Monday, December 6, 2010

Making Things

The #Reverb10 prompt for today comes from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, an absolutely great book with wonderful week by week tips for living mindfully. MM gifted me the book earlier this year with Gretchen's inscription inside the cover. Very nice.

Here is her prompt for Dec. 6, '10:

Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

As I've done for the last 3-4 years, I waxed fall leaves in time for Thanksgiving and used them to decorate the table.  Mom taught me the technique the year she and Dad moved out of their home and in to a retirement facility. I had always wanted to learn and she, figuring that she couldn't be gathering and waxing fall leaves as easily in her tiny kitchen, passed along her knowledge.

This year I dipped lots of leaves, small and large, yellow, red, and orange, into the melted paraffin wax. They were lovely on the Thanksgiving table.

What's needed are fall leaves: flattened and dry
A sturdy, large pot to melt the wax on the stovetop
Paraffin wax (buy in the grocery store), one package is plenty
A large bowl of cold water

Pick a sizable sturdy pot (something you can use year after year for this purpose), preferably something you won't need to clean of all the wax (it sticks like glue to the bottom of the pan!). I use the same pot over and over each year and for no other purpose. You can pick up a pot for a few bucks at a thrift shop and devote it to this purpose.

Melt the paraffin wax over low heat. When melted completely, turn heat OFF or to lowest heat setting. If the wax is too hot, the leaves burn and curl up on the edges. Using the stem of the leaf, DIP the leaf into the melted wax, covering completely. Let the leaf drip excess wax back into the pot. Then, transfer the leaf immediately into the bowl of cold water. This seals the wax on to the leaf. Then, place the dipped leaf on spread newspaper to dry off.

Repeat until finished. The leaves last one season. I usually pitch mine out around Christmas and wait until the following November to start in again.

As for the second part of this prompt....I'd love to learn how to make a quilt. When my Mom died, my friend Paula suggested that I make a quilt out of certain of Mom's sweaters and other special clothing (she had so many beautiful jackets). This is a great idea; thanks Paula.

1 comment:

  1. This is quite the blogging project you've taken on. I have been reading along, impressed with the prompts and the depth of your answers.

    I'm glad you posted the instructions for waxing leaves. I've never tried it but love the final product.


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