Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Melty Mailbox...

This picture was taken in Oklahoma and featured on CNN. How crazy is that??

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Father's Day Giveaway at Jet Pens!

Hey everyone! I know how much you all like giveaways so I thought I would share about this one I found on the Jet Pens Blog.

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and you will be entered into their contest to win a Retro 51 pen! Neat huh? I hope you take a second to enter.

Mail Art Call: Beam Camp

Hey all! I was reading through my favorite blogs ( I had some...340 posts to catch up on...) and found one that I thought I would share for those of you who had not heard. And rather than write up my own post I am going to post directly from the Good Mail Day Blog. (Why rewrite when the post was well written to begin with?)

Hello mail friends,
Pardon the email rather than real-mail, but I wanted to get the word out in a timely fashion for a time-sensitive mail art request.

As some of you may know, I’m teaching mail art and make-your-own-superhero activities for a week this summer at BEAM, a rad sleep-away camp in New Hampshire. As I’m expecting that most of the kids (ages 7-17) will not be familiar with mail art, I wanted to have a few cool examples sent to the camp’s activities coordinator in advance of my arrival so the kids can see a) what is possible for this medium and b) that these weird-looking things really DO make it to their destination through the mail.

As far as activities with the kids, I’m going to start them off with postcards and letters, and then progress to the delicate mailing of pinecones and other found woodland objects. If you are willing/able to help, I’d love for you to create a piece of fun/exciting mail to send directly to the camp.

I don’t want to rein you in too much, so while I don’t have specific requests for types of mail, I am envisioning these as examples to show things like postcards larger than normal postcards, using vintage stamps as postage, mailing something in a strange shape, mailing something very heavily decorated, mailing an object, etc.

A few things to keep in mind about this mail art:
- Needs to be age-appropriate for kids as young as 7 (no swears! no nudes!)
- Needs to be something that won’t melt/spoil in summer heat
- No food/candy items, per camp rules
- Mail art should be sent to:

Beam Camp
attn: Ayun Halliday/mail art domain
55 Boy Scout Road
Strafford, NH 03884

I will be arriving at the camp on Saturday, August 4th and the kids get to select their week activities the following day. It would be awesome if you could send your piece of mail art to the camp so it will arrive between July 30 and August 3rd. Ayun is the lady in charge of mail at the camp, and she knows I’m making this request, so if it’s a little early it shouldn’t be a problem!
Questions? Concerns? Please do get in touch!  marissa AT

I have decided that I will mail a frisbee or a rubber duck. :)  Won't you create something to send? 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Memorial Day Giveaway Results

So...Memorial Day was like...forever ago! I didn't fall off the face of the earth, but I have been pretty busy with other things. At any rate, I decided that due to my procrastination there would be FOUR winners instead of just two. =)

The winners were chosen by random number selection...
Which means the winners are:

Syocom with a guess of 62
Caddi with a guess of 24
Melissa with a guess of 8
Anna with a guess of 57

Congrats winners. I have replied to the original comments you left on the blog to email me your addresses so I can get the pins sent. Remember sending them internationally will take a little longer, but I hope to have them all mailed as soon as I get everyone's addresses. =)

Thanks to everyone for entering and being patient for the results. If anyone has noticed...the blog now has 151 followers and that means we need to have another giveaway!! Stay tuned for that one. I am still clearing out my stash of stuff, but once I am will have the opportunity to win a medium sized box filled with goodies.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Memorial Day Giveaway you can probably tell by the title its time for another giveaway. I spent the last few days attempting to organize my supplies in an effort to make answering mail easier. In doing so I found a few stamp pins I had been saving for a rainy day. So here's the deal. Leave a comment between now and midnight EST on the blog about your favorite memorial day memory or what you plan on doing this memorial day. Also be sure to leave a number so I have some way of selecting a winner. There will be TWO winners this time. Each will win a lovely USPS Stamp pin that looks like this:
You know you want to enter! Oh and be sure to tell your friends...there just might be a bigger giveaway happening when this blog hits 150 followers. =)  (think...lots of stuff the Pen-thief doesn't really need anymore.)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Postal Plea!

