Saturday, December 17, 2011

Making Snowflakes!

Last November, I was invited to present at the North House Folk School's Winterer's Gathering in Grand Marais, MN, one of my most favorite places on earth! I led the family event, reading from both of my winter books, Winter is the Warmest Season and Snow, and as the snow fell outside on Lake Superior and the town, we made shiny, glittery paper snowflakes inside. It has been my experience that once you start cutting paper snowflakes, you cannot stop at just one.
Demonstrating the art of cutting a six-point snowflake.
Most people think cutting a snowflake from paper is just a matter of folding the paper into quarters and cutting designs from there. That is fine for a lace-like doily, but when I illustrated Snow I studied snowflakes. I learned that most snowflakes have six sides. Some have twelve, but never four or eight! I also learned that a snowflake is not a frozen raindrop-- it is an ice crystal that forms from water vapor in the air and it takes about fifteen minutes for a snowflake to form as it falls to earth. It takes about the same amount of time to cut out your first six-sided paper snowflake. 
Sometimes a little help is needed to cut snowflake designs. 
Last week I hosted a gathering of CMLS (Circus Mom's Literary Society) at my house. This group of friends is famous for good food, wine and conversations about books, but this time I added making snowflakes to the mix. Scissors and shiny square origami papers were all the ingredients needed for a fun activity. I think active hands make for lively conversations.
Conversing and cutting snowflakes
Shiny origami papers make shiny snowflakes!
Buster and snowflakes.
It is mid-December in Minnesota, and believe it or not, there is NO SNOW! At least not in the Twin Cities. We had a paltry few inches a couple of weeks ago, but nothing since then and there is no forecast for snow in the next ten days! So what do you do when there is no snow? Make snowflakes! 

Snowflakes fall in my window, even with no snow outside.


  1. Beautiful! I love the shiny paper snowflakes. I think it's time to bring a little snow to California. Snip snip snip.

  2. The snowflakes are so much fun to make! We need snow in Minnesota right now too!

  3. As an official member of CMLS i can verify that making snowflakes from shiny origami paper folded to perfection via Lauren's instructions made truly magical and beautiful snowflakes. There is still no real snow. I miss it!

  4. I miss the snow too! Paper snowflakes are fun to make-- but building a snowman with them is not satisfying at all!

  5. I think I'm going to start wearing my snowshoes around the house. Maybe the snow gods will have pity on me and drop some snow outside where I'll do less harm....

    Love the snowflakes on the windows!