This weeks post comes after several trials of two different dishes that were both flops! I had no choice but to throw in the towel and bring out my crafty side because I don’t know what was going on with me this weekend in the kitchen. A refrigerator on the brink of death didn’t help either; I had to throw out almost $200 worth of food from my freezer today after I found ice cubes that I put in there yesterday afternoon that were still water this morning. I’m not impressed.
All in all it was a half decent weekend. On Saturday Mairead and I along with cousins Janna and Piper, made our way to the annual pumpkin festival in Smoky Lake. Aside from a pretty cold and rainy dreary day, the festival itself was pretty impressive. There were events for all ages in venues all over town and lots to see. Considering we were trekking all over town on foot in the rain, the two wee ones were troopers. Expect to see us again next year Smoky Lake!
Today was a little more relaxed; Aaron is of course working far far away so Mairead and I headed 0ff to church then hung out for most the day. Mai has had a lot of questions about nature lately so we made it outside for some exploring on the trails which is my favorite part of Fort Saskatchewan. After answering her questions about lady bugs, pot holes, and falling leaves I got an idea on what on what I wanted to make for some fall decor around the house. Our exploring quickly turned to leaf gathering which were easy to come by, except for the symbolic maple leaf which seems to be pretty scarce in this area of the country. After about an hour of searching for a maple tree we gave up and headed for home only to find a small one in my neighbors yard a few doors down. I really hope he wasn’t home to see me plucking the perfect leaf from his tree!
Clay is still something I am getting used to and have no real finesse with yet, but I do enjoy some of the projects that have come from just messing around with it (check out my DIY marble clay bowls here!) You will want to make sure your leaves are free of dirt and completely dry before pressing them into the clay. Also try not to handle the clay too much as it softens and is difficult to keep shape. One trick I have learned that may help if your clay becomes too soft is placing flattened out chunks between sheets of paper under a heavy book for a couple of hours. The paper draws out some of the moisture and makes the clay more manipulable. So there you have it, do-it-yourself clay leaves. Happy creating!
Do-It-Yourself Clay Leaf Impressions
Knife or clay cutting tool
Sealant or gloss paint* (optional)
What to do: (Photo instructions below):
Preheat oven 275 degrees.
Judging by the size of your leaves separate a chunk of clay and soften slightly with your fingers, than roll into a ball.
Flatten the ball onto a protected surface (ex: cutting board) and roll out clay to about 1/4 inch thickness.
Place the leaf or (several leaves if there is room on the same piece of clay) and roll over once with the rolling pin with slight pressure.
Using your knife, cut along the leaf as best you can. Peel the excess clay away then tidy up the edges using your fingers or your knife.
Carefully peel back the leaf and set aside or discard if you no longer have use for it.
Lay clay leaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Once removed from oven allow to cool completely.
If using a sealant, one to three coats is normally suffice; allow to dry completely in between coats.
By Three Happy Folk