Monday, November 8, 2010

About Snowflakes

I don't know why I am so fascinated by making snowflakes - but I am!  I always liked geometry in school and I enjoy finding new uses for old shapes too.  Today I want to share a quick process for making snowflakes and to "reveal" how I made the snowflake I posted last week.

Quite a few people left comments trying to guess what shapes were used to make this snowflake.  . This snowflake is made from just one shape with a circle added to strengthen the center.  Cartridge guesses included Accent Essentials, Home Accents, Winter Woodland, When it's Cold Outside and Storybook.  A crown, a diamond and a comma were some of the shapes suggested.  Deneen was correct about the element (a fleur-de-lis) and she thought it was from the French Manor cartridge

Here is the fleur-de-lis shape that I used - I drew the red box to help you see how it fits in the pattern.

The fleur-de-lis shape is from the Cupcake Wrappers Cricut Lite cartridge.  I chose this one because I thought it would look nice and lacy with the cut outs already in the shape (the diamond and other teardrop shapes).  You can use a solid shape and add other shapes to create cut outs but it takes a lot more fussing to get things perfectly aligned.

This is a screen shot of a snowflake made using the silhouetted fleur-de-lis on the Accent Essentials cartridge.  I did this just to test the look.  I think it is pretty but perhaps a bit too open.  You don't get a strong hexagonal impression when you first look at this variation.

This snowflake is very clearly six sided and has a definite hexagon center.  It might be improved by adding an additional layer.

So here are the basics for making a snowflake in Design Studio.  The same simple principles apply to creating a snowflake with the Gypsy but a few things will work differently - I'll try to point these out.

1.  Remember that a snowflake has six sides.  Think of a circle or pie with six wedges or slices and try to imagine if the shape you have chosen will fit nicely into a slice.

2.  You need to remember your geometry and the angles or rotation for a six sided shape.  You start with an element that looks interesting and check weld.  Then you copy and paste the element and, while it is still selected after pasting, change the value in the rotation box in the Shape Properties box.  (it is important to change the rotation right away in Design Studio because if  you click off the shape and go back to it the original and the copy will have merged and you can no longer separate them).

You will copy and paste 5 times and the values to place in the rotation box are 60, 120, 180, 240 (or -120) and 300 (or -60).  On the Gypsy, you will want to group the six items and you could enter six in the queue at the start or group them after you are done duplicating and changing the angles.

3.  You may spend quite a bit of time figuring out the best way to overlap the images enough to create a continuous snowflake design.  Some shapes look like they will overlap nicely but don't actually work very well.  Sometimes you will need to add another shape or another set of shapes to finish your snowflake.

4.  It is helpful to work at a large size so you can clearly see the areas where the images overlap and then adjust the size to be smaller or larger.

5.  If you are working on the Gypsy you will be able to duplicate the entire group and resize it to suit your project.  You can group and resize in Design Studio but you will not be able to copy and paste the images as a whole.  Since there are usually only six or seven elements, it won't take to long to create additional copies for the file.


This image is actually the "offcut" from another snowflake that I made tonight.  The actual snowflake is sooo pretty...but I will have to wait until another day to share it.  I do have a few other ways to make snowflakes and I'll try to give you some examples soon.  I had intended to post the file for this snowflake but while I was taking screen shots the file somehow corrupted (0 bytes left) and I will have to redo the file and post it in a day or two.

I am working on my layout for the cruise contest.  I hope that I will be able to make something that attracts a lot of votes on Facebook!  Please keep your fingers crossed for me...

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing how you made this, would never have guessed you used cupcake wrappers to make this, but I was thinking more of a larger image with smaller ones added, not 6 individual cuts merged together. Wonderful job on it. I am intriged by your next snowflake too! Take care! JeanH

  2. Thanks for taking the time to show us how to make these wonderful snowflakes. The fleur-de-lis shape just jumped out at me on this. I love how you take bits and pieces and put them together.

  3. Your snow flakes are beautiful and I am going to try and make one. You are so helpful with your instructions and I appreciate that so much. I will try and have all my facebook fans vote for you when you post your design. I like the idea of someone who gives so much of their time and talent to us winning this awesome trip.

  4. Wow great Tuto... Your snow flakes are so pretty!

    Have a great Tuesday ;-)

  5. Awesome. I will have to try some of these. Thanks for sharing!

  6. These are amazing! You're so gifted!! Thanks for sharing. You'll def get my vote on Facebook for the cruise contest. ;)

  7. Funny how the fleur-de-lis shape didn't appear to me until you said that the snowflake was made out of 6 of them! Thank you, once again, for your terrific tutorial.

  8. Wow!! Thanks!! Your snowflakes are awesome!! I'm going to try to make some

  9. Just finished my first snowflake. HOW MUCH FUN was that?!?!?! I used the fleu-de-lis shape from the French Manor Card and it turned out darling. I have to make snowflakes part of my Christmas cards some how. I had so much fun making it. Thank you! Thank you for the inspiration!!!!!

  10. Your snowflakes are always beautiful. I'd love to have time to try this because I'm a math kind of person too.

    Please keep us updated on your contest - I'd love to help you win your contest.


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