Monday, September 8, 2014

Pine Cone Pinter-Testing

So I got a little sidetracked from here for the past few days,
and it's all because of Pinterest.

I love Pinterest.  I'm not sure I use it like everyone else out there. I don't care about followers or any of that sort of thing. This blog doesn't have a board in Pinville, and I don't have any plans to start one. I'm just out there pinning away as plain old Debbie. Wave if you see me. 

I found something months ago that I have been dying to try for my fall and winter decorating this year. Last week, I decided to put it to the Pinter-test before the hot summer sun sets in Dixie. 

   
Bleaching pine cones.


Now, just in case you think it's a little silly to bleach pine cones, let me remind you that I live in the Piney Stick Forest. If there's one organic element that we have around here in abundance, it's pine cones. It would be silly not to decorate with them.

I usually just gather them up and use them au naturale, but but this year I happened upon a pin in Pinville with bleached ones.  They were  kind of white but a little taupey at the same time and really beautiful.  That being the case, I decided that I had to have some bleached pine cones too.

So... I collected about a dozen of them, and I  followed all the instructions to the letter.

I measured the bleach and water to make sure I had the correct ratio.(2:1)
I completely immersed them, and I  weighted them down to keep them from floating.
I waited  24 hours before peeking  just like Miss Blogger told me to do.  

Then, I pulled them out and drained them off,  just like she told me to do.
And, I left them in the hot sunshine to dry,  just like she told me to do. 

I baked those pine cones in the south Georgia oven all day Thursday,  just waiting for the eureka moment when my pine cones would look like her pine cones.   When the sun went down, I went for a look.

Did I have bleached pine cones?

No I did not.


I had bleached pineapples and bleached pine cream cones. 

I admit it,
I was a little disappointed.

In my head, I was blaming the poor blogger who started the whole thing. I  might have even suspected her of a little blog foolery, too. I went back to Pinville to look for the blue smoke and mirrors, but all I saw were big, beautiful, bleached pine cones.

So I went a-googling and found  out that my pine cones were opening right on schedule. Apparently, it should take days... and not a day... for the pine cones to reopen. (In fairness to the bleached blogger, that part should have been intuitively obvious. It's not her fault that I suffer from a perpetual state of insta-glam. ) *They* also said you could speed up the process by drying them in a 250 degree oven for an hour or two.   

I baked mine for about three.

Then, I put them back in the sunshine and waited some more.



By the middle of  day 2 (and three hours of baking)
 I was seeing some action.... 
You can see a little breakage on the pine cones on the left. 
There was actually very little of that, and it was barely noticeable when they started to open. 


Which they did.
And once they started opening,
 it was almost like they were opening before my eyes, too. 


   
Every time I looked at them,
 they were a little bit bigger and lighter.


By the morning...

Ta da!



Most of them are much more subtle and taupey than that one,
especially inside and out of the sun.



Mixed with a few natural ones, and the clump has a really nice texture.



I'm giving this Pinter-test two enthusiastic thumbs up.
In fact, I'm heading out to the Piney Sticks to pick up some more.

I'm going to try baptizing them for a shorter amount of time this time,
probably just overnight. I want to see the difference.

 If it's at all remarkable, I'll come back and remark.

And that's all I've got for now.

*****
Sharing on The Porch for Met Monday.


35 comments:

Debbie said...

Good morning! Well I found this whole thing fascinating, and I LOVE the bleached look of the pine cone. I will be checking this out too on Pintrest. I love how you describe it there. lol I fought going in the beginning...soo afraid I'd have another place I'd have to "check out" daily, but found it to be soo fun. I rarely pin anything. Follow few and have no idea if any follow me or not. They'd be sadly disappointed, as I said I pin rarely. Just type in what I am looking for and moments later there are hundreds (or so it seems) of examples and ideas all laid out for my convenience. Seems like we rarely do anything without saying, "Have you checked for ideas on Pintrest?" lol. Soo perfect. Anyhoo, ENJOY your day!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Oh, my goodness, Debbie! They are gorgeous! I so admire your tenacity! These were worth the effort... and the wait! Thank you for sharing this idea; I'm going to be on the lookout for some cones of my own. ;) Blessings and hugs ~ tanna

Sue said...

They are great Debbie. I sure wish I had a piney stick forest in my back yard. I've only seen one kind of pine cone around here and I may have been seen furtively picking up some near the street at a perfect strangers house. Maybe I'll have to go back and get some more~
Love Pinterest!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Wow! Those are neat, Debbie! Who woulda thunk it? I grew up in a pine forest, too, and I would have not thought to do this.

Okay, my question... Do they have a bleach odor, or did the sunshine take are of that? In any case I might have to try this! 2/1 bleach to water. I will remember that.

Thanks!

xo

Sheila :-)

Debbie said...

Sheila, they didn't have a bleachy odor, but they did have a different one from the unbleached ones if you put them up to your face and sniffed. I just did a sniff test and can't detect it at all anymore.

Ruth Kelly said...

I kinda like them natural. My grandma used to bake them in the oven on a low temperature for pine nuts.

Lorrie said...

Well. This was interesting. A lesson in patience, no? I wonder if this idea would work with fir cones, which we have a-plenty.
I use Pinterest as a visual bookmark and I visit it once in awhile just to browse. Mostly I go to things I want to do/make/cook that I've previously pinned.

Vee said...

Hmmm...I suppose that I should stop pitching (pun intended) my pine cones over the banking. For years, we saved every pine cone we found as if it were a Mercury dime...My mother used them to create pine cone wreaths. She didn't bleach them, but loved spraying them gold. She had a regular factory going in the basement from September through November. Ahhhh...nice memories. I am sure that she would have loved your bleached cones.

