When we moved into this house, I was overjoyed to finally have a dining room (I’d never had one), big enough for a long table. I dreamed of an old craftsman hanging lamp to replace the new ceiling fixture that had been installed, which looks a bit like a leftover from the set of Twin Peaks. I love hanging lamps. Still. It made no sense to replace a brand new light. And now I’m glad I didn’t. Instead, we have another way to celebrate the seasons around the table.
In autumn, we make a “Falling Leaves” chandelier. In winter, of course there are glittered snowflakes; in spring, hanging homemade paper flowers; in summer, little lanterns…Fun.
To make a Falling Leaves chandelier, collect leaves of different sizes, and dry them for a couple of days between newspapers with heavy books on top. If you want the leaves to stay nice and flat all season, you’ll have to dry them longer, changing the paper frequently–about two weeks. But I am not that patient. Leaves dried just a couple of days will curl up eventually, but not as much as if you hadn’t dried them first. Hang leaves from string, ribbon, or invisible nylon thread. Tie a bead or two to the bottom to give a little weight. This year I added curling twigs from a willow pruning, tucking them around the light before adding the leaves. I love weaving indoors and outdoors, especially at the table–another reminder of the continuum between our home and the natural world that occurs in the sharing of meals.