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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Silver Tip Trays

Do you know what these tiny silver trays are for? 
They are lovely little pieces of history - hotel silver tip trays. Tip trays like these were used in finer hotels, restaurants,  and long distance railroads to leave a gratuity for the waiter or housekeeping staff.

 Here is a tray from the Arlington Hotel made by the Reed and Barton silver company.

Hotel silver is usually heavy for it's size.

A small tip tray on your nightstand is the perfect place to keep pocket change or jewelry.

They are not very expensive, maybe $5-15, if you are lucky enough to find one!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Glittered Sugar Pine Pinecones

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I vacationed in the San Bernadino mountains. The charming  town of Lake Arrowhead is nestled up in the California hills about an hour and a half from Los Angeles. The air was cooler and the forests were full of Redwood trees, Sequoias and Giant Sugar Pines. Have you ever seen the pinecone from a Giant Sugar Pine? Well, they are ENORMOUS! Seriously, they are 12-17 inches in length. 
And up in Lake Arrowhead the ground is littered with them!
 So every morning on my morning walk I would pick a bagful to bring home. 

Are you a pinecone collector like me?
 I  honestly can't resist them.

I thought these would be great all glittered up and hanging from a large Christmas tree. 
So here's how you turn these into frosty, glittery pinecones.
 First, be aware that sugar pinecones are covered with sticky sap. To remove the sap you have to bake the pinecones. That's right. Line your cookie sheets with foil and layer the pinecones on top. Bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes. The sap will drip down  onto the sheet. Plus if there are any stray critters living in the cones this will take care of that too.

Next I screwed a small eye hook into the top of the pinecone.
Then I brushed the pinecones with Elmer's glue and sprinkled them with German glass glitter. It has a wonderful sparkle to it. But be careful handling this kind of glitter, it  is sharp! 

To finish it off I tied a satin ribbon  through the eye hook and a loop to hang it with.

My first Christmas craft project of the season completed!

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