When I was in London earlier this year, I visited the post office (of course!). There I learned that the UK does not release many commemorative stamps. The only ones they had were these stamps featuring characters from children’s television.
I sent out a few Valentines (and did not manage to take a picture of them before hand, sorry!) and used some fun LOVE stamps from the past. But I can’t wait to get my hand on the new wax seal stamps that are now available from the USPS. They make me want to break out my wax and seals and get to writing! Click on the link to see the inspiration behind the image and learn a little history of letter writing and wax seals.
Remember how I disappeared for a while? Sorry about that. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m still always thinking about sharing mail-related ideas with you. To get me back in the groove, I thought I’d post a few random mail bits. And I promise to feature some fun stationery, pen and ink, and mail art acquisitions from New Orleans, Asheville, and NYC soon!
It’s that time of year when people send cards and packages and the humble mailbox has a better chance of holding something delightful for its owner. Every day from now until the new year, I will approach my mailbox with even more anticipation than usual. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Do you still send cards? Do you make them or buy them or send the now-ubiquitous photo “cards”?
A woman in Denver has started a Happy Mail campaign–encouraging people to send letters to connect to loved ones. Sound familiar? These campaigns pop up regularly. This woman created “Happy Mail” stickers to put on envelopes and alert the recipient that it’s something special. This started when she and her grandmother sent letters to each other and called it “happy mail.” I like it. Of course, you can decorate your envelopes with whatever you would like to alert folks to the fun awaiting inside. Make some mail art and make both yourself and your recipient happy!
In USPS news, I’ve been enjoying the daily unveiling of the 2013 stamps over at Beyond the Perf. It’s a nice treat each day. The history nerd in me loves the Emancipation Proclamation broadside stamp and the wax seal on the envelope is self-referential and would make me want to put wax seals on the envelopes I used them on even though I risk a fire every time I do them. I don’t think I’m doing them properly. But I digress. I can’t wait to see what else pops up in the 2013 lineup!
I hope you all are enjoying the chilly weather, sparkling lights, and omnipresent cookie platters, and of course mailboxes filled with happy mail!
A friend of mine recently showed me some of her grandfather’s stamp collection. He had some great First-Day Covers (FDCs) from the 1960s. Here are a couple of the beauties:
The interesting part about these FDCs is that they came through the mail with advertising letters in them! Check it out:
What a neat idea–a collectible first day cover that catches your eye entices you to open it up and read what’s inside. If advertising mailers today had the same flair, we might not call them junk mail!
Well, I’ve finally broken my stationery fast of 2012.
Well, to be truthful, I broke my fast just a teensy bit on February 29th. I felt a bit guilty, but it was a postal emergency! I realized in the middle of the day that it would be fun to send Leap Day-cancelled letters to my parents, my sister and myself. But I was out running errands and didn’t have any of my stationery stash with me. Knowing I couldn’t get home, write notes, and get back to the post office by the end of the day, I stopped by the post office to see what they had on hand. I found this lovely bonsai card set–10 cards, 10 envelopes and 10 matching stamps!:
The set is available here at The Postal Store or in your local P.O. if they carry them.
Preston at the counter agreed to hand cancel the cards, so I sat in the post office and wrote out three. Preston gave them a beautiful cancel:
But I really broke my stationery fast on my most recent trip to Nest Paper Studio in Oxford, MS. I just had to have these two snail-themed card sets.
This first one is from Lark Press. Look at that lovely snail!
I also picked up this Greek-inspired snail design from Sharp & Sally.
How cute! I know the term “snail mail” isn’t exactly appreciated by the USPS, but I just love these snail designs. It seems the stationery world is “embracing the snail” of handwritten correspondence and recognizing it isn’t a derogatory term. It’s more a part of the slow movement–good things come to those who wait and savor!
I just bought some more stamps featuring the artwork of Romare Bearden. I blew through my last set because they look so great on all sorts of envelopes! Romare Bearden was born in Charlotte, North Carolina so I became aware of these stamps through a local artists’ magazine and was thrilled with the color and design of the stamps featuring four of Bearden’s works. Bearden’s collage work is really amazing and worth exploring in larger size! Learn more about the pieces featured on the stamps, here.
I also can’t wait to get my hands on the cherry blossom stamps–but my local P.O. was out during my last two visits! Fingers crossed they get more soon. They seem to announce the arrival of spring. Check them out:
If my post office doesn’t get them soon, I can always order them at The Postal Store (and so can you). The Postal Store of the USPS also has a lovely letter-pressed notecard set featuring the cherry blossom design as well…
I also have some vintage stamps featuring flowers and bunnies I’m going to use on mail for the next few weeks. What are you using to decorate your spring mail?
I wrote my love letter this morning. I’m not sure if I followed all the “rules” but I’m pleased with the result. If you need a little help getting started, go here. And even if you didn’t get valentines into the mail, it’s never too late to send some love via post–using the new Love ribbon stamps! They’re so beautiful!
Plans tonight for cheese and chocolate fondue with friends. Yum! I hope your day is filled with love and friendship, too.
P.S. Be sure to check out Google’s valentine Doodle today!
If you haven’t previewed what postage stamps are coming for 2012, go check out Beyond the Perf’s list. I have already added reminders to my calendar for the whole year so I won’t miss all the ones I love. My birthday is at the end of January and I’m going to treat myself with the year of the dragon (my Chinese sign) and bonsai ones out by then.
The one nice thing about my stamp obsession is that it makes me write more letters and cards just so I can use them!
I often find that looking through old letters from friends and loved ones helps me remember bits of the past that slip my mind. A school project in Massachusetts is using letters in a different way to remember the 11 million victims of the Holocaust. Foxborough Regional Charter Schools is three years into an effort to collect a cancelled stamp representing each Jew, gypsy, homosexual or other “different” person slain during Hitler’s reign.
To date, they have over 300,000 stamps, but that is only a small fraction of what they’ll need to meet their goal! This project will help students understand the horrific magnitude of the Holocaust and, in the process of perusing and counting each cancelled stamp, help them learn a bit more about the world we live in.
If you’d like to help these students reach their goal, they ask that you send trimmed, cancelled stamps to the address below. If you can note how many stamps are in your package, that also helps.
Holocaust Stamp Project Foxborough Regional Charter School 131 Central Street, Foxboro, MA 02035
As you put together your own package of stamps, take a moment to reflect on the lives they represent–lives that were thrown away like garbage because of bigotry and hate. Never forget.
Thanks to Lucas Writes for sharing this wonderful project on his blog.