If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll already know what a geek I am when it comes to maps. Old, new and anything inbetween – maps are intriguing, enticing and informative. I’m the kind of person who wanders over to information maps on footpaths or in city centres and looks like a total tourist, but really I’m just interested in the map itself. Why is it here? What’s nearby? Any special information? Someone has taken the time to make that map and put it there, so surely there’s a reason that’s worth investigating. So it probably comes as no surprise that I also love to have maps in my own home too, and that’s where Mapify comes in. Read on to find out more about my Valentine’s map and how you can win your very own personalised map created just for you by Mapify in my giveaway – and there’s THREE prizes to be won!Thankfully, my husband is equally interested in maps, so when there’s an museum exhibit of old relief maps in the Lake District, or an exhibition of Max Gill’s famous street maps at The Lettering Arts Centre we are first in the queue to see it. I guess we’re well suited to each other, eh? So what better gift could I get for my husband this Valentine’s Day than a personalised map? Well, I’m pleased to say that it IS possible to create your own map of any location throughout the whole world, and have a fantastic quality print on your wall in a matter of days. Mapify is the serviceI used to make this special gift, and here’s how I did it.
Even though we all like our homes to reflect a little of our own style and personality, it can be difficult to make your house feel like a ‘home’ when you’re renting. Of course you can add your own furniture, pop some photos on the mantlepiece and throw down some colourful cushions, but the bare bones of the property – the walls – generally need to remain untouched. So how can you make a room feel cosy, comfortable and ‘yours’ when you’re restricted to magnolia paint and prohibited from wallpapering? Well, my solution is wall-art – and I’m talking some pretty large pieces too!
When you can’t repaint a room or add a feature wall, investing in artwork is a great way to add personality and colour to an otherwise bland, rented apartment. Landlords tend to allow framed images to be hung on walls, as long as they are correctly fitted with picture-hooks etc – but don’t quote me on this, always be sure to check your tenancy agreement before you start to drill! If your landlord is happy for pictures to be hung on walls, you can make a big difference to your living space with some wall art and it doesn’t have to cost a small fortune either..!I’m a huge advocate of using posters to change the feeling of a room, to add colour and pattern to a bare wall, or to define a space for a specific use. And we all know that posters are one of the most thrifty pieces of wall art that money can buy – that’s why we plastered our teenage bedroom walls with low-cost posters! But I’m going one step smarter than simply blu-tacking a poster to the wall, I’m suggesting that you frame your posters and even group them together to create a gallery wall of coordinating (or contrasting, for that matter) images.
And seeing as I love maps so much (remember my Map Geek articles last year??) I decided that a map would be the ideal solution for my living room. No more wallpapering for me; I can make a big impact with just a 120 x 100cm poster and it fills the space above my sofa perfectly. A huge poster of this size certainly gives the room a focal point and ties together all of the colours in the room. World maps are easy – and relatively cheap – to find, and always tend to be the largest prints around. But I don’t only want to stick to traditional world maps – I love something a little more arty and abstract and that’s where the collection at Posterlounge comes in.
Wall-art makes a great gift too – how about framing a map of somewhere you’ve travelled with your friend as a birthday present? Continue reading “Map geek + Tips for adding personality to your rented home” »
I’ve got that map-Monday feeling and I want to show you all something I got for my husband this week; a map on a t-shirt. Not just any map – I could actually choose the location of the map and have it custom-printed. Cool, huh?The company I went to for this personalised top is MapOnShirt.com. I could choose any spot on earth and the map would be recreated on the clothing product of my choice – or even a pillow! Fabric is sublimation printed with the graphics of the map chosen (and any text or markers you wish to add) and then stitched up into a classic t-shirt silhouette. I didn’t want any graphics or text on the t-shirt so I went ahead and ordered a simple map of the Suffolk coast. Continue reading “Map geek – Wear your map on your sleeve” »
I can’t believe it, we’re nearly at the school half-term holidays again! Where did the last 7 weeks go? If you’ve got children of school age you probably base your life around the academic calendar too and are looking forward to, or dreading (!), the impending half-term break. I thought I’d share with you a recent trip that we took to the Suffolk coast to give you a little inspiration for a day out during the holidays and, if you read on, there’s also a chance to nominate someone special to win a holiday to Majorca, but more about that later on!The reason for my recent trip to the seaside was to visit an art installation. To mark their 50th anniversary The Landmark Trust commissioned five art installations by Anthony Gormley as part of its LAND sculpture series. Each sculpture was created in response to the location and was installed on five different Landmark sites across the country. The sculpture that I visited was on the Suffolk coast so it was a fun visit to the seaside and an ideal day out for the school holidays. Continue reading “Map Geek – Land by Anthony Gormley” »
This week I took a trip to the Suffolk coast to enjoy a day of traditional seaside fun and, more importantly, to hunt out Southwold Pier. This hidden gem is a classic seaside attraction and I really can’t think of anywhere better to spend the day when the weather is as glorious as it has been over the past week. In fact, the pier itself is like a little micro-climate with the sea breezes keeping us cool on the hottest day of the year so it’s ideal for a summer trip. Let’s start off by saying that I really, really like a good attraction map. I actually enjoy being handed a visitor’s guide when I arrive at a theme park, event, museum or visitor attraction. They are usually hand-drawn and often feature cute little comic characters and in-jokes that make me giggle. I picked up the map of Southwold pier at a tourist information centre and immediately knew that I would enjoy visiting the attraction – it looked like lots of fun, with traditional penny arcades, tearooms and even a micro bandstand!
