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Introduction and Question about Signature SWAG


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Hi all. I am new to the sport of Geocaching and live in the Greater New Orleans area. My mother had brought me an article MONTHS ago about geocaching, and I kindof shrugged it off. I mean, it sounded interesting, but I work full-time as a nurse and have a busy schedule, so just really didn't have time to look more into it. Well, oddly enough, the past few weeks I have been off of work because I have pneumonia, and ran across some geocaching iPhone apps while bored one day, and so lo and behold, installed one and took my kids with me out that afternoon to find 1 or 2. Now is that wierd that I am home with pneumonia yet out geocaching?? It's wierd. I am 31, so relatively young and healthy, so the pneumonia isn't really that bad, just lingering...forever and ever.... I feel fine physically, just have a very frequent, aweful hacking cough. So, as a nurse, it's not really ideal for me to be taking care of patients while hacking in their faces (more or less). Anyway, now, almost everyday, I pick up my kids from after school and drag their behinds all over the place hunting caches. They love it too, although they did ask me for a break one day :D.

 

Geocaching is PERFECT for me. I have always been the type to love nature and getting "off the beaten path." I would prefer to take a vacation out west where there is the most public land in the US then some city or something for shopping and all. I used to live out west and kind of ended up being "stuck" in New Orleans (ex-husband, kids, and co-custody). Anyway, New Orleans is so not my type of place (although I love the idea of New Orleans, but as far as natural and geographical interest, there really isn't much. Now, however, with geocaching, I am finding cool little spots I never knew about. And it is inspiring me to find cool spots of my own (for hiding purposes of course) not only near-by but further out.

 

So anyway, now that I just spilled all of that info, I have a general question or two.

 

1. Is there any way to change your user name on geocaching.com but keep your stats? My user name is a singular name, but since my kids are with me, I would rather change it to like a team name or something.

 

2. I am looking for a cool signature item to place as SWAG. I found my first large cache the other day and was FTF, so I found a little keychain dreamcatcher which I thought was awesome, and I am also going to lake little magnets, but I wanted some other ideas. It doesn't have to be horribly "signature", but just some ideas for cool, crafty SWAG you all have enjoyed finding before.

 

Thank you very much for your time and I look foward to being an active member here in the forums.

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I love NOLA, I wish my brother hadn't moved away. Welcome to the addiction, you can have all the FUN you want with this. And you are correct-it will show you hidden gems in your hometown you never knew existed, or even new ways to view well known city sights. It looks like Audubon Park has almost 100 caches in it again. Katrina wiped that spot clean.

 

For example-one of the all time favorite caches of anyone who has been there is View Carre. You have probably walked right past it without know it was there. :D

 

It's just a routine film can grab, but there is a cache at the entry to one of the quarter's more popular restaurants.

 

Did you know that original parts of the Eiffel Tower are located on St. Charles St.? Yup, there is a cache there too.

 

Regarding signature swag-most of the really cool stuff is handmade, or at least custom. I've seen magnets, woven thingies, wooden nickels, and countless other items. I'm not that creative, nor do I have the time. But I have been known to leave a smiley in a cache when I find one I really like and add a smiley to my count. It cracks me up when I see them in a cache I haven't found yet, I guess they get around sometimes.

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2. I am looking for a cool signature item to place as SWAG. I found my first large cache the other day and was FTF, so I found a little keychain dreamcatcher which I thought was awesome, and I am also going to lake little magnets, but I wanted some other ideas. It doesn't have to be horribly "signature", but just some ideas for cool, crafty SWAG you all have enjoyed finding before.

For a while I was putting copper pennies on the train track and picking them up after they were smashed. I put them in a small manila envelope on which was written "Genuine North Dakota Train Smashed Penny". They seemed very popular.

 

Other items were old English pennies which I put into coin folders. Just one but I printed out a little note for the back of the folder that said "A gift for someone who always has to add their two cents but only has half a brain." Fantastically popular. I received several requests for duplicate swag. Nearly everyone said "I know exactly who I am going to give this to."

 

The point being; you don't have to spend a lot of money on swag. A little creativity does help.

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Wooden nickles rot. I had to cito a few since they were black with mold and threatened the cleanliness of the cache.

 

Go with metal/plastic. I have a key that was someone's trademark that has his screename stamped in it. I found it in my first cache and put it on a chain, I swear it's lucky since when I wear it I tend to find geocaches I search for.

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We're from Houma, Louisiana and i did custom Geocaching Licenses. i did the design and then had them printed online. They're proving to be quite popular. Here's an image of the front and back:

 

geocachinglicensecopyri.jpg

 

I absolutely love this! Do you let others use it?? It's awesome! I want one :blink:

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I currently make some crude coins out of Sculpey clay. When you put it in the oven, it pretty much turns to plastic. It's cheap, easy to work with and there are a ton of possibilities. You can get the stuff from your nearest hobby story. I like handmade, if I can impart one of my horrid creations on someone, then my job is done. :)

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OK, so I been slowly refining my technique. Doesn't look nearly as bad as the last set. UGH.

 

I'm still perfecting my technique. But I have come a little further.

