Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stamp (carving) and Letter (boxing)

My friend Katie has been letterboxing for several years and, intrigued, we decided to try it too.  We started by carving little stamps.  Here is one of the best tutorials.

Then we found local letterboxes from the Letterboxing North America site.  The concept is a fun adventure, a scavenger hunt that sends you off on trails and to places that you might not have noticed otherwise.  People hide containers that include a stamp, paper, and sometimes an ink pad.  Then they write up clues and post them on the site.  We find the boxes, stamp our stamps into their notebooks, and stamp their designs into ours.  Many of these stamps are works of art, and a few people develop full stories about their  stamps or sets of stamps.  That's where things can become more challenging occasionally.

I do not possess a strong sense of direction, so following things like "go to the last row of lamp posts" and "walk twelve steps forward" become extra tricky.  Which row is the "last" row?  And in which direction is "forward"?  Most of the time, the directions are fine, and rooting around in the rocks and shrubs for the hidden box makes it more thrilling.  The kids have fun.  We do not trek into random bushes though.  One letterbox is said to be hidden in the overgrowth behind a big-box store.  Oh, lots of things were probably hidden back there, and as soon as we saw the bottles and other random trash, we retreated.

When Peter and Tofu Girl came home from one letterboxing expedition, he was bleeding from a cut on his forehead.  He had pushed aside some branches, and one whipped back to attack his head.  ...If you're wondering, the hand-carved stamp they found was spectacular.  Another listing said that a letterbox used to be hidden near a chocolate shop.  Sadly, it's no longer there.  Can you imagine how popular that stamp must have been?

                                                  Tofu Girl's                              Mischief Maker's

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