Tag Archive for 'leaves'

Autumn Leaves and New Jewelry

As typical for this time of year, I’ve been a little fall leaf obsessed. A few weeks back I was walking around my neighborhood when a mother, pushing a stroller turned onto the sidewalk headed towards me. Immediately I heard her say “honey, we can’t keep picking up every leaf” and I chuckled to myself because I’m sure she hadn’t yet seen me or the giant stack of colorful autumn leaves I had been picking up myself.

Anyone else having problems sharing from Instagram?

Naturally, I had the idea to use these beautiful leaves as props for some leaf jewelry for my shop.

robayre on etsy

Every fall I am so thankful for our neighbor's burning bush #fromwhereistand

Usually I feel Fall whips by so quickly 💨🍁🍂, but this year it's hanging on. Ive been able to ride my bike to work in November! I'm still adding new leaf jewelry to the shop, necklaces and rings (link in my profile)

Fall in northern Illinois

new pieces in the shop

Those teeny tiny bits of blue peeking through. In a couple days this tree will be naked 😔

robayre pendant peach leaf5

This one goes out to @bzedan and @atelier_mame. I went for a walk earlier today too and found this one red orange leaf on a pile of brown and yellow leaves. A week ago I was walking down my street when a mother pushing a stroller turned onto my sidewalk a

leaf green yellow front robayre

A favorite area in town to drive down during the fall

robayre necklace pink red leaf

Autumn Leaves

robayre green spots leaf pendant

It’s been a while since I’ve made any of these pieces, but I had a custom a little bit ago, so I made a whole batch. While there are elements of real leaves in each piece, the color you see is my own watercolor work. See more variety at robayre.etsy.com

Bat Garland

Bat garland

Just in time for Halloween I’m dropping in to share this bat garland I made.

A couple of weeks ago I was at Target and saw the above brilliant bat chandelier. It was only $15, but I’m trying to spend money wisely and thought I could probably make something just as awesome for a fraction of the cost. Fast forward 2 weeks, and mere hours before Halloween and I finally finished my “cheap” replacement. (Cheap is in quotes because if time is money, this garland is worth a FORTUNE.)

Bat garland

I think the original chandelier was made with black paper, and double plyed and wings spread, thus giving the mobile more “action”. I wanted to use a material that would be more lasting, so I bought firm/rigid black acrylic felt. If it had been paper, it would have taken a fraction of the time, because I could have cut multiple piece at once. Later one I realized I should have looked in the scrapbooking paper section for some flocked black paper. I drew out a template on scrap paper and used a white colored pencil to trace out each bat on the felt. Sometimes I winged it, badumbum, and went free style to make bigger or smaller bats, and bats in different stages of flight. I purchased 4 sheets of 9×12″ felt at $1.19 each and spent evenings watching Penny Dreadful season 1 tracing and cutting bats.

I'm cutting out some Halloween bats for a last minute decoration and the scraps are kinda lovely

I even had some fun playing with the lovely negative cut-aways.

Bat garland

I used two lengths of Halloween ribbon as the base of the garland, and hung each bat from some black string, and voila, it was enough to go back and forth and back again in our foyer and looks lovely against our ikea chandelier, through the transom window, and should delight trick or treaters as they approach the house tomorrow.

Bat garland

Pumpkin Tree

And just for the holiday’s sake, here is our annual pumpkin tree.

And the gif I made of the same tree in 2013, taking a picture every single day while the colors changed and dropped its leaves. Our pumpkin collection has grown quite a bit since then.

Happy Halloween!

Fall Leaf Autumn Garland (take II)

10.19 shower leaf garland

This past weekend my friends Courtney, Bryanne, Janey and I threw a baby shower for our friend Ann. The party was magical woodland themed and Courtney hosted it at her house. I’m here to share this leaf garland/mobile (above) that I made as decoration for the party.

10.23. leaf garland close up

Courtney reminded me of this garland (above) I made for the Craft Day a couple of years ago, and then Bryanne shared a link to this leaf mobile, so I combined the two into one.


This time around I actually used acrylic leaves, rather than drying and pressing real ones like last time. Ironically, it wasn’t until I got them home that I realized the leaves on the garlands I bought were much more dimensional, so I ended up lightly ironing them flat-ish between dish towels after all. Afterward, I painted scribbley patterns with acrylic craft paints on each leaf. I used a needle and string to attach the leaves to the branch. How suiting that I felt like I was channeling Ann’s pom pom garlands while I worked.

I think we successfully showered @abeautifulparty today. So-so excited for the arrival of #babyMaybeGosser

I’ll be back later this week to share the invitation that I illustrated for the shower. I loved how it came out, so stay tuned!

Happy Halloween

I’ve had a full and happy Halloween season.

I’ve been listening to my Monster Mash themed pandora station for weeks. Yesterday my day started out with Harry Belafonte singing Jump in Line which will always evoke the image of Winona Ryder’s Lydia in Beetlejuice, dancing in the air.


