Planting Sequoias

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


Making a Picture Frame Bigger Without Actually Making It Bigger (in which I use a power tool and don’t die)

The title of this post will hopefully make sense by the time I finish the post, if I’ve done my job right. And. Disclaimer. Probably no one will ever have this same problem that we did, so this pseudo tutorial is wildly unnecessary, but still. I USED A POWER TOOL and that in and of itself is blogworthy.

Here is the scenario last Thursday before dinner. I had just come from the thrift store, where I’d picked up a fairly nice wrapped-canvas painting (fake) for $3.99. I had just planned on putting it on the last remaining 5% of wall space that isn’t covered by anything in our teeny apartment, when we realized that I had a perfectly good frame that was in desperate need of something (anything) in it. See it here on the right (from this post)? Yeah, you can’t really miss it.

fine art gallery wall with birds and oil paintings in antique frames

I had actually, the day before, cut out a piece of foam board in order to convert the frame into a chalkboard. But the new canvas represented a new, intriguing possibility. But it was not without this tiny little REALLY IMPORTANT problem:

picture frame doesn't fit

Yeah. The painting was about a half inch too big on one side. I was all like, “well, we could do major surgery and make the painting smaller” but that sounded like a LOT OF WORK and NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to do well. But then my brilliant husband suggested that I just carve out a bit of the frame. He pretends that he is not interested in my crafty endeavors, but secretly he loves it and is very invested, I think.

So. I got out my Christmas present generic-Dremel for its inaugural run. And since Ken was hungry since it was now past our normal dinnertime, he got to work on making food. We all have our special skills.

use a dremel to make a picture frame bigger

Of course, what with the lack of a workshop in our tiny apartment, I had to do this all in the living room.

living room workshop chaos

Magically, Ken’s idea worked like a charm and I retained all of my fingers.

Carve out a frame that is too small

Here you can see how the picture now fits into the frame. This isn’t technically correct, but we’re pretty thrilled that our zany idea worked.

frame a canvas

We popped our new artwork up on the wall where we’d had the frame but quickly realized we had a problem with that location…the horizon was hidden below the TV and it looked just like a painting of some sky and a bush (the top of the tree). So I spent the next 4 hours (give or take) moving the pictures around and around and around. We’d eaten by this time, so both of us were less hangry (hungry/angry), and Kenny was a good sport of me standing on a chair directly in front of the TV during the NCAA basketball games that night. I found myself a good man.

living room gallery wall oil paintings

I rather like the new arrangement, and this shot of blue sky and greenery was just what this fancy gallery wall needed. And yes, we’ve determined that the plastic birds are staying. 🙂

Linking up here.



Putty Knife Painting (in which I introduce fairy princesses into our apartment decor)

Being recently inspired by the thrift shop challenge and having an abiding love for secondhand things, it should have come as no surprise to my husband when I brought this little gem of a painting home.

Unfortunately, he was quite surprised and a little taken aback.

thrift store canvas with princesses

I soon found out that Ken was not so keen on decorating the apartment with fairy princesses.

So after drying my tears, I moved on to Plan B.

Ken liked this blank white canvas much more than he appreciated the fairy princesses and was content to stop here.

blank canvas and supplies

But I pressed on and assembled a motley crew of paint cans that I had lying around the apartment (and by that, I mean that I of course carefully unstacked them from the organized paint cabinet).

I also picked out my paint application tool of choice. Since brushes are so 2012, I sweetly asked my husband to get the putty knife from the garage. Using putty knives for actual putty is also very 2012. Putty knives are the new paintbrushes…you heard it here first.

And then I got to work (on the carpet, yes, because I like to live life on the edge. We already discussed my daring carpet-crafting skills here.)

paint tray for putty knife art

I began globbing the paint onto the canvas in short putty-knife downstrokes, moving my way across the canvas. The idea for this painting was inspired by Katie’s version from Bower Power Blog (my fave!), which you can gaze at here.

scrape the putty knife over and over on the canvas

It was very easy and very fun and took only about 20 (very messy) minutes. Kenny wanted to get in on the action but did not finish his law school homework in time…it’s a hard life he leads.

putty knife art aftermath finished painting

After letting it dry, I found a place for it in our dining room. It matches nicely and is not hung crookedly despite what your eyes are telling you. Also, if I ever find a great deal on gold paint or rub ‘n buff,  I think I may paint the edges of the canvas.


To answer your burning question, I paid just $2 for the fairy princesses and had to purchase white paint for $1.26…so that means I spent a grand total of $3.26 for this giant piece of customized artwork since I already had the colored paint.

Kenny is just relieved that the fairy princesses have been exterminated from our apartment. That’s a nasty infestation we are hoping to avoid for a few years before any girl babies come along.

Finally, I just created a Facebook page for the blog, so if you’d like to receive updates in your newsfeed or see bonus blog pictures of weird things Kenny does, you should click here and like away.

House of Rose