Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Waxed Paper Leaves
This is one of three maple trees that we planted the year we built our house. Every autumn this tree puts on a bright display of foliage. I think it's rather special because I can find every color leaf on this one tree- from yellow to orange to red, and many blends in between. This is its eleventh autumn here and the eleventh time it has given me delight. While mowing the lawn yesterday, I decided it was time to save some of these leaves before they all fell and blew away.
What child hasn't ironed fall leaves between sheets of waxed paper? I recall the smell of waxed paper melting under the warm iron since the time I was five. I continued this autumn ritual with our girls when they were little and I continue it now, even after they've grown. Gathering leaves for a purpose, whether it be to iron them in waxed paper or to create a great pile to jump into, is half the fun. I gathered the prettiest leaves I could find and brought them inside. I arranged them between sheets of waxed paper and then sealed them in with the iron on a low setting. I like to frame them with black construction paper because I think it makes them look like stained glass. I use an exacto knife to cut out the center of the squares of black paper to make a neat frame. It's a free and easy craft that gives me pleasure every autumn. I keep these preserved leaves around the house through Thanksgiving, long after the trees have shed all their color. It's a wonderful way to keep the color alive just a little longer than nature intended.