Thursday, May 24, 2012

Meg's Mushroom

My very dear friend Meg is a wise and wonderful, bright and happy, gloriously funny person.  She's one of those people who just lifts your spirits whenever they're around.  And her favorite colors just happen to also be happy and bright - citrus colors like orange, yellow, and "Kermit" green, as she calls it.  So, when I saw this happy little orange guy waving to me from the side of the road on a rainy day, it made me think of her.  It's happy.  It's bright and colorful.  It's radiating joy and light even on a rainy day.  That's Meg.  So, here he is in all his happy little orange cheerfulness peeking out from a bed of pine needles and oak leaves.  And if you look very carefully, you will see a little baby one right beside it.  So CUTE!
Photo by Starr White
 I love this photo so much (cute mushrooms make me ridiculously happy) that I was inspired to re-create it in textiles.  I have a beautiful piece of orange batik I bought a while back that I thought would be perfect for the orange cap.

First, I made a template by drawing the shape on a piece of paper. Next, I cut it out and used it to cut a shape from the fabric, making it a little larger than the template so that I could applique' it to a piece of canvas.

Here, I have applique'd the cap and a little felt stem and begun to add the little white spots on the cap.  I used a combination of turkey knots and french knots to re-create the shaggy little spots.  I think I might go back and add more later, but this was enough to let me see that I was on to something!  I also cut out a couple of oak leaf shapes from brown felt.

I wasn't quite sure how to depict pine needles, so I did a little experiment on a separate piece of canvas to see how it would look before I added to the mushroom.  I tried to think of some super artistic way to portray the pine needles, but in the end, I went with really long straight stitches.  I think it turned out OK!

So, here is where we are now.  We have mushroom with pine needles!  I added one strand of a burnt orange thread to try to represent the color of pine needles.  Just a few here and there.  I like the effect, and I'm also happy with the fact that I accidentally but happily reflected the orange of the mushroom cap in the bed of pine straw.  I plan to work on attaching the oak leaves today and perhaps trying to represent that little teeny tiny baby pine tree in the foreground.  Overall, I am happy with how it's coming along, and I am already planning a larger, more detailed piece.  I think I might try painting the background next time so there isn't so much empty white space.  It's so much fun to work on these little projects.  I learn so much from each and every one.  I hope you like it!


Meg said...

Aw shucks! You're too kind. Starr, this mushroom is adorable. The found one and the made one. I like the way you just see things and recreate them. You are so clever!

Starr White said...

Thanks Meg! I'm so glad you like it. It's not quite finished yet...stay tuned!

Susan Elliott said...

Hi Starr! Thanks so much for connecting and commenting on my blog today. I am enjoying YOUR blog very much and have added you to my reader. First of all, your little turkey-work mushroom spots are just great!

And your comment about pine needles made me smile I've been studying Japanese embroidery for more years than I'd like to admit. Always the pine needles are depicted by long straight stitches! Bravo! You came up with the same answer as the ancient Japanese embroidery masters!

Starr White said...

Susan, thanks so much for stopping by, and for your kind words of encouragement. You made my day!