Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Silver Mercury Beads, German Glass Glitter, & Ponderosa Pinecones

As a native Oregonian, it is quite easy to be loyal and go on with a list of the benefits of living here. In Winter, an obvious bonus is our major conifer tree population, and you don't have to go very far to find pinecones. 

This year I made a point of gathering bags of various cone varieties. While I had an idea in mind, it disappeared and was replaced with another one. I think it was the fact that I had an ample supply of German glass glitter and was aching to play with it. Of all the cones I collected, the Ponderosa Pine is my favorite. The flowery shape, and the perfect ornament size to make a statement.

Behold, I give you a gilded lily....

 The natural elegance of a pine cone given even more elegance.

While it would be easy enough to only add the German glass glitter, I really wanted to maximize the details of the cone, and also elevate the glitter to its fullest potential. To do that, I painted the front area of all the scales, topside and underside, leaving the inner sections of the pine cone bare. It enhances all the light sections by giving them a dark background.

I started with white paint, then after it dried, I painted over it with a metallic Champagne. The metallic isn't very opaque, so I needed the white to brighten it. I also chose Champagne over Silver paint, because the glass glitter will gradually develop a warm patina, and it will blend better with the Champagne.

Once the paints were dry, I used an awl to poke pilot holes in the stems of the cones, then screwed in tiny eye screws. Having those attached gave me a handle to hold the cones for the rest of the steps.

Next, I brushed on the Elmer's glue, and lavishly coated both sides of the scale tips with copious amounts of silver German glass glitter.

After a few hours of letting the glue really dry, it was time to add the ornament loops.

Made from 1/4" silver mercury beads threaded onto 3mm tinsel stems, I attached the stem ends to the screw eye, wrapping it around the loop a couple of times to hide it. With such elegance, you don't want to see the metal hardware. Another great attribute of this cone, is the fact that removing some scales from the base around the stem area creates a perfect hiding place for the screw eye.

I created the mercury glass bead loops so they would be beautiful whether used as is, or with ribbon to hang in a window or from a garland.

Don't these look like beautiful pieces of jewelry for the tree? Oh, how they twinkle.....

I still have a bag full of smaller cones, which haven't inspired me yet. Ever since my latest inspiration to make Putz houses, an exorbitant amount of time has been devoted to them. (I'll be posting about my latest Putz house creation tomorrow.) As is typical with me and my non-stop holiday creativity, I'll probably come up with a project for them 3 days before Christmas....:)


1 comment:

  1. These are stunning! Thank you for sharing them at Vintage Inspiration Party.


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