Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cork Board USA Map Craft

One of my passions is traveling.  I'm not quite sure when it started, but I've always loved going to the airport and boarding a plane of packing up the car for a long road trip.  I love getting away from everyday life and experiencing something new.  Growing up I was fortunate enough to have grandparents in different states so every summer we were off to Maine or Wisconsin and once I got to middle school I was on a traveling club volleyball team.  My team with Orlando Volleyball Academy, OVA, was good.  I don't mind bragging about us because we were that good.  We never lost a tournament in Florida and we qualified for the Junior National Volleyball Tournament every year we played together as a team.  With the volleyball team I got to see places in the US that I wouldn't have without playing, at least not in high school.

My Grandfather worked for Delta for 40 years and it was always special to me to get on a Delta plane and think about him.  Dad would make us dress nice for our trips, the airport wasn't a place to look sloppy, this is where Grandpa worked.  I think a lot of that is lost now, actually I know it is.  I still like to look nice when I board a plane for a leisure trip or a business trip.  There is no telling who you are going to meet or when you might need to sweet talk the gate agent and I strongly believe that how you look has a lot to do with what they can do for you.

It's not surprising that this love of traveling carried over to adulthood.   Luckily, Stephen and I share the same passion and we have big dreams of seeing more of our beautiful country and the world.  He and I have been to so many cities I thought it would be fun to plot all of our trips on a map so we could see our experiences visually.

The project was a pretty easy one, the most time consuming was waiting for the different layers of paint to dry - my least favorite thing to do.

I started with a corkboard, map of the USA, some painters tape, acrylic paints in a bunch of colors, paint brushes and some pushpins.

I decided on my colors and started painting, working on the boarder first.  Helpful tip - put a pushpin under your object that you're painting so you can paint the edges without having to lift them up.

I put painters tape on the cork to keep it protected while I worked on the yellow.  It took two to three coats of yellow paint to cover the wood with the yellow.  I'm sure a darker color wouldn't have required as much paint.

Once the yellow was dried, I mixed my light grey color, removed the painters tape and coated the cork in paint.  Once dry (I left it overnight and all day the following day) I placed my map of the United States and pinned it into place so I could outline with my Sharpie Pen.

Next, once the outline was good and done it was time to paint the inside of the map.  I decided not to try to outline the individual states because the northeast could be pretty tricky and I wanted a nice, clean map.

Painting the map was time consuming around along the coasts.  The borders with Canada and Mexico were my favorite because they were pretty straight.

Now it was time for the fun part!  I painted a quote on the corkboard to personalize it and we started pinning our travels.  We chose red for Atlanta, where we live now.  Green pins are Stephen's for places he's been without me.  My solo trips are yellow and the white pins are places we've been together.  There are quite a few cities that we have both visited, but not together.  We have a lot of the East Coast covered and we're pretty lacking out West except for California.

I look forward to continuing to fill up our map with more and more white pins.  If we move from Atlanta, our new city will get another red pin.

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