I've spent yesterday and today adapting a theme to a painting by a friend of mine - Gill Wright to give her credit - and I think I'm happy with the results. I'm including here a gtk theme Quiet-Nodoka, which is my edit of Nodoka-Squared; a MintMenu icon*** made from overlaying the label on the leaf cut from one of the default wallpapers; and a panel background I've made and an Emerald window border. I have no Metacity border for it, that would be beyond me. The icon set illustrated is the fabulous default icon set for Mint 10.
If you haven't got the Nodoka engine, it's
sudo apt-get gtk2-engines-nodoka
or in Synaptic. Pardon my lack of a full installation file but hopefully the screenshot will make someone reading want to try it all out, a few minutes' work. The panel background tiles the length of the panel - put it in a folder and drag it to the panel. The white text on the panel begins after the gtk part of the theme is installed, dragged in the Appearances > Theme window. I am using a panel 25 pixels high myself, this does trim the menu icon a bit, which doesn't trouble me, but I've since made a smaller version of Merlwiz's leaf icon 25x25. ***To change the MintMenu icon if you never have, right click on it, click Preferences and then type in the folder/file path to where you've put the menu-leaf-3.png file in the box marked Button Icon.