But let's back up to the beginning, all the way back to December. I've had this USA map pinned from A Step in the Journey for quite some time and finally decided to use my holiday gift cards to pick up the materials from Michael's. Chris was a nice enough to pick up the frog tape on one of his stops to home depot.
I searched all over Michael's for a US map to cut up, but had no luck. So these supplies just sat in the corner, probably collecting dust, until just recently. With no success in the stores, I ended up ordering a map on Amazon. Knowing that the map was on it's way I went ahead and painted the canvas background. I tapped off a border and then mixed the blue and white until I was satisfied with the shade.
I attempted to be all artist like and use brush strokes that would emulate the oceans around the US, not so sure I achieved that. Next up was the map. I unrolled it and... it was too big. I really should have paid more attention to the dimensions.
I wanted the map to be large enough to fit my canvas, hoping that the excess on the sides and top would equal out. My best bet was to just trim off some of the states on the edges (sorry California, Oregon, Washington and Maine!), so I got to work cutting out each of the 50 states. The first round of cutting wasn't too bad, it was the tracing of the states to scrapbook paper and cutting it again that really started to get me flustered. There are no pictures of this process because no one really wants to see me going crazy! I was so frustrated that the states weren't lining up that I was tempted just to throw the whole thing out. With some encouragement from Chris that it was going to be ok, I soldiered on to using Mod Podge to attach the states to the canvas and then used another layer over the whole thing to seal it. Side note - I've never used Mod Podge before and I was really worried that all of the white streaks wouldn't dry clear. Thankfully it did and I'm now a big fan of this stuff!
As you can see it didn't fit within the border that I had painted, so for anyone interested in trying this I would suggest buying the map and sizing it before painting your canvas. I'm pretty sure that's one of those "duh Lauren" type of suggestions.
I added little stars to pinpoint the different cities that we have traveled to, but noticed that it's a little hard to see them when you stand back. Up close (depending on the scrapbook paper) you can tell, but further back, not so much.
I was a little sad in the number of stars on the map. I could have sworn that we have been to more locations, but then I remembered that most of our destinations were on cruises in the Caribbean, Mexico for our honeymoon and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. We need to check out more of the US! Stepping back, I looked at it as a whole and felt like it was missing something.
The original inspiration used wooden letters to spell out "oh the places we'll go" a take on the famous Dr. Seuss book (which I received as a graduation present back in the day, anyone else get that for graduation?). So back to Michael's to pick up a couple of bags of letters.
A couple coats of white paint and we were in business!
I would have loved for the states to come out a little bit better and the stars to stand out more (I may go back and paint the tops), but overall I'm just happy that I finished this project. I can't wait to add more destinations in the future!
Have you ever had a project that you wanted to give up and walk away from?