'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Tuesday 31 March 2009

An even quicker post!

As nothing got done today apart from cooking - oh, and Cheese Major installed the goodies from the broadband supplier which arrived a week early.

So I now have a laptop connected to the Internet and a new all-singing, all dancing mobile phone.

You have to realise that my previous mobile was very 20th century and didn't really do anything except send and receive phone calls - and this new one seems to do everything apart from cook the dinner. I have a steep learning curve ahead of me as I am dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Today's green image is one made with kaleido, which is very addictive. I can't remember what the original photo was, although I suspect some trees were involved ...

And I did post my 'Brave New World?' quilt on 'Around the World in 20 Quilts' and a doodle on 'Doodle Day' but you'll have to go over there to see them ...

Monday 30 March 2009

Just a quicky ...

as little has been happening around here apart from routine stuff you don't want to read about, as you probably do enough of it yourselves.

Despite a frost this morning we had some sunshine in the middle of the day and Quality Control has made the most of it. She hasn't featured for a while, and is muttering about too much attention being paid to dogs, so here she is doing her well known impussonation of a dead cat.

Today's green picture also features sunshine. This is a little garden hidden away behind Winchester Cathedral. There is no house attached so I don't know who it belongs to, but we always stop to admire it. There are the remains of several medieval fish ponds in the area so the pool [just visible under the waterlilies] may well be one of them, although I think the bridge [which goes nowhere] and statue are a little later.

Sunday 29 March 2009

Ducks, warts and green things.

We had an enjoyable time yesterday [in between the sleet showers] helping Babybel's mummy celebrate her birthday [albeit a few days early].

Birthday celebrations these days have to include a dog walking opportunity and baby entertainment - so tend to be outdoors. We walked by the water, played on swings, slides and climbing frames

and here are Babybel and her other grandad, Mr Cheddar, feeding the ducks. or 'Da' as she calls them - and swans, coots, Canada geese - anything with feathers, really.

Speaking of ducks reminded me that when we went to the farm for my birthday Mrs Cheese Minor suggested I include this photo in my yellow series - but I forgot. So here it is.

Adolescent ducks with their plumage just changing from yellow to white.

So that's the ducks. The warts?

I read a discussion on another textile blog about whether to show one's mistakes as well as one's successes. As you may have noticed I'm a believer in showing 'warts and all', to quote O. Cromwell.

So here is a wart.

The last time you saw it, it looked like this, since when it has gained some hand stitch - mostly chain stitch variations - and beads. For some strange reason Wensleydale likes it.

I think I learned from it that quilting and embroidery doesn't always work - but I do like improvisational patchwork.

This is its big sister - which was going to be cut up into smaller pieces but ended up being used to try out the quilting patterns in my embroidery software. I'm never going to achieve a perfect feather wreath any other way!

The next step will be to put it into a dye bath - partly as an experiment, partly because I don't think the orange bits work - so I will try dyeing the whole thing red. My reasoning is that I should end up with a range of reds and purples - we shall see!

My green image is a set of ATC's I made for a swap - they went off on their travels a long time ago so this is the only record I have.

Not. I think. a wart!

Saturday 28 March 2009

If in doubt -


What I should have been doing was carrying on experimenting with my embroidery machine - but although I tamed it at last on Thursday I wasn't feeling strong enough yesterday to resume the fight.

So I drew on some buttons. [Tutorial found on Craftstylish.]

The flash makes it a little difficult to see but it worked well within the limitations of my drawing skills. I wouldn't use these buttons on anything that was going to be washed regularly but if you have a lot of boring buttons, as I have, it is a way to make them more interesting.

I only tried permanent markers, not the other suggestions in the tutorial, but I may get round to the nail varnish when I can find it ...

Then I made a book. Looks a bit boring doesn't it?

As the pages were rather thick, I did a 2-section pamphlet stitch binding, sometimes known as 'two bound as one'.

The pages were some old design work, ripped up. Unfortunately as it has been rolled up for about 12 months, the paper is reluctant to lie flat, even after a night under my old Singer. So it went back under there after it had its photo taken. I have lots of ideas about tile embroideries in my head so I think this will become a design book for those - it's about the right size and roughly square.

