Paper Stars…

Niall learned how to make beautiful waxed tissue stars at school, so I went in search of instructions online; it was a very difficult task! Here’s a red one that Niall made:

Eight-pointed Red Star

Eight-pointed Red Star

How to Fold a Tissue Paper Star Ornament
These stars are made from coloured wax paper, commonly used for making paper kites. When hung in a window, the light shines through the layers of coloured paper with a stained glass effect. Spread some joy by following these simple steps.

Steps

  1. Cut the paper into rectangles or squares. The more precisely the paper is cut and folded, the more accurate the angles of the design are when you are done. A good size for a rectangle is 1.5“x3.5” and for a square about 3.5“x3.5“.
  2. For an eight pointed star, use eight rectangle pieces of paper. Fold each piece of paper as follows:
  3. Fold it exactly in half lengthwise (along the long axis). Unfold. You will use the crease as a guide for the remaining folds.
  4. On one short end, fold each corner so that the short edge lines up with the center crease. You will end up with a square point on that end of the rectangle. Repeat at the other end of the rectangle.
  5. On one end, fold each creased edge to the center one more time. Kind of like when you’re folding a paper airplane.
  6. You will end up with a single, square point on one end of the rectangle and a double-folded, narrower point at the other end. Once you have all eight pieces of paper folded, layer them side-by-side in a circle, with the square points all matched up in the very center. The folded edge of each square point will line up with the center crease of the point next to it. Use a glue stick to glue the points together. You may also want to glue your final folds down so they don’t pop open.

Tips

  • Crease your folds sharply and make them as exact as possible.
  • Kite paper can be found in some hobby shops and online. It comes in many different colours and is much sturdier than tissue paper.
  • Use your imagination and try different folding patterns to make points.
  • Layer points more closely or further apart for different sized stars and different patterns. Square pieces of paper make different sized points also.
  • Hang your star in a window where the light can shine thru it. The pattern of lines that the folds make are often just as pretty as the colours and the way they mix!

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Fold a Tissue Paper Star Ornament. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Update: I just discovered a lovely, beautifully illustrated tutorial for these stars at the  “Duo Fiberworks” blog.

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Movie Review Sites (pre-screeing for kids)

Over the years, two sites, Screen it! and Kids In Mind, have been very helpful to me in previewing movies — without actually having to watch them myself — when deciding whether or not I think that I want my children to watch them.

The Screen It! site is a little difficult to find one’s way around, and one might assume that it’s an just advertising site (it’s just not attractive or well laid out!), but it is well worth one’s while to spend some time figuring out how to find the reviews. They offer detailed content listing in many categories for every movie they review. Each category is then assigned a rating that summarizes the quantity and degree of the content. Here’s a link to the page that describes just what they do, and how to use it. Here’s another link that will take you to the page where you can type in the title of the movie you’re interested in reading about. You can use the site for free, or buy a membership and get added benefits.

The Kids In Mind site is a quite different and compliments Screen It! very well. Beside the title of each movie, the site gives a rating from one to ten in three categories: Sex/Nudity, Violence/Gore, and Profanity. They explain objectively, in detailed list form (from the beginning of the movie to the end), why a film rates high or low in a specific category. They do not recommend ages for viewers, or comment on artistic merit, but rather leave that up to parents based the parents’ own value system.

I particularly value these sites because neither of them are associated with any religious or other organisations.

Chicken Nuggets: processed or home made?

Which would you choose?

NOTE:  This video is no longer available at Youtube, however, it is available right here at Shoutfile! 

Processed food is a huge problem in our “Western society” in my view; educating people, especially young people, is key to avoiding processed food. The demonstration performed by Jamie Oliver captured on this BBC video accomplishes this brilliantly!

Snowflakes!

This is the coolest web site about snow…it has everything from amazing photographs of snowflakes to information about snowflake physics. Created by created by Kenneth G. Libbrecht, Professor of Physics and Chairman of the Physics Department at Caltech, it is an exciting site for children and adults!

Update February 8th, 2007: Dr. Libbrecht was a guest on Martha Stewart Show today. On the Martha Stewart web site, along with a quick “Snowflakes 101 Lesson”, he gives instructions on how to preserve your own snowflakes!