I'm travelling into a new way of working, a new country, a new language, and a new hobby which I'm passionate about. Come with me for some of the journey...

Friday, 6 September 2019

There's not mushroom inside...






No, they're all over the outside!  And there certainly isn't much room inside as it's only a little box.  Sorry for the appalling pun... back to business now.

It's time for a new challenge at A Vintage Journey and the lovely Julia is asking us to Box It Up.  You'll find all the details of the theme along with some spectacular inspiration from my fellow Creative Guides over at A Vintage Journey.

My offering is a 3-inch Artist Trading Block covered in fungi in two dimensions and in three.

Tim Holtz's new mushroom stamps were an absolute must for me.  My mother, Cestina (of Cestina's dolls houses), is a fungi fanatic - at least partly owing to her Czech parentage (the Czechs are huge gatherers of wild mushrooms... it's all those fairytale forests in their landscape).





She's always complaining that there aren't enough mushrooms around here at Words & Pictures, though they have put in the occasional appearance over the years (quite recently over at PaperArtsy, or rather longer ago courtesy of Stampotique and I'm sure there have been others).  I thought these gorgeous tiny botanical images might finally shut her up!












It all started with one of Calico Craft Parts sturdy MDF boxes, and I cut 6 3x3 panels of watercolour paper to decorate it.














First of all, they got a smooshing of Old Paper and Antique Linen (for that old botanical sketchbook look)...














... but then I got tempted into a little more colour with some Tumbled Glass for the sky.















I only needed the fungi on four panels to go around the sides of the box, and I stamped them as though it was one long panoramic scene.














It works really nicely as all the illustrations have a grassy segment at the bottom so you can join them up very easily.














I had a lovely time "colouring them in" with a waterbrush, Distress Inks and washes of Fresco paints.














I decided to keep the mushrooms themselves in soft neutrals, from the palest of grey/beiges to a darker, nuttier brown in some cases.














And of course you get another touch of colour with those grassy knolls and tufts.















The background stamping details are all from the same stamp set - the tiny script, the specimen label and some of the delicate spatter is stamped too.














The top and bottom panels of the box got some more layers of smooshed Distress Ink and Oxide in various shades of brown to create a nice woodland floor.













The moss and logs I used for my Stargazing Skeleton scene were still just by the craft table, so it was a pretty short step to deciding they would play a part on the top of the ATB.








But I really needed some mushrooms to sprout there too... out with the modelling clay.  This is a Fimo type clay, rather than air-drying, so it needed baking.  They're pretty ugly in the original colour (bought mainly for doll-making).














A few layers of Fresco chalk paints later, and a sweep of Archival ink for the final burnishing...
















... and I'm really pleased with the finished look.














I even carved some gills into the underside of the mushroom heads.















I really like that you get the toadstool illustrations all the way around the box...















... and then the three dimensional scene echoing them on the top.














An Idea-ology tokens warns you to watch out which fungi you're picking for the pan.  There's a Czech proverb which says: All mushrooms are edible, some of them only once.















And I've used tiny phrases extracted from the quotes on my PaperArtsy EAB01 Trees & Flowers plate...














... just the odd word or two, which seemed right for the subject matter.















Fungi roots (or more properly, mycelium) can spread a long way underground.















What you see sprouting on the surface is a tiny proportion of the potential fruiting capability.














And you certainly do get fungi in lots of wild and crazy forms, even if the ones here are tamely beige!













I hope you like my box of mushrooms, and I hope you'll be inspired to Box It Up with us this month at A Vintage Journey.  As I said, there's lots more inspiration over there to get you going.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and I'll see you again soon.

I say, I say, I say (Not you again)...
My dustbin's absolutely full with toadstools
(How do you know it's full?)
'Cos there's not mushroom inside...
From Lonnie Donegan's My Old Man's a Dustman

At the Mix It Up Challenge it's an Anything Goes with an optional twist of a 3D project - done!
613 Avenue Create are playing Anything Goes with an optional twist of Pop Up or Exploding Boxes - my box is not quite a pop up, but there are mushrooms sprouting up!
At Moo Mania & More they are inviting us to Use A Stamp - I used several!
It's another Anything Mixed Media Goes at the Creative Artiste Challenge Blog

48 comments:

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Who would have known a box with mushrooms on it would be so appealing? And a great back story that involved your mother, too. The completed box turned out fantastic, but I also loved following along as you showed us each step in the process. I admit, it's certainly inspirational. This turned out so much better than the box it began as. Great job.

Julia Aston said...

How wonderful are your mushrooms Alison! both stamped and awesomely 3D! They look SO real - well done you! A beautiful mix of soft woodland colors, lichen and mushrooms! Thanks so much for joining in on my challenge with such a beautiful box! Julia xx

Chrissy said...

Oh, I just love your mushroom box Alison..love the panels with all the mushrooms and toadstool and your clay mushrooms and fabulous, I love your log too, just been trying out toilet rolls for logs..coming out pretty good..Brilliant fun project Alison..

