Sometimes you join a swap that doesn’t require any fancy embellishments, and sometimes you just can’t figure out how to embellish a card that has a large or complex stamp image. The oversized (folded) cards in this post are not pretty — they’re all about the carve.

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One of my favorite things about collecting LTCs is seeing how the abilities and creativity of the LTC creators have changed over time. One of the most immediate ways that you can see this is by taking part in a “Then & Now” swap. In these swaps, participants have to make a card featuring two related/similar stamps carved at different periods in time.

Carving: Then & Now

Carving: Then & Now

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Many of my early carves and cards were based on the series of OZ graphic novels written by Eric Shanower and featuring fantastic illustrations by Scottie Young. Shanower’s adaptations are true to the original Baum books, without the creepiness factor of the movie adaptation of the Wizard of Oz.

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LTC CLUE is a fun online game where LTC designers create a set of cards to represent weapon, victim, and location (usually). Around the time of the actual swap, a game is played virtually using AQ Mail, which runs with similar rules to the board game. Each contestant can make a guess that involves a victim, location, and a weapon. If the recipient of the guess knows that one or more of them are not involved, they will respond with information about one of them, and the asker can cross it off of their suspect list. Through the process of elimination, the detectives can determine which victim, weapon, and location were involved in the crime.

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One of my favorite LTC swaps that I periodically host is  Surprise! In order to take part in the swap, the participants must carve a new stamp and then gift the stamp to someone else as a surprise. The following cards feature some of the stamps that I’ve gifted to other boxers in the past.

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Summer Puzzler is a puzzle series. No, it’s not difficult to figure out, you just had to put together a puzzle in order to see the clue! Bags of pieces were distributed to the various camp sites at the Acres of Boxing event, collected by the little boxers, and then assembled by torchlight by the adults.

Summer Puzzler Clue

Summer Puzzler Clue