I can't believe it, two posts in as many days? Is there something wrong with me? No. I just have had two different topics to post and, surprisingly, enough spare time on two consecutive days to allow me to actually post them. Unfortunately for the crafty creatures out there, neither the last nor this post contains any new projects or tutorials to display: my sewing machine, crochet equipment and all crafty goods have been packed up in preparation for our move on Monday.
My latest obsession? Geocaching. EJ got a handy-dandy handheld GPS (the kind you use for bushwalking) for his birthday and since then we have been busy seeking out a number of the sneakily hidden geocaches around our area. Here's a picture of me with a geocache we discovered on Sunday:
Geocaching is great fun and the best part is that it gets me outside and exploring the area, not to mention the exercise which I don't treat as cruel and unusual punishment because I am distracted by the thrill of the hunt. The basic idea is a follows: Someone with a GPS makes up a cache, which consists of some kind of waterproof container with at least a logbook inside for people to sign when they find it, and hides it away in a secret location (of which they record the lat and long coordinates) where people oughtn't find it by accident. They may also include trade items which can be anything that will fit in the container (marbles, playing cards, toy cars, skipping ropes, stuffed animals, mini compasses, pocket radios - these are all things we've found in caches). They also often include a special prize for the first person to find the cache. They then post up the cache's information on www.geocaching.com.au or www.geocaching.com, and after it is reviewed to ensure it is not in a banned area (in Australia geocaches are banned in national parks) the cache is listed on the site for anyone to look up and find. When you find the geocache you sign the log, and if you want to you can leave a calling card (we've been leaving mini slinkies, coloured plastic sea creatures and glass hearts). You can also take an item from the cache, as long as you leave something of your own to replace it. Here's a picture of me opening the above cache:
It's a really exciting hobby to get into and one that's open to anyone who is interested. All you need is a GPS (often car GPSes will also allow you to input latitude and longitude coordinates, so you may not even need to buy a new piece of equipment) and some motivation - or if you're really keen but can't afford a GPS, you could try relying on GoogleMaps's satellite/street map hybrid to locate the cache you're looking for!
So here's my question to the people who stumble across this post and make it all the way down here without getting bored: should I make a crafty cache of my own? I am planning on placing my own cache in the near future - hopefully before the end of the month, since I'm starting full-time work on 1 Feb and will have less free time available for creativity. But what I wonder is if anyone thinks it will be worthwhile for me to make a special crafty prize for my first to find (FTF)? Something like a peg buddy or a diary cover - I even discussed with EJ making a specialty geocaching logbook with a sewn cover (as I so often do) and with the pages all prepared for listing caches you're searching for, ones you've found and when, and what you left and took from each one. Maybe I could make one for me and one for a special FTF? I guess what I really want to know is if anyone would be interested in getting the coordinates for this special geocache with a crafty prize for the FTF. Anyone? Comment below.
I am also planning a couple of exciting items to make for our own calling cards once we're moved and unpacked. I have been planning on making some sewn trading cards (à la these) for a while now, so these would both busy my idle hands while watching TV (otherwise I use them to stuff food into my mouth) and be a great item to leave in geocaches we visit, not to mention include with gifts or items which I sell in my ebay shop (which is currently inactive due to my busy busy lifestyle :) ).
The other idea I am excited about is to print out either a short story or poem (something that will fit on one page, preferably), cut it into pieces (I haven't decided if it should be sentences, paragraphs, lines or random angular puzzle pieces), laminate them (to protect them from the weather) and leave a note on the back explaining the point (which I will explain in a moment). Then I'll drop off different pieces in different geocaches so that when people find them they can either collect them and relocate them elsewhere or copy down the section they have found, in order to eventually make up the complete piece of writing. If I wanted to be doubly tricky, I could include within the piece of writing the coordinates to a secret cache so that they can find it only after they have completed the puzzle. I could make multiple copies of the same one so that if one piece got lost along the way it wouldn't be impossible to complete it, and that way I would be getting my writing out there in a really unique way and also presenting a new challenge to the geocaching community!
Alright, I need to calm down and finish my jobs around this house before we move. Please comment and tell me your thoughts!