Surely one of the easiest ways to re-kindle interest in design is the paper snowflake – yes, the ones from our childhood.

There’s always that wonderful moment after cutting when the paper is opened and the patterns magically reveal themselves.

Sometimes it’s not easy to get my head around how to draw and cut the desired design – for me, it’s a step-by-step progression, where I try to focus on just one or two elements at a time.  Here’s a link to a snowflake video tutorial.

After my post ‘Kia Orana’ last week, about Tivaevae and Hawaiian quilt design, I was tempted to incorporate palm trees into a snowflake design.

If there’s one thing I can draw, it’s a very simplified tropical palm tree, so I began with that and achieved a pleasing outcome.

But I wanted more leaves and realised I could incorporate a flower-like shape in the centre.  That was number two.

Number three progressed to where I actually joined one of the palm leaves so that when the paper was opened all the trees were connected.

For piece number four I began to work larger and on tissue paper – something I wouldn’t recommend as it’s just too flimsy and lightweight, but again there was some progression.

So by piece number five, worked on a large piece of paper used for presentation work and folded into six segments, I began to see the outcome I desired – it’s not perfect, but as a design for an appliqued cushion or a medallion centrepiece for a quilt, it has distinct possibilities.

The six palm trees are joined through one leaf, giving a gentle scalloped effect to the overall design.  The tree trunks lead the eye towards the centre of the work and a small star-like lotus flower shape.

A new inclusion was an element mid-way between each tree – achieved by using a simple decorative leaf shape linked to each tree to form another circular element.

With a few tweaks here and there, I’ll have a very pleasing design, achieved simply through the process of drawing and cutting paper.  It certainly had me thinking about how I could better the design each time and the colourways I would use to create it.

But the real fun is having an idea and running with it – just to see where it goes.  It took me a morning to work on this, sitting outside in the sunshine and fresh air.

Why not give it a go – and reconnect with the very simple, pleasurable art of making paper snowflakes?