Monday, August 15, 2011

copycraft: our adventure map

Another mission, accomplished. Hooray! This has to be some sort of record. Really.

I've had this map project in my craft queue for-EVER (note: this is a mental queue and not an actual thing of existence like a Netflix queue. However, both are equally important in my life.)

I've always thought there is something really cool about documenting the travels that you and your significant other go on. I'm a firm believer that life is less about the things you have and more about the memories you make, so I'd like to do my best to remember the great trips of my life (especially given my genetic predisposition to short-term/also long-term memory loss.) When I saw this map on Pinterest, I immediately knew I wanted to replicate it somehow (truth be told, I think it was actually one of my first pins, which I've decided is basically like a historic artifact.)

Photo from Life Blessons
An adventure map has all the sentimentiality of a scrapbook without all the rubber cement/craft paper/ridicule from Jason that an actual scrapbook would bring ( by the way, made-up word alert: spell-check wanted me to change that guy to "sentimentality" but I like it better this way. The red squiggly line can just relax.) I think this project works for us too because I'd say we travel more than the average couple due to the nature of Jason's job. Not only is this idea great for remembering where we've been, but it's a constant reminder of where we can go. I'd like to think that somehow over time our board will become cluttered with an endless number of little red pins. Right now our map is full of possibilities and I'm looking forward to the trips and adventures that the future has in store.

Also, from a purely artistic perspective, I've been really intrigued by maps lately. More specifically maps using text. I actually started with this guy as an inspiration image:

Photo from World Metro Map

I love how the words form the shapes of the countries, but something about it just wasn't right. It felt way too static to me. Plus I knew I wanted a U.S. map, not a world map, because Jas and I aren't the world travelers that I hope to be (yet.) My first instinct after seeing this was to take to Photoshop and create my own version digitally, but when I found this awesome map of California (below), it was exactly what was missing in the other photo. At that point I knew I wanted to do something by hand.
Photo from Society6

It's reminiscent of the text map but in a more imperfect, hand-drawn way, which I love. The stark contrast between the black and white was really beautiful to me too.

So there it was. This idea I had floating in my head, continuing to evolve with each awesome photo I saw (don't you just love that?)

Photo from 4men1lady
Finally, last week, when I saw this last pin (right), I knew I had to dust this map idea off and give it some life. (Come on, how fun is that map?!) I finally had the missing piece and decided I wanted to create a hybrid of all the inspiration photos. At the top of this post is what I finally came up with (Jas actually picked out the red pearly push pins, which I absolutely adore.) I feel like I somehow miraculously captured exactly what I loved about each individual inspiration photo. If those four projects had a baby, it would be our map.

It was a ton of fun to work on, and super simple if you like to draw. (I used a template for the outline of the states - I know my limitations.) On the downside, however, it was a depressing reminder of just how terrible I am at geography, so I warn any of you that prefer to remain blissfully unaware of your lack of elementary school lesson mastery: you may want to pass on this one. (I mean, come on, you start talking about Wyoming and Missouri and Kansas and I have NO idea where those states are... to me, they're just in "the middle." Jas actually found it hilarious that I had to keep my template next to me the entire time because it had the state abbreviations on it, but I was not about to screw up. True story.)

So basically, all you nice people that already left lovely comments on my Facebook, just know that I'm admitting openly that I'm a fraud. This project was no where near an original idea: in fact, it was a melty conglomeration of four different inspiration pieces which I kind of mushed together. I think I've decided that's kind of my thing. Starting from scratch can be so daunting, but give me a starting point and all the sudden the floodgates of creativity open. Maybe that's not such a bad way to be. Keep an eye out for plenty more copycrafts in the future. And (as always), thanks for listening and appreciating my stream of consciousness writing. It's a bit of a mess in here, and I'm just glad I have a place where I can write it all down. Happy crafting!


  1. What a great idea!!  I have something sorta similar on my wall.  I'm "running to Key West".  I keep track of my training and put pins in it as I 'virtually' run closer and closer (I'm somewhere past Cape Canaveral at this point..)  When I finally virtually run there, I'm going to actually officially plan a trip there. lol

  2. This is awesome! I want to do it too. We've already been to NYC, Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, and soon to Charleson, SC together and D.C./Baltimore/Ashburn, Virginia coming up in August. Fun!

  3. i recreated the our adventures together map for daniel's birthday, HAY great mind!