Open house held at Lehigh Gap Nature Center
Brandi and Stephanie Bankos add the finishing touches to a swag.
The basement room that has been designated for a laboratory was used for the crafts that are provided at the annual Christmas open house held in the Osprey House at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.
The Dec. 4 open house added pine cone angels to its list of crafts, but for size and the number of people working on them, the wreaths and swags were still the most popular. Extra tables had to be set up as people continued to come.
Bill Mineo helped with the art of wreath making as well as providing many of the evergreens. Kathy Romano gave credit to the other people who brought materials.
Grapevine wreaths were made and brought by Mineo who said he raises wine grapes and has plenty of clippings to make the wreaths. Twine was provided but several people chose to twist the evergreens tightly into the openings of the wreaths.
The bases usually have a loose place in the vines that will make a natural hanging point but it has to be reinforced with string.
He suggested using white-pine branches first because of their flexibility. They should be twisted into the base but can then be tied. Branches are overlapped like shingles all around the base.
Then other evergreens that give additional textures can be placed randomly. Holly was available with its red berries but Mineo said there should be no effort to add it symmetrically. Pine cones can be added by placing a string around the base and tying them to the wreath.
Bows were available to complete the wreath if desired, but they also take away from the all-natural appearance.
Mineo suggested the larger bases were suitable for door or lamp posts wreaths while smaller bases were better for hanging in windows.
Swags are easier using the same materials that had been provided for the wreaths. and people experimented to find what they wanted.
Pine cones and a gigantic jar of peanut butter provided the start of a bird feeder. The peanut butter was spread on the cones and then they were taken outside and rolled in bird seed. Bags were provided to take the bird feeders home. When cleaned by the birds, a new batch of peanut butter can be added.
The angels were already started with leaves making the background for a pine cone and a wooden head somewhat larger than a marble. Black markers were available for visitors to draw faces and moss could be used as hair. Circles of lace were folded and used to make halos.
They were admired by the group and window sills filled with angels till the glue dried.
Upstairs in the meeting room a power point display showed pictures taken during the Bake Oven Knob hawk count. Refreshments were offered.