Ok folks. Many of you must have realized by now that keeping up with the blog and my mail is becoming such a chore. I suspect that I am just slightly burnt out, but also the weather is soooo much nicer than normal for this time of year. I mean...I have been wearing shorts and tank tops for what seems like months already!

At any rate, I am making a postal plea. For the time about we just correspond by postcard instead of letter? Or for those who rather send a letter, please know that if I respond by postcard, its not me trying to snub you but rather me trying to send timely responses and not fall as far behind. Ok?

Also, I think I have an interesting post or two in store for the near future. I may post one of these beauties on Wednesday. I have been saving it all winter because photographing it will require open space..and where better than the outdoors? Until then, please know I haven't forgotten any of yor..and mail is still slowly trickling out to you.

Thanks for your patience and for reading my little corner of the internet. =)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mailbox Improvement Week 2012

Yesterday started National Dog Bite Prevention Week and also Mailbox Improvement Week. Each year the third full week in May is a week designated to making mailboxes (especially those on rural or city driven routes) look nicer, but also help our letter carriers access and use them easier.

If you live in an area like me, you are prone to getting snow..which means plows come and obliterate the mailbox once a season. Luckily, this years snows weren't too bad and the mailbox made by step 2 held up nicely. In my area I see lots of rusty mailboxes and wonder why people do not take more pride in them. Well, perhaps they aren't as loving of the mail as I am..but it still makes me sad. If I were a mail carrier I would rather have a nicer neater box to deliver to as opposed to a rusty hard to open (or shut) mailbox. And I am thinking that was the motivation behind this national week of improvement.

So, I urge you to clean up your mailbox or replace it if it need be. Think of all the hard work the USPS does for us..the least we can do is make their job a little easier. Here are the five points the USPS is hoping to accomplish:

Mailboxes should be:
1. Approved by the postmaster general.
2. Designed to protect the mail from weather.
3. Safe to use.
4. Conveniently located.
5. Neat in appearance.

Does your mailbox meet those standards? If not, are you going to try and make it better?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

National Dog Bite Prevention Week 2012

Did you know that there is a national week to honor dog bite prevention? Well, as the title of this post suggests, there is! So, I thought I would attempt to find some statistics on dog bites for you.

In 2009 it was reported that 2,863 postal employees were victims to dog attacks. And while that doesn't seem like too many...that equals almost 9 a day for each day of mail delivery. A number that I think is far too high. What's worse is that the number has increased to over 5,600 in the last year!

Now I am sure that some of the incidents that occur are with stray dogs, however, that still can't account for all of the incidents. So why are so many people leaving their pets where they can harass our delivery folks? (I say delivery, because lets face it..the USPS is only one of the entities that deliver to our homes. What about UPS and FedEX drivers? They probably have the same problem.

So on this first day of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, remember to keep your pets safe and away from areas where delivery drivers will be stopping. This will make everything work much smoother. =)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Armed Forces Day

Tomorrow is Armed Forces Day. I would have waited to post this until then, however there are so many things for May 19th this year..that I decided to space them out. Armed Forces Day is always the third Saturday in May each year. It is a day to recognize the sacrifice the men and women of ALL our armed forces have made. Prior to 1949 there were separate holidays for each branch of the military service. In August of '49 Harry S Truman combined those separate days into one holiday called Armed Forces Day. We have been celebrating it every since.

