Saturday, September 19, 2009

Leafy: A Leaf Rubbing Tutorial

Friday really was a leafy sort of day. I needed to sign my teaching contract, so it was a walk to campus to visit the English Department (where the secretaries ALWAYS have ample candy to offer to little girls) and the IU greenhouse:
Hallelujah, nobody touched the spiky plants this time:
The girls and I had a lovely picnic lunch on campus, which is quite wooded and broken up here and there by small, winding creeks (although, as a first-semester graduate student living alone on campus, hoofing it to every class, I did rather wish that they'd just demolished all the lovely foresty bits and stuck the buildings all together in one easily-walkable city block). The girls passed the time by throwing large chunks of limestone and shale into said creeks, while I read my Entertainment Weekly in the company of a small discarded cicada exoskeleton:But after the girls got out of school--and thus after I'd had for myself a nice break to eat my own lunch, shower, straighten the living room, do a little laundry, and plod away happily on the crayon roll wholesale order from my pumpkinbear etsy shop while watching some Netflix--we had renewed energy for new projects.

And thus we found ourselves back in nature, collecting leaves from all the neighborhood trees, and taking them home for leaf rubbings (finally!).

You will need:
  • lots of leaves (flat ones, of course, and nice and supple)
  • several sheets of thin paper (typing/copy paper works fine, and Strathmore sketch pads work REALLY well)
  • crayons with a wide drawing surface (we broke open a brand-new Crayola 24-pack for this project (20 cents at the Wal-mart back-to-school sale!!!, but there are lots of other kinds of crayons that would work as well, or even better, frankly, for little hands)
  • for a very small kid, Scotch tape or its equivalent can be a big help

1. Peel the wrappers off of your crayons--for some kids, this is the best part:2. You need a really flat drawing surface that has no discernable texture of its own--a concrete sidewalk or wooden picnic table won't really work, for instance, but a deck table or inside table or inside floor will work just fine:

3. Lay out your leaf nice and flat (to hold it really steady, you can double up a piece of Scotch tape, sticky side out, and stick it to the surface underneath it--this is especially helpful for small kiddos, who are the most fussy about wanting a nice result yet have the least dexterity to make it happen), and put a clean sheet of thin paper on top of it.

4. Holding the paper down very flat and keeping your leaf perfectly still, rub over and all around it with the flat side of your crayon:Or, if you're littler, just draw yourself a picture. It's equally fun:5. You'll be left with the impression of your leaf on the paper, showing all the great veins and other textures of the leaf, and looking really great and pretty:6. WARNING: Leaf rubbing may make you very, very sleepy. Go lie down with a kitten:In other news, we almost took a hot air balloon ride this morning, but it was too windy. Such is life, alas...

1 comment:

cake said...

cosmo started requesting that he accompany carl on quick trips to his office, when he realized that the department secretaries had candy to offer.

those bees wax crayons you have been coveting are great for leaf-rubbings.

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