Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Letterboxing: treasure hunting...with stamps!

I first learned about letterboxing on Elizabeth Kartchner's blog, she didn't say very much about it but she did liken it to treasure hunting and said that it involved stamps.  That was enough to intrigue me.  I've known about geocaching for a long time, but I haven't been able to get myself around to do it, partly because I'd have to carry around the little trinkets to do it, but a stamp and a little book would be easy to keep on me, and I wouldn't have to keep replenishing my supply.
Maggie was over for the weekend, so we decided to take on a letterboxing challenge on Monday. We did a little investigation, and saw that we were supposed to make our own stamp to leave behind.  All the sites say to carve it, but why have a silhouette if you can't use it for fun things like this? I'll do a better review of the Silhouette stamping material in a future post, but suffice it to say that you have to rig it a little to make it work well.  I did, and we had the cutest little seahorse stamp to start our adventure.  It's much cuter than the picture might indicate (it's stamped on canvas and I took that picture in the dark).

 While she was in the shower, I threw together a little book for us to collect our stamps in (because, really, why not?).  I used adhesive-backed canvas from Dear Lizzy (I thought it was fitting) to cover the chipboard for the cover and bound it with my bind-it-all, using regular typing paper for the pages.
We used to find an interesting set of clues nearby to follow.  We found the Sugarloaf Mountain Dr. Sues Tribute Trail, and we were off.  The clues start at a trail head and they give clues to help you find all the hidden stamps.  They're usually hidden under rocks or in stumps.
I did get the chance to face one of my fears (if only on a very small scale).  While we were looking in the wrong place for the second stamp we found a little baby snake.  It was smaller than an earthworm. People who know me would probably think it's ridiculous that I own a snake, but I'm afraid of them...but it's the truth.  My snake is contained and harmless.  I'm afraid of snakes in their territory: wild and dangerous.  The little guy we found wasn't too scary though.  Unfortunately, by the time I got my camera settings right, he ran away...and I couldn't gin up enough courage to dig him up.  Oh, well.  Maggie was there to see him with me.
When you find the stamps, they have a booklet with them and they're all wrapped up in a ziploc and inside a tupperware container. 
 The set of clues we followed were placed in 2005, and they were holding up well, but most were a bit damp from the recent rain.  The person who placed the stamps had carved beautiful copies of characters from Dr. Seuss books.

Here are some of the stamps other people have left over the years.

I just love that camera stamp, I might take it over into photoshop, and then into Silhouette Studio to make one of my own.  This trail included 6 caches, and we were able to find 5 of them.  We were out for about 3 hours, but try as we might, we just couldn't find Green Eggs and Ham.  Oh, well.  I can't wait to go look for my next letterbox.  This was beyond fun.  I think I'm really going to love doing this with my kids!

You should try it!  It's a fantastic time!  While you're here, though, you should use the widget below to enter to win a custom 20-page scrapbook project.  I'll have it delivered before Christmas, and it will be the perfect gift for someone special in your life!

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