Planting Sequoias

In which I blog about a life (hopefully) well lived.


Framed Hanging Card (in which I compose and share a completely useless tutorial)

This tutorial really has no reason to exist (it literally is that simple), but I love the way it turned out, so you get to hear me blather on about it for a whole post. Lucky you!

This “project” (undeserving of that term) began from a little “if you give a mouse a cookie” situation–namely, “if you give Anne some paint she will change everything in the whole apartment.”

I painted this clock with some minty green paint and LOVED how it turned out, so I then began painting everything close to me. Ken barely escaped. This frame was one victim (it used to be a bright yellow but bright yellow is so last week).

Hang a card in a frame.

I gathered the rest of my supplies and got to work. I had gotten this SUPER SWEET card for free from a card site online, and it was one of those things that when I got it, I realized I loved it altogether too much to give away. The colors–mint and coral and pale yellow–were so perfect for the frame that I knew what I had to do.

I had to break out the power tools. (I’m not sure if a staple gun qualifies as a “power tool” because it doesn’t actually use electricity or battery power, but I feel powerful when using it, so there.)

I stapled down a little piece of rope-like string to the frame, anchoring it with a knot.

Staple a string in a frame.

Then I hung the card over my little clothesline I’d created. Warning: this part is HARD. Be careful.

Hang a card in a frame.

But as you can see, the card kind of splayed out. Not very far; that’s about how far I can do the splits, but far enough where it bothered me.

So I used poster putty to adhere the card front to the card back. And took the most unnecessary picture ever.

Hang a card in a frame.

You just wait. I’ve already hung this in our new and improved gallery wall and am plotting that blog post as we speak.

Tune in next time.




Reupholstering a Parson’s Chair Part 2.5 (in which I inadvertently give my chair a mullet)

Why yes, I am milking this project for all it’s worth… You can see part 1 here and part 1.5 here. I skipped sharing part 2 and estimate that this is about part 2.5.

Here’s where we left off:

reupholstering a parson's chair

I got to this point by following this great tutorial. And since Aimee posted such a great tutorial, I don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel. I’ll just share the most confusing parts and complicate things further. 🙂

So. You get your fabric–about 2 yards worth–and cut things in the right shape. And then you staple until you feel like your fingers will fall off. Here’s how you fold it and staple it to the back to make the legs look nice and finished.

Reupholstering a Parson's Chair (2)

(Skipping a bunch of crazy pictures/explanations here…trust me, they wouldn’t help clarify things.)
Let’s just jump to the back of the back of the chair. This was the most fun and the most gratifying part to work on.

Reupholstering a Parson's Chair (5)

Here’s how I attached the back flap of the back of the chair using cardboard from a cereal box. It made a super nice clean line when you flip the fabric back over it. Smart, huh? Wish I had thought of it.

Reupholstering a Parson's Chair (6)

This is how the chair is looking now. Pretty classy, right? And yet…

Reupholstering a Parson's Chair

…my chair has a secret. Business in the front, party in the back.

mullet and parson's chair

While the mullet look might be “in” in some circles, the look is not welcome in our home. Oh, don’t get me wrong–I’m fine with it, but Ken objects. He likes things to look spiffy and does not approve of mullets. My apologies to all of my friends that have mullets (which is many, duh).

I still have to figure out how to affix that back fabric to the chair itself–either by blind stitching it by hand or by purchasing some upholstery strips. I think I’m also going to attempt some nailhead trim around the edges of the chair to hide some imperfections in my upholstery job. Unless it costs an arm and a leg, in which case cheapness will probably win. That’s how it goes around here.

Anyone else embracing the mullet look in your home’s decor?


Where Did the Weekend Go?!? (in which I compose the shortest post ever)

Confession: Monday has caught me completely unawares.

