DIY World Map Stain Art

I want to show you guys what I am working on at the moment – a world map stain art piece!! I did this on a 4’x 8′ sheet of plywood with Minwax English Chestnut stain. Since the study is mostly my hubby’s domain, this is what he had in mind for one of our walls! The plan with this guy is to mount it in our recently organised and updated study.

We are (constantly) in the process of working on parts (multiple parts usually) of updating/upgrading or doing some reno’s… I will be so happy once we are at a stage where it becomes fun and games, but as of yet, there are still a few crucial/necessary projects to complete!! For this project I followed a similar procedure as the one I used to create our Kudu Stain piece!

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The first part of the project was to get a world map projected onto the plywood in order to trace it. As you can see above I followed an extremely simple setup – I printed a world map onto a letter size paper and traced the outlines with a sharpie marker onto a transparency sheet. Once this was complete I used my cellphone flashlight to project the image onto plywood. Easy-peasy…. and start tracing! (Take note that this is way easier in a very dark area!)

The next day, (I took advantage of hubby being away on a hunting trip), I started the painful task of staining the outlines! This took around 5-6 hours (thankfully I had a whole season of Grey’s Anatomy to keep me company!)… Beware, you might want to look at alternative positions – I lay mine on the floor and shifted around in multiple sitting positions… My knees, hips and elbows were NOT happy!!

world map stain art

In progress…. One of my current diy projects on the go…. Watch this space!!! 🌎🌍🌏

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The next morning I started the next couple of hours ‘colouring in’ the map with the stain. I used a brush and sponge!! Again, if you have cranky  joints, you might want to explore alternate setups!! Once again, a couple hours later and almost through a season of Grey’s I was done with the stain part of the project!

world map stain art

The only thing left now is to seal this piece and mount it in our study!! Super excited to see it in its final position!! Hoping to do all of that this weekend!!

world map stain art

I’ll try and share the end result with you as soon as possible!!

Best Time to Visit the Charging Bull

When me and hubby were compiling the list of places we wanted to visit and things we wanted to do while in New York City, naturally the Charging Bull from Wall Street came up. Granted, this wasn’t top of the list, but when else are you going to get the opportunity to take a picture with the huge bronze bull that has a pretty interesting story behind it and appears in movies??

So, one afternoon while we were in the financial district, we swung by that area… This is what we saw…

Source: www.colinsnotes.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/188-04.jpg

Source: www.colinsnotes.com/2016/01/21/the-bali-horror-show-forests-of-snakes-and-eyeballs-for-breakfast-and-terrorism/

Source: www.travelcities.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/b002.jpg

Source: www.travelcities.net/2015/11/u-s-a-and-canada-east-coast-travel-part-vinew-york/

Now, we realized that New York is SUPER busy!! But Oh.My.Goodness…….. What value will this type of photo be to me? A bunch (understatement of the CENTURY!) of people and the butt of a ‘supposed’ bronze charging bull statue. I say ‘supposed’, because what is visible is only the back of the huge statue.

So, we skipped this spot… for now!! In all fairness, it was Saturday!! So one expects tourists to be all over the place!! But, when we returned to this spot sometime in the afternoon of Monday, there was no improvement. I think my exact words to hubby was ‘Well it seems we’ll not be taking home a photo of the famous Charging Bull’!!!

I come bearing good news, mainly for us, but also for the many many people that plan to visit New York City in the future… We got our photo!! 😀 So, you might ask, when is the best time to get a photo of the Charging Bull?

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Here’s our story. Very early on the Tuesday morning (05h15 to be exact), I got up and jumped through the shower – bursting with anticipation that today might be the day!! My hubby followed queue, and we were on our way by 06h15 – joining the working force of NYC! We arrived at the Charging Bull location around 07h00. I had made peace with the fact that there probably is NO GOOD TIME to get a good view of this statue, but my-oh-my!!

When we emerged out of that subway and saw the Charging Bull wide open, I wanted to break out in a sprint even though there were no people around!! It probably ended up being one of the highlights of our trip (for both me and hubster!)!!

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I guess my advice is this – beat the tourists!! While everyone is still sleeping, get up and go!! You wont be disappointed!! Or (and we did not test this one), wait for the tourists to go home after a busy day. My guess is that you will be lucky then as well!! The only people around us was the suits on their way to work… Such a happy day!!
charging bull hooplahappiness.com

charging bull hooplahappiness.com

Views from the Top of the Rock

Everybody loves a great view, and the view from the Rockefeller Centre does not disappoint!! Also known as the ‘Top of the Rock Observation Deck’. We really had two choices: Go up the Empire State Building (aaaah Sleepless in Seattle 😉 ) or go to the Top of the Rock…

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Hmmmmm…. a view from the Empire State or a view of the Empire State Building?? Although I’m sure that the view from the Empire State building is super pretty, it was really this view that I was after…

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Yes, yes, we chose Top of the Rock!! I am not going to lie, (… don’t judge me…) but I wanted to push a couple of people off that building!! At $32 per person (no cheap attraction!), everyone should get to have the opportunity to spend a couple of minutes enjoying the view from the front of the queue. I really do not understand how they allow tripods up there!?! A lot of people got to the front and then set up their whole tripod setup and just stood there, taking a gazillion photos.

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(Rant NOT over!)… And then you get the other third of the spectrum, the extremely rude people, who would just PUSH you out of the way. I am sorry, but just wait a couple of seconds and you’ll get your chance!! Are we the only people who feel this way?? Everyone pays a lot of money to get up there. People should just relax and enjoy the views – you are not more entitled than anyone else. Be courteous and make way after you’ve enjoyed your turn!! I guess this is something that will just get worse with time… tourists spoil tourist spots (says I while typing this rant!!)!

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(Rant over!) Oh my goodness!! The views are AMAZING!!! It was a dream come true to see the city from so high up!! That view of the South tip of Manhattan with The Empire State gracing the skyline!! It was gorgeous!! And to the North you can see for miles… A bird’s eye view of Central Park make you realize just how big this park really is!! In an ideal world we would have watched the sun set from way up there… Alas, after about an hour of crazy people we decided to head down. We had soaked up every angle of that view!! Even with all the idiot people, I think that this was one of the highlights of our trip!!

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