Maple Leaf Roses

The Arctic Blast is heading our way! I love cold weather, so I’m not upset about that at all, but I am a little sad that it will likely mean the end of our beautiful fall maple leaves!

I brought my kids outside to play before it’s just too cold to get out much and they had a great time playing in the leaves. I sat in the grass and admired the leaves around me, but as usual, I couldn’t sit still for long. I grabbed a couple of pretty leaves and started playing around with them. Pretty soon I had this:


I posted a picture of it to Facebook and everyone seemed to like it, so I decided to make another one today along with a bit of a tutorial. These would make a great Thanksgiving centerpiece, even after the leaves have dried out.

First, gather some leaves. Shake them out if you are bringing them inside or you might have a random spider running around your house like I do. For this one, I grabbed a mixture of yellow maple and some smaller red maple leaves. (I tried this with the beautiful Japanese maple leaves, but they were just so small and difficult to work with).


I started with some of the smaller, red leaves. Fold the ends of one leaf over and then carefully roll it up to form the center of the rose.



While still holding the rolled up leaf, fold another leaf the same way and wrap it around your first leaf. The trickiest part of this is holding onto your rosebud while folding and wrapping your next leaf, but don’t worry, you can do it! I have faith in you!


Keep adding leaves in this manner, one at a time to form a rosebud. I did about 4 small red leaves before switching to yellow. You can decide if you want to do different colors or all one color based on what leaves you can find.





As your rose gets larger, you may want to let some of the ends of the leaves stay up rather than getting them all folded over. I like the look of this because it has a kind of wild beauty that I like. Don’t worry about making it perfect. It may look kind of funky at this point. Trust me, it will get better.






I randomly added a few of the red leaves here and there, just to keep it interesting. Again, you can arrange them however you see fit.



As your flower starts getting larger, you can start wrapping some unfolded leaves around it. Just alternate the directions they are facing. It will make it look more interesting than if you try to keep it all uniform.



When you feel like your rose is as large as you want it, grab a piece of florist tape a few inches long. Wrap it kind of high up on the base of your rose, just above where you’ve been holding it. Secure that piece so your rose won’t fall apart, then take your roll of florist tape and start wrapping your way down the stems of your leaves. You can also add a twig here if you want a longer, sturdier stem.





Once your rose is stem is covered, you can start to arrange your rose petals a little more. Remember where I said you don’t need to worry if it looks a little funky? This is where you get to fix it! Pull some ends out. Tuck some under. If it’s looking too perfect and flat just rough it up a bit. You’ll end up with something like this.




You can leave these as is and just let them dry out, or try spraying some hairspray or something on them to preserve them a little better. I kind of like the dried look. Here’s what the one I did yesterday looks like now that it’s dried out a bit.


So, there you have it! An easy little centerpiece project to work on before all the leaves are blown away in the storm!


An Autumn Clothespin Wreath

Our Craft Class for August is a clothespin wreath. It has a big burlap bow and some jingle bells. This one is done in a rainbow of beautiful fall colors. If you are in the Charlotte, NC area, I would love to have you join me. If you live too far away I would be happy to make up a kit that I will mail to you along with assembly instructions.  If you love the look, but don’t want to go to the trouble of making it i would be happy to make one for you. Email me at if you would like more information, or go to my Facebook page and RSVP on the events tab. There are 2 dates, so make sure you RSVP for the night you plan to attend.

Here is our Autumn Beauty! Can't you just see this hanging in your home?

Here is our Autumn Beauty! Can’t you just see this hanging in your home?

July Card Camp

We had a blast at our July craft class which was a “Card Camp.” We made four different greeting cards. I’m not a huge card person myself, but I do love to have some on hand so I don’t have to run out to the store every time I’m going to a birthday party or someone gets married or something like that. My friend Jill got me into card making, and I love being able to make a personalized card for all occasions. I have to admit, it is a lot of fun and I plan to make more cards to share! I know that in this digital age it is rare that I get a card in the mail. I always get very excited when I receive one. I had a good friend in high school that was great about sending cards and writing letters. I always loved when she would send me one of her hand made cards or a letter written on beautiful stationery. I’ve decided to try to become more of a “card person,” and I’m going to try to send people more cards and letters… and not just on special occasions.

The Marvel of an Ordinary Life

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

~William Martin, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents