Ice Wrangler's Blog

Yes, it's ice - and no, the spider is real!

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Jennifer Shea Hedberg | 0 Comments

As the mild-mannered Wintercraft Ice Wrangler, my goal was not to make an ice lantern that was horrifying, but fate seemed to drop in—literally. I'm not talking about the zombiesque eyes, but the spider! As I was snapping photos of the ice lantern for this blog, down it came on its silky thread and landed next to one of the eyes that was staring out of the ice. I shrieked, then I bluhhhhhed [shiver of disgust]. Well, of course I shrank back in horror when I saw it, but then, when the spider hit the ice, it went into slow motion. I took a breath, stepped closer and starting taking photos again. Eventually, its lethargy even allowed me to take a small stick and reposition it for greater effect. Haha . . . [That was a nervous laugh. I'm not a spider person.] 

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Posted in Front Entrance Planters, Ice Art, ice luminaries, Ice Luminary Book, Ice Luminary Magic, LED Lights for Ice Lanterns, Making Ice Lanterns, Wintercraft

Co-conspirator in Giving to Simpson Church Shelter (with photos and story!)

Posted on December 16, 2016 by Jennifer Shea Hedberg | 0 Comments

Wintercraft at Simpson Church Shelter Minneapolis, MN

Lighting the pathway for Simpson Church Shelter's Minnesota Homeless Memorial March & Service on December 15, 2016. 


There are moments in life that will change you forever.


When I was in college, I made extra money by caring for elderly women who lived nearby. A tendency for kindness which was planted in me by my parents grew while caring for these colorful and interesting, yet frail individuals. I found that connecting with them on a personal level increased the pleasure of the situation for both of us. I listened to their stories, they listened to mine. They helped me with my homework and I helped them get dressed--it was a good exchange. But, a creative field beckoned, so this turned out to be a short-term gig for me.


But, I am absolutely positive that the lessons learned during that period of time have impacted every level of my life. The underlying principle--kindness to others.


At Simpson Church Shelter in Minneapolis, I saw that principle shining from the people who run the show there. Christine Giese gave me a tour of the facility with a group of mentally challenged teens who had finished volunteering in their kitchen. It is a bare-boned, no-frills place that looks like every penny is put into the essentials--food, shelter, clothes and the little things, like shampoo, socks and underwear.


How did I get there? Kate Stanley of Minneapolis answered our call for suggestions of where we could do a guerrilla ice luminary installation to brighten someone's day (see Co-conspirators in Giving blog post). She suggested Simpson Church Shelter - what a marvelous idea! At this time of year, times are particularly challenging for those that must spend much of their time outside.


I was going to stop by - quickly - and get an ok from the managers to put in an ice luminary display for their event the next night. But, they were in the middle of the tour, so I tagged along. I learned a lot about their needs and how they exist in a constant state of scraping the bottom of the pan. And, to be honest, it helped me connect with the people who stopped and chatted with me while I was lighting and photographing the ice lanterns. I think I understood - just a tiny bit more - about their situation and the way the shelter helps them feel cared for . . . 


I am writing this in the morning before a snow storm which will be followed by two days of BITTER cold and I know that the shelter management will have their hands full as they will be open 24 hours a day during this weather crisis.


I encourage you to visit their website and see HOW YOU CAN HELP


What am I going to do now to help? I think I will donate some Blessing Bags. They are listed above their Wish List and Christina Giese has the secret formula of what goes into these assembled toiletry kits. I am going to email her at to learn how to assemble them and how many they need.  


Fabulous Idea: Some high school kids did a food drive where they collected 300 boxes of General Mills cereal and donated them to the shelter. Then, the students (this is the important part) contacted General Mills and asked if they would match their donation--and they did. Christina Geise said they did not have to buy cereal for a year! Think about it--General Mills and other large companies get requests for donations every day. But, when a individual or a group of individuals takes the extra step to contact them, they refocus in a really good way! Congrats to the students for the idea and the effort and a big high five to General Mills for matching the donation.


Enjoy the Glow!


Jennifer Shea Hedberg, Ice Wrangler for Wintercraft 


©Wintercraft. All Rights Reserved. This blog post may be linked to and credited, however, the contents including all photos, videos and text may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.

