Monday, November 2, 2015

Hello Kitty Traveling Event Box Container Issue Solved

In 2010 I created a Table Top, Hidden in Plain Sight, Traveling Event Letterbox called Sweet Shoppe Hello Kitty.  The box made it's first appearance with four Hello Kitty stamps.  Each stamp was contained in a whimsical Hello Kitty candy/mint container with all four containers and a logbook hidden inside a metal Hello Kitty lunch box.  Each time I carved a new stamp I would enclose it in it's own unique Hello Kitty candy/mint container and would add it to the lunch box.  I thought this was a fun concept until I realized that event attendees needed to open each small container in search of the stamps that were new.  At first I was okay with this treasure hunt of sorts but as the box grew I realized that this could take away from valuable trail time and might cause frustration instead of fun.

Tonight I solved the issue with little canvas draw string bags.  As this Event Letterbox now contains twenty unique Hello Kitty Stamps I realized it was imperative to solve the container issues before our December event.  Each bag is now stamped with the image that it contains making it easy to locate the Hello Kitty stamps that a Letterboxer would need to add to their growing collection.  However, I took it one step further for ease in identification and numbered each bag to correspond with the box number on Atlas Quest.  Examples:  Box # 12 is Elsa and Box # 8 is Faery.  Now finders will not need to worry about each stamps name at the event as long as they write down the number with each stamped image in their logbook they can add the names back at home after the event is over.  I am really excited about this simple update and am hoping that our event attendees are too.

To help keep the bags somewhat clean I have also made a small felt pouch inside each bag to keep the stamps from smearing ink all over the place.  Another bonus will be if this box should ever be requested for an out of state event the stamps will be inexpensive and easy to mail and to set out in a bucket or open container on a table without too much fuss needed by the event planners.  I realized I sacrificed some of the charm of the containers but I think the ease of stamping and logging in finds will outweigh my original container set up.  I am not sure if the new canvas bags will fit into the original lunch box but there are lots of easy and fast options to place them in instead of the lunch box.  Now I can keep carving Hello Kitty images and can add as many as my heart desires while still being able to keep them organized and accounted for. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

King Tritons Daughter

King Triton's daughter is on the loose.  She is betting that he will be unable to find her as Idaho is land locked.  But the Messenger of the Sea might enlist the help of the Human Letterboxing community to help find her in the near future.  Be sure to listen for the blow of his twisted conch shell from the depths of the sea.  Of those enlisted into his service King Triton warns them that she is a slippery one.  If you do not have a logbook at least 5 inches by 4 inches she will remain elusive as she slips through your fingers.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Published Stampers Sampler Oct-Nov-Dec 2015

I am very humbled and blessed to have my art work (cards) published in the October, November, December 2015 issue of the Stampers' Sampler - The Art of Rubber Stamping.  It was really neat to see the cover and realize one of the headlines actually leads you to some of my featured cards.  It reads "DIY Holiday Card & Tag Sets page 104."  When you flip to that page they have really made me feel like a million bucks by sharing not one but seven of my card and tag sets.  I was completely shocked.  I never thought that I actually have a certain style when I create cards.  I feel like I am all over the board in my designs and the images that motivate me.  However, they describe my signature style as quirky.  That probably about sums me up.  Who knew?  In decorating Kelly shared that I have an eclectic style and now with cards I am quirky.  We will not even get into my daily wardrobe and hat choices because even I know every day is an adventure when I get dressed.  They also featured a few of my cards on other pages in the same issue.

There is a bit of humor in the paragraph on page 104.  If you read the paragraph you might even note the error.  I laugh because I recently purchased a t-shirt for myself that outlines this very item.  I won't give away the slight error but if you spot it you might chuckle too.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Penny Dreadful - The Creature John Clare

The Penny Dreadful was a 19th-century publishing phenomenon. These cheap, sensational, highly illustrated stories were very popular with the Victorian public.
In the 1830s, increasing literacy and improving technology saw a boom in cheap fiction for the working classes. ‘Penny bloods’ was the original name for the booklets that, in the 1860s, were renamed Penny Dreadfuls and told stories of adventure, initially of pirates and highwaymen, later concentrating on crime and detection.

Penny Dreadfuls were issued weekly, each ‘number’, or episode, was eight (occasionally 16) pages, with a black-and-white illustration on the top half of the front page. Double columns of text filled the rest, breaking off at the bottom of the final page, even if it was the middle of a sentence.
The bloods were astonishingly successful, creating a vast new readership. Between 1830 and 1850 there were up to 100 publishers of penny-fiction, as well as the many magazines which now wholeheartedly embraced the genre. 

There is some THING within us all.

