Saturday, February 6, 2016

Pulling Raisin's Letterbox and Retooling Her Stamps for a Memorial Personal Traveler









This morning Jay and I pulled Raisin's Easter Bunny Pei Letterbox.  Raisin and I planted her box on March 23, 2008.  The picture above is of Raisin next to the hiding spot of her box.  Amazingly enough this box has stayed in perfect condition in it's original hiding spot for almost 8 years.  I was in a bit of a panic as we pulled up to the parking lot as the once level grass field that sat all around the boxes hiding spot is now circled with many mounds of rocks, gravel and rocks.  Some areas are taped off to indicate that construction is planned in this area.  I could feel a melt down coming on as I wanted her box to be alive and well so badly.  You can't imagine my sign of relief as I lifted the cement triangle and the box was still there in perfect condition.  I have no idea (with so much having already been disturbed and changed) how that small piece of cement was still there but it was. 

With Raisin's Letterbox in hand Jay and I placed it lovingly in the car and then continued on to plant a box for Baqash and enjoy an hour walk along the Greenbelt near Veterans Memorial Park and Pond.  It was a little bittersweet to pull Raisin's Letterbox since her passing on December 9th, 2015 but I am working on putting all of her stamps (Easter Bunny Pei, TNR Raisinette Personal Traveler and two signature stamps) together for a Memorial Personal Traveler for me to carry and share.  In addition I am planning to add new carvings to the box both of my own hand and I am hoping that if any Letterboxers would like to contribute a stamp in Raisin's memory that they will.



     

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Glasses Galore

 My New "Progressive" Glasses

 Anthony in His New Glasses

 Cool Design on the Side of My New Glasses

My Little Collection of Glasses

It is glasses galore here at the Dally household.  About 6 years ago I started having a bit of blurriness with my eyes adjusting to distances while driving after leaving the office at the end of the day.  What I originally thought was a distance issue turned out to be farsightedness.  In other words I would see things at a distance better than I could up close.  I was a bit confused at first because my symptoms indicated the opposite to be true.  However, my ophthalmologist explained that my eyes were straining all day at the computer and so upon leaving work they were then having difficulty focusing at a distance.  Sure enough with a simple pair of "reader" glasses the issue immediately resolved.  He did mention that most people have difficulty with their eyes after the age of 40 and mine was just related to age.  Nothing you like to hear but just a simple fact of life for me.  After over 40 years of better than 20/20 vision I was thankful that it had not surfaced sooner.  I was also thankful that the issue was minor and took to wearing my glasses with stride.

Since I go for a routine eye exam annually I started a small collection of glasses that I would wear for computer use, reading, carving etc.  Each year I would visit my prescription never changed although he did warn me that it is not uncommon for it to change every 2 or 3 years.  The longer I used them the more I discovered that I not only needed them at work or home but also just about any time I was reading.  At restaurants looking at menus, at the grocery store reading labels, looking at my phone etc.  You get the idea.  Basically I started carrying around my glasses all the time and was constantly putting them on and pulling them off.  The one things I was not going to start doing was wearing a granny chain around my neck.  Just too uncomfortable and it would get tangled up with my necklaces.

It became so annoying last year that I finally asked Dr. Stebel at Boise Mountain Eye Care about the option of contacts.  He thought it might solve my problems but little did I know that I am all thumbs and no patience when it comes to contacts.  Not only did we fiddle with the prescription 4 times to try to get me clear vision for both near and far but operator error on my part made attempting to wear contacts a living hell.  It would often take me 20 to 40 minutes to get them into my eyes.  Then lots of second guessing if I even managed to get them in the right way.  I was not a candidate for extended wear so they had to be taken out and put back in each day.  If I am not willing to straighten my hair each day why on earth would I want to spend 40 minutes putting in contacts.  It was insanely frustrating as they would tumble down my clothing on to floor or even into the garbage can (one day one fell onto the roll of toilet paper and I could not fine it because I couldn't see it) and I would be loosing patience by the minute.  I ask you how on earth do they expect you to see what you are doing when you don't have glasses on to see.  My magnifying mirror was really of little help.  And the drops you add to keep your contact moist and supple and to assist with eye fatigue played havoc with my feeble attempts to wear eye makeup.  I tried them for about 4 weeks and traveling with them was  also not convenient.  Not only did you need all the extra supplies with you but you had to plan lots of extra time to get them in because you often ended up in poorly lit bathrooms with mirrors too far from your face to see what you are doing.  Contacts were an epic nightmare in my book.  I actually ended up donating the entire lot of unopened contacts back to Boise Mountain Eye Care.  It was either that or toss them into the trash.  I wont even go into the horror of the day I could not get one of them out of my eye for hours as it had rolled up and folded in half up under my eye lid. 

