Mapping Ninja Adventures

As a Mom, I want to give my Ninjas the world. But, since that’s hard to package, I thought I’d give them an adventure map instead.

The dreams of my youth

It’s a hand-me-down from my youth, when I was adventurous enough to take on the world as a freshman in college. Excitement filled me as I tacked a map to this enormous bulletin board, and marked every place I wanted to travel to. Nary a locale was left un-tacked (I was ambitious)! As a military wife, I’ve been lucky enough to see a decent amount of the world. Although I didn’t reach every tac on my travel map wish list, I felt it was time to pass on my desire for adventure to my Ninjas. I felt it was also time for a more simplified design.

Adventure documenting materials

And so, out came the handy pocket-knife, paint, and paintbrushes. My Ninjas’ color scheme in their room is gray/tan, white, and navy blue (that’s pretty much the theme through the whole house – classic). So I picked white and Martha Stewart’s Gray Wolf acrylic paint. I chose Navy thread to trace their adventures.

Placing a tac on each continent (I’ll admit, some countries aren’t geographically correct. Tiny bits are hard to cut out with a pocket-knife, so I skipped over them. A few islands have mysteriously disappeared from the Mediterranean), I cut as accurately as I could around each bit of land. My hands ached by the time I’d finished, and I found myself really hating all of Eurasia despite a desperate desire to visit all of it.

Leaving the world behind

Once I finished with the pocket-knife, I carefully pulled up the watery areas of the map leaving the land bits tacked to the bulletin board.

Advanced Cartography

The next step was to paint. This was easy. Just squirt a blob of paint on the cork of the bulletin board, and paint away. I had to hold down a few corners of North America to make sure I didn’t get paint underneath the “stencil.” Now, there’s something very obvious that I must point out, although it didn’t occur to me until I had painted half of the world. You could always go out to buy a can of spray paint and this process would be a lot quicker. But I didn’t have spray paint, so it was acrylic all the way. Once the white paint dried (it didn’t take too long for the absorbent cork to help dry the white paint), I worked on the frame. I only painted the top of the frame, not the sides, because I wasn’t sure if it would rub off onto the walls eventually. Two coats of Gray Wolf was all it took.

Ninja Travels

At last, the time had come to map my Ninjas’ adventures: Guam, Japan, Lajes, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, and finally, Georgia! The final step was to kindly ask the husband to hang my art in our Ninjas’ room. I would do it, but I like to eye-ball the things I hang, which results in a few holes in the wall before I find the perfect spot. My husband was very obliging.

Done! The remaining spool of navy blue thread is now tucked safely in my sewing basket, ready to document any of my Ninjas’ future adventures as they discover the world.  Do your Ninjas have a map documenting their travel adventures? What does it look like?


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