So tomorrow remember to show your appreciation for the members of the Armed Forces. Proudly fly your American Flag and your POW Flag if you own one. Personally I will be thanking those men and women I know who bravely served our country in peacetime and while at war.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the lovely mothers who take the time to stop by this blog. I know from personal experience that I do not always show my appreciation to my mom throughout the year. That is something I would very much like to change. My mother and I are like the best of friends and I can truly tell her anything. Without her, I wouldn't be the amazingly talented (ok ok...and humble too) Pen-Thief that I am today.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish each and every one of you a wonderful day. I hope you get pampered and treated like queens! I also apologize for not sending out Mother's Day cards to more of you! Shame on me. How could I miss an opportunity like this? Oh well, I will remember next year!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

No Olympic Stamp?

The Summer Olympic games will be held in London this year. Anyone who MUST send me a postcard! really don't have to, but it would be nice. *wink* Anyway, the games arent set to start until mid-summer however, it is becoming noticable that there will not be a USPS olympic stamp release this year.

Some say it is because of a licensing issue. Linn Stamp News reported that the USPS showed reporters some stamp mock ups last year, with the five-ring logo curiously missing. But they also reported that there will be no stamp issued for the Olympics this year by the United States. This will be the first Olympic Games since the 1980 summer games in Moscow that the USPS doesn't have a stamp. (Before anyone bites my head off..there were stamps released for the Moscow games, but once the US decided to boycott the games the stamps were reportedly pulled from circulation and destroyed. I couldn't find any real info about that other than the Scott Stamp Catalogue doesn't have them marked very highly in value..which means there must be a ton in circulation.)

Either way this has me bummed. I personally love the Olympic Games! And being this is the first games since I really got into collected stamps and mailing letters, I was disappointed to learn there would be no stamps to commemorate the event. Such a shame.

What do you think about this? Do you care? What's your take on the issue?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Melvin the Mini Machine

So I was putzing around on CNN last night and I found this really neat article. Little did I know it would actually have something relevant to this blog in it! Check out the video that was part of the article..and then if you the article here.

Neat huh? Ever thought of making a machine like that?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Owl Post

Two of my coworkers just came back from Universal Studios in Florida and they made a stop at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Guess what they sent me???
A postcard!! The best part is actually on the backside.
A Hogsmead Owl Postmark. =)  It may have made my day. I still would like to visit the park someday, but this may be enough to tide me over for a while.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Friendly Reminder

You did know that it is technically against the law to reuse an uncanceled stamp right? Well, if you didn't you do now. Plus why not just support the USPS and buy a fresh stamp?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maurice Sendak

I am sure you have all already heard this, but today Maurice Sendak passed away. The author of Where The Wild Things Are had a stroke just 4 days ago and today we received the news. It is such a shame. Sure he was a notably cranky guy, but come on...his works are classics that are sure to be enjoyed for generations.

One of the things I didn't realize about him was the lengths he would go to answer fan mail. Yes! That is what I said..he answered his fan mail. Ok, so not all of it, but look at the length he went to make this reply personalized:
Sorta makes you want to write to famous illustrators of children's books doesn't it?

Thursday, April 26, 2012


I don't usually stray from the normal mail/letter writing theme of this blog, but I wanted to share something that has been on my mind today. For whatever reason, I have been thinking about my trip to Tanzania almost 6 years ago. It was by far the most moving experience in my whole life.

I have told a few of you in letters about my trip, but I don't think I have ever really shared anything that I wrote while I was there. So I would like to share a small bit from my travel journal with you.
"Laying here I can see why so many people speak of Africa's majesty. In preparing for this trip, I did what most would do. I devoured any literature I could find. I wanted to know what to expect. But the truth is, no one can really learn about Africa from reading, it is certainly a place one must visit. Any expectations are sure to be squashed with a mixture of harsh reality and utmost beauty. Sure there is squalor and filth, but once you get past that you can see how absolutely beautiful this place is. I have never been to a more moving place in my entire life. And I should think I wont ever feel this way again."

