Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Oh the places you've been...

In order to fully appreciate this post, you need to know a few things about my family.  Specifically, you need to become familiar with all the places we've lived.

I was born in New York. We moved to Minnesota just before my second birthday. Both my sisters were born there, and when I was in Kindergarten, we moved to North Carolina. Nine months later (seriously), we moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where we lived until I was in 8th grade. I started high school in Dayton, Ohio, which is where my parents still live.

Tired yet? I've also since lived in Kentucky and Cincinnati, so I've got the most states of anyone, but we all have a lot! I should add that we were not military; my dad works for a paper company. Go figure.

Okay, so you already know that I'm completely addicted to Pinterest (follow me here!). I was browsing one day and came across this:

             Pinned Image

How cute is that? I love the visual representation of the different places you've lived, and it didn't seem that hard to make (thanks to the great tutorial).

It was really pretty simple. I used the font recommended in the tutorial and printed out the state outlines. I printed them directly onto card stock, and they looked great. I punched the holes directly with my sewing needle, and then used a full strand of embroidery floss to do the stitching.

One tip - don't punch your holes too close together, or pull your stitches too tightly. If you do, you might get halfway through a Michigan and have to start over when it rips!

Here's the version I made for my mom and dad for Christmas:

I couldn't find a five opening frame, but I found this six opening one at Michael's and thought the double matting was a nice touch. The house is just my addition to fill the space.

Here's a close up so you can see the stitching. I think it adds a nice dimension in real life. The tutorial says to use felt to make the hearts, but I found these babies at JoAnn's for $0.99 for a pack of three, and it was way easier than trying to cut out teeny tiny hearts. They were a lot sturdier too, and went on easily with my hot glue gun. With zero burns. Craft winning.

I also made this version for my brother-in-law and his wife. They're the world travelers, and at the end of their Grand Adventure they'll be moving to New York City. Their version has Kentucky, London, and New York.

Overall, I think they turned out really well. My mom, who is well known for her non-emotionness and inability to get teary eyed regardless of the situation, sure looks like she likes it!

Have any of you lived in as many states as we have? This is also a great conversation starter when someone comes over for dinner! 

Click HERE to see the blog parties where I'm linking!


  1. This makes me wish I'd lived more places. But I'm planning on doing something similar with a map of Europe and the places I've been (only one larger outline like a regular map and the hearts over each city). This is really great, and you can really see the care you took to make them a great gift! Well done!

  2. Thanks Tara for posting how you did this! I saw it somehow online and wondered if you had done it. It is a great idea that I am so happy to steal from you and Pinterest! Happy New Year to you.

  3. This is SO COOL! What an awesome gift! I'm in love. I've only lived in one state though, so it'd be a lonely little frame. ;)

  4. That is ADORABLE! I love this idea...although ours would be forever added to. I was born in Washington, moved to KS, then Alabama, then Georgia, then Kansas again, TX and now North Carolina...who knows where we will end up next. Maybe I could make individual ones that are continuously added to...once Bud & I take the local framing class we could make the frames match!
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    And once again...ADORABLE work :)

  5. What a great idea- I love it! Will have to try it someday as a gift or maybe for my own house.

  6. That's fantastic! What a great gift! Hubs and I have both only lived in one state all our lives, but it'd be fun to do one for all the spots where we've vacationed! I like the addition of the house too; adds extra meaning! Would you consider sharing here?



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