Barbara's, St. Louis,
Step It Up Rally
April 18, 2007
March 22, 2007
The Rock Party
March 8, 2007
February 25, 2007
Best Photos of 2006
and Start of 2007
February 10, 2007
January 21, 2007
January 2, 2007
Greg's Going Away
November 22, 2006
November 9, 2006
Mike's 30th Birthday
October 30, 2006
October 18, 2006
October 7, 2006
King Richard's Faire
September 19, 2006
September 4, 2006
August 22, 2006
August 13, 2006
August 6, 2006
July 28, 2006
July 5, 2006
Museum of Bad Art
June 21, 2006
Man(Cat), the Myth,
the Beast. R.I.P.
June 14, 2006
The Return of
Anthony and Elise
June 1, 2006
May 2006–October 2005
My Favorite Posts
May 9, 2007
Randy thinks I'm in a cult now, but I keep telling him, no no, it's LETTERBOXING. It's HEALTHY! It gets me outside! I'm learning about a bazillion new hiking trails that I never knew existed! I'm doing art again, and sharing it with people who really appreciate it! It's a positive thing!
Sure, I don't spend any time at home anymore and when I do, Brandie and the kids are over helping me carve stamps or make log books, but I digress. :D
I kept the letterboxing out of my last post with the full intention of updating with another post just about letterboxing soon, and then soon became a month. Oops! :D
Apart from the things I listed above, another great thing about letterboxing is that it makes travel to ANY city fun. St. Louis had 56 (!!!) letterboxes in the surrounding area! Luckily 6 of those were condensed in one BEAUTIFUL park. I only found four of those due to the sun setting, but I enjoyed every minute of it! Even the ten blocks I had to walk back towards downtown before I finally caught a cab... :D
There was even a letterbox right near the St. Louis Arch, which has now become my poster stamp, so to speak, when I want to convince people that you can find letterboxes anywhere. "See, there's one right under the arch!!!" :D
And then I tell them, "And there's even one at IKEA!" Granted, Brandie, Janicanne, and I planted it there, but that's besides the point. :D I actually used an old Sucrets container (a plastic one) and made a very tiny logbook to go along with the small stamp, and we named the box "IKEA=LOVE", because, well, it does. :) It was our very first letterbox plant and so far we've had four or five finders! So exciting! :)
Letterboxing has allowed me to re-discover many nice areas nearby that I either had never really explored or had negative feelings towards. Here, for instance, in the brick building you can barely see in the background, was where I worked as a telemarketer, selling total scam products to people (herbal Viagra, herbal Rogaine, crappy timeshare deals, etc) before I found a better job. Who knew there was a letterbox right behind it and this beautiful old covered bridge! Well, I knew about the bridge, but I never visited it because I worked after it was dark.
Before we planted our first box in IKEA, Brandie and I spent the morning explaining to Janicanne what letterboxing was, and subsequently got her hooked on it (really, was there any other option??? :D). So the following weekend she visited again for a brief letterboxing jaunt to the UnBirthday and Birthday letterboxes.
We encountered some ruffians along the path, who appeared to be "fishing" or "smoking pot", you choose. :D So we had to come up with a cover so they wouldn't know what we were doing. Here is Janicanne "getting the leaf." :D We're so stealthy! They'll never suspect anything! :D To be fair, I have a friend who went to school for agriculture and had a project that involved finding a bunch of leaves once. But somehow I doubt that kids from Somersworth High School are going to understand that. Okay, that was mean and uncalled for. :D
Do you see the joy in her face as she stamps into her log book?! It seriously is like finding buried treasure, and really, who doesn't like finding buried treasure?!?! No one, I tell you! Or perhaps pirate-hating fools! And nobody wants to be a pirate-hating fool!
Just prior to our second letterboxing event, Brandie and I logged in our 100th letterbox find, and in honor of that we made brand new signature stamps. Not that the old ones were bad, but they were on lesser-quality rubber that was quickly deteriorating, and our carving skills have improved immensely! So I carved myself—of course—an owl. This is the Northern Saw-Whet owl, which Brandie carved for my owl series (see below). :)
Our second letterboxing event attendence occurred on April 28th, in Skowhegan, Maine. It was called "One for the History Books" because the event stamps were placed in historic places around town. This event was much different than the first one, mainly because the weather cooperated, but the woman who organized the event got some of the best carvers to craft the stamps for each location and they were AMAZING.
There were also some adorable hitch hikers, like this one, Captain Underpants, which was attached to a pair of small boys' briefs. :D
We had SO much fun walking around Skowhegan, and found all but two of the letterboxes in the clue book before it got too dark! :)
Here is Indigo with a giant "pokey-stick" as she calls them, while Brandie and I were meticulously markering-up the Municipal Building stamp, which was a replica of a gorgeous stained-glass window.
Here are Montana and Ford, right before the police came and told them to stop climbing on the memorial statues. Oops! :D The stamp hidden here was of a soldier kneeling over a grave, very beautiful.
If you read my blog regularly (all two of you :D), you know that I have a stamp carved to resemble the face of none other than Christopher Walken. And since I have decided that this stamp will be a personal traveler of mine, in order to receive this stamp, you must do an impression of Christopher Walken. There were only two people at the event who did it, and Lundy (on the right) was the first. His quote was FANTASTIC. He and Vickster (on the left) are a team and are both very talented carvers. They carved a few of the event stamps! :)
The other person who got the Walken stamp simply walked up to me and mimed shooting herself in the head. It RULED. :D
And it wouldn't be a trip with me without the obligatory family photo (sans Dave). Here are Brandie, Montana, Ford, and Indigo in front of the Skowhegan Falls, where we had just found a whitewater rafting-themed stamp. :)
A highlight of the History Books event was getting to see the World's Tallest Indian, which we figured would be very easy to find, but was actually rather difficult due to the buildings that have cropped up around it. It's fantastic though! :)
After planting the IKEA stamp, I was itching to place more and more letterboxes! And what could be a better theme for my first series than... No, not Christopher Walken, though that's a good guess. My series is of OWLS! :) Brandie and I carved stamps for each of the seven breeds of owls that live in New England during any given part of the year, and then made one big group stamp with all of them for the end. With the help of Brandie (littlmoon), Indigo (littlstar), Ford (Solar Flare), and Montana (Kirby), we found hiding places for all of the owls on Blue Job! :)
Unfortunately, we arrived at Blue Job just as the sun was setting, so we had to book it, but we got a really nice view of the sunset! :)
So far, four people have found my owl boxes and have said the NICEST things about them. It is such a good feeling to be getting positive feedback about my artistic endeavors, it really has been a long time since I've done anything artistic on a regular basis and I'm so enjoying it! :)
Our most recent letterboxing event was this past Sunday, when Brandie, Indigo, Ford, Montana, and I went to Kids' Day in Portsmouth. We biked from Brandie's mom's house to the downtown area, where Indigo got her face painted and we all got ice cream! :)
Later, Dave met up with us on our letterboxing quest in York, where we went to Nubble Light, the Wiggley Bridge, and York Harbor.
Sadly, we only found three out of the five boxes we looked for, but it's all good. And again, the obligatory family photo at York Harbor of the entire Simms Family. Aren't they cute??? :D
Coming relatively soon... perhaps a non-letterboxing-related blog. Maybe I'll start alternating... :D