So despite the somewhat unpromising title, I have made a lot of progress on the tree. It looks less wine-bottley because of the papier mache (thank you Cailin for the idea) I used. The papier mache itself is a relatively new invention because it doesn’t involve your typical ingredients. It uses only a roll of single ply toilet paper (any brand will do) and Elmer’s Glue All, glycerin, bleach (so it doesn’t mold), and Proform all-purpose joint compound. It’s a lot less messy and the outcome/appearance is easier to control. How did I come up with this? I didn’t! I did a Google search and found several Youtube videos of a kindly old cat lady who gave small lectures on how to make the stuff and endorsed her book in each video (I’d tell you her name, but I can’t remember it). I also added more limbs to the tree. I made the tire swing as Dustin so insightfully suggested, and I generally like the look of it, but I think it could be lowered a bit so that it’s closer to the ground. Speaking of the ground, that is another thing that I added. I bought a large sized green mat board and some grass that I think will be appropriate for all seasons, and I measured and cut the mat board to fit the size of the grass, and so covered the mat board with it. The tree sits on the ground, but is not attached to it, and really, I don’t think it needs to be. I also found what I think is the perfect container for the leaves/snowflakes. I chose a small bronze bucket which could also be appropriate to each season. I did try to put the leaves/snowflakes in one of those pretty, colored, and slightly see-through bags that I could just hook onto the tree, but it just didn’t look right and the dimensions were off, so that’s why I decided to use the bucket. In terms of the leaves, I found the right papers and appropriate colors that I want to use, and I decided that with a select few Summer leaves, I would turn them into little books (they are folded now and have a piece of leaf shaped computer paper with words between the folds).
1) I have typewritten some of my leaves/snowflakes. I like the look of it, and the fact that I used a typewriter to achieve this, but I am not bound to it. If the typewriter has got to go, then it will, but I will let you see for yourself.
2) Should I worry about finding a way to “close” the book leaves, or is it ok with just leaving them to hang open?
3) How many leaves should I put on the tree? I have nine limbs. Summer time should obviously have more leaves (unless I decide that this is some kind of sapling, which would be easier for me, but maybe not right). This tree will never look full, but I don’t picture it looking barren (except for in the winter of course). I’m envisioning about 15-20 leaves for the summer, 10-15 for the fall, and 7-10 snowflakes for the winter. It should be noted that I really only see my poems (when they are finished) using about 3-4 leaves/snowflakes per season.
Because of all of the materials that I started with and now have acquired in the past two weeks, my book tree, without including labor, costs $40/tree. If I include labor at a minimal rate, it will cost $50/tree. If I am fair with my labor, the tree’s price rises to $65. I know that I really have no need to get hung up on this detail (as I cannot see anyone actually wanting to buy this thing), I’m just wondering what I should charge if I really am pretending like my living depends on this. With that said, I DO NOT want to spend any more money on this thing (haha, I have created a money tree, but not the kind that I or anyone else wants). So I certainly welcome any suggestions that don’t involve me spending any more to get this tree where it needs to be.