Snowflakes from Kyiv: 2015 UPDATE!

Five years ago I shared with you the following blog post with images that were likely the most shared images from my blog of all time. In fact, the photos were pinned over 108,000 times! But, as it turns out, there is much more to this story, something quite exciting I could hardly wait to share and will do so below. But first, please read my original blog post from 2010:

“Snowflakes from Kyiv”

A 2010 Repost

A very talented reader from half-way around the world emailed to me black & white photographs of his beautiful hand-cut snowflakes. I’m so happy to have received these and to share them with you from Arthur Shramko of Kyiv, Ukraine, who writes, “When I was a child my grandmother used to make these snowflakes, so she taught me and since then I make them every year.” He makes them in winter and sticks them on windows. Incredible.

2015 UPDATE:

I had attempted to reconnect with Arthur last year to no avail, but was able finally correspond with him just before Christmas this year (though, as he reminds me, their Christmas is celebrated January 7). Arthur is a 27-year-old UI/UX designer, still living and working in Kyiv, Ukraine, and aside from the hobby of paper-cutting, is also fond of typography and calligraphy.Arthur Shramko KyivHe wrote “I was totally carried away by the sad events in my country. As you may now, we have kind of an undeclared war with Russia, and the situation was very tense last year. So I did not have time for things like snowflakes at all. Now the situation looks more or less stabilized, but still very disturbing.”

 As a young child, he was taught to cut paper snowflakes by his grandmother. “Each year when we decorated our home for holidays, she used to make a lot of snowflakes to put on windows and to hang on strings. Of course, they were much simpler than my current ones, because there was not so much time to spend on them. I put my snowflakes on windows, walls, furniture, wherever I want, actually. But mostly I give them away to my friends.”ArthurShramkoInstagram2Arthur also shared with me some very exciting news- his snowflake images that I posted on my blog and were shared for several years around the world via the web and social networks like Pintrest, ultimately floated into the path of the creative department at Tiffany & Co. With the information from my original post, they were able to find Arthur and commission him to create custom snowflake designs for their 2015 Christmas campaign. His designs were included in in-store snowflake displays, and printed material such as this gorgeous holiday catalog: catheholden-SHRAMKO-snowflakes-Tiffany-Co catheholden-SHRAMKO-snowflakes02-Tiffany-CoArthur Shramko’s beautifully intricate snowflakes could also be found on individual product pages on the Tiffany & Co. website during the campaign. But most spectacular are his snowflakes coming to life in Tiffany & Co.’s Christmas animation:

It is lovely moments like this that remind me as a blogger that some stories shared can be more important than I can imagine in ways I can never predict. I am so blessed to have experienced but a fraction of the bigger picture. Congratulations on your successes, Arthur, and thank you once again for sharing your beautiful creations and yourself with the world.

Want to see more of Arthur’s paper snowflakes? Follow his work on Instagram at @makethesnowflake!ArthurShramkoInstagram

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14 Responses to Snowflakes from Kyiv: 2015 UPDATE!

  1. #1 - Kelly Harms says:

    Wow, what a great story and what an amazing talent. Thanks for sharing Arthur’s gift with us.

  2. #2 - Lisa C says:

    What a lovely story!! All of the snowflakes are beautiful!

  3. #3 - berta says:

    What beautiful snow flakes and wonderful story. I hope Arthur has a wonderful Christmas and New Year filled with peace in his homeland. Thank you Cathe, for sharing this with us.

  4. #4 - Heather says:

    This is one of the most inspirational posts of the season. What a joy to find that all this connectivity has real and beneficial results! Thanks for all you share, Cathe.

  5. #5 - Adrienne says:

    Breathtaking and beautiful!

    And the only snowflakes we have in Maryland this Christmas.

    Thank you for this special gift Arthur and Cathe!

  6. #6 - Wanda says:

    Thanks so much for sharing that. Reminds us of just how small a world we live in…especially with the aid of the internet.
    How fortunate he was to have you post his beautiful work and tell his story. Nice that it led to such grand things for him!

  7. #7 - Summerflies says:

    This is a lovely story…thanks for sharing it.

  8. #8 - Vee O'Brien says:

    What an inspiring post, Best Wishes to Arthur and yourself for 2017

  9. #9 - Karla in CA says:


  10. #10 - Maggie says:

    Cathe–this story (AND the snowflake designs!) took my breath away!! How wonderful, from beginning to end!

    Have a very Happy New Year, friend!!

  11. #11 - Jill Ruskamp says:

    Cathe what a great story! I’m happy for all of you!

  12. #12 - Jacquie says:

    What an amazing story! I’m so happy for Arthur and love to see undiscovered talent found via bloggers who share the outstanding work of others. I’m sure that was quite a Christmas gift for you both.

  13. #13 - Joan says:

    I loved reading this story…just goes to show how one life touches another. Lovely. Thanks.

  14. #14 - Christopher Young says:

    Many thanks Cathe.

    Arthur is extremely talented and a pleasure to collaborate with. We also have ongoing collaborations in the works. Many thanks for connecting the world to his delicate, rich work.

    Best regards,
    Christopher Young