For those of you wishing to crank-up the flake machine for the holidays, here’s an idea or two. As I apply whimsy to the scissors, I often get some pointers from the lines and curves in the patterns printed on the papers I cut. Not that I follow them exactly, but as if echoing their shapes. The consistent but random-looking math in natural shapes (search ‘fractals’ for more on this) often provides a design idea that ‘works’ to seem real and organic.

If I can make cuts which follow a consistent theme (angles, line length or density), the finished product appears more believable to me…as if it bloomed or sprouted or grew as a crystal. Make any sense? After cutting thousands of flakes over the years, I appreciate much more the beautiful designs among God’s handiwork—already here to be inspired by.