A Sense of Place — Challenge # 1

We all are more inspired when we’re in certain locales.

  • Are you moved when you go to the seashore?
  • Can’t get that tropical vacation out of your mind?
  • Do you come back from a few days at the mountains refreshed and invigorated?
  • Maybe you’re darn happy in your quaint southern hometown, or on your city block with your favorite coffee shop and bookstore just steps away.

This week’s Challenge: Design and create something for your home, using a map of a place that is special to you.

For me it’s Lake Tahoe. We travel to the mountains often, and as the tall cedars and azure lake come into view, my stresses evaporate. I am relaxed and giddy in mountain air.

I needed a throw pillow in lighter shades to complement our sofa’s dark tones, so I designed this one using maps. I bought a simple Tahoe-area road map and a vintage postcard map from eBay. I scanned the maps and printed them onto inkjet fabric (from Michaels). I found a great polka-dot cloth napkin at Cost Plus and some inexpensive fabric ribbons at Michaels. I stitched away from there, fitting the cover to a pillow form that I had on hand. I’m pretty happy with the results, and it’s adding some needed whimsy to our couch.

Okay, there’s your inspiration. Keep in mind that you don’t need to make a pillow or even to sew—just create anything to decorate your home using your special place map(s) in the design. It could be wall art, a lampshade, decoupage on a piece of furniture—you name it.

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When you're done, snap a photo and submit your entry. Do so by Wednesday, April 8, 2009 to be included in the Ta-Da! Challenge Results post. We can't wait to see what you do!

A Sense of Place -- Challenge # 1

  • Submission Deadline: Wednesday, April 8, 2009
  • Ta-Da! Challenge Results: Thursday, April 9, 2009

Check out all 2 entries:

1. diane in brentwood, ca USA2. Andy Pels in Oakley, CA USA

1. From diane in brentwood, ca USA:

diane's entry

I wanted something cute and whimsical for my guest bathroom. I bought an ugly ceramic vase at the Dollar Store, then gave it a light sanding to roughen up the glaze. I took an old AAA map and dry-fitted it around the vase. Then I made some homemade paper mache paste (water, flour, salt) and laying the map out on a table (outside!), I coated one side with the paper mache goo and wrapped it up around the vase. I tried to keep the ease-to-fit folds all going in the same direction. After I let it dry completely, I coated the whole thing with Mod Podge to waterproof it and give it a gloss finish. I added a sheer ribbon fringe and stuck on a few cartoon car wooden cut-outs I found at Michael’s. I hope my overnight guests and travelers like the way it came out!

2. From Andy Pels in Oakley, CA USA:

Andy Pels's entry

I really like this old map showing California as an island. My initial idea was to use it on the front of a sunglasses and car keys holder made with old wood. April 8 arrived very quickly, so I applied it to my travel information file folder which actually has a prominent place in my home office.

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6 Comments for “A Sense of Place — Challenge # 1”

great job on the website (mom)

Thanks, Phoebe! I hope everyone’s cooking up their challenge entries. Hey you’ve probably got a map in your car, right?

Dandy map vase, Diane! What a cool idea that will make your guests grin. Beautiful flowers and photo too. Thanks for sharing with us all.

[…] Challenge # 1: Design and make a piece for your home using a map of a special place. Due Wednesday, April 8. […]

Andy, what an ingenious use of a map! What a crafty guy!

You rock, Andy! I like that now you get to look at this map that makes you happy every day. You and Diane are looking pretty good for that coffee mug.

And California was an island, really? You can tell I was brought up on the East Coast. 🙂

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