I carved pumpkins twice! Once with my brother, SIL, and nephew and once with Matt and some friends (pictured above). My pumpkin is the top left (same as last year’s).

We went to look at the pumpkins on the courthouse lawn at Pumpkin Fest in Sycamore, IL. I liked this one that used pumpkin and gourd to make an apple core.

I cut out and painted a bunch of pumpkin signs for family members and then made myself a ghost to hang on the front of our house. Thanks goes out to the previous owners of our house, who left us tons of huge pieces of particle board to make plenty of holiday signs from.

I guess I’ve started a ghost collection. From left to right Axelhoney, plastic keychain from walgreens years ago, and TheLittleRedDoor.

I bought these plastic masks that I’ve been wanting for a long time.

I’ve enjoyed the fall leaves changing colors and noticing the fallen leaves are like nature’s confetti.

We went to two apple orchards including a new to me one. My coworker/friend was telling me all about Honey Hill Orchard in nearby Waterman and it is my new favorite orchard. It’s like real country, not fake and swarming with people from the suburbs. I just can’t take the crowds of the other two places nearby. Honey Hill has honey bees and their own honey (I took the above picture with my macro lens on iphone), as well as a little petting zoo where I pet the sweetest horse and bought apples to make apple sauce.

We went to my brother’s annual Ghost Story Telling Bonfire. It was a spooooky evening ;)

Hope you are having or have had a happy Halloween with plenty of tricks and treats!

12 hour Craft Extravaganza and Fall Leaf Garland

This weekend was the 12 Hour Craft Extravaganza that my sister’s church organizes. It was my second year attending. Some may think “12 hours of crafting!? How can you stand to sit and craft for that long” but really, it goes by soooo fast. Both years I have brought so much stuff, thinking I’d accomplish so much, and in the end realize you would need several more 12 hours to finish it all.
I’ve been working on this origami project where I will need about 150 origami lilies. I worked on it for 2 hours that day and I think I only finished about 10 lilies. I timed myself and if I’m focused and work straight through it takes between 6 to 7 minutes to fold one lily, not including curling the leaves. This means there was a lot of breaks and chatting while working. I had gone in thinking I might be able to finish all of the pieces, yeah right.
photo.JPG Paper flag bunting tutorial
Next I worked on some bunting. I had been wanting to make some washi tape bunting for a while, so I did that. It wasn’t as quick and easy as I had imagined. I also made some of my regular itty bitty bunting for my etsy orders.

This happened today

My big project were these leaves above. They were inspired by a post on Alisa Burke’s blog where she painted right on leaves and made a garland. I can not remember the original source, maybe craft magazine or craft gawker? There was the Martha Stewart DIY about dipping leaves in wax to prolong their colors. It makes me think of ironing leaves in wax paper during elementary school, but with dipping you get the beautiful and dimensional leaves alone, not stuck together, hidden between papers.

Alisa’s leaves on the left, Martha’s leaves on the right.

The leaves have been falling and I remembered these crafts that I had pinned…

so I gathered as many different colored and shaped leaves as I could find.

A fellow crafter at the event told me about a tool she had and then ran home real quick to bring it back to me. It’s called the Micrfluer and allows you to press and dry leaves in the microwave in about 45 seconds. Not only is it speedy, but it also retains the color much more than pressing the leaves in a book. In the picture above you can see the two green leaves. The one on the left is pressed and dry, while the one on the right is still curled and wet. As it turns out my sister also has one of these tools so she lent it to me.

A couple cool things about the Microfluer: Once you have the tool that is all you need. You don’t need to keep buying replaceable parts that get used up with every pressing. Also, after you dry the leaves they remain fairly  flexible, unlike leaves dried in a book which become brittle and crumble apart. The woman who lent me the contraption even had some leaves she said were 8-10 years old and are still perfectly fine!


Next I painted bold patterns on my leaves with inexpensive acrylic craft paint. If you didn’t want to press or dry your leaves you could just paint right on newly fallen leaves like Alisa did.


Then because I’m a craft addict, I just happen to already have a little crock pot devoted to wax, so I just warmed it up and started dipping. I was worried that the paint might come off, but it didn’t. The leaves kind of regained some curl when I pulled them from the wax. I just let the wax drip off and then set it on a plastic sheet when it was mostly cooled and pressed it between pages in a book, and they flattened again quickly.

With the dried leaves, the paint and then wax, I think these leaves will be safe and protected for a long time. As long as I am careful to store them safely each year I should be able use them again and again as a fall decoration.

10.23. leaf garland close up

Originally I wanted to tie the stems with a string, like in the Martha Stewart diy, but hang them across, in a garland like the Alisa Burke post. When I went to attach the string to the first leaf I quickly realized it wasn’t going to work when the leaves would keep turning every which way, not laying flat or parallel to wall, AND THEN while trying to straighten the string on the stem so it would lay properly the stem broke right off. When I returned home I punched two holes in each leaf and fed a string in and out to create the banner as you can see above.