MacDonald Gill, known as Max, was a major figure in the graphic art world in the first half of the 20th century. Back in November I visited an exhibition of his work at The Lettering Arts Centre completely by accident and I was fascinated by the maps on display. The exhibits were a recent discovery, found in a cottage in Sussex which had been Max Gill’s last home, and until then his work has gone largely neglected. I’d never heard of the designer until I stumbled upon this exhibition and I am so pleased that I stuck around to listen to the talk about his life and work.The one thing that you may know Max Gill for is his famous lettering work. The Imperial War Graves Commission appointed him to design the lettering alphabet and regimental badges for the standard military headstone after the first world war. This standard script is still used today and can be found on military memorials all around the country – a small yet very visible success for this little-known cartographer.It was his maps rather than his lettering that really sparked my imagination and I spent hours browsing the posters he’d designed. The muted colour palette was beautiful; each map was a gorgeous combination of mustard, denim blue and burnt red – all my favourite tones – so I was immediately drawn into the work and was compelled to take a closer look.
Huddersfield is a very beautiful town in West Yorkshire, England. The special atmosphere of the city and architectural refinement attract thousands of tourists from around the world so today I’m focusing my map research on the town and its university. Its location – one hour from Liverpool, York, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Birmingham and only three hours from London – makes the city an ideal place to explore different parts of the UK. Huddersfield is a thriving and friendly regional centre in the north of the country.
The lively city centre with its Victorian architecture is characterized by a magnificent combination of traditional and modern styles. It has the third tallest building in the United Kingdom – Victoria Tower on Castle Hill. Every year the city hosts many different festivals that attract a considerable number of tourists. One of these festivals is the festival of fire. It is usually held in November near the famous railway station in the city center. The beauty of landscapes surrounding Huddersfield is breathtaking. Local features provide plenty of opportunities for mountain biking, hiking and other outdoor recreation.
Globetrotter sounds so cool. How come there’s no such thing as a map-trotter? Sounds a bit piggy doesn’t it?? Anyway, as well as taking a keen interest in maps (so much so that I started this regular blog feature!) I also love globes.
As much as I enjoy studying a world map, terrestrial globes are the only ‘true’ world maps as they show the earth as it really is, without distortion of land mass or distance so it’s an accurate way to learn about the surface of the planet. Even the 23.5 degree tilt of a globe’s holder ensures that the earth is being rotated on the same axis as in ‘real life’ in relation to the sun. Great educational stuff!
This is probably what makes them so popular for children’s bedrooms, and there are hundreds of globe lamps and nightlights available to illuminate the rooms of youngsters. Not only are they educational, but they also look pretty cool to young eyes, who are often fascinated by the solar system, planets and stars.
It comes as no surprise then that I found plenty of examples of globes in interior design when I was trawling Pinterest this week, looking for more examples to add to my ‘Map Love’ board. There were children’s bedrooms galore, along with offices and living spaces proudly displaying the owner’s collections.
It seems like globes are a far more collectable than maps. Although I have a huge stash of maps, they are stored on bookshelves and in boxes, and not grouped together in a display like these globes. If they were, it would look more like wallpaper than a curated collection so that’s why I believe that globes are a more popular cartography collectable. Heck, even I want a wall full of globes after seeing these inspiring interiors.
Of course, the ideal backdrop to a globe collection is a map on the wall, and this loft apartment has got it just right – that’s the home for me! Often globes are confined to the office and can be found on the desks of teenage students everywhere, and even though can be very useful in a learning or working environment, I think they look equally great as interior design features anywhere in the home.
I’d love to grow a collection of globes and display them pride of place in my living room. Let me know if you too are a fan of globes and whether you have started a collection already? Where would you keep your globes – hidden away or on display? Let me know by leaving me a comment or tweet me for a chat @Cassiefairy.
Do you remember that episode of Friends where the Chandler and Joey are tourists in London and Joey has to ‘go into the map’ in order to get his bearings? He put the map on the floor and stepped onto it to work out what direction to head in, even though he’d only just left the hotel. I’m not saying that I’ve ever done this before, but I have turned the map while following the route, and I’m sure that’s not necessarily the ‘done thing’ in map-reading but it works for me, and ‘going into the map’ worked for Joey back in the 90s.When I visited The Grandest Views exhibition at Keswick Museum (which I wrote about last week – read my review post here) the massive Ordnance Survey map covering the floor of the museum put me in mind of this idea of ‘going into the map’ and I loved being able to follow routes on a larger scale. If only I could buy that massive map – I’d have the ideal vinyl floor for my kitchen! Continue reading “Map Geek – Going into the map” »