Picture it. You're having an elegant dinner party for your most important friends and colleagues. Candles flicker, filling the room with a warm light that bathes the happy faces of your guests. Laughter dances through the air as people gather around the evening's main course. It's Sole Almondine and the chef has outdone herself again. You take your fork and just as you are about to take your first bite, you feel someone lean in next to you and gruffly whisper....."That's an exquisite centerpiece.......are those autumn leaves?"
And you'll turn and say..."Why no George Clooney, those are coffee filters......if you can believe it."
So there are some things in life that just aren't going to happen. And extreme praise from this generation's Cary Grant on your trashy little centerpiece is one of them. It's okay. Just be glad you got him into the house before he woke up from the sedative and without any of the neighbors seeing. They'll be plenty of time for praise after he sees you dressed as Mr. Freeze.
SKULK AROUND YOUR HOMESTEAD UNTIL YOU FIND:
- 3 dead branches- Make sure it has lots of good tree nubbins that we can glue our "leaves" to. We want it to look natural. So it's seemingly ridiculous that the next thing to get is.....
- watercolors- In school all of the good artists took this class. When you paint with watercolors you can't make mistakes because it dries too quickly, so you really have to be talented. Us? Oh no. We are going to disrespect water colors to no end. I took photography. We weren't even allowed in that room.
- two paint brushes- One big and one little
- coffee filters
- an empty wine bottle- Bonus! One less in the recycling bin means a little less judgment from the recycling guys!
- glue- I used the kind that you used to be able to find right next to the safety scissors in the back of the class in 2nd grade. If 2nd degree burns are more your thing, by all means plug in that hot glue gun and get out the ointment!
- scissors- non safety, but used safely.
- low expectations
- Lay out some paper towels to protect your beautiful faux wood grain countertop from 1977. It'd be a tragedy to lose that baby.
- Spread out a single coffee filter and using your watercolors, paint the majesty that IS autumn. Using the bigger brush cover most of the coffee filter with the warm yellows and oranges. The more water you use the lighter the colors will be.
Using the smaller brush come back with touches of red and brown. Heck, I even used some green. Do this to 3-4 coffee filters.
Allow to dry completely.
- Cue up "Batman & Robin". Watching this often underrated piece of cinema gold will not only help you joyfully pass the time whilst doing the next tedious task, but it will bring you back to a time when Batman was way less...."I'm going to jam this pencil in someone's head!" and waaaaay more "NA NA NANANANA Batman". A simpler time. A happier time. A time with better costumes.
- While doing your best Poison Ivy impression, cut leaves out of your coffee filters. I went for basic almond shaped ones. The coffee filters have a natural tearing that happens while cutting that actually make them look more like natural. I also folded them lengthwise and "squinched" them up and reopened them to achieve a more leaf-like quality to it. "Squinching" is kind of an art form but after a few times I'll bet you'll be the "squinchiest".
- Arrange your branches in the wine bottle and lay the whole thing on its side. Gravity is not our friend during this step. Start gluing leaves onto branches mimicking nature. Stagger the leaves, making sure to keep their natural curl and shape as you glue them to the branches. If you pinch the base a bit during the gluing it helps.
While waiting to dry, finish watching the movie while patiently waiting to hear "The End Is The Beginning Is The End" play during the credits. Because if it's one thing that angers people more than your love of Clooney Batman, it's your love of The Smashing Pumpkins.
Your elegant centerpiece is now ready for display! I'm just kidding. It's still just sticks and garbage. But it's YOUR pile of sticks and garbage and you're allowed to be proud of it!
Which I'm sure is the way Joel Schumacher feels. Good for you, Buddy.