I haven't forgotten my salt pan theme , though - this, below, is based on the first very simple ideas I had. It is discharged with bleach. When I finished discharging the patches were a lovely golden brown but with neutralising and washing it seems to have lost that colour so I may overdye it golden yellow. I intend to quilt it and then - lots of embroidery.

And the final yellow picture - some celandines, also from the Hillier Gardens.

Tomorrow I shall go green.

Friday 27 March 2009

I wanna tell you a story ...

a quote which will be completely lost on non-Brits and/or those under 50 ...
The purchase of my lap top led to a rethink of our broadband supplier - as we only had provision for one machine and not even Cheese Major could find a way to get round of it [short of paying for it, you understand.]
Both junior Cheeses recommended the same supplier as an alternative [naming no names but they advertise a lot on the telly].
So on Sunday night we ordered the hub - and a few extras - on line. We were asked to specify a delivery date - so we did. Next Tuesday, as it was the first date we could be sure we would be in to sign for the package.
A machine e-mailed us back, acknowledged the order and told us we'd get another e-mail confirming the order within 2 working days.
We didn't.
On Wednesday, while we were out, a courier firm put a card through the door saying they had tried to deliver a parcel for Wensleydale but the 'premises were closed'. We have had dealings with this particular firm before, and won't knowingly do business with anyone who uses them, because usually they will only try to deliver once, and then we have a 40 mile round rip to the depot. However on this occasion they say they'd be back.
Still no e-mail.
On Thursday we had a letter from the broad band supplier to say that the stuff would be delivered next Monday.
Minor panic because we have things to do on Monday but we decided by cancelling our lunch date we could be sure there wold be someone in.
Late that afternoon the courier returned with - you've guessed it - the stuff from the broad band supplier.
I wouldn't normally complain about things being delivered early - but if we had still been working, we would have had to take time off to be in for the delivery and still ended up going to the depot to collect it.
And their adverts irritate me as well.
This comes on top of the three months it took to get our gas fire repaired - and a sneaking suspicion that our gas supplier [again no names but the engineer, a man of mature years, kept calling it 'The Board'] weren't really interested in repairing stuff - they would have preferred us to write it off and buy a new one. Fortunately their engineer felt differently.
So I am a bit p****d off with major British utilities suppliers.
To turn to more pleasant topics - for once these aren't spring flowers but from a bouquet Wensleydale bought a while ago - a subtle wash of colour and beautifully shaped petals.

Thursday 26 March 2009

A thank you, some experiments, and a flower

First - a thank you to Lisette, for nominating me for an award.

I am always proud to be nominated but like Lisette I have found not everyone likes it - so instead of passing the award on, I'll take it as an opportunity to point you towards some blogs I enjoy - and which I would have nominated if I did - if you see what I mean ...

The first is Lisette's own blog - textiles, food and cats! What more could you ask? And look at her list of influences. Clearly a woman after my own heart!

Of course. if you prefer just food, you could try her other blog. Eat your way up the High Street? I'd be waddling even more than usual by the time I got to the end - although here it would be eat your way from the station to Barclays, the High St restaurants being less - er - let's say - less individualistic. ...

Another blog I enjoy, although it's not a textile one, is Martha Marshall's 'An Artist's Journal'. Just look what she did with some of her luscious papers and Photoshop. Pity I've got Paint Shop Pro ...

Finally - if you like artist's books this blog will save you the bother of making your own. They have a generous give away of books which you can print out, as well as all sorts of other interesting stuff.

And now for something completely different. This is finished.

That rather undisciplined tassel was even more ill disciplined until I steamed it - the result of using rayon thread that had been wound on its card for at least 15 years [i.e. since I inherited it from my aunt] and probably even longer [i.e. since she frugally recycled it from somewhere else since one lot was all yard long pieces knotted together]. [It's being half Yorkshire, I think.]
We looked at the original tiles again while we were in the Cathedral yesterday and it was interesting that the circle, which comes out clearly in the embroidery [to me, anyway!] is much less obvious when you see the tiles en masse.
The experimental pieces are dyed, washed, and pressed - and in one case, zapped with a heat gun as well.
These are in the same order as the last time I showed them to you - wadding, flannel and felt backing. They all shrank a bit more with a second washing, and the felt is now pretty well square again - albeit 1.5 inches smaller all round = which my trusty calculator makes a 12% shrinkage rate.

