A Christmas Story: Pine Cone Procreation

This was one of my favorite things this Christmas. It’s the story of a creative seed that bloomed in the course of a year. It started with a lonely Pinecone Man, a clever & talented young girl named Camille & a playful but considerably older “girl” (yours truly).

A high school friend of mine once made a pine cone ornament in kindergarten. Now in his 40s, his pine cone ornament still graces his family’s Christmas tree each year. Last December, he told me that his youngest daughter suggested Pine Cone Man may be lonely? She wanted to make him a wife. Thus, Dad & daughter went outdoors to find the makings of a Pine Cone Woman. Unlucky in their search, they were unable to find even a single cone!

When he told me this, I was amused. Yes, it’s cute that his daughter wanted to make an ornament… but I was mostly amused that pine cones were “unavailable.” Surrounded by white pine forest, I dodge the cones that litter our dirt road when I run, to keep their sticky sap off my sneakers & consequently, our rugs! I told him I would mail some pine cones ASAP. I went out that afternoon & raked a few from our snow, putting them by the woodstove to dry & open up. As I waited, I had some creative thoughts of my own. Suddenly, Operation Pine Cone Woman was as fun for me as I hoped it would be for Camille :-)

I put together a “kit” of sorts, collecting all manner of things I had in my craft drawers. Assorted options for heads, appendages, faces, hair, clothing. I made some tiny mouths, labeled things in baggies, even found a pretty box to house Pine Cone Woman’s many parts for transit. Though I did not make an ornament myself, I had a blast. Then, I shipped the box.

With only a few days til Christmas, the box arrived late. And the holidays are busy with family gatherings, new toys & games, sleeping late, the joy of no school. Their tree came down a week later & although my friend thanked me for my kindness, I never heard what became of the “kit” I’d sent. It had served a grand purpose already in amusing me, thus I was content. I soon forgot all about it.

Eleven months passed. Then, out of the blue a few weeks ago, my cell phone received some spontaneous photos… of Camille & her newly made art, an entire Pine Cone Family! She had just concocted not only a wife for Pine Cone Man, but 2 children as well. I am told she had enough parts leftover for a Pine Cone Pet or two, which may be in the works for next year? I loved seeing her creations, they are all so wonderful. “BarbiCone”, as my friend aptly named the ornament at right, was particularly funny to me. When I was Camille’s age, I owned many Barbie dolls with blunt haircuts… or no heads at all. Had I only known what lovely ornaments severed Barbie heads could make!

I don’t believe there’s any better gift to an artist than shared proof of creatively inspiring another person, especially a child. I’m still enjoying these photos. Though I’ve never met Camille, I love her spirit already. Happy holidays to creative young women artists everywhere!

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7 Responses to “A Christmas Story: Pine Cone Procreation”

  1. christine e-e Says:

    this is a creative child!
    & what a great gift…

  2. Travelling Hopefully Says:

    That’s absolutely wonderful and has put a huge smile on my face! Especially the creative use of Barbie’s severed head.

  3. jo(e) Says:

    That’s such a great story!

  4. mary taitt Says:

    Fabulous, two very creative people doing a wonderful collaboration-=-I love Camille’s family–how fabulous is that! Nice work Camille and nice work Heidi! I loved this story and so did my husband Keith.

  5. meg Says:

    This is the best gift ever! Camille will never, ever forget this experience and it seems like it was the perfect timing this year for her family and her creativity to flourish, especially with that Barbie with the pinecone body. Just perfect :) !
    It was a delight to see your comment in my email/mail. I’ve thought of you so much and I DO think you’d love the whales. We stopped again yesterday on the way home from the market. Parked on the bluff, whipped out the binoculars and let our ice cream melt in the 70 degree heat of the car while we cheered on the spouting friends. We even saw “tail!” That’s ghetto for “bootie!” Just keeping you “in” on the Cali vernacular.
    Happy New Year!!!!
    xoxo

  6. runtezza Says:

    The one in the middle is Pine Cone Warhol!

  7. shazruns Says:

    Great! We recently dried a cone on the heater till it was nice and open when then madam painted it and for some reason only known to herself added feathers!!! Hope you are doing Janathon

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