I can’t seem to go for a walk in the woods without coming home with souvenirs: this trip, the list included a snake’s spine, bits of tinder polypore, some vivid red berries, a cattail about to burst, and of course, sticks. Scraps of wood are a bit of an obsession for me, especially gaunt, bleached driftwood and dark, spindly winter branches, not quite ready to bud.
When I tried to store my finds once I got home, I had to face what I had been ignoring for some time: my collection was getting out of hand. It ruled my bedroom. Sticks gathered dust in cardboard boxes under my bed, various bits of dried fungi socialized with the contents on my sock drawer, and deer teeth and Yorick the skull were always getting in the way (they serve the double purpose of enhancing the decor and scaring off unworthy boyfriends). Yes, it was time to tidy.
Getting rid of anything was unthinkable, so I had no other choice but to make something. I decided to start with a recent stick acquisition. I scoured my craft drawer and favorite artists to see what can be done with it As it turns out, a great deal; and my inspiration ranged from Dia de los Muertos-inspired yarn-wrapped limbs to ghostly white branches in a dark shadow box.
But I ended up settling on something that could create the effect of my favorite season: spring.
Inspired by the combination of textiles and natural branches, I started playing with some felt scraps and one of my sturdier specimens. It started out as a leaf or two…
…which became a few more…
…which found its way into a vintage vase that needed filling. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Now, for something to do with that spine.