happy little tree

November 24, 2010 at 8:58 am (craftiness n' colors, holiday, picture post, thanksgiving)

“Thank you for ev’ry tree and flower.
Thank you for ev’ry sky of blue!
Thank you, I should be ev’ry hour,
Truly thanking you!”

– Petula Clark

Last year, T learned all about autumn and the changing of the leaves for the first time. And we built a tree (gosh she was little!)! We also made a thankful jar in which we put a list of all the things that we thank God for in our lives. This year I decided to combine the two and make our very first Thankful Tree! I say first, because we had such a great time this month working on this project that I think it might become a Thanksgiving tradition in our home!

First we had to go out and gather a bucketful of beautiful autumn leaves (and a couple of branchy looking sticks).

And by ‘gather’ I mean toss, jump, roll around, and in general have the most wonderful time ever.

Some of our leaves we pressed in books overnight, but that task was boring so we gave up after a bit and left the other half of them just as they were.

Bright and early the next morning I melted down some beeswax (yes, I just so happen to have blocks of beeswax lying around my house. I’m weird like that.) in a home-made double boiler (meaning a pyrex container in a pot).

Then we dipped the leaves one by one into the liquid wax, let them drip for a moment or two over the pot, and then gently placed them on a sheet of wax paper to finish drying (I made T wear gloves at first, but she did so well with it that I let her take them off before long – no burns!).

Ro was too little for this project, but she had fun observing the goings-on and exploring the wonders of God’s creation in her own little way!

Dad woke up just in time to join in the fun, making this a whole family affair!

When we were finished, we had a beautifully colored pile of preserved waxed leaves.

Then we lashed our sticks together, and put them in a vase stuffed with paper bits to keep it straight.

TA DA! A TINY (naked) TREE!!!

All month long we’ve kept our waxy leaves in a basket with a sharpie marker and hooks nearby. As we think of all the things we’re thankful for, we write it down on a leaf, and T hangs them on our Thankful Tree.

I love the wonderfully simple things she’s thankful for (pretty much anything that catches her eye at the moment – what a great way to be!):

Sun, rain, grass, color, snugly blankets and pillows, bows for our hair, family, elephants and pandas, the woods, penguins and tigers, beauty, sliding-boards, trees, the moon and stars, crayons, hoodies, friends, care-bears. . .

Her list goes on and on, and every one has found a leaf on our Thankful Tree, which now has so much foliage that she has to hunt for a clear spot to hang the next.

But my favorite leaves are the ones that she wrote all by herself. . .

I thank God every day for blessing me with a loving little family and such a happy home. . .

What are you thankful for?

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9 Comments

  1. Kelli said,

    Thankful for the many blessings that I hope our family will share with others!! Thank YOU for sharing your creativity!!!

  2. Kendall said,

    awww!! That is awesome! I love the tree and I sooooo wish we had wonderful leaves so we could copy you. I think we may have to just invent our own. 😛 So, can you wipe the “thankful’s” off and reuse the leaves next year or are they a one time use only?

    • Me said,

      I’ve never done this before, so I honestly don’t know how long the wax will preserve the colors. . .they’re holding up great so far! I think we’ll just do a new batch next year though, the process of gathering and dipping the leaves was really a lot of fun, (and I think the fresh beeswax smells soooo nice!). Next year we can (sort of) let Ro help! It IS sad that you don’t have leaves. I might have to try to find a way to get you some over there. I wonder how long they’d stay ‘fresh’ if I mailed you a pile. . . it WOULD be super-cheap to ship, lol! BUT I’ve seen Thankful Trees done with paper leaves very often, and cut out handprints, too! I’m sure palm fronds and banana leaves would work just as well. . . if you wanted the look of realish leaves, they have bags of autumn colored leaves at the Dollar Tree right now. . .

      P.S. We’ll keep them to find out – if they last we’ll recycle them into something else. Maybe a garland or something for next year?

  3. runningoutofsteam said,

    That is the best idea I’ve ever seen!

    Just an FYI, Audrey would have explored the leaves by eating them. Not sure how I’d handle that one.

    • Me said,

      haha! What did you THINK I meant by “her own little way?!” She sure did try to get it in her little mouth. . .we didn’t LET her, of course (not for long, anyway). She also enjoyed flapping it around like a wackadoo. A note on that – the dryer the leaf the more crumbly it is. Babies do better with fresh leaves, cuz’ they can’t rip them apart so well. Silly babies. And thanks! But it isn’t my idea. I’ve seen thousands of different versions of the same thing over the course of the years. Every family does it in their own unique way. Here’s what google images turns up for added inspiration – You should give it a try!

  4. Kathleen Scott said,

    What a heavenly idea, and how beautiful. And each repetition makes a new furrow in the brain so you have Thankfulness trees in your minds as well. The BEST celebration.

    I’m thankful for my family. And health. And you and my other friends, blog and otherwise.

  5. FooFoo said,

    W O W . . . T can write. I’m astounded. I love the last pic of the leaves which her own little thankful fingers wrote.

  6. Uncle Gabey said,

    AWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Carmen Chlada said,

      The last photo really touched my heart. Sounds like T’s got her priorities straight.

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