Make Your Very Own Paper Snowflake

Every snowflake is different, even paper ones that are cut using the same pattern, Cindy Higham assures us. And she should know; Higham is the author of the wonderful book, Snowflakes: Creative Paper Cutouts. In addition to the basic folding instructions, the book contains patterns for 75 different snowflake designs. But the reason that no two paper snowflakes will ever come out exactly alike—even when using the same design pattern—is that just the slightest difference in the way the paper is folded or cut will result in a new and exciting snowflake. And all we can say is…vive la différence!

The publisher, Gibbs Smith, has generously given us permission to make one design available to you in this post. The design I picked is titled “Ice Skaters,” but I chose it because it looked (to me, anyway) as though it could represent a personal celebration, and since we’ve been talking about snowflakes  and how they can serve as symbols for individuality, it just seemed fitting…

But enough of all that. Here’s how to do it: [Read more...]

How to Make a Snowflake Fossil

This looks like a fun idea for preserving a beautiful snowflake. I admit I have not yet had an opportunity to try it (if you read our post on Being a Snowflake, you know how rare snow is in our neck of the woods).

But it definitely seems worth a try. What’s more, if you get a good one, you can use an idea from Crafty Chica to turn it into a cool necklace (link below). As snowflakes are often invoked as symbols for individuality, your necklace can serve as a reminder and celebration of your own uniqueness. [Read more...]

On Individuality and Being Your Own Person

Just as the snowflakes we’ve been talking about are all unique and beautiful, here’s a classic song that celebrates being your own person, along with a few great quotes…

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John Barrowman sings I Am What I Am from the musical, La Cage Aux Folles.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter,

and those who matter don’t mind.

Dr. Seuss


I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.

Mahatma Gandhi


Do not go where the path may lead,

go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious.

If a human disagrees with you, let him live.

In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.

Carl Sagan [Read more...]

If You’re Going to Be a Flake, Be a Snowflake

Friends are like snowflakes: beautiful and different

Sign at Starbucks

We had a few (very few!) snow flurries in Tucson a couple of weeks ago. Yes, right here in the valley. This hardly ever happens. Most often the snow stays in the mountains, “where it belongs,” as I like to say. But because of the rarity, it’s a big deal when we do get a few flakes. The slightest dusting of snow and school will be canceled “until the roads are cleared” (which happens almost immediately once the sun comes up). Now be nice. I can hear those of you who live in more northerly climes politely snickering (and a few are even rudely guffawing…)

The fact is snow days are so rare here that my daughter, Mariah, who is now in the 7th grade, has only experienced one in her entire school career. So she has never really known that sublime sense of hopeful anticipation…doesn’t understand what it is to listen to the radio or watch TV, anxiously waiting for the announcer (please, oh please!) to mention her school’s name on the list of closures. Now, I suppose, this information is instantly available online—yet another case in which the immediacy of Internet provides us with too much information, too soon (whatever happened to that virtue of patience?)

But those glorious snow days of years past! What a joy they were! The unexpected gift of a day to do with exactly as you pleased—with no guilt—because, hey, what could you do? You were snowed in!

I fully expect Mariah will work her way to a psychiatrist’s couch over it one day—this missed childhood rite of passage (among many others, no doubt)—and all because of her mother’s stubborn insistence on living in the desert.

But I digress…

So while we don’t have a lot of opportunity to observe snow firsthand there’s enough winter lore floating around out there that we’re certainly aware snowflakes are often invoked as symbols of individuality.

No Two Alike?

There are no two alike, we’re told. And it’s true. Well, kinda, sorta, for the most part… Anyway, as Kenneth Libbrecht points out on his excellent site,, “who would know if there were?” [Read more...]

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