 

FRONT

scan0002.jpg

 

BACK

scan0003.jpg

 

It wasn't until AFTER I made a few of these, that I realized that my cookie cutter, WASN'T ACTUALLY ROUND!!

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2. I am looking for a cool signature item to place as SWAG. I found my first large cache the other day and was FTF, so I found a little keychain dreamcatcher which I thought was awesome, and I am also going to lake little magnets, but I wanted some other ideas. It doesn't have to be horribly "signature", but just some ideas for cool, crafty SWAG you all have enjoyed finding before.

 

Anything you come up with will be appreciated by sig item collectors like me. :D:D

 

I used to leave signed smiley mazes (cheap party favors, but cool as sig swag) and red tiger's eye as my signature as well as a magnet for ammo can caches and something that glows in the dark for night caches and night finds. It was a lot to carry around and hard to keep in supply so I bought a coin press.

 

These are the 2 cents I usually leave for a find, but I have 10 other designs for trade as well:

 

a7d06b96-6ea8-41b4-81a0-6ad02a515c49.jpg

840f47bd-f595-4214-b367-8fc1800f155b.jpg

 

This is what they all look like on the back, so all of my sig items are lucky: :D

563d0278-5231-4df8-bf62-d63eae89323d.jpg

 

For example-one of the all time favorite caches of anyone who has been there is View Carre. You have probably walked right past it without knowing it was there. :)

 

Do not miss that cache. It is one of the 2 most unique geocaching experiences I have had. Most folks that do it list it as their favorite.

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Here are a few things I have been working on. I decided to merge New Orleans with geo-caching.

 

I plan on putting a magnet on the back of this one.

 

4622262898_46fedfb1b3.jpg

 

This one I made with shrinky-dink and attached one to a TB.

4622262734_662b55e59b.jpg

 

And this one is a coin that I am playing with. I am just painting the same fleur-de-lis on it but in all black.

4621656311_b85d9a8001.jpg

 

All of these are works in progress obviously. The fluer de lis magnet I need to smooth out a bit, and the coin I am having trouble getting a good paint job. I think most of that is that I used a shimmer clay for the coin, where the fleur de lis magnet I used a regular fimo clay, and the paint seems a little better on it.

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Here are a few things I have been working on. I decided to merge New Orleans with geo-caching.

 

I plan on putting a magnet on the back of this one.

 

4622262898_46fedfb1b3.jpg

 

This one I made with shrinky-dink and attached one to a TB.

4622262734_662b55e59b.jpg

 

And this one is a coin that I am playing with. I am just painting the same fleur-de-lis on it but in all black.

4621656311_b85d9a8001.jpg

 

All of these are works in progress obviously. The fluer de lis magnet I need to smooth out a bit, and the coin I am having trouble getting a good paint job. I think most of that is that I used a shimmer clay for the coin, where the fleur de lis magnet I used a regular fimo clay, and the paint seems a little better on it.

 

All of those are way cool. :laughing:

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OK, so I been slowly refining my technique. Doesn't look nearly as bad as the last set. UGH.

 

I'm still perfecting my technique. But I have come a little further.

 

FRONT

scan0002.jpg

 

BACK

scan0003.jpg

 

It wasn't until AFTER I made a few of these, that I realized that my cookie cutter, WASN'T ACTUALLY ROUND!!

 

You need to save one of those for me. I'll hook you up with more of my coins.

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Heya. These are the coins my wife has made for us so far. We also have some T-shirts with the smiley face, and our cache name on the back, and the open source geocaching logo (the G looking one....) and our real name on the front. She tie dyed the shirts, and they came out awesome.

 

DSC03054.jpg

 

Later!

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OK, so I been slowly refining my technique. Doesn't look nearly as bad as the last set. UGH.

 

I'm still perfecting my technique. But I have come a little further.

 

FRONT

scan0002.jpg

 

BACK

scan0003.jpg

 

It wasn't until AFTER I made a few of these, that I realized that my cookie cutter, WASN'T ACTUALLY ROUND!!

 

You need to save one of those for me. I'll hook you up with more of my coins.

 

YOU GOT IT!!!!!!

Ohh, I forgot, I decided to go the cheaper route then looking into that coin press. $$$$OUCH!!!!

 

Heya. These are the coins my wife has made for us so far. We also have some T-shirts with the smiley face, and our cache name on the back, and the open source geocaching logo (the G looking one....) and our real name on the front. She tie dyed the shirts, and they came out awesome.

 

DSC03054.jpg

 

Later!

 

Sweet. Handmade stuff is the coolest.

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Heya. These are the coins my wife has made for us so far. We also have some T-shirts with the smiley face, and our cache name on the back, and the open source geocaching logo (the G looking one....) and our real name on the front. She tie dyed the shirts, and they came out awesome.

 

Later!

 

I love these! They are too cool!

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I am looking into a place to get custom poker chips, or keychains for a decent price, but in the meantime...I am an avid knitter, and that's what I'm doing when I'm not geocaching or sleeping.

I have been thinking about knitting up some small items such as small toys, fancy dishcloths, mittens etc and leaving them as swag. I wasn't sure how the reception would go over, but after reading this, I'm thinking it would go pretty good.