So, in a half-hearted attempt at continuing my MWF blogging schedule, here’s a picture of a the chair I’m working on:

reupholstering a parson's chair

It’s coming together…not without pain, but I’m making progress, so let’s focus on that. Hopefully I’ll have something more to say soon if my brain ever checks out of weekend mode…


$2 Kitchen Bling (in which I update our kitchen into the mid-1990s at least)

Last week, whilst at the thrift store, I stumbled upon a pot o’ gold, basically, in that I came across a huge bag filled with these.

1990s cabinet hardware


There were 45 matching handles in this bag and one knob and a bajillion* screws.

*denotes unscientific estimate.

Since the whole bag was only $2, I shelled out the dough and pranced home to share my spoils with Ken.

He, the “voice of reason” (cue collective boo-ing), pointed out that I might indeed void our apartments security deposit if I affixed these to our cabinet doors. But since I’ve been living for 9 months without any cabinet hardware of any kind, I ignored the “voice of reason” and proceeded to take a drill to our formerly flawless (HAHAHA) cabinets. Note: our drawers are pretty awful and come off their track every time we wedge our fingers under their shallow edges and pull them out. And our cabinets are not much better…they’re sticky with the stick of dozens of lease-holders that have gone before us. Yum.

I am not the most clean person when it comes to large construction projects like this.

kitchen chaos mid-handle installation


The magic timelines of the internet make this seem like an easy, quick job. Would that you all believed that!

But alas, this project was not without its turmoils. I created a little template and drilled pilot holes, but in drilling pilot holes, I broke no less than three of Ken’s masonry bits. Once I even broke off the masonry bit IN the wood of the cabinet, so Ken came to the rescue with some pliers and muttered words under his breath. That guy.

new handles update cabinets


I’d say we updated the kitchen to the mid-1990s at least, but I can’t stop opening our cabinets. It is a huge step up in functionality for the Bauman household, so we’re embracing these brassy bits. Which is not to say that I won’t spray paint these a different finishat some point (I’m looking at you, Oil-Rubbed Bronze). I love to spray paint things.

new handles in kitchen close up

There goes our security deposit, but I could not be happier. Or perhaps the apartment authorities will see this for the upgrade that it is? One can hope.



Un-Upholstering a Parsons Chair (in which I try to imitate Restoration Hardware and basically succeed)

This is the story of a chair.

This chair lived a long, full life (I presume).

Unfortunately, someone thought that this chair had outrun its usefulness and had tossed it atop our apartment dumpster.


Perhaps they discarded this guy because of the multiple tears and general disintegration of the fake leather. Or perhaps the were bothered by the seams that were splitting left and right. Or maybe the got sick of the scratched up wood legs.

I know. I can’t see it either. OF COURSE I had to get that chair out of said dumpster.

So I did, much to Ken’s chagrin (duh; the man rather dislikes when I do stuff like this). But this was back in the day before we were married…so somehow, that makes it better. Right?

Since my dramatic rescue of this chair, it has lived in our garage gathering dust and acting as a pretty good shelf for our Christmas decorations. But the time came for it’s second life, so I hauled it out and dusted it off and did this.

chair collage

It was a messy, tricky, tetanus-inducing business. There were rusty staples EVERYWHERE in this chair. My poor fingers will never be the same.

Through the power of the internet, this multiple hour process is nicely reduced to 4 pictures. Here’s what all of my hard work ended with:


It’s a beauty, right? Just the look I was going for.

Restoration Hardware has a pretty, um, unique line of furniture called the “Deconstructed Uphostery Collection” where they make furniture but leave off the final layer of fabric. On purpose.

restoration hardware deconstructed sofas


Can you see the vision I had yet? Pretty sure I basically nailed this one.

Except that I’m not Restoration Hardware and am absolutely not cool enough (nor do I have enough confidence) to pull off the deconstructed upholstery look. Let’s not even get into what Ken would say had I actually voiced aloud my plans.

Needless to say, I am now scouring the fabric stores around me for the perfect print (or two) that doesn’t break the bank. Home decor fabric is expensive, unless you’re willing to sacrifice your morals and go with something on clearance like this.

Ken might be a bit too excited about this option. Wish me luck.