Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2012 Stamp Preview: Day 30

How do you like these stamps?? Aren't they too cool? I thought so. Anyway, the weather vanes featured are from a museums collection in Vermont. Did you know that weather vanes have been used since Roman times? I certainly did not..but found out with a little research. =) The photographs used for these stamps were taken by Sally Andersen-Bruce.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 29

How about some flags on day 29? Now I have to admit..most of our flag stamps are far to boring for me to send on letters. I am not sure why...that is just how I see it. (Though I would happily use them on my soldier letters). With that being said..I do enjoy these ones because they seem more involved than the others. Maybe its the words...maybe it is just because they are new? Who knows..(and really who cares)..the point is I like them.

For those who do not know..our flag has 13 stripes representing the 13 original colonies, and 50 stars representing our 50 states.

The illustrator of this stamp is the late Arnold Holeywell.

Monday, August 29, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 28

Day 28 brings us the newest Civil War stamps. The series started this year in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Two stamps are said to be released each year until 2015. Which will be the 150th anniversary of the ending of the Civil War.

The stamps above are the Battle of New Orleans and the Battle of Antietam. The first stamp was based off of an 1862 color lithograph. And the second is a reproduction of a painting from 1887.

These stamps are really neat. I already have mine from this year to save. =)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bedford Reservation

I am not sure about you but I am getting a lil tired of reading about stamps. Now..don't get me wrong, I love stamps. I enjoy seeing the new ones that are being published next year, but sometimes it is nice to kick back and write about something else.

So I thought I would tell you about a short hiking trip Brad and I took last week. We went to a place called the Bedford Reservation, which is part of the Cleveland Metroparks AND the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We had never been before and they have a we figured why not?

Starting off we hiking a short path called the Hemlock Loop. It basically follows the flood plain of the creek that runs through the reservation.

These two trees were the object of much picture taking. And while we were was a nice stretch to skip some rocks. We even had a competition going to see who could skip one across the creek and have it bounce back at least once.

Then we found that little guy hiding in a shallow pool. I haven't seen one in years!

And we will finish up with these tree roots holding on to some rocks. Such a neat site indeed!

Oh and incase you were wondering...the falls were barely trickling and definitely not worthy of pictures. =|

Hope everyone had a good weekend! I also hope that anyone in the way of Hurricane Irene is doing well!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 27

How do you like these shirts?? This set of stamps is totally awesome! I have always loved Aloha Shirts..though I can only recall wearing one on few occasions.

It is said the first Aloha shirt was created in 1930 by a chinese shop owner named Ellery Chun. He simply sewed shirts for tourists out of the Kimono fabrics he had in the back of the store. And little did he know that would start a fashion trend.

These stamps were created using photos taken by Ric Noyle.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 26

The third stamp in the Baseball All-Stars series is Willie Stargell. He took the Pittsburgh Pirates to the World Series and won in 1979. And his nickname was "Pops"...what could be better than that? (Sidenote...I knew a Pops in college. He was a really great guy who played trumpet with a swing band. Totally Awesome!!)

Kadir Nelson is the artist of this and all the other All-Star stamps.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Taking A Break For A Day

The Stamp Preview is on hold for today because they are celebrating the release of the stamp picture above. That stamp is now available for purchase. Pretty neat huh?

And while they are taking a break...I think I will too. Afterall...tomorrow is my birthday. =)

See, everyone tomorrow for the next stamp preview.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 25

In 2012 we will celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812. This is a lovely stamp...but all I can think of is the trivia question (probably from trivial pursuits genius edition of 1964....ask about it sometime) How long did the War of 1812 last? The answer is two and a half years. I am not sure why that has stuck with me all this time...but least I can remember some things right?

The stamp is of the USS Constitution. I had the pleasure of touring the Constitution the last time I was visiting my brother in Boston. I am thinking that perhaps I need to schedule my next trip around the time the stamp releases...what do you think? On a slight aside, if you have never toured the is pretty tight security. They check IDs and stamp you hand. They even check your bags before getting on the ship.

One of the most important things to note about the War of 1812 is that Francis Scott Key actually penned the Star Spangled Banner during they war. Hows that for more trivia for you? (Ok..I admit it..I didn't make that connection until I read it on Beyond the Perf.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 24

It's day 24 of the Stamp Preview and we are at the final Great Film Director stamp in the series. This stamp is honoring Mr. Billy Wilder. Probably the most well known movie that was directed by him was Some Like It Hot starring Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon.

This stamp was illustrated by Gary Kelly.

