Thursday, January 31, 2019

Think of summer

Yesterday and today are part of the coldest days in about a decade. Hopefully looking at this card from MomKat might take your mind off it. Summer is only about 5 months away :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019


Once upon a time postage for postcards was 1c (in 1898, and again between 1919 and 1952). And of course 1c stamps were needed for make up rates.

Jean sent me this bonus envelope. The calligraphy details are beautiful and perfect to go with this stamp. The writing is greener in person, the scanner darkened it a touch.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

10 days from Iowa

Jean's January exchange envelope took a leisurely 10 days to arrive. The vintage stamps from 1988 are very nice.

It also managed to confuse the machine cancel on the front... and on the back. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

26 days from Texas

This nicely written envelope from Holly took an unexpected 26 days to travel from Texas to Ohio. The writing is bright orange, which, if you're a regular reader of the blog, you know the scanner hates neon.

Here's a photo to compare.

And the perfect card inside, matching the cardinals that camp out in the backyard.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

W is for White...

...and Black?

Eva sent me this great pawn-shaped stamp. I am impressed with her careful removal of the stamp from its sheet. In reality the blue writing on the stamp does not show up in person, I think the camera revealed it. The first time I saw it I thought it was a sticker :) Fortunately Eva told me the stamp's secret.

The amazing part, and the link for today's letter, is that when heat is applied, the thermal ink changes the pawn's color to white, the color that traditionally starts the chess match.

Sent on the back of this postcard made from a beer carton, which spent a long time getting here (almost a month) with no evidence as to why.

For more W themes on stamps, wander through the links at Sunday Stamps.


Here is the full sheet of stamps, which I think is presented in a really nice way. And now I can see why there is still a little bit of black on the left edge of the stamp sent to me.


Don't forget that postage rates change today in the US.

First class machinable letters:

1 ounce - goes up 5c to 55c
2 ounce - goes down 1c to 70c
3 ounce - goes down 7c to 85c
3.5 ounce - goes down 13c to $1.00

First class non-machinable letters (square or odd-shaped)

1 ounce - goes down 1c to 70c
2 ounce - goes down 7c to 85c
3 ounce - goes down 13c to $1.00
3.5 ounce - goes down 19c to $1.15

First class domestic postcard - remains at 35c

International letters and postcards - remains at $1.15

Saturday, January 26, 2019


Carina sent this wonderful envelope and bits and pieces including one of her digital art pieces and some interesting artistamps created by Vizma B.

And look at this amazing guy on the stamp. He is a wooden pauper, which is a carved figure attached to a church wall. There is a slot in his chest for donating money to the poor. This one is found in Hauho, Finland. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

Against War

This came from Reiner L. If you look closely, those small fish are also made out of money.

It is a call for mail art on the theme 'Against War'. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Winter is here

Fascinating mail art from Thom C sent in fall last year where he wrote winter is coming. So psychic! And a great artistamp.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Inverse snowflakes

In from MomKat.

This was part of her New Year mail art. Love that Greece rubber stamp.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


I sent out envelopes 942 to 946 for the January PTEX a day before our first major snow (4 inches).

I decided to post them now, a few days after another major storm (6 inches).

Monday, January 21, 2019

Exchange envelope to Chuck

An envelope sent to Chuck for last year's PTEX June exchange. This is a made from a flier about a Mickalene Thomas exhibit. She is an accomplished artist, and one of her many talents is collage. (Link to her website if you're interested).

 Sorry about the weird scanner-added line.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

V is for Vatican City

Last year I was at the Vatican and sent a few postcards from there. I was highly amused by the instructions on how to send a postcard.

There are actually multiple offices. One inside the museum, and two in St Peters Square. One in the square is in a mobile trailer.

A few minutes after leaving the square I stopped and bought a postcard for a friend and the shop also sold stamps. Even though I was now back in Italy, I was given a Vatican City stamp, and I asked if it needed to go in a Vatican post box. The seller said no, just post it anywhere. I decided to walk back to St Peters Square rather than risk Italian post, because when Eva was there her postcards took a month to arrive at their destinations.

