Using a warped piece of wood for a unique cottage core centerpiece

I was at a barn sale over the holidays and found this key shaped piece of live edge ash.

Live edge ash slab

I had every intention of making a wall hanging with it at some point so I set it on a shelf and forgot about it for a few months. Cue to a few weeks ago when I pulled it down and realized it had warped really badly in my Wisconsin “extremely dry winter air with enough static electricity to generate power for Lambeau” studio. The entire long skinny neck of the wood had bent up about 3 inches. Time to think about plan B.

My crazy blue haired daughter is very into cottage core decor and has been pushing me to create some needle felted mushrooms so I decided that my warped wood looked like something I would find on the forest floor and would make an interesting fairy garden/mushroom forest. I wanted to make realistic mushrooms and happened upon one of these cool inky cap dudes last year in the yard so knew I wanted to include that in my design.

Since you rarely see more than one or 2 of these together, I decided to create some golden honey mushrooms as well. I wet felted the mushroom tops and the rocks and then created the mossy floor with various colored batts plus a whole slew of green embroidered french knots for texture and added in a few glass beads for sparkle.

When I showed my son he said that it needed a snail so went about creating a lifelike one (albeit a bit large for Wisconsin scale – if I still lived in Seattle it would be accurate, those slugs were monsters!).

This ended up being a really nice project and I am really glad that the wood warped directing me to look at alternative uses for it even though I could do without the air being so dry that I walk around with a defibrillator in my finger to have caused it!

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