Saturday, January 05, 2013

Eleventh Day of Christmas: Blooper Reel

Anyone else out there been tempted to try the idea of freezing colored water inside balloons to make colorful globes for outside?
I so got sucked in on the idea.
Headed right out to buy some water balloons only to learn that no stores around here sell water balloons in winter.
Eventually I just went with full sized balloons.
I filled them all the way up and stuck them outside in the snow to freeze in our below twenty degree temperatures.

The next day I skipped out the door eager to peel off the balloon skin to reveal a beautiful marble like globe.
The first balloon I picked up immediately gushed out clearly non-frozen water.
What the heck????

But at least there was still a hollow frozen form.
The next balloon was so unfrozen that the thin bit that had frozen promptly shattered.

I stuck the shards into the snow and resolved to wait another day or two.

Two days, three days...

I finally peeled the remaining four balloons only to discover that they were still not frozen solid.
Also discovered that the red food coloring looked distinctively orange when frozen.
I couldn't figure out what to do with the globes so I stuck them on our porch until I could round up some water balloons and make more smaller globes.

Each night snow fell and dusted the globes.

Up close they looked kind of cool for a background for the snowflakes.

Reminded me of how the tropical waters looked when I would snorkle on vacations.

I was curious as to why the food coloring didn't disperse evenly but not so curious that I thought about it for very long.
Instead I put my mind to trying to identify places that might still sell those tiny water balloons that would work better than the big balloons.
About an hour later, after walking around a few major stores and having store personnel repeatedly direct me to the party supply areas where only big bags of large sized balloons were to be found, I finally gave up the search for water balloons.
As I was stomping across the frozen parking lot back to my car I had an "ah HA!" moment.
Can you guess what it was?
It was SUCH an amazing thought!
I could just NOT FILL the big balloons all the way up!
(You thought of that right away, right?)
Oh yeah, 
I so smart.

Back home I pulled the first balloon out of the bag and after putting several generous food coloring squirts into the balloon, I attached it to the faucet.
Turned on the water as my oh-so-smart brain mused
"Boy it sure would make a mess if one of the balloons had a hole in it."
At that same moment the rapidly filling balloon sprung a leak.
Brain was smart; a balloon with a hole did make a mess.
After that I puffed a bit of air into each balloon before attaching it to the faucet.

I lined up the eleven remaining balloons along the edge of our walkway.
It was to get down to like six degrees over night...
I was excited!
The next morning I peeled one of the balloons.
It leaked all over me.
 One half of the balloon was frozen solid, the other half was still liquid.
What the heck???
Back inside I complained to Bernie about how the balloons still had not frozen solid.
He pointed out to me that the water wouldn't freeze any place the balloon touched snow because the snow would insulate the water from freezing.
My So Cal blond girl brain just could not accept that.
Snow is frozen water, right?
How could it keep water from freezing then?
I moved the remaining balloons out away from the snow to test this.
Guess what?
Bernie was right.

At first I plopped all the globes on the concrete porch.
Sprayed them with some water to attempt to make them more glassy looking.
Then I realized that since the porch faced north the globe would never sparkle in the sunlight and look like glass.
I went to move them...
Too late.
Five of them were already glued in place with the frozen water spray run off.

The rest of the globes got put around the base of the lamp post.
I had attempted to make a frozen hand using a latex glove.
It froze nicely but the thumb and three fingers broke off as I peeled the latex free.
The remaining intact finger on the frozen hand was the upright middle finger.
Wouldn't you know it....

I think I have had about all the fun I want to have with frozen colored water for this life time.
Perhaps I should go back and re-read the article to see what it was that I thought was so special about this idea.
Or maybe not.
I think I am over it now.


Vee said...'ve got me laughing so hard. Epic fail, eh? Now that I'm thinking of it, this why all the bottles of water have not frozen on my deck and I have wondered. I just go out and pluck one whenever I want a nice cold drink. No ice. (They're sitting in snow.) This is also good for hikers to remember in winter weather where there is snow. I remember my father telling me to make a little home in the snow. Thanks be to God that I've never had to put it to the test for long, but it sure does work for the kids wanting to get warm without having to go inside.

On to the next big Pinterest flop...

Pondside said...

Thank you thank you for the really good laugh! What is it about some ideas that grab our attention and passion and hold on long after we have had an 'aha' moment and know that we should really just move on?

Vicki said...

Oh, no! I thought it looked like such a great idea! You are the only person I know who actually tried this. Of course, there was no way I could've done it...especially not with today's 70 degree temps.

I needed this laugh, Jill! Thank you!

mr_subjunctive said...

It might have more to do with the balloons touching the ground than touching snow -- the snow is obviously below freezing, but soil can be warm (relatively) just below the surface. My balloons were always still liquid on the side touching the ground.

Mine never froze all the way either. I've been experimenting this winter with freezing water in a metal wastebasket, and based on that, I'm thinking it might actually be better if they don't. In the wastebasket, the outside always froze before the center, like with the balloons. Then after it sits out in the cold long enough, the center does freeze, at which point its expansion shatters the shell of ice that formed first.

Also the wastebasket shape is less interesting than I'd hoped, though most of them had better color than the balloons did. (One of the wastebasket batch froze, then re-melted slightly, then froze again, and when I took it out of the wastebasket, I had a layer of clear ice surrounding a center of purple fluid inside. Which was sort of interesting.) The main problem was that they always cracked when I poured warm water on the outside of the wastebasket so I could slide the block of ice out. Sometimes this didn't matter that much, and sometimes it tore the whole block in half. Not really what I'd been going for.

mr_subjunctive said...

Also, you and I are apparently both total amateurs. Check this out:

New Zealander spends his holidays in Edmonton, building an igloo

Sara said...

Definitely a few giggles reading this! Thanks Jill. I was interested in Mr. Subjunctive's comments too, and even went to see the amazing igloo video. My oh my, the things people come up with!

I never would have believed snow would insulate water on the other side of a thin balloon skin from freezing.

Anneliese said...

Oh.. this was good for a laugh! Maybe try a deep freeze freezer?

Anneliese said...

Oh.. this was good for a laugh! Maybe try a deep freeze freezer?

Lovella ♥ said...

Your perseverance just is so fun! I love that you kept at it..driving around looking for water balloons and complaining to Bernie. OH..would have loved to be a fly on the wall.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Oh...this is too funny! I see you don't give up too easily either. As in 'try, try again'! I saw those perfect frozen water balloons on pinterest...and would have maybe given them a try. But not now that you have already done all the experimenting for me!

Down by the sea said...

I had to smile at all of your efforts, at least you have carried out some scientific experiments in the process!
Sarah x