November 17, 2009

Fall Leaf Place Cards


Last week might as well be dubbed my Discovery of 1,000 Duhs. First, there was the accidental delight of greek yogurt stirred into lentils. And after 27 years of half-hearted trying, I finally understand the thrill of video games. Which just goes to show that an idea only has to be new to you to bear the great flush of being groundbreaking. And isn’t that a load off since there is, as they say, nothing new under the sun. With that in mind, I now present to you something new to me: fallen leaves as place cards at your next party.

This particular “no, duh” idea didn’t occur to me until I was walking home from the stationery shop — really wanting hot chocolate for the second time in a week but trying to resist –when my attention was diverted. I crossed paths with a perfect-looking ginko leaf, exotically formed and vibrantly yellow. What could I use these for, I wonder?

I learned the hard way that you cannot make leaves into keepsakes of any kind unless you press them between the pages of your heaviest dictionary or they will curl up hideously and become brittle. They are in the process of decomposition, after all. Still very much infatuated with the idea after my initial fail, however, I went out into the drizzly rain on the afternoon of the party, the hood of my jacket pulled up, and carefully considered leaves on the wet sidewalk. I see myself as someone who takes her time, who notices the small beauties of life. But scoping for leaves really slows you down and literally brings your focus to the ground level. The usual thoughts that pop up when you are going through the motions of familiar, routine activities don’t have room to take root. Looking for leaves, there will be no anxieties about what’s going on next week, next year, and how you’re going to scheme your life from point A to point B. I’m not saying you won’t get weird looks, but it’s a heavenly little meditation to bring you into the present moment.

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  • Lisa (dinner party): So cute! I usually just scatter them across my mantle (yes, I am a weirdo leaf lady, too) but this is much more useful.8 years ago

  • beth: yep, this idea is new to me, too. i like the thought of bringing the outside in, but things like wreaths just aren’t my style. this, i could do.8 years ago

  • lisa, i like the idea of just scattering them around. wish i had a mantle!

    beth, wreaths always seem like such a great idea, but as soon as i look at directions they get instantly too hard for me.8 years ago

  • Hillary: I’ve laminated leaves before to keep their color – spray poly or shellac might work.8 years ago

  • anne: Beautifully written! Love the idea too.8 years ago

  • EB: Such a cute idea. Truthfully I’m a little scared to pick up anything that has fallen on the ground in my hood but maybe I could gaffle a few flora tidbits from a nice part of town eh?8 years ago

  • Emily: Growing up in Hawaii I never got to experience this aspect of season change.

    Now that I live on the mainland, I go a little leaf (and acorn and pumpkin) crazy every autumn.

    I have been having similar thoughts about the stunning ginko tree just out my door. Thanksgiving cards maybe? I’m not planning any parties so maybe I could just write tiny notes on them and slip them in letters I mail.

    Thank you, I always feel such a synchronicity with your blog8 years ago

  • Evon T.: Adoreable…. so you just used an electric typewriter to label them?8 years ago

  • Laura: I clicked from your leaf post to the NY Times where this piece caught my eye:

    Enjoy!8 years ago

  • Hillary, Good point about laminating them!

    Thanks, Anne.

    EB, I know what you mean. I was a little concerned (esp putting them right on the dinner table), but just wiped them off a little and got on with it. I mean, we take public transportation — that’s basically the same, right?

    Emily, I can completely understand being captivated by fall. I think slipping these into envelopes would be so sweet — you could even glue them onto a card to make them a bit more sturdy. Thank you for reading!

    Evon, I have a handy set of typewriter style rubber stamps that I use in situations like these since my handwriting is not the prettiest or most legible.

    Laura, Love it! Thank you!8 years ago

  • Judy Pomerantz: Where can I purchase these leaf place cards?8 years ago

  • Judy, They are for making, not for buying! 🙂 Just grab some leaves and go to it!8 years ago

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