Fast forward to last week and once again my annual eye appointment was at hand.  I discussed my options and since my prescription finally changed it was time to see if there were any additional options that we had not considered previously.  I share with you today my new Kate Spade "progressive" eyeglasses.  These can be worn all day long and depending on where you look through the lens will depend on the correction you are receiving.  They did warn me that they will take a bit of getting use to.  Not only the fact of actually having them on my face all day every day but where I need to look for what.  Right now I am not sure when I should be moving my eyes or my head to see what I want to see.  I am so conditioned to look over the tops of my glasses for distance (if I do have them on) that I keep forgetting that I do not need to do that now.  Instead I can just look through the top of the lens.  I will still be carting around an eyeglasses case but I am hopeful that these will solve my issues and help me see the small stuff when I need to without rummaging through my purse to find them.  If they work I will see about taking one of my older pairs to have the lens changed so I have a backup pair in case of loss or damage.  They did say that the lense has to be big enough for progressives so I am not sure if my old glasses are large enough or not.  The other good news is that there are lots of great organizations that you can donate used glasses to and mine are in perfect condition.  Once I determine which ones I no longer need (I actually have four pairs) I can donate some of them for others in need.

Anthony also picked up his glasses.  He has been wearing progressives for years and years although he needed them for both distance and reading.  I mentioned to him last night that I was wondering if we were starting to look like each other.  If I just dye my hair gray I bet we would now that we are both in glasses full time.  You always hear about couples looking more and more alike as the years go by.  You just never know.       
 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Star Wars Letterbox Trading Card Album by Little Miss Kitty















The Star Wars Keepsake Album designed and created by Little Miss Kitty (Kendall) for the Star Wars Letterbox Force Awakens Letterbox Trading Card (LTC) Tracker (my very first LTC tracker) is out of this world! 

Album Cover

Letterbox Trading Cards

Many of the elements swivel, lift or open to show you the Letterbox Trading Card (LTC) nestled within.  Quite a few of the pages match the actual LTC that they contain and others you recognize instantly as a character or theme from the movies.

Kendall spent weeks and weeks painstakingly designing each page and then assembling each component and finally bound them in the custom made cloth covered albums she handmade.  Creating one album would have been very time consuming for anyone but she created 18 albums for the exchange and to have several extra's for the event raffle drawings.

I have my album proudly on display at home and have savored it on more than one occasion because it is absolutely that special and original.  Kendall even managed to slip in a little Nightmare Before Christmas element on one of the pages for me.  See if you can find it above.

Thank you a thousand times over Kendall for making the Star Wars LTC Exchange the very best in the universe!  Nothing can compare to your creativity and the gift of your talents and time!       

Crow Personal Traveler a Gift from FloridaFour





In 2014 I joined a "Bloodless Halloween" Letterbox Trading Card Exchange.  One of the cards I received in the exchange was "Crow" carved and designed by FloridaFour (Andrea).  I instantly fell in love with her carving as crows are one of my favorite birds.  Andrea's detail in this carving is just beautifully done and what makes this even more special is that the image is an original sketch done from a photo she took in Seattle during a visit.  But the true gift of this carving is that she offered the stamp to me as a gift!  I was stunned because it is absolutely so special.  How could I resist the offer?

Andrea did outline the steps she used in the creation of the wonderful LTC on Atlas Quest.  Here are her notes:

Crow was stamped an embossed on Bristol paper that was sprayed with Dylusions Spray inks.

Background was grey scrapbook paper, decorated with stencils done with acrylic paints, and dripped with black acrylic paint and purple watercolor. Card was painted with a coat of glossy acrylic polymer medium. Gems were attached with Glossy Accents by Ranger. I find that awesome for adding solid embellishments.

I received my first donated Personal Traveler from wandaandpete in 2012.  After a visit she craved this very tiny pair of pants and sent it in a note to me.  Birds on a Wire created a totally unique logbook for me (and also added some stability to the delicate stamp) and thus the unique Sisterhood of Traveling Letterboxers Personal Traveler was born.

Now "Crow" is ready to be found at events in my company.  I wanted it to have a special logbook and found this great handcrafted embossed leather journal with handmade unlined paper on Amazon.  The stone in the middle of the journal reminds me of the crows eye.  I can't thank Andrea enough for this special gift and I am really looking forward to sharing it in the future with all my Letterboxing friends far and wide.  You just never know where Crow and I might land!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Star Wars Letterbox Trading Card Artists

 SuperGav - Pit Droid
 Pixie Dust Gal – Jedi Princess
 roly-polies - The Force Awakens – Rey

Crazy Mountain Woman - Jawa

 Baqash - Darth Maul
 ebda - I am a Jedi
 Wavesandwaterfalls - Max Rebo Band
 Music Chick - Little Boba
 Midnight sun - Jabba the Hutt
 Linden Leaf - yoda
 Blackvelvetrav - Star Wars
 Music Chick - Little Luke
BandSeerMeesh - Wicket
 MrOspital – BB-8
FORAYCH - Join the Duck Side

There is no Letterboxing Trading Card (LTC) Exchange/Tracker without Letterboxers willing to share their time and talent.  This includes carving stamps and then creating little mini works of art from those images.  Carvings and LTC's come in a wide variety of design styles and artistic interpretations.  I think they are all fantastic from a Letterboxers very first attempt at designing and creating an LTC to seasoned LTC creators.  All are special and unique.  And most of all very appreciated by other LTC artists.

