In December, Martha Stewart Living magazine featured "grown up" paper snowflakes, which you could make using printable templates from Martha's website (click here to see them). In the magazine, paper snowflakes decorate a wall above a festive holiday buffet table. At my house, they grace a window in our family room. They were fun to make, but not necessarily easy.
The paper needs to be cut into a square before you begin; I just folded my copier paper diagonally and cut off the extra bit at one end (an old trick from my amateur origami days). Next, you fold the square diagonally twice, resulting in a triangular shape, then both sides of the triangle are folded toward the center (see Martha's site for details about the folding). At this point, you'd staple a template onto your folded paper and start cutting on the lines of the design. Since I didn't scale my templates to fit, I was basically copying the designs by hand, as they fit on the paper. I really liked drawing free-hand designs on my paper. You can't really go wrong with a snowflake; any cuts will result in an interesting design.
My snowflakes were far from perfect. If there's anything I've learned from my year with Martha, it's this: sometimes it's a very good idea to close your Martha magazine and focus on doing the best job you can do.
It's exciting to make a snowflake, isn't it? You can never be sure what it will look like until you unfold it. This one was surprisingly pretty.
Meanwhile, my elf brigade worked on their own snowflakes, made with more traditional techniques. It was one of the first days of the holiday break; they weren't feeling well and it was really cold outside. It was nice to get busy with snowflake production for an hour or so.
We taped our snowflakes to the window, as seen above, and it looks mighty wintry in the family room. I'm glad the three of us could make them together.
Our snowflakes are the final installment in my year with Martha. I can't believe I managed to try something new from her magazine every month for a year. I set this challenge for myself around this time last year, largely because I was feeling a bit uninspired in my cooking and crafting at the time. I love to do both, but sometimes it's hard to find the spark, you know? I began a subscription to Martha's magazine as a way to bring in some new ideas, and decided to try at least one new thing from each issue, and blog about it at the end of each month. Readers, you were so supportive! I really enjoyed this project and it was fun to read your thoughts and comments on my posts. Thank you! I hope you felt inspired to try new things too.
I thought I'd share a little retrospective of my Martha & Me project, if you're interested in checking out any of the things I tried along the way.
January - February - March
Spaghetti with collard greens and lemon; Honey blondie bars; Swedish Fish valentines; Mango upside-down cake.
April - May - June
Asparagus and watercress pizza; Embroidery-embellished pillow cover; Bruleed grapefruit; Buttermilk oat waffles; Gemelli with snap peas and shrimp; Painted scarf.
July - August - September
October - November - December
Martha can be a tough act to follow, as you probably already know. I felt intimidated at times, but I'm proud of myself for giving it a try. Some of my experiments were more successful than others. Some were truly wonderful, some were downright frustrating. But they all helped me learn something new and I'm really glad I stuck with my challenge.