Pine Cones and Trials

I love the bounty of Nature! And Fall is full of wonders…brightly colored leaves….gourds, pumpkins & squash! One of my favorites is the pine cone.

As I began to wire together a couple of pine cone wreaths, I became curious about them. Great to start fires … filler for crafts…food for animals…and that’s after they’ve opened and released their seeds to start new evergreens!  Tucked away inside each section is a seed capable of growing more 50-60 foot tall trees. It’s amazing when you think of it.

The closed cone keeps the new seeds safe from being eaten and completely protected from the rain (unless you crunch them underfoot). They stay shut tight and no seeds can come out. The cone has to be ready.  If it has not grown big enough and is not completely formed, the seeds will not make good trees.  To see if a cone is ready to open, drop it in a jar of water.  If it floats, it is ready to open. Such a simple test!

In the same way, Jesus makes sure we are ready for a trial when He sees our seeds are ready. During the trial, the heat is on and it causes us to open up and let out seeds. These seeds are a symbol of sharing our Christian experience. As we lean on Jesus during trials, we gather up the promises and comfort that God has given to us. Then we share our story with others. As we share, new trees are planted. Always something to learn from God’s creation!

As you can see in the 2nd picture (above), I had a photo of a wreath I wanted to create. Fortunately, at my work there are many evergreens and I was able to pick up enough pine cones to make this one large wreath and a smaller one for a cousin.





First ,I wired the cones on a 24″ wire wreath form going in one direction all the way around. Once all were wired on, I flipped it over and made sure all the pieces of wire were pushed into the wreath so they would not scratch the new paint on the front door. I also attached a wire loop to the wreath form as a hanger.

I spray painted the wreath with a light gray. When dry I added a layer of spray on fake snow and quickly dusted with white glitter. This combination allowed for a lot of definition and depth. I allowed it to dry for the night and then gave a coating of clear gloss spray. We had a wonderful, warm morning, so I set it outside one the steps to hopefully dry quickly! Patience, schmae-cents!

Then it was time for the fun stuff! I hot glued some cardinals, shatterproof balls, greenery with little red accents and sprigs of pearls.

Looking nice on the table!

Oh, yes! Just as I’d pictured and THAT is a miracle! My apologies for the cell phone photos…camera is having hurricane sand removed from it 🙂

The real test is coming up…what about when I shut the door? Will it look okay through the storm door?

Yes! Fist pump!  Nothing got crushed!
Let’s step back a bit and recheck…

OH yes, oh YES, OH YES IT WILL!  It will show up from the road 75′ away! Out by those trees in the reflection!  My neighbors only saw a crazy lady turning in circles with the occasional fist pump! Eh.

Best of all, it can stay up all winter if I so choose!

I then did a repeat on a 12″ wreath form for a cousin who has a hard time getting anything to show up on her brick red door.  Everything just kind of blends in.  Hers looks spectacular and  IT SHOWS UP! Even cooler – her door knocker is verdigris and adds just a bit of green to the center.

Now that the door has been dressed for Christmas and Winter, next up is planning the annual craft night I host at my home for some friends and relatives….always good for a lot of laughter!

I hope your Thanksgiving (for USA friends) was full of warmth, friends and family and may your Christmas (to all) be filled with peace (and patience), joy and the Wonder of Christmas!

You can find me linked at Home Stories A2Z, Setting for Four, Centsational Girl  

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Waxen Leaves

Colors of Fall

Have you ever revisited a craft you did as a child? Sometimes it’s fun to go back and relive a bit of it!  When I was very young, one of the things I was allowed to do was wax fall leaves.  All you need is colorful, real leaves that have fallen, wax paper and an iron.  Doesn’t get much simpler.

Sandwiched!

Set your iron to medium hot and allow to heat up. Cut a piece of wax paper to lay the leaves on and lay a 2nd piece of wax paper over the top of the leaves.

Run your iron over the leaves melting the wax onto the leaves. Allow to cool and, if you have more leaves, repeat the process.

When cool, gently remove the top sheet of wax paper and remove leaves from the bottom sheet.

Bye-bye Summer…Hello Fall!

  It was time to say good-bye to my
  Summer starfish and welcome Fall.
  I  arranged a few leaves on some
  leftover white cardstock and
  reused the same frames.

Easy, Free Color!

I included a leaf from my Caladiums growing
on the side of the house. We’ll see how they
hold up since they are tropical.

I had quite a few leaves left over and layered
them in the bowl on the dining room table with
my starfish and scallop shells.  Can’t give up
the ocean fully regardless of the calendar!

Fall’s Bounty

I added a vase of leaves from my variegated hydrangea, end of season hydrangea blooms and a stalk of garden mums.  These will last for weeks and, best of all, I already had all I needed!

Peek-A-Boo Starfish

When I get tired of the flowers, I’ll move them and add a candle to the center…much easier to see my dinner guests! I’d like to fill the vase with lemons and/or limes for more color…but not tonight.

The starfish?  They are a reminder that Summer will come again in its time. For now, I have three other seasons to enjoy!

I hope you find time to relive a piece of your childhood and share the simple things with those you love.