This street play mat just grew up!
Did you ever play with small toy cars when you were little? Toy cars are one of those toys that boys and girls enjoy playing with side-by-side along with other miniatures. Toy trains, toy boats, other toy machinery and equipment along with toy animals can be a lot of fun. A play mat to drive cars on and use to create stories with toys can be a great asset.
I designed this street play mat a while ago, but I’ve recently expanded and improved on it, and I’d like to tell you all about it.
This design brings back happy memories of playing with toy cars with my childhood friends-who-were-boys, and again as a mom with my own kids. I was thinking about Robert and Maria the whole time I worked on this. I showed it to Robbie–back when I created the first version–and he asked, “Is this Pikes Peak?” You can pretend it is if you wish, but this scene is totally imaginary and not location-specific. That said, some of the rocks and most of the flowers are from photos I took along the Front Range in Colorado near Pikes Peak.
I created it using collage techniques, photos, textures, brushes, vector shapes…everything I had at my disposal that I thought would contribute meaningfully to the design. When I made the original version, I repeatedly crashed both programs I edited it in (one program was NOT enough!). Later, I discovered how to expand the working memory for both programs, which helped a lot.
This time, my computer did better with it–mostly.
Seek and Find
I used photos of wildflowers that I took on a trip to Colorado a few years back. Do you see the ducks? Look closer and see if you can spot the squirrels, frogs, toads, and the turtles. There’s even a jackrabbit and a white bunny hiding among the flowers. I traced some of these creatures from photos I’ve taken, and added in detail to custom shapes to create some of the others.
It was very important to me to include as many realistic details as possible, from the old, weathered cement of the road to the clouds reflected in the pond and stream, and the tracks worn into the gravel roads.
I hope you love this and it brings you lots of happy memories of your own just to see it.
The street map ‘fun mat’ just grew up! Inspired by my children and my own happy childhood memories, and created using photos from my collection, this fun mountain road collage is a work of art that will delight kids of all ages. (Coming soon on Spoonflower).
This 20 inch puzzle can provide hours of fun, first as a puzzle, then glued to a backer board to provide a surface for kids to play on. Turn it into a play table by adding legs.