Penny Dreadful the Showtime show is a powerfully written saga filled with dark mystery and suspense. It lives in a demimonde — a half world between reality and the supernatural — where personal demons from the past can be stronger than vampires, evil spirits and immortal beasts.
Some of literature's most terrifying figures, including Dr. Frankenstein and his Creature, Dorian Gray, and iconic figures from the novel Dracula are lurking in the darkest corners of the city. They are joined by a core of original characters in a new narrative filled with alienation and dread.

The Creature John Clare

Dr. Frankenstein's original creation is a hideous, immortal monster whom nevertheless has a deep and anguished soul. His horrible appearance and unusual "birth" have left him a lonely, misunderstood outcast, and he is furious at his creator over his unfortunate fate. He will not rest until Dr. Frankenstein creates an immortal mate for him.

"The monster is not in my face, but in my soul." - The Creature John Clare

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

And Then There Were Whales - Day 6 on the Johnstone Straight

In my recounting of our Sea Kayaking trip I am brushing over Day 5 as it was essentially a repeat of Day 4 except we switched camp sites to camp on a Rubbing Beach.  When Orcas approach a beach to rub they come into the shoreline, in as little as 6 feet of water. Then they move their bodies against the pebbles on the beach. Often rolling upside down, rubbing themselves along it, from the tip of their heads to the tips of their flukes. At other times just on their undersides.  Orca beach rubbing is an activity that has been seen and well documented on the British Columbia coast for over 40 years.  Unfortunately, we spent two nights in the rain on the rubbing beach and apparently none of the resident or transient Orcas had an itch that needed to be scratched.

It was with a heavy heart that we proceeded to pack up our belongings on day 6 to make the return paddle to Telegraph Cove.  Having not seen any whales in five days I was honestly disappointed that our trip was coming to an end and our opportunities for whale sightings had vanished.  It was raining and extremely foggy on our last day as we entered the water.

We started our paddle along Vancouver Island and after a short distance we noticed a smallish sightseeing boat with approximately 6 people aboard racing our direction.  I was concerned at first that they could not see us because of the fog but then it became apparent that they were intentionally headed towards us to speak with our guide Mel.

The captain of the small boat informed us that approximately one mile behind us there was a pod of 6 or 7 Resident Orca's headed our direction.  We immediately stopped paddling and turned our kayaks around to face the direction we had just come from.  And there we sat carefully listening to see if we could hear the explosive whoosh of air exiting the blowholes of the whales in the distance.  Sometimes you can hear the air and see the mist of water in the air before you can visually locate their dorsal fins above the water.  And in the fog you find yourself relying heavily on this sound to locate their position.  Or in our case in addition to listening and looking we also watched the whale sightseeing boats in the distance to see where they were headed.  And as luck would have it they started taking off to the left across the channel (the opposite side of where we were paddling).

As a group we started drifting and then paddling (directly across from where we were sitting on the water) on a course to intercept the whales and boats coming up the opposite side of the straight.  This would seem slightly improbable as whales and boats are very fast and in the Kayaks we are not.  An Orca can reach speeds in excess of 30 mph while we were averaging at best 2 to 3 mph.  We quickly discovered that the boats and the whales were moving at a slower pace than expected which provided us with invaluable time to make it across the straight.

With the whales and boats in sight we were able to shift our angle and paddle in the same direction as they were headed keeping pace with the small pod of Orcas!  What we determined was that the Orca's were traveling in a slow swimming pattern.  When Orcas rest, they often line up side by side, in a formation known as a resting line. Like other cetaceans, they are conscious breathers and must stay awake to breathe. Though they rest, they never fall fully asleep like humans.  The slower swimming speed and shallow short dives (2 to 3 minutes) enabled us to paddle along with the Orcas for over an hour.  It was thrilling to have the opportunity (that we had been dreaming of all week) finally present itself on our last paddle of the trip.  It was heart stopping to witness them moving so gracefully in the water up close and to feel that you were a small part of their natural environment without disturbing them.  Seeing the Orca's was definitely the icing on the cake of a great and memorable adventure!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Art in the Park 2015 With My Friend Kelly

My date for Art in the Park 2015 was my great friend Kelly Reed.  For those who are not familiar with Art in the Park in Boise, Idaho it is hosted by the Boise Art Museum every September and features live entertainment, food vendors, children's hands on activities and well over 200 artist booths.

It was a very warm day at the park at almost 90 degrees but we managed to walk the entire event.  We did treat ourselves to a sit down lunch at Grind Modern Burger (formerly the location of Table Rock Brew Pub).  It was the perfect break half way through our tour of artist tents at the park.  Their burgers are very tasty and they have interesting sides like Sweet Potato Tots, Onion Petals and Pickle Fries.  We both agreed that the Sweet Potato Tots were out of this world delicious.    

