Sunday, December 1, 2019

Crafty Book Review: First Christmas Trees from Beginner's Guide to Kirigami

My kids think that this is so cringe, but I have GOT to make a major fuss every year about our first Christmas-themed project of the season!

I'm a purist, so the project has to occur after Thanksgiving. And we have to listen to Christmas music, and the first song that we listen to has to be The Pogues

We didn't listen to very many more Christmas songs after that before Syd requested a podcast, instead, and we transitioned to my current favorite podcast, American Girls, but whatever. We started with The Pogues so it counts.

This particular Christmas project is the First Christmas Tree from this book (I'm using Amazon Affiliate links. If you click through to Amazon and end up buying something, nothing changes on your end but Amazon might toss me a penny every four years or so...):

If you think you've never done kirigami, you're wrong. Paper snowflakes are kirigami, as are these Halloween window cut-outs that the kids and I also like to do. 

The First Christmas tree is a little more advanced, but it's a perfect project for teenagers--and me! It held our interest, and was challenging enough that we had to think about what we were doing, but not so challenging that we couldn't listen to stuff and talk to each other and reminisce about the time that Syd played a Star-Bellied Sneetch in a day camp play when she was just barely five and was so stinking adorable that the program STILL uses her photo from that play in their marketing.

And then I reached behind me and pulled a copy of The Sneetches off of our bookshelves (my shelves are alpha by author, because of COURSE they are) and read it out loud to the kids as they worked, and then I noticed that there was an inscription in the front from their aunt and uncle, who'd apparently given this book to the kids for Christmas 2006, so I snapped a pic and put it on the aunt's Facebook wall to show her that we're still reading it. And then I got back to my kirigami Christmas tree, too!

The cut-out stars are a little fiddly, and Syd actually skipped doing hers and her Christmas tree is still very pretty, but I think it's worth it to see the light shining through!

This kiddo is just as charming cutting out a paper Christmas tree as she was at five, standing on a stage and wearing a brown paper bag with a giant crayoned star upon thar:

We did not have the paper called for in the tutorial, which was fine. The kids are using cardstock for their trees and I used their shaving cream marbled paper for my star--

--and my tree used to be a file folder!

Everybody made their own tree, but of course, in our family you never really have to work on a project all by yourself. There's always someone to assist you!

Even with the x-acto knives out for the first time this season, Will is the only one who cut herself, and honestly, it was due--we hadn't even gotten into a single conversation about blood-borne infections at all yet that day! Gasp!

Somehow that inevitable conversation about blood-borne infections transitioned to a conversation about pinworms. If you don't know what pinworms are, don't Google it. Your peace of mind is more important.

I think these trees turned out ADORABLE!

See how Syd didn't cut out stars, but did embellish her tree with some scrap garland? SO cute!

Will used purple cardstock, which is just as pretty and makes me want to make an entire rainbow of trees.

So now we don't have our big Christmas tree up, or any of our Christmas decorations, or any of our Christmas gifts--in fact, we still have our Halloween decorations out, which I absolutely do NOT want to talk about--but still, our coffee table is now perfectly festive.

And The Pogues have called me a maggot and told me that they've built their dreams around me, so it's officially the Christmas season, indeed!

I received a copy of Beginner's Guide to Kirigami free from a publicist, because I can't write about a book if it hasn't gotten me wielding an x-acto knife while humming along happily to Irish punk!

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