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BUILDING FROSTY 101

Perhaps it's been a good many years since you built a snowman. Or maybe it's the first time you've attempted one without the help of Mom or Dad. Or maybe, just maybe, you've just relocated here from Miami and are new to the white stuff (we'll call you when we need help with the sand castle).

Whatever the case, here's a step-by-step guide to building a snowman you can be proud of. The source: "How To Do Just About Everything" (Simon & Schuster, $25), by Courtney Rosen and the editors of eHow.com, a popular Web site:

1. Test to see if you have packing snow, which clumps together easily and isn't too wet.

2. Shape a handful of snow into a ball. Continue adding more snow and packing the ball until it's too large to hold.

3. Place the ball on the snow in front of you and slowly roll it away from you. As more snow accumulates on the outside of the ball, pack the snow by pressing on it with your gloved hands.

4. Roll and pack the ball over and over until it is the size you want for the bottom of the snowman's body.

5. Repeat for the midsection and head. The bottom should be the biggest, the top the smallest.

6. Pack some extra snow between the layers to make them stick together. Place sticks down the center where the sections meet if your snowman is having trouble standing straight.

7. Give the snowman a face. Use coal, rocks, buttons or anything dark and round for the eyes. A horizontal stick or twig will make a good mouth, and a carrot, candy cane or even a banana is fine for the pointy nose.

8. Cover the top of his head with an old plant for hair, or give him a knit hat to wear. Top hats will blow away unless secured.

9. Add arms, legs and other accessories. Push sticks into the sides of the middle section and hang old mittens on the ends, then place boots at the bottom for legs. Also consider adding items such as a shirt, a scarf or sunglasses.

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