Monday, November 14, 2011

Leaf Me Alone

Financial Investment: $ ($1 - 5)
Emotional Investment: J It’s all good
Worth the Investment: - Don’t bother!

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I decided to take on a Martha Stewart craft which called for leaves. Lord knows that we have enough of them in the Northwest; especially after a windy day!  So, I enlisted the help of Peaches and my niece Julia and set out to collect some cool leaves at my dad’s house.  I focused mostly on the Japanese maple leaves because I love the reddish color and the shape is just too cool.
Japanese maple on the bottom.  Cool, right?

I dried them using an ancient method… I placed several leaves between two pieces of newspaper and then put them in the middle of a super duper heavy old-fashioned dictionary. 

Big ol' dictionary!

After about a week, I figured they were probably dry, so I set out for the next step and selected the window in which to make this God-awful curtain.  I chose one based on how often I look out of it – right above the kitchen sink.  Now, a smart person would’ve thought, “Hmmm, this might be difficult because it’s hard to get to.  You practically have to sit in the sink in order to access it properly.” 

My view when I'm washing dishes which seems like 90% of my day
I measured the window and calculated that I would need 24 pressed leaves – 2 for each window pane.  (Side note: Martha writes in her instructions that you’ll need two per pane, but in her picture example, there are SIX.  Huh?)

I cut out 48 pieces of wax paper using my rotary mat, quilter’s ruler and an X-acto knife.  I placed a leaf in the middle of two pieces, and then placed that wax/leaf sandwich in between two pieces of Kraft paper.  I set my iron to a low temperature and ironed away which left me with what Martha so eloquently refers to as a leaf "swatch."

The Kraft paper after being saturated by the waxed paper

After repeating the process 24 times, I proceeded to the next step – laying out the pattern I wanted.  I placed them on the dining room table and didn’t use a mathematical equation or anything, but I changed things around until it felt “right.”  Whatever that means.

The next to last step was to sew the swatches.  I chose a normal sewing needle and some basic white thread and sewed them together.  That was the most time consuming aspect and after sewing 12 of them together, I decided to cut my losses and quit the whole thing.  I did half a window… that’s enough for me!

I begrudgingly took my hot mess of leaf “swatches” and sat in the kitchen sink to hang it up (with some good old-fashioned translucent tape). 

I hate that I wasted time making something that looks like I pulled it out of some sort of memory box that my mom kept with all my grade school projects. 

It hung above the sink for all of about an hour before I ripped it down.