"I can say that I have slept under the shining blanket of stars that covers this continent each night. Tonight, after my third day on safari I laid outside my tent, back to the earth staring up into what must be the most glorious night sky in all the world. I could see the tiniest stars shining brightly down upon me, the moon casting faint shadows over the vegetation that surrounds the campsite. And I must admit that if ever my belief in God had faded, this place was sure to bring it back because I know I could only describe the sky as absolute Heaven."

"Not much in nature literally takes my breathe away, but this place, these people..they have that ability. I find myself feeling more at peace here than I have ever felt. And I can only wonder what it will be like to return to my luxuries at home. David Livingston has a quote about giving up the luxuries and I wish I knew the exact quote at this moment, so I could compare my feelings. I am almost certain they are the same. So many people on this trip have complained about the conditions, especially when it comes to bathing, but I must say it is a small price to pay for this feeling I get deep inside. This connectedness to the earth and these people will be something I will long for each day from here til the day that I die."

I think it is that last statement that is what has me thinking about Africa. I felt such a closeness, I cannot describe it because our words simply don't match the feeling. Have you ever felt that before? If so, I would very much like to know.

Anyway, I hope you all don't mind the aside. Just thought it might be nice to share some writing I don't typically share.

Oh and incase anyone is is the quote by David Livingstone I reference in the journal entry:

People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own blest reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny hereafter? Away with the word in such a view and with such a thought! It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege. Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause and cause the spirit to waver and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us. I never made a sacrifice. - David Livingstone

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Senate Approved S.1789!!

Great news right?? I thought so. =) This means that most post offices are safe for a little while longer and there are new restrictions on whether the USPS may close a facility. Basically if there isn't another post office within 10 miles..they cannot close it.

Another good thing is that local mail delivery may still see overnight transfer, however, further destinations may take an extra day to arrive. Another awesome thing is that the USPS will continue delivering mail on Saturdays for at least two years. After that they can cut the sixth day of delivery ONLY if they need to do so to remain financially stable.

Rather than explain all the ins and outs I will direct you to this article written up for the Washington Post.

Oh! Snail Mail!

Ya'll know how much I enjoy stories like this one. Yet another snail has finally delivered a postcard to someone almost 60 years after it was postmarked.

The postcard is in surprisingly good shape for having such a remarkable journey. And just like the other stories I have posted like this, this one has a good ending. The lady who received it in her mailbox posted the info and picture on Facebook. With the help of some friends they tracked down the original recipient! Just one of the many ways new technology and snail mail can be helpful to one another.

Doesn't this make you wonder if one day you will be reunited with a piece of mail from your past?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day Giveaway!

Sorry to publish this so late..I really had anticipated on getting this done this morning..however, life got in the way. I know...such a common excuse of mine. But at least it is a true one!

I wrote down everyone's answers including a TON of new faces!! Welcome. I appreciate your reading this and stay tuned. More giveaways will be happening soon. And then I selected a random number with the help of Here are the results:
And if my jotting down skills serve me right, the closest answer was 6 submitted by Lil Country Belle. So, Miss Country Belle, if you could email me with your address I will get the pens out to you this week. =)

Thanks again to everyone who entered. I am working on a few more giveaways including one that will be a "Everyone Wins!" giveaway.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Earth Day, and if you haven't tried the Papermate Biodegradable pens, you should give them a try. They are inexpensive and wonderful alternatives to typical ball point pens.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Earth Day Giveaway!

Remember me telling you there would be a giveaway open to international folks too?? Well this is it! In honor of Earth Day I am going to be giving away a Papermate Biodegradable pen set. They come with two pens, and each pen has certain sections that are completely biodegradable.

Too lazy to rotate and re-upload....

The pens write very smoothly as well. I carry one with me in my purse actually, so I definitely think someone would like them. Earth Day is April 22 and so you have until midnight on the 22nd (eastern standard time) to submit a comment with a number included. I will use the random number generator and closest one wins the pens.