Posted in Give an ice lantern, Ice Luminary Magic, Luminary Ice Creations, Wintercraft

Co-Conspirators in Giving Update

Posted on December 14, 2016 by Jennifer Shea Hedberg | 0 Comments

Just a few weeks ago, we decided to offer a "surprise" ice luminary display as a guerrilla act of kindness to someone in the Wintercraft world. We wanted to sprinkle some icy magic and disappear in a midwinter elf-like way so the magic would seem real. Easy-peasy fun that would touch someone's heart that needed a lift . . . But, the decision process proved to be anything but easy. While we read some delightful stories about weddings and churches, there was one that stood out. After much deliberation, I think we have a plan . . .

MN Homeless Memorial March & Service


We have decided to use our ice luminaries to help shine a little light on the MN Homeless Memorial March & Service tomorrow evening - December 15th. The idea came from Kate Stanley of Minneapolis, who said, "It would be such a gift to bring some of your magical ice lanterns to light up the entrance to Simpson Church for their Homeless Memorial Service which usually happens yearly on the solstice. It is an incredibly moving event which honors those who have died while homeless in Minnesota. I see it as an offering of love and light in tribute to our neighbors."      

Wonderful idea, Kate!    

Because it is not on the solstice and is, in fact, tomorrow (Thursday Dec 15), we are having to work quickly!

The march portion of the event starts downtown at the Hennepin County Government Center at 5pm and the group winds their way to Simpson Church (28th St & 1st Ave S.) for a Service of Remembrance. We have spoken to the coordinators of the event who are delighted to have the 28th Street entrance of the church sparkle! (See below for more information.)


EDIT ON DEC 15th: An injury on our Wintercraft team means that I (Jennifer) will be doing the installation at the Simpson Church Shelter Thursday, Dec. 15 (today).



Tomorrow, I will be working all day on a very large ice luminary installation at the REI store in Bloomington, so Tom, my husband, is going to take the lead on this installation. His plan is to set up the ice at the shelter during the day tomorrow and then go back to light just before the service begins.  

I would love to see how the marchers react to their church's entrance all lit up with ice and candles, so I hope I am not too exhausted from the day. I will try to get to the shelter to be able to help light and/or attend the event starting at 6:30 in the church. I will let you know how it goes . . .

Oh, and if you are like me, you are thinking how lucky you are to be able to go from your warm house to your warm car to your warm office and back. If yes, please consider going to their website and making a donation of goods, time or money to help this wonderful shelter, do just that, offer shelter to neighbors in need.

Stay warm everyone and Enjoy the glow!


Event Details:

Thursday, December 15, 2016 – Homeless Memorial March and Service

5:00 pm | March & Silent Vigil
Hennepin County Government Center
3rd Avenue South & 5th Street South, Minneapolis
The march will follow 5th Street South westward to Nicollet Avenue and proceed south to 28th Street.

6:30 pm | Service of Remembrance
Simpson United Methodist Church
2740 1st Avenue South, Minneapolis

7:30 pm | Community Meal
Simpson Shelter
Lower level of Simpson United Methodist Church

All are welcome!

Posted in Custom Globe Ice Lantern Installation, Globe Ice Lanterns, ice luminaries, Ice Luminary Magic, Luminary Ice Creations, Wintercraft

Co-conspirators in Giving!

Posted on December 01, 2016 by Jennifer Shea Hedberg | 1 Comment

Wintercraft Gift of Ice Lantern Installation Ice Wrangler

We need your help! Tom and I would love to be co-conspirators in giving an ice lantern installation to someone in your life that would be delighted by such a magical surprise!

Why? Recently I discovered a little known holiday, Martinmas, celebrated on the 11th of  November in western Europe. It grabbed my attention when I read the main tradition is to hold a festival of lanterns! 

Martinmas Lantern Festival with Children

Ding! Of course I would love that idea! Then, my interest grew when I read about the historical basis for the holiday—a young soldier offered his coat to a man in need. That simple gesture developed into a lovely holiday based on the idea that generosity brings light to the darkness of need.

