Friday, December 13, 2013

forecast for san diego: isolated snow flurries

posted by jennifer:

  i love christmas, and the christmas season.  this time of year, you can often find me elbow deep in cookie dough, singing along to bing crosby, the statler bros, and the beach boys (along with many others).  this time of the year my snowmen and ladies arrive.  the tree is picked out at home depot.... but a little tradition around here:  we don't untie the tree to examine it before buying it.  it is a fun surprise to see what we have once we get home.  this year emma said to me, "what if it isn't a good one?".   i feel like i had one of those parenting moments when you feel like you are qualified.  i said "it's like babies.  you never know just how they are going to look before they come out, but they are always beautiful." 

and it was. (the tree that is)  and they are.  (my babies that is).

but back to the forecast.

one thing you can always count on in the niles household is paper snowflakes.  i have been making them for years.  the first year i made them was when we were living in a one bedroom apartment after we were first married.  in 1993.  so 20 years ago.  we were poor, but i needed to deck the halls ya know?   so i cut out snowflakes (i hate to say it, but probably from paper "borrowed" from work) and glued them onto the windows.  they were very pretty, and fun to make, and enjoyed by others.

the apartment complex was managed by a married couple.  the wife approached me about the snowflakes.  knowing me and my fear of getting in trouble, i probably thought she was going to slap my wrist for using a dot of glue on the apartment window.  she didn't get mad.  she actually asked if i could make some to sell to her.  she wanted to do the same thing in their apartment. 

since then, my snowflakes are one thing people always ask about.   "are the snowflakes up yet?"   and comment about "oh good!  i hoped you had put the snowflakes up." 

they always often ask how to make them.  so here is a tutorial.  i hope i make sense.  and i am sure there are hundreds of well made  video tutorials on youtube.  but here goes:

how to make a paper snowflake.  diy.

*use thin paper.  you are going to be having to cut through several layers at once, so construction type paper would not be ideal.  i always use copy paper.  that is bought... not borrowed.

*you will need your paper to be made into a square.  you can do that by folding over the paper as seen here:

and then cutting the excess off.

*you will be left with a triangle. which is good.  don't unfold it.

*you will then fold that triangle into a smaller one. as seen here.  you want all the folded sides to line up.

*and again.  as seen here:

be sure that as you are folding you are keeping everything lined up.  when you reach this point the point of the snowflake should be nice and sharp.    the opposite side of your folded triangle should not have any folded edges.  

*now for the fun part.  you can either draw your cuts on your triangle or freestyle it.  the main thing to remember is you do not want to cut all the way across the triangle.  you can along the top, but after you have your top cut done, you just want to make your cuts along the sides.  and the tip (the pointy end).

*when you unfold it you will find a beautiful snowflake.  remember.  just like christmas trees and babies, they are all different, but all beautiful.

* i always iron my snowflakes.  so they are nice and crisp.  mind you it is the only thing around there that gets ironed.  well that and some sewing projects.  shirts? not so much.

*you can hang them up on nylon line (fishing line), thread, or you can add a small dot of white glue to them and put them on your windows.  at the end of the season, you can use a razor blade to remove them.  easy peasy.  you can also spruce up some fallen branches as i did this year. 

they can be made in just about any size. to make a smaller flake,  just make a smaller square to start with.  a variety is nice.   and the more the better. i have over a hundred hung up over our dining table.  and it still seems a little patchy.  in fact, i am hosting bookclub this sunday, and those ladies are some who most look forward to the snowflakes.  so  i think i am going to be adding more before then.

happy cutting.

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