"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Leaf Garland Construction

So, I mentioned the other day that I was hoping to find wax in order to make a leaf garland with The Littles. Well, I finally located candle wax in the craft store and used that. Maybe nobody uses paraffin for canning anymore (I guess, I don't at all, come to think of it.) or maybe I am looking too late in the year, in any case I never did find any. Candle wax, however did work just fine.

My idea was that I wanted to sort of combine two ideas I'd seen and make them one project. My boys are forever collecting outdoor treasures which is why we have a Nature Shelf on the bottom level of one of my china corner cupboards. I wanted to take those leaves which come in with them in quantity and decorate more than just one shelf with them...somehow make the color stay and incorporate something to remind us of Thanksgiving.

Martha Stewart (who else? Brilliant, brilliant Martha) had great instructions for preserving fall leaves...and showed them hung in a window. And then here's a good example from another blogger of the thankfulness idea I ran into.So, that's what we did...we mixed the two. First we picked up leaves...then we melted our wax (in a cleaned out yogurt tub, using the microwave).

While the wax was melting we wrote (meaning I wrote) down all kinds of things we were thankful, one thing per leaf with Sharpie...right on the leaf itself.

After the wax was melted and the leaves were "inscribed" we held onto the stems and dipped them in until each leaf was fully immersed. Then the wet leaves were laid out on parchment paper to dry and harden.

Once they were hardened I took a needle and a very long thread and stitched my way through the stem end of each leaf, garlanding them all up into one long chain. We were more ambitious than we should have been and found that by the time we'd done 2/3rds of the leaves we were all too squirrely to continue any further so the chain wasn't quite as long as I thought it would be. That's okay. We like short garlands too.

The silky feeling of the finished, wax-coated leaves is a wonderful sensation between the fingers and the effect of the light shining through all your leaves-cum-post-it-notes is awfully pretty. We had a fun, giggly time together and now we have a window decoration that we made with our own six hands. 


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