First Friday

Snow in New England can come as late as April (photo from April 5, 2007). This ReveDreams post is all about crafts that require cold and/or snow.

This month’s First Friday is about crafts you can only do in the winter. The short days, cold, and ice can get oppressive – especially here in upper New England – and it’s helpful to have activities that make you want some winter, such as taking up snow shoeing or cross-country skiing. I thought I’d find some crafty ideas to brighten the season as well.

As for First Friday activities, we have a birthday party to attend tonight instead, but we’ll celebrate Last Friday (sure, why not) with the opening reception/awards ceremony at the annual High School Invitational exhibit. Meanwhile…

Winter allows you to try a different artistic medium: besides making very fancy snowmen, you can sculpt with colored ice (see here and here), paint or draw on the snow (here, here, and here), or use snow to paint on trees.

Snow dyeing is an entire topic in itself. You either mix dye with snow and place it on (pretreated) fabric, or add dye on top of snow you’ve already placed on fabric. If the weather is warm enough you can work outside, but otherwise you’ll have to bring the whole shebang inside. As the snow slowly melts the dyes spread in a fractal-like way, almost like a very subtle tie-dye. The results are gorgeous (every link in here has something to teach, though not all are full tutorials).

To brighten your view outside, hang ice ornaments on your bare trees (here’s another approach and yet a third), or make colorful icicle streamers with a ladder and string.

If you’re having an evening gathering, take advantage of the still-early dark as well as the cold by lining your walk or illuminating your porch with ice lanterns, decorated with pine and holly or colored.

Finally, brighten up a cold afternoon by making snow ice cream. Enjoy the rest of winter!

Winter can also be a time to try for wall-worthy photos, as I did after an early April snowstorm in 2007. I took the photo at top in Nathan’s Garden in Hanover, NH.

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