Thanks Giving Leaves

A few weeks ago I collected these colorful leaves during one of my walks around the neighborhood.  I was enamored by the assortment of shapes and sizes and the beautiful shades ranging from rust to crimson with spots of sunshine – so warm and alive.


Holding this extra-large leaf made me feel somewhat small.  It was a good reminder that within this large world I am only a very small part…life is about so much more – outside of myself and my own little world.


Okay, on to making some leaves.  I began by splitting open a paper grocery bag, flattening it out and then I painted the inside part of the bag with shades of autumn.


Then I used the real leaves that I collected as templates by tracing around each leaf and cutting out the shapes with scissors. After this I crumpled the leaves up and then flattened them back out to create a more natural texture.  Here’s what they look like placed along my mantle.


I like how this bright spot of red pops amongst the the other items on the mantle.


I also like how the colors of the leaves compliment the star artwork (I made these awhile ago with string and tacks on painted canvas).


Here’s a close-up of the crumpled up texture.  With so much color, I didn’t want to add busy embellishments.


But a week later I changed my mind and added just a touch to one of the leaves.


These words came to me while I was thinking about the Thanksgiving holiday and what it means to me.  It’s a simple thought, but it can be deep and wide…as I sit in silence and focus on each and every blessing. Then I can feel my throat tighten and an urge to swallow the lumps…as I take it all in.  The power of gratitude is immense…


…it makes me want to give, what I have already received…and then some.  I like how “thanks” goes hand in hand with “giving”, making it complete.  “Thanksgiving” is not only my favorite holiday, it’s also one of my favorite words.










11 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Jeanette in Illinois

    I love what you did with a brown paper bag!! What great texture! And, your embellishments are perfect, and so you!
    Sending you an abundance of blessings. I am grateful for your generous spirit sharing all your lovelies with us!

    November 24th, 2013

  2. Your brown paper bag leaves are as beautiful as the leaves you collected in nature. The colors and texture are equally alike. Beautifully displayed dear…

    November 24th, 2013

  3. I did this too Becky! Yours are gorgeous…I made paper bag leaves and went to the local Senior Center and taught a class. Everyone had so much fun! I love displaying nature it always invites sunshine indoors~

    November 24th, 2013

  4. Becky,
    Your creativity always amazes me. The leaves are just so lovely and are a perfect way of preserving some of the beauty of our lovely New England forests. Your work always has such depth of meaning.

    The words you chose, Be still and appreciate, have such meaning to me. I have an abundance of appreciation for the many blessings of my life, but regardless of how much I try to be “still” and in the moment, I always feel like I could have embraced each experience fuller.

    As always, thank you for all your inspiration and the Happiest ThanksGiving to you and your family,


    November 24th, 2013

  5. Jani Howe

    I love leaves also, and use them a lot. My sister-in-law in England collects leaves for me. When I use them on cards, I always put a note on the back of the card “Leaves from a garden in England”. I’m sure it adds a special touch to the recipient to read that. Thank you for the lovely thought, and for the creative, simple and beautiful use of leaves, Becky!

    November 24th, 2013

  6. Wendy

    Be still and appreciate Becky’s illuminating art….Blessings!

    November 24th, 2013

  7. Linda K

    I love how you created your own leaves Becky and your vignette is so beautiful… those felted birds are just the sweetest. The whole theme comes together so beautifully with your canvases. Your love of nature and light certainly shines through. Blessings and a happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    November 25th, 2013

  8. laura

    just lovely, and yes others have used this word to describe your work. I think it best describes it and you. Just put a paper bag under the sink for a future project, hmmm. I’ve already moved onto winter and Christmas- we had our Thanksgiving in October. will keep the idea for next year. thank you for sharing your beauty, inside and out with us.
    have a week filled with beauty and gratitude. grace.

    November 25th, 2013

  9. Becky Shander

    Thank you for all your kind messages ladies…I really appreciate it, truly and deeply.

    November 26th, 2013

  10. Becky Shander

    Jani, It sounds like you have a very thoughtful sister-in-law. And she must think it’s special that you treat her leaves so preciously…just goes to show you how one good thing leads to another.

    November 26th, 2013

  11. ann marie

    Absolutely gorgeous — I love love love the mantle! Beautiful job — happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    November 26th, 2013

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