If we can ever find the time and hardware to create a QuickTime movie of the display or even a "Christmas Cam" we might have more interactivity on this page. Of course, that would take even LONGER to draw to your screen...
(Many broken fingernails, scraped knees and frozen body parts were sacrificed to give you this display!)
Kass' hot tips for elaborate display wannabe's:
- Don't believe that cheap light strands are really "end-to-end." They never work that way--what do you want for $1.98? HA!
- Get a professional tool belt--something big enough to hold your "light duty" and your "heavy duty" staple guns at the same time. I have a holster style belt--ready for an OK Corral showdown--just missing my spurs! (Don't mess with me when I have my trusty staple guns!)
- Have a relative who is an electrician! Or get an employee discount with an extension cord manufacturer! Or both!
- Dedicated 24 amp breakers are good things!
- A "map" of your extension cord placement and where each outlet is located is always helpful ("Where did I plug this one in last year?")!
- Don't ask the neighbors to help when you use power tools--it scares them.
(Ok, ok, maybe that's just me!)
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© Copyright 1996-1998 v.12.22.97 Kass Johns
Writer & Consultant to the Computer Publishing Industry
Colorado Springs, Colorado :: http://www.kassj.com
Email: kass at kassj dot com
Please forward your comments or questions to KASS