So Long, Farewell

23 Jun

My good friend Kelly is moving. Not down the street or even to another town, but to another state. Sure it’s a neighboring state, but one that is six hours away.

Kel and her husband have three boys; it seems so cruel to take away some of the Bird’s role models and playmates, doesn’t it? She should be forced to stay, right?

Sadly, the moving van comes today and on Tuesday morning the family will follow. I waited as long as I could to give her this gift in the hope that they would change their minds. Alas, it seems to be a done deal.

Next week they will add Charlotte, NC to to the list of cities where they have made their home. *sigh*

As for how I made the sign, it’s pretty simple. A basic knowledge of Photoshop helps, but I think you could modify this idea without it.

Family Journey Art

You Need:

  • picture frame, possibbly an uncut photo mat as well
  • paper cutter, scissors or x-axcto knife
  • photo prints of your cities


Decide what size you need your images to be and what kind of frame you need. This part is hard for me to help you plan since the number of cities and frame sizes could vary wildly. But, for sake of simplicity, I had three cities to highlight so I decided on prints that ended up being 5 x 6 once trimmed (printed on 5 x 7 and cut an inch off).

Visit the watercolor section of the Stamen maps website and enter a location. In the example below, I entered Ocean City, Md – my hometown. Play with the size and perspective until you get want you want, then click on IMAGE in the top right corner. Choose your size. I made my cities square, but other dimensions may work for your needs (especially if you don’t use Photoshop). I also downloaded them in the highest pixels measurements so that  they were easier to work with in Photoshop. It’s a lot easier to make something smaller than bigger.  So in the example below you’re seeing 500 x 500 but when I made the images I actually used for Kelly’s print I used 2000 x 20000.

Using Photoshop, I created a new canvas – 5 x 7 at 300 dpi. I opened my city images and sized them to fit with equal border at the top, left and right. There was more white space at the bottom where I typeset the name of the city. Each city name is written in the same font, but a different color. All of those colors were chosen from the watercolor maps. The font is EcuyerDAX and it’s free.

I saved the images as jpgs and had them printed at the drug store. Once home, I trimmed off one inch of white space from the bottom of the 5 x 7 prints and using double sided tape carefully mounted them on an uncut piece of photo matting material. Then I just had to pop them in the frame.

If you are not a Photoshop user, I suggest making your map in 4×6 or 5×7 photo ratio and simply sending it to print without the city name label. Buy a collage frame that has the right number of opening and insert your pictures. If you want to label the locations, think of a way to do so on the photo mat.

That’s it. Pretty easy, right? Here’s a closer look at the three cities in the piece I made for Kelly.

Do you have any friends packing up and moving away? How have you marked their departure?

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