Crafting the Tree of Life
I just got my old CPU going, a to-do on my 2016 list ever since 2015. Of all things precious, it was the photographs that I most wanted to salvage. Thankfully, I got it up and running, and my data was ready to be transferred. While taking the backup, a forgotten folder titled Tree of Life caught my attention. An impulsive double-click took me back in time such that I had to pen this post right away.
In 2009, it was that time of the year again – the annual makeover. The mirrored wall in the living room needed a change. More importantly, the false ceiling had given way due to leakage. I had just got it repaired post waterproofing. I needed something to secure it in the case of a mishap. I knew I wanted a mural. And everything on the market was way beyond my budget. I had no clue what I was going to do. So, I decided to do what I do best. Sleep over it and then do the first thing that comes to mind the next morning.
And this is what I managed to craft the next day – a tree out of newspaper stuck to the wall with fevicol and lots of cello tape to hold the shape of the trunk. The branches being thinner were naturally formed by making the paper wet. The upper branches moved to give support to the false ceiling.
The form was left to dry for two days. And then the tree was covered with a paste of plaster of Paris to add the rugged detailing. Another day to dry it off. Next, the painters pulled off the mirror pieces, smoothed the yellow bits of the wall, applied primer and then painted the wall a glorious sky blue.
I had got these tealights from IKEA that I wanted to put up for Christmas. Since my little nephews were coming over, I had to make sure they were out of reach from their inquisitive hands. So, I decided to put them up on the wall. I got the holders custom-made and fixed at strategic points. Then, I set about the most difficult task – hand painting the tree. Since the wall was painted, I had to be cautious not to drop any acrylic paint marks. Finally, after 15 days of hard work, and a little less than Rs 2500, I had a stunner on my hands.
The Tree of Life magically appeared.
Two years after crafting the Tree of Life, I was seeking change. Come December 2011 and I opted for a winter wonderland look with a white tree against a lavender wall. The blue flowers were picked from Brands for Less while the leaves were picked from Lifestyle, both from an earlier Dubai trip. And the accolades that poured in made the annual makeover a ritual of sorts.
The next December we went to a bright green wall, and the tree was back to earthy tones. We retained the blue flowers but got rid of the white leaves from the previous version. This was how December 2013 looked like.
I decided to take the leap of faith in 2014 and went for an off-white wall. In all the years I had lived in this home, I had never had the courage to have whitewashed walls. Well, you know what they say. Never say never. I painted the tree with chalkboard paint, added leaves via sponge painting and had two dainty little birds on the branches. And when it was done, I thought this was the best version yet.
Until December 2015 of course. We had the arrival of a little birdie and cherry blossoms filled the tree of life. This is how the tree of life looks currently.
Over the past few years, this tree of life has taken the place of pride in our home and our lives. Friends and family from far and near have come to pay their obeisance and click a picture beneath this star. I have won accolades for this work of art, and I am very house proud. December 2016 is fast approaching. Will the tree see a new lease of life? Or will it say adiós? As of now, I have no idea. But all I can say is a spontaneous moment is all it takes to create your masterpiece.I would know. So, look carefully, perhaps your Eureka moment is staring at you right now. Good luck.
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