The leaves are starting to shiver. Nests are falling from the trees (I picked one up and brought it home…then the SO then wrote about it and I got laughed) and there is a bite to the air, a familiar bite, a bite the majority of us wyrdos ache for through all spring and summer.
Autumn is coming and the anticipation in this household is very real. We’ve been talking about the arrival of autumn and Halloween for months.
Recently I’ve been thinking about ways I could improve the blog, and what I post here, and that led me to think about autumn and Halloween and its significance to folk nowadays. I’ve also been pondering on all the things I want to accomplish in the autumnal months, and thought it would be a damn shame not the share at least some of my thoughts and ideas.
So I’ve decided to create a ‘guide to autumn series’ which I hope will evoke memories of childhood autumns, inspire creation and encourage spiritual growth and a deeper understanding of this most precious, darkening time.
The first in this series is dedicated to crafting. I know that by the time autumn comes around, I’m itching to begin bringing in the leaves, conkers and branches, and transform them into magic things.
You probably won’t need to buy anything in for these crafts, though you will need to go foraging…though I don’t think I have to push you to go out and do that.
Flowers From Leaves
Last year I was looking for crafts to do with leaves, and the ever faithful Pinterest introduced me to the art of making flowers out of leaves. You can read more about that experience here.
Believe it or not, but we still have three of them in a little mason jar on the window sill in the living room – I’m looking at them right now. They’re just as beautiful as they were last year…though slightly more fragile to the touch. If you do ONE craft this autumn, make some of these.
Make A Zine
I am all for making zines, especially themed zines. (I’m dedicating the first new issue of WW&E Magazine to October.) If it was up to me, everyone would be making them. They’re good for the spirit, they’re good for the mood and they nourish creativity.
Zines are one of the easiest (so long as you don’t overthink what you’re doing! I’ve made that mistake…) cheapest things to craft, though one of the most satisfying. I tend to give zines I make away as gifts or as a replacement for a greeting card.
If Halloween is the most important festival for you (and lets face it, if you’re reading this blog it probably is) you could make some Halloween themed zines and give them to your nearest and dearest.
Below are some zines I’ve unearthed to give you some inspiration, and here’s one method of making to get you started.
Make Lanterns…Lots Of Lanterns
We always made lanterns when I was growing up. Lanterns out of paper. Lanterns out of turnips. Lanterns out of old glass jars. Almost always they were lanterns we could carry. In the Steiner School I was attending, there was always a yearly lantern walk around November time…it was one of my favourite moments of the school year.
The mood you can create with a lantern, especially when take it out for a walk in the dark, is something you’ll want to re-experience night after night. If you have some old jars hanging around, bring them the hell out and make the most of that paper that’s been lying around doing nothing.
Do Something Different With Your Pumpkin
You know, I actually really love the traditional way of carving up the pumpa (as we call them here in Sweden. I can’t say it without a ridiculous grin on my face…what am I? Nine?) but in recent years I’ve seen some carvings that have left me deeply envious and simultaneously inspired.
It was the ethereal Thistlemilk who had me practically glowing green with her sublime stenciled Groke character from The Moomins.
There are several other ways to decorate your pumpkin that don’t involve hacking with a knife…like with a drill or a cookie cutter. You’ll find some really solid advice here.
If carving/drilling/cookie cutting isn’t your thing, you can always paint it instead. I MUST have an all-black painted pumpkin this year, just for the hell of it. I’ve put some of my favourite found carved/drilled/stenciled pumpkins below to give you some inspiration. including the ones from Thistlemilk.
I have been filling up my laptop memory with ideas for what we can do for decorations this Halloween. I want to go all out and make as many things as we can. One thing on the NEED TO MAKE list is this exquisite bat bouquet.
Bring In The Branches
Finally, I want to encourage you, for a final time, to bring nature indoors! Whenever you’re out wandering, keep a hand free to carry branches back home with you and cobble together something like one of these ensembles