I followed TH's advice and inked up theneedles before removing them from the sheet - worked great. This was the first time I used my extended platform (for the border dies). OMG...I thought I didn't really 'need' one and was making do without but I am SO GLAD I caved and bought one. It's so much easier to cut things using the decorative strip dies now. Buy one. Well worth the $10 investment.
A smattering of coloring with copics, distress inks and a smudge of stickles on plain kraft paper really make the needles stand out. I cut slits in the pine cone to make it 3D-able and I really like the way it turned out.