Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My first international box: The Hawthorne

Shorty after I discovered letterboxing, my family had decided on going down to Salem, Massachewsetts Massachusetts, for a holiday during October. This is a favourite holiday spot for us - we are serious Hallowe'en folks and Salem is our mecca.

Salem, if you haven't been, is a gorgeous town nestled north of Boston on the coast full of a magical mix of amazing history and almost overwhelming witch-related things to see and do.  Each time we've been down, we stayed at the Hawthorne Hotel, named after Nathanial Hawthorne.  It's a historic hotel and full of a special charm that only exists in the New England states.

So once I knew we were going back down to stay at the Hawthorne, I decided to pick up my gouges and give a try at carving something special to plant.

At that point in my carving history, it would have never occurred to me to carve the hotel itself (and admittedly, that would have been well out of my abilities at the time) but it did seem appropriate to carve the capital that is the logo for the hotel, which you can see to the right here or by looking at their website.

Now, at the time I was using that awful Speedball crumbly stuff to carve with and the transfer technique I was using at the time still makes me laugh.  I do not recommend it.  What I would do is this: find an image, make it the appropriate size on my laptop screen, then put a piece of paper over the screen and trace it with a pencil. I would then thicken the graphite on the paper on a table and then transfer as per usual for a pencil transfer.  Again, I do not recommend this.  Not that it didn't work - it did - but you can destroy a monitor like that.

Anyways, it took a lot of time and all my carving ability, but I did carve something that looks like it.  My intention was to plant it on the Salem Common, but once I was there I realized that there was literally no where to stash the letterbox.  Grr! I spent the whole trip trying to figure out where to plant this uncamoflaged little Lock & Lock.  Keep in mind, this was only my 17th plant, and I didn't have as much experience in urban hides.  (If I could go back, I would take a black pouch or a camo'd L&L - or at least a keyholder for a better hide.)

So where did I end up hiding it? In the hotel.  Gah.  What was I thinking?  Well, I know what I was thinking: that I was leaving the next day and that I didn't want to take this box home with me.  I planted it for Salem.  So I planted it on this old antique on the floor I stayed on and posted the clue. What can you do?

I was completely shocked when, the day after I planted it, I logged onto AQ and discover that someone had already found it. 'Round these parts, it could be months before someone finds one of your plants...

Anyways, over the next month, there were about eight finds on the box and those finders deemed the box fit for a blue diamond.  However, the box shortly thereafter disappeared - likely by hotel cleaning staff.

It was the first box I ever retired and it is one of the few boxes I planted that predates this blog. It was my first "difficult" carve, my first blue diamond, my first out-of-country.  I wanted to give the box with so many firsts for me a little post of its own.  And since it's mine, I can even post the image here.  So without further ado, The Hawthorne:

I was super proud of the little ship in the centre...

No comments:

Post a Comment