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September 11, 2020

 Bubbles Micro Log Roller


Just like the Floaters keychain I made previously, these keychains are made of champagne cork to make it somewhat buoyant.  This should help you retrieve your keys more easily if you drop them in water while you are caching.  Also like the Floaters, the geocaching symbol has been decoupaged and sealed with polycrylic onto the cork with my signature, 山蜂.  Attached to the jumpring is also my signature bee in the form of either a silver or bronze charm.  The twist on these is that I've turned this into a micro log roller by inserting a cotter pin into the bottom of the cork. If you have had to struggle with rolling micro logs tightly and neatly enough to get them back into their tiny caches, you know how useful these things can be.  Many retailers sell these gadgets for USD $7-8, which IMO is way too much for what is essentially a 0.50 cent cotter pin jammed into a bison tube.  So congratulations!  You just got one for the mere price of a geocache trade.  (I hope you traded up or even :-))

Bubbles Log Rollers from #1-7 (L-R)

#3, #5 and #6 have silver bee charms, all others in the series have bronze charms.  You will notice that #4 also has the paracord wrap that I did for the Floaters.  That's because I had wrapped an extra cork for that project and used that extra one here.  So if you got #4, know that you also have about 3.5 feet of paracord at your disposal should you need it. 

Where were these dropped?

#1 of 7 - Dropped 06 Feb 2021 in GC8A3AP

#2 of 7 - Dropped 15 Oct 2021 in GC7G3A7

#3 of 7 - Dropped on 13 Apr 2023 in GC1R74W

#4 of 7 - Dropped on 09 June 2023 in GCWQ88

#5 of 7 - Dropped on 04 July 2021 in GCYQ9T

#6 of 7 - Dropped on 13 Apr 2023 in GC3HG7D

#7 of 7 - Dropped on 12 April 2023 in GCE1EE

Have you picked one of these up?  If so, I would love to hear what you think of it in the comments!

September 6, 2020

Floaters

 Floaters - Floating Keychain with Paracord

 

These are keychains made from a champagne cork, which should provide a little buoyancy for your keys should they accidentally get dropped in the lake while you are geocaching.  I've made seven of them, numbered in series.  In the picture above, they are ordered 1-7 from left to right.  1-3 are in the front row, 4-7 in the back row.  The geocaching symbol has been decoupaged and sealed with polycrylic onto the cork, and my signature bee charm is attached on the jumpring.  I couldn't decide which looked better - the silver charms or the bronze.  Mr. Geek liked the silver better, so I made four of them with silver, and three with the bronze.  So #1, 6, and 7 have bronze charms, and the rest are done with silver bee charms.

To add a little more utility to this, the cork is also wrapped with approximately 3.5 ft of paracord in a turks head knot.  Having paracord and duct tape with me while camping, hiking, or being outdoors in general has saved me more than a few times.  Hopefully it will come in handy for you too.


Where were these dropped?

#1 of 7 - Dropped 11 Sep 2020 in GC6ZEJE 

#2 of 7 - Dropped 30 Nov 2020 in GC1CJ5Y

#3 of 7 - Dropped on 25 Sep 2022 in GC8C98F

#4 of 7 - Dropped on 29 Aug 2022 in GCHG6G

#5 of 7 - Dropped on 23 Apr 2023 in GC7079N

#6 of 7 - Dropped 01 Feb 2021 in GC8A3AB

#7 of 7 - Dropped on 21 Apr 2023 in GCMMJ5

Have you picked one of these up?  If so, I would love to hear what you think of it in the comments!

 
 


September 2, 2020

Castiel and Uriel World Tour (Geocaching Trackable DIY)

DIY Geocaching Trackable

I recently purchased some trackable travel tags for geocaching.  I am using the codes on some DIY proxy travelers that represent the Cats of Geeks Gulch, Castiel and Uriel. We have traveled with them on road and camping trips since they were kittens, so they are quite used to travel and staying in new places. 

The Cats:  Castiel (Left) and Uriel (Right)

 Castiel and Uriel camping out in the travel trailer

Here are their traveling proxies, made by decoupaging and sealing their pics on some mason jar lids.   (I've covered up their tracking numbers to prevent virtual discoveries)









 

On the back is their goal and their tracking code, also decoupaged and sealed with polyurethane:

I hope they go far and wide!  I dropped them off at the same Travel Bug hotel (GC6ZEJE) on 11 Sep 2020.  Lets see how far each has gotten toward their goal in one year.  Who will be winning the race?

Castiel's Progress

Uriel's Progress


August 31, 2020

Make a Mend

Make a Mend

These are little pouches that I've sewn from fabric leftover from making Covid masks.  Inside, I've tucked in a little mending kit.   I wanted the pouch to be somewhat useful after the mending kit was used up, so I sized it to hold business cards/personal geocaching cards.  A bee charm (my signature, 山蜂 ) is sewn on the outside. 

Inside, I've sewn my geocaching handle, the number of the series, and "Make a Mend".  