I was inspired! Tom and I have always loved to give ice lanterns as gifts to friends and neighbors during the dark winter months, but how could we extend that gesture further out into the world? So, we'd like to ask you, gentle readers, to help us make a gift of ice lanterns to someone who would be uplifted by magic and light! A special installation from just pure joy in our hearts. Plus, we'll certainly use our ice luminary expertise along with doing the heavy lifting :)

If you have a person, or a group of people, in mind, please send us a note to by December 10, 2016. We would love to surprise someone by lighting up the entrance of a church for a wedding, bringing some joy to ease the pain of a financial or personal loss, or sprinkling globe ice lanterns around the front steps of a neighborhood hero. One choice of recipient will be made for the 2016-17 winter season (details below). We have seen and heard of the joy of discovering such a gift, and we assure you, it is well worth the effort! The first year we decorated a section of the creek near our home on Valentine's Day, we set and lit about 60 ice lanterns of all shapes and sizes and walked away. The stories of joy and delight that followed warmed our hearts and made us excited to do it again, and again, and again. Originally, we called it Lover's Lane, but now it's Middlemoon Creekwalk. (To receive word of when it will be this year, sign up for our newsletter on the Wintercraft website.)


Please note: From the stories we receive, we will be selecting one person or group of people. We will base our decision on timing, weather, location and the compelling nature of the story. What we are envisioning is a "Custom Exterior Installation", however it really will depend on the specific choice made. To be clear, on the date of installation, we must be free of obligation, the weather workable and the location should be within about a 1 hour drive from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

We are, unfortunately, limited by geography, but for all of you that live near and beyond, we would like to extend this idea of giving ice lanterns to you. Think about a person in your life who would cherish such a gift. Ice lanterns are easy to make and relatively inexpensive - really just a strong balloon with support, water, cold and time. I will include in a PDF that you can download to give with your ice lantern(s) that describes relighting techniques. (It is a standard 8.5 x 11" image that you will fold in half and then in half again.) That instruction sheet plus a few extra candles, fireplace matches and a note of greetings from you tops off the gift!


Wintercraft Globe Ice Lantern Lighting Guide

So please, send a story, or two, of someone who would be delighted with a gift of light. Be a co-conspirator in a guerrilla act of kindness that will long be remembered by the receiver and the givers alike.

Cheers to all and Enjoy the Glow!

Jennifer Shea Hedberg - The Ice Wrangler



©Wintercraft.  All Rights Reserved. This blog post may be linked to and credited, however, the contents including all photos, videos and text may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.

Posted in Custom Globe Ice Lantern Installation, Globe Ice Lanterns, Ice Luminary Magic, Luminary Ice Creations, Wintercraft

Reverse Hibernation - Time to play!

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Jennifer Shea Hedberg | 0 Comments

Wintercraft Hungry as a Bear for Winter to come 

As I sit down to write this blog, my eyes focused on a framed print of a mother bear and her cub emerging from hibernation in our dining room, and it struck me, . . . the way I am feeling right now, might be just how a bear feels that has spent a long winter sleeping and dreaming of spring and the berries that will surely be ripe on the vine . . . only in reverse.

My hibernation has been over this beautiful summer. I made time to garden, paddle board and spend time with my family, but mostly I worked on Ice Luminary Magic!, my book about making ice luminaries of all shapes and sizes. And, all that thinking and dreaming of ice has made me as hungry for playtime in the snow. I'm ready and waiting for the temperatures to go below 20°F/-7°C, so I can get out there and experiment with all my icy ideas that have been percolating in the summer sun. 

So, it's time to prepare! As of last week, I have all my Smurfy Blue Gloves lined up on the rack by the door.

Wintercraft Gloves by the Door


My stash of Globe Ice Lantern Balloons, Freezing Bases and Easy-close Clips are standing by my laundry tub ready for action.

Wintercraft Work Set Up Globe Ice Lantern Balloons Freezing Bases Clips and Tools 

And my freezers are working full time to make Globe Ice Lanterns for early retail displays and the Art Attack event (our building's art crawl) November 4-6, 2016.

But, I still carve out time to work on my book every day and I must admit, I am getting very excited because it's coming together so nicely. It's filled with photos and illustrations that are sure to please. I will let everyone know when it is ready for presentation!