This is the pieces from the back, in the same order. I was surprised how well the felt took the dye, until I remembered that it is wool/viscose, and viscose takes Procion dye, being a cellulose fibre.
The white stripe across them is a strip of poly organza set into the seam - and this is one after zapping.

Below is what I thought was black poly organza with a scoobydoo as a piping. However the black was very reluctant to melt, suggesting it wasn't a man-made fibre. The cotton was beginning to singe before the sheer reluctantly went into tiny holes and then went shiny and hard.

Not sure why Blogger has put it vertical when the original is horizontal - but I can live with it.

The next one was a layer of sparkle organza over cotton. As you can see the dye went through the organza and dyed the under layer successfully - which is what I hoped.

And finally - yet more yellow - Christmas Roses at the Hillier Gardens. I love this pale yellowy green, it is such a bizarre colour for a flower! This was taken last January - notice the misguided bee.

I apologise for such a long post - not sure how I had the energy after wrestling with my embroidery unit which did not want to behave since the chief techie wasn't here - and dealing with the aftermath of Wensleydale's attempt to flood the house. All OK now but the kitchen floor is much cleaner than it was ... I told you we lived exciting lives.

Wednesday 25 March 2009

We live such exciting lives ...

we have had both a Tuesday trip and a Wednesday wander this week.

Last night we went to the Watermill Theatre again, with Mr and Mrs Cheddar, to see 'The Merchant of Venice'. I 'did' the MoV at school and a few decades have elapsed since then, so although I remembered the gist of the plot, the finer points had vanished from my memory. And some of the points made in this production were not those emphasised at a girls grammar school in the 60s ...

It is a very dramatic, gorious [no, that isn't a typo] production with some excellent performances, and as always with this company, excellent music and a set that made brilliant use of a very small space. Well worth seeing.

As we had to be in Winchester this morning we took the opportunity to visit a ceramics exhibition by Ashley Howard in the Cathedral.

It was described as an exhibition of ceramic 'fonts', inspired by architectural features including medieval tiles. So of course I had to go!

I was expecting something tall, highly glazed and quite elaborate.

Not something like this.

You may recognise some of these patterns!

There are about a dozen of these pieces, roughly a metre across, sitting on the tiles which inspired them. As the catalogue points out, we don't expect to find ceramics on the floor!
Howard discusses the interplay of oriental influences on his work and the Western architectural tradition, and that certainly came over to us in his work. Some, like the one above, had marks that could almost be oriental script - others, like that below, looked almost as if they could have been unearthed by archaeologists.

I liked Howard's quote from EH Gombrich: 'Usually we walk through life without paying much attention to the infinite variety of patterns and decorative motifs which we encounter all around us ...'. Howard continues 'For me, the form is fundamental, and the embellishment of form and surface is an exciting and intriguing area of contemporary craft practice.' Couldn't agree more!
My yellow today picture is something much more transient and fragile - a primula, as close up as the camera would let me get.

Why are so many spring flowers yellow? Are spring flowers in other geographical areas also often yellow? Does any one know?

Tuesday 24 March 2009

Calling all Hampshire textile artists!

You might want to know about this - if you don't already.

See you there - but I don't think I will be entering these, much as I like them.
These are the three experimental pieces after washing. They all shrank a bit - and they all distorted - which may be due to the repeated diagonal foundation piecing as much as the washing.
From left to right - the piece on cotton wadding, the piece on cotton flannel, and the piece on felt - which definitely shrank the most. However the flannel had been washed once already, so might have shrunk more if it had been loomstate.
They are all now in a dye bath. Yellow, as it happens.
Today's yellow picture continues the floral theme. In Part 1 of C&G we had to select an artist to study and produce some 3d pieces [anything but fabric], inspired by his or her work.
I chose Andy Goldsworthy - in particular this image.
And this is my tribute - in crepe paper. It doesn't quite have the magic of the original - but it was fun to do.

Once again, Blogger doesn't approve of my para breaks so isn't including them. I feel like giving it a lesson on improving legibility!

Monday 23 March 2009

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze ...

although 'wind' would be more accurate.

When I was going through my photographs looking for yellow ones I realised that although I have a lot of pictures of yellow flowers - I didn't have any of my favourite flower.

So this morning I rushed outside and took one.

