8 Years A Tree

In 2006 when I came up with the answer to a question of what to do with all the paper piling up in my apartment I had no idea it would turn into an eight year  (and counting)  project. None. But it has and my Tree is at a crossroads, or rather a cross-country adventure. You see my Tree has been removed from its outdoor home. The one it has been in/on for the last five years. Just recently it had been lifted off the ground, taken in-doors to dry and packaged carefully to make its journey and enter into the next stage of its life.

So until my Tree comes back to me I have many photos for you to view. See what wood will do when sitting outside underneath cement after a polar vortex and several years of turbulent northeastern weather.

Bark before lifted Ground after cement stump lifted Bottom of cement stump Ground underneath cement stump side of cement stump Top of cement stump Underneath Tree bark Tree Bark Cement stump Aerial view of what is left of bark Time to dry Underneath the bark Flatness of the Tree


Check out the video that accompanies the above photos. Taken the same day.


#Twitterartexhibit & birds

Today is my first non-blogathon post. So I am writing what I want and taking on all subjects at once!

First, Thursday was the first day of spring and the first day of Twitter Art Exhibit: Orlando Benefiting The Center for Contemporary Dance, Special Needs Classes. Here is the info if you are in Florida.

WHEN: Show runs March 20 – April 11, 2014 LOCATION: CityArts Factory, Magic Gallery | Orlando, Florida, USA

Second, I have had a lot of inspiring things happen to me lately. I received an invite to assist with teaching a children’s sewing bag camp (it is 3 or 4 days)! Hurray a paid gig with the potential to run other workshops. They said I could pitch some ideas, one they did love and see if they could get it to fill. So working on that. Also got accepted to run some workshops for barter. Yay to bartering! And then today I went to a workshop for Yarn Bombing Los Angeles and was asked if I would like a tree. Who would like a tree? To yarn bomb. Even though I currently do not crochet or knit. I sew. I am going to sew some sweaters together (they gave me sweaters and yarn) and cover a giant palm tree. The one I got is tree #1, right in front of the Manhattan Beach Creative Arts Center (the location for the May show)! Front and center. I may also contribute some birds to their forest exhibit. Same month and location. I’ll share more info once I have it.

And I leave you with a bird I sewed this morning. I do not just patch my clothing, unless it is a sock.

Bird Patch by Amy Bauer Designs

Bird Patch by Amy Bauer Designs

5 Years Outside

Friday, February 21, 2014 will be five years that my Tree will have been outside in northern New Jersey. Which at the moment is being pounded by Mother Nature. She is constantly dumping snow down upon it. But that is winter in the north-east.

This year I have a special plan for my Tree. It involves an idea that the backyard owner (where my Tree is) and my idea combined. I, like all of you will be attending the ceremony from a distance. As always there will be photographs and hopefully a video. There will be another move for my Tree and perhaps a digging out if it is covered by a foot or more of snow.

The life (yes it has taken on a life of its own) of my Tree will continue on and involve the USPS for delivery. Oops I let a little of the plan out! Yes this year marks the fifth anniversary outside and the eighth year of its existence, but it will be living on in more than images.

So until the celebratory post lets take a look back ….

Strange Tint

From 3,000 miles away I can detect it. Actually this picture revealed the colorations of the final breakdown of my Tree. This picture was taken December 22,2013. There is clear color changes on both the cement (giant circular piece that has a wooden dowel in the center and underneath a wood platform connected by screw and nut) and the trunk (whitish/now blackish paper laying north of the cement base). Is this mold? Is this a natural occurrence in the breakdown of materials left outside to decompose? The cement piece reminds me of old castles (in Europe) and old military forts (in the USA). The decay is slow, but it is there.

Strange Tint

Once again it is time to ask… will it make it to the next anniversary? Or shall I have a Viking Burial for it? just kidding. that wouldn’t be very natural of me. Or would it?!

TREE – Yes my Tree

So it has been a long (six plus years) since my Tree project began. The feeling of the last three years is that it will never end. In an impressive way. That it will always be there in some form. And it is. For now. It has completely disconnected from its base. It has successfully morphed from a conceptual expression to an abstraction of itself.

What have I learned from my Tree? More than uncovered composting takes longer than one would think. A lot longer. But also and more personal that you really don’t know where an idea will take you. If you let it.

