By KATHY ANTIONIOTTI
KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
As I was writing this, an arctic blast was bearing down on northeast Ohio. But I'd just as soon pass on any more snow, if you please.
One of my daughters said that if we choose to live in this climate, we should make the best of it and learn to love the weather -- snow and all.
We should take up skiing, sledding or ice-skating and relish the cold that makes all those sports possible. Wise words, but given the choice, I'd rather be curling my toes in the sand under a palm tree, thank you very much.
Should I choose to embark on a winter pastime and venture into the cold, I would build a snowman, a winter activity I've always loved. As a matter of fact, give me some good packing snow and a sculpture is already in the making.
Variations on a theme
As a child, I was so enchanted with roly-poly snow people, that I'd get carried away and make the individual snowballs so large I'd need a crane to stack them one atop the other.
Of course, there's no rule that says all snowmen must be produced from snow. One can stay warm inside and still create a good facsimile, especially if the snow outside your door is sparse.
For example, my grandson, Noah, who lives in southern Kentucky, makes a pretty mean snowman out of purple Playdough. Do you think it might be an inherited trait?
Not everyone appreciates the allure of snowmen or understands the magic spell they cast. But some people, like my friend Linda Gross of Norton, Ohio, know that a snow creature can put a smile on any frown-frozen face.
For many years, she has been melting the hearts of her friends with her snowmen, done in hundreds of thousands of tiny counted cross stitches. I've been lucky enough to receive them as gifts.
Frosty in vinyl
So, to Linda and Noah and all you lovers of snow people, I offer you yet another way to spread the magic. This happy little guy is made of dryer vent. I found directions at craftsayings.com and modified them for our use. I found the vinyl-covered duct at a plumbing supply store where it can be purchased by the foot.
Supplies you will need:
U3 feet of white vinyl duct.
USmall black cup or purchased hat.
UBlack and red felt scraps.
UFlannel for scarf.
ULow-temp glue gun.
URuler or yardstick.
The dryer vent will come from the store compressed. Stretch the vent out to its full length.
Cut two sections in lengths of 16 and 20 inches. Bring the two ends of the larger section of vent together by pinching the inside edges of the circle together as you stretch out the opposite side until the outside edges meet. Abut the outside edges where they come together and staple to hold the circle in place. Do the same with the smaller section.
Glue the craft stick inside the larger circle and hold until it is secure.
Place more glue around the top half of the stick and carefully slide the smaller circle over the stick, connecting the top and bottom of your snowman.
Cut two circles about the size of nickels for eyes and two the size of dimes for buttons out of black felt. Glue in place.
Make a mouth and mittens of red felt and glue in place.
For the scarf, cut a piece of flannel into a strip two inches wide and 16 inches long. Wrap the scarf around the snowman where the circles meet and tie a knot at the side.
For the hat, glue a purchased hat on top of the snowman, or use a black cup, similar to a spray can lid, and glue on top.