Ice Marbles

Ice Marbles | Once Upon a Time in a Bed of WildflowersI have not been murdering people in my back yard… though I could see how you might make that mistake. I have been making Ice Marbles.

For the past few days it has been FREEZING in upstate New York. I don’t just mean a little nippy, I mean single digits. Yesterday it was seven degrees when I took the kids to school in the morning; today’s high was fourteen. Personally, I think this sort of weather calls for wrapping up in a blanket, sitting by the fire, and drinking tea until it becomes late enough in the day to drink wine.

I have a friend—one of those crafty types; the sort who wouldn’t have a Pintrest disaster—who thought the weather called for making Ice Marbles.

And then, suddenly, there was something of an epidemic of Ice Marble-making among my Facebook friends.

Ice Marbles -- Supplies | Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

And I though, hey, why not? Pixie would love it and how hard could it be? All you need are balloons, food coloring, and glitter. And cold. I have all of that. Especially the cold.

Ice Marbles -- Pixie fingers |Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers  And did promise to write about Pintrest disasters, after all.

So yesterday, after lunch, Pixie and I found the balloons and the glitter, we dug out the food coloring (I don’t know I keep calling it that—it’s not as if we would actually use it on anything we would put in our mouths) and started our Ice Marbles.

We used a funnel to hold the balloon open while we put a few finger pinches of glitter and 8-12 drops of food coloring in each balloon. Then we filled them full of water. I put the balloons right on the faucet and turned on the water—that was the nerve-racking part… watching the balloon swell and swell and swell and wondering if I was about to get showered with colored water and glitter. I didn’t, though, and all of the balloons made it outside to freeze.






Ice Marbles -- balloons | Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

We waited…

Ice Marbles -- balloons with snow | Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

 and waited…

and finally, after not quite 24 hours, we decided they were ready. They weren’t. The first one—a red one, naturally—sprung a leak, spraying red water everywhere and making gory I-slit-someone’s-throat patterns in the snow. All that was left was a shell of vaguely pink-and-glitter ice. It was kind of pretty when the sun hit it.

All of them spurted water everywhere, but none with quite as much vigor. Or maybe I was just expecting it. Or maybe it was just that it wasn’t red.

Ice Marbles | Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

I don’t know why they all leaked. Maybe it was the snow… maybe seven degrees just isn’t as cold as I think it is. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to move them. Maybe I’m just bad at this sort of thing and the Ice Marbles knew it.

The one thing I was worried about—that the balloons would stick to the ice—wasn’t a problem.

There is still glitter all over my dining room.

I have stained gloves. I have green icicles. I may have frostbitten fingers.

Ice Marbles -- green icicles | Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

And a Pixie who is thrilled by her Ice Marbles.

UPDATE: My Crafty Friend says that Ice Marbles take much longer than you would expect to freeze solid… a few days at least, even in weather as cold as this.

Ice Marbles | Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

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4 Responses to Ice Marbles

  1. Carrie says:

    If not crafty (I think you are) then persistent and adventurous, which can make crafty happen…and anything else you want!!!

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