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these are realy cool, what have you used for the centre with your cache name on them, and how is it attached (any chance for it to drop off)

 

Thank you, The center circle is made with Shrinky Dink Ink jet printer paper. It is glued on with a small amount of Gorilla Glue. They don't seem to come off too easy. The Shrinky Dink holds up well, you just have to make sure you seal the whole thing with varnish or something. The ones displayed here are not varnished yet because it makes them have a shine that wouldn't play nice with my computer scanner. If you don't want them to have a shine, you can seal them with a Matte or other Non-Glossy varnish.

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The center circle is made with Shrinky Dink Ink jet printer paper

 

Do you mind if i adopt a smilar item for my swag ??

 

i have been using poker chips with a printed lable but they run at the first sign of water, these are way coller and personal.

 

I only have a few issues, here in the Uk i have not found anywhere that sells shrinky dink unless i pay extorsonate shipping across sea, but here is the simple answer that will save everyone money and help the enviroment, during my search i discovered this (taken from curbly and snipped a little):

 

1. Obtain a piece of #6 plastic (polystyrene). Most clear containers at salad bars, delis, and grocery stores will work. Just flip it over and look for a “6” inside the recycling arrows. If you ask nicely, they’ll usually give you a fresh one.

 

number6_large.jpg

 

2. Cut any excess plastic away to make a flat sheet (use both the top and the bottom), and recycle the excess.

 

3. Draw or write or print your desired image or text on your plastic canvas.

 

4. Pre-heat your oven to 350°, and place a rack in the lowest position. Create a “tray” out of the aluminum foil by bending up the sides. (you could cover a baking sheet with foil, but the thinner surface allows for more even heating and quicker shrinking.

 

5. Place your art in the oven on your "tray" for the first minute your art will curl up all crazy-like, but soon, it will flatten itself out. Total time for a large piece like below (5-6” starting size) will be about 3 1/2 minutes.

 

shrinkydink_large.jpg

The shrinky dink will shrink to about a third of its original size

 

the second issue i have is that the only Polymer clay i can find is FIMO which on feE-Bay is £2.00 for 56g ($2.85 for 1.9oz) then i have Postage on top of that.

 

but have found this alternative: cold-porcelain / Polymer Clay

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After spending money on crap at the dollar store I wanted something unique as well. I went with custom buttons which cost about $0.40 CDN. May seem expensive initial put cheaper in the long run I figure.The more you buy the cheaper they are. I bought little plastic bags and heat sealed them with a soldering iron to try to keep them from rusting if they overwinter under the snow.

 

They print anything.

Button is avitar with text around

Edited by ShySeamus
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2. I am looking for a cool signature item to place as SWAG. I found my first large cache the other day and was FTF, so I found a little keychain dreamcatcher which I thought was awesome, and I am also going to lake little magnets, but I wanted some other ideas. It doesn't have to be horribly "signature", but just some ideas for cool, crafty SWAG you all have enjoyed finding before.

 

Anything you come up with will be appreciated by sig item collectors like me. :D:D

 

I used to leave signed smiley mazes (cheap party favors, but cool as sig swag) and red tiger's eye as my signature as well as a magnet for ammo can caches and something that glows in the dark for night caches and night finds. It was a lot to carry around and hard to keep in supply so I bought a coin press.

 

These are the 2 cents I usually leave for a find, but I have 10 other designs for trade as well:

 

a7d06b96-6ea8-41b4-81a0-6ad02a515c49.jpg

840f47bd-f595-4214-b367-8fc1800f155b.jpg

 

This is what they all look like on the back, so all of my sig items are lucky: :)

563d0278-5231-4df8-bf62-d63eae89323d.jpg

 

For example-one of the all time favorite caches of anyone who has been there is View Carre. You have probably walked right past it without knowing it was there. ;)

 

Do not miss that cache. It is one of the 2 most unique geocaching experiences I have had. Most folks that do it list it as their favorite.

 

These are SO COOL! I wish I had the means to make some of these!

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I only have a few issues, here in the Uk i have not found anywhere that sells shrinky dink unless i pay extorsonate shipping across sea, but here is the simple answer that will save everyone money and help the enviroment, during my search i discovered this...

I can tell you that using containers as shrink plastic will work, however the shrink ratio isn't predictable, they sometimes just turn into a puddle of goo, and the images tend to be distorted. It will work though. Ya might want to ask a US cacher to swap something for some shrink plastic sheets. Something novel or that isn't available in the US. I once trading school/fountain pens (almost impossible to find here) for Sharpies (apparently the ultra fine are unavailable outside of the US in any colors other than red/blue/black.)

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I do some needlework and was wondering if people would like to find a bookmark or snowflake Christmas ornaments like these.

 

2116709700044812165baVfJN_th.jpg

 

I would say YES!

 

OMG! Yes! I would LOVE THAT! I'm a bookworm and always looking for a pretty bookmark. And who doesn't love a snowflake!

 

I'm a newbie and came to this thread for ideas....handmade/personal is the way to go. now I just need to think up something good.

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