Watercolor leaves step-by-step and what a city girl needs while camping with kids

Is it fall where you are yet? Yesterday we all wore comfy hoodies and took a walk through the woods to take in all the changing leaves... they were mostly green and yellow, sooo summer may not completely be gone yet. But it's on it's way out. So I thought it might be fun to share a fun fall art project with you. While camping, we took some time to make leaf watercolor prints to commemorate our trip. You all bring along a set of watercolors when you go camping, right? I'm not crazy....  

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Step one: Gather some cool leaves

Step two: Trace a leaf in little pencil onto watercolor paper

Step three: Erase the pencil line you just drew until you can barely see it

Step four: Fill in the leaf with water, get enough on there so the entire leaf is wet at the same time

Step five: Get some watercolor on your brush a dab a spot on the leaf, no brushing here, just dabbing

Step six: repeat step five until the paint has bled throughout the inside of you leaf

**the water will carry the paint and bleed the different shades together for you giving it a really cool effect

Step seven: let it dry

Give this a try for your fall décor this year!

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{PS: I got the idea from Martha Stewart!}

Have you seen the Fall Leaf Frames I did a couple years ago with leaves from Roaring River? A bit more involved, but still a fun fall activity.

Before we took our crew camping for four days I had a little panic attack when I realized that I'm pretty much a city girl. I would not describe myself as "outdoorsy", although I don't mind  being outside I have grown particularly fond of cleanliness {in a broad sense} and electricity and beds and being dry while I sleep.

I have a bunch of friends who like to camp and do so often, so I asked them for their best advice for a city girl taking her crew camping for the first time with no electricity.

{Full disclosure: We were at a Missouri State Park. This was not in the middle of nowhere, very civilized. I wasn't in the bush in Montana or anything. Don't let me alarm you, I tend to be a bit dramatic :)  }

Here is some good advice I got on what to bring {beyond the obvious} as well as what worked well for us!

1. If the kids can bring bikes, bring them. Or any favorite outdoor toy. The bikes were a great pastime while I was cooking or cleaning up the camp and daddy was off catching supper :)

2. An extra pair of shoes for each child. One to wear while the other pair dries. Because those little feet always find water.

3. A clothes line. If only for towels. I hate drying off with a damp towel. Maybe not a necessity, but made life more enjoyable :)

4. Some art supplies. Even if it's just a sketch book and some crayons. This helps the kids take in their surroundings and reflect on what they are experiencing. Again, not a necessity, but super worth it for me!

5. A cover for the picnic table. I borrowed this one from my friend. It was so nice to have some shade in the middle of the day {our campsite had two puny trees}.

6. At least 2 jugs of water per day. For hand washing, putting out fires, and washing dishes.

7. Two coolers. One for the food, one for the drinks.

8. A shovel. I was informed this was for digging a trench around your tent if it rained. We used it for more personal reasons when Tiger decided camping was a great time to take a vacation from potty training.

9. Coffee. And a way to brew it. I got the method but forgot the grounds... and it was not pretty. The tag shop at the park had complimentary coffee. It did the trick, but it was pretty bad. I can only imagine what a good cup of coffee would have been like in those beautiful surroundings and crisp morning air. I guess I'll have to wait until next year to find out. You can bet I won't be making the same mistake again!

10. If at all possible, bring along a grandparent or two. That will do wonders for the morale around camp :) Cameron's grands {the ones who have been bringing him since he was a boy} came up to join us a the river for a day. Four adults to four kids is a more reasonable ratio when camping.