Planting Sequoias

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


House Drawing (in which I realize I have the hand stability of an 80-year-old)

Since I’ve already had one Christmas celebration, I can share this gift that I gave my parents. It cost (close your ears, mom) a whole $1.50 for me to make, so it didn’t break the bank. And, in my opinion, the sentimental value of something like this is through the roof.

It all started when I was bored one evening and was browsing Pinterest.

I came across this little house portrait and was smitten by the little dog.

Picture from here. Someday I would like to have a little painting of my house like this–and I love the paintings of this artist, Rebekka Seale. Ignore the fact that I don’t yet have a house…our garden-level apartment is not something I’d like to memorialize in this way.

Anyway, this little drawing sparked some inspiration that I’d buried deep inside myself and I got to drawing.

I sketched things out very lightly with pencil that I traced with ink, and then I free handed the details like the shingles, brick, and siding.

I found out very quickly that my hand shakes like nobody’s business…let’s just call the crooked lines whimsical, shall we?

It turned out well enough in my mind to be deemed “gift-worthy.” Oh, and this is my parents’ house, the home I grew up in. Lotsa memories here.

My mother will be thrilled that I revealed our home on the internet for all the burglars and robbers and thieves to see, but since I know my readers are awfully nice, I know none of you will break in.

The next (big) task was finding a frame with the right proportions. I  thought it would be a difficult feat, but I found this gem at the first thrift store I tried.

I obviously wanted to keep it as-is and put in some pics of Kenny and I (arms entertwined), but I sacrificed for the sake of the gift and began its transformation.

I wanted some sort of mat, so I cut this one to work. Don’t look too closely… remember the hand-stability issue?

By some miraculous happenstance, the proportions of the frame were JUST RIGHT. Fwew.

I covered the wood frame in chalkboard paint and first painted the mat navy. But it wasn’t quite right.

So I tried again, and a red mat seemed to do the trick.

I gave this to my parents by way of Christmas BINGO on Thanksgiving Day, and I think they liked it. But they sort of have to, don’t they? I’m pretty sure parents are obligated to be proud of their children’s creations. 🙂

I’m sharing this at the Dare to DIY party hosted by Decor and the DogMaybe MatildaNewly Woodwards, and Two Twenty One, and I’m also linking up to Censational Girl‘s linky party!



Chalkboard Frame and Melty Crayon Art (in which I embrace trendy crafts wholeheartedly)

I’ve been slowly upgrading the art and wall decor in our apartment (for example: some equine art), which generally means, uh, filling the frames that I’d left sitting empty for the past little while. Okay, fine, for the last 2 months. It’s been more than a little while.

In my defense, I always want to wait for “something special” to come along and be just right. Just like I save things for a special time, which usually ends up meaning I don’t ever use that something up… I’ve kept super nice lotions and candy bars and things of that nature for WAAAAAY to long just because I never know if the time is right.. so actually filling these frames is a huge deal.

Didn’t know I was going to get all psychological on you, didja? Fine; enough.

For our entryway, I’d found this super frame at a thrift store. It had seen better days, but I had a plan: chalkboard paint. Here the poor frame is during  it’s grand makeover:

After I let the chalkboard paint dry, I conditioned it by rubbing chalk all over it:

and then I wiped it all off. Sounds counterproductive, huh? Wiping it off still leaves a chalky residue so that it looks like a real, used chalkboard and accepts the chalk writing better.

I filled the frame with a postcard I got from ArtPrize and hung it up in our entryway/hallway as a message board.

Yes, we have an awkwardly prominent door buzzer system. Still don’t know what to do about that, other than embrace it and welcome it into our home.

The other frame was also a thrift store rescue, and I filled this one with some melted crayon art. Yes, the kind with the hairdryer. I had to try it.

It got super messy with hot wax flying everywhere, so if you attempt this, do it at someone else’s house.

Or just use a box, like I did.

I would recommend using colors that are near each other on the color wheel, because the wax will mix together. If you do a lot of contrasting colors, it’ll get brown, and no one wants that. Unless you actually do want that, and then I give you my blessing //along with some side-eye//.

Here’s my finished product.


Okay, fine. Here’s a closeup:

Kenny approves, so it’s here to stay for a while. But now I keep looking around the apartment for other things I can cover in melted crayon, because yes, it was that fun. A globe? Jars? A pumpkin?

At this point, nothing is sacred.