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.



Gallery Wall Version 28.0 (in which I halfheartedly attempt to decorate like an adult while simultaneously clinging on to my childhood)

Today I’ve decided to torture you with a fun game of “spot the difference between these two pictures!” Try to contain your excitement and dig deep for those long unused Highlights Magazine skills that you once had.

old gallery wall with bright colors

The above picture is our dining room gallery wall shortly after we moved in. My strategy with these things is basically to gather up anything that is sort of flat and figure out how to attach it to the wall. Here’s the gallery wall in it’s current state:

gallery wall for a grown up?

It can definitely use some more work, but these things take time. And talent, for which I have only a tiny bit. So I keep tweaking. I consider this apartment to be a “testing grounds” of sorts for decorating so that once we get a house I can immediately have flawlessly decorated spaces that look like adults live there. Lofty/unattainable goal? You betcha. But I try.

My latest tweak was inspired by this photo, found on Pinterest (with a broken link, hate that!):

gallery wall inspiration

Nice, huh? I especially liked the large emerald green frame that was distressed a little (or just really dirty). And so, in an attempt to eradicate some of the lime green plaguing my life (not all of it–I’m just learning I like it in smaller doses), I slapped a wee bit of Valspar’s Vegas Green on it.

Emerald Green Frame

The laundry basket made for an excellent worktable.

I then basically dry-brushed it with some dark brown craft paint I had on hand to give it more of a distressed feel. I wish I’d had black, like the inspiration picture shows, but I’m fine with how this turned out.

Distressed Emerald Green Frame

It’s now more dirty looking, and I like it that way. Adult decorating is very refined in an opposite sort of way, obviously, and new/clean-looking items are the stuff of amateurs.

Oh, and you should have spotted 6 or 7 differences, depending on how you count them (this isn’t an exact science, people). I got a sweet piece o’ artwork from the Bibles for Mexico Thrift Store for a quarter and liked the colors. The plastic frame with fake wood grain? Sure, why not. I also painted over some of the light blue and added some burlap and a doily into a frame (I have doilies everywhere; why not here?). And string art. And I moved some other things around.

gallery wall for a grown up?

Perhaps next time I’ll have some preachy Goofus and Gallant comics for you, so please do come back.

Also, please tell me that someone else read Highlights as much as I did. My favorite feature hands-down was the puzzle where you had to find the hidden objects. I became a pro and now credit all of my success as a publishing professional to that exercise.