Grind Modern Burger: 

I was excited to pick up a new print from Imps and Monsters by Justin Hillgrove.  I love his unique twist on the classics and the Steampunk feel that they have.  I follow his blog with e-mail updates and was looking forward to him participating at Art in the Park again this year.  His booth is always swamped with people but I managed to nab the "Were All Mad Here - Steampunk Alice in Wonderland" print.  His parody and tribute paintings are my favorite and you can purchase them on-line.  This will now provide me with three prints for my office wall at work once I get them framed.

Imps and Monsters:

Another fun stop was the Earth Art International Booth from Edmonds, Washington featuring designs by Sue Coccia.  Her "Animal Spirit" drawings are done in pen and ink.  The animal images or totems are of animals from around the world.  She hides a lady bug in every image to represent good luck, happiness and prosperity.  Kelly and I both purchased a selection of brightly colored note cards to keep on hand.  Since Kelly and I both create cards it's a shame to purchase cards but neither of us has time to keep a large stash on hand so having a few all occasion cards purchased and in the drawer at home is very helpful and often a necessity.

Earth Art International:

Monday, September 7, 2015

Let There Be Rain - Day Four on the Johnstone Straight

I was going to title this post 50 Shades of Wet but then though better of that title.  However, just stating the obvious (that it rains a lot in British Columbia) is a true understatement of the rain fall and climate in the area.  The northwest side of Vancouver Island and the hundreds of uninhabited islands surrounding it receive copious amounts of precipitation during the year.

On day four of our sea kayaking adventure we learned first hand about the areas rain fall.   But first let me digress just a bit.  Back at home in Boise Anthony was following a new television show on the History channel called Alone.  This show challenged 10 men to live alone (apart from each other, camera crews etc.) on Vancouver Island with limited resources for as long as they could survive.  I honestly was only listening to the show as background noise while doing household chores or my creative pursuits.  By about the third episode I finally proclaimed that these men were total whiners because all they would record were video's of themselves complaining about the weather.  They would complain endlessly about the rain, cold, wind, lack of sun etc.  Now granted our experience had nothing to do with survival (we had tents and guides who cooked our meals) but I now have a first hand account of why these 10 men were so fixated on the weather.  I humbly take back my earlier judgements as I have now traveled to Vancouver Island and have experienced the endless days of rain first hand.  I tip my hat to these men and the punishing climate they endured without the luxuries that we had or the hot chocolate I relished every evening. 

On the Johnstone Straight when the clouds roll in and the rain descends it is not just for a short period of time but for days and nights on end.  During our first several days on the water we were blessed with sunshine but on day four the clouds arrived and did not depart.  On the sunny days we were able to hang our wet and damp paddling clothes and gear on the ropes that secured our tents in place.  But on the rainy days all attempts at drying our clothes and gear were a complete failure.  Even hanging them inside our tents was useless.  By day five just about everything we were traveling with was some degree of wet from soaked to moist and everything in-between.  Our skin and hair was dewy, the insides of the tents were damp, the last of our dry clothes even felt moist to the touch.  It was a wet like I have never experienced before that permeated through every layer of clothing we owned right down to our skin. 

Instead of feeling downtrodden by the turn in the weather I actually felt a bit invigorated by having the opportunity to experience a variety of climate shifts on the Johnstone Straight.  Since we were already wet while we paddled the addition of the rain did not dampen my spirits for each days adventures.  In the evening huddled under a tarp while the rain fell to the earth there was so much beauty to be found in the companionship of our fellow travelers.  Sharing warm drinks and wine, playing silly camp fire games and just visiting and sharing our life's stories.  The rain afforded us these special moments that otherwise might have been lost.  As harsh as the rain was there was so much beauty that it created from the amazing temperate rain-forest we were camping under to the feel of the soft rain against your skin.  And my all time favorite was the combination of the mist and fog that we experienced on the water in conjunction with the rain.  I found it to be mysterious and magical in so many ways.  Who knows maybe that white unicorn was watching us from the shoreline after all.

The pictures above are great shots of our fellow adventure travelers all bundled up. Chris and Mark are at the top with rain jackets and hats on with their ROW mugs filled with warm drinks ready for the day.  Dana, Bill, Marybeth and her daughter are sitting enjoying breakfast under the tarp.  And various shots of Anthony and I paddling under dark skies and in the rain.  Shots towards the bottom are of all of us visiting under the tarps while the rain fell in the evening.  Each shot has it's own unique beauty that was only visible due to the gift of rain and if you look carefully at the image below you might just see the rainbow.

History Channel Alone:

Related Posts with Thumbnails