Tonight, I read _Leaf Man_, by Lois Ehlert. It was appropriate since I had just collected leaves with a nephew for school, and saved some leaves for myself. My sister asked what I was going to do with the leaves. Like Lois Ehlert states in her book, my kids and I tend to grab leaves and keep them with no end use in mind. We’re just compelled to collect them. I’ll find cookbooks at home with leaves pressed in between the recipes from years ago.
In my early days of motherhood, I always envisioned taking the pressed leaves and flowers and having a border like a natural history museum wall in the basement. I glued specimens to cardstock, then looked for those trim pieces that schools have — the trim is two soft tubes. Put a piece of paper between the tubes and you can hang it without putting holes in the wall. The kids’ art teacher didn’t know what the trim was called, so we couldn’t find it in the index of her catalog.
My current use for pressed leaves and flowers is now modeled after my friend’s — modge podge and sugar cookie scented candles, cards, bookmarks, and placemats. I have seen education programs using laminated leaves. They last indefinitely and are good for making crayon rubbings.
I include a picture of our nature table here, with bumpy buckeye shells and osage apples that we’ve found as well as gourds (now rattles) and marigolds (from “I’s” garden) that we’ve dried. The neighbor’s lovely red maple leaves that “I” likes to place there usually blow away, but stand up nicely in the flower pots between the locust seed pods. I love fall.