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Goodbye Summer... Hello Fall

A couple of early mornings ago, I opened the door leading to our backyard patio and found a surprise waiting for me on the welcome mat.

Nope it wasn’t our neighbour’s kitty. The one who seems to think our welcome mat belongs to her. It wasn’t our “resident” raccoon either. The one who hangs out somewhere in the “mini” forest behind our house, sneaks up to our patio door and peeks through the window to see what we are up to. So what was waiting for me to discover on the welcome mat? A big, rusty coloured maple leaf ... just dropping by to let me know that it won’t be long before we all say good-bye to summer and hello to fall.

Two events always mark the beginning of the third season of the year for me. The first fallen leaf and the Metchosin country fair. I look forward all year long to the sights, sounds and absolutely delicious smells that permeate the air at this country fair! That’s where you’ll find us this weekend.

It’s an old fashioned type fair with country vendors, music, entertainment and games for the kids. But by far the best part is the salmon and lamb barbeque (roasted over open air wood burning fires) at 5 p.m.. It's quite a bargain at $12.oo a ticket! You get a big piece of salmon, big piece of lamb, homemade apple mint jelly, corn on the cob, coleslaw and a roll. This is followed by mouth-watering, delicious homemade "prize winning" pies for dessert. I understand that this year they are also going to have a cake baking contest and the prizewinners will be sold by the piece at the barbeque.

It is a great fundraising event for this little country town. One thing we have found out over the years... you gotta get there early to buy your dinner ticket! They sell out FAST, often by noon, every year.

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." Albert Camus

When I was a little kid, I absolutely delighted in jumping into a mountain of raked leaves in my uncle’s back yard. Now mind you, my uncle Gordon, who had just spent a couple of hours raking up that pile, made noises that he wasn’t terribly amused. Funny though, he always had a tiny smile at the corner of his lips, his eyes twinkled with laughter and he always invited me back to rake leaves with him throughout the fall. GRIN

Gathering pretty leaves to make a “turkey” pasted on paper for a Thanksgiving card was a favourite childhood pastime in the fall! (Thanksgiving is in early October in Canada). Today I continue to enjoy gathering those lovely autumn “flowers” to use in my “grown up” art. Here is a digital collage I created this week with the leaf I found on my doorstep and scanned into my computer...

How to Preserve Autumn Leaves in Beeswax

There are a number of ways to preserve fall leaves. Pressing them. Ironing them in waxed paper. Dipping them in a mixture of glycerin and water. However, over the years, the leaves I love to use in my art and collages are simply brushed with a thin coat of beeswax.

Want to wax your own leaves this fall? It’s a simple and easy process.

What you'll need:

Autumn leaves
Paper towels
Mini Travel Iron
1" paint brush
Melting pot or other utensil suitable for melting beeswax in
brown paper bag
large square of 1/4" plywood to protect your work surface

1. Gather leaves at their peak. I like to find fresh ones that perhaps have a little blemish here and there. These tiny imperfections add interest.

2. Sandwich the leaves between two paper towels and iron them dry but not to the point that they become brittle.

3. Heat up your pot of beeswax. You can use a melting pot with a project tray or a small aluminum pot that will fit into the base of the melting pot. You can also use an old crock pot although I find it takes forever to heat up! One of my friends told me she uses a small pot on one of the old coffee mug warmers. I haven't tried it, but if you do, let me know how it works.

One word of caution. Never heat beeswax over 140 degrees F. It can flash and start a fire! Ask me. I once nearly burnt my freshly painted, new kitchen down when I melted some candles on the stove. The phone rang in the middle of this process and I forgot all about the wax. I caught it at the very last moment and used a fire extinguisher but what a black, gooey mess my fresly painted ceiling was... we won't talk about the top of the stove! It was a real pain in the you know what to get cleaned up! I shook in my boots at that close call for weeks.

4. My “worksheet” is a piece of brown paper bag on top of a large ¼” piece of plywood board. I often keep my worksheet once it is saturated with beeswax for other uses.

5. Brush a thin coat of beeswax on both sides of the leaf using a brush devoted to beeswax work only. My beeswax brush is just an ordinary 1” paint brush from the paint store that I use strictly for working with wax.

6. Lay your leaf on the brown paper. Using a mini travel iron or quilting iron (one devoted to beeswax work only) to smooth out the wax on the leaf . You're done! Wasn't that easy?

As I close for today, I’d like to wish you a lovely weekend and share with you a delightful quote about the seasons by Stanley Horowitz that really says it all:

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all."


P.S. Remember to get your entry in for the “Recycling Brainstorming Contest” (see Thrifty Tuesday Art Tips from Sept. 2 for details) and the chance to win a mini shopping spree at After Midnight Art Stamps! Deadline is midnight (your time zone), Sunday, Sept. 7.


  1. Happy Fall Sharon!
    as usual
    your stories leave me with a delighted smile
    enjoy the fair this weekend...
    this weekend our town is having old fashioned saturday
    a mini faire of sorts...
    so i will be having some fun too

  2. This is FABULOUS, Sharon!! You've combined my two favorite things ~ beeswax and autumn leaves, and I can't wait to try this! Thank you so much!! :) :) :)

  3. Hi Sharon!
    What a great tutorial on preserving fall leaves using beeswax!!! THANK YOU so much for sharing!!! I also LOVED your story about your local county fair . . . it sounds like it's filled with laughter, fun, yummy smells and tastes!!!

  4. What a great idea! I have the tools and the I have to wait for the leaves!!!
    thanks for the tip!

  5. Sharon, absolutely adore your leaf project. We used to jump in th leaves too and if there weren't enough we would haul themin from the neighbors yard, lmao. My Dad was mad but never stopped us. We did all the raking. Good memories. Will have to try the wax. I have done the wax paper but not the wax. Thanks for the instructions.hugz, Scary

  6. As always what a lovely page you shared from story of your life. You remind me of my friend who use to write such stories of her youth in MI for our local FL paper. I too remember jumping in leaves, it was the best part and do you remember the smell of the wonderful earth and leaves? I will be phoning my darling 7 yr old Grand daughter to collect me some leaves so I can once again step back into my own childhood and perserve some leaves too! Thank you so much for writting.

  7. Hi, Happy Fall! I just loved reading about fall and your fair. We have a fair here in iowa too. Also we have a thing called Spoon River Drive right across the bridge. It's really fun stopping at all the little town. Good food too. I love the idea to put wax on the leaves! Kinda like when we used to iron them in wax paper. =)Thanks for sharing. HUGS

  8. Hi Sharon, thank you for sharing the beeswax idea. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world, the maple leaves are gorgeous. I'm glad you're preserving them. We visited Vancouver Island a few weeks ago when it was still very much summer - I bet it's even more beautiful in fall!

  9. What a great technique. I also heard that you could use a tuna can and coffee/candle warmer. I'm going to try it just to see if it will work.

    Thanks for your great tutorial.


  10. Love this. Such a simple idea of beeswax with leaves. Duh. Hadn't occurred to me this year. Love the digi collage!


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