Go Big or Go Home

It’s been awhile since we’ve done anything in the Spare Room (aka. the Room of Requirement), so let me refresh your memory of where we left off:water couch roomAnd how about that couch that’s sometimes a bed?

watermarkNow do you remember? For more about the painting and carpeting process click here and to read more about the wonders of the futon click here.

One of my favorite parts of the room is the map that sits right above the couch (or bed, depending on the situation). The original intent was to have a piece that we could use to mark our travels and keep track of the places we’ve gone and hope to visit in the future. watermark mapThe map was laminated and then backed by a bulletin board that I grabbed from Micheals. This way, we could stick push pins in it for marking purposes. Here’s where the plot thickens… as time went on, the map (although really cool) started to feel a bit underwhelming. It didn’t take up quite enough space on the wall and didn’t have quite as much presence as we’d hoped. Also, at one point I had to take it down because I needed the bulletin board for something (read about that here), so afterward it never actually made it back onto the wall. Which was fine because right about at that time, my parents gifted us with this…map 002Now, when I say “gifted”, I actually mean that we asked them if we could borrow and hang it in this room until they decide that they have a new place to hang it in their own home. It had been sitting in the basement, so we’re giving it a long-term, temporary home until they ask for it back- and we’re more than happy to enjoy it until then.

house 096This is no ordinary map… in fact, it’s not even flat! The cool thing about this piece is that it is a “relief map”, which means that certain parts of it have been peaked or “valleyed” to mimic the actual terrain of the country.

map 008This map came from my grandfather (you can just call him “Grandpa”), who worked for a printing press. Actually, before I tell the story, do you want to meet him? Here he is dancing with my grandmother (you can call her “Mimi”) at our wedding:_R7A7634Yeah, they’re great (and dancing machines, at that). Ok, back to the map. I did a mini interview with him to try and learn some of its background and he said that it was originally printed on flat plastic by the Edward Stern & Co. printing company. This is where Grandpa worked (he was chosen out of 100 applicants for the job!). From there, the map was sent to a different company to be “reliefed”… aka. the process of being formed/raised/peaked. Grandpa ended up with the map somewhere in the neighborhood of 1953, as he recalls, so that gives you an idea of how old this map is.

house 111This piece is truly remarkable in person, but I know it’s hard to see the 3-Dness from the photos. Let’s see if we can zoom in a bit…

house 105Pictured above is California and if we look at it straight on from the side (think opposite of a bird’s eye view), this is what it looks like:

house 100Pretty cool, huh? We spent many hours running our fingers over the bumps and grooves as kids, trying to pick out different places, trying to find where we lived, etc. As for how you can tell the scale, the map has a key with all of that information (you can see it if you scroll up a few pictures).

Map Key

The plan is to grab a bit of trim at some point and create a frame for it (it’s currently sporting some blue duct tape for that purpose), but for now we’re just enjoying “the view” as is.map 003And that’s what’s happening in Thomasland these days… more Spare room updates this week including how we made the bookshelf from this post and another massive closet clean-out like this one from way back when. See you tomorrow!


3 thoughts on “Go Big or Go Home

  1. Pingback: Not Your Average Bookshelf | Oh, the Fun…

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