Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Delightful Discoveries - Take It or Leaf It 09.14.10

Leaves, glorious leaves. Mother Nature does such a wonderful job of using them to paint a palette of the cycle of life...vibrant green leaf buds that announce spring's arrival, through the hearty deep green of summertime's leafy canopy, to the brilliant fiery hues of autumn's dying embers...and even the browns and grays of the somewhat solitary leaves that cling persistently to the skeletons of trees during the winter, leaves are a reminder that the circle of life is never-ending and beautiful. (Tree of all Seasons from an original acrylic by oui2reveille**)

Growing up in an old established neighborhood on Chicago's south side, our streets were lined with venerable old maple and sycamore trees that towered majestically to heights of thirty or forty feet, and yards would be home to other varieties of trees like ash and oak, birch and aspen, and fruit trees like crabapple and cherry that provided shade and a place to play or hide away. You can imagine what fall was like! (Sycamore Leaf Glazed in Spring Green from Ravenhillpottery**)

As kids, we would offer to rake the leaves rather than being told to... and part of the fun was building mountains of leaves even taller than we were and then diving into them (or grabbing an unsuspecting friend and throwing him or her into them!). We would look for the most perfectly shaped and still somewhat supple leaves to make "stained glass" artwork - achieved by shaving old crayon pieces with a (hopefully one of mom's old) vegetable peeler and placing the shavings along with the leaf between two pieces of waxed paper and ironing it on low until the crayons melted into a beautifully translucent rainbow of color. We'd glue popsicle sticks that we had hoarded over the summer around the edges and voila - the original suncatchers! (Autumn Trees Stained Glass Panel by FleetingStillness**)

October would find us stuffing old shirts and pants and pillowcases with leaves to create our versions of the scarecrows that would become part of our Halloween displays. Several bags of leaves would become either mulch or ground cover for our garden plots, providing not only some protection against the winter snows for our perennial plants, but enriching the soil with nutrients as the leaves gradually broke down over the span of the winter season. What we didn't use for other purposes were bagged and donated to local nurseries or (while it was still legal) burned in old garbage drums in the alley. Any given Friday or Saturday evening, a walk down the street would treat you to the pungent and earthy scent of burning leaves and as the daylight faded, you would see the glow of dying fires and hear the friendly chatter of neighbors as they took advantage of combining work with the opportunity to "chew the fat" with old friends. (5 inch Scenic Shade Leaves Lampshade by BeccasCustomShades**)

It was an autumn tradition to take weekend drives out to the forest preserves that surround the city proper, stopping to take photos of the contrasting reds and yellows of the maple varieties, the brilliant scarlet of the sumac, the rich golds of aspen and oak, and a melange of other autumn colors. We would often stop for ice cream at the Plush Horse - our favorite ice cream parlor nestled in the heart of this magical world of color - and enjoy a scoop of homemade rum raisin or peach ice cream in the crisp autumn air. Great days... (Harvest Hand Painted Silk Scarf by Palettepassion)

I still love leaves, needless to say - and I love having the opportunity to share some of the wonderful leaf themed items that so many of my readers and followers have shared with me! Let's take this lovely trail through the "forest" of leafy lovely magic through one of my favorite poems :)

A Bed in the Leaves
~by Marian Kennedy

Brown and yellow and gold
(Hand Painted Woodburned Leaf Gourd Vase/PRE ORDER ONLY by natskreations)

I think I'll rake them in a pile
(Graphite -Nature's Leaves Earring Collection from decoratethediva)

Higher than my head
(Gold Leaf Necklace w Faceted Labradorite - Forest Nocturne from Mysticwynd)

I'll jump in very quick
(Leafy Gold Earrings by tackyfab)

And pile their leaves up over me
(Unique Leather Leaves Notebook from GILDBookbinders)

For covers soft and thick
(Kayla Convertible Messenger Backpack HAND PAINTED OAK from MadBlueDesigns)

I'll just lie there so nice and warm
(Fallen leaf - Pastel drawing by LindaCaterpillar)

And look up in the sky
(Burlap leaf pillow by YellowBugBoutique)

And watch more leaves float down for me
(Fall Leaves Large Wall Hanging or Table Runner from by TerryAskeArtQuilts**)

To rake up bye and bye
(Leather Checkbook Cover with Leaf Design by GardenourLeather)

I hope you've found leaves as enchanting as I do - and that you'll check out all of these shops to learn more about these items and all of their other wonderful crafts!

I'll be back a little later today with a team feature, and then tomorrow I'll be here showcasing wedgewood blue. If you have anything you'd like to have included in tomorrow's post, please click here for the submission form to e-mail me the link to the page of the shop where I can see your items or your favorites from another shop. You can also find a list of my future feature themes by clicking on "Be Featured" in the right sidebar :)

See you a bit later!

**designates an undiscovered or underdiscovered shop


randomcreative said...

Thank you for including my leafy Indian Summer bracelet in this gorgeous collection!

Janet Bocciardi said...

Fabulous collection of leafy items! Going to go ck some of them out right now.
Thank you for including my Cinnebar inspired Leaf Earrings!

Anonymous said...

Aren't leaves wonderful? You have found so many fabulous designs to post. Thank you for including "Tree of All Seasons" with so many pretty things.

Raven Hill Pottery said...

Great blog! I love leaves! Thank you so much for including my sycamore leaf. It made my day!

Melinda :)

Terry Aske said...

Beautiful collection of leaves! Thanks for including my table runner.

Terry Aske said...

Karen, I wrote my previous comment before reading your blog in detail. You have such a wonderful way with words! Your description of your childhood adventures with leaves are so vivid, I can almost imagine being with you. thanks so much for sharing this.


Linda said...

What a beautiful feature. So many wonderful leaves. Thanks for including my pastel.
Off to promote this super blog post.


Valerie's Essentials said...

This is a wonderful blog! so many wonderful finds!!! WoW... Love the shop http://LindaCaterpillar.etsy.com!


Decorate the Diva said...

This is a wonderful post. Thank you for including my leaves! ~Renee


Beth said...

Thanks so much for including my earrings. This is an absolutely lovely post :)

And, now, I wish it would cool down here in TX so I can start jumping in some leaves!

Dina Cuomo said...

Wonderful post- I love the items you chose.


Hamna Hamid said...

wonderful collection

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