Family tree

Someone forwarded a picture of a tree painted on a wall, on the branches of which were hung framed family photographs…a ‘family tree’ as it were. This is what it looked like:



My mother was immediately obsessed with the idea of recreating it in her house, and I volunteered to help bring her desire to fruition, as it would be technically impossible for Mum to paint it herself, now that she has a frozen shoulder among other movement issues with her arms.

But it turned out to be a project far more complex and involved than just getting down to it with some paints and a brush. The wall in question, in fact the entire room was in dire need of a paint job, and I being the perfectionist that I am, refused to compromise.

(A little bit of history about my Mum: she loves painting on walls. She once painted a bird sitting on a branch on the landing of an apartment building we once lived in. We had to leave it behind when we moved from there, and I wonder if anyone had the heart to paint over it…)

Despite the protests, I bought paint, rollers and wall putty and set to work. Prepping the room took a few days and a lot of hard work (which I was willing to do despite the laboriousness) and I did get some help which made the job a bit lighter, nevertheless, I was quite exhausted by the time it was all done.

After that it was just a matter of transferring a quick sketch from paper to wall, freehand with chalk. The tree itself only took a tiny fraction of the time it took to prep the wall. But it was well worth the effort.

I had so much fun with the tree! Never painted directly on a wall before!! 😀

Here are a few terrible pictures taken with my phone camera, just cos I wanted to share. Plus I’m terribly proud of it and everyone who visits my parents praises it profusely which makes my mother proud of me. 🙂

The wall was originally off-white. I decided to paint it a shade of golden ochre, which ultimately turned out to be a good choice.
(I rearranged the furniture in the lounge despite my mother’s stubborn protestations, and she has grown to love the arrangement, and generally perhaps, to realize that her way isn’t always the best way, haha)
The new background colour melded well with the acrylic colours i used for the trunk



10259942_10152024034214109_9079724614659324396_nSuch a coincidence that The Happy Page posted this drawing the same week that I did just this.

So this was one of the projects I threw myself into to keep me busy. The pictures on the tree have multiplied too, each and every tiniest member of our growing family is on this wall, much to the happiness of my mother.

What have you been up to lately?

Messes and miracles

Can anyone resist that home makeover show on BBC Lifestyle? The one where the architect dude is given a bunch of money saved up by couples/families in desperate need of improving their living space? I watched it last night after a really long time, and for some odd reason Huz watched it with me! Will wonders never cease? In fact, we were so transfixed by all that skill and expertise, we ended up watching two episodes back to back! I could see Huz was enthralled and as for me, I was just thrilled to watch him enjoy a show I absolutely adore.

The architect and his team went about bashing down walls, changing the lighting, carving out new spaces, tearing down old ones, repainting, refurbishing and rethinking everything, working within the budget they have been given, until the house is completely transformed into something simply marvellous. It’s nothing short of a miracle, and by the end of it, Huz and I are left starry-eyed and glowing with inspiration.

‘I could have been an architect instead of a computer scientist you know,’ says a wistful Huz.

By and large, we are quite happy with our little apartment. It could have been a little bigger, but still, I think it works for us. There is just one room which by default seems to have turned into a bit of a dumping ground for everything that doesn’t belong anywhere else in the house, and that happens to be Huz’s home office. I feel a twinge of guilt everytime I dump something else there, though really, Huz is as much of a pack-rat as I am as far as holding on to useless things is concerned. If I’m the bag lady, he’s the male equivalent….only he collects old busted phones and intercoms and wires. And the boxes they came in.  The logic? They’ll come in handy if we move.

All the furniture in the room is what I would like to call ‘eclectic’, but I know I’m just deluding myself. It’s just a mismatched array of  shelves and desks and cupboards acquired at different times, and I’m ashamed to say, without much thought to cohesion. There is also a stationary bike, a big white much-scribbled-upon board on the wall, a sewing machine piled with clothes that I need to stitch someday, two black and gray revolving chairs, a movable chest of blue and white plastic drawers, a vacuum cleaner and a dustbuster and a rechargeable emergency light, an ironing board (with all its accompaniments), and a portable fan on a stand that we use in areas where the air from the ceiling fan doesn’t reach. There are also cardboard boxes of  archived files in a pile next to Huz’s desk, and a red toolbox jostles for space amidst all the philosophy, literature, computer science, math, art and cookbooks on the bookshelf. Add that to the clutter of oil paints, turpentine, brushes, canvases and other paraphernalia I dabble in, and you have a disaster zone on your hands.

But as I said, we were glowing with inspiration after that makeover show, and I  sat on a revolving chair in the middle of the room in question afterward, while Huz pretended to be an architect and made some ambitious but ultimately impossible-to-implement floor plans on the white board. The ambitiousness wore itself out by degrees as it was of course bound to, but the zeal and the fervour for improvement prevailed and what followed was our own little miracle.

We cleaned out the whole room!