Saturday, October 15, 2016

Leaf Craft: Transferring Leaf to Cloth

This is a really fun and unique craft to do. You can use the muslin to make a little wall hanging, a place mat, a table runner or even a pillow case.

Supplies needed: 

  • fresh leaves: don't use dry leaves as the color won't transfer;
  • muslin cloth (I purchased the $1.97 per yard, you don't need a high quality one, but depending on what you'd like to use the material for, you may want the thicker kind;
  • packing tape; (and regular tape just to place the leaves)
  • a pencil
  • wax paper or something underneath the material because the color will bleed through onto the surface

Place the leaf face down onto the muslin cloth. Place packing tape over it making sure you completely cover the leaf. Once that is done, you are ready...just being by using a sharpened pencil (not too sharp) to apply pressure the leaf. You will press pretty hard. Using a pencil allows you to see what part of the leaf you have already "drawn over."
You can lift up the tape to take a peak, which allows you to see if you missed any spots.
In some cases, no matter how much pressure you put on, the color will not transfer. 
In the picture below, you can see that I already transferred the color of a pretty dark red leaf. I was then laying a light colored one here. 

Below you can see that I layered four leaves. A very light yellow one barely showed any transfer, so I then added a green leaf right over the muslin. Once I was done with the design, I simply folded the top of the muslin over a stick and used simple white glue to secure it.

 Here is another shot against a blue background, just to give another perspective. This craft isn't just for kids. A lot of the teens in our group really enjoyed doing this in years past and became very creative with what they made. You can choose a variety of leaves to transfer some great colors. For me, it's just very relaxing, feels a little earthy and relaxing and helps me to enjoy the change of season and our beautiful landscape for a little longer than just the few weeks we have in New England where the foliage is breathtaking! 

Please feel free to message me or comment with any questions.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

To the Nurse Who Brought the Lamp

Dear Nurse who brought the lamp,

You have no idea what you did. You simply could not understand the depth of comfort you gave to me that night. The night you helped my husband and I set up an extra bed and you dropped off blankets and pillows for us. You spoke softly to us as it was night time and things were settling down on that floor of the children's hospital we had grown to call our second home for a summer. It was our fourth child, but our first daughter who would endure her third surgery during that stay. It was our fifteen week old, yet only seven pound and some odd ounce child who we rushed back to hospital for a suddenly dreaded and unexpected surgery. You were efficient, professional, kind-hearted and I'm guessing at least a few years younger than we were. But, when I reflect on that night as you cared for us and I mean all of us, I am fully immersed in the feeling of a mother setting up a comfortable bed and reassuring me that it would all be made right. The lights overhead were so bright, awakening and institutional. Then you brought in the lamp. You shut those harsh lights off and you plugged in that lamp and made a comment about how this might make the room more comfortable. I don't even know where you got it from, but it was a gesture and a deed that proved to be substantial. When I look at the pictures of that dimly-lit and cozy looking room, your gentle, motherly, abundant consolation abides in my heart.  At that stage, I was exhausted from months of caring for a sick child and balancing everything else in life (not so well.) I was traumatized from several life-threatening instances with my daughter and worrying about my other children. Blood tests; the awful, but needed replogle; hematologist; her [beloved] surgeons with news and reviews; gastroenterologists checking in for rounds; well-meaning residents who would tell us anything and everything that could be wrong with our daughter; surgery; blood tranfusion; medicines; the hundredth I.V. that would most likely blow in her teeny veins. Too many things that I can't really recall in which order they occurred, but when spoken of, well, it's somewhat mind-boggling. All wonderful and necessary medical advances of which I am so grateful, yet remind me of a lot of that very painful and somewhat chaotic time. But, then the lamp. And, that lamp reminds me that in the darkest of times, there was comfort provided. To the nurse who brought the lamp, thank you will never be worthy. But, no doubt, you will continue to bring it to others who need it.