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By Mary Emma Allen

The leaves have begun turning colorful and taking on their brilliant red, orange and yellow hues, painting the countryside with nature's palette.

Even as the colors become more brown, maroon, and deep gold, they still are rich and vibrant midst the evergreens, especially when the sun shines on them.

Preserving Leaves as Placemats

We often wish we could preserve the leaves with their vibrant colors, yet somehow they generally become dull when we try. However, there are a few ways to extend autumn in our homes. One is with placemats.

These are projects I made with my 4-H group years ago. They were decorative items for the youngsters' homes or gifts for their mothers as they preserved a bit of fall.




  1. With a dab of glue, attach leaves onto an 11 1/2 x 14-inch piece of construction paper of desired color.
  2. Cut leaves from colored paper or fabric and attach the same way.
  3. Color drawings of leaves with a markers, crayons, or colored pencils on the construction paper.

Then spread clear contact paper over the paper and leaves. Press firmly to placemat back and front. You also can laminate the page. We sometimes incorporated leaves or leaf designs into decoupage projects.


Beat 3 eggs until foamy. Add 1 cup cooking oil, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups peeled, grated zucchini, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well.

Sift together 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt. Add dry ingredients and 1/2 cup chopped nuts to egg mixture. Stir until well mixed. (Some cooks like to stir in chocolate bits, too.)

Divide batter into two portions and pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour (until inserted pick tests done) at 325 degrees F.

(c)Mary Emma Allen

(Mary Emma Allen lives in New Hampshire where she enjoys the colorful foliage. She writes for children and adults and delves into her family history. Her latest book is about her ancestor, William "Buffalo Bill" Mathewson. E-mail: )



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