Whimsical Wall

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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Whimsical Wall

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

One of the many advantages of retiring early while we still have our youth and vigor is being able to take on challenging projects. When we were working we had no time for such playful undertakings. Here Akaisha displays her artistic talents while spending one month with her sisters. Amazing!


For years, my sister and brother-in-law told me of their dream to have a whimsical mural painted on the back of their house. Since they spend a good deal of time out in their gardens and in their hot tub, a scenic mural would add to their entertainment. Usually I was reminded of this mural-painting-dream about 3 or 4 days before I would leave to go traveling again.

However, this time the subject was brought up about 3 or 4 days into the beginning of my visit. Since I had never done such a large painting before, I gave it a good deal of thought - about 45 seconds - before I committed to such a boastful  project!

How exciting would this be?!

This is the back wall of their home taken from one of their many gardens before we started 'The Wall' project.

The idea was to utilize all the miscellaneous cans of house paint inside their storage shed, along with the voluminous items my sister had collected for her art projects over the years. But... what were we going to paint? What would the scene look like?


It took a couple of days to get all the paint cans out from the different storage sheds, opening them to test the colors and then get them organized in a corner of the back patio. We went through every coffee table book in the house and looked for pictures of mountain scenes, and Mediterranean villages. We coordinated all the mosaic tiles, seashells, glass bubbles, miscellaneous jewelry and any kinds of glues and craft paints we could find.

We gathered drop cloths, ladders, paintbrushes and any containers we could use to mix colors. I drew sketches on typing paper to get an idea if our fantasy seaside village coincided in any way, and if not, the sketch was altered. Even though none of us had ever done anything like this before, I stressed that it was 'just paint.' If we didn't like it, the worst thing that could happen is that we'd have to paint over it.

No biggie. That calmed us all down. Besides, when was the fun going to start?


Mountains and an ocean horizon line were drawn in chalk on the back wall and filled in with paint. We made this a family project so my other sister and brother-in-law came over to help on the weekend too. The #1 'rule' was to have fun. I figured if everyone wore these furry horns that I brought back from Thailand, we would be too busy laughing to be distracted by minor conflicts like the imperfection of our collective artistic talents...

Notice the music speakers on either side of the sliding glass door. My brother-in-law had salsa, jazz, old Motown hits and classical music going on the CD disc changer to keep us all motivated!

Whistling, humming, singing, dancing, painting, laughing...


I'm completely in my element. Give me something with color - fabric, paint, beads, buttons, crayons or paper - and some place to play and I'm in heaven.

This drop cloth in the back corner of the patio held dozens of old paint cans, tin foil mixing palettes, can openers, hammers, mosaic tiles, and fractured teacups. Basically, a world of possibilities! No wonder I'm smiling! The furry horns helped too.


Here is my sister and her pregnant daughter. Everyone wants to get in on the fun!

The semi transparent white circle to the left of my sister's head was a 'do-over'. We drew everything in chalk and if it didn't work, we simply wiped it off. How easy could it get?


Taking a smooch break. Gotta make time for what's important in life.

My niece's husband came over after work and painted a turtle. He was nervous about his talent, but everyone 'had' to contribute something! My brother-in-law drew the treasure chest and it's just now taking form. Each person chose the colors they wanted for the fish, snail or fantasy creature they painted.

It was free-flow, semi-directed creativity! Who knew what the end product would look like?


This is the scene a little over a week later. The Sun/Moon in the sky was a metal sculpture that was bought on a vacation trip to the wine country.

We couldn't reach the top of the house to paint these high places even with a tall ladder and and an extension to our paint rollers!

Little Bandit (the dog) is taking a break from the chaos and the refrigerator was moved out of the way while the creativity was taking place. Hot tub is to the right of the photo.


Here's another view of the fantasy seaside towns from the Koi pond and another garden area of their home. The poles and wires that you see in the photo are a prevention for the giant herons who fly in from the nearby ocean and eat the Koi in their pond.


Here's a closer look as we near 'completion.' The metal boat sculpture and the metal and stone tile fish add a distinctive 3 dimensional effect to the mural. We have schools of fish, a treasure chest, sea weed, a turtle, a sea snail, starfish, waves in the ocean, villages nestled in between mountains and a hot air balloon!


A closer look at the other side of the mural shows a better view of the Sun/Moon. More seaweed, a seahorse, fish kissing and making a heart with their tails, sailboats on the far horizon, a mountain stream and a rainbow. The 'snow' on the mountains was made with lace.



A zoom-in look at the mountain waterfall, a rainbow over a village in the waterfall mist and the lace-snow capped mountains.


The metal and stone tile fish was a beautiful addition. The treasure chest had real gold leaf to fill it up, along with miscellaneous charms, turquoise bits, glass balls, and mosaic chips.


This gives you a better view of the metal boats and lighthouse sculpture, school of fish, turtle, and hot air balloon. The bubbles that the fish are 'blowing' are little glass pebbles. I could have gone on and on with miscellaneous fantasy detail, and if I had another week, I would have!

Remember, this is a fictional scene, so size and perspective was a minor consideration.


Almost two weeks later. Still glueing items onto the wall, held in place by blue tape while they dry in the moist morning fog. Miscellaneous garden decorations in front of the wall to complete the 3 dimensional effect.

A real group project!


Our signatures. Everyone who contributed signed their names or initial. Gold leaf on the sand along with turquoise stones, river rocks, shells and glass pebbles.


The treasure chest with gold leaf and miscellaneous shells, stones, charms, chains and glass pebbles.


My visit ended way too soon, so after I left, the finishing touches of clouds in the sky and more garden ornaments polished off the mural.


Here you see the 'finished project' ...  until next visit!

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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