Evergreen

When I started this project, I thought it was just going to be another straight forward tutorial. Then, Lord began to speak to me, and it became a lesson I will carry forever.

Since this craft revolves around the pine tree, as seen on this napkin, I wanted to know more about the evergreen, more specifically, the pine tree, so I did some research.

Pine trees are awesome. They smell good, they provide us with shade, food and shelter for wildlife, and even provide medicinal properties. They produce pinecones, both male and female, and they reproduce when pollen comes together with the seed. Male pinecones are soft and spongy, and produce a powdery substance called pollen, which is released into the wind to pollenate female seeds. Female pinecones, have tough, woodsy scales, which house the seeds. These scales protect the seeds by closing, to keep out the cold, wind, and even animals who try to eat them. When conditions are right, they open up and release their seeds to make it easier to germinate. Some pinecones only release their seeds during harsh conditions such as extreme cold, even in fire! Once the cones have done their job of releasing the fruit bearing properties, after a time, they fall off the tree and more cones grow, continuing the circle of life. Evergreens are able to maintain their integrity by way of their needle shaped leaves, which enables them to store water, allowing them to keep their green appearance, and continue growing. I found this information fascinating, and I only touched on the main parts of it. There are LOTS more, so do some research of your own if you want to know more.

I knew the Lord didn’t want me to just know the scientific facts of the pine tree. I knew He laid this craft, and these words on my heart for a reason, so on my quest to learn the more deeply rooted message, I looked closer at a mature pine tree. As I did, I realized how closely my life paralleled with theirs. Just as the pinecone releases its fruit into the wind to reproduce more pine trees, I should release my fruits into the world by way of spreading God’s Message and Love so that others can learn about Him, and in turn, do the same. It also made me think of the other side of it. I noticed some of the branches were sagging from the weight of the pinecones. Some looked as though they would snap off from bearing such a load. This made me think of how heavy I feel at times from the burdens of life that I try to carry on my shoulders. And just as some pinecones release their seeds under extreme circumstances, I am reminded that during my own extreme circumstances, I can drop my burdens unto the Lord, and lay them at the foot of the cross!! I am never expected to carry my burdens. Jesus gave His precious life so I don’t have to!!

Whew, I need to take a breath because I did NOT expect all of that. You came here to see a craft, so lets go!!

I started off by separating the layers of the napkin until I got to the image layer only. I use a bit of glue on my fingertips to make this a lot easier. I plan to decoupage it to a piece of wood I have, but I have to prepare the wood first.

A friend of ours custom cuts my wood shapes for me, and this one was perfect for this project. I painted the front and sides with some off white acrylic paint, and allowed it to dry.

I spread a layer of mod podge over the front, smoothed it out evenly, then dried it completely.

I laid the napkin over the tag, and positioned it so the image was where I wanted it.

I carefully placed a piece of parchment paper over the napkin, and began to run my heat press over top to seal it down. A regular iron will work just as well. This heats up that dried mod podge and allows the paper to adhere. I made sure to go slow, but to keep it moving to avoid burning the napkin or wood. I concentrated on the edges to make sure all was stuck down nicely. If you have areas that didn’t quite stick, simply go back over it until its all adhered.

I used a sanding block to remove all the excess napkin, and as you can see, no wrinkles, or bubbles. I didn’t mind that there was an area at the bottom where the border from the napkin was showing. I have a plan.

To cover those lines at the bottom, I found some paint that would blend in nicely, and used a stencil brush to stipple all around the napkin. Problem solved. I then added a thin layer of mod podge over the entire thing to seal everything in.

Next, I put some glue on my fingertips and tapped it on the pinecones, here and there, before adding some pretty glitter.

I found a few pieces of evergreen sprigs in my stash, and stapled them to the top of the tag, then I glued a bow and a couple of pinecones to add a little cuteness.

I wanted to add the perfect word to this project, and I found it on another napkin. I cut it out and applied it in the same fashion as the evergreen napkin. PERFECTION!!

I adore this project, not only because it’s gorgeous, but because of the value it holds to me now. Just as the pine soaks up the sun, and stores water to maintain it’s life, I can soak in God’s Word, store it in my heart, and when the time is right, release it into the world to share His precious Love. I am reminded that my God is EVERGREEN. His Love is as new every day as it was in the beginning!!! His Promises give me HOPE in knowing I can have life, and have it abundantly. AMEN

I pray this has added some value to your life. I hope it has given you a new perspective to the pine tree. I know I will never look at them the same

With Love,

Lisa

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