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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The story of this pattern starts back in 2008 when Elizabeth and I, along with our sister Margaret, decided that we wanted to make a blanket for our parents as a gift for their 25th wedding anniversary. Elizabeth suggested we base our blanket design on the traditional Attic Windows quilting pattern, and she came up with a simple technique to knit the squares.