Shall we to ..100? Good! I apologize for the lack of postings and outgoing mail. I have seriously fallen behind. Cause..well..that is just life. My brother gets home tonight from Boston. So I suspect I may not post again until next week. Until then..good luck in the giveaway, and happy mail to each of you!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

100 Years Ago Today...

RMS Titanic sank in the Atlantic ocean after striking an iceberg. Call me silly, but it seems like it would have been a lot longer ago than a hundred years. I guess it just seems that way because I wasn't alive when it happened? Who knows.

Anyway, I bet you are wondering how I tie this into letter writing right? Well, did you know that 5 experienced postal clerks (three Americans and two Britons) served on board the Titanic? I didn't either. To be honest, I never thought about it before. Well, the RMS in the Titanic's name stands for Royal Mail Ship. And having that designation meant that the ship was carrying mail for the Royal Mail and the USPS. Wikipedia's entry for the Titanic says that just under 27,000 cubic ft were designated for storing mail, both letters and parcels as well as specie (coins and bullion).

When the ship went down most all of the mail was lost. That includes 3,423 sacks of mail! All told that would average about 7 million pieces of mail, including an estimated 1.6 million registered letters and packages. The National Postal Museum also estimates that around $150,000 dollars (which was a lot of money in 1912) worth of international money orders sank with the Titanic. Leaving a huge mess to clean up in the end.

Because the Titanic is in international waters, it is technically salvageable. Meaning that if you or I wanted to, we could dive down and grab a piece of Titanic for ourselves. However, some institutions, like the Smithsonian prohibit displaying relics from such disasters because of a 'sanctuary principle'. Basically, they want to respect the site. After all, it is the final resting place for 1,514 people. But incase you were curious, if ever a bag of mail was salvaged from the wreckage, the USPS would attempt to deliver any readable mail. Which is a nice thought.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pony Express Delivery Or Not...

Originally the post today was going to be about the Pony Express...but something else is on my mind tonight (last night, this is a scheduled post...) and I just feel I should share it and possibly unburden my heart?

This afternoon, while I was at work, this little guy had to be put down. Jack had been not feeling well for a few days and today his breathing was incredibly labored. As the day progressed I was told that his breathing was getting even more shallow, he was incredibly weak and he was moaning of sorts. My mom took him in, and sure enough the Vet said that there was nothing she could do. Medicine might make him more comfortable, but he would still eventually die. So tonight shortly before 5 he drew his last weak breath. And even though I know it is better this way, it doesnt keep the tears from welling in my eyes as I write this. I knew this was coming when he wasn't better after day two, but I still am incredibly emotional about it all. And thus the change in topics for todays post.

**Today in 1860 the first mail sent via the Pony Express arrived in Sacramento, California.**

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Pens!!

I have some awesome readers! Truly. You guys (and gals) are awesome!! You are better than are..amazingly awesome! Ok enough of that..but seriously. You are!

I recently got two Pilot pens from two different people, in the same week. Granted this was a couple weeks ago, but being as I was a bad blogger and wasn't doing my writing, I am gonna post about them now.
 You are looking at the Pilot Petit 1, which is a fountain pen and the Pilot Precise V5 which is a rollerball.
 They are both quite nice and from his view you can see the tips on each of them. I like the compactness of the Pilot Petit 1. It literally fits into your pocket and is sturdy enough that I am not afraid of it snapping and causing a mess. The Pilot Precise V5 is a very fluid pen. The point is extra fine which I love. It makes writing on small areas (think address labels) very easy!
Overall, these pens by Pilot are wonderful additions to my stolen pen collection. =)  Thank you dear readers for sharing some of your favorites, or new finds with me. I really appreciate it!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Penguin Mail Art

Imagine my delight pulling this from my mailbox:
 One of my ex-coworkers started corresponding with me via mail. She sent an interesting postcard that was shaped like pastries. It was very cool, and if it wasn't tucked away in a box in the mail archive, I would have snapped a photo of it as well. I responded back with a nice envelope decorated with the pane from the Civil War stamps released this past year. I thought it was very neat. I should do another and show you how I did it. (I feel a tutorial coming on..)
 Inside of that wonderful penguin can is a note, IN THE SHAPE OF A FISH!! Get it? Penguins eat fish of course. She is a very smart and crafty person! Can you believe this was her first attempt at mail art? Or mailing a non-traditional object?

