Undoubtedly, autumn is one of my favorite times of the year in Scandinavia. In about a month the cities and forest turn into bright yellows, oranges and reds. The trees perform a magnificent nature spectacle before they elegantly lose their leaves and welcome the silent winter.
Transition seasons are remarkably stunning here.
The light summer days are long waited for and received with festivities and the winter months seem to last an eternity. Is so that Scandinavian people receive spring is received as a celebration of the return of light and the autumn season marks the beginning of preparations for the dark winter days.
Imagine spending from October to March with around 6-3 hours of light a day and mostly indoors. It is all about coziness these months, and here Swedes are experts on decoration all year round.
Less is more, reuse, recycle and take care of the environment. Swedes love for nature is more than a hobby but deeply rooted in the culture. I love to go around and observe how the local stores and cafes decorate their windows with little pumpkins, pine cones and leaves; little candles and blankets on the chairs.
Today I am bringing you here a craft I did my first year in Sweden:
This can be done any time of the year, it is easy, fun and for everyone! However the colors of the autumn and the fact that the leaves are already on the ground leave us two main advantages to chose it now. First, as I said the leaves are already fallen, what means we don't have to pick any from the tree and we can be kinder to mother Earth. And second, the colors of the autumn provide a fantastic range of possibilities.
The idea is simple: Printing the natural pigment of the leaf on fabric.
The technique even easier.
Take a fabric that you like. Chose a light and thin fabric, it can be a pillow case, cheese cloth, a curtain, etc.
Pick up some leaves you like. Look around for the red maple leaves, or the brown oak ones, maybe yellow too!
Place the leaves on one half of your fabric, get original on your design!
Fold the fabric and start hammering! Hammering is what extracts the pigment out of the leave. You may even notice that the leaf "gets stuck" on the fabric. It is OK.
After you have hammered your guts out you can unfold the fabric and take the little pieces of leaf that may remain stuck.
Now you have your Leaf Stamp!!
Hopefully you are left now with a beautiful leaf design on your curtain, pillow case or even a t-shirt.
AVOID WASHING IT!! In case you ever need to wash it do it by hand, in cold-mild temperature and very delicately.
Have fun and enjoy the Autumn time :)