Not too long ago I painted some navy and white stripes on my bedroom wall.
There was washi tape involved. I like how it turned out.
I decided I wanted something hanging up there. Something to remind me of a place we all love.
I wanted a map of Texas. And I wanted it to be big.
I already had a large frame, so with a little paint and a lot of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, I attempted to bring the idea in my head to life.
It was a little sketchy for a while, but it eventually turned out alright.
I used a Texas travel map. You know, one of those paper maps that unfold once and then never, ever refold back into the same shape, especially if your nine year old is involved? Yes, one of those.
I cut out the shape of Texas and then crumpled it up into a ball. Because I had an idea.
And then I ended up with this...
Not quite what I had imagined.
I had wanted to stain it with tea (soaking the map in a boiling pot of tea water for five minutes or so). I had tried my hand at map staining once before, with Lindsey. She had a higher quality Alaska map. It turned out great. Not like mine.
I debated pitching the whole thing and going a different direction, but before filing the whole project under a Pinterest fail, I thought I might as well see how it played out.
The map wasn't coated like Lindsey's had been and the paper soaked up a ton of water and fell apart. I spent a lot of hours separating pieces.
After they dried, I put them all together. It was like a jigsaw puzzle.
As the pieces came together, I really liked the look of it. A lot.
I painted the frame and mat I already had, loosely taped the back of the map together (a much longer task than you might imagine), and arranged it in the frame.
You'll notice I chose to put the map in front of the mat rather than behind it. I wanted to show as much of Texas as I could and putting it under the mat would have hidden more of the panhandle and the coast.
Plus, following generally accepted crafting/design rules are not really something I'm known for.
Now that it's finished, I no longer consider this project a failure. I like it. That happens to me a lot, something I think is going to turn out all wrong, comes back around as a favorite.
It happens in my crafting projects, my adoption roads and my daily life in general.
I guess starting out in a mess is part of who I am. I'm okay with that.