Here are a few photos of the working draft as a preview of what's to come . . . 

Wintercraft Luminary Magic Book Ice Logic Section

Ice Logic Section: Once you understand how ice behaves, the ice projects later in the book will make much more sense.


Wintercraft Luminary Magic Book Ice Chip Tower Project page 1

Ice Chip Tower Project - entry spread

Wintercraft Luminary Magic Book Ice Chip Tower Project page 2

Ice Chip Tower Project - final spread

Wintercraft Luminary Magic Book Teardrop Ice Lantern Lighting

Teardrop Ice Lantern lighting strategies


Wintercraft Luminary Magic Book Ice Flower Project

Floral Globe Project - entry page

Wintercraft Luminary Magic Book Floral Globe Project

And much, much more . . . very exciting! For those who have been patiently waiting for my book, I thank you. I assure you, I am as impatient as you. I was a Hare, who has to be a tortoise, so I am embracing the adage, "Slow but sure wins the race."  

As the mercury starts to descent, come out of your summer sleep and be prepared to enjoy the glow . . . Winter Globe Ice Lantern Flowers are getting ready to bloom!

Wintercraft Globe Ice Lantern Ice Glass Flower Middlemoon Creekwalk Luminary event Minneapolis Minnesota

Enjoy the Glow!

Jennifer Shea Hedberg - The Ice Wrangler



©Wintercraft.  All Rights Reserved. This blog post may be linked to and credited, however, the contents including all photos, videos and text may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.


Posted in Custom Globe Ice Lantern Installation, DIY, Globe Ice Lanterns, Ice Art, Ice Luminary Magic, Luminary Festival, Luminary Ice Creations, Wintercraft

Before the Frost

Posted on October 18, 2016 by Jennifer Shea Hedberg | 0 Comments

Wintercraft Flower Gathering gardener Elizabeth

One of the projects in my Ice Luminary Magic! book is how to make a Bucket Lantern with flowers frozen into the ice. It is one of several projects involving flowers and I love to make them for myself and others! 

During the summer months, I rarely buy flowers to put in my ice because they are so readily available outside in my garden. But in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with the threat of a frost now nipping every night, I have made several flower acquisition trips to friends and neighbors who offer them. The knowledge that their flowers will live on in ice after the rest of their garden is killed by frost, makes some of my friends excited to part with a few stems of pink hydrangea, salvia, and even late-blooming roses!

These flowers and greens from my friend Elizabeth Carr will look beautiful together in a tower of ice. (I will edit this post with photos when the floral bucket ice lantern has finished freezing in my deep freezer.) Thanks Elizabeth!

Wintercraft flowers from Elizabeth for ice project in Ice Luminary Magic Book

Try an easy project to use some of your fall-blooming flowers leaves . . .

Wintercraft Leaves in Bundt pan make nice base for Globe Ice Lantern

Start by (#1) clipping a few brightly colored blossoms or leaves and (#2) arrange them in a bundt pan. (#3) Fill the bundt pan with water and (#4) lay it flat in a deep freezer to freeze (You can freeze it solid, but the interior ice tends to get white). (#5) Release the ice from the mold and (#6) store in plastic bags in the freezer. When you are ready to use them, the bundt pan-shaped ice that's filled with flowers or leaves works beautifully as a base for a Globe Ice Lantern. (After I took this photo, I added a wreath of greens to hide the bowl.) Beautiful, easy and you can pull out the ice in the middle of winter and remember the glory of your garden during autumn!

Enjoy the Glow!

Jennifer Shea Hedberg - The Ice Wrangler



©Wintercraft.  All Rights Reserved. This blog post may be linked to and credited, however, the contents including all photos, videos and text may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.


Posted in Freezer Ice Lanterns, Ice Art, Ice Luminary Book, Ice Luminary Magic, Make in Freezer, Wintercraft

Announcing DIY Ice Lantern Book!

Posted on January 21, 2015 by Jennifer Shea Hedberg | 10 Comments

We at Wintercraft are excited to announce a new book written by Jennifer Shea Hedberg that will detail luminary ice projects that will be fun for the whole family.

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Posted in DIY, Ice Luminary Book, Ice Luminary Magic, Luminary Ice Creations