The wonder of leaves!

This week, as I've been starting to get the Christmas decorations out I've been thinking a bit about leaves (well, a lot actually). I love making some of my own natural creations and while traipsing about looking for inspiration I stumbled across some delightful glittery leafy wonders for sale. Perfect for beautifying my own branches I thought.

So what next? I'd better get some branches then! What better excuse could there possibly be for my next adventure? So I got on the phone to my friend Clare to persuade her that she really did want to come to East Carlton Park with me for a 'nice little walk' in the autumn sunshine. Little did she know what was coming... Anyway, friend duly persuaded, perhaps by the lure of the sausage rolls at the cafe, off we went one late November morning.

And here we are branch collecting. At least Clare looks like she's enjoying herself. I promise I was too, it's just a very tricky business selecting the right branches! Concentration needed.

And it's okay, there were plenty of leaves to have proper fun with. Isn't it strange, and delightful, how given a pile of crispy curly leaves, even the most solemn of people can turn into giddy and exuberant souls. It is obligatory to run around in them by the way - connect to your inner child by stamping up and down in them and spraying them far and wide, leaf fights are actually quite fun... 

But, I now hear you asking whether anything useful decoration-wise actually come from this trip or was it actually just an hour of leafy madness? Well, it was an hour of leafy madness but of course I created something! Here it is. I must get a few more done though as this one on its own does look pretty naff to be honest. I also feel a bit of holly snaffling coming on...

Susan's pretty pretty leaf creation!

Susan's pretty pretty leaf creation!

And just for you, here's a few more of my leaf inspired creations. Some people would say I'm addicted to colouring in - perhaps I am a bit, but I can think of worse things to be addicted to. It's just so relaxing, takes little energy and the results can be soooo pretty, especially if you use sparkly, twinkly gel pens in all sorts of rainbow colours. These creations can even be put to good use - I used my design below on several birthday cards. The first picture was taken without using flash and you can see the autumnal colours, but when I turned on the flash it simply came to life and the colours twinkled, danced and shimmered off the page.

I also have this fantastic 'Colour Your Year' calendar, a present from last Christmas. This is how November turned out:

Colouring in from my calendar. I used a mixture of coloured pencils, felt-tipped pens and gel pens.

Colouring in from my calendar. I used a mixture of coloured pencils, felt-tipped pens and gel pens.

We really have had a glorious autumn this year, such intense colours, so many crispy leaves. It has been a truly uplifting season for me. A few weeks ago, on a really dull day, although totally uninspired to move, I had to go out for something. So, with much huffing and puffing, I peeled myself off the sofa and off I plodded under gloomy skies. But on reaching the park, what a splendid world of fluttery, golden, leafy wonder! I was almost dazzled by the trees - the bright yellows, browns, golds and reds forcing themselves at my eyeballs - what a contrast to the surrounds. And, as the leaves irresistibly pulled me towards them, creating that childish inner bounce, I was soon running and leaping like gazelle, springing through the multitude of colour and generating such a pleasing crunch. 

Then, what is that catching my eye, gleaming tantalisingly at me, peeking through the carpet of horse chestnut? Something shiny, something round, so smooth, so sparkly, myyyy preeeeciousssssssss (sorry, still got Lord of the Rings in my head). A dazzling beauty of nature - CONKERS!! These delights just seem to end up in my pockets and miraculously find a home on my shelves.

But now, as autumn turns into winter, the leaves that are left tend to be rather brown and often quite mushy. It can feel quite dreary again. Yet there have already been glimpses of wintry beauty still to come, several cold but glittering frosty mornings. So now I'm looking forward to a new kind of crunchy crispiness. Don't you just love the sound of frosty vegetation or snow underfoot? So, come on, bring it on!

Susan xx