**Stay tuned later this week..not only will there be more stamp previews..but also a hiking adventure to talk about. =)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sandbook: The Magazine Issue 10

I was contacted by Raia a month or so ago and asked if I would be interested in partnering with the magazine. I had looked through the magazine a few times before, but never thought about being a guest writer. We decided that for my part in the magazine Raia would pick a few things from the blog to republish.

She selected to do an article about the stamp previews and then republish one of my fun mail posts. They turned out awesome! So I think that you should definitely check out Sandbook.

OH! And these other bloggers are in this issue as well:

-Missive Maven
-Penpal Project
-Its a Penpal World
-Send More Mail
-Bywater Wisdom

**That list was compiled by the Missive Maven. You should certainly take a look at the article she wrote for the magazine. =)

Friday, August 19, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 23

I LOVE THESE STAMPS! that I got that out of the way. I enjoy the Disney themed stamps. They are just so...colorful. They also bring back good memories of watching the movies. This set is a contiunation of the set of Send A Hello stamps that were released today. You can see those stamps here.

The Send a Smile stamps feature beloved characters from five Disney/Pixar movies: A Bug’s Life (1998), Toy Story 2 (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), and The Incredibles (2004).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 22

Larry Doby was the first African American to play in the American League. He joined the Cleveland Indians in 1947. And to top that off...he was a 7 time all star.

He makes a great addition to the Baseball All-Stars series that were illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 21

Here on day 21 we have the final set of 5 stamps from the Earthscapes stamps. This series has been a blast to look at...and I cannot wait to use these!! My favorite stamp in this set is probably the Railroad Round House. (Even if it does remind me of Thomas the Tank...)

Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 20

John Huston is the next stamp preview from the Great Film Directors series of 2012. The picture behind his portrait is from one of his most popular movies, The Maltese Falcon.

I am not sure why, but I really like this stamp. (Even though...I have never seen the Maltese Falcon...shame on me!)

The illustrator was Gary Kelley.

Monday, August 15, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 19

Day 19 leads me to thinking....have I really written 18 of these already?? Well, how about number 19. Today's stamp features the artwork of William H. Johnson. He is one of the most well known African American artists.

He was known for the bold colors and a primitive/abstracted style. The painting shown above is titled Flowers and was painted between 1939-1940. Sadly, he passed away in 1970, but donated all of his works to the Smithsonian.

**I have a side-note to add. I wrote to Cap Pannell, who if you recall was the artist of the O. Henry stamp. I wrote to tell him that I liked the illustration and that I thought it would make an awesome stamp. I received a letter back thanking me for my thoughts. Awesome huh? I will post pictures of it soon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lake Swimming..

Now, to be fair this adventure took place on Thursday of this past week. But because the stamp previews take up the posts for the week...I decided that I would wait and post this today.

My nephews were over on Thursday. Now, most of you know of Mr. Carter, but his brother Christopher was over as well. (Christopher lives in Pittsburgh with his mother). Carter has been bugging me for weeks to take him on a walk to the lake. So, I decided that Thursday would be the day. I was off work, and there was the added benefit of spending time with Christopher as well.

Once we got to the lake we took our shoes off to put them in the water. Then the boys decided to attempt to catch the minnows that were in the shallows.

Christopher (whose hair is actually more reddish brown naturally) was much more into catching the fish than Carter. He was a little freaked out that they were going to eat him.

After much convincing (and a walk back home) we decided to go swimming. Needless to say, they had a blast!! It was fun, though a bit rocky at first because I did not have a life vest or floaties for Carter to wear. But he was such a good sport about staying where he could touch. So while they were swimming and playing...

I took some pictures of the many dragonflies that were around. I even caught a few in a private act, but I thought this was too cute not to post.

Overall it was a lovely way to spend the day. Though I created a monster because now all I hear from Carter is.."when are we going swimming again?"

Friday, August 12, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 18

BONSAI!! Sorry, I couldn't help myself. Day 18 reveals 5 bonsai stamps. The stamps show the most common trees used for bonsai. These include: Sierra Juniper, Trident Maple, Black Pine, Azalea, and Banyan trees.

Bonsai is basically the Japanese art of carefully pruning trees to stunt their growth. The trees are usually planted in trays or some other small containers. They can be started from seed (which is amazing to me) or use a small sapling. And they not only prune the limbs, but they also prune the roots of the tree. From everything I have is definitely an artform.

You can see more pictures of Bonsai trees from the National Arboretum.

I love these stamps..then again I love anything natural.They were illustrated by John D. Dawson. What do you think of them?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 17

10 lovely stamps grace day number 17. This is the 6th installment of the Flags of our Nation series. They are lovely stamps, and I will definitely be buying them all. You can read more about each individual stamp here.