Sharon said...

Fascinating, and beautiful. And a craft that I actually might try. I am surrounded by pine cones, and this looks like a *natural* for decorating my home. I also love the lesson I learned about life from this little venture:

Follow the instructions. (Bible)
Apply a little heat.
Be patient.
A thing of beauty unfolds.

Yup, God works that way, too!!

Very Pinteresting post!

Mevely317 said...

I love getting lost in Pinterest as well!
Funny the things you miss. ... In my hometown pinecones (and those wonderful long pine needles) were EVERYWHERE. Now come the holiday season I'm reduced to buying them in bags at Michael's.

Denise said...

Oh my goodness your pinecones are absolutely beautiful. I LOVE them mixed with the natural, too. I want some. Can I copy? I promise to give you complete credit. Such a wonderful fall decorating idea. Thanks for sharing!!!

Gina said...

Ooh, they look great! Good thing you were patient & stuck it out or you would have missed it all! I'm quite certain I would have gotten mad, thrown all the pine cones away, pouted some and missed the makeover my pine cones were having while thrown in the trash!

kitty said...

Hey, it's an experiment that worked out and the bleached ones mixed with the natural ones, look wonderful! I loved seeing the pine cones progressing through your pictures. Great job, my friend! I do love decorating with pinecones and always seem to pick some up when traveling. Don't get too lost on the piney forest.

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

I must admit, I didn't think it would work! Glad it did and they look good! There are no pine trees around here :-(

I enjoy Pinterest, it can be very relaxing. Sometimes I need to get lost in it - like today! We are still in a huge mess with the flooring installation.

Katherine

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Very cool, I've never heard of bleaching pinecones! While I know you're going for a beautiful natural look, I'd have to add a touch of clear glitter too:@)

Amy Kinser said...

Love them! I have tons of pinecones as well all over the place. Love bringing them in during the fall and winter months.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

You and Pinterest can make so many pretty things! The pine cone bleached is pretty

RaeAbigael said...

this is beautiful! :)

P.S. Ongoing blog giveaway here: http://www.raellarina.net/2014/09/little-treasures-sid-kassidy-30-gift.html

Deborah Montgomery said...

I enjoyed your commentary as much as the tutorial! Glad you persevered and ended up with your pretty pine cones. They look great.

Alycia Nichols said...

Oh, good Lord...is Pinterest all about how many followers you have, too??!??! I never paid attention to that part of it, so I didn't notice. Same with my blog. I just put it out there and hope people will like it. If they follow, terrific. If they don't, maybe next time. Y'know?

Dadgum you, girl! Now you've given me a new project (that CLEARLY I don't need!) to try for fall! I love the way the pine cones fanned out like that, and the color is beautiful. Perfect for certain rooms in our house. I guess I'll have to give it a whirl. I don't live in the Piney Stick Forest like you do, but I still have access to tons of pine cones that will become willing or unwilling test subjects!

Christine said...

You crack me up!
You always have something up your sleeve and this is pretty good.
PS; Have you ever put your cones in the microwave to dry and open up? That makes your kitchen smell like a forest!

The Polka Dot Closet said...

I saw this on Pinterest and it made we wish I had pine cones around...No such luck, I am one of those idiots that has to buy them. I am thrilled to see that it worked, I like the mix of different shades too. OK, now I want you to go out and get some pine cones to glitter in my honor...Pink glitter! lol

Carol

Kelley said...

They're adorable, Debbie! I have some baby pinecones that would be cute bleached for my pinecone elves! I'm not on Pinterest so this is so interesting! Like x 18!

Hugs and happy week,
Kelley~

xinex said...

Wow! They looks so pretty, Debbie...Christine

Creations By Cindy said...

Well I must say that you had my attention with the pine cones this morning! WOW! Cannot believe the transformation! I too have lots of pine cones and I usually decorate with them as well. Like you said, a shame to have them and not to use them. I may have to try this bleaching process! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Mrs.Rabe said...

That's very cool! They look great too!

Deanna

Ida said...

Well that certainly was interesting. I would not have thought to bleach a pinecone but I found it fascinating and especially your journaling of the whole experience. I like the look you finally got.

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

Well I am just a pinner, and love to follow other people, because they usually find things I like. I do spend a lot of time pinning items for my business.
Those are great and because of home schooling I have taught my kids on pine cones, and the male and the female cones, so I knew that part of them opening.
Looks like your project was a success, as well as, this blog post. All the comments show that!Fun, fun...keep pinning.

Chatty Crone said...

I saw these on your Facebook page and I thought they were just gorgeous~ I love pinterest.

Kathleen said...

They are so pretty! I will have to try it. Your narrative was wonderful, you really are gifted, Deb!

bj said...

hahhaa....I so love reading your words.
These are beautiful...we don't have pine cones here, maybe a few tiny ones. But, we can buy them so I want to do a few, too.

Sharlotte said...

Hey...my sister does this and they indeed are beautiful! In fact we sell them in our store during the holidays.
(When she bakes them, the odor is awful...I make her open all the doors and windows.)

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Gorgeous and I love all the photos!

Laurie Ritchey said...

Oh how pretty that turned out. I think you could use them all the way into the Christmas season for trees. All's well that ends well, and your pin project ended very well. laurie

Babs R said...

Wow! I haven't done bleached pine cones in YEARS, and I had forgotten how long it takes for them to dry. Now, you've given me the bug...gotta bleach some pine cones.

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