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Blog

Celebrate Spring with Wintercraft

 

Easter Globe Ice Lantern

Many of you know that Globe Ice Lanterns add magic to festivities on a dark winter night. But step outside that logical comfort zone for a second and see how beautiful, purposeful and, yes, surprising a Globe Ice Lantern can light up celebrations at any time of year.

The National Ice Core Lab

Because Wintercraft revolves around ice, we jump on every opportunity we can to learn about it. So while visiting the Breckenridge Ice Castle this March, we decided to throw in a visit to the National Ice Core Laboratory located in Denver, Colorado. It is not set up for regular visitors, so one needs to call well in advance to be allowed to tour this large facility which houses ice cores from all over the world.

The Kindness of Strangers...and Friends

Patrick Groleau caught Jen photographing her Ice Flower (crop)

Wintercraft had been very lucky.

Colored Ice Experiment #42: Food Dye & Salt

"Can you add color to the ice?" is a question that I have heard countless times. My reaction tends to be, "Of course, but the results may not be as vibrant as you would like. Why?

This is a good question, so I decided to do a few experiments with color additives and document the results. 

Wintercraft Color Experiment 42

MIDDLEMOON CREEKWALK

MiddleMoon Creekwalk Jan 10, 11 - 2014

 

A Hilton Experience

Bring the Magic Inside

On the day I am writing this blog, the news is reporting "historic" low temperatures all across the United States, so it seems like a good time to mention that Globe Ice Lanterns can be created and displayed INSIDE. And on frigid days like the the ones just ahead, that might be the safe way to experience this amazing ancient craft.

So what is the best way to bring a Globe Ice Lantern inside?

Very Cold = Very Big Luminaries

Luminary Loppet 2010 Photo by Rob Nopola

After several warm winters in Minnesota and beyond, it seems some of us have all forgotten that it is supposed to get cold at this time of year. And as a recent Globe Ice Lantern enthusiast told me recently, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If you get cold weather, make ice globes!" My thoughts exactly . . .

Snow is a Blessing!

For those in warmer climates, the following may not resonate, but for many of us who live in the north, snow is the axis around which an exciting winter revolves. 

Thank goodness Mother Nature has been kind to Minnesota this year and has sent us a nice amount of snow. I say nice, because too much snow makes it difficult for those with physical challenges, while too little snow grinds our snow-based culture to a halt. 

What to Give WITH the Gift of Light?

Gift on the Front Step

Through the years, I have found that EVERYONE loves receiving a Globe Ice Lantern as a gift … for any reason. 

It doesn't seem to matter if they are celebrating the return of the sun, the birth of the Son, or any of the other celebrations at this time of year. Firelight caught in a sphere of ice will bring them joy—simple, magical joy.

Excellence vs Perfection

"Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing."
—Dr. Harriet B. Braiker

Zen of Working in the Cold

The Zen of Working in the Cold

Call me crazy, many do, but I love working outside in the cold. I do wear the best gear possible and do follow good practices for being active in the cold: layers, hydration, etc. So, believe it or not, it is not the miserable experience that most people imagine.

Thanksgiving . . . with a Globe Ice Lantern Centerpiece!

Beautiful Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday—hands down. 

With the focus on gathering with loved ones, most of whom love growing, cooking and serving delicious food, there are many reasons to celebrate.

Let It Freeze . . . Today!

Beautiful Thanksgiving Centerpiece

You have a WINTERCRAFT Globe Ice Lantern Kit and now, incredibly, you can't believe it, but you find yourself watching the weather forecast waiting—looking forward to—temperatures that are cold enough to make a globe ice lantern.

I'm here to tell you to STOP WAITINGMAKE ONE TODAY!

It is not 20 degrees F or less in your neck of the woods??  

The Mad Ice-Brained Scientist

 

 

All it took was one face—one hideously creepy face to get me into a pumpkin carving ​craze that has left my right forearm soar, heaps of pumpkin entrails destined for the compost and bowls of broiled pumpkin seeds.

Summer Birthdays Bright

At the Shea Family Summer Birthdays Bash, my 9 year old nephew is the youngest, so most of the hooplah centers around him, of course. My sister and I, who dove into our 50's last year, do not mind in the least—honest.

Creek of Misfit Ice Lanterns

I was just stepping outside my backdoor to start sorting ice lanterns for the Lover's Lane (Ice Lantern Creek Lighting), when a funny thought struck me and I decided I needed to write it down … quickly.

Wintercraft Balloon Quality Makes a Difference!

Globe Ice Lantern Balloons. What does that mean? Balloons are not designed to hold water. Period. As a child, I learned that lesson very well. I learned to make ice lanterns from my mother when I was about 8 years old. We made them in milk carton, ice cream pails and balloons - regular, cheap, partystore-type balloons.

The Magic of Doing

Have you ever noticed, that if you stop trying so hard and just start doing, magic happens and you don't even notice until it is done. Then you turn around and bang - there it is. You are probably wondering, just about now, what this all has to do with ice lanterns. Am I right?

Ice Castle Jewelry

 

Today is the first day that the Ice Castle Mall of America will try on some jewelry. What? The Ice Castle MOA opens New Year's Eve and is going to be so big - so amazing - and so spectacular - that Wintercraft globes and glass will be as if a beautiful woman, who is already decked out in a FABULOUS dress, puts on a pair of earrings or necklace. Small by comparison, but hopefully will fit or complete the look. How it all will work, is yet to be seen. But I for one, am very excited to try.

Gently Falling Snow

I woke up this morning to gently falling snow . . .

It is a perfect morning for the day before Christmas when all through the land, many people will be heading off to work, winding their way through stores looking for the last minute gift or enjoying a blissful day off from work . . . 

 

A Globe-within-a-globe Globe?

On a day like today, I am reminded that there are infinite possibilities when you have nice cold temperatures and lots of ice to play with . . .

I was doing a relatively quick installation for a wedding at the American Swedish Institute near downtown Minneapolis today, and because I was setting up during regular museum hours, it quickly became, well … performance art.

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

 

It’s a curious saying: “Cold hands, warm heart.” It proposes that people whose hands are usually cold actually have kind and loving personalities.

Well, … if that were true, I was a much kinder person before I found these Amazing Cold Weather Gloves!

Crazy Like a Fox!

 

Can't Wait for the Cold?

 

We hear it every year as the leaves fall - someone new to the craft of making globe ice lanterns surprises themselves by uttering, "I know I should want these beautiful 50°F sunny days, but I really want cold weather to make ice lanterns!"

If you are antsy to get started with your Globe Ice Lantern Kit, you will be happy to know that you can make them in a freezer!

Lover's Lane Lighting News

———

OK, I know I have yammered on long enough about the Lover's Lane lighting, but it has been such a positive experience, that it is hard to stop talking about it.

We have now moved all of the lanterns down to the creek where they will live out their final day hiding out from the sun. The temperatures are supposed to be in the high 40's, so we will see, but we are hoping to light one last time.

Capturing Ice Lanterns

____

Ice lanterns are notoriously unphotogenic. In truth, they are best experienced in person an hour or so after the sun has set. I try my best to take photos at that magic twilight time where one can make out the surroundings and the architecture of the globe as well as the glow, but I usually come away with the same feeling - that I just cannot do them justice.

Winter Lover's Lane Reflections

Last night was wonderful!

Tom and I loved that friends and neighbors who received our note, came out to see the ice lantern display along the creek and even brought friends! 

It was especially delightful to see the moments of true serendiptiy:

People out for their constitutional with their dogs who walked through wondering what was happening. We heard several times, "Is someone proposing?"