Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Autumn Leaf Craft

Living in the mountains of Western North Carolina, this is one of my favorite times of the year.   The mountains are afire with crimson and gold.  Now that we are all feeling better,  I am making it my mission to enjoy the outdoors and the fall beauty that surrounds us.  A hike is in order and a visit to the pumpkin patch, FINALLY!  I sure hope there are some pumpkins left.

 "OCTOBER is the treasurer of the year,
And all the months pay bounty to her store:
The fields and orchards still their tribute bear,
And fill her brimming coffers more and more.
But she, with youthful lavishness,
Spends all her wealth in gaudy dress,
And decks herself in garments bold
Of scarlet, purple, red, and gold." 
-Paul Laurence Dunbar

Supplies You Will Need to Gather For Your Autumn Mobile:

                                                   * Stick, desired length and thickness
                                                   * Latex Paint, color of choice
                                                   * Plastic cup (optional)
                                                   * Leaves
                                                   * Beeswax
                                                   * Old Pot or Coffee Can
                                                   * Wax Paper
                                                   * Drill and Bit
                                                   * Yarn or Strips of Jersey, at least 1' 6"
                                                   * Piece of Tape
                                                   * Thread, desired color
                                                   * Needle
                                                   * Glue, I used Elmer's

First, you will need the stick and latex paint.  I had just the right amount of paint in the can to dip stick into, that I didn't need to add paint to a plastic cup.  I dipped one end of the stick into paint until I hit the bottom of can, knowing this would make it equal on both sides.  You could also simply mark the spot you wish the paint to go to and just dip in.  Allow for paint to dry before dipping in the second end. Once dry,  go ahead and dip the opposite end of the stick into the paint. Allow to dry.

While the paint is drying, go ahead and melt wax in an old pot or coffee can at a low temperature.  Let me tell you, melted beeswax smells divine.  Smells so good, I wanted to eat it. Whatever you use to melt the wax in, don't ever plan on using it again for anything besides beeswax.  It's near impossible to get squeaky clean.  Once the wax is melted you can go ahead and dip leaves in the wax making sure to completely cover the leaf.  Bring the leaf out and allow for the wax to drip off and then gently lay the wax covered leaf on the wax paper.  It doesn't take long for the leaves to dry.  You now have beautifully preserved leaves. 

Once the paint is finished drying, you will need the drill and a bits large enough to drill a hole to pass the yarn or string through and one small enough to pass a needle and thread through. It helps if you lay out the leaves and figure out how you would like for them to hang before marking the places you will be drilling. Once you figure that out, mark the spots on the stick you will be drilling. Two larger holes to pass the strip of jersey through and five holes to pass needle and thread through. As you can see, the holes I drilled are not perfect. 

Once finished drilling holes, you are ready to start stringing your autumn mobile.  I just happened to have a scrap of Merino wool jersey that was perfect for what I wanted to use to hang the stick with.  A strip of t-shirt cut the right way would also be great to use.  Take the piece of tape and wrap around the end of yarn or strip of jersey.  It will look like the end of a shoelace.  Go ahead and thread through the two larger holes.  You will be tying off the ends in order to keep the string from passing back through.

Now you can go ahead and get your leaves ready to hang.  Cut five pieces of thread to desired length.  Tie each piece of thread onto the stem of a leaf.  You will be using the needle to thread the opposite end through a smaller hole.  Straighten out your leaves and make sure the thread is taut and where you want it.  You will take a little bit of glue and fill the top holes just enough to grab the thread.  Once dry, you can tie a nice big knot to make sure the thread will not pass through the dried glue. 

TAA DAA!  All finished.  Now all you need to do is find a window to hang your new mobile from and enjoy.

Currently on my sewing table:

 * A pair of monkey spat pants using pattern from here. Using a brown French Terry, soy/organic   cotton blend.
* Manly cowl scarves for my Etsy shop.
* Cozy hats from a pattern I am working on.
* Custom orders.

Last week was a productive week when it came to sewing.  I was able to get all of the under woolies made for Lil Guy and hope to have pictures to share soon!  This week will be about finishing custom orders and working on getting more stuff listed for my Etsy shop.  We shall see.  Stay craftastik folks!

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