Sunday, April 14, 2013

FINISHING your Easter Tree or, The Importance of Finishing a Project, even if it's slightly defective...

     I take after my dad in that I tend to be too much of a perfectionist sometimes.   Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it just prevents you from getting the job done.  My house is seasoned with the remnants unfinished craft projects that I started and, midway through, discovered a problem with, and then abandoned since they did not meet up with my perfectionistic standards.  Then there are times when life interferes and you just lose your momentum.

     This Easter tree, for example, started out wonderfully.  I worked all day on the first part, which I showed for you in my last post.  However, then Easter was almost upon us, and I had to battle the crowds for chocolate bunnies and edible whatnots, not to mention taking my daughter to the orthodontist for braces, etc, etc.  When I finally had time to work on this again, it was the day before Easter, and there were eggs to color, etc, etc, and also...  it was crooked.  Well, not exactly crooked, as in, tilting, but it was taller on one side than the other.

     I debated cutting the tall branches, buuuuttttt... in order to really fix it correctly, (here we go, folks) I had to take the one branch completely OFF, and reattach it further down the main branch, which would mean I'd have to take the duct tape off, and the wire, and what if it twisted?  What if I wrecked something else in the process?  How long would that take?  Why didn't I check it before?  What was I thinking?

I delayed.

... and delayed.

... and delayed.

     And finally I decided that a finished project is better than an unfinished and abandoned project, and I will just make a mental not to check for symmetry at the appropriate time on the next project.

     So now that I had decided to FINISH this project, even though Easter was over, I was kind of sad about what to do with it, and then I realized that April (yes, even though it's just about half over) is National Poetry Month... and I had an idea.

National Poet-tree Month

     I'm going to bring this to school and make it a Poet-TREE.  I'm going to ask the kids to write a short poem on a leaf, and hang it on the tree for National Poetry Month.  And now I'm excited about my tree again! 

     Here's what I did for this stage of the project:

     I wrapped each of the branches in plaster strips, purchased from my favorite craft store, Michael's.  Each roll of plaster coated fabric (It looks kind of like the bandages a hospital would wrap around an injured limb, on the bandages are infused with plaster pellets.  You cut strips of the stuff, dunk them into water (in a disposable container, NOT your sink - it would clog your drain!) and wrap them around your  piece of artwork.  The rolls of plaster fabric are about 8 inches wide, and I cut them into strips about 1 to 1-1/2 inches wide.  This tree took two complete rolls.  Each roll was under 10.00, but I used a coupon to purchase each one, so the cost wasn't bad.  

     In the picture above you can see the plaster roll packaging, as well as my disposable bucket (the bottom of a 1 gallon milk container, a pair of yuckied up scissor, and the ruler I was using for who knows what).  This is how far one roll got me.  As a matter of fact, this is where I was a few days before Easter. I wrapped the strips diagonally around the branches, putting a second coat in the opposite direction around branches that needed to be sturdier.

Today, I got smart and finished this project outside, because it's messy.  See how messy?  
OUTSIDE, I tell ya...

My jeans look like they contracted a bad case of white chicken pox.

     Not to mention that it's dusty.  So if it's windy and you can't stand upwind, wear a mask so you don't breath in the dust.

     I would have painted it today, but I wanted it to be COMPLETELY dry first so it's as sturdy as possible, and it doesn't get moldy inside.

Stay tuned!

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