I'm guest blogging over at positively postal this week (link lower down in the right hand column). Today is a joint blog, in that I used the back of a cereal box to create two odd-shaped pieces to send naked in the mail. This one is to the Artist in Seine.
And I thought you'd like to see how I fit the stamps, address and message on the back.
The printer decided to get in on the action and do some Tucker alterations. This envelope is one I made when sending the Tucker stamps to Tucker FC HQ, but a couple of the Tuckers on the end were altered.
Today's Sunday Stamps theme is lighthouses - a popular subjects for stamps, and certainly the US with its extensive coastline, including the Great Lakes which have lighthouses too, has plenty to choose from.
The last set issued in the US featured five New England coastal lighthouses. Above is the commemorative panel from USPS, which is still available at their online store. The strips and sheets of stamps are no longer available, however there is a nice write up here. The stamps are also sold accompanying a set of notecards featuring the lighthouses. I have sent a few of these stamps, and received at least one - this one is in a creative setting. And it also has the light-related energy-saving finger turing off the light switch on the machined cancellation. Many people noted that this frank looked more than little weird/creepy/odd.
The other stamp I want to highlight today was sent to me from Morocco by Eva.
This stamp celebrates the Cape Spartal lighthouse, which turns 150 this year. It is located on the southwest approach to the Straits of Gibraltar, and was built on request of the King of Morocco following a shipwreck where many sailors lost their lives. And bonus - I received this nautically-themed envelope from Hester this week featuring a set of 4 stamps from 1972 celebrating Cape Hatteras National Seashore, a national park stretching along 70 miles of the coast of the Outer Banks. The top right stamp features the distinctive black and white lighthouse. The current lighthouse is the second to have been built on the Cape. In 1999, due to encroachment of the ocean and erosion, the entire lighthouse was moved 2900 feet (880 m) inland. The lighthouses of North Carolina all have their own distinctive black and white design - this one's 'barber pole' design seems to be one of the most famous.
Here is part 1 of the envelopes that I received in the exchange. Soft dark grey was a mini theme for this exchange. The envelopes look so much warmer in real life than they do on scans. From Chuck - I still marvel at all those hand-drawn lines. And I'm enjoying the splash of red to compliment the black and grey.
A bonus one from Jan - this time with an older style airmail stamp for color.
Hester sent me a bonus envelope. This is the reverse of a wall paper sample. Very cool, and I really like the unusual printed instructions/codes. It is also fun to see the pattern on the inside.
I do like the variety of US stamps, and there are some great designs, but I think that overall Royal Mail has, on average, the best commemorative stamps (Royal Mail calls them Special Stamps now) in the world. Just look at these incredible Bees of Britain stamps that were issued today. I can only imagine what Jean or Smash could do to accompany these beauties. The flowers the bees are collecting pollen or nectar from are also lovely and unusual - from top to bottom and left to right they are: Field Scabious, Bird's-foot Trefoil, Wild Carrot, Bilberry, Horseshoe Vetch, and Ground Ivy.
Royal Mail is also issuing this mini sheet that highlights honeybee behavior - also a fantastic set. I knew nothing about the 'waggle dance' of communication before seeing these.
Eva sent me this great piece of mail art encased in a plastic CD cover (I think). And there's Spain's Europa stamp for 2015. Update - the stamp has the smell of pine trees. At first I didn't smell it, then after touching the stamp the scent was strong - like a pine air freshener.
When I had the mini 'ink blot' challenge it made me think of real inkblots. I used up the rest of my watercolor postcards (good) but purchased blue ink (bad) to make them. I kept a terrible record of who they were sent to, as well as of how many there were. Here's a sampling.
The reason I know this, is because she collaged it into a face.
The card arrived in a Greek Summer Time envelope, complete with a great stamp - it must be summertime if you're bathing naked in a stream! Although this stamp, issued in February this year, depicts Thermal Springs, so maybe it would work all year round.
Accompanied by one of Kat's owls, and an artistamp in her signature blue.