Unfortunately it was quite windy so they were difficult to photograph.

And although I have been trying not to post any more pictures of the cherry tree - I couldn't resist. Aren't they beautiful? I love the little circle of darker pink dots formed by the stamens. I understand why the Japanese so love cherry trees.

And finally - another experiment. These are three explorations of adding black stripes to neutral, dyeable, fabric - or, in a couple of cases, polyester which won't dye. Some of the black stripes are piped.

They look pretty similar [if my sewing was more accurate they would have been identical] but one has felt underneath, one has cotton wadding, and one has cotton flannel.

Since I took the photo they have been through a hot wash to see how much they shrink. When I took them out they looked as if they had shrunk about the same amount, but I'll measure them when they are dry.
They will be dyed some time this week - I hope. In two places I layered sheers over a base fabric - in one case cotton organdy over poly, in the other sparkle organza over cotton - to see what happens in the dye bath.
Watch this space.

Sunday 22 March 2009

This week's colour is yellow

- a reversed colour scan of a familiar stamp.

Every time I see this image I think 'French knots' ...

A short post tonight as we have had a visitor - Cheese Major came round and successfully introduced my new laptop to my sewing machine. Other activities my be suspended for a time while I find out what the embroidery module can do. Only a year since I first got it ...

Saturday 21 March 2009

Our night with the great and the good.

I promised to tell you about our evening out last night - hoping at the time it would be worth reporting back on. I am pleased to say that it was.

If you have been reading my blog for a while you may remember that Wensleydale and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon with Hampshire Museums Service.
During that afternoon members of the public were asked to nominate objects to go on exhibition - and last night was the 'opening reception' for the exhibition.
Not having spent much time at such events, I wasn't sure what to expect. After a glass of white wine with a distinct touch of vinegar, we had the speeches, from a council apparatchik, a councillor, and a Poet Laureate. [See what I mean about the great and the good?]
The speeches consisted of an exhortation to be enthused by our museums and libraries delivered in a voice with no enthusiasm in it at all, a reading of a press release - and a spontaneous and witty speech which really made us want to get in to see the exhibition. I won't say who made which speech - but Andrew Motion is a very good speaker ...
Motion described the exhibition as a 'cabinet of curiosities' and it was very apt. It is, to use one of my favourite words, 'eclectic'. Some real treasures like the Tichborne spoons - and a 1990s Motorola phone. An Epstein bronze - and a Kenwood Chef. Some highlights here. Unfortunately the Keble car and the pelisse [possibly] owned by Jane Austen were only there for the opening night.
I was pleased that so many of my favourites were included - the pram and the 'revolver' that is really a sewing kit, for example. With quotes from yours truly. [Fame at last!]
There are some wonderful textiles, including a display of flapper dresses and shoes, older clothing and two tapestries. We will be going again for another look when it is quieter.
I have also found time for some embroidery.
Now you may be thinking that only a day or two ago I was wittering on about salt pans, quilts and shrinking felt. And now I've gone back to tiles. But it is not unconnected.
The salt pan work made me think about line - how best to produce the lines in the designs. Although they could be hand embroidered I felt free motion embroidery/quilting was a better choice. But, as I mentioned before, I find it a bit scary. I also wanted quite emphatic lines - which suggested using a heavier thread in the bobbin and working from the back.
So - a bit of experimentation and practice was called for. I have had these bits of fabric tacked together since the last Contemporary Textiles Workshop - there are two layers of transfer printed fabric, a sheer and a satin, and some wadding -but I had no idea what to do with them.
My doodle for Doodle Day suggested the daisy stamp, so I stamped it on the back and FME'd round it.
I will spare you the details of the unpicking, changing the wadding, restamping, lacing over a CD, realising it needed some hand stitch and relacing.
But I like it. And fortuitously it goes perfectly with he rest of my CD wallhanging.
I wasn't sure what to post as the final orange picture - this, or an image of some crocisma at the Hillier Gardens. The flowers are technically a better picture but I decided they were a bit obvious - and next week's yellow week looks as if it is going to be very flowery.

This is a pillar in Fatehpur Sikri in Rajasthan, built of sandstone and so a bit orangey. I chose it because of all the wonderful patterns - enough to start a new round of stamp making! [Not.]

