Thursday, March 6, 2014
During one of our day's in Florida I did hit a dry spell in the Letterboxing department. We drove to Perdido Key to check out the beaches and unfortunately all I found were birds and tiny sea shells. Not quite the treasure I was hoping for but I managed to stroll along the beach and get my feet wet before the rain arrived. The beaches were completely deserted due to the cool weather and impending rain fall. We also toured the Veterans Memorial and the Joe Patti Seafood store in Pensacola prior to picking Nick up from the base and heading to Perdido Key. We drove back to Pensacola and Nick, Anthony and Janet played a quick round of miniature gold (I took pictures) and ended the evening at Nick's Boathouse for a really delicious dinner.
And last but not least I present Lock from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Lock is also a vast improvement over the Lock from 2007. I like the addition of the textured outfit and cage he is holding. I really do not enjoy re-carving images but since these images are for another boxer and they have a little more zip and pizzazz it was a pleasure to carve them. Also Nightmare Before Christmas is a favorite of mine so the inspiration was not to difficult to muster. Since I think I have a wee bit of time before these need to reach their destination I may make some LTC's before I slip them in the mail. It will depend on how creative I feel and the other obligations on my plate but they are the perfect size for LTC's and it would be a shame to not play with them a little before they depart.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
When Anthony and I visited Illinois and Wisconsin in 2013 we spent quite a bit of time searching for lighthouses. In Pensacola I was thrilled to learn that there was a lighthouse right on base that we could visit and even more excited when we realized that it was open to allowing you to walk up to the top. Out of all the other lighthouses we had visited there had only been one that we could go up inside because most of them were closed during the week or were inaccessible to the public. I was surprised that I was asked to walk up the 177 metal steps barefoot since I had on open backed shoes. Apparently flip flops and open backed sandals are considered unsafe so I slipped off my sandals and made the climb up and back barefoot. I am a little uncomfortable with heights so the climb and walking around the deck at the top made me a tad nervous. I felt timid and anxious at such a great height on the narrow platform. I would have never lasted as a lighthouse operator. As a bonus once again there was a Letterbox to be discovered down a nature trail to the right of the lighthouse once we had our feet back on the ground. There were actually two in the area (one each direction) but we were only able to locate one of them. Anthony was a good sport to Letterbox with me and he even got me a lighthouse map of all the lighthouses in the United States and lighthouse charm for my charm bracelet at the gift shop.
While we were in Pensacola driving around I kept my cell phone handy and from time to time I would click on the Box Radar application to see if we were in the vicinity of any letterboxes that I would quickly nab (fast finds) without disrupting our visit to the area (since I am the only Letterboxer in the family now – aside from Raisin and Jay). As luck would have it we had a break in the weather and took the time to stroll out on to a long pier to catch the views of the ocean and shore line. Sure enough Box Radar came up with a positive result of a Letterbox right in the parking lot. I picked up the pace and walked back to the car to gather my LB backpack and headed off to locate my hidden treasure. It did start to rain a little but with a Letterboxing find freshly stamped in my logbook the rain did not dampen my spirits.
Today I present Barrel from the Nightmare Before Christmas who has been carved for Aiphid who is working on a special series. Following the lead with Shock I am sharing my new carving and the carving I originally created in 2007 of Barrel. I am not sure what to say about the original Barrel but the new one is a far cry from my first attempt. And I misspelled his name the first time around too. I think the larger sized image allowed me to give him a bit more detail in the teeth department which was really lost in my first carving. Plus he has his mask with him now which makes for a more interesting final image. Next up I will be working on Lock. Lock's outfit has shading just like Shock does so he will be fun to work on.
Monday, March 3, 2014
New 2014 Carving vs. Original 2007 Stamped Image
Comparison of Stamped Images (2014 vs. 2007)
I thought I would have time to carve while we were in Florida but that was just silly thinking on my part. I was busy from sun up to sun down the entire time we were on vacation. I even squeezed in a little work for the office each day to stay on top of things. All and all my carving tips and rubber never left my suitcase while we were gone.
One of the carving projects I promised to work on are a few of the characters from Nightmare Before Christmas for Aiphid who is working on a special series. Being one of Jack Skellington's number one fan's how could I not contribute to the cause.
I selected Oogie Boogies kids (Lock, Shock and Barrel) to carve for the project. Tonight I share with you little miss Shock. What I found so interesting is I pulled out one of my old logbooks to see what my prior carving of Shock looked like. I had carved these images for a mini event I hosted in Boise in 2007. Since 2007 the original boxes were vandalized and I lost almost all of the stamps. Anyway I felt like my carvings have improved in the past 7 years but I was just not aware of how much of an improvement I have made since my original attempts. The original Shock has no detail and was actually kind of a mess. The new Shock although larger has much more depth and detail and even an accessory hidden behind her back. I am still light years from being a precise carver or a person that is meticulous in their carvings (I am an impatient carver) but my current carvings show that I have made some decent progress in my abilities. Maybe it's a good thing the old carvings have vanished. Next up will be Barrel.
Sometimes the Letterboxing plants are just too delicious not to share. This was the case of the two Letterboxes I found at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. The museum is amazing and stocked full of Naval history, well put together displays and lots and lots of planes. While we were there we even watched a film in the IMAX theater about the Blue Angels. This free museum (the IMAX was not complimentary) is well worth visiting if you are ever in the area. We should have allowed more time as we only toured about half of the displays before it was closing time.
The highlight for me were the two Letterboxes I discovered that were planted inside the museum via my Box Radar application on my phone. Anthony and I flew around the museum in the process of locating my targets and as extreme stealth was necessary we had to be patient for just the right opportunities to nab the boxes. This is a pretty popular and high traffic museum. Fortunately picture taking is a good distraction and Anthony snapped the pictures as I located the Letterboxes and found a quiet corner or two to stamp in. I was able to find both boxes and return them to their clever hiding spots without so much as a raised eyebrow. They were a lot of fun to find. It was a very rainy afternoon so the indoor plants were really appreciated.
After the museum tour we visited a very popular local restaurant called McGuires Irish Pub. This restaurant was not only packed with patrons but also over a million dollars in signed $1.00 bills hanging for every spot on the ceiling you can find. The food portions were gigantic and delicious. We left with tons of doggie bags and very stuffed tummies.
National Naval Aviation Museum: http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/
McGuires Irish Pub: http://www.mcguiresirishpub.com/
Box Radar: http://www.boxradar.com/