Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First tenants

As soon as the tree was firmly in place, fixed with four bolts and meters of double sided tape, some living facilities had to be provided.
Imediat ce copacul a fost fixat bine pe perete, cu patru suruburi si metri de banda adeziva, trebuiau furnizate si locuinte utilate.

Built around a solid reinforced cardboard core,
Construita in jurul unui miez de carton armat,
...and benefiting from all mod cons like electrical wiring...
...si beneficiind de toate facilitatile moderne, cum ar fi instalatie electrica...
...this treehouse provides a modern, comfortable living space.
...aceasta casa-in-copac ofera un spatiu de locuit modern si confortabil.

At the same time, it blends into its environment through the clever use of quilted faux-bark walls...
In acelasi timp, se armonizeaza cu mediul inconjurator, datorita folosirii ingenioase a peretilor quiltati din imitatie de scoartza...
...and natural leaf roofing.
...si a acoperisului natural din frunze.
You must agree that this unique combination of features makes for an irresistible dwelling.
Trebuie sa recunoasteti ca aceasta combinatie unica de trasaturi concura la crearea unei locuinte irezistibile.

And it seems like I'm not the only one to think so. Look, somebody has already moved in!
Si se pare ca nu sunt singura care crede asta. Ia uitati, cineva s-a mutat deja in ea!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I have not been completely idle lately. Close, but not quite.
N-am fost cu totul lenesa in ultima vreme. Aproape, dar nu chiar cu totul.

Do you remember this project? It was in September last year that I started it. I appliqueed and painted and turned it this way and that and it still didn't look like anything. On the one hand, it was way too big to handle. On the other hand, no matter what I did to it, it still looked like a torn sweater stuck to a piece of curtain. The "customer" was getting restless and pushy. She wanted her tree. And she was right to, I mean, it's been 7 months!
Va mai amintiti proiectul asta? L-am inceput in septembrie anul trecut. Am aplicat si pictat si l-am tot intors pe toate partile, dar tot nu arata nicicum. Pe de o parte, era mult prea mare. Pe de alta parte, orice ii faceam, arata tot ca un erseu rupt atasat de o bucata de perdea. "Clienta" devenea nerabdatoare si insistenta. Isi voia copacul. Si normal, doar trecusera 7 luni!

So finally, one morning at the beginning of April, motivated by my friends' encouraging remarks (and I quote: "You do realise that rag will never become a work of art?") I decided to start over, but this time with a whole new approach. So, here we go!
Asa ca intr-un final, intr-o dimineata de la inceputul lui aprilie, motivata de remarcine incurajatoare ale prietenilor (si citez: "Iti dai seama ca o carpa ca asta n-o sa ajunga niciodata o opera de arta?"), m-am hotarat sa o iau de la capat, dar de data asta dintr-un unghi complet nou. Deci:

How to make a tree meant to cover up a mouldy wall area:
Cum sa faci un copac care sa acopere o suprafata de perete mucegaita:

Step 1: Chop up the old project! Ooh, that was liberating.
Pasul 1: Se taie tot ce s-a facut pana acum!

Step2: Realise that you now need a new lot of fabric. Go and buy a second hand cotton sheet.
Pasul 2: Se daseama ca acum iti trebuie alta bucata de material. Se merge si se cumpara un cearsaf de la second.

Step 3: Sketch the outline of the tree on paper, then transfer it to the sheet. Cut out and sew onto cotton batting.
Pasul 3: Se deseneaza conturul copacului pe hartie, apoi se transfera pe cearsaf. Se decupeaza si se coase pe vatelina.
Step 4: Apply the same technique to the branches and roots. Sew them onto their stumps. Swear a little when you realise that, despite your careful measuring, they do not match up. Sew everything, right sides facing, onto a backing (which incidentally is the old green curtain you chopped up at step 1), turn and iron. Do not get discouraged when your father says it looks like an albino polyp.
Pasul 4: Se aplica aceeasi tehnica radacinilor si crengilor. Se cos de cioturi. Se injura putin cand nu se potrivesc, in ciuda masuratorilor precise. Se coase totul pe un spate (care se intampla sa fie chiar vechea perdea verde pe care ai taiat-o la pasul 1), se intoarce si se coase. A nu se descuraja cand tata zice ca arata ca un polip albinos.

Step 5: Give it some colour! Enjoy getting yourself covered in paint. Love the result. Gloat and say "who's an albino now!"
Pasul 5: Se da niste culoare. Se face mizerie cu vopselele. Se adora rezultatul. Se umfla in pene si se spune "acuma cine-i albinos!".
Step 6: Give it some texture! Throw everything you have onto it (lace, knitting wool, decorative threads, felting wool etc) and cover everything with black tulle.
Pasul 6: Se da textura. Se arunca tot ce ai pe copac (dantela, lana de tricotat, fire decorative, lana de impaslit etc) si se acopera totul cu tulle negru.
Step 7: Quilt with variegated thread to create a bark effect. Love the result even more. Sew on some bits of the previously chopped sweater to complete the bark effect. Rip the tulle in various spots and pull out the felting wool, to create a moss or lichen effect (green on the branches, brown and grey on the roots).
Pasul 7: Se quiltuieste cu ata in degrade, pentru a crea un efect de scoarta. Se adora rezultatul. Se coase niste bucatele din jerseul mai sus mentionat, pentru a completa efectul de scoarta. Se sfasie tulle-ul in diverse puncte si se scoate lana, pentru a crea un efect de muschi sau licheni ( verde pe crengi, maro si gri pe radacini).
Step 8: Wait until 10pm, the day before Nora's birthday. Sneak into the room when she is not home, attach the tree to the wall with double sided tape (nothing too permanent, she might hate it and want to take it off immediately). Put double sided tape on every single leaf (previously cut out of the old project, plus some old shirts) and attach those to the wall too. By now it will be past midnight. Enjoy the result for a minute, then go home.
Pasul 8: Se asteapta pana la 10 seara, in ajunul zilei de nastere a Norei. Se strecoara in camera cand ea nu e acasa, si se lipeste copacul de perete cu banda dublu adeziva (nimic prea permanent, s-ar putea sa nu-i placa si sa vrea sa-l ia jos imediat). Se pune banda dublu adeziva pe fiecare frunza (taiate si astea din vechiul proiect plus niste bluze vechi) si se lipesc si frunzele de perete. Acum va fi deja trecut de miezul noptii. Se admira rezultatul un pic, apoi se merge acasa.

Step 9: Receive an excited phone call the next day, expressing in many ways how much she loves the tree. Feel relieved that the whole overdue tree issue is no longer threatening your friendship.
Pasul 9: Se primeste un telefon entuziasmat a doua zi, in care Nora exprima in multe feluri cat de mult ii place copacul. Se simte usurare ca problema copacului intarziat nu ne mai ameninta prietenia.

Step 10: Blog about it.
Pasul 10: Se pune pe blog.

Below is my happy customer. I hate that the tree is so droopy on the right hand side, but she arranged it and loves it like that, so who am I to question?
Mai jos este clientul fericit. Nu-mi place deloc ca pomul e asa de lasat pe partea dreapta, dar ea si l-a aranjat asa si asa ii place, deci cine-s eu sa o pun la indoiala?
I have another surprise in store for her, something to attach to the tree, you know, to make it look more lived-in. :) I'm hoping to finish that soon.
Mai am o surpriza pentru ea, ceva de atasat la copac, sa-l faca sa para mai locuit :) Sper ca o voi termina in curand.