Friday 20 March 2009

After the frenzy of production yesterday

very little has been achieved today. I went shopping and nearly forgot the most important thing I went out for [contact lens fluid] and did forget the second most important - some braid to put round the tiles embroidery. So I'll have to go again on Monday. [I'm a pensioner, I don't do shops at the weekend!]

Since I got home I have pottered about to very little effect. I think this is because we are going out again this evening, which we don't often do, and it's an odd time [6.45 - 8.30] and a bit open ended and generally unsettling to the ancient who are set in their ways.

Tell you all about it tomorrow.

One thing I have started is an analysis of what I like in art, prompted by this on Elizabeth Barton's blog, - all part of my attempt to develop some pretence to be an artist rather than an artisan - not that I have anything against artisans, I think craft skills in general are criminally undervalued in the UK. Perhaps I'd just like to be a better artisan - but I would like to develop a consistent style and approach to my work instead of drifting from one thing to another depending on what I've just read.

So I have been looking at some postcards I've collected at various exhibition and written down what I like about them. No real insights yet, but I shall collect a few more - and then move onto my own work as Barton recommends. I think that will be harder to analyse.

Here is today's orange image - a quick snap one evening from a moving car and then the help of the Hockneyizer.

Would that the M3 always looked like this!

Thursday 19 March 2009

What I meant to do today was ...

to carry on exploring my design ideas, and possibly begin to put some bits of fabric together.

Which is what I did in the end - although it had nothing to do with my design ideas.

I've had a birthday recently and as a belated afterthought present I got a lap top. Never had one before, never used one, all a bit scary.

Of course. it came without a case.

Well, I could have bought one, but where's the fun in that?

So I Googled around last night and found this.[PDF alert.]

Looks easy doesn't it? Two main pieces, made of felt so no finishing - won't take long to run one up, will it?

Of course, I wasn't going to do it today. Some time later when I had finished thinking about salt pans.

But, I thought, it won't take long, so I'll do it this morning and get back to the designing this afternoon.

Mmm - felt? I've got lots of wool felt but I've got plans for that and the colours aren't very exciting. I think I've got some big bits of Kunin felt at the bottom of the cupboard.

[Here you have to imagine me head down in a box of felt bits while Quality Control assists me by trying to get into the deepest recesses of the cupboard.

Unfortunately I didn't have one piece of felt that was big enough. So I'll use two colours! This lime green and blue look good together -[unfortunately I didn't have any suitable pink].

Mmm - decorative ribbon? Got ribbon in more or less the right colours but it's a bit boring - but I could put the narrow ribbon on the wide ribbon and embroider it. And I could embroider the contrasting band of felt and the bag itself... [I'm glad to say that I did not completely lose my sanity and do hand embroidery - though I did get as far as finding some suitable hand embroidery threads.]

But the felt seems a bit thin - so I could line it!

[Head down in a couple of different boxes to find some suitable fabric for the lining.]

While I'm at it, I could quilt the lining. [Fortunately the wadding was already out]

And there's lots of this lining fabric, I could add a pocket. Or two.

You get the picture. I eventually finished it about 4 pm.

This is the blue side.

And this, despite appearances, is the lime green side.

I'm glad I did line it though, I wouldn't rust those handles in felt alone.
And then I had a quick doodle for 'Doodle Day'. The topic is 'daisies' - so I am afraid I cheated and used my daisy stamp.

Today's orange picture is also plant life - real this time - January blossom from the Hillier Gardens. A cheering sight on a cold day.

Wednesday 18 March 2009

Wednesday wander

We went to Andover this afternoon - a lovely drive along back roads, and through Wherwell, which has far more than its fair share of thatched cottages. Hampshire was looking at its most Rowland Hilderish. It was mild and sunny and although there is still little sign of green on the trees [apart from lichen and ivy], the hawthorn and cherry blossom is out - not to mention a few daffodils [my favourite flower.]

We were on our way to the Fairground Craft Centre, alerted by a reference on Jackie's blog to this exhibition. Nearly 180 pieces of art no bigger than a CD case. It was fascinating to see what an amazing variety of things artists could do with such a tiny canvas - or piece of paper, or fabric, or metal, or ...

Although I didn't know it was hers at the time, Jacki's piece caught my eye almost immediately we went in - well, it is a book - but a beautifully made and very original one. You can see it on her blog.

