Sunday, March 25, 2012

Honey, I Shrunk the Maps

I'm proud to announce that this project was terrible enough to be featured on Hating Martha! To those of you visiting because of my celebrated failure, welcome - I'm glad you stopped by.

As those of you who put up with my whims on Pinterest know, I'm on a constant quest to find The Perfect DIY Art Idea. "Perfect," of course, means a final product that's a masterpiece but that's easy enough that even I can do it. Then I have a whole list of other criteria: it has to have the right colors, shapes (I have a lot of circles and squares in my's perfect but the wrong rectangle or triangle could throw the whole thing totally out of balance), and it has to fit onto the three canvases I bought months ago when I innocently thought "hey wouldn't it be fun and easy to create my own living room art?".
(I bought three of the 24x36" ones.)

There are lots of painting ideas that I like, such as these...
{Available here}

But until I have time to do something as permanent as painting, I love the idea of wrapping maps around the canvases. I originally fell in love with the map art idea because of these expensive beauties from Ballard Designs ($299 each):

I was sure I could find a cheaper way.  Now a normal person would just go buy maps and staple them to the canvas, but I like the texture of the canvas so got the bright idea of using thin paper maps or fabric maps. Great idea, but finding anything big enough has been a challenge. These Cavellini wrapping paper maps make me swoon (thank you, Michelle!) but they don't come in a size quite big enough to cover the whole canvas.

So I turned to an interesting idea from the Mapmakers Themselves: Fabmaps from Rand McNally. I couldn't tell how big they were on the website but since they were on sale for half off, I decided to take the risk. I bought three maps of places I love: D.C., Seattle and Balboa Park in San Diego. Then I impatiently waited until they arrived yesterday.

The good news: fabmaps are a really cool idea. They're microfiber so you can clean glasses and computer screens with them, and they can get all mushed up in the bottom of my purse (which all maps do anyway) without being crumpled beyond repair.

The bad news: yeahhhhh they're really, really small.

Back to the drawing board! (And by that, of course I mean Pinterest.) I wonder if I'm artist enough to draw maps with watercolor pencils? Look how amazing this canvas came out with those pencils and a little bit of time...

In order to make this painful experience more valuable, I'm proud to announce that my failure allows me to connect with Hating Martha's "Stinky Linky" blog party.  Happy Friday!


  1. ha ha....that stinks. Really. It was a brilliant idea too!

  2. featured this post on the Stinky Linky Party tonight!