Along with the note came two Pittsburgh Penguins headbands. They are made of a fleece and are from the Winter Classic game that Brad and I went to two years ago. They actually match my gloves that Brad bought me at the game. My hands were cold and he is yeah. Anyway, there are two of them. One for me and one for Brad. Now we can roll around in style!
Now all I gotta do is try to figure out what to mail back in return. Hm...Any suggestions?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

William H Johnson

Today is the first day of issue of the William H. Johnson stamp depicting his painting titled Flowers. Johnson was one of the foremost African American artists in the United States and often drew from his heritage for the subjects of his paintings.

This is the twelfth stamp in the American Treasures series of stamps released by the USPS. The issuing city is Baltimore, Maryland.

I don't know about you, but I will certainly be picking up these stamps soon! I think they will look great on some mail art!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Save the USPS

Click for picture for larger image

Monday, April 9, 2012

Picture Permit Indicia

The USPS has sent a request to the Postal Regulatory Commission to allow commercial mailers to include a logo, picture or trademarks in the Permit Indicia found on their mail. What does this mean?

Well, first you must know what permit indicia is. Basically it is that little printing that looks something like this:
So imagine some mail coming with this that has a nice picture attached to it. I think it could be neat. The idea I think is to basically "brand" the mail like they do anything else. Probably hoping that people will pay more attention to it. 

If the PRC approves the request we could start seeing mail like that around the end of June, early July. Interesting huh?

Will it make you look?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Stamp Tissue Cover

Do you have seasonal allergies? I do. And when spring sets in (which is already happening here in Ohio which is INSANE!) I tend to blow my nose a lot. This means you can always find at least one box (although sometimes two) of tissues in my workspace. Lets face it. Even though they have prettier designs than ever of tissue boxes these days, they are still far from something that I like. Which is why I decided to decorate my own. =)

You can buy a tissue box cover at almost any craft store. They even have some that are already sticky, which are a big help if you are using small pieces of paper like I did. I thought I took a picture of the before...but apparently I didnt. So you will just have to use your imagination. Mine was one that was already sticky after peeling off a backing paper. Here is the result of an hours work:
Pretty good if I do say so myself. Now, once you have them all laid on there, you will need to coat them in something to keep them from coming off. I used a diluted elmer's glue for this project, but you could also use Modge Podge or the like.

Making stamp themed accessories, one piece at a time. =)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sometimes Amazon Ships Later Than Expected...

 This box of Pixar cards were supposed to be a Valentine's Day gift from Brad. Which would have been super cute...cause then we both would have given each other postcards. However, Amazon was backordered, so they said they would be there in 2 weeks. 2 weeks came and they sent Brad another email saying..well..nope they would let him know when they would ship. Guess what showed up last week without any notice!
They are all super cute! I have been thinking of doing a special project with them. Asking people to "adopt" them and write about the movie that the art is from. But a lot of work has to be done before I can do that. What do you think? Would it be worth it? 100 cards would be a lot to have up for adoption, especially since they are all from the same few movies.

I just know I would like to keep them all! Haha.

Friday, April 6, 2012

My Baby

Be on the lookout for adventure pictures taken with this lovely camera! I cannot wait to give it a real try this summer. =)

In case you are curious, it is a Canon T2i with a 50mm Macro Lens. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Gregory Peck!

In 1916, on this day Gregory Peck was born in California. I wonder if his parents ever thought in that moment that their son would become a world renowned actor. Probably not. Anyway, he went on to star in more than 60 films. One of which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Care to take a guess??

