Friday, December 5, 2008

Celebrating our blessings

The fall colors were simply glorious this year and we decided to preserve some of the gorgeous leaves using a simple but messy technique. It involved laying assorted leaves on top of wax paper, covering with 1 ply of facial tissue, and drenching everything with a mixture of 1/2 Elmer's glue and 1/2 water. It takes a bit to dry, but when it is, simply iron the mat between layers of brown paper bag. Easy-peasy.

This project was marked by loads of laughter – usually directed at me.

"Oooh…did you see that tree? We’ve GOT to get some of those leaves!"

This frequently voiced phrase made the girls erupt into giggles—or sometimes groans--as I would circled the block or hit the brakes hard as we were driving around town for our various activities. But we’d all pile out and gather up leaves…in the rain, in the wind and once in heavy sleet balls! And me…the woman who avoids ironing like the plague…was often found oh-so-gently pressing piles of curled and fragile leaves so they would lay flat. Somehow ironing these beauties was much more enjoyable than ironing clothing. My iron was used more for this project than it has been for years. It was the height of ridiculousness! (I’m sheepish, as I suspect you are going to laugh now too! )

Our table was covered in assorted leaves and grasses for almost two weeks. As I write this, I realize what an apt metaphor it was, depicting the blessings piled around us, fallen from the hand of our loving God. We are especially mindful how, just like with the autumn leaves, we often neglect to stop and appreciate the unique beauty in each of the special people in our lives and how they color and bless our days.

Shown here are some of the cards hanging in the mirror - we made over a dozen.

Here is a close-up of the tea-light shades I created, and a small one cut from one of Annie's mats. These were often lit as they made my heart glad...a wonderful thing after the gray days of emotional struggle and a bout with the blues. It will be hard to pack them away until next fall, but we need to make room for the Christmas decor, which goes up today.

I plan to create some Christmas-season shades to replace them, so stay tuned!

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