Yesterday while spending time in the rabbit hole that is Pinterest, I came across an interesting site that unites my love of maps and my admiration for watercolors. You can find it here. After fooling around with it for a bit, I had an idea. I decided to print out a couple of watercolors of places we had visited and frame them using some frames I had found on clearance at Target and set aside for later use.
It was a super simple process. It works like searching on google maps in that you type in the name of a city or country and then you can zoom in or out as much as you like right down to street grids, depending on how much detail you want in your map. Then you can choose watercolor, toner, or terrain depending on what you want. I wanted something less graphic and detailed than what you get with toner and terrain. But I could see doing one of these--especially toner for a more industrial feel.
Once I zoomed in to what I wanted, I simply printed. This part might take a little trial and error. My print preview allowed me to see exactly how the map would appear on my paper, enabling me to go back and shift the map around to get the area I wanted since when you print, it prints out the details in the top corners that you don't really want to show. This is how the watercolor of Indy printed out. (It's trimmed down here to fit my frame.)
I found three of these frames on clearance at Target. I wasn't crazy about the fabric insert, but I liked the frame color and the matte.
This is the one I did of Sanibel and Captiva Islands off the Gulf coast of Florida as a reminder of our lovely vacation last year.
Voila! Easy, fast, and cheap--just how my husband describes me on our first date. Wait. No, that's not right. Easy, fast, and cheap--just how I like my craft projects. There. Much better.