The answer is To Kill A Mockingbird. The USPS is planning a special cancellation for a little later this month. At the time of writing this I am waiting for someone to get back to me about the specifics of sending out for the cancel. Hopefully I will have the information before this publishes. If not I hope to have it soon!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

National Card and Letter Writing Month

Did you know that this month is National Card and Letter Writing month? Well it is! That means we should all try our best to write letters and cards throughout the month. My plan is to not only continue playing catch up with my letters to each of you readers, but to also reach out to people I don't normally write to. Specifically the local veterans in my town. I plan on writing letters and sending them to the local veteran organizations. =)

If you want, there is also a special cancellation being offered.
What are your plans for this national month of writing letters and cards?

Also...Happy Birthday to my father today!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pony Express

How did I miss this?? Today is the day that in 1860 the Pony Express kicked off! Oh well, I will remember next year.

Winner is...

Lucas won with a guess of 78! AND because Lucas is a cool blogger like me, I already have his address. The egg will be in the mail tomorrow morning Lucas. =)

For those who do not know, you should certainly check out his blog which can be found here

Thanks to everyone who entered. Stay tuned as I will be hosting another giveaway soon, which will be international friendly. 

Australia Post

Australia Post is soon going to entering the digital world. They will start offering a free service called Digital MailBox. It will allow the government and postal customers to communicate digitally, 24-7 from anywhere.

Basically it seems like email. that is sanctioned by the Australian Post Office. They of course made the move because postal customers are sending less "real" mail. Which makes sense, but I cannot see email covering all my mailing needs.

What does everyone else think?

I also found this neat advertisement as I was looking for the Australia Post logo.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway from yesterday! Contest ends tonight at 7. Tell your friends! :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

That Time of Year Again

If you have been reading the blog from the beginning...or are one of those crazy people who went back through all the old posts, then you know you can do this. However, I have had so many new people join the blog since last year that I thought I would post about it again.

Did you know you can mail plastic eggs? You know, those brightly colored eggs that are easy to find this time of year? Well, you can. I've done it. This will actually be the second time I have done it and I am thinking about making it a yearly thing. How do you mail them? Simple.

First you need to buy your plastic eggs. Like I said earlier, you can literally buy them anywhere this time of year. I got the Spiderman ones from a coworker who just happened to have them laying around. Neat huh? She originally got them at Big Lots. The larger egg has 75 peace tattoos inside and came pre-filled and sealed from Walgreens. I think I paid around $2 for the larger one, but saved me from having to find stuff for the inside.
Next, fill your eggs with neat things. Stray away from candy even if it is individually wrapped as they consider that sending perishables and they may be searched through. (I sent 6 last year, 5 made it to the destinations, but none had the candy left inside..only the toys). One of these plastic eggs contains earrings, the other..well the flash made it hard to about this:
There are actually two pins inside. Both still wrapped in the cellophane wrappers they came in. Both are USPS pins (the one behind Florida is a US Flag stamp pin).
Once you are done stuffing the inside (make sure it doesn't rattle) use tape to seal the split in the egg. I used regular old scotch tape, but you can use any you would like. Then add an address label and be sure to tape it on good. Next you need to either weigh it and put the correct postage on, or you can take it to the post office and have them weigh it yourself.

All of my eggs were an ounce or less, so they can be mailed for $1.95. If you are like me, you will put two international ($1.05) stamps on the eggs and let them fly.

Ready for the SUPER neat part? You have a chance to get an egg in the mail. Sure, it probably wont get there before Easter, BUT you will still get it (assuming it doesn't get lost to the postal gods). You can enter the contest by leaving a comment on this blog with a number. Any number 1-100. I will send the egg to the person whose number is closest to the random number generated online via A deadline of..lets say..7pm Tuesday, April 3? (And as always that is Eastern Standard Time.

