Planting Sequoias

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


Going Green (in which I come up with a new strategy for saving the earth)

This might not be the type of “going green” you were looking for if you’re passionate about nature and recycling and organic stuff. Not that I’m opposed to any of that…I just don’t blog about it. No, this type of “going green” literally means I painted something green.

I know that it will probably come as a huge shock to you that I painted something. Well, let me reiterate our situation…Ken and Anne live in a tiny, 670 square foot apartment. We are doing this to save money. Saving money means that painting the walls (and having to paint them BACK at the end of our lease) is a bit ridiculous.

Which means that I have no other option left than to douse each and every possession that I own with the maximum amount of color I can add.

And when one of my readers Kylie left a link on the Planting Sequoias Facebook page (which, by the way, YOU SHOULD GO AHEAD AND LIKE) to this Etsy listing, I was sold.

(It is probably obvious at this point what I am going to do, but don’t worry; I’ll still give you a full blown tutorial.)

To summarize:



This is a mash up that was meant to be. (Also somehow meant to be: Pink and Fun’s Nate Ruess. I, weirdly enough, love this sad song).

Mine gulls were a mere $.99 and are made out of a lovely faux wood that is actually plastic. I have them soaring with some oil paintings above our TV (see them here), and I was never a die-hard lover of the plastic wood look.

So I did this.

painting plastic seagulls

It was obviously very difficult.

I should note that spray paint would work best for this type of project…it would give it a more glossy, smooth surface. But I was working with what I had. Not spending money means not spending money…there’s not a lot of gray area between zero and zero.

ALSO, the more that I think about it, isn’t the whole “taking something old and rescuing it” a pretty green concept? Perhaps I am saving the earth a wee bit after all. New life motto: I THRIFT BECAUSE I CARE.

The gulls are once again soaring in all their green glory.

painted gulls with oil paintings

Why yes, I did take this picture in the dark of night.

I have no idea what I’m going to do when we actually do have a house and I have the freedom to actually paint the walls.

It is entirely possible that I’ll go color-wild and you’ll find me in an over-stimulated coma from too much color. I’ll long for simpler times like this, then, I suppose.

But until then, nothing is safe from my paintbrush.



Fine Art Gallery Wall (in which I question whether or not to put a bird on it)

really like saving money. I’m the type of person that will make laps around a store (after going to two or three others) and come home with nothing because I don’t want to part with my moolah.

But I also love great deals, and sometimes I can be convinced to part with some hard-earned cash. Sometimes.

My most recent interest began last year when I found a fantastic original oil painting of a city scene at the Goodwill.

IT WAS $3.99.

I can handle that.

I grabbed it, threw my four dollars at the cash register lady, and ran.

A few months later, I found this original framed painting, and for $5.99, I was also convinced it needed to come home with me.

I’ve been scouring the thrift stores around here for a third (or fourth or fifth or sixth) that would round out the collection, since odd numbers are better, but haven’t found anything yet. Anyway, yesterday I finally got around to actually hanging the paintings.

fancy oil painting gallery wall

I’d found another similar frame that fit the criteria (big, chunky, ornate), but the canvas that was in it was

a) priced separately from the frame (frame: $.50, canvas: $15. NOT JOKING.)

b) not even a real painting

c) was not at all attractive (think renaissance nuns or something).

I’m still not sure what to fill the frame with (for one thing, my oil painting skills are not only lacking, they’re nonexistent), but for the price I couldn’t leave it at the thrift store. You understand.

fine art gallery wall without birds on it

But the 2 paintings + 1 frame collage was begging for a little something more, in my opinion.

So I put a bird on it (or two).

fine art gallery wall with birds on it

The birds are fake plastic that look like wood, another thrift store find ($.99).

Ken does not think they belong.

I beg to differ.

I think they kind of look like they’re in their natural habitat, flying off into that bundle of sticks, right? And it rounds out the collection a bit more.

fine art gallery wall with birds on it

I need some opinions on the gulls (preferably ones that agree with mine) to win Ken over to the “put a bird on it” trend.

And just for fun, I’m going to break down the cost of this collage.

Large painting (city scene): $3.99

Medium painting (flowers): $5.99

Empty frame: $.50

Gulls: $.99

Total: $11.47 for a fine art gallery wall.  BOOM.

To be continued. The thrift stores are not safe from me anymore.