Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Thoughts of Snow (and some Beaded Snowflakes)
I was in love with snow. I was. For many years I lived in Oregon, in the Willamette Valley, which is absolutely beautiful because it's so green and alive. It's so green because it rained all the time and while living there I desperately wished for a little snow to change things up a bit in the winters. We hung crafted snowflakes from our ceilings every year (they were ginormous) and my mother said that they were our "snow prayers". I wore a necklace all winter long with a snowflake charm on it and I waited. And when the water would finally freeze into those rare fluffy bits I would go outside and enjoy how beautiful it was and dance in the snow.
Now that I live in Nevada I get snow in the winter, every winter, and somewhere in the 6+ years I've been here I started to not love the snow. I've been very unfond of being stuck in it and the accident on the ice (my poor truck). I was stuck thinking "it's cold and wet and when will it be summer already?". And then a couple of weeks ago I remembered that I loved snow. And it's all starting to come back. So this year I will hang my snow prayers from the ceiling and when it finally snows I will be outside dancing in it. Join me?
I've also included a quick DIY how-to for Beaded Snowflakes. These are very simple to make with beads and wire and the pictures truly don't do justice to how lovely they are when they catch the sunlight.
First you start with the wire. I believe this is around 20 gauge but unfortunately the spool isn't labeled anymore so I'm not positive. The important thing is that whatever wire you pick must fit through your beads and be strong enough to hold them up. For an 8 pointed star (pictured above) you will need 4 wires each about 7 inches long. For a 6 pointed star (pictured in blue at the bottom) only 3 wires are needed.
Using a thinner wire (I used 26 gauge for this) wrap the middle of the thicker wires together until they don't move around much. This doesn't have to be neat as it can add a little extra visual interest and look like another bead. At this point the wires can still slide sideways but once we add the beads and twist the ends that won't happen anymore.
Here's a closeup of the middle:
Start adding your beads. Try to use a few different sizes/colors to mix it up a little and add some interest.
When you get to the end of the wire use a pair of round nosed pliers to round off the leftover wire. This will also give you a place to insert string to hang the snowflake.
Here is an example of a simple six-pointed star. This project is also good for keeping little hands busy though you may have to help them make the original form since it can be a little tricky to wrap the thinner wire while holding the 4 thicker wires in place.
Add a little ribbon and your creations are now ready to adorn your tree, catch some light in the windows, or hang from the ceiling as you wish for new snow.
Let me know if you make these as I'd love to see what you've done.