Unfortunately, International folks cannot enter the contest, as they wont let me send the eggs naked to you. However, I will be hosting another contest soon that you will be able to enter! So keep your eyes open. =)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools!

Happy April Fools Day everyone! I was going to write a post about how email was the best form of communication under the sun...but I thought that would be a bit dry and completely unbelievable coming from me. (I was right wasn't I?)

And so I decided to tell you a little origin of April Fools Day. Or at least what little I could find on the internet. The first of April has been associated with foolishness since 1381 (so say some scholars) when it was referenced in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Again this is all what the scholars believe. There is a bit of an argument as to whether it refers to April 1 or May 2. We may never really know when it was first spoken about, but I would like to think that Chaucer was up to something. =)

The other interesting thing was how many countries celebrate April 1st. I never would have guessed it would be over 10, but according to wikipedia..there are! Now, there are countless ways to trick your friends, and I found a great website of the 100 best pranks of all time. You should certainly check it out.

How do you plan to celebrate today?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Taking Time Off

Hello all! I apologize for my lack of writing on here. I really had hoped to continue doing more regular posts, yet it seems everything was pushing against that recently.

My lil buddy Carter has been sick, I'm behind in my mail and it seems that a lack of desire has struck me. However, I am hoping to change that come April. That should give me some time to get organized and come up with a more reasonable posting schedule.

I thank you all for your patience and look forward to seeing you in April!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Postage Stamp Contest

Ok..the postage stamp contest I held (ending on the 17th) was a bust. I got one person who emailed me a picture of a stamp she drew. So congrats to Shannah! She won the giveaway. I am still not sure what all will be included..but some neat stuff for sure. Including some vintage stamps. =)

Here is her winning sketch:
I think it turned out lovely! I would definitely purchase this stamp! =)

** I am slowly getting back into blogging..and while I have been an awful blogger lately, I have been a good letter sender. I am slowly catching up with my mail. More awesome posts including a look at the answers to the questionnaire coming soon. Thanks for continuing to stop by and for being such patient blog readers. I really appreciate it.**

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St Patricks Day

Above is a stamp featuring St. Patrick treading on snakes. Are you wondering why the stamp is set in blue and not green? Well, the truth is that St. Patrick was originally associated with blue! Over the years we have changed that to green and my guess is that it has something to do with the Shamrock legend. You see St. Patrick once used the 3-leafed shamrock to explain the holy trinity to the pagan Irish. Makes sense right?

While St. Patrick died in 461, it wasnt until the 1600s that it was made a holy day for Catholics. And even then it wasn't made an official public holiday in Ireland until 1903. And though St. Patricks Day is not an official holiday here in the states, it is still one of the most celebrated holidays in the country. As the saying goes, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Amazing Young Man

Usually I would read the article (which I have done) and then summarize it here for you...but I just found it again and I am due to go back on shift. SO...I thought I would post the link and then you can do the reading yourself.

It truly is an amazing story I hope you will take a bit of time to look at it. =)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Counterfeit Story

In 1976 in my home state of Ohio, they arrested a man in Columbus for counterfeiting postage stamps. He was found with 350 13cent liberty bell stamps (which were the first class rate stamp for the time). The fakes were nearly perfect, in fact the postal inspectors said the only things that were difference was that the color was lighter and the perforation was off.

The Liberty Bell 13 cent stamps were issued in a booklet form. Which means they would only be perforated on three sides at most. Not all four. The counterfeiter apparently didn't do his homework on this, and that is part of what allowed them to catch him.

Counterfeiting these stamps was not something that only happened here in Ohio. In fact they know that some were issued in Boston and Chicago as well. Sorta makes you wonder what possessed those individuals to counterfeit them. I wonder how often this happens today. I doubt they would counterfeit the new releases..though I could see where people would still counterfeit the older ones and sell them to people who use them for art. Or perhaps try to pass them off to people who are just starting to collect stamps.