Aug 5, 2011

Recycled Maps Project

Geography was never my favourite subject in school, nor one of my best - truth be told, but this week maps have played a very interesting role in my life.

Image: enviroireland
I've tried my best to steer away from talking about my family on this site but sometimes it's necessary to put events into context.

And so, here we go.

I wanted to buy an iPhone for my wife. I thought the maps application along with emailing capability would be really handy for her for work but my wife does not like surprises and so I had to tell her. Her response was that she did not need the iPhone. Did not want the iPhone and would never use it for anything other than making phone calls.

Jump ahead to last week when I took my first 'family holiday' holiday. That meant driving to Kerry with my wife and 1 year old son in a car full of his toys, travel cot, more toys, lots of nappies, some change of clothes for myself and my wife, a few more toys stuffed in and around everything, a bag of apple drops and last but certainly not least my wife's iPhone which these days barely leaves her hand if only to say  "These maps are incredible, we can completely bypass Killarney if we go ...oh, hold on I've just got an email" 

During the holiday I read a fascinating article about Jack Dorsey the founder of Twitter. The article talks about an 8 year old Jack, obsessed with maps. Papering his bedroom walls with city maps and transit maps ripped from magazinesAs he got older and discovered computers and.......... know what? Go read the article. You can find it here. It's kind of interesting but I'm not really interested in Twitter

What I found interesting was the 8 year old who papered his walls with maps of cities.

Image: threepotatofour
Image: Suzanna Salk

Now before you run off and rip up all those AA road maps that you have stuffed into glove compartments and sides of car doors. Take note of the following.

The rest of the holiday went a little something like this.
Dinner with friends. Son on beach which he hated. Got lost looking for Ballinskelligs but used iPhone to find the right path. Dinner with more friends. Beach again, which son tried to eat. Dinner with family. Beach one last time where son ate sand and went swimming which he loved. Packed everything up, which appeared to have doubled in size, back in car and headed home.

Which all sounds like a pretty normal holiday. But did I mention we took the 'Sceneic' route home?

We did of course get lost again only this time the iPhone did two things.
First up -  we lost the signal because we found ourselves driving through (and over) the Macgillicuddy Reeks.
Second -  the iPhone battery died because as we all know you are lucky to get about an hours worth of use out of the iPhone.
That is if you don't use it for anything like, say... browsing the Internet, checking emails, sending texts or making simple little phone calls.

We did manage to find our way out with the aid of one of those crumpled AA road maps that we had stuffed into the glove compartment. We got back to civilisation, just in time for my sons lunch, who had developed a strange appetite for sand.

Although this post may be leading up to suggesting what to do with useless iPhones - I think there is more of an artistic quality to old maps.

Here are some of the ideas I've found around the Internet

Image: letbirdsfly

1. map-lined bookshelf via pinterest 
2. map lamp shade via college life diy 
3. map-covered dresser via the mayfly  
4. decoupage map monogram via ohdeedoh 
5. framed map hearts via not on the high street 
6. city map gift bow via how about orange 
7. map-covered bracelet via craft stylish 
8. map-covered door window frame via junk garden girl 
9. shiny map magnets via how about orange 
10. map coasters via martha stewart
11. map-covered vintage window pane via casa de daisy casa de daisy.
12. half-marble map magnets via let birds fly!

Going back to the idea of maps as wallpaper. I have always loved that idea and had thought of doing it for my son's bedroom before he was born. I went with another idea but someday when he's older I'll return to it.

I love the idea that he could look up at all the places on the maps and dream of going there.
Whether he gets lost or not.

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