26 March, 2015

What is so special about autumn?

Autumn is coming to the southern hemisphere.  We have had a wonderful long, hot summer but it is nice now to think of a little rain and some of the other lovely things that we only do when the weather is cooler.

One of the things I love about autumn is the fruit.  Fresh pears are probably one of my favourite fruits along with raspberries and mandarins. 

While it is still pretty hot during the day, I notice the nights are getting cooler and the liquidamber trees are starting to get that purple tinge to their leaves, that deep aubergine colour that is like no other.

I don't know about you but I love nuts too, almost any kind but especially cashew, pistachio and macadamia nuts.  Nuts always remind me of autumn.
Their wonderful textures and different shapes are so inviting that you have to just grab a few and nibble, not to mention all the other dishes they go in ...

I accidentally discovered leaf skeletons as an adult and wished I'd discovered them as a child.  Somehow they seem magical, almost as if the leaf has gone somewhere else - a bit like when a cicada sheds it's skin - and leaves behind a reminder not to forget it.


This one is made using a real liquidambar leaf (I think they are also called sweet gums) used as a stencil.  I rubbed over distress inks then sprayed glimmer mist before stamping the sentiment in the soft subtle green.

And these are using real gingko leaves, versamark-inked and heat embossed with copper embossing powder.  They are a simple shape, but are stunning all the same.   When they are inked and stamped they remind me of ballerina skirts made from tulle.

Such a variety of leaf shapes too, that you don't tend to notice so much in summer.  Look at not just the leaf margins, but look at the wrinkles and crinkles and insect-eaten bits and think of all the life that is encapsulated in one dying leaf.  In the space of nine months it has developed from a tiny bud, grown and stretched and danced in the wind and provided food for the tree itself, and now grows smaller and it seems is trying to curl up into it's smallest shape again.
So look around for the shapes, colours, textures, smells and foods of autumn - they are what make it a special season, freely given for our pleasure.