“Feature Wall”

Currently waiting on snow, our first official big snow since we have been here. We are expecting 1-2″ today and tonight. Friday and Saturday will be even greater, 6-12″ of snow and ice. I got Addison’s schools text as I pulled into the parking lot of the church. I checked my email randomly at the red light at her school and got EK’s dismissal, so we swung by and picked her up and headed on home.

When I first saw the sheet-rock up in our house, I had an idea as to what I wanted to do with this wall that is in our living room that heads to the girl’s “wing” of our house if you will. It is large. Over 9′ long. I didn’t have any furniture for that wall to make it look right. I needed something tall and skinny so it wouldn’t obstruct the walkway to their rooms.

I wanted to find some sort of maps for our area showing the mountains. Many years ago I came up with a picture frame that Michael and I used to write notes to each other on the glass of the frame with a dry erase marker. So then I got to brainstorming and set myself on a mission to find maps that I could frame and we would use dry erase to write dates and notes of the various mountains we went to. I think I searched for about a month and finally found what I was looking for. I wanted the map to display all the mountains around us, as well as the Great Smokey National Park. The parks around us are Pisgah National Forest, Cherokee National Forest, Dupont, Nantahala National Forest, and some others, but those are the big ones. I started going to all the local outdoors store to check out maps and see if this was possible. One day I stumbled into Black Dome Outdoors and I found it. It was big. probably 7′ x 6′. But I discovered what they had done and asked an employee to tell me how they did it. They went to USGS.gov and bought all of the surrounding area topo maps and scaled them to 1:250,000. Then they cut and pasted the maps together.

I went home and got online and I couldn’t find maps for that scale and discovered that mine would be outrageously huge. So I gave up. I actually called the store to see if they would sell me one, but had no such luck.

After a few weeks I picked it back up again. I just can’t believe there isn’t a map that depicts the Blue Ridge mtns and Great Smokey Mtns. I searched and searched. I found  one, but it was 3D, and wouldn’t work in a frame. Plus it was small and hard to identify what was what.

And then I figured it out. I would have to drop the Smokey Mtns and focus on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Those maps are divided into regions and we are the Southern region. I took off to REI to checkout the maps that I needed and bought 2 of the same map. The southern and northern section of our part of the Parkway. It was just what I wanted. It shows all the areas around us. I couldn’t wait to get them framed!

I started looking at various stores around here. Asheville is small, we only have 2 targets! I told my friend Amanda that is she was like…WHAT?!! I tried Michaels and JoAnns but couldn’t find anything natural and woodsy looking.

We went to Memphis for Christmas and I went to Hobby Lobby (we are getting one this spring by the places I shop…if we could get a Costco I would be so content!) and found two wooden frames! They weren’t on sale so I bought one with a coupon, put it in the car and went back in and bought the other with the same coupon…weird concept but whatever!

So when we got back in town I started working on the maps. I had to cut a little off each, which is why I have a white strip down one side, to block out the “label” of the map. That is where we will write our to do list or what have you.

I still didn’t have any type of sideboard to put under them so we didn’t know where to hang them. I went to a few antique stores around here and found one but it was $600. I don’t have that type of cashola to be dropping on furniture right now. I went to another antique store and found a media stand that would work perfectly, better yet, it was $150.00, perfect size too. I bought it and had to pick it up later as I was due to pick up the kids. It wouldn’t fit with the car seats.

I picked it up and then we hung the frames. It looked so good! Then came the pretties as I call it. Decorating. I had a big glass jar that wasn’t fitting on our counters. So I put rocks that we are collecting in it and put it on the sideboard. Every time we go camping or hiking we find a pretty rock and take it home. I bought a lamp from Target with a gift card that Michael got from work. It has a clear base that you can add things inside of it. Then I found some baskets for the top section and used some things I already had to finish it.

The piece of furniture is almost full, with games. We are starting a game night on Sunday with the girls. Addison isn’t quite ready, but we have a few that she can play. The right basket holds all things Asheville, Biltmore, and BRP. They are for our guests. My little brochure girl loves to collect things for it and look through it. So she is tickled over the brochure basket. The left one is empty right now.

Something was missing though. I asked Michael if he thought it would be dumb if I put up picture shelves above the maps and he said yes. Too much. I had bought 4 ornaments, the only ornaments on our Christmas tree this year, and had put them up in our Christmas box. As I was sitting and looking at it, I thought those would be perfect to put across the top. I played with them on the top and the side. They looked best across the top, but something was missing.

We bought those wooden ornaments after the Polar Express train ride. I have been following this girl on insta and blogger for a few years. They had recently sold all of their belongings in California and moved with what little they had to Bryson City. They opened Bryson City outdoors. She had posted images of the ornaments on her insta feed and I wanted to go check out the store while we were in Bryson City. They had a plethora of them and I bought a NC state shape, a hiking trail man, a camping sign, and an AT (Appalachian Trail) ornaments. I heart them! I remembered they had some signs there as well, including one that said Scenic Overlook. I got in touch with the store and they had one left. They mailed it to me and I hung everything up! The wall was complete!

Michael loves it as do I! It really makes our house!




So pumped with the way it turned out…and we can’t wait to write all over it with all our previous and upcoming adventures!


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