Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Crafty kids: A cool piece of jewelry

To keep cool during the dog days of summer try making a necklace made of ice cubes. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal/MCT)
To keep cool during the dog days of summer try making a necklace made of ice cubes. (Mike Cardew/Akron Beacon Journal/MCT)

SOME PEOPLE use the expression "dog days of summer" when the weather can get so hot it may be dangerous for people to be outside.

Also called canicular days, it's a period when those of us in the Northern Hemisphere experience the hottest weather of the summer. Dog days, named by the ancient Greeks and Romans, start around July 3 and end Aug. 11. The time coincides with the rising in ancient times of the Dog Star, Sirius, with the sun.

Ancient astronomers named the star, part of the constellation Canis Major. It is the larger of the constellation Orion's two hunting dogs. Because the star rose at the same time near the Mediterranean Sea as the sun, people believed the star brought pestilence and sickness. Meteorologists today know that extreme heat occurs when temperatures reach high levels or when they combine with high humidity to make the air stifling. Here's the perfect craft for Hot Enough For Ya Day on Wednesday: a necklace made of ice cubes. I found directions at spoonful.com and modified them for our use.

Supplies you will need

* 3 feet of plastic lacing

* Ice cube tray

* Beads and buttons

* Colored plastic drinking straws

* Clear tape

* Scissors

How to make it

Leaving about 3 inches of lacing at one end, tie a knot to prevent your beads from falling off. You could also use multiple strands of embroidery thread or dental floss and a needle to string the beads.

Cut a few colored straws into 1-inch pieces. Count the number of ice cube slots in the tray and thread a few beads or buttons onto the lacing or thread.

Push the beads and lacing down into the tray. When you run out of space, slide a piece of the straw on the lacing to make the cross over to the next slot.

Continue this way until all the slots are filled with beads or buttons. If necessary, place clear tape over the straws to keep the beads down inside the slots.

When all the slots are filled with beads, pour water into the slots, covering the beads. Do not overfill to make sure the ice cubes don't freeze together. Place the tray in the freezer.

When frozen, pop the necklace out and wear it outside for a personal air-conditioning unit. As an added bonus, you will have a cool necklace after the ice cubes melt.

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