One of the most fulfilling projects of 2012!
Every year, at Remembrance day CanSupport would put up a simple tree, craft paper leaves, pinned on a banner or branches in a vase, where families of patients (looked after by CanSupport, in their last days of battle with cancer) put up messages for their loved ones. This year, volunteers at CanSupport thought of creating an actual tree, one that would glow and grow with the wishes and love with each leaf tied on to it; and one that we could dismantle and put up, year after year, maybe at other CanSupport events as well.
For this year, we had a few brainstorming sessions, planning the project on paper. The focus was to recycle and reuse as much as we can and keep expenses to a minimum. When you see the tree finally, it is hard to tell what all is inside! With a super creative soul like Amy Potter, who brought with her not only expertise and skill in art but also the sensitivity to imagine scenarios and completely fool-proof the plan, we had a sure winner on the way. The first step, we got a pedestal made that would hold the weight of the tree and keep it stable and safe to be around.
The main trunk you see is a drain pipe fixed with C-PVC pipes used for electrical fittings. At the top, moth of the pipe, we taped on an empty coke/7up bottle and stuck a few C-PVC pipes in to give it a natural shape. The base structure was then built on with cardboard, newspaper and cloth to give it shape and form. Decorative branches (from last year’s Tribute Tree were fitted in the C-PVC pipes and further built on with paper mache and Plaster of Paris; and the trunk, likewise. We had some children volunteers who really helped us finish them, one after the other and the completion seemed nearer.
The day we finished working on all the branches, our tree looked beautiful. We left her in the veranda and were excited to get back the next morning and start with the painting. I was 10 minutes away from the office and I got a call from Amy about all the branches drying off in the
drooping position and she was so disappointed. We were both sad because out tree looked sad. And then, as we were fiddling with the branches, looking for solutions, one of us turned the drooping branch the other way and voilà! Our tree, she stood up, tall and graceful. A few moments of meditation (and contemplation) can turn any negative into positive 🙂
The drooping branches turned up and transformed into our graceful and elegant Tribute Tree. The next step, we dismantled all branches and started the painting. It was amazing how the best textures were achieved painting with bare hands! For the leaves we painted lengths of cloth with exterior paint and varnished it. The strength of our hands were tested with all the cutting and punching of holes. A special thanks to the CanSupport staff that took time out to help us and made our
Tribute Tree the most beautiful one.
That unforgettable moment when our tree took the centre stage at the Remembrance Day.
Do join us for the CanSupport Walk for Life on 32st january 2016, when we would be doing the installation again at the venue. Come and experience the feeling we have created her with.