Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mail art thank-you

Special delivery

My amazing little package full of mailbox postcards from Carolee of PodPost begged a mail-art-licious thank-you response, so I had fun putting this puppy together, with all the meta-postal goodness I could muster. Only the Shakespeare stamp doesn't really fit the theme, but he's the bard and I love him, so he gets to join the party.

Sparkly mail art

The envelope is vintage 1971, from my grandfather's days in the post office, commemorating the official change of name from "post office" to "U.S. Postal Service," complete with new logo. I love that this envelope shows both the old and the new logos.

I am feeling rather clever for putting my return address in the wavy lines of the "please hand cancel" rubber stamp image.

Post office logos

As is typical, I don't think the glimmer mist spray glitter is really showing up very well in this photo, but I tried to showcase it here.

Via air mail, with wings

On the back is a vintage air mail label (I found it on eBay, for anyone who's wondering), whose glue tastes so awful I have to prepare myself to lick it. But that's part of the fun, saying pTOOey and swishing around a tasty beverage as I affix the label... which is cool enough to merit the distaste, in my book.

I feel rather some pressure to make something quite amazing, these times I have sent mail/mail art to the fine authors of the fabulous Good Mail Day book, but it's a fun challenge.


  1. First... very, very nice mail art! And I do love the return address in the wavy lines. I'd like to get that rubber stamp.

    A caveat on licking vintage anything.... I usually use an old-fashion sponge-on-bottle to moisten my vintage postage, but while visiting family in New York recently, I didn't have my moistener, so I just licked the stamps (I always bring correspondence to write when I travel, and ALL my postage). I had a mild sore throat for days afterwards, and it was while sitting at work that I began to associate past mild sore throats with times when I know I licked vintage postage because I didn't have my moistener. I can't scientifically say that the licking caused the sore throat, but I think there is a strong possibility the old dust or other contaminants on the vintage postage is linked to the sore throat.

  2. Hmmm... interesting food for thought, PostMuse. I always lick my vintage stamps - most of them have a nostalgic taste I like - but I suppose a moistener would be more hygienic.

  3. masively awesome mail art . You and the recipiant are so lucky . you rock and thanks for sharing dear have a great one .

  4. I LOVE the "Please Hand Cancel" stamp. So cute. But do you think they'll actually hand cancel it? That seems like a request that won't actually get fulfilled...

    All in all, a great envelope.

  5. Very true, Stephanie - I think the only way to guarantee a hand-cancel is to take it to the window of a post office and ask for it right there.

  6. My experience is that if you don't put the additional 20¢ "non-machinable" postage on the mail, it won't get hand-canceled. Fat mail has to get that 20¢ extra or it might go to the recipient postage-due, which is embarrassing. I have written "hand-cancel" on outgoing regular 1 ounce skinny mail and didn't include the 20¢ extra and it didn't get hand-canceled, but mailing the same thing with the extra 20¢ and written "hand-cancel" did get a hand-cancel (I sent both to myself, just to see). Taking mail directly to the post office is the other way to get a hand-cancel, but my local postal clerks grumble when I do that.

  7. And I just bought one of those wonderful hand-cancel stamps at River City Rubber Works.

  8. PostMuse, you are a fount of invaluable information as usual. I didn't know an extra 20 cents was needed (or would sweeten the deal) for hand cancels.

    My local postal clerks grumble at the hand-cancel requests, too - whyever is that? Does anyone know?? Do they get in trouble from the higher-ups if they hand-cancel? It's just no extra effort as far as I can see (other than wielding a stamp), but I surely must not be seeing the whole picture.