Most of the other pieces were actually displayed in CD cases - which make very good frames.

[Another bonus of this pleasant little gallery is that it opens right off the cafe. We recommend the treacle tart - very lemony ...]

Although I made a wall hanging for C&G which included work mounted on CDs

and although Cheese Minor's Best Man produces a calendar in a CD case every year - I had never thought of putting work in a CD case. I find it a very inspirational idea - so when I have worked though all the other inspirational ideas ...

One I have completed is this - except for mounting. Unfortunately it is a bit too big for a CD case. I considered a number of ideas for the border but in the end I went for more wheatear stitch, which I have become quite fond of.

I think it is going to become a panel, perhaps suspended by one corner. Unfortunately I can't work out how to show it like that on the blog - apart from photographing it on the slant, which will show all the less tidy bits as well.
Today's orange image is another piece of Chinese ethnic embroidery, in cross stitch, which I am not fond of - but it works here.

Just don't ask me to do any.

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Silk purse or sow's ear?

The blue mes now looks like this - clockwise from top left:

  1. Sprayed with turquoise paint and embroidered with automatic stitches. It looks better than it did but I wouldn't bother doing it again!
  2. Cut into slices, rearranged, sewn together again, and then the whole process repeated in the opposite direction. Quite interesting.
  3. The same process but only cut in on direction, and extra embroidery added. I like this best - it makes me think of the sea, and the texture and shine help.
  4. Painted with white emulsion and free motion embroidered over the original quilting lines. It now looks like lumpy graffiti - so if I ever need lumpy graffiti in a piece ...

After I'd finished trying to rescue the blue mess I played around with some design work. Some of C June Barnes' shrunk quilts in her book reminded me of Yann Arthus-Bertrand's aerial photos. I bought his book 'The Earth from the Air - 365 Days' thinking it would inspire some embroidery, but nothing came of it - until now.

I picked a photo and began to explore it. I can't show the image, obviously, because of copyright but if you've got the book, it is January 6th.

It is a picture of salt pans in Morocco - a grid of rectangles of different sizes disappearing into the distance, in yellows, oranges and greys. Why did I pick something so geometric for such an organic process? Who knows!

My first efforts were a bid rigid - straightening out the grid.


Then I tried a couple of techniques from Sandra Meech's excellent 'Creative Quilts'. It, and her other book 'Contemporary Quilts', are two of the three best books on design for all textile artists, not just quilters, that I know. [The other is Dunewold, Benn and Morgan's 'Finding Your Own Visual Language'.]

The first exercise I tried was cutting chunks out of a scan of the image and adding my own drawing to fill in the gaps. One area I liked was these strong diagonals across the paper. This is a tracing, with added coloured pencil. Better - I see it in silk piceing with strong black diagonals, and added hand embroidery to liven it up.

I've Googled around looking at Moroccan textiles and some examples are woven with rectangles of different shades, with a similar feel to this.

Then I cut up a black and white scan of the image, rearranged it, stuck it down again, and used view finders to isolate interesting areas. These are the tracings, all on one sheet of paper which is why they are wonky. I like these better still - when I get time I want to try these out with Barnes' technique, but I think they could also be applique or canvas work, or curved piecing if I am feeling really masochistic.

So - quite a pleasing day, once I'd got the blue mess out of the way!

Today's orange image is really ginger. I couldn't resist taking this photo last summer. A team member, or waiting to make a complaint?

Either way - he looks like he's in charge.

Monday 16 March 2009

A bit of this, a bit of that ...

I added a bit more to this experimental piece last night - I'm not really sure about those buttons but as it is an experimental piece they are staying! Wensleydale has decided it no longer looks like a bedspread. [I should point out that it is only about 30 cm [12 inches] square, so it would be a very small bedspread!]

If you remember this -

this is what half of it now looks like. The top bit was painted with white emulsion, the bottom with turquoise spray paint. I am considering whether I think it is an improvement ...

These I am quite happy with - some more little books for Babybel, made with photos from her visit to the farm. She handled the first one very gently and it was lovely to see her sitting down looking at it. These will go in the post to her tomorrow together with the three hair slides she left behind. [They are not called hair slides for nothing!]

And today's orangeish picture - leaves from last autumn. The leaves are the only things that make autumn tolerable, as far as I am concerned.