The series was illustrated by Tom Engeman. He has illustrated many stamps, the most notable one was the original Liberty Bell Forever stamp.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Birthday Giveaway!

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2011-08-11 00:00:36 UTC

That is what the Random Org spit out. Which means Bev you are the winner!! YAY!

You know how long it took for one of the numbers you guys selected to be picked?? was about 10 minutes of it randomly selecting the number on either side of numbers you had picked. So needless to say, next time I will do it a bit differently. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Bev- No need to email me with your address. I have it already. I will send out the journal within the next few days. =)

2012 Stamp Program: Day 16

Here we are at day 16 and the second film director to be featured in 2012. Frank Capra is probably best known for Mr. Smith Goes To Washington or Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. Though the stamp actually features a scene from It Happened One Night.

I have seen both of the first movies, but not that last one. Something I should check out. =)

This stamp was illustrated by Gary Kelley. A beautiful use of pastel on paper.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2012 Stamp Program: Day 15

Day 15 brings us to the second set of Earthscapes stamps. This set is specifically agricultural stamps. My personal favorite of these stamps is the last one, which is a cranberry bog. I just love the colors.

These will look amazing on envelopes!!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Not bragging, but someone likes me enough to bring me a green tea smoothie from the pulp midday!

Also, there are only two more days to enter the birthday giveaway!

2012 Stamp Program: Day 14

Day 14 brings us the first in a series of four stamps commemorating Major League Baseball All-Stars. This stamp is obviously of Joe DiMaggio (1914-1999). DiMaggio was also known by two well known nicknames, Joltin' Joe and The Yankee Clipper. He was a 3 time MVP (Most Valuable Player) and 13 time all-star. He is also known for being the only player who was selected for the all-star game every season he played. And as if that wasn't enough...he took the Yankees to 9 World Series wins!

Basically, DiMaggio was one heck of a ball player. And in my opinion he deserves to be commemorated on a postage stamp.

This stamp (and the others in this series yet to be released) was illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Envelope Tutorial

This morning I was looking around at some blogs. Specifically the ones of those who have chosen to follow mine. (Partially because I like to share the love..but mostly because you all have such awesome blogs!)

While perusing the blog of a new reader (Kate!) I saw a post about making your own envies. She said she had been watching some videos online, but any helpful tips were appreciated. Now, I did what any person would do...I watched a few of the videos that came up when I searched it in google. My goodness..some were WAY complicated for my taste. And thus I decided to post a tutorial (for anyone interested) on how I make my own envelopes (when I am not being lazy...).

Gather your supplies!
For this project you will need. An envelope (or envelopes) that you wish to replicate the size of. A pen, glue stick (or doubleside tape), and a pair of scissors. You may also use an exacto knife and mat instead of scissors.
You also will need to gather the materials you wish to use to make your envelope. Such as an old map, magazine pages, or even scrapbooking paper. You just want to make sure the material you use will hold up to the travel.
Next carefully unfold your envelopes. Most that I have worked with in the past have come apart really easily if you just work gently. These unfolded envelopes will be used as a template to make a new (more fun) envelope.
Now keep in mind, the main area on the envelope will be the front. This means that if you want a specific design element on the need to lay that section overtop. (The Ohio stamp envelope is just to show you that the design should lay across the front section where the address will go.)
I have decided that I want the front part of this new envelope to include the word Egypt from my old map.
So place the envelope over the portion of the paper/map/etc that you want to see on the front of the envelope.
Next you want to take a pencil or pen and trace around the envelope.
After tracing it, cut the envelope out.
Now you need to fold the envelope up. Use a ruler, or eyeball it like I do, to create a line from each pink arrow to the next and fold along those lines. If you are unsure, look back at your template.
Fold those flaps back to reveal the envelope with the design (in my case Egypt) facing the front.
Flip the envelope over. Unfold the top and bottom flaps, leaving the side flaps folded to the middle. Then run a glue stick (or tape) along the edge of the bottom flap.
Make sure not to run glue or tape all the way along that bottom piece where the pink arrow is pointing. If you do, the back of the envelope may stick in the inside.
Now fold your bottom flap up and press it firmly against the side flaps. Then flip it over and it is ready for an address and stamp.

Pretty simple huh? That is basically how I make all of my own envelopes. I was never good at math and really don't want to bother measuring too much when making my own envelopes. Mail should be fun...not like homework!

Everyone should definitely take a look at Kate's blog. She started a project with her sister Sara in the hopes of achieving some really great goals. They would like to receive 365 letters in 365 days. Its a pretty big goal (and they have some side goals too) but I think they can totally manage. All they need is a few people to start writing to them and they will reach their goal in no time. SO...if you have a chance..stop by to their blog and lend them a hand. =)