Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Autumn burning brightly

Autumn burned brightly,
a running flame through the mountains,
a torch flung to the trees.

— Faith Baldwin

I have two large sugar maples in my front yard that are a constant source of inspiration. You may remember that I based a piece on them (Harbinger’s Hope, shown below) after fighting with my power company to keep them from hacking the trees’ branches back to the trunk (to provide clearance for the power lines) a few years ago. 

The trees are estimated to be more than 80 years old, and are in decline, and every fall I wonder if it will be their last. It makes me notice them more, appreciate them more. They are certainly the most spectacular autumn foliage on my street. Yesterday I went out and took these photos. The light was wonderful, and the leaves were luminous, in shades of gold and chartreuse, orange and bronze.

I love the contrast between the dark trunk and branches and the colorful leaves. 

One of the tree’s leaves are greeny-gold, and the other (above and below) is going more orange. 

High up on one tree, the branches have been swept nearly bare by the wind, with only a few leaves still hanging on:

I would love to do three more pieces the same size and format as Harbinger’s Hope, each a different season, with a different creature to symbolize each season. Wouldn’t they look wonderful hanging together? I hope I live as long as these maples, and have the time to make half the quilts that are in my head!

November Pandoras meeting

At our Pandoras meeting on Monday, we worked on these cute recipe folders made from altered brown paper grocery bags. This project is based on one by Jane Bradley that my friend Michele had seen at the Believe in Yourself Retreat. You can see Jane’s finished recipe folder on her flicker site. Mine (above) is still in progress.

This is the front of mine (so far). We took the brown paper grocery bags, cut them apart at the seam, and then spritzed them with Glimmer Mist by Tattered Angels to create a bit of texture. You can purchase it online at Fiber Art on a Whim. Then we folded up the bottom to make pockets on one side, folded them accordion style, and stitched the pockets up on a sewing machine. After that, it was time to decorate! I used some of the white paper spritzed with the Glimmer Mist; I always go for bright colors, so I wanted to cover up some of that dull brown paper.

Michele starts gluing embellishments on her folder.

Here you can see some of the chipboard embellishments (spritzed with a purple Glimmer Mist) on top of the brown paper bag, which has the outlines of other embellishments that were placed on top before brown mist was applied.

DeLane peruses some of the ephemera Michele had gathered for us to use.

She used some of it on her folder. 

Grace cuts a shape out of paper out for her folder.

Looks like she is searching for a little time to cook!

As always, we were surprised to see how different our projects turned out, even though we were all working with the same raw materials. We each brought a dish to share for lunch, and recipe cards for our contributions to put inside our folders. 

This was a fun project. I think it would be great to make these folders for your children or grandchildren and put important family recipes inside. You could embellish them with copies of old family photos, and even photocopy old recipe cards in the family members’ own handwriting, if you have them.

It is always such a pleasure to be creative with friends. I am so fortunate to have good friends that enjoy trying new art techniques together!