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This week, I'm kicking off a new series here called Warm Your Space Wednesdays.  I was talking to my best friend the other night and she made me realize that there might be some people who relate to me regarding my recent move to a new city.  It's been a priority to me to make our apartment more homey from the very beginning, and I thought that maybe sharing a home-warming craft a week might help others make their spaces feel more cozy, too.

Enter: Warm Your Space Wednesdays.

For this week's craft, I thought I'd share some personalized art.

You will need:
  • computer/printer
  • paper color of your choice (for background)
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • pen (again, color of your choice)
  • tape/glue/photo stickers

I started by thinking of the locations that I wanted to include.  You can use one location, or you can use ten.  It really doesn't matter.  I chose places that are important to Roger and I.  I looked up all of the specific locations on Google maps and took a screenshot on my computer.  I then pasted the image into a Word document and cropped it down with the cropping tool.  I could fit two maps per page.  On the last page, I inserted a heart to use as a stencil.

(If you're interested in how I got rid of the "A" on the red Google map pin, I just used a color matching tool and painted over it.  I used PicMonkey to do this, but you can easily do the same thing in just regular old Paint :))

And then I realized that I made the heart too big... So I had to stick the page back into the printer (waste not, want not?) and printed a smaller heart.

One.  I cut out the stencil.
Two.  I traced the heart onto a piece of cardboard...
Three. ...and cut it out and placed it on the map.  I realized before I drew on the map that it might be too rough of a stencil...
Four.  ...which it was.
Five.  So I ended up just tracing my little paper stencil onto all five of my maps.

I originally wanted a white background color, but once I put the heart-maps on there, it seemed really washed out.  I wanted the hearts to be really noticeable, so I dug around my scrapbook paper bin and found some very subtly-zebra-printed black paper.  I taped the paper onto the front of the mat so that it wouldn't shift and make my hearts and writing look crooked.

I attached the hearts to the black paper using one of my scrapbooking tools, which is just photo tape.  I'm sure glue (spread evenly) or double-sided tape would do the exact same thing.  Then I wrote under each heart why it was so important to us with a silver pen.

I saw you - 12.10
You saw me - 1.11
I fell for you - 6.22.11
You kissed me - 7.6.11
I'm your girl - 10.28.11

Then I flipped it over and taped the paper to the back of the mat to keep it in place in the frame so that I could remove the tape from the front.

Then I slapped it into a frame that we bought on clearance at AC Moore over the weekend (I never spend over $10 on a frame-- and if we're being honest, I don't like spending more than $6), and broke out the command strips.

And just to illustrate how much it cozies up the space, here's a photo of our living room from before I even hung my garland or set out my gourds, so it was super empty:

And here it is now, with a little happy art hung up in the corner:

And because I have to give the people what they want, here's an Olive photobomb:

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the perfection of Pinterest and Instagram.  But I think we all need to remember that decorating our home isn't a race.  It's a journey.  Most of us don't have the money to decorate overnight, and I want this series to be about small, fun projects that upgrade both your space and your attitude.  You can make an empty apartment into a home by incorporating the things that you love.  I'm so excited to kick this off and I hope you enjoy it as much as I know I will!

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