Valentine's Day is right around the corner and date night at the Ice Castle in New Brighton, Minnesota is a smart decision. It's also a personal decision, of course. Not everyone is cut out to wander in caves of sparkling ice while the moon shines through holes in the ceiling. Or go down a double-barreled slide so you can watch your beloved through the ice divider as you plunge to the bottom. Thrilling!
I know the weather forecasters suggest this Valentine's Day will be quite cold. So, it should be perfect for a visit to the Ice Castle. Why? Because cold temperatures make the ice sparkle and create smaller crowds. By comparison, warm temps make ice grayer while drawing huge crowds to the castle.
Regardless of the temps, the "Red Hearts" Bucket Ice Lantern I made in the previous blog post, "Hearts of Ice for Valentine's Day" . . .
and the ice lantern with rising beads that almost wound up as a taste treat for my dog . . .
. . . were made for the Ice Castle and my friend Joy was nice enough to tag along and help find spots that would intrigue and/or delight the castle guests.
We tucked this "Rising Beads" Bucket Ice Lantern into a nook in the ice and then whittled out a chair for people to sit in. We noticed another nook to the left of the new seat and so I went home and created another Valentine's Day ice lantern for that spot, too!
The next photo shows the new one I created for that spot. So, OK, I do promote loving the beauty of imperfection, but this ice lantern looked so darn pretty before my impatience changed its look. When I set it out to take a picture of it, I decided it needed a little shot from my torch to get rid of the freezer glaze. My freezers are normally set at 0° F and I did not wait for the ice lantern to adjust to the warmer temps outside, and snap . . . big cracks throughout! Darn it all! Well, the broken-hearted will love it! Haha! And it still will look fabulous with light streaming through the cracks. See, I feel better already . . .
The beads and red plastic hearts were found at a dollar store and I used ice lantern-making concepts from the Crepe Paper Ice Lantern project on page 138 of my book, Ice Luminary Magic - The Ice Wrangler's Guide to Making Illuminated Ice Creations.
We found a great spot for this "Red Hearts" Bucket Ice Lantern in a nook at the entrance of one of the ice caves. There was a hole in the side of the cave wall, so the light shines through and lights up the lantern with sunlight during the day. There will be lights beaming all around at night, so it will light up then, too!
And it's perched up high which is perfect for snapshots with your love!
I hope you make it up to the Ice Castle soon! (The Ice Castle will turn into a pumpkin when warm weather comes for good which can be as early as mid-March.) Consider finding the Valentine's Day lanterns a game. Let me know if you find them . . .
Enjoy the Glow!
-- Jennifer Shea Hedberg, The Ice Wrangler
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