Saying farewell to summer with an Under the Sea tree

Over the summer, I had the immensely good fortune to visit my best friend and beloved nephews (who refuse to stop growing like weeds) for the first time in two years. When she asked me to create little paintings for the boys’ bedrooms before I left, I might have freaked out though. I do not paint! I can’t draw to save my life. I get really pissed off when I’m not good at something right away (cough, there’s an Eddie Izzard quote about painting that fits me pretty perfectly, cough). But I persevered. For the children!

Indeed, by the power of google images, Geeta’s incredible paint selection, and the ability to cover mistakes and start over, I created a couple custom paintings that I’m actually ridiculously proud of:

Original artwork by FG (Fairy Godmother): Link’s Master Sword and the cutest kitty cat on earth.

And thus an obsession was born. Who knew painting was so soothing?? I loved the intense concentration required, even if I made a bunch of mistakes and had to start over repeatedly. (I tell you, that cat had a very distinct resemblance to Hitler at one point, and I’ll let you guess at the accidentally phallic cloud formations I created.)

When we got home from our trip, I made a beeline to Michael’s for supplies, resolved that painting would be my new semester stress relieving activity. And then I had a brainwave about my August tree. Why not paint sea creatures? And this allowed me to repurpose the runway from July’s aviation tree, so this month’s tree is cute as well as cheap (you’re welcome, Mr. T!)

Behold: The Under the Sea tree in all of its glory, where nothing is to scale and everything is cute!
Yes, indeed, I did draw and cut out sea creatures from bits of cardboard. All of the drawings were freehand because I’m stubborn like that.
Similar to the “sky” for July’s aviation tree, I used shades of blue tulle to create water. And for the eagle eyes out there, those jelly fish are made from repurposed sports bra cups, painted and adorned with ribbons. Waste not, want not, as they say.
The pièce de résistance: My big blue whale. Marrying a whale aficionado came in handy here. Mr. T offered helpful consultation on whale shape, although he remains critical about the size, which should be much larger compared to everything else. 
Clyde and Walter thankfully leave the tree alone, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Clyde carried off a fish now and again.
First day of school selfie. I started the holiday tree project trying to inject some joy into an otherwise challenging virtual existence. I was hoping against hope that I could let the tree project go to the wayside as classes resumed face to face. But unfortunately, this Delta variant has me back on Zoom for awhile longer. The good news? More people to appreciate the sea creatures!


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