Sunday, November 8, 2009

Leaves, leaves, and more leaves!

We are almost at the tail end of another beautiful autumn here in the northeast. I always find myself particularly inspired this time of year, as I do in the spring. Change can be refreshing. This is a black birch tree near our house, on a particularly mellow day, with the autumn sunshine lighting up the leaves from above. I want to remember this shade of yellow come January!

Here is the same tree about a week later, as November's frosts have deepened the yellows to burnt orange and umber. Still breathtaking shades.

Well, with all those gorgeous leaves to admire and photograph, there comes a down side, being they fall and must be raked or blown off the lawn. Of course blowing is the popular and easy way to go, but I hardly ever go for what is popular or easy (why is that?). I have been weighing the benefits of both over the years, and I still think raking wins out, as hard as it is and as long as it takes. For one thing, when I am outdoors on a beautiful fall day like today, I really enjoy the sounds and smells of the leaves being raked, and a leaf blower totally destroys both of those. Leaf blowers are noisy and they stink! The final benefit to raking is the aerobic exercise and burning of calories it provides, which I could always use. So the girls and I have our work cut out for us.

So, I actually have been creative the last six days, even though I haven't posted any of my projects. Here is the wall hanging/mobile inspired by the beauty of autumn. I considered making more of a stationary piece like a quilt with nine blocks, each one featuring a different leaf, but I wanted to capture the motion and change of autum. At first, I stitched each leaf (by hand) to a length of metallic copper embroidery floss, which is difficult to work with and allows the leaves to flip over, which I wanted to avoid. So I ripped out all that hand stitching and restitched them to this copper mesh ribbon which keeps them flat. But the ribbon wasn't a good vehicle for the beads, which I wanted to include for interest and contrast, so I strung them on strips of a sheer pale blue synthetic, which also brings to mind the crisp autumn breezes (I hope). So even though I haven't posted my daily creative projects, I have been doing something creative every day. Sometimes it is only for 30 minutes to a little more than an hour at the end of the day, but at least I've been getting it in! My projects often take more than a day to complete at that rate, so I don't often post the works in progress. Also, I like to wait for daylight to photograph them, and I'm usually finishing up at night.
Sometimes I ask myself why I go through such lengths to create something like this when it doesn't really serve a purpose: I don't plan on selling it, it's not a gift, it isn't useful beyond its visual interest and decorative qualities. The only reason I can come up with is that it's fun, and I seem to have a need to make things; always have. So instead of spending my free time watching TV, I make things like this. Go figure.


Natalya said...

how can we not be on the same wavelength at this time of the year???

Lois0607 said...

I love this. Creating just for the sake of creating with no plans to sell or gift it...THAT is the very best !

My Mane in the Wind said...

I have so many memories of my grandfather raking up a pile of leaves on a tarp, me jumping in among the leaves, him bundling me and the leaves up and hauling me over his shoulder to the big pile. What wonderful smells and sounds your photos conjure up and great light!