Luv CHRISSYxx

Christine Alexander said...

OMG Alison I love this little mushroom box. the effect of the fresco paints is amazing and love your DOX backgrounds :)

Helen said...

Fabulous box, love the mushrooms on top and the decorated box itself.

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful project Alison, love the beautiful mushrooms, on the vintage looking box and on the top. Fantastic project. Have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie

Amanda said...

Oooh lovely, loving the clay mushrooms topping off those super panels.
Great ATB
Love
Amanda x

Annie said...

Oh Alison x I absolutely love your mushroom box and the headline pun made me smile xx Gorgeous stamping but the handmade mushrooms are fantastic and look very lifelike xx TFS

Have a great weekend
Annie xx

craftytrog said...

Fabulous! I love your clay mushrooms Alison!

Dorthe said...

This is adorable , so much love put into this beautiful piece,- I love your mushrooms you created for the top of your box and the woodsy landscape they grow in, they are perfectly formed. And all the stamped ones , so real looking, too , this is a wonderful box, dear.
Hugs, Dorthe

Cestina said...

Now what on earth makes you think that such a wonderful feast of fungal delights would make me shut up? It is clearly designed to leave me wanting more! Yesterday we were given a lot of liĆĄky (chanterelles for non-Czech speakers).

Now they are very pretty mushrooms indeed for you to work your magic on..... xx

Nikki Acton said...

Not a huge fan of mushrooms (sorry Cestina!) but I will make an exception as this is fabulous creation. The Fimo fungi are so realistic - great job moulding and painting. As always your inky talents standout. A wonderful creation. Thanks for the humour too! Nikki xxx

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, what an amazing make! I love the mushroom stamps and the ones that you created for the top,all the detail is stunning 😁. Thanks for the inspiration and Happy September! Hugs,Jo x

hazel said...

This is amazing Alison, I love the mushrooms.
xxx Hazel.

mamablitger said...

Amazing work . The mushrooms on the top of the box look fabulous ! Thank you for sharing this fantastic box with us.
Hugs from Monica
Spain

My name is Erika. said...

Wow, this is amazing Alison. Those mushrooms are really cool. I like how they match your images on the side of the box. What a super take on this challenge. Happy weekend. hugs-Erika

experiments in paper said...

Oh, how fun(gi)! Sorry, couldn't resist! Truly a wonderful little box.... the stamping is perfect on those fabulous backgrounds, both skyward and ground. And those sculpted mushrooms are brilliant! Fabulous take on the theme! Hope you have a fab weekend.... xxx Lynn

Fonda said...

Lovely box! I really like your style.

Patty O'Malley said...

What a fantastic creation, Alison! I'm sure it has made your mother happy!

Meggymay said...

A fabulous make over for the box, those hand made mushrooms look super although I would pass on eating them, well it would be a shame to spoil the look of this wonderful display.
Yvonne xx

Chana Malkah said...

This is stunningly creative! You did an outstandingly fabulous job integrating the woodland colors into your design and those magnificent mushrooms are just a delight for the eye, Thanks so much for sharing this most creative venture with us at 613 Avenue Create!
Hugz,
Chana Malkah, Owner/Designer

Anita Houston The Artful Maven said...

Pinned this fungi ATB!!! LOVE the scene on top and each side is delightful, and makes me want to walk in this little wooded area...so cute and fun!

Craftyfield said...

How delightful, Alison! I love the stamped panels and the actual mushrooms look real, with those bits of moss and wood… perfect!

Neet said...

Utterly divine. What a gorgeous box you have made for our delight. I now know I NEED those mushroom stamps - they are fabulous. Got lots of polymer clay so can make mushrooms but I am not sure I can paint them quite as good as yours. You have made a wonderful job with the colouring of both the box and the little elements on top.
I am in love - again!
Hugs, Neet xx
ps love the Czech saying

Redanne said...

Oh my, Alison, this is absolutely stunning! I have been resisting buying these stamps, maybe not for much longer... The Fungi you created from clay look fantastic and so, so realistic. A superb creation! Anne xx

Astrid Maclean said...

A fantastic box Alison, and you have used the stamps just beautifully (they are probably the only ones of the new release that slightly tempted me)... the bit that I like the best though are your handcrafted ones, they look super and are the perfect topping for your box!

sarascloset said...

Love your woodland ATB, and your pun to open up your post! The inked shrooms are stunning, but those clay dimensional types on top are PERFECT specimens! Well done on this box theme, Alison!

Meihsia Liu said...

Love this fun and awesome marsh room box, Alison. The stamped images and all the embellishments on top of the box are fantastic! Such a great inspiration! :D

froebelsternchen said...

Such a delight! Not only the box which is amazing but those mushrooms which are simply unbelievable fascinate me!
I am thrilled about this little box - it's a rare beauty!!!! Not just the Czech love their mushrooms .. here in my area in Waldviertel they are crazy about mushrooms as well. The summer was too dry , so there aren't much yet to find....

