Living where it's usually cold and snowy for Christmas and New Year's can be seen as a negative by folks who have never experienced our climate. To those of us in the know, it means we can enjoy the kind of decorations they can only dream about.
I'm talking about ice candles — beautiful and useful items that need cold weather to keep from melting. I first saw these wonderful creations in my Scandinavian design books. And I first made an ice container — filled with flowers and herbs — to chill white wine in the summer. But nothing matches these elegant winter containers that can be lined up to light your walk or give a special glow to your front entry.
Gardenista has complete directions using glass containers to mold your own "Botanical Ice Lantern" with holiday greens and berries trapped in the ice (above). Even more magical is this creation from Willowday (below) using latex balloons to mold her ethereal icey candle holder.
For folks in the area, Olbrich Botanical Gardens is offering a couple of related classes in January.