This blip turned from something simple, into something damn near impossible, to something wonderful in the span of about 12 hours.

I don't really collect things. I have some elves, but there are only 3 of them. I have lots of old photographs, but everyone collects those. I asked my husband if I collect anything or have a collection he can think of that I can share with blip and he says "Sure, you collect States."

I never really thought of it that way before. I grew up doing a lot of traveling and by the time I reached adulthood I had been to nearly every state in the US. My husband graciously added Hawaii a few years ago. I planned on showing you my collection of states with only 3 missing! I was going to ask you to guess which three!

You may remember this map from an earlier blip of mine. It is painted on a playground at the nearby school. I went over and photographed every state (including two of the missing ones) from every conceivable angle. Some kids were still playing and they were alternately respectful, oblivious, and curious of me. One little boy asked if he could ride his bike across and I said "Do you know where California is? " He said yes and I said "Go and ride across California for me.", just to give him some way to participate. I snapped a few pics with the kids in them here and there not really thinking about it. Shooting was the easy part. Simple blip I thought.

When I got home later and began working, I realized it was nearly impossible to puzzle the states together! First, the painting on the playground is not perfect, as you can imagine. Then, with all the different angles and focal lengths, etc. all the states were different/wrong shapes. Some matched up easily (Thanks North and South Dakota), some were impossible (Minnesota and Wisconsin!) and I apologize to the people of the great state of Illinois for losing so much fine territory...

I worked and worked and worked (and I am supposed to be getting ready for vacation tomorrow!). I was cursing my husband for this stupid idea! And cursing myself for not thinking it through! But, suddenly, when the puzzle was put together and the background put in and it was all "done" it was so lifeless and boring. A giant gray puzzle of the US! And it looked even worse with the missing states!! Ugggh!

It was just a whim. I wonder if I could...From there, I was in love! Thank you hubby for getting me one step closer to what is now an awesome idea! This week has been all about getting inspiration and ideas from unlikely and unexpected sources. I get one little thought or one little idea from someone and it snowballs like hell into a big giant workaholic monster that I completely fall in love with at the end of the day.

I hope you like it to. You'll get to look at it for nearly a week as I am off on vacation!


p.s. I am considering this a sketch, if you will, a work in progress so please let me know any comments. I will be working on this again when I get back. Thanks!

EDIT#2: I am going back to the original. I think I like it better than when I fiddled more with it. :P

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