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Find my stamps at Art Gone Wild!
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Tuesday, September 8

A Letterboxing Story....

I mentioned that my friend Karen wanted to find a letterbox while we were on our trip to Ikea last week and I thought I'd share the pictures with you. But first, I wanted to share a little bit of information about the Letterboxing Craze in case you don't know anything about it.

I found this information about Letterboxing on the Letterboxing.info site:

Letterboxing is growing hobby that combines elements of hiking, treasure hunting and creative expression into an activity that the whole family can enjoy. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by following clues that are posted on the Internet (see the Web sites listed below), 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 log book.

According to legend, letterboxing began in southwestern England in the mid-1800s when a Victorian gentleman hid his calling card in a bottle. Today, the nearby area is the Dartmoor National Park, and there are several thousand letterboxes hidden there! (As a result, Dartmoor is akin to the Holy Grail for American letterboxers.)

The hobby came to the U.S. in 1998, following the publication of an article in Smithsonian magazine about Dartmoor. Soon, a loose confederation of letterboxers began to plant boxes in the U.S., using the Internet to exchange information and clues. Letterboxing North America is host to a web site and discussion list where new clues are posted nearly daily! (See the letterboxing links for more details.)

Getting Started

Keep reading! There's plenty of information on this site and the sites linked from here.

Equip yourself: at the minimum, you'll need a journal, a rubber stamp, a stamp pad, and a pen or pencil. Part of the fun of letterboxing is to make your own stamp; it can be easily carved with an eraser and a X-acto knife. (If this sounds challenging, you may be surprised at how easy it really is.) If you'd rather, you can buy a ready-made stamp at a stationary or crafts store. You'll use your personal journal to record all the letterboxes you've found -- at last count, there were more than 10,000 boxes in the U.S. You may also need a compass for some clues. More on Getting Started.

Get a clue! Those 10,000 letterboxes were created and hidden by other letterboxers, and you can find the clues for boxes in your area on the Letterboxing North America Web site. I've hidden a few boxes in the Northeast and you're welcome to search for Silent Doug's letterboxes.

Create and hide your own letterboxes. Once you've been hooked, you'll start to think of parks near you that would be perfect for a letterbox. Then you can create a stamp and come up with the perfect clues to your letterbox's hiding place.

So, now that you know all about Letterboxing, here's Karen finding the hiding spot at Ikea:

Well, thanks for visiting...and don't forget to check out the classes at My Creative Classroom. My first class, which starts on October 4th is the Magic of Mixed Media Jewelry. I've been working on lesson 2 today.....and finally took a picture of myself wearing Lesson 1 :-)

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