Let Your Light Shine

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and I am sure all of us have different intense emotions regarding 2020.

For me, 2020 was more bitter than sweet. Everyone can relate to how the pandemic affected us globally. I think this year was a big test for all of us with regards to our faith and our character. We were challenged to be patient, more kind and considerate, loving and trusting. We had to deal with difficult decisions and situations with grace and wisdom. Those are not easy. For most of us, those are way out of our comfort zone.

Our downtown square – there is an ice rink in the middle and behind the trees are good hills for sledding.

But I choose to believe that there is always hope. Amidst the darkness, we can be the light. With the gloom and ugliness around us, we can shine.

The moon tonight.. behind birch trees.

Have you noticed how the Christmas lights around us are a bit more illuminating? I guess it depends on our perspective. The fact is, even with the empty town squares and lack of the holiday hustle and bustle, life moves on. We can choose to be the light in the darkness, and bring a bit of joy to the gloominess. Whether it be a random act of kindness, volunteering for a good cause, a smile or an encouragement, will surely impact someone’s day.

To all our frontline and essential workers who continue to sacrifice their safety and time away from their families, we appreciate all of you and we want to thank you for letting your light shine.

Let us all be faithful and strong. I wish you all a blessed new year!

DIY Ice Globes

Merry Christmas everyone! Another week to go and we are saying goodbye to 2020. What a year, huh? This year definitely has been a roller coaster ride. I am thankful for each one of you for supporting our little handmade shop.

If you are located somewhere with freezing temperatures, here is a fun and easy project that you can do to bring some light and decoration to your yard or deck. We had the winter solstice a few days ago and it is a big deal up here in Alaska since it means we are starting to gain back daylight a few minutes each day.

I found these beautiful ice lanterns on Pinterest and decided to try the simplest one. We ended up lining our driveway for Christmas Eve last night. We haven’t been to church lately because of COVID restrictions and we were grateful there were even Christmas Eve services to attend.

There are a lot of different ways to make these ice globes. I admire some of these bloggers who are just so passionate and driven to find the perfect technique. This is my first time trying it out and I am definitely pleased with how they turned out.

Onelittleproject.com has the blog post on how to make these: Ice Luminaries: How to make your own ice lanterns. This approach only uses balloons and battery operated tea lights. It is a fairly cheap project that can actually produce a very satisfying result. I chose Ashland’s Color Changing Flameless Tea Lights and they were a little over $4 for a 4-pc at Michael’s. The balloons were the 15-pc pack from Walmart.

The first step after gathering the materials is to fill the balloons with tap water. The balloon opening should wrap around the faucet’s mouth and you can fill them according to the desired size.

I suggest about 6-8 inches in diameter. It was a good idea that I made extras since a couple of the balloons popped during the freezing process. We had a storm a few days ago and the temperatures went up and down the freezing temp.

My husband found a round can to press the snow with, placed the tea light and then rest the ice globe on top. Since we used the color changing tea lights, these are the effects we got.

It is an easy DIY project and will be fun to do with kids too. Some bloggers suggest putting in food color to achieve colored ice globes. I imagine using the color changing lights will achieve a similar outcome if using food color. There are a lot of other variations to this DIY. I am pretty sure I will try a few others and share them with you here.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the year. Happy holidays everyone!