It is still early autumn. The colors are just beginning to appear, but we got the itch last weekend to go leaf gathering. There are crafts to make! I noticed some red in one of our city's most beautiful old cemeteries, so we had a Sunday leaf-gathering excursion among old headstones. It was a lovely, cool evening.
We managed to collect a small bag of these red elm leaves, a few brown maple leaves, and some yellow elm leaves.
I love this cemetery. It is a huge, park-like cemetery, with old graves and mausoleums, a memorial to those who served in the Civil War, a small winding creek, and lovely trees.
Some of the more ornate sculptures are local landmarks. A woman always makes sure this little girl has a bouquet of flowers.
This is my other favorite. Local photographers love to capture her in the winter, in the ice and snow.
The girls didn't find the excursion frightening. They thought it was very lovely and peaceful. One of them asked me why anyone would be scared. "Oh, you know, Halloween stories," I told them. They just shrugged.
One of the new graves had been decorated for Halloween. I thought this was both fun and touching to see.
And what became of this batch of leaves?
Wax paper leaf garland!
In the past, we've preserved fall leaves between wax paper with crayon shavings. This is the "stained glass" method. I know I learned it from a craft book - forgive me, I'm not sure which one - and used it for a storytime craft. You can Google "leaves, wax paper, crayons" and find lots of examples. We decided we'll wait until we find some larger leaves. For this garland, we ironed leaves between two sheets of wax paper, cut them out, punched holes through them, and strung them on some twine. And that is all.