Stars and Snowflakes
We're right in the middle of the darkest time of the year here in Montreal, with the sun setting just after 4pm these days. Elizabeth and I have both been doing some decorative crafting lately, which helps to brighten things up as we prepare for the holidays and anxiously await the solstice...
I've been working on some crocheted Starry Dream hanging ornaments, from a pattern I found through the Indie Design Gift-along on Ravelry. These use an overlay crochet technique that I haven't done much before, but once I got the hang of it they were super fun to work up. I'm using some leftover scraps from our Elora mini-skein sets, and I'm hoping to have time to crochet a few more in different colour combinations.
Elizabeth has been working on some more kid-friendly decorating projects with her son this year. They've got some paper stars on the go, and various shapes and sizes of paper snowflakes.
She used these instructions for the origami stars on the left, and suggested this tutorial for the 3-dimensional paper snowflake on the right. She says these ones look especially nice with origami paper that's patterned on both sides, and are a great project for kids because they'll still look beautiful even if the cuts aren't perfectly straight or even.
We used to make cut paper snowflakes all the time as kids, but Elizabeth has taken them one step further this year. She's been ironing them flat and stiffening them using this recipe. She irons them on a low setting both before and after stiffening them, and her favourite tip is that the more paper you cut away, the more delicate your snowflake will be.
Once they're stiffened, paper snowflakes are incredibly versatile decorations, for hanging on your tree, in the window or elsewhere. This morning's project was snowflake Christmas cards, and who knows what will be next! You can find the basics of snowflake folding and cutting here.
Do you have any favourite homemade decorations that are brightening up your holiday season this year?
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Lately a lot of my crafting inspiration has come from my son, who is growing and needs things, and from my goal to live more gently on this earth and think twice before buying and using things.
My values of living frugally and buying ethically-produced clothing that is not damaging to the environment sometimes feel completely at odds with each other. For me, this is where mending, crafting, and buying second-hand come in. Can I mend something to extend its useful life? Can I knit or sew more of our everyday wardrobe basics? Is it something I can trade or buy second-hand rather than purchasing new?