Friday, January 2, 2009

Snowflakes


Happy New Year!


I am always sad to see December and all the holiday fun come to an end. I have been putting away the Christmas decorations, not because I am tired of them, but because it depresses me to still have them up when the children return to school, so I put it all away while they are still home on vacation. I really hate seeing everything get packed back up, but at the same time I am always some what relieved when it's all put away again.


I will put away all the Christmas-themed things, but I will leave out the winter-themed things until the end of January. I am not fond of January, mainly because of the oppressive weather, but I try to fool myself into liking it by celebrating the snow and cold with snowmen and snowflake decorations.


This year I crocheted some snowflakes out of no.10 crochet thread following patterns from this book. I find crocheting with a small hook and thread very challenging. This first snowflake is my favorite, but I have only been able to make it once. My repeat attempts with this pattern have failed. The snowflake is small, only 1 inch across.


This next pattern is equally small, and was a bit easier to make.

This third one is a bit larger, 2 inches across.



I'm not sure I'll be able to crochet more snowflakes out of thread. I love how they look, but it really is tense work for me, and that defeats the purpose of relaxing with needlework! I found a free pattern online to work larger snowflakes with yarn, and I've been following that with good results. I hope to make a garland of snowflakes to hang over my fireplace in place of the Christmas lights that are just about to come down. I'll share that when it's done, because I think it's going to turn out cute.


The children and I made snowflakes a few years ago using beads following these directions.








We didn't use glue. We just folded the end of the pipe cleaners back to hold the beads in place. We also skipped the step of gluing a starburst bead to the center of the snowflake, because it looked fine without it. These are so easy to make that we did these as a classroom craft for my daughter's class room winter party last year, and for my son's winter party the year before. Most of the children didn't follow the bead placement pattern suggested in the directions, and did things quite randomly, but the end result was still quite charming.


The kids and I also made snowflakes with string and borax a few years ago, as described here.














We put food coloring in some of the water, which gave subtle variations in color. I'd like to try this again sometime making different shapes with pipe cleaners.
All right, January, I guess I'm ready for you!