Saturday, July 21, 2012


At long last, a project!

My to-do list is pretty short, but "Take Map to Framer" has been on there for a few months, and hasn't gotten crossed off.

I saw this big, old school map at a neighborhood tag sale, and it caught my attention. First, I love graphic elements. Second, it's a cool French Political Map from 1968! Third, I like the colors and I decided that it would fit great on the blank wall above the washer and dryer. Why not?! It's big--about 3' wide and 4' tall. The husband said, "$20 but I can't go lower than $15." The wife said, "We'll take $10." Maybe it was a project he never got around to, and she was tired of looking at it. There was a sticker on the back showing that the map was sold by the State of South Carolina Disposal Property Office, for $15 last July. His $5 loss was my gain!

I googled the manufacturer, Cartocraft Denoyer-Geppert, and I was happily surprised! Regional maps in poor condition go for $175, fair condition for $375 and excellent condition $650-$1000. Wow. I'd say this one is in good condition (no tears, just lumpy from being rolled up)...but I'm not going to try to sell it. Sometimes a good garage sale item is just that.

It sat rolled up in a corner for a few months and I thought I'd bring it to the framer, so he could properly deal with the canvas that was shredded and had come out of the split lower dowel.

I took a look at the map this past weekend and I decided to wing it, and go "DIY." Using an old ice pick that I got an another tag sale for 50 cents (!) I removed the old staples.

I cut off the excess, ripped canvas along the bottom, pried open the dowel, ran a thin bead of glue, and stapled the map onto one half of the split dowel.

The old interior staples/holes still lined up, and it was easy to sandwich it all together. I used chip-bag clips from the kitchen drawer to hold the dowel together---they worked great!

For the top of the map, I cut off the excess canvas there as well. I weighed the map down with some books to flatten it, placed the dowel on top of the map, and just glued it down. The dowels created a "frame." 

I like the slogan on the top dowel, "We Believe In Using Good Rollers On Good Maps."
Made in Chicago, with pride!

The laundry room has become the resting place for some art I had in my home office in New York. The subject matter is decidedly urban (a subway poster from the MTA shop in Grand Central Station, in the shape of a whale, and two oil paintings of "views of Manhattan from a Brooklyn rooftop" that I won in a silent auction at a gallery for $25 each.) I'm not usually drawn to the color orange, but the pieces found their way to me over time. The window valance and the map of France have some orange, so this room has come together seamlessly! Got the chandelier from some random catalog and re-used the black shades that I had in my NY bedroom. I prefer calm surroundings for the fun of folding, and the drudgery of ironing. 

I hung the map up with a few nails, where the canvas meets the wood. It looks small in the photo, but the map is substantial and really fills the space nicely!

Next on the to-do list...drill holes into the bottoms of the garbage bins. The garbagemen leave the lids open, and rainwater gets in there. Not blog-worthy, but it's on the short list ;-)

La vie est belle. Level & Plumb.

July 31 UPDATE to this posting!!!

The August issue of Ballard Designs catalog arrived today. I have collected some Ballard pieces over the years (armoire, queen bed, guest room day bed, and 2 bedside tables), and now that my house is "done" I just like to flip through the catalog to see what's trending. Wellll....I'm feeling pretty proud of my-DIY-self right about now. I'm trending!

The maps caught my eye, then all the orange accents!
The catalog denotes the "1937 World Maps Giclee Prints" as an exclusive SK (Suzanne Kasler) design. These grandly scaled world map prints were reproduced from actual 1937 maps used in American classrooms to teach geography. Digitally printed on gallery wrapped canvas and hand finished with a crackle glaze for an authentic vintage look. Europe, Africa or North America 50" x 40". $299 each (plus tax) + $80 for truck delivery  

Suzanne, welcome to my laundry room! $10 for the map + a few squirts of Gorilla glue + drying time and 4 nails.

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