Thank you to the following Letterboxers for their contributions to my very first LTC Exchange/Tracker.  You made it easy to put together with your timely contributions and patience on the back end as we returned the mini albums to you in December (vs. October).  Also to those Letterboxers who loaned or donated their stamps to the event and a special shout out to Music Chick for creating two LTC's.  She filled in the empty spot in our books with the most perfect Little Luke LTC.  Somehow this LTC and the empty page were meant to be.

Pixie Dust Gal – Jedi Princess
roly-polies - The Force Awakens – Rey
ebda - I am a Jedi
Linden Leaf - yoda
FORAYCH - Join the Duck Side
Baqash - Darth Maul
Music Chick - Little Boba and Little Luke
Crazy Mountain Woman - Jawa
Wavesandwaterfalls - Max Rebo Band
BandSeerMeesh - Wicket
SuperGav - Pit Droid
Midnight sun - Jabba the Hutt
MrOspital – BB-8

May the force be with all of you!   

Star Wars Letterbox Trading Card Album Back Story






A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...Blackvelvetrav (me) hosted her first Letterbox Trading Card (LTC) Exchange Tracker.  If you have never participated in an LTC tracker before a tracker is to help keep track of primarily Postal Letterboxes and LTC exchanges.  Atlas Quest created the tracker application which is great because it shows a list of who has signed up to receive the object or objects in question (in this case LTC's), and the current status of everyone involved with the tracker. The owner of the tracker (in this case me) can specify the rules that are associated with them such as which type of objects are supported, the maximum number of participants, etc.

I thought it would be fun to include an LTC exchange in conjunction with our Star Wars the Letterbox Force Awakens Event on December 18th & 19th.  The extra LTC's could be placed in with the raffle prizes and if the Letterboxer was willing they could loan us their stamp for the event.

I need to roll the clock back a bit here in my saga.  You see I had intergalactic plans much bigger than just sending Letterboxers back their used envelopes with a Ziploc baggie of LTC's.  I had asked Kendall (Little Miss Kitty) to create an accordion album of sorts (maybe using Star Wars themed paper) on the pages to keep in line with the theme.  In 2012 Kendall created adorable mini albums for our Down the Rabbit Hole (Alice in Wonderland) Letterboxing Event.  They were not LTC albums but were thank you albums with large tags inside that were used to send back stamped images of all the stamps at the event as memento's to those that loaned us their stamps for the event.  You can see how cute they are here:
 
Thank You Wonderland Booklets
http://lbwithblackvelvetrav.blogspot.com/2012/11/thank-you-wonderland-booklets.html

I will admit that Kendall, Kelly and I spent untold hours creating, assembling, stamping and mailing back the extremely labor intensive Alice in Wonderland albums.  In total 20 were created and returned to local and out of state Letterboxers.  I swore we would never do that again based on the time involved. 

Fast forward to our Star Wars LTC Tracker and as always Kendall was so gracious in accepting my new mission (even after all the hours she spent in 2012 on the thank you keepsakes).  However, this time Kendall had a vision light years beyond my simple thoughts.  As I explained what I wanted to use the albums for Kendall's highly imaginative mind creativity kicked into light speed and she went to work on 18 custom handmade mini albums to hold the LTC's that we would be returning to the LTC Trackers contributors/participants.

This time around Kendall took the total burden of concept, design, creation, filling and mailing of the albums.  She spent an absolutely enormous amount of time and resources creating each individual page, cloth covers, binding and at times hand gluing individual pieces to each and every page.  All I did was coordinate the exchange tracker, create my own LTC's and then I handed them all over to Kendall.

Above is a sneak peak of the outside of the albums.  Kendall found several patterns of Star Wars Themed material and covered the albums in a variety of fun prints.  Then topped each off with a graphic of Admiral Gial Ackbar.  In case you are not familiar with Admiral Ackbar he was the foremost military commander of the Rebel Alliance who led major combat operations against the Galactic Empire.

At this point if you did not sign up for my Star Wars LTC tracker last year you may just be having serious regrets over that decision as the Dark Force definitely led you down the wrong path.  As Yoda would say "When you look at the dark side, careful you must be.  For the dark side looks back."  Are you wondering what is inside these completely unique handmade Star Wars LTC albums?  Stay tuned for my next transmission and all shall be revealed.

Related Posts with Thumbnails