Nothing like ANOTHER snow day to get caught up on some blogging!
A couple of years ago, my sister in law sent me a link (HERE!) to an online database of high quality, historical and modern maps that can be downloaded for free. I've been wanting to do something with them for a while, so this fall I decided to use some local maps to create Christmas gifts.
My first idea was to create art prints with a historic area map for the background. After downloaded the maps, I used a photo editing program to add the text. For my side of the family, I chose an important quote by our Puritan ancestor, Roger Conant. For other family members, I came up with other quotes that went well with the recipient and/or map concept. To finish, I had them printed on nice thick paper and framed.
Next, we decided to make some coasters using the same maps (Brian's awesome idea!). Some friends made us tile coasters a few years back and I remembered them saying that they printed out images onto tissue paper then mod podged them to stone tiles (found at a home improvement store). Seemed simple enough! Well, there was a LOT of trial and error involved in this project, but the final product turned out quite well. Printing the image on to tissue paper is important because the mod podge seeps into it and the paper rests in every nook and cranny and it almost seems like the image is part of the tile when it dries. The trick to printing onto tissue paper was to use a glue stick to attach the tissue paper in the center of a regular piece of copy paper, making sure to leave a half inch margin around the tissue paper. Once all of the tissue paper maps were cut to size and mod podged to the tiles, I sprayed them with an acrylic/waterproof sealer and added felt circles to each bottom corner so they don't scratch furniture.
There are so many ways to modify these projects for different styles and occasions. Last Valentines, I printed the Bible verse from Ruth "Where ever you go, I will go and where ever you stay, I will stay" on a map of Salem as a gift for Brian. You could print anything onto tissue paper for some really cool looking coasters, too. So many options! So...happy crafting! :)