Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Big Ol' Leaves

While living in Kansas for seven years,
we picked up a few habits.

A love for basketball, for one.
My husband became a Duke University fan,
mostly in opposition to his students
who were ardent Kansas University Jayhawk fans.

We also picked up drinking iced tea, not sweet though.
Although we left in 1994, occasionally a y'all will slip out now and then.

I also picked up this strange affinity for hedge apples,
although the first time I saw I thought it looked like a tennis ball.
Once I kicked it and nearly broke several toes, I realized
it's NOT as light as a tennis ball.

But, the all time, most favoritest thing we brought back from KS-
saying big ol'!
You don't catch a fish, you catch a big ol' fish.
Nobody has a large dog, they have a big ol' dawg.

Imagine my surprise in moving to the Pacific Northwest
and seeing my first  Big Leaf Maple.
When the leaves began to fall, I felt like I had to duck.
There's no better way to describe these puppies than by calling them
 big ol' leaves.
Some are bigger than a dinner plate.

This year, we had to get some
big ol' Maple leaves to decorate.

We had to go for a walk.
one sunny fall day in the beautiful PNW.
(I love Science class!)

Beka always has to walk with a wicker basket
hanging gracefully over her arm when we go on nature walks.
I think she's seen too many Jane Austen movies
to ever live a normal life again.

When we came home, we tucked our finds into our flower press.
My oldest daughter, Jana, made this at Bible camp years ago.
It's been well loved.

A few days later, they were dry.
Because my laminating sheets are 81/2 X 11,
I had to choose smaller BLM leaves to fit in the laminating pouches.

Hot off the press!

Once I trimmed around the edges,
they were ready to add some color to my
big ol' Fall mantle.

 Some of the leaves I let dry crinkly
to add some texture and interest to the display.

 Remember, these aren't the
biggestbig ol' Big Leaf Maple leaves,
these are just the punks that could fit in my laminator.
Still dreaming about how to
flatten and laminate the
biggest big ol' BLM leaves!

I'm thinking this week I'll pick some more
big ol' Big Leaf Maple leaves.
I think my big ol' sister, Laurie, ya'll know,
the ones that lives down in Kansas,
would like to decorate this fall with some
big ol' laminated leaves.

Maybe, she'll be so happy with her
big ol' older sister,
she'll send me a box of hedge apples.
Of course, I'll use them for display,
not soccer practice.

If you don't have access to laminating,
my sister in law dried her leaves,
dipped them in melted paraffin,
then let them air dry.

For generations, people ironed leaves between
waxed paper.

Dried leaves can be modge-podged onto
paper mache pumpins, glass jars,
and anything else your heart desires.

The best part about decorating with leaves?
They're free!


  1. Oh MM, you would probably not be able to stop yourself from laughing if you heard me talk...especially when I am tired. My drawl gets thicker and thicker. I learned to speak in NC....just sayin' ;)

    I love the leaves. They look fantastic.

  2. I think I need a laminating machine now. Perhaps if I put one on my Christmas list? ;)

    MommaMindy, I have a very huge favor to ask you. Would you mind emailing me at ltrontvet@gmail.com? I'm having a bit of a struggle right now with our language arts/English curriculum, and I'd love some advise from a momma who's been at this home schooling gig for awhile and has some additional insight. :)


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