This is a sneak peek at my “Dirt Road Diva” map wreath. Some people name their cars and trucks. I name my projects. I’m calling this one Big Bertha. Because it is massive… it spans almost 4 feet. It’s a from a stack of Mom’s maps that I’ve been saving. It’s one of my favorite projects. It’s hard to believe but there was a time when people couldn’t look up where they were going on smartphones. They didn’t get traffic alerts, alternative routes, or rely on Siri when they needed to get somewhere. Mom mom is directionally impaired.
The problem is she doesn’t know it. One of our favorite stories, is how my dad came back to attend my brothers HS graduation. He had moved to Oklahoma almost 10 years before, after my parents divorced. We all drove together (a rarity) to sight-see in Washington DC… where my mom worked. Mom got lost and Dad got us home. Seriously. Sometimes, I think about the look on her face that day and just burst out laughing. There is a saying about my family: “You can always tell a Denham. You just can’t tell em’ much.” I digress.
When I started looking through all of the maps and atlases, I noticed they were all from places we lived or mom visited. Mom had built up quite the collection. One of the quirky things she does that I love, is she highlights and makes notes in everything. So the maps were all marked up. There was Rhode Island (my sister went to RISD), Texas (Brent lived in Dallas), Oklahoma (Home), Florida (Chris and I lived there), Maryland (childhood home), Arkansas (not sure), Washington DC, and even the map of the USA where mom highlighted the route we took when we moved back to the Midwest! There are even ones of specific towns like Tulsa. It was like a scrapbook of our life in maps.
I knew immediately when I saw them… I was making a wreath! One of my favorite things in the history of ever is Vintage Market Days. My favorite vendor is a talented woman who calls herself the Bunderosa Queen. I did a post on her, years ago, after meeting her there. I was just starting out and she was extremely encouraging of my blog. She even let me take photos and posed. Without looking at me like I was crazy! She’s a keeper. Everything in her booth was amazing but I instantly fell in love with her map wreaths. I always wanted to do one of my own using Mom’s junk. Mission accomplished.
One of the reasons this isn’t a tutorial tonight, if you can believe it, is I ran out of maps. Which just goes to show you how much paper it takes to do these wreaths sometimes. Did you see how many maps were in that picture. I am using the same technique as my antique sheet music wreath. Because I used a large book, this wreath is going to be almost double the size! I used a street map book of Frederick County, Maryland, for the main part of my wreath. It is probably from the late 80’s. It made 30 cones for the bottom.
The red part in the middle is a small pocket atlas. There are about 14 and I folded instead of rolling them. I like the way it looks and it really finishes it off. Love the red! The rest of my maps were fold-out maps, not atlases. They were really creased and worn and didn’t roll too well. I want another row to “fluff” it up. So I’m opting to be patient and wait until I get a few more of the books from family. I am going to put a picture in the middle to stick to my travel theme. I have several pictures I want to use. Right now, these are the runners-up. First, a truck from my dad’s farm by their pond that they are making a fountain out of. Crazy, right?
This picture of Landon at my dad’s farm. I love these photos. They are from one of my favorite days at Sunset Hill. Right now, its first and second runner-up. I’ve said before how much I love PicMonkey. You can use it to do cute things like put quotes on pictures. Like: “It is not down on any map. True places never are.” Herman Melville
Is this 2013 or 1913? I don’t know. For this pic I’m feeling the quote: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Helen Keller.
I love this photo of my dad and his twin brother, David. I talked about him and his Pink Cadillac. It’s a classic. Spoiler alert: we washed his brand new (vintage) car with the windows down. I’m stumped for a quote. Because all I can think about is that story. Dying. I shouldn’t be laughing. Sorry. Ahem.
Anyway, I can’t wait to finish and show you the results and the tutorial for how I did it. Hope you’re having a great week!