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March 8, 2007

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February 25, 2007

Best Photos of 2006
and Start of 2007

February 10, 2007

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January 21, 2007

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January 2, 2007

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With Brandie,
Greg's Going Away

November 22, 2006

Halloween Party
November 9, 2006

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October 30, 2006

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October 18, 2006

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October 7, 2006

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September 19, 2006

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September 4, 2006

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August 22, 2006

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August 13, 2006

Walloon
August 6, 2006

Camping!
July 28, 2006

Reunion and
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July 5, 2006

Museum of Bad Art
June 21, 2006

Shadow: The
Man(Cat), the Myth,
the Beast. R.I.P.

June 14, 2006

The Return of
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June 1, 2006

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Marissa's Blog!

March 22, 2007
 

Our first letterboxing event!
 
 

First off, I just have to share this fabulous picture of Brandie, in her fabulous "I heart Lamp" shirt. She bought me a matching one, for obvious reasons. :D I will now post this on my myspace page so that various people can use it as their profile photos. :D


 
 
 
 

And now, the actual point of this blog: our very first letterboxing event!

For Xmas, The Simms family gave me my very own letterboxing kit, which contained an [Invader ZIM] journal, an [Invader Zim] hand-made stamp by Brandie, an ink pad, and a list of clues. And then we went on our first letterbox hunt, and I was hooked.

From the Atlas Quest website, "Letterboxing is an intriguing pastime combining artistic ability with delightful 'treasure-hunts' in beautiful, scenic places that the whole family can enjoy. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by following clues, and then record their discovery in their personal journal with the help of a rubber stamp that's part of the letterbox. In addition, letterboxers have their own personal stamps which they use to stamp into the letterbox's logbook." Basically, the idea is to collect as many stamp-prints as possible.

Prior to the event we attended this weekend, I had found (with the help of the Simms') 7 letterboxes. Then Brandie found out that there were such things as letterbox events. After a bit of research into these events, she decided that the original stamp she made me was too large, and made a smaller version. I took this new, smaller version with us to The Mills at Salmon Falls on a very snowy St. Patrick's Day.


 

When we arrived, I was not-so-brutally attacked by a member of the "Cootie Crew", a bunch of little kids who would sneak up on you and put a tiny stamp somewhere on your person. I wasn't aware of this attack until, after I took off my coat, I looked into my bag to get a pen and saw a bottle cap with a stamp glued to it in the shape of a hedgehog. I turned to Brandie and said, "I don't know how this got here, but I think it's part of the event."


 
 
 
 

We then learned that these little stamps are called cooties, and when you get one, you stamp your log book with it, and then give it back to a member of the Cootie Crew, who finds a way to hide it on someone else. They were really creative when they made these, some were glued onto clothespins, some on bottle caps, some in tiny tupperware containers... At one point, Brandie found one attached to her hair clip, and I found one clipped to the back of my belt. :D


 
 
 
 

We really weren't sure what to prepare for when attending an event since this was our first one, but when we walked in the door, after taking off our coats, we spent the next two hours tied to a table with an incessant deluge of stamps coming at us from three angles (these angles being Ford, Indigo, and Montana). And since the kids just FIND the stamps and don't actually do the stamping, Brandie and I had to stamp not only our log books, but theirs as well. So we had a little assembly line going. She stamped her book, Indigo's, and Ford's, and I did mine and Montana's.


 
 
 
 

We encountered SO many really amazing stamps! The stamps pictured in the previous photo are called "What's in my bag?" and are of lipstick, a coin purse, a cell phone, a prescription bottle, and a set of keys! So cute!

Brandie and I both loved this one, the stamp itself is glued to the bottom of a baby's shoe, and the letterbox log book is stored inside the shoe!


 
 
 
 

Part of the fun of a stamping event is that you get to meet all kinds of other letterboxers from all over. Some people traveled as far as Rhode Island! And of course, everyone wants to introduce new people to this fabulous past-time, and I did my part by inviting my coworker, Sue, and her two daughters, Emma ("herself", on the right) and Sam ("me too" on the left). They haven't made their own stamps yet, but they came to see what letterboxing was all about. :)


 
 
 
 

It's great to meet other letterboxers and exchange stamps. It's a nice ice-breaker, but really we're all just stamp crack-fiends trying to get our fix. :D We met some really nice people at the event. There's a wide variety of people there, families, single folks, older people, 20-somethings tagging along with families and borrowing their children to get the "kids only" stamps (ahem)... :D

Here are a few of the stamps we got. Top left are two of the stamps included in the "Traveling Petting Zoo" letterbox, which had maybe 4 other farm animal stamps with it. Underneath those on the same page are "Hidden's Creature" and "Mr. Bean", and on the opposite page is an amazingly detailed stamp of a snake entitled "Exile", and "Letterboxers Gone Wild!" Love it!


 
 
 
 

On the left page are "Cat Dreams" (so cute) and a bunch of cooties, and on the right is "Make Your Own Snow Globe": each part of it was a separate stamp. What a fantastic idea! It's really amazing what people come up with for these things! And there are so many talented carvers who have made names for themselves through letterboxing.


 
 
 
 

Here are the two Invader ZIM stamps that Brandie made for me, my "mini-Marjorie" (the little chick is called "mini-Marjorie" because the chick is the symbol for Atlas Quest and Marjorie is the one who runs the site) and ink pad, the Mills at Salmon Falls zipper pull (next to my owl pin), and my WINNING RAFFLE TICKET!


 
 
 
 

Yes, you heard me correctly, I won a raffle at the event! My prize included a kit to make my very own postal letterbox: a piece of rubber to make a stamp, foam for backing, a felt pouch, a log book, a mailing envelope, and zip-lock bags to put everything in.

So of course, the first thing I did when we got back to my apartment for hot chocolate after the event was carve my very first stamp!

I tried to be resourceful with the rubber, so I cut part of it off and made two little stamps first: an owl and a bear (see previous photo). Then I had to think of what to carve for my actual letterbox stamp. And suddenly it came to me. There could only be one thing perfect enough for my very first letterbox:

The face of Christopher Walken.

Now I just have to think of some clues and I can send it out! Feel free to post your suggestions in the comments. :)


 
 
 
 

When we tallied up our stamps after the event, we had gotten around 80 stamps that day, it was crazy! And we made lots of friends who are as addicted to it as we are. Now Brandie and I are planning our summers around the various other letterboxing events in the area, and I'm trying to find letterboxes in all of the cities I'm traveling to. They're worldwide! There are 58 in the St. Louis, Missouri area alone (where I'll be next week)!

If you're interested, check out AtlasQuest. My Trail Name is gollygee and Brandie's is littlmoon (no E!). :)

I already have a list of a bunch of new stamps I'm going to make, and various people at work have stamps of Christopher Walken on their walls. :D


 
 

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