Holiday Propaganda

Have you ever stopped to ask why
It is that you buy into all the lies
Sold in countless advertisements
That infiltrate our daily way of life
Influencing more than what we buy
To purchase our holiday excitement

All for a great cause with a cost
Gift wrapped in our traditions lost
Manufactured retailed happiness
Artificially bought into the thought
That giving matters as we’re taught
So we greet the season’s nastiness

Where shall we begin, let’s pretend
Spending our time together ends
The purchase of lasting memories
Discounted for family and friends
Gathering with the love to defend
Blessings less financial jeopardy


DIY <$20: Wash, Bake & Paint



I had a lone pine cone, which sat on my patio table for months. After each bout of rain I watched it close-up and bloom again when the sun came shining. Then one day, my Mother asked, “What are you going to do with this stupid thing?” I replied, “I’m keeping it because I’m going to get more and do something with them.” At the time I wasn’t sure what. The problem was my dog died, so I stopped going for walks because hitting the pavement just isn’t the same without a four-legged companion. A couple of weeks later, and to my surprise, my Mom brought me a bag full of pinecones collected from her walks. It was perfect timing because I knew immediately what I wanted to do – a Holiday centerpiece.

This was a fun, cheap and easy project though it wasn’t quick because I decided to paint them by hand. I browsed the web for ideas and initially thought about spray painting. However, the mere cost of spray paint ranging from $6.99 to $14.99 defeated the purpose of a good DIY in my mind, so I opted for four bottles of craft paint with the most expensive bottle costing $2.29. I picked a large fish like glass bowl for $9.99 to display them in bringing the total cost of supplies to about $19.00.  The tall, slender glass cylinders (more expensive) would look really nice too, but I hate that they block your line of sight at the table.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3: Wash, Bake and Paint

Quickly wash in hot soapy water and rinse, then place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 300 until done turning every 20-30 minutes.
They’re done when they look right, mine took about 2 hours. The baking makes sure that any critters stowed are taken care of, and the heat really makes the petals pop open, while the constant turning helps to distribute the oozing sap, which resulted in a high-gloss finish (I think I’m going to do another batch for year-round display). Roll up your sleeve and paint at least two coats giving them plenty of time to dry in between coats with your chosen colors I used: Garnet Glitter, Silver Glitter, Rose Gold and Platinum.

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