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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh The Places You’ll Go ~ DTA Style

In December the Fashionista graduated from college. I shared with you that the gift I gave her made her cry. You of course wanted to know what it was.

First off I need to tell you how this gift came about. Over two years ago, while at a garage sale, I found a really wonderful, large vintage atlas of the United States. I think I paid a quarter for the atlas and there it sat, in a closet, until last month.

Our girl told us that we had done so much for her already that she did not want a graduation gift. I know. God love her. But I could not let the day go completely unmarked.

I began by separating the atlas from it’s binding. Measured marks were made and ring holes were created with a crop a dile.

These two steps are time consuming but make the album easier to decorate and the finished pages turn more smoothly. 

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I have always told my children that their dreams, plans and goals are wonderful. Once you reach one, you strive for another.

Since my girl was a teenager she has had a dream of making a long summer road trip visiting our wonderful country with all its history and charm. As she completed college her thoughts turned to making this trip a reality and I wanted to show my support. So I transformed the atlas into something she can record her plans, and ultimately her adventures, in.

I included a few of her favorite literary and cinema classics such as “On The Road” and “Easy Rider”. No doubt she’ll eat in wonderful old diners with red checked tablecloths.

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The album has tons of pages that are totally interactive with pockets, pull outs and PSA.

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Happy travel song lyrics were also included. Come on, you know you know this one.

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Because everyone should go to Walley World.

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My dear friend Meri helped me so much. She is the graphics queen. I told her I needed vintage images. She went one better and created this darling page. The suitcase opens and you can store treasures inside.

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While this page looks simple, it took hours of work.

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I researched what kitsch each state had to offer and typed it up.

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Each state has a corresponding picture. So now she knows that when she arrives in say…Kansas…that she must visit the World’s Largest Ball of Twine!

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There are several empty pages that she can add in her own personal photos and I had everyone at her graduation party sign The People of America page. :)

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Are you ready to see her favorite page?

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It’s actually two pages at the very end. It tells her:

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… to keep in mind…

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…but the best part…

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…is her fur babies cheering her on!

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The large album was placed inside a pristine blue vintage suitcase.  The inside pockets were filled with maps, gas cards, and other travel necessities. The handle was embellished with a giant white tulle bow. Attached was this tag. It’s really all anyone needs to know when traveling.


For my eagle eyed readers:

Yes, the leftover atlas glossary pages were used to create the Parisian New Years Eve party and also papered the back of the hutch. As you know, nothing goes to waste with me. :)

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So tell her, what’s the best thing to eat, see or do in your neck of the woods?



Auntie Em said...

A trip across the Canadian border into Atlantic Provinces of Canada is always lovely. Especially in June. The lupins along the roadside and the green fields waiting to have the hay crop harvested smells so sweet. The shores of the provinces which see sunrise before any other part of North America are always changing and worth seeing. Looking eastward out from the tip of NS or PEI you realize there is nothing between that spot and Europe but the ocean.
Your present is so sweet and thoughtful. Better than anything that a person could walk into a store and buy. Congratulations again to your talented daughter! May she have a blessed and wonderful journey ahead no matter where she travels.

Heather said...

Wow this is so special and amazing! No wonder she cried!! What a great adventure she'll have!

openid said...

The NJ Shore -- Cape May, Wild Wood, Atlantic City, Seaside, LBI, Point Pleasant, Belmar, etc ... all have something unique to offer. I wish her safe and happy journeys.
Your Friend,
PS It's no wonder she cried. The gift you created is priceless.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

No wonder she cried!

KaseyQ said...

I got teary eyed looking at it and I don’t even know you! Tell her if she comes to Richmond, Virginia, she must visit Maymont Park, specifically the Japanese Garden within Maymont Park. It’s one of my favorite places in the world. :-) (oh, and of course get up to Washington, D.C. and visit all that stuff too). :-)

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

What a fabulous gift, I'da cried too.
The largest ball of twine reminded me of the movie "Michael". she will have such a great time.

Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

That is the most awesome gift I've ever seen. I would totally love receiving something like that - no wonder it made her cry!!
If she comes through ohio she definitely needs to stop and see me! I'll fix her some hot coffee and chat awhile and if she wants I'll show her some of the local lore!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my word, this is such an unreal present. You just totally amaze me with your imagination and creativity. Well, I think something everyone needs to see are the fields and fields of Blue Bonnet flowers in Texas. So pretty. Hugs, Marty

Kelley Dibble said...

A) ACCKKKKKK! I'm in vintage scrapbook labor-of-love Heaven! I must feel hold and smell this book. My favorite pages are the Fashionista's, too!

B) My neck of the woods? Well, ours is a "two-headed" monster right now: Manila and Guam.

1) Manila: America's largest overseas military cemetery where more 17,000 are buried who gave their lives for our freedom. Hallowed ground.

2) Guam: Beach after beautiful beach. Blue starfish. Then there's Jamaican Grill, the beach, Fuji Ichiban, the beach, Table 35, the beach, Proa, the beach, Shirley's, the beach. And then there's the beach. I like to get a 30-minute beach fix. Daily.

Happy trails, beautiful girl!

Sue said...

What a wonderful special fantastic awesome graduation gift!!! I know she will treasure this always. Such a unique way to showcase her dream. I wish her luck along the way in her many travels.

Denise said...

Hi Laura,

This really is the most wonderful, unique and personal graduation gift for your dear daughter!! No wonder you made her cry. :) I'm really glad you shared this with us; it's darling. My parents would love this!

Now here's something interesting to me. I love the page with a unique place to visit in each state. I started wondering what the attraction was in North Carolina, so I enlarged the page. You won't believe this, but the Shell Gas Station is in my home town, and it's been a landmark since I was a child!! I have to double check with my mom, but I'm pretty sure my grandfather worked there when he was a teenager. It's in the area of town where my mom grew up, and we lived in that part of Winston-Salem until I was ten years old. It really is a small world, isn't it?

Great idea for a gift, Laura, and I'm sure your daughter will treasure this always. I hope she has a wonderful adventure traveling around our nation.


Denise at Forest Manor

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

What an amazing book you created for her!! I just love all the amazing details!!! And you know where I live -- so sadly, I can't offer any places that you probably don't all ready know about! LOL! :)

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Oh, my goodness, Laura. This is the cutest graduation gift I've ever seen. I love it, and the vintage suitcase keeper with the maps, etc. is just sheer genius. :D

I noticed you have The American Village listed, LOL! If your daughter ever visits Birmingham, I suggest:
Vulcan Statue, The Civil Rights Museum, The Birmingham Museum of Art, Continental Bakery for breakfast or lunch, and Hot + Hot Fish Club for dinner.


Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

What a wonderful gift. The fashionista and I must be kindred spirits. I mentally planned at cross country trip (with my grandfather no less) in a vw van for the American bicentennial in 1976 but got distracted and never took it! It is still on my bucket list! Now I also want to hit every junktique store between SC and California so my husband has no desire to make the trek!!
If she comes to the southeast, she must visit the Biltmore house in Asheville,NC followed by lunch at Chelsea's tea room, and also Charleston, SC. Both are not to be missed!

ImagiMeri said...

Before she goes anywhere, I'd like to meet her in person!!!!! Us girls need to get together and have a play day.

Love ya'

Bloggymom said...

What a great gift!!!

Glenwood Spring-- antiquing, book store hopping, and supper at Doc Holliday's Saloon for a yummy hamburger and fries.

Rebecca said...

I love this! What an amazing gift. I started a similar project some time ago (a collage book of favorites for a friend) and you've inspired me to dust it off and finish it. Cheers!

French said...

Laura, you are amazing! What a perfect gift, and oh my I can imaging how many hours this took to create. Congratulations again to the Graduate!

Lindsay said...

