Greetings on a snowy day!  
  I thought you might like to see my family tree. This is my favorite tree to set up. Each year I make some new ornaments of family members for this tree. In the first years I made ones of my family members. I used photos from the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s and recent: my dad in the military, my mom as a child, my Aunt when she got married and so on.  Now, I’m adding my husband’s side of the family. I ask family members if they will share their pictures for a day. Usually they have pictures of family members that I might not have.
 These ornaments are fairly simple to complete. Two pieces of clean glass and a roll of 1/4wide copper or silver tape are about all you need. Well, there are some other supplies you need too, but I will tell you about them later. The guys at my local True Value hardware store cut the glass for me each year. My two favorite glass sizes are 1 x 2 and 1-1/2 x 2.
 I take the family pictures to Kinkos and use the color copier for both the black & white and color pictures. I place enough pictures down on the screen to fit the full area. If there are some larger pictures, I reduce them in size. Take a piece of the glass with you to see how you will crop each picture. Generally, snapshots are not reduced in size.
  After copying all the pictures I might need, I wash two pieces of glass. I use an old book page, fabric or decorated paper for the backing of the ornament. If you have an old letter that has the person’s handwriting, what a treat! Use that by all means for the backing. Position the backing on a cutting mat. Position the picture on top of the backing. One piece of glass is placed over the picture, highlighting the area you want to frame. Cut out the picture and backing with a rotary cutter using the glass as the straight edge for the cutter. After the picture and frame are cut out, sandwich them between two pieces of glass. Begin at the bottom of the ornament and center the copper or silver tape over the glass edges. Run the tape around the ornament to cover the exposed glass edges. Burnish the tape edges over to the front and back glass. This creates a bit of a frame for the picture.
  Visit a stained glass shop, if you have one close-by. They will have all of the supplies you need for this project. Plus they offer kind advice and help. The stained glass shop will have a product that you
can paint around the copper to blacken it.  My local shop had Novacan Black Patina. The small picture of the bird tag (right) shows copper tape that has been treated with the black patina product.
  If you are not so lucky to have a local stained glass shop, a craft store like Hobby Lobby will carry the supplies.
  Ring findings located in the beading or jewlery making department are soldered onto the top of the ornament. Thread a bit of ribbon through the ring findings and these ornaments are ready to hang.
December 15, 2007