The season: Autumn, of course!
The cast: A group of seven sister-friends, six localish, and one dear wife and mama ministering with her husband in a farther-away place that sometimes seems to skip fall altogether.
The hope: To create a craft for each family in the swap, inspired by autumn nature, making an effort to choose handwork that welcomes even the help of little ones.
For last year's swap, we rolled red and orange yarn into apples and pumpkins, with brown and green pipe cleaners for stems and leaves! My children loved holding the cardboard rectangle and rolling to their heart's content. (They especially loved when Mama would lose her grip on the ball of yarn when they rolled a little too fanatically and it tumbled about the house. Hmmmm.)
For our offering this year, I was inspired by this Etsy shop- her dear little nursery twinkle lights in pastel hearts and circles got my creative juices flowing- I immediately pictured autumn leaf twinkle lights!
While adorable and so fitting in theory, I quickly realized it was quite the undertaking; with seven swappers in our group, I needed to keep the twinkle-light strands at a lower count or the sheer amount of cutting might very well be my undoing. Happily, I found some strands of ten lights, so this meant we only had to cut out 140 different leaf pairs! Gorgeous, autumn-colored felt and easy printable leaf shapes helped make quicker work of the task. (And cutting while listening to my husband read the final chapters of Lord of the Rings to our boys sure helped, too!)
The running stitch required to close the leaves around each light proved to be a more difficult task for the male hands in our house; a delighted Eliana sat and stitched five leaf pairs by herself, but both of my big boys drew the line at one. Ha! No matter- evenings spent re-watching Lark Rise to Candleford transported my stitching to a hamlet cottage in front of a crackling fire. (Dear Queenie, what words of wisdom have you for me tonight?)
And so they trickle in, the handwork of my friends and their families finding homes on window panes and barren walls and tabletops... and I am grateful for the hands that made them.
More pictures to come...
Happy autumn, sister-friends!
All photos by my sweet sister, Bethany, who has both great talent in photography and an amazing camera, of which I have neither.