January 28, 2009 · running with scissors: paper snowflakes


I have become obsessed with paper snowflakes. Actually, I’ve become obsessed with the fine art of paper cutting in general, but am completely intimidated by some of the work I’ve seen so snowflakes seemed to be an ideal way to a) ease myself into the paper cutting scene and b) embrace winterness in general. “Cuz you just can’t fight it. I tried this morning out in the walk, but we’re in the midst of ANOTHER snowstorm and beautiful though it was (total winter wonderland), it was coming down at such a rate that I was afraid that my car was gonna get sunk in a drift and the wolf and I would be stranded in the park forever and ever. Especially as I had forgotten my cellphone. That might not seem like such a bad thing (being stuck in the park forevah and evah) but eventually one of us would get hungry. And there’s nothing in the park to eat aside from rabbit poo and pinecones.

Anyhooo…. there’s some more photos of my paper snowflakes on my flickr site here: Snowflake Set And of course there are a number of Flickr groups devoted to paper snowflakes and some devoted to the real kind too.

Camilla Engman provides a great snowflake cutting tutorial on her Studio Violet site here in case you need a refresher and if you just can’t be bothered with locating paper and scissors, give the virtual kind of snipping a whirl at Make-A-Flake . The bonus with the Make-a-Flake site is that you can save your snowflake as a jpeg (you can also save it as an eps too apparently though I haven’t had any luck with that) and then use your jpeg image to make Photoshop brushes.

How do you turn it into a Photoshop Brush? It’s super easy in Photoshop CS3. All you do is create a layer for your snowflake jpeg, drag it over there, select the snowflake shape (using the magic wand, lasso, or the box selection tool), click on the brush tool in the toolbox… then go to the top menu under “Edit” and scroll down to “Define Brush Set”. And voila! You’ve got yourself a handy dandy snowflake brush and a reason to justify the hours you while away playing Make-a-Flake. ‘Cuz you never know when you are going to need 968 special and unique snowflakes right?

On a sad note, I feel I should make comment on the recent passings of two of my all time idols, John Updike and Andrew Wyeth. There’s a great obit to John Updike here. He made me drunk on words, on New England, on the power of the everyday. I still think that the A&P (read the short story here) is one of the finest short stories ever written. And Andrew Wyeth… I have to say I really didn’t think that much about him until I saw his Helga paintings and then I was enraptured. When we moved here to Southern Ontario and the first Novemeber drew near, I saw his paintings in the landscape all around me and fell in love anew. His father, the great Golden Age illustrator, N.C. Wyeth is also one of my idols, perhaps an even greater influence than his son, and the idea of three generations of incredible American artists (Andrew’s son Jamie is also a painter as you probably know) has always thrilled me.

Two unforgettable New Englanders, American legends, felled within weeks of each other. But their work has changed my world, made it better and deeper and richer and will continue to do so for as long as I live.

4 Comments so far


  1. Wow! I LOVE paper snowflakes (Much more than the real ones)

    Comment by Hannah — January 28, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

  2. Holy crap, I haven’t read one Updike! Not one! And I don’t know Wyeth. I’m an ijit, man.

    However, I do know of these flaky things you speak of. Perty.

    Comment by Woman in a window — January 28, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

  3. I love all the different shades you got in the flake photos. NC Wyeth is one my faves, too :) And Make-a-Flake: LOVE!

    Do you know, I just realized you have me spelled “lizarek” over there in your list? HAH! That made me giggle. :D

    Comment by lizardek — January 29, 2009 @ 9:23 am

  4. Well, if there’s rabbit poo, there has to be rabbits. The wolf could feed you both!

    And those snowflakes are beautiful, much better than the real kind we keep getting.

    Comment by Jazz — January 30, 2009 @ 7:59 am

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