Make is one of my top destinations each month, along with repeated visits to Craft and Geekdad. These Zines and Blogs are great brain food filled with creative geekified concepts that keep me entertained.
While Etsy is an amazing resource for artists /crafters /makers /hackers /creators to showcase and sell their creations, the previous sites assist you in the creation of the creations, how to's and procurement of needed supplies. My first issue of Craft purchased last year included a cardboard loom which introduced me to weaving. The forums and project sites have led me to felting (both wet felt and flat felt) as well as to many other projects and brainstormed ideas.
Current projects I am fiddling with include felted balls, adventures with LED's, Hula Hoops, magnets and pink baseballs. This year I am going to make it to Maker Faire, equipped with at least a couple cool crafted wearables with the intention of standing out so that I blend right in!
A few weeks ago, a new friend took me for a day hike in the Almaden Hills. Incredibly well informed, she shared her knowledge of the plants and wildflowers and we chatted about future hikes. While I expressed my past interest in treasure hunts (Captain Vancouvers Great Treasure Hunt took up YEARS of mine and Beekers time way back in the 90's), she explained the idea of Letterboxing to me. Similar to Geocaching, except without the GPS - Letterboxers locate hidden caches and leave their mark by stamping a log book with their personal stamp. Clues to locate a local Letterbox can be found online at various sites such child friendly Atlasquest or Letterboxing North America which describes the activity as "an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest. A wide variety of adventures can be found to suit all ages and experience levels."
This sounded great to me! Over the next few days I traversed the internet for knowledge and scavenged my bins of hobbies n' crafts bits-n-bots for the simple equipment deemed necessary to make our own permanent stamps. This was no time for potatoe stamps!
Though I located the equivalent of a GIANT sheet of white rubber eraser on sale at D&J Hobbies in Campbell - any clean eraser would have done just as well. Also -though they recommend carving tools - a charcoal pencil and exacto blades worked beautifically for the purpose. This past weekend we met up again and spent a more relaxed evening over a glass of wine and carved stamps for future letterbox adventures. I sketched out a young womans face (inspired by B's fascination with Manga and fairy illustrations) while my friend sketched out and then carved a wonderful rustic owl.
Downside - safe, carving tools would allow the kids to explore this a bit, but unless I stumble upon an inexpensive set to test out - the exacto blade will be kept off limits and stamp carving is a "second mom" only event.
Plus-side - watching me craft anything they are not involved with directly inspires the girls to venture off into their own collections of craftables and they always live up to the challenge of entertaining themselves.
While my bronze cast instructor is quick to dismiss anything useful as being far removed from "art" - I beg to differ. Each of the imaginative pieces that have been conceived by the little ones this week are definite masterpieces.The Girls are well on the way to becoming GeekGirls - this past weekend they each completed felted creations to be shown with pride. I will post pictures of A's Flower Bouquet and B's nifty felted handbag soon.