Planting Sequoias

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


New Lease, New Gallery Wall (in which I add another hundred nail holes to our already riddled walls)

Ken and Anne are on the cusp of signing another year-long lease on our little apartment. This news does not thrill me, so I’ve begun taking out my frustration on the apartment itself, most recently in the form of another hundred nail holes or so.

Why yes, I did redo another gallery wall, this time our oil painting one. Things get changed around here a lot, if you haven’t noticed.

Oil painting gallery wall layout.

With the addition of two new-to-me oil paintings, I got to work and tried a gazillion different arrangements on the floor. Nevermind my propensity to abandon the plan when things start going up on the walls…I like to challenge myself (and add way more nail holes than necessary).

But I was thrilled with how things worked out in the end. THIS is what I’ve been picturing from the beginning when I began collecting oil paintings…almost. Ultimately the wall behind would be a dark graphite color, but since we’re renting, I refuse to put actual $$ into the place (not counting our $2 addition to the kitchen).

Oil painting gallery wall

To clarify, the Van Gogh in the center is not an original. I know you were wondering.

My current favorite piece (though it changes by the second) is the weird tiny girl painting. She’s blonde, probably 10 years old, and very mysterious. I think she’s also Ken’s favorite, though he won’t admit it…he also loves the floral paintings.

Oil painting gallery wall

I also spraypainted the green birds gold. It was a tough call, but when faced with the opportunity to spray paint out of an aeresol can, I always take it.

Oil painting gallery wall

Finally, I added some dried billy button flowers to the blue vase by the TV. I actually pilfered them from this fancy event Ken and I went to a few months ago–best decision ever. Second best decision ever: using the word “pilfered.”

Since we’ve got another year to go in the apartment (give or take), you can safely assume that this is not the last you’ll hear of this gallery wall. But for the moment, I’m loving it. Oh, and if you’d like to see some of the evolution of this wall, check that out here, here, and here. And here and here. I know. I can’t stop myself.



Printing on Book Pages (in which I tape both a towel and the likeness of a narwhal to my wall and call it “decor”)

I’ve been known to hang some interesting items up on our walls every now and then (for examples, please see: star wars cross stitch, styrofoam engineer print, or doilies in embroidery hoops). But I’m glad to see that the practice of odd wall decor is becoming more and more socially acceptable (juju hats, anyone?)…perhaps someday I might fit in/actually be on trend instead of just pretending all the time.

On another note, for some reason, it pains me to leave a wall blank. Why leave a wall empty if you can fill it with awesome things?

Both of these two decorating philosophies will come into play in this post, so pay close attention.

First, about a week ago, I removed several pages an old-ish book on French architecture (to clarify: this was not a valuable book; nor was it at all cool). I’ve also been using it for crafts for about 4 years, so as a book, it wasn’t much to look at anymore. I feel that here I must extend my sincerest apologies to my friend Mary and my mother, both of whom are morally opposed to book desecration. I DO know better, but still…

I then ran them through my parent’s awesome color printer and got these beauties. The printable images (free!!!) are from the Graphics Fairy.

This set of three feathered creatures became housewarming gifts for some friends of mine. They have a cat, Harold, who I knew would appreciate these delicious-looking images. I have yet to get his reaction yet–but I’ll be sure to report back when I do.

However, while I was at it, I couldn’t help but print off a few more images for my own apartment. For this set of three, I chose a slightly more…eclectic trio of animals, this time of the variety that enjoy the sea.

narwhal flanked by octopus and crab

And yes, we do live in a state of perpetual darkness here at the apartment in the winter. Which often makes this lackadaisical photographer even more indifferent to quality photography.

hung above the TV

I took down our thankful banner and hung these up over our TV. No more thankfulness. Except from the narwhal, who I think feels right at home in our suburban apartment.

I also recently acquired a great towel that I wanted to display somewhere in our apartment, so down came this undersized picture of the beach at camp.

Before: undersized picture

But before I hung it, I had to iron the towel. Agony of agonies! But I mostly survived that ordeal, and tacked the towel up on the wall:

towel art

I love how the colors kind of “go” in our apartment (look at me getting all fancy with my decorator-speak!).

Here’s a closer look. It’s sort of vintage and definitely awesome.


Kenny no longer questions me when I get out a hammer or the tape to stick something up on the wall. He’s cool like that, and I love him. It’s a good arrangement. 😉