Valentine sun catcher
This gleaming sun catcher is made from ice, to hang in your back yard or outside your window to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The process is fun and easy.
The ice-cube trays will be used to make colored ice cubes. You can either fill the trays with water and drop some food coloring of your choice into each section, or you can mix up a batch of colored water in a measuring cup and pour it into the trays. Use a heavy hand when adding colors, or the results will be pale. Think about the colors you would like to use. Red and pink are traditional for Valentine’s Day, and lavender is often used as well. Mixing red and blue will result in lavender, and using very little red in the water results in pale pink.
Put the ice cubes in the freezer and let them set until solid. To be safe, leave them overnight.
While you wait, you can prepare the heart-shaped mold by cleaning it with warm, soapy water. (Heart-shaped gelatin molds or baking pans are easily located at a party or craft store.)
Be sure there is a surface area inside your freezer large enough to accommodate the heart mold. Fill a small paper or plastic cup with water, to form the hole from which the finished sun catcher will hang. Place the filled cup in the center of the heart mold, near the top.
Unmold the colored ice cubes and place them within the mold, spreading them in a single layer.
Fill the mold with enough water to cover the ice cubes and set it within the freezer. Check to be sure the water-filled plastic cup is still in the correct position. Freeze until solid.
At this point, you may want to cut a length of ribbon for hanging. This is also a good time to choose the outside branch or hook from which you will hang the glistening sun catcher.
When the heart is solid ice, release it from the mold, running just a bit of lukewarm water over the outside of the mold if necessary.
Lift the frozen cup out, leaving a hole in the ice. Quickly tie the ribbon through the hole and hang your sparkling Valentine decoration outside.
Hopefully, the temperature outdoors will cooperate, so you can enjoy your heart for several hours – or much, much longer!
WRITTEN BY TINA MUNSON
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANNE-MARIE CARUSO