While I was working I thought this would be a great project for my sister in law and 2 year old nephew to do together. He could paint on the leaves and then she could hang them as a fall decoration. He could just paint randomly, as two year olds do, and that would be beautiful. Each year he could do more and have his name and age painted on the backs of the leaves so the garland grows over time.  I also had the idea of either masking letters on each leave while he paints over it then revealing a word or phrase when you peel away the letters and string the leaves together.

We got to play with our crafts, enjoy great conversation and were treated with delicious meals.  It was a great second 12 Hour Craft Extravaganza and time flew by.

‘Roid Week 2012 – Day Two


I recently found the picture above in a stack of polaroids outtakes I took at least 4 years ago. I think it was right around the time that Polaroid announced that they were stopping production. I remember at the the time still seeing plenty of Polaroid products on the shelves and thinking “yeah right, Polaroid will never be gone”. Aaaand, you can tell, by that stack of pictures that I took of this same thing over and over until I could get the image perfectly centered. The final piece was sent to Marta in either Portugal or France where she lives now, for one of our mail swaps.
A small portion of my polaroids from back when I'd burn through packs like Polaroid instant would never run out
Years later, Polaroid instant film is gone. It’s not entirely gone, in that The Impossible Project picked up one of the factories and is producing film. But long gone are the days of buying 30 shots for 20 bucks. Fortunately, there are also many fuji products that fit in a variety of Polaroid cameras, as well as their own instant cameras.

Documenting the fall

In the last week Matt and I have been doing some rearranging. We moved our “living room” which was previously in the finished basement, up to the actual living room area. The office, which was previously in the “living room” is now in the finished basement. Matt’s brother and sister-in-law were so kind to give us their 61″ HDTV and there was no way we were carrying that down the stairs, so instead we just did a switch-a-roo. The reason they gave us their amazing HDTV was because they decided to upgrade to a 3D-HDTV! and it is amazing! I’ve never been too keen for 3D movies, but they had us watch a 3D Imax movie about the bottom of the ocean and it was the first time ever where I felt like things were actually coming out of the screen at me.

Then this weekend we carved pumpkins with our friends Tom and Nikki. It’s something we do every year.  I only have Matt and my pumpkins pictured here because the full group shot is on my other camera and I left that in my best friend’s car. My pumpkin is on the left. Usually I always carve the same pumpkin ever year, but this year I was inspired by this link from Martha Stewart via  The Dainty Squid.

Last week this painting arrived in the mail. It was actually a painting I made and sent out for a top secret project. I loved the finished product so much, and I was so afraid that it would end up getting lost or tossed and just unappreciated, so I was thrilled to have it back in my possession. It’s based on a collage that I shared earlier this year.

And lastly, today I made this Etsy treasury.

Please click on over and view it. I love all the pieces I featured and think they deserve some attention :)

Day 14 – Paper Cut

It’s 11 p.m. CST, which is where I reside. I’m am posting my daily piece just in time.

When I got home from work today and went into my studio I said “uh-uh, no way”. Last weekend I didn’t tidy up after last weeks daily pieces and this week it has just continued to pile up. There is literally a square foot of empty space in which to work.  But, did I begin to tidy up? No, of course not. I went to check my email, twitter some, facebook, finish a movie, check my email again.

Today’s piece has a bit of a story. I got the idea to do a paper cut piece while at work. On my work computer I have a  wallpaper I created using all flickr favorites. It makes me happy to glimpse between open files and programs and catch an image that inspires me.

So, mid-day I spied a paper cut piece by Elsa Mora and thought “I want to try that for tonight’s piece!” I used to be quite handy with a pen knife. Back in my newspaper days, they didn’t call me the Paste-Up Queen for nothin’.  When I finally sat down to start working I couldn’t think of anything to do. I even changed my mind at one point and decided to do a completely different piece, but I needed to print something out and my printer is out of ink. Back to the drawing, or rather cutting board.

I started pacing around my studio and my eyes fell on a card that my friend Jenny sent me years and years ago. It has the above image by Masha D’Yans and I just love, love, love it. I suddenly had my inspiration. Vines with leaves and flowers.  BTW, I just looked up Masha’s site to post the link here and I AM IN LOVE. She is my art idol. I love her watercolors, they’re so wet and loose, bright and wild,  there’s a touch of the dark and yet innocence at the same time, plus her work is often very earthy, leaves and grass and trees, just up my alley.

So, this is what I came up with. The picture isn’t that great for right now because I had to take it in a dark room with artificial lighting. I’ll switch it out tomorrow.

I like how it came out. It was very time consuming. I can’t imagine when Elsa is doing her paper cuts she is cutting 140 pound watercolor paper.  Each cut was more like 3 cuts back and forth again to get through it. I went through about 6 blades in the process, but it was worth it, don’tcha think?

In my shop!