Sunday, March 6, 2011

Growing Tree Details

So I just finished the Growing Tree Growth Chart for my cousin's baby who turns 1 today!! My last post included the project's progress.  Now I am including a more detailed description of what everything is and how it was done.  I loved this project and love the way it turned out!!

This is the finished product:
  1.) This is the only bird I ended up attaching.  This is for her birth information and says "Cedar Rose, March 6, 2010, Birth Weight: Birth Height:". I did not get a clear enough picture of this to include it, but I got good enough shots of the other measuring birds. 
  2.) My cousin loves mushrooms and I think they are so cute.  I was going to try to cut my own out of balsa wood partly because I am crazy but partly because I am so stubborn - I think if you are going to hand make something, you should HAND MAKE it... but that's the crazy in me... but I realized there's no reason to do that if you can find already made pieces that work together.  So I compromised with myself - I didn't hand make the mushrooms, but I found pre-made balsa wood bells and baseball bats and used them together.  The bells (two different sizes) had a round piece on top and one coming out of the bottom - I snapped/cut them off and sanded them down.  I then attached the bells to the baseball bats. I painted them and made the spots with paper.
  3.) I had gone back and forth with the tree knots many times. At first, I was going to use them as the measuring labels.  Then I wasn't sure if I should make them out of wood or cork. Then I wasn't sure I was going to include them at all.  I finally thought of carving the cork to make it look more like a real knot. I decided to use the cork because a) it's eco-friendly and b) it's easy to carve.  I carved out the middle and cut down the side and I painted it.  It was difficult to match the brown of the tree trunk, but I decided I liked it anyway and thought it was a cute, 3-D touch.  
  4.) I randomly found the balsa wood name-plate.  It worked so well .  I found this awesome white-washed fence paper I had and it was perfect for the name plate.  I glued on the jute cord to make it look like the name plate was hanging from the branch. I painted and attached the letters - I don't always do the stereotypical pink for girls but my cousin had said she liked pink and brown and I thought the pink looked great against everything.   
  5.) My cousin had asked if I could try to include a wild rose, and because Cedar's middle name is Rose I really wanted to be able to, but I was not sure how to incorporate it so I wrestled with it for a while.   Once again, I thought I should make the flowers myself, but walked into Michael's and immediately saw some flowers that caught my attention. I took the pre-made tissue paper roses and ripped off the little center cone-shaped petals and glued on a second flower that was more like a wild rose. I painted the centers yellow.
  6.) I made the owl's body and wings out of football patterned paper, which is pretty much unnoticeable but gives it good depth/texture.  The eyes are just plain, white paper and the beak is orangish paper I had.  I used a black, velvet paper and a hole punch for the owl's and birds' eyes.
  7.) The tree trunk is decoupaged on.  I really wanted it to look like bark on the tree and have good texture.  I found a great patterned paper with a "dirt" pattern on it that was perfect to rip up and put on like bark. I crumpled up some pieces then laid them somewhat flat to give it the texture I wanted.  I added little pieces of tealish paper to resemble moss on the tree.
  8.) I really wanted to have picture frames of some sort on here, so I made picture frames look like birdhouses.  I bought little wooden picture frames and cut the two pieces of wood for the roof.  I covered the right house's roof with pine cone pieces.  I added the mini name plate and painted her last name on it.
  9.) The tree top background was made with two different papers. The lower paper was a darker, muddled camo. The upper paper is a forest pattern.  The leaves are a thicker, dark green, textured paper.  I didn't want to overwhelm it with leaves so I only scattered them around.  They are very well-glued on and completely baby/child-proof.
  10.) For the sky, I glued multiple layers of light blue tissue paper and painted over it with a blue wash to blend it all.
  11.) I used the same black velvet that I used for the bird and owl eyes as I did for the "ruler" and the numbers.

This is the back - I screwed in the picture hanging rings, twisted a couple of jute cords and tied them on to make a hanger.  
I made two pouches out of a paper grocery bag to keep the birds in so that they don't get lost or scattered.  Because they are on the back, too, and will be against the wall, Cedar will not be able to get into them easily.   

This is a close-up of the pouch and the birds. I made 12 birds in total, so 6 in each pouch.  The label area says "Cedar Rose, Date:, Age:, and Height". 

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