Brought To You By The Letter ‘F’ (No It’s Not A ‘G’)

June 20th, 2014

Penciled F

Well we’ve come to the Wedding Shower portion of “The Perfect Crafting Storm”. And this post is brought to you by the letter ‘F’. ‘F’ would be for ‘Friesen’ the last name of my friend JoAnn who was getting ready to throw a wedding shower for her soon-to-be daughter-in-law Rachel. Now if you all think I dive whole-hog into decorating for showers and the like, then you’ve never seen JoAnn’s work. Whew… I don’t hold a candle to her, I always tell her that her style is the classy version of my own.

JoAnn was one of two partners that embarked on the Youth Room Re-do at my church a few years back. She was our project manager, handled all the fine details, dealt with sub-contractors and placed an order for the very first “O Holy Night” canvas that I painted. You could say she had a big part in kicking my creative butt into gear after too many years of sitting around doing nothing. With the upcoming shower she had yet another project in mind.

She asked if I could make a letter ‘F’, you know, one of those painted, wooden letters all of the nicest houses on the block have hanging on their front door. She wanted to use said letter as part of a table centerpiece at the shower and then Rachel and Trenton, that would be her son, could hang it on their front door after they were married.

She wanted something swirly so I drew up my own swirly, whirly version of the letter ‘F’, snapped a photo of it and sent it to JoAnn for approval. She asked that I remove the swirly, whirly little ‘C’ on the cross bar of the ‘F’. “No problem.” I replied, grabbed my trusty No. 2 pencil and erased. I snapped another picture and sent it off for approval.

I then drew up a bigger version on poster board, cut it out and headed over to my Design Assistant’s house. I laid it in front of him, “What’s this?” he asked. “This is the pattern for JoAnn’s ‘F’.” I responded. “Looks like a lower case ‘G’.” he said. “Well it’s not, it’s an ‘F’. She’s already OK’d it so it is most definitely an ‘F’.” He just shrugged his shoulders.

Enter Design Assistant No. 2. “Whatcha got there?” she asked. “It’s the pattern for JoAnn’s ‘F’.” “Huh, looks like a lower case ‘G’,” “It is not a ‘G’ it is an ‘F’.” I stated emphatically, “And there will be no more discussion on my letter ‘F’.” “Still looks like a ‘G’ to me.” she said. “Great,” I thought, “I’m never going to hear the end of this one.” Mom is of the pestering and needling variety, she’ll latch onto something and bug you about it forever.

The next day the old man called and asked what color JoAnn wanted her ‘F’ to be. “Well,” I said, “she wants it a very particular shade of teal to match the wedding colors.” “What?” he said (have I mentioned my Design Assistant is close to being stone deaf? And cell phones make it even worse.) “SHE WANTS IT A VERY PARTICULAR SHADE OF TEAL TO MATCH THE WEDDING COLORS!” I yelled while sitting at my desk at work and receiving some awkward glances. “Oh, OK, well I’ll just prime it then.” “That would be great.” I said. After I hung up my officemate said, “Pankratz, I saw your Instagram post, I immediately saw an ‘F’ but after you mentioned the letter ‘G’ now that’s all I see.” Uggghhh!

That evening I stopped by and picked up this…

White Wooden F

all smooth and satiny and shiny. I had told him he could just make it out of a piece of plywood, but no, he decided to use a nice piece of oak. Only the best for JoAnn. Now all that was left was to decorate it. I had planned on painting a pattern, like a houndstooth or a chevron, but the letter had so much going on already with the swirly, whirly curves that I decided it needed to be a smaller pattern. JoAnn had given me some paint chips that matched Rachel and Trent’s wedding colors so I mixed up the base “teal” color with my acrylic paint and gave it a few coats.

The next night I had to work late, it was a Friday so that meant I worked until midnight (newspapers have crazy hours) when I got home I started painting polka-dots, again to match the wedding colors, I dotted and spotted until 3 a.m., crawled into bed and slept for two hours, then got up at 5 so I could meet my sister and brother-in-law in Lincoln by 8 a.m. We were heading to the State Track Meet in Omaha to cheer on our buddy George. They weren’t in much better shape than I was, they had been at Alex Roepke’s (from my previous post) wedding in Kansas until the wee hours and got up the same time as me to head for Lincoln. To say we were a bit of a pathetic bunch on the hour long ride to Omaha would be an understatement.

Before leaving my house I left JoAnn’s finished ‘F’, which looked like this…

Polka Dot F

propped up inside my front door and sent her a text, “You’re ‘G’, I mean ‘F’ is ready to go.” Dang it all.

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