Friday, January 10, 2014

My Mushroom Addiction

This post is not about Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan or Wood Icing™  It is about something not too many people know about me.  It is about my addiction to mushrooms.  Shocking I know, but sadly true. My addiction has nothing to do with the consumption of them or the recreational qualities some mushrooms have.  It has everything to do with the beauty I find in them. 
My addiction began with this big ole mushroom, I happened across it nearly 20 years ago.  I call it my Brain Mushroom.  It is quite large. measuring 12 inches across and approximately 8 inches tall.  As I got out of my car to go into the  building where I worked there this beauty was at the base of a tree. I believe the gardener knocked it loose while spreading fresh mulch.  As soon as I laid eyes on it and realized it was probably headed to the scrap pile, I felt compelled to pick it up and put it in the trunk of my car.  I left it on a shelf in the garage for nearly 6 months. The color never changed, I believe because it was kept out of the light all that time.   Once I felt it was dried out enough I shellacked it and put it up on my book shelf. 
I make these little sculptures from my menagerie of mushrooms and a glue gun.  As you can see, I include sea shells we find when we go to the ocean or gulf.    This one has two sea shells flanking each side. We found them on the beach while visiting San Diego, CA a few years ago.  
Of course my husband Jack thought I had lost my mind at the time, but now he is addicted too He brings me fascinating mushrooms when he finds them in the woods.  He brought me those beautiful white frilly lacey ones that are extremely fragile.  Some of them don't make it through the drying phase but most survive and into my little collection on the shelf they go.
This sculpture  includes a sand dollar we found while vacationing in Sarasota, Florida. We love Sarasota and have such fond memories while there with our kids.  One visit I felt sooo guilty when I realized  my children might  have taken every single sand dollar out of the Gulf that summer. Happy to say they had left plenty behind. 
This mushroom has been on my web site for years.  Of course it has Wood Icing™ spread onto it and some leaf and fern stamps pressed into it.  This is the type mushroom used to make those cute little mushroom birds for flower arrangements.  It grows on the side of trees and once it is dry it has bark like finish on one side and a velvety feel to the inside.  Over the years, children and visitors would scratch into it, with their finger nails, to see if it was indeed a real mushroom, so eventually it became a little ugly. Soooo, here comes the Wood Icing™ to save the day!

This one has a Rose Rock (on the bottom left) my sister-in-law Chris gave that to me a few years ago. I just love the fact that a "Rose" rock even exists.  I also love it when I receive things that represent my name.  It is so thoughtful, and I enjoy the fact someone thought of me enough to bring me something that reminds them of me at that moment. So sweet.

Well it is out now, I really am addicted to mushrooms. I know you have seen some crazy ones too.  Try leaving them in a cool dark place for um-ever ( 6 months) and eventually they will dry out.  You can then seal them with a polyurethane or shellac to help preserve them.