The initial inspiration came from a post where someone was using watercolored coffee filters as the material for cutting autumn leaves for a window decoration. I spent nearly an hour haunting my favorite craft blogs trying to find it to no avail. If you find it, let me know so that I can link to it. [NB: thank you, City Wife, for finding it for me! It is here.]
Anyway, I pulled out my coffee filters and my much-loved liquid watercolors and laid the filters out on newsprint. Then I sprayed the filters with water, and dropped nice big splats of paint onto them. I love watching watercolors spread out on wet paper. I used yellow, green, orange red and brown. My photos of the painted filters came out rather fuzzy and uninspiring, unfortunately. While they were drying, I went out and searched our shrubs for some dead, tree-like branches for my trees. I found some that fit the bill very well, and, because I needed them to have longer "trunks", I used masking tape to attach them to some sticks.
When the filters were dry, I folded them into eighths and cut little leaves from them.
Stick them in a vase or tuck them in somewhere for some autumn joy!
[For more autumn joy, here is another autumn leaf tutorial!]