Nope, that’s not a typo in the title! Halloween and the week before have been devoted to sketching out a rough draft of the illustrated map of the Thames which I’ve been commissioned to create.

I did have the night off last night though for a Halloween party with friends which involved eating of a lot of sweets, ‘spider’ pizzas and this ghostly cake!

halloween ghost cake

I made the little ghosts out of grapes draped in icing, but the following morning one had a hole in its head where the grape had ‘leaked’ and dissolved the icing. Luckily it just made it a little creepier!

halloween ghost cake

Anyway, back to the map which I’ve been working on all afternoon. This week has been all about deciding on the style of symbols to represent supermarkets, golf courses, shopping centres etc.

illustrated map

We’ve decided to go with illustrations for the shopping centres and anything that can be represented as a picture to limit the amount of symbols and make it more visually appealing.

illustrated map

I quite like this scroll but it’s not really suitable for attractions such as theme parks, so I’ve come up with a slightly less historic looking sign instead. Below is a very geographically incorrect sample of a map with the symbols on, although a few ideas have changed since I did this.

illustrated map

I loved using my new Winsor & Newton watercolours and am so glad I chose the pans rather than tubes. They’re lovely to paint with and the colour applies really smoothly.

Here are a few snippets from the scale draft of the map. Below is London, obviously I hope!

Illustrated map

And Legoland!

illustrated map

If you’d like to keep up to date with the progress of my map, pop over to my Facebook page where I’ll be sharing (hopefully) regular updates!

I’m sharing today’s post over at Handmade Harbour.


I’ve been following you map progress on fb. You did Oxford the other day which I only knew as our middle son started a Oriel college 4 weeks ago (in Oriel St on your map) then you did Windsor, where we have family too, my cousin used to work at lego land in the holidays (and get free tickets for us!) Small world! I am loving your super cute little pics.

I feel really excited for you getting this map project, it sounds so fun and suits your gift for detail perfectly! The little pictures are a great idea, i agree that they are more visually appealing than symbols.

Your little ghosts are adorable! x

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