Just one tiny idea. Break down into pulp all of the receipts lying around my apartment. Glue them back into the shape of a tree. That was the entire original idea. Not much.

Didn’t include having my Tree shown outside of the town I lived in. Nor sit in my friend’s back yard. For multiple years. Make videos every time it was moved. Take thousands of photos. Have a dog pee on it. Have a caterpillar crawl across the edge of the trunk. Have spiders weave webs inside of it. Have termites live underneath it. And they were eating its base. Have it buried in snow and ice. Have it stand up through wind storms. Have bears, deers, and other wild animals pass by it. Have small children touch it in wonder. Have my friend’s husband wish it would leave the yard. And inspire many of my other projects.

Below are some images of it in its current state. It is a bit hard to distinguish from the foliage. A success of its morphing ability. Camouflaged.

My Tree  - Disconnected Looks so tiny Underneath Distance Zoomed in on my Tree My Tree from other yard

my Tree – May 2013

A piano is covered, but we mustn’t forget the inspirational tree. My Tree and I live further apart than ever, so I reached out to the owner of the yard it resides in to get an update. As expected all is grand and there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference since the February four year’s outside celebration. Take a look, let me know if you agree with me.

The cement and wood base of the trunk. Notice you cannot see the square piece of wood it sits on.

The cement and wood base of the trunk. Notice you can barely see the square piece of wood it sits on.

Major disconnection from trunk and inner base.

Major disconnection from trunk and inner base.

A view from the top of my Tree.

A view from the top of my Tree.

Inside of the trunk. My Tree is down, disconnected, but not completely flattened.

Inside of the trunk. My Tree is down, disconnected, but not completely flattened.

Piano Update

Apologies for the long delay in posting. I am working on a deadline (or a drop dead date as some would say) with time restrictions. Normally not a problem, but I’ve got something called a day job that can get a bit in the way. Even so I prevail and will conquer!

Since the last post where I shared my reaction to excitement I have begun working on a piano. I was given an upright piano to work on. Well it wasn’t given to me, it is in a studio location where I get to work (during specific times) on it. I happily would have taken any of the pianos and am still super excited about this project. It is coming out fantastically. Not exactly as I planned, for nothing does, but possibly better. I am using vintage music books (bought online), shredding the pages inside of them (which my mother cringed at the thought), and am applying them to the piano. Oh and I primed and painted the piano first. Why? The primer and paint were free, I hadn’t ordered the music books yet, and as a former piano painter said it is a good way to get to know your piano.

When it is done it will be on display in NYC (will share location information when I find out!) for the first two weeks of June. So if you can play piano come out and if you cannot play piano come out to take a look and listen!

Here are some pictures of my progress so far.

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4 Years

Today, February 21, 2013 is the official four year anniversary of my Tree being outside! Graciously my friend has allowed a paper tree to slowly decay back to nature the old fashion way. Or like anything in an episode of Hoarders. Although it may not be your typical rusty gold (American Pickers reference – can you tell what channels I watch on TV yet?) it is worth more than that to me.

2006 – I thought of the idea and shredded some paper

2007 – I put it all together and my Tree had it’s debut in an art show in Bloomfield, NJ

2008 – My Tree traveled for an art show in Jersey City, NJ

2009 – My Tree jumped off it’s three foot platform and got planted in Rockaway, NJ

2010 – Year 1 outside. It took seven months for the wind to knock down the top half of the trunk. Had a short move into a garden in the same yard.

2011- Year 2 outside. Moved out of the garden and next to a dog house in the same yard.

2012 – Year 3 outside. January 29 it fell. Started to flatten as the seasons passed.

2013 – Year 4 outside. The bark has totally disconnected from the base. Almost completely flat. Pictures below.

Inside the bark of my Tree

Inside the bark of my Tree

A view of the other side of my Tree

A view of the other side of my Tree

Closer view of base and bark of my Tree

Closer view of base and bark of my Tree

View of disconnected base of my Tree

View of disconnected base of my Tree

Aerial View of my Tree on 4 year anniversary.

Aerial View of my Tree on 4 year anniversary.

October Tree


Over this past weekend I went to visit my Tree. Surprising even too me it is still going. Getting smaller, yet holding on. Even the base still has some paper on it. Four more months and it will have been outside for four years! I think it will make it. Oh and when I stood up I came face to face with a bumble bee.  Luckily he was too busy on the flower to notice me.