Absolutely amazing! Love it!!!!

AshTreeCottage said...

Fabulous Laura!

Big Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Lisa R. said...

What a special, thoughtful gift that she will cherish forever! I would have cried too!

Maureen said...

This loving and beautiful gift makes me cry, so I'm not surprised it made her! It's so wonderful when they set out for adventures in the world and she has had a wonderful grounding to make sure she handles it all well.

Terri said...

I just LOVE your gift! My girl graduates college in May and I"m working on a college scrapbook for her. Made a high school one that ended up being two volumes and she's asked for a college edition as well.

If she makes it down to Baton Rouge or New Orleans, LA, she MUST try the French Market doughnuts and Cafe Au Lait!

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

An exquisite and touching gift for your daughter. You are an extremely talented lady Laura. Bisous

Lynn said...

A trip to North Carolina offers a lot to see and do! From Murphy to Wilimington, there is something fun for everyone. You travel the beautiful Blue Ridge ParkWay in the mountains. You can take a train ride thorough the mountains in Bryson City. You can learn about the History of the Cherokee tribe in Cherokee and also go gamble in the casino there. Maggie Valley is a sweet place to visit and if it is still open Ghost Town in the sky is a western town theme park with a shoot out between the Marshall and the gang of bad cowboys. In Asheville, you can visit the lavish estate of Biltmore House and see how the Vanderbilts lived in the early 1900s. You can find all kinds of furntiure stores in Hickory, once known as the furniture and hosiery capitol of the world. You can visit he Nascar Hall of Fame and the Charlotte Motor Speedway and visit the many Nascar racing shops in Mooresville, Charlotte, and Concord.In Claremont you can visit a beautiful old covered bridge and visit Murray Mill a step back in time. Oh, in Hilderan, NC you can visit where part of the Hunger Games was filmed. In Winston Salem, you can visit Old Salem and see how things were done in the old days. They still make all kinds of yummy breads, cookies, and cake at the 200+ year stone oven. Ralegih is our state capitol and lots of our public universities are located in that area. We are home to the oldest public unversity, Unverisity of North Carolina, Go Tarheels!!! Then visit our coast line and see where the Wright Brothers worked on their airplane and where the first flight took place. We are home to some beautiful old light houses, beautiful beaches. Please tell her to contact us when she comes to NC! We would love to treat her to dinner and introduce her to our wonderful doxies!
Lynn from Life on the Wienee Ranch

Babiole de Windsor said...

Wow this is just the perfect gift! I love that you did all the research to jump start a wonderful post-graduation trip! Safe travels for her & her travel companions


Lisa said...

What a treasure! She is going to have a blast! And she'll have this beautiful keepsake filled with memories to show her kids. Absolutely love this idea.

Mary Ellen said...

Wow what labor of love this is for your sweet daughter!! She will treasure this forever!!!

Be sure and let her know she has a place to stay if she comes up our Colorado way! Sure we can find some kitschy things to discover!

Hope to get out your way in Feb or March!

bee blessed

Our Learning Collection said...

What a beautiful, thoughtful gift! Your ideas are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing them.

chanteusevca said...

This post was so special to me because my parents did something similar eons ago when I graduated. And it opened up the world to me. So meaningful and beautiful what you did for your girl! Something I am sure she will treasure for all her days.

Let her know that when she visits Texas, it' will take many stops to experience it all. We have a saying in my neck of the woods in North Texas, "Cowboys and Culture." From bar-b-que to Mexican food to seafood, we have a huge spectrum, just as we do in our landscape from The Piney Woods to the Gulf Coast to the Great Plains and more! Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Galveston. El Paso, and more. Each city and geographic area exudes a very distinct flavor and unique essence setting each apart from the other. Texas welcomes friends, so come on and explore our vast, unique and beautiful state. And if you need assistance while you are here, we would love to be of service!

Blessings to you and Traveling Mercies to your sweet girl,

Victoria Austin