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

My first “Then & Now” card features Optimus Prime and his Autobot symbol. The symbol came from a series that I had carved and planted in 2010, and pulled (uh oh!)┬áin 2011. The series didn’t get too many finders, and wasn’t rated very highly (go figure). The 2011 “now” image for this card is pretty good! As I write this, I’m actually very out of practice with my carving and I think I’d have a really hard time duplicating it now!

Then & Now: Trains (2010 - 2012)

Then & Now: Trains (2010 – 2012)

Trains (2010 -- 2013) [Back]

Trains (2010 – 2012) [Back]

Skip forward a couple years to see another drastic then & now difference. The trains featured (hidden?) on the back of the card are a series of stamps that I had carved to plant along the route of the former Old Veazie Railroad line. By the time I was ready to plant, I was already WAY too embarrassed to plant the stamps that I had carved and the series was shelved. Much, much later, I decided to implement the series, but carved all new images, like the one featured on the front of the card.

White Rabbit (2010 -- 2013)

White Rabbit (2010 — 2013)

Here’s another Then & Now card from 2013. The now stamp was carved in haste the night before the tracker was due to be sorted and returned (yeah, that happens sometime). The the then stamp was a stamp from an Alice and Wonderland series that we pulled earlier in the year. That series featured primarily images carved in the negative, and it was really showing its age. The now stamp is much more presentable and is just waiting to be planted.

So how have you improved as a carver? How have your card design skills improved? I’d love to see!


3 Thoughts on “Then & Now

  1. These are great. What a difference! Love your carve style.
    I have a series I would like to pull, because I can carve much better now, and it kind of embarrasses me, even though it was ranked highly. Question: pull and plant a totally different series? Or put new carves of similar things in each box? My reasoning is that I have very few finders per year, and most of the locals have found it. I’m running out of close by parks to plant in.

  2. I’d like to say my then and nows would be so wonderfully drastic, but I am afraid they would not be.

    • The wolf family on August 6, 2013 at 7:26 PM said:

      Every couple of years are carve a new set of angels and plant it in the same cemetery. People ‘boxing there can see the how my carving skills have changed over time since 2004. This year I should plant another but I’m not sure I could top it from 2011 anyway!

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