Monday, October 20, 2008

Golden Autumn Greeting in Watercolor

This is such a pretty time of year. The air is getting crisp and the leaves are starting to turn brilliant colors. This painting expresses an autumn welcome and was originally an illustration I did about 3 years ago for a postcard.
5" x 7" original sold

The beautiful colors of autumn are also nice inside the house. I love decorating with various kinds of squash, gourds, and spice bundles. It makes things pretty as well as fragrant.

I could purchase packages of imitation autumn leaves and sachets to place all over the house with the pumpkins, candles, etc. but to save money home-grown spices are easy to dry:

Hang spice or herb plant cuttings in bundles wrapped by string by their stems upside down in and airy room. In a couple weeks remove the dried leaves into 12” – 15” diameter circles of loosely woven fabric. Draw up and tie closed with ribbon. Hang in a closet, auto, or place in a clothing drawer.

And you can easily preserve your own autumn leaves:

Cut various branches of tree leaves before a frost but when they are at their peak of color. Smash the stem ends with a hammer. Stand the stems in a bucket filled with one part glycerin and two parts water for about 2 -3 weeks. They suck up the glycerin solution (available at any drug store including Wal-Mart). Leaves can them be cut off their branches when they are supple like rubber and used in centerpieces, wreaths, etc. An amazingly beautiful variety of colors are produced according to the type of leaf and it’s and maturity. Store in boxes after there is no leakage of moisture from leaves which might cause mold.

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