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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Inspired by... toadstools


Being surrounded by all this damp, earthy smelling goodness (we've had rain for three days now!) reminded me of a trip we made to the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York several years ago.

Growing up (literally, I was less the 2mo old the first time) my parents made a summer visit to their friends on Big Moose Lake every year. Half a lifetime of memories inspired the setting for the book Starflower. We had gone east for my cousin's wedding and, since everything in the northeast is within driving distance, decided to take a few extra days and drive to Big Moose. I hadn't been to Big Moose for (at the time) probably over 20 years and it was really neat to visit all the places I had recently written about in Starflower.

The abundance of mushrooms was a great delight! Having lived in Arizona for the previous ten years I had forgotten what wild mushrooms were like!

I think this is my favorite photo. Straight out of the camera!


This was really big. I wish I could have gotten closer.


Here is some texture lovin' fun with Kim Klassen's cinnamon texture!


Another large tree fungi.


I tried to look up the names of all these for you, but I just wasn't getting the satisfaction I wanted on Google.  This is possibly bracket or flatbush fungi (above). Unfortunately, many of the photos took me to nonsensical websites.

I found a lot of pictures of this beauty (below), but none with a name. One website listed it under edible fungi, but I would never (and don't recommend you do) eat any wild mushroom/fungi without first getting an okay from an expert. A friend of ours in Vermont used to grow edible mushrooms and knew which ones in the forest were safe to eat.


I do know what these are called: Indian Peace Pipes! They are really neat and I was excited to find two or three clumps while we were hiking around the lakes. Many times you will find them with their heads turned down so they look more like their namesake, but it had just rained which, I believe, is why these are standing straight up.  I used Klassen's waterstained frame texture @ 61% on this photo. It gave the pipes a nice sharp contrast.


I know sometimes it's hard to appreciate the use of textures when you don't know what the before shot looks like, so for the next one, I've given you the before and after!


I really liked this little purple fungi, but thought he (or maybe she?) was getting lost in the photo. So I added Klassen's canvasback, hue blend 100% and masked back in the fungi. It didn't quite give me the look I wanted so I kept adding layers and masking parts of the image in (or out) until I got something I was happy with. The 2nd layer was canvasback, multiply mode 100%, then a 3rd layer of canvasback, hard light at 57%.

Here is the result:


Your eye is drawn to the fungus, which was what I wanted for this image. I have to admit, I'm usually a purest when it comes to stuff like this, but the artist in me loves playing with Kim's textures!! Sometimes adding a texture and clicking through the blend modes produces some fun and exciting results!

Remember the smelly succulent blossom from yesterday's post? Here is one image I didn't share with you:


Klassen's vintage texture using the Difference blend mode produced this fun result! I'm lovin' me some purple!

If you're interested in learning about this "blend mode" / "texture" stuff but are new to Elements or Photoshop, Kim is offering a free intro class. I took it a couple of months ago and really learned a lot!

You can sign up by clicking the link below.


Okay, one final texture lovin' picture!! Kim just finished this really heavy texture called Ugg Love! I thought the old woodshed on the Big Moose camp property would be perfect to handle such a heavy texture. I really love how it turned out!


What do you think?

Do you like textures or are you a purest all the way?





Sharing inspiration here:

kimklassencafe and then, she {snapped}

SOOC Sundayjpg


  1. These pictures are great and I just love your textures.

  2. Wonderful photos..I had to stop in and say hello via Texture Tuesday.Lovely blog you have here..I'm happily following via http://theartsygirlconnection.blogspot.com/2011/09/fall-crawl-day-2-testure-tuesday.html ...Hope you can stop in sometime :)) Ty

  3. WOW, I am happy that you were able to re-visit the Big Moose woods and your photos are lovely and the fungi very interesting.

  4. You did an excellent job of adding texture to these gorgeous pictures... especially the texture of the woodshed... beautiful! And my favorite are the "Indian peace pipes"... so much beauty found in nature... amazes me always! Thanks for sharing tea with me last week. I enjoyed your company. Have a wonderful week~Poppy


  5. such crazy mushrooms! thanks for linking up!


If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June