The mending kit was randomly grabbed from the stash I've accumulated in my travels from various hotels. 

Where were these dropped?

#1 of 4 - Dropped 01 Sep 2020 at GC51N3E

#2 of 4 - Dropped 06 Sep 2020 at GC4K7V3

#3 of 4 - Dropped 01 Feb 2021 at GC8A39W

#4 of 4 - Dropped 06 Feb 2021 at GC8A3AY

Have you picked one of these up?  If so, would love to hear what you think of it in the comments!

 

August 26, 2020

About your geocache find...

 

Hi.  If you're here, it's probably because you picked up one of my DIY geoswags from a geocache I've visited.  (But if you're just here randomly, you can learn about geocaching here.)

First, a little history.  I've been casually geocaching off and on since 2007.  During that time, I've been trading the usual stuff you see in caches - plastic figurines, chochky from trade shows, and those toys that you get in Happy Meals.   Then one day in August 2020, during a camping roadtrip in the Texas Panhandle, I saw something wonderful in a cache located in Palo Duro Canyon State Park.  What was it that was so life-transforming?  It was a rock.  Yes, a rock.  But not just any rock.  It was a rock that someone took the time to paint with the international geocaching symbol and the phrase, "Not all who wander are lost".  Affixed to the rock was also her geocaching handle.  The whole thing was also carefully sealed with urethane so that it could withstand the abuse that items stored in geocaches normally take.  I was charmed that someone would take the time to make something by hand, and it's inspired me to do my own DIY geoswag.  But still...I had so many questions.  Where did the rock come from?  Her own backyard?  What inspired her to handpaint it?  What did she use to seal it to make it weatherproof? How many rocks did she paint? I was glad that I could at least look up her handle on Geocaching.com, through which Mr. Geek was able to PM her to tell her we picked up her rock.  Thus the motivation for this accompanying blog.  

 In case you were curious about what you picked up, who made it and why, hopefully you will find those answers, and that it inspires you to craft something personal of your own. 

The Rock Rocks!
The Rock that Started it All
 

Below, I list the crafts in each series that I have made and have or will drop into caches.  If you've picked up one of my crafts, it's labeled with the series and number.  Regardless of the craft series, each piece I make will have a bee somewhere on it, which links it back to my previous geocaching handle, Yamabachi (山蜂, "Mountain Bee" in Japanese). 

Click on the link related to your series to read more about it.  And if you have picked up something I made, I'd love to have feedback in the comments on it so I can improve future crafts. If you picked it up, was it in good condition?  Ruined by weather?  How much did you like it on a scale of 1-5?  Suggestions for improvement or a future craft? Whatever you'd like to say, I am all ears.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.  Keep Calm and Cache On!   --TXGeekette

IF YOU HAVE FOUND ONE OF MY DIY SWAG ITEMS IN A CACHE, IT IS YOURS TO KEEP OR TRADE.  They aren't "trackables" in the official sense, so don't feel obligated to move them from cache to cache.

 Listed in order from newest to oldest:




Kitty Jail Keychains


Sewing, Crafting, and Cosplay: About this Blog


Coronavirus Mask Mania
I've always wanted to make couples costumes for self and hubs so we are that awesome couple at a party.  Although I've been sewing since my mother forced me to learn as a kid, I never got motivated enough to sit down and make anything real.  Well, the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020 changed all that.  I literally turned my home office into a homemade mask production facility to sew fabric masks for charity. At last count (as of August 2020), I've sewn 183 masks for charity, family, and friends.  Over that time, I actually started to enjoy sewing, rather than seeing it as a necessary chore.  So that's it.  I've been bitten by the sewing and crafting bug like everybody else has. So now I am sewing cosplay and venturing into other crafts.


In the middle of the pandemic, my 30-year old sewing machine also broke down and I couldn't easily take it in to get serviced since everything was shut down.  This "forced" me to replace it with a new, upgraded, computerized model, the Singer Quantum Stylist 9960.  I chose it mainly because it was one of the few available that I could buy online for home delivery at the time. Since every other seamster on the planet was now making masks, sewing machines became the shortage you never heard about.  So far I really like it.  It's a mid-range machine that has a number of pre-programmed stitches and comes with a lot of useful extra zipper feet and accessories that will hopefully become handy as I do more cosplay and other crafts.  At some point, I will acquire something like a Cricut or Silhouette machine and a 3D Printer to help with constructing all the little details you need when constructing cosplay.
Quantum Stylist 9960

I expect that this will mostly be about my cosplay projects, but I'm finding that I need to take breaks now and then with little projects that don't involve cutting fabric, which is my least liked thing about sewing.  (I kind of actually hate measuring and cutting).  As I write this, I am working on finishing the shoes on a Buddy the Elf costume for Mr. Geek, and the trim and shoes for the accompanying Jovie the Elf, but keep getting sidetracked by other things.  Hopefully this blog will keep me motivated to stay focused and get things done.