Sunday, January 25, 2009

Icy Birthday Candles

This is totally unrelated to fibre but they made me happy so you'll just have to bear with me for a bit. I saw this tutorial for making ice lanterns the other day and wanted to try it myself. I didn't have buckets, and I wanted smaller lanterns, and I wanted more than one, so I improvised a bit. I think they turned out pretty well - "pretty" being the operative word!

I made them on Tuesday and, since they're so small and it's been so cold here, they were probably ready by that evening. I say probably because I saved them until last night when the birthday duo were coming over and didn't want to peek before that in case it messed them up somehow. It's been way below freezing for days now but, wouldn't you know, yesterday it went above freezing and rained all day. It got cold again when the sun went down, so I went out and gave the containers a squeeze and all seemed... okay. They were a bit crinkly, like they'd fractured a bit from the freeze and thaw, so I added some fresh cold water and gave them a couple hours before opening them up. That seemed to bind them back together again all right.

I should have gone back and looked at the tute after making them; had I done so, I would have realized that she put her ice down on top of the candles like a cover to block the wind. I worried that the candles would melt onto the deck, so I put the ice down like a bowl and put the candles inside. The wind blew them out a few times but we moved them around to a more sheltered spot and then they were okay. It was maybe a little safer this way, too, simply because it was more temporary. The inside of the lanterns melted on the bottom from contact with the hot candles so before long the little darlings were swimming in water of their own making. Eventually they got wet and went out - a good thing as by then we were all downstairs having birthday brownies and not paying attention to the tiny open flames out on the deck.

Of course, as soon as the candles went out, the -18 degree temps last night froze the water right up again so now the candles are stuck. If I can figure out how to pry them loose, I'll try turning the ice over tonight and see how that works.

Fun, sparkly times!

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