These are old-fashioned, folded-paper snowflakes, cut with sharp scissors and laminated for permanence. No templates, no drawings, just folding and free-hand cutting. The technique I use is the one I learned in first grade,
when Mrs. Gibson led us in making letter-size paper snowflakes with safety scissors,
which we plastered on the classroom walls and door.
Six years old and I knew I couldn’t work under those conditions —
safety scissors, are you kidding me?
Back then they were not meteorologically correct (they only had four sides), and they were mostly fringe.
I fold a square of paper into sixths (not quarters)
I cut until I’m satisfied with the design I think I’ve got (I never know exactly until I unfold and behold)
I flatten them in a book until I have a bunch
I gently lay them between sheets of laminating film and then send my babies through the laminating machine
I cut them out again and, for earrings, I match them for size and general kinship
These snowflakes —
unlike the ones with which I decorated the window of the co-ed bathroom in my sophomore-year dorm, delicate paper treasures that wilted in the humidity of so many showers and went, alas, unnoticed by the boy down the hall whom I loved, the very boy who had inspired this yearning flowering of self-expression
— are permanent.
They are ornaments for home or self. They’re light and flat for sending in the mail.