When I was a little girl growing up in the woods of Michigan, I had a thing for collecting autumn leaves. When summer's greenery had faded to yellow, orange and red, I would gather an assortment from my favorite trees...the pin oak, the sugar maple, and especially the sassafras. After carting home armloads of prime specimens, I would iron them between layers of waxed paper, sometimes with the oh-so-colorful crayon shavings. And then I would make stuff out of them.
Books, mostly. Little albums of leaves, with the names of the trees dutifully labeling each page. I went through this ritual year after year, from probably age five until well into my teens.
Then I took a hiatus from this tradition for a few years, but I didn't give it up completely. Just a few seasons back, my pent-up enthusiasm for book-bound leaf collections exploded in a new creation.
I had so much fun making this book.
And to tell you the truth, I feel another autumn leaf extravaganza coming on. It'll still be a few weeks before the trees are in their full glory, so I have time to think about what I might make with this year's colorful crop. But you can be pretty sure that each leaf in my new autumn album will be properly labeled.
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More stories of my magical childhood adventures: