OMG my first blog!! I have just launched my new website, Signpost Original Gifts and can’t really believe that it’s all up and running. This is mostly thanks to Mark Wilson who has built me a site I’m thrilled with and continues to be a rock for a Newbie like me!
I got to idea of using maps to make gifts when I was exploring in the loft a while back. Like most of us, you go up to look for something and get side-tracked looking in boxes you had forgotten about for years. I found a box of my dad’s maps which I had kept after he died in 1995. I’m not sure what made me keep them, I just couldn’t bear to let them go – I’m a real geek when it comes to maps I just love them. These were so old dating back to the 1920s and 30s when he used to have a bike and rode all over the country going to race meetings, the TT in the Isle of Man etc. Then he met my mum and changed the bike for a two seater M.G. and they buzzed around it that, always with the maps in easy reach until they married in 1938 and started a family.
My father had a wonderful sense of direction and would always find where he wanted to go. As children he taught us to map read and let us navigate him round the country lanes of Dorset and Cornwall on holiday. We generally landed up down some narrow county lane with grass running down the middle and ending in a field, and us protesting that clearly the map was wrong!! He would gently take the map (probably turn it round) and find where we actually were and give the map back to the navigator with some suggestions as to where we needed to get to. All this in a large Morris Oxford with my mother and six children and probably a picnic slowly warming in the boot – when I think about it my mother was pretty patient considering how many sandwiches and pies she had probably made and how much milk and cold drinks she had tried to keep cool in damp cloths before the advent of fridge packs!! The photo is of our car and me standing up in the back with my eldest brother peering out the front passenger window. Happy times!
Anyway, I’m sure my love of maps must come from this encouraging start, or maybe it’s in the DNA? However it was, I wanted to do something to use these maps and the first things I made were the cufflinks which I have named after my dad – William Maxwell, I hope he would be pleased.