You're probably thinking of various five-word phrases that are cringe-worthy or that would require heroic action on the part of a husband - like "honey, there's a dead mouse!" or "I saw a big spider" or "I backed into the mailbox" or even "dinner tonight with the _____s!" But, as my husband doesn't mind bugs or other wildlife and I'm a good driver and we're both good at creative ways to say 'no' to yucky social invitations, these phrases are not even close. The five words I'm referring to sound much more innocent: I have a great idea. Why does this phrase make my husband run the other way? He interprets this to mean "I have an idea that's going to require lots of materials, lots of your time, and will not work out the way I envision . . ."
This time of year I always have these ideas - the holidays just bring out the "idea" side of me! Frequently the ideas are for new outdoor holiday decorations. We have a two story house with porches up and down and there are so many possibilities when it comes to decorating. We've done all the obvious things - garland on the railings and/or garland around the columns (including one year when my pariticularly ambitious plan involved all boxwood garland - unfortunately this was during one of those North Carolina Decembers when temperatures soared into the 70s and the boxwood was brown almost instantly and I almost fell off the upstairs porch in an effort to mist the garland on the front of the columns). For two years we had a large, 60+ inch wreath in the center of the upstairs railing. This was quite pretty and my husband liked it because it was very simple - half-a-dozen cable ties and the wreath was in place, two more minutes and the Moravian star was hanging above it and we were done. But, two years of the same thing is enough, right?
For about five years I've had a vision of lighted stars sweeping across the front of the house. Small ones, large ones, all glittery and mysterious in the dark. Various plans, involving plexiglass and a Dremel, or plywood and a staple gun, or cable ties and coat hangers, did not live up to their promise - leading to the purchase of the runner-up big wreaths. Last year, however, I figured out a way to make this work - large bamboo garden stakes. So simple. Lay the stakes flat in a star shape - the kind of overlapping star you draw without lifting your pencil. Then fasten the intersections with cable ties and attach lights around the outside. The inner cross pieces add stability and at night cannot be seen. And, by using stakes that are seven or eight feet long, you can create really large stars (tip - assemble outside as the large ones will be taller than your door!). Ours turned out beautifully and came together quickly. I loved this look last year, but think it would be nice for a change this year. Hence my new idea . . .
My vision for Christmas 2009 is big banners that hang between the columns - from the roof over the upstairs porch to mid-way the downstairs porch. I've been turning this idea over in my mind for weeks - could we use flag fabric or some inexpensive lightweight fabric that's backed with something substantial? And then it came to me while I was soaking in the tub (as many great ideas do!) - we could use linoleum. I've seen beautiful painted floorcloths made from linoleum scraps - it's much easier than the traditional way of creating a floorcloth by priming canvas (you paint on the reverse and there's no prep at all). So why not get large linoleum remnants and paint the reverse, cut them (I'm thinking cute points at the bottom) and attach them with a staple gun? Remnants are cheap and so is paint and this could be an easy one-day project! And linoleum won't blow around like fabric. More proof that this is a viable idea! Now I just have to convince my husband. (Not to worry, if he balks, I have another great idea, aka Backup Plan: Giant Bunting!!)