Thank you so very much for joining us at Moo Mania & More dear Alison!
Hope you enjoy your September so far. It really got a little bit more autumnal here as well, but they prognosticated super 25° Celsius for Friday again.
Wonderful time lately with the weather in our region.

Big hugs,
Susi

Roosterhead Designs said...

Dear Alison I love your box! Thank you for the journey you have shared with us.
This is delightful and inspiring! and also 'art work' in it's truest form~ imho
Loving that you took thought to make it a 'continual' theme around the box. Beautifully done on each panel. Loving the background inking and all the stamping. and what a lovely scene on top as well!! So artfully done and life-like really~ And I appreciate the humor ; ) muchroom . . . Oh, and that great Czech proverb! Thanks for the beautiful art! Hope all is well~ karen o

Mac Mable said...

Your Mum is going to love it!.....Such a cute size and you've done wonders with it. Love the 2D images wrapped around the box and then the punchy 3D elements at the top. You are so creative and you sure look like you had fun with those clay mushrooms x A fun project and absolutely stunning and super cute x.

Lys said...

Sure your Mum is satisfied to see such wonderful mushrooms at Words and Pictures! Both 3d and stamping, what a perfect combination!

Rosie said...

Wow, Alison, that's a gorgeous project

Thank you for joining us at MOO MANIA & MORE

Chrissy said...

Back with my DT hat on Alison..
Thank you so much for joining in with us at 613 Avenue Create..hope you will play along again..

Luv CHRISSYxx

Ann Chuang Crafts said...

Fabulous box!! I love the mushroom stamps and all the embellishments on top of the box.
Ann xx

Cocofolies said...

Wow and WOW Alison!
You will never cease to amaze me, I adore your mushrooms and the whole box!!!!!!
Wonderful work. Just pinned this on my inspirational boxes board (as many of your artworks :)
Corinne xxx

Sue said...

This is amazing Alison! I love your stamped mushrooms, and the baked clay ones are brilliant and all this on a 3x3 box! Have a very happy week, Sue xx

Barbara said...

Adorable piece! love love love your skill to create a story with your work! The details of your work are absolutely stunning and wow... your use of neutral colors is always incredible! Barbara

Jennie Atkinson said...

Oh !!! that is SO beautiful Alison! the mushroom around the sides of the box look stunning on your fabulous backgrounds and then the fimo mushrooms .......... amazing! And all on a 3 x 3 box! Brilliant! x

Anneke said...

Wonderful! You not only make something but there is more to it!
That’s what makes your work special! And of course all the work you put in
your projects, al the pictures you make! You are an artist!

A Pink said...

Oh Alison, Like ?? forget that I LOVE your box of mushrooms. A truly magical scene. Wonderful use of earthy tones and woodland textures . You have showcased Tims mushrooms stamps so perfectly and brought the stamped images to life even more with your fabulous sculpted fimo mushrooms . So realistic - they look good enough to eat ....
Superb Creativity .

Hugs
Amanda
x

I am now going to make a start on catching up on all your posts I have seen but have yet to visit . Apologies for being so late in doing so . xx

Paper Profusion said...

Exceptional, magical make Alison!! I can imagine little fairies dancing around on it! Even carving the undersides, there is no end to your capacity for wonderful detail!! Have a very happy weekend. Nicola x

Andree said...

A fabulous box of mushrooms. Wonderfully soft colours, gorgeous stamps and amazingly real-life looking fungi.
Thank you for joining in with our September challenge "Anything Mixed Media Goes" at Creative Artiste Mixed Media. Good luck x

Suzette Hussey said...

I have one word - AMAZING! Thank you for joining in our challenge at Creative Artiste Mixed Media.

Jackie PNeal said...

I believe this has jumped to the top of my favorites by Alison list! Outstanding and brilliant!! Everything about this piece speaks to me!
Your mushroom creations are out of this world!
xoxo Jackie

ps, I have been away so long and missed some posts, have I missed any updates about your move?

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

This is a true masterpiece Alison, so relaxing giving off an aura of calmness that I seek so much in life at the moment. Beautifully constructed and so artful in design. One to be admired for a lifetime.. Sorry I have not been over to visit for what seems like an age, time is non existent for any downtime but I've treated myself to an hour this Sunday to play catch up. HUgs Tracey xx

Maryann scrapbooking said...

Franchement rien d'étonnant à ce que tu sois dans le top 3 de Creative Artiste Mixed Media, car je reste sans voix devant cette incroyable création.
Qui a demandé de la réflexion et de la recherche.
Un immense bravo...
Amitiés.
MaryannG

Frankly no wonder you're in the top 3 of Creative Mixed Media Artist, because I am speechless in front of this incredible creation.
Who asked for reflection and research.
A huge bravo ...
Friendships.
MaryannG

pearshapedcrafting said...

Sorry I laughed - not at your wonderful mushroom ATB but at the title which reminds me of my Mum - a Lonnie Donegan fan (so am I and often play his music in the car!) The colours on you block are so absolutely Mushroom!! Hugs, Chirisx