One of the coolest things I heard about recently is letterboxing. It combines my love of craft with my desire to explore. It’s virtually free and gets you some exercise. What more could you ask for in a hobby?
The main thing you need to get started as a letterboxer is your own stamp to mark what boxes you’ve found. As an artist and designer, I just couldn’t use a pre-made stamp. My stamp needed to be unique. Of course, I had never carved a stamp before. I’ve been painting, drawing, and collaging for years so why not try something new? There’s somewhat of a learning curve with carving but the technique is very similar to scratchboard. After doing some practice stamps (can you tell which stamp I did first?), I have some ideas on how to perfect the process. Since it’s best to glue the rubber stamp material to a block of wood for clearer prints, I think cutting out the larger shapes and gluing those to the wood directly would save time. And give the stamp a more polished look.
Once you have a stamp (and stamp pad), a “trail name” and a blank book to record your adventures (and knowing me I’ll want to make my own book too!), you’re ready to start letterboxing! Look for clues to find letterboxes near you at www.letterboxing.org and www.atlasquest.com. There’s bound to be plenty within walking distance of your house. When you find the box, mark the box’s book with your stamp and trail name and mark your book with the box’s stamp.
If you want to take it further, create your own box. Put a stamp, stamp pad and small book in a box and post your clues on one of the letterboxing sites.