Sunday 18 September 2016

2016 #18 Autumn Leaves {Challenge}

 2016 Topic 18: Autumn Leaves

Well hello everyone, Darcy here, welcome to out newest topic. This one calls out to me for many reasons, I love Autumn, especially the colours. The leaves are falling, drying out and providing a crunchy carpet underfoot. The blazing sun of summer (hmm maybe not) has passed but there is still that lovely warmth. 

Evenings have that little nip in the air, somehow that is comforting as it makes you dig out your favourite sweater, scarves and gloves. Wrapping up snugly for Autumn walks on a Sunday afternoon is quite special.

Gibbous Fashions

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 17: Making Marks Challenge...
I am so glad you took the plunge and had a go at mark making, I know it sounds scary and seems like you need to be good at drawing but that is not the case at all. Even the simplest of marks can be interesting, both in backgrounds and as focal images. 

The winner of Making Marks is: Hazel  from Mellifluous Meanderings

Email Darcy to claim your prize.

So let's talk leaves! What do we know about them? well firstly on evergreen species the leave mostly stay on, and on deciduous species the leaves fall off. The shapes vary enormously, these are defined by the types of edges; smooth, fringed, toothed, serrated, indented,wavy and spiny. 

The way the leaves are arranged on the stems can also vary; alternating, opposite, in rows, rising from the base and rosette formations. As for leaf surfaces there can be leathery, waxy, smooth, hairy,sticky, spotted, wrinkled and warty!

Phew! so many differences! but there is more, the veins vary too, they are sunken below the surface and carry food and water to the plant or tree. These can be arching, split, aligned, palmate, parallel, secondary, branching or rotating.

People have always taken pleasure in trying to preserve natural beauty that surrounds us,there are examples of leaf rubbings going back as far as 1425. Even Leonardo Da Vinci pressed leaves into some of his manuscripts. In 1543 the first botanical gardens were set up in Pisa, there they catalogued and displayed leaves especially those useful for making perfumes and medicines. 

In the 16th and 17th centuries people would decorate prints that they owned, much like we use old book pages now. Here is a print of a rhino, you can see the borders have had leaves added to them. 

There have been many ways of preserving the beauty and fragility of leaves. In 1854 they used electrotyping to produce exact copies. By 1862 the negatives from photos of leaves were used when creating woodblocks. These were incredibly popular in the domestic market. 

The most fragile leaves of course are skeleton leaves. This is an ancient art, going back to the Chinese during the Ming Dynasty. It used to be a very lengthy process that would take several weeks. But now you can make your own skeleton leaves really quickly. Check out THIS SITE to see how to make them. 

If you don't fancy boiling up your leaves, how about cutting sections away to create a different kind of skeleton. 

Leaf rubbings are something we have probably all tried, but how about printing with leaves. add your paint or ink directly to the leave and you are ready to go. 


This has to be the most stunning wreath that I have ever seen. 

Of course you don't have to use real leaves, you can easily make your own. Check out this post by Tim Holtz. 

These fantastic leaves have been created by Carol Windsor, she laminates sterling silver between layers of paper to create amazing jewellery. 

These ones by Lena Pavlova have been felted. This is a beautiful collar, and would look stunning over a black outfit, but can you imagine if it was extended into a decorate scarf.. oh yumminess!

For an autumn evening how about these lovely candle holders made from air drying clay, they could be a table decoration for a late supper or placed in the garden while you relax with a drink. 

Lightly Enchanted
Take your clay moulding to a smaller scale with a stunning pendent like this one. 

Fable and Fairy
C*****mas is coming! ( I couldn't bring myself to type it just yet) but it is indeed coming, and these glittery leaves would make a stunning garland which you could make for autumn and leave up over the holidays. 

House of Jade
There are so many ways to cut out leaves, either by hand, using punches or using metal dies. Here is one example layered up onto a card. utilising all the neutral shades as supporting layers. 

Ana K
Kellie has made some gorgeous Autumn leaves, see how she made them HERE and then join her in this video to see how she uses the leaves to make a journal page. 

Here is another stunning journal page, just look at those rich zingy colours. 

When it comes to mixed media, leaves are a definite favourite, both for their shapes and for their colours. This one incorporates copper pieces and watercolour paper leaves. 

Carol Nelson
This piece feels more abstract, but you can still see the Autumnal elements collaged together. 

Anna Baldwin
Another great mashup is this piece which is primarily a photography but also has embroidery added. 

Patricia Casey
I am not a scrapbooker, but I am always fascinated and in awe of pages like this, this is the kind of page I want to make. 

Dagmara Kos
Leaves do not need to look like realistic leaves, they can be stylized, fresh and funky. 

Danielle Donaldson
With this topic we don't want to limit you to just using leaves, so have a think about the colour schemes that Autumn leaves bring to mind. There are so many stunning, rich, jewel-like tones that you can use. 

This stunning art doll is very clearly dressed for autumn, those deep rich tones work perfectly together. 

