Last November, I was invited to present at the North House Folk School's Winterer's Gathering in Grand Marais, MN, one of my most favorite places on earth! I led the family event, reading from both of my winter books, Winter is the Warmest Season and Snow, and as the snow fell outside on Lake Superior and the town, we made shiny, glittery paper snowflakes inside. It has been my experience that once you start cutting paper snowflakes, you cannot stop at just one.
Most people think cutting a snowflake from paper is just a matter of folding the paper into quarters and cutting designs from there. That is fine for a lace-like doily, but when I illustrated Snow I studied snowflakes. I learned that most snowflakes have six sides. Some have twelve, but never four or eight! I also learned that a snowflake is not a frozen raindrop-- it is an ice crystal that forms from water vapor in the air and it takes about fifteen minutes for a snowflake to form as it falls to earth. It takes about the same amount of time to cut out your first six-sided paper snowflake.
Last week I hosted a gathering of CMLS (Circus Mom's Literary Society) at my house. This group of friends is famous for good food, wine and conversations about books, but this time I added making snowflakes to the mix. Scissors and shiny square origami papers were all the ingredients needed for a fun activity. I think active hands make for lively conversations.
It is mid-December in Minnesota, and believe it or not, there is NO SNOW! At least not in the Twin Cities. We had a paltry few inches a couple of weeks ago, but nothing since then and there is no forecast for snow in the next ten days! So what do you do when there is no snow? Make snowflakes!
Lauren's latest illustrated children's book is Yellow Time. An exuberant, joyful ode to that magical time when the leaves are changing color and the animals are preparing for winter.