If it sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, it may be. Read on for a little laugh.
When we were I was picking out carpet, tile and furnishings for our new house 24 years ago, I didn't give much thought to Christmas. By fall, it was apparent all our traditional red and green decorations weren't going to work with our peachy/terra cotta and aqua decor. Hence, a whole new theme for Christmas at our home was born.
I love that the main living areas are filled with Santas, snowmen and angels, mostly in white but with some shades of aqua, terra cotta, peach and metallics thrown in. And snowflakes too. The assortment has grown over the years and even Wayne commented as I put them out this year that we had accumulated some beautiful things and he's right.
There's a certain sameness to the arrangement but I also like to change it little too so every few years I mix things things up. I've been itching to do something different with the mantle for two years now but never think about it far enough ahead of time to do something about it. This year's no different but now I've got a head start on next year.
Last fall while walking through a local antique store to get to the contract post office in the back, I spied some large wooden snowflakes. The design was pretty simple: Basically the same as the snowflake shape in Photoshop with a couple of extras added on. A Google search turned up these as a starting point but there are lots with more intricate designs to choose from too. I showed them to Wayne and he agreed to help me put one together.
First, let me say that I am spatially-challenged. I am forever asking Wayne Will these leftovers fit in this piece of Tupperware? So when he asked how tall I wanted the snowflake to be, I didn't have a hard and fast answer. I made a guess and he cut one piece. It was too short. I made a second guess and he cut a second piece. It was too long. Yes, I was using a yardstick to come up with those measurements but seeing is believing. It has to feel like the right size when it's on the mantle. Good thing he bought extra raw materials. One last adjustment and we were ready to assemble.
Then we had an argument a discussion about the angles between the three pieces that would form the base of the snowflake. I won that one despite the fact that I escaped college with only three hours of math credits thanks to some timely tranfers between institutions. Obviously the leftover stress from my struggles determining the appropriate size was affecting Wayne's brain or he would have had the same answer I did from the get-go. And kids, don't say you'll never use what you learned in high school geometry...at least some of it on rare occasions.
When it came time to put the pieces together, we didn't exactly have the same game plan. My by-the-numbers partner wanted to precisely mark the middle of each piece. While I often have some of the same tendencies, I was having trouble seeing how a center mark on one piece was going to help when I was covering it up with another. I didn't want it lopsided but this was an art project; it didn't have to be perfect. In the end though, his marks were helpful.
To get the spacing, I asked Wayne to draw a 60 degree angle on some paper so I could cut it out and use as a guide for spacing the three large pieces. He was, after all, the one with the protractor. No matter how I tried to explain to him how I was going to use this piece of paper, he just couldn't envision it. To his credit, however, he drew the angle which I then cut out although much "discussion" about how to employ this paper spacing tool soon followed.
At this point Wayne must have reached his quota of patience for crafting as he left while I went to town with my wooden pieces, paper spacing guide and hot glue gun. After a couple of coats of white spray paint, here's the result:
It's resting against the entertainment center for this photo but doesn't have a permanent home this Christmas. It needs a little more space than I currently have with the greenery on the mantle now. In the new vision for the mantle that garland is gone.
The giant snowflake turned out just like I wanted even if our paths to get it there weren't on the same wave length. I'm thinking The family that crafts together, stays together adage might not be entirely true.