ode to snowflakes

I’m travelling up north this weekend. I imagine there will be more snow than we have here in the city. Which reminded me that I made these shrink plastic snowflakes during Christmas holiday, with tutorial from The Long Thread.

I first tried using the template full-size. I was imagining a dime-sized pendant, but it turned out a lot bigger than what I wanted, as you can see with my hand there (I had to remind myself that shrink plastic may seem magical but it’s not so magical that the snowflake would shrink from 4 inch to 1/2 inch).

The first try didn’t go very smoothly. A couple of the arms broke off as I was cutting, and I only had clear shrink plastic rather than frosted shrink plastic, so I had to sand it. The sandpaper I used was grey, and I made the mistake of sanding it after it was cut, so the grey sandy particles got stuck all along the edges, leaving the snowflake with a film of grey…

But I still like it. It reminds me of snow in the city, on the road and sidewalk, turning all grey and slushy as the cars go by and people treading through. I’m going to find a long chain to wear it around in the city :D

As for the small snowflake that I wanted… Learning the lessons from the first attempt, I shrunk the template by 50%, sanded the plastic before cutting it, and was extra, extra careful and slow when cutting the plastic. And finally I watched it curl and shrink in the hot oven… and suddenly I have a snowflake the size of a dime :D

It’s exactly what I’ve pictured in my mind. And none of the arms broke off. I’m quite happy with it.

If I could write poems, I would write an ode to snowflakes. They are breathtakingly intricate and beautiful and each is perfect in its own way, yet they’re here one moment and melted to a mere drop of water the next. I’m sure that it’s a detail purposefully made and woven into our everyday life to intrigue and inspire us.

But I don’t really write poems. The best I can do is some feeble attempts at haiku (although I quite enjoy it :D). But I do enjoy reading poems very much. And I’m happy that my sister-in-law, who is a very talented writer, has started a new poetry and writing blog, so now I have a constant supply of poems to read :D

So, travelling, snowflakes, and poetry. I thought I would sum it all up with this poem I read on Lil Fish Studio. I was very moved by it when I read it, because recently I’ve found myself in the same place, travelling along and then coming upon a forked road, trying to make the best decision, trying to find the best way to use all the gifts I have been given, and feeling rather helpless wallowing in my own indecisiveness.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost, 1915


(The poem itself has nothing to do with snowflakes, but note the author’s name!)

So, see you in a few days! I’m bringing Zumi with me to the north and hope to bring back some nice photos. Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful weekend!