Martha Boers
Here you can see another journal page, no leaves here but you instantly get that autumnal feel from the lovely colours. 

Don't you just want to run your fingers over these gorgeous autumn beads. 

Carolyn Saxby
If you are in the UK then perhaps make a visit to Wallsworth Hall in Gloucester, here you will find the Nature in Art Gallery and Museum. It is the first in the world that is dedicated to art works, fine,applied and decorative,  inspired by nature. Find out more about it HERE. 

Leaves in their original state are purely ephemeral, for the briefest time their shape, colour and beauty is admired, then it fades and crumbles away. It is no wonder then that we try to capture the memory in artwork. 

 Have fun over the next 2 weeks and show us how you can capture Autumn. 

Don't forget to follow Darcy and Leandra's Pinterest boards if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! 


Topic 18: Autumn Leaves PaperArtsy Blog Challenge

We'd love you to share your ideas and link up your creative response to our current blog topic. Take a minute to read the challenge guidelines below.

All links go in the draw to win a voucher to spend on products of your choice from the PaperArtsy online store. The Autumn Leaves link will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, Oct 2nd winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

1. The challenge is a for you to show how you are inspired by the current blog topic.

Your entry should contain:
- a mention of which post inspired you and why, and 
- a link in your blog post to that original post on the PA blog.

The whole concept of this challenge is 'play along with us'. You are encouraged to put your own twist on ideas you see on our blog, do your own thing - whatever grabs you!

2. The link you put on our linky page must lead directly to the specific post on your blog where you have explored the technique/ idea mentioned in point 1 above. Don't link to the home page of your blog.

3. We prefer your challenge blog post is created exclusive to our challenge, but if our topic fits perfectly with another challenge, then you may link to both if appropriate.

4. You are most welcome to use stamps/ products/ substrates you have to hand from a variety of companies, we do not expect you to exclusively use PA products - it's lovely when you do though!

6. You can enter as many times as you like. We don't want to restrict your creativity! 
NB. Link closes at 17:00 Sunday Oct 2nd   (London Time)

7. The winner of the random draw will receive a £50 credit voucher to be redeemed on the PaperArtsy Website. The credit voucher includes VAT and postage. We request that one of your purchases is an A5 rubber stamp. You can add any other items to your basket, but the final total should not exceed £50.

8. Each fortnight on Sunday, the winner will be announced at 19:00 (London time). In the same post, the link for the next fortnight will be posted. 

9. It's your responsibility to claim your prize coupon from Darcy. 

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Miriam said...

Congratulations Hazel.

What a lovely topic this is. Autumn is my favourite season. I love seeing the leaves turn in colour.

Fabulous inspiration!

Hazel Agnew said...

Thankyou Paperartsy....whoop, whoop! Embracing the Autumn topic already! Xx

Wendy Mallas said...

BEADS! Oh yes 😍😍

Jennie Atkinson said...

A fabulous theme and some amazingly wonderful inspirational pieces. Not much in the way of Autumn leaves here in the north (they've all blown away .........) but I love making them instead!

Kirsten said...

Well done to Hazel. Beautiful examples for the new challenge.

geezercrafter said...

Congratulations to Hazel, excellent intro into Autumn!!

Inky and Quirky Designs said...

Wow what a fantastic theme, I absolutely love everything leafy :)
Donna xx

Julie Lee said...

What a delight these blog posts are with their collections of beautiful images and excellent commentary. They never fail to inspire.I'm off to check out how to create my own skeleton leaves now! Congratulations to Hazel and many thanks for a lovely theme and blog post to PaperArtsy. xx

rainy said...

You sure are a leaf aficionado. They were all so stunning. Then I saw even more of your amazing work. Thanks for sharing!

craftimamma said...

Congratulations Hazel, enjoy your win! Fab post Darcy and what a gorgeous theme.

Lesley Xx

craftytrog said...

Love this theme, and a fantastic array of inspiration Darcy!

Suzanne C said...

I love the leaves and your post is so inspiring with so many different ideas to spawn creativity!

Cocofolies said...

What a fabulous post. Thank you Darcy.
Hope I can join in this challenge this time, I haven't play with you all for so long... And I love the Autumn colours and leaves!! Coco xx

Felix the Crafty Cat said...

Gorgeous inspiring work from the DT. I just love all those gorgeous rusty colours. Happy crafty week, Angela x

Unknown said...

Well done Hazel! Cant believe I forgot the deadline for making marks... I'm off to write the deadline for this one down so I don't miss it! Love the theme. 😊

Lucy Edmondson said...

What a great challenge intro! And hooray for hazel!

Lucy x

Etsuko said...

Congratulations to Hazel. What a fantastic theme and fabulous samples. xx

Kitty said...

I love that you give detailed history of a specific theme/challenge. Is it possible to link up without a blog?

Victoria said...

hi! autumn is my favorite season, very nice post:)