In which I talk about the hubs’ favorite decoration in our house (#49).
Back to my sneak peek. This is a glimpse of something that we’ve had in the works for about a year now.
After seeing it hanging in a professor’s office, the hubs was excited to track down the Literary Map of Virginia, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Luckily, a simple google search was all it took to find a downloadable version from the Library of Congress collections. We promptly downloaded, and then made the project more tricky than it needed to be, which prompted us to abandon it for the better part of a year.
First of all, we’d downloaded a jp2 file (or jpg 2000). We couldn’t find anywhere that would print that file format. I was finally able to open it and get the dimensions, which weren’t in the same proportion as any of the print options even if we could get someone to work with that file format. After talking about options for editing the file size, misunderstanding each other, and generally getting very frustrated, we stopped working on this for a long time.
We’d talked about hanging this poster up in our guest room, so I reopened the project a last week. I immediately decided to find a program that would convert the file back into a standard jpg. With little-to-no research, I downloaded the free Pixillion Image Converter, which gave me a workable, printable image in no time. After playing around with the image in photoshop a bit, I was finally able to convey my plan to the hubs. (This was a large part of the frustration the last time we’d worked on this. We just didn’t have the common vocabulary to understand each other. Coming after the other frustrations, it was just too much.) I intended to size the image down to the height (in inches) that we desired our printed version to be. Then I would expand the canvas around the image to the width of the print size. We’d have blank space around the edges of the image. I color-matched the blank space to the edges of the image so that it wouldn’t be so glaring in the frame.
We were in business! We chose 20×30 as being the most reasonable print size for our room. Since this would give us an image that was 20x27ish, we picked up a 20×28 frame on sale at Michaels. We opted to have it printed at Ritz Camera for a bit more money because we’d be able to pick it up that very day. (I found a coupon code that saved us $3, so it was only a few dollars different than we could have had it online.)
And then we ran into the first snag of our second attempt to print the map. The image that the Library of Congress has had been scanned in from a hard copy of the map. It was available for download, and all indications were that the 1957 copyright had not been renewed. But the copyright was on the image, so Ritz wouldn’t print it. We emailed the organization that originally held the copyright for more information, but didn’t hear back from them.
Luckily, we ordered a print from mpix.com, also with a coupon code, which shipped that same day. It ended up being cheaper than the Ritz version would have been, and we were able to get it in a matte finish, which I preferred. Even luckier, it came that same week, so it was almost as gratifying as picking it up the same day would have been. The hubs trimmed off the edges with the skills he perfected on foam board.
Here it is in all its glory:
The mirrored piece on this vanity closes, and the hubs uses this as his writing desk most of the time. Interested in the rest of the room that has become my favorite? I’ll do a grand guest room wrap up next week with the rest of the details.