This stamp celebrates the 15th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. It is a lovely colorful stamp.

The Vatican mail box outside the other post office in the square.

For more V-themed postage, head over to Sunday Stamps.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019

Hester's dragons

Hester sent a green dragon in November...

...and an orange one in January, with extra dragon stamps on the side.

Great to see these guys in the mailbox - thanks!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

What is going on with the mail?

Hot on the heels of yesterday's blog post, these two envelopes, postmarked on Dec 28 and Dec 31, arrived on Jan 13! That is around 4 to 5 times as long as first class mail is supposed to take.

A nice collaged envelope from Carolyn in the PTEX December exchange. I like how the red from the poinsettia stamp is continued in the address and added pieces.

And a handmade envelope from Hester, with one of the Birds in Winter stamps that compliments the colors of the envelope. The bird is a  black-capped chickadee - although with the postmark he is more of a black-bodied chickadee. I was surprised to see this postmark (recycled from last year, I think) as the only one I've seen this festive season is the happy holidays slogan that you can see on Carolyn's envelope.

Hopefully a more normal postal service will resume soon. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Christmas snowflake

Just to confirm (if you hadn't figured it out on your own) that the postal systems of many countries were slow during the 2018 festive season, this Christmas art from Kat finally showed up a month and a day after it was sent from Greece.

Although it did arrive with perfect timing for the snowstorm we had over the weekend.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Spot the difference: Heleen's Halloween mail edition



How many differences can you spot? How many of them seem necessary to you for correct delivery of this envelope?

Monday, January 14, 2019

ATCs from William

William sent me these great artist trading cards in his familiar blue and red colored rubber-stamped images.

They came in this nice envelope - check out the fun space-themed wash tape.

And he also added some bonus back-of-the-envelope art.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

U is for Ultraviolet

This great stamp was issued to celebrate the International Fantasy Film Festival that happens in Sitges (Spain) every year. I believe 2018 was the 51st festival.

The interesting aspect of the stamp is that there is an additional image only visible under ultraviolet light.

I tried to get a decent picture of it under UV light - it was a little bit clearer to the naked eye, but the camera didn't get a great shot. It looks like a reddish person (a medieval knight, maybe?) holding a pennant.

Update: definitely not the knight idea - it is the classic cowled figure of death, scythe in hand. Thanks for the correction from Eva.

A cool idea, and I love the gorilla (King Kong, I assume) on the stamp. It accompanied this great card, which I appreciate being a fan of science fiction.

Enjoy more links to U-themed stamps over at Sunday Stamps.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

From Rachael with thanks

A while ago I hosted an MMSA swap where participants were invited to make hand made envelopes.

Lots of lovely envelopes were turned in for the swap. You can click to see part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6 and part 7.

As the host it is a lot of fun to sift through the packages that arrive - often the sender includes something extra for the host (like this envelope I sent to Eva). You can see the stunning envelope Rachael sent in here.

Less fun is when a swapper doesn't receive their expected package. The envelopes were mailed out in early November 2017, and by November 21 Rachael still hadn't received hers.

Fortunately the swappers had very generously sent me extra envelopes, plus of course I have my own stash, so I sent a replacement set off to Rachael which she received December 6th.

And of course after I sent a replacement set of envelopes, the original packet arrived, with 4c postage due on December 26th. I am always very careful to go to the post office and weigh the packets to make sure they have the correct postage, so this surprised me. At least it made it about 6 weeks after it was sent!

So Rachael was extremely nice and sent me a few things inside this great envelope. Not sure why the stamp didn't fare so well.


Amongst other things (that may or may not show up on the blog at some point), Rachael included some very nice vintage stamps inside this mini-envelope.

So thank you for the thank you goodies, Rachael!

Friday, January 11, 2019

From Russia with irises

Quite some time ago I participated in Eduard's mail art call on the subject of irises. He sent me a very nice pamphlet showing the documentation for it. You can still see the entries at the Mail Art Project "Irises" blog.

And it arrived in this great envelope with some huge triangular stamps. Even more impressive is that the envelope is made from newspaper, which travelled really well and did not get torn at all.