Thursday, January 31, 2013

Send a postcard, help save a post office

We've all heard about countless post office closures across the country... thanks to the fabulous PostMuse (and her excellent tweets) I've just discovered a way to help save one little post office from possible closure! It doesn't hurt that said post office, above, is quite tiny and adorable.

Do read the full saga of the post office in Rupert, VT. All the details are there. The skinny, though, is that this post office has had its hours cut and may face closure soon. There are two things that can help: revenue, which can only be generated on site at the post office, and VOLUME. So Jave Davies, the woman behind this postcard idea, decided that she'd increase the volume by sending out a plea for postcards to her P.O. box there -- AND she'l send 200 original art postcards in response to the first 200 postcards she receives.

Here's the info, from her blog post:

  • YOU send her an art postcard. It can be original handmade, or a photocopy of something you've made. Print your name and address clearly on the card.
  • Mail to: Jane Davies, PO Box 45, Rupert, VT 05768
  • She will send YOU a postcard, handmade. "I don't promise it will be something you want to frame, but it will be original." She will send postcards to the first 200 respondents.
  • She will post ALL the postcards she receives on her blog. On each card she will indicate the name of its creator and the place from whence it came. If the volume is overwhelming, she'll open a separate blog just for the cards. "If nobody sends me a card, I will be sad and our post mistress will be out of a good time, and eventually a job."

  • Send a postcard, help save a post office

    Here's my little postcard offering, heading out in tomorrow's mail. I had fun edging it with gold washi tape.

    I don't post every mail art call that comes my way, but I think the idea of saving a post office through a flood of postcards is a pretty exciting one, and I hope that you'll consider sending one. Also, if you've ever wanted to see your postcard on a blog, she's promised to post them all, so that's pretty cool, too!

    And how cool is it to know that you're helping to save a post office, one postcard at a time?

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Update on obtaining vintage unused stamps by theme

    I have blogged before about sources for great vintage stamps, and since my "Where DO you get all those awesome old stamps?" post is one of my more popular ones, I thought I should call attention to an update.

    For those in the new, there is a fine gentleman, Errol "Murph" Murphy (emurphy3101 at, who sells mixed lots of older stamps in great condition for mailing, and sells them in $20 increments. You pay face value plus shipping (and the shipping for the order is usually just letter-rate first class postage). Best of all, you can request a theme. Olympics, nature, animals, politicians - you name it. I had reservations about purchasing from a stranger, but he came highly recommended and he's been delightful to work with. I've ordered from Murph many times, and sent him quite a lot of business from this blog. To quote what he said when I asked if I could promote his services on my blog: "I'm so glad you like the stamps. I do this as a hobby and enjoy it when I can provide stamps at a reasonable price to appreciative collectors and stamp users."

    For those in the know, who've worked with Murph before: his longtime contact email address has changed. It is no longer the address - you can now reach him at emurphy3101 at If you're interested in buying stamps from Murph, just email him at the new gmail address. I also just learned (thanks, @upandonmyway!) that he has a website:, full of lots more information.

    Happy stamp shopping!

    Sunday, January 27, 2013

    New postage rates for 2013

    New U.S. postage rates, effective today! My favorite visual reference for the new rates comes from The Letter Writers Alliance, seen in the handy chart above.

    For domestic letters and postcards, the rate changes are miniscule - one cent up each. International is a bit steeper, up to $1.10 for letters (up to one ounce, of course) and postcards alike, with no discounts for Canada and Mexico as there have been in the past.

    I am perhaps not as well-versed in the package increases as I should be, though I do know that first class international packages are now going to cost quite a bit more. It's worth it. We still have a world-class postal service and I think they deserve to be paid fairly for their good work.

    There are some great new stamps coming out, including the new circular international first class stamp, but my post office is unlikely to have any of them any time soon. The postal workers at the counter said they often don't get new rate change stamps for months, because for some reason they're supposed to USE UP the old ones that they have? I recall having to wait ages last year for the $1.05 stamps to be available for purchase at my post office, so I just went ahead and ordered a bunch of the new release stamps online. Can't wait until they show up in my mailbox...

    Happy mailing!

    Sunday, January 20, 2013

    Postage rates go up next week, in the U.S. mail and in my etsy shop

    You may be aware that U.S. postage rates are increasing on January 27, 2013. (Earlier this month I mentioned a great rate change guide from Beyond the Perf.) Any "Forever" stamp will be good for the new first-class one ounce rate, but that price does go up from 45 to 46 cents. Additional ounce and international rates go up as well.

    I've held off raising the shipping rates in my etsy shop for a while, but now the time of shipping rate increases is at hand. I've mailed a few things lately at a loss - my fault, of course - and I need to raise my rates on almost all my items. The shipping increase shouldn't be too significant on anything except larger vintage stationery boxes, especially those heading outside the USA - but I won't change my shipping rates until Friday, January 25. (Or possibly not until Saturday, January 26 if my Friday spins out of control and the old day job, which it looks like it may do.)

    So - if you're considering a purchase in The Missive Maven on etsy, now would be a great time to do it before the postage rate hike!

    [I will be listing some new (or shall I say "additional," since it is not new but new to my shop) vintage stationery in the coming week, but it will be listed at the new postage rates. Items listed before January 20 will keep their current rates until January 25.]

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    Hedgehogs & lynx from Germany


    I don't know why I adore hedgehogs so much - I've only seen real live hedgehogs twice before - but I do. I got another fine hedgehog postcard from Germany, which shows these two lovelies curled up next to each other in one of the more famous hedgehog poses. Squee! This one came to me as Postcrossing DE-1848043 from Germany.


    It wasn't just the hedgehog bit that was fantastic, though - the postcard also carried this fine Lynx stamp. This stamp is one of two in a recolonization of native German wildlife series from Deutsche Post -- lynx are the only native big cats left in Germany. We all know that anything with cats makes me happy... Love those ears!

    PostMuse is featured on Postcrossing!

    Oh my gosh, I'm a little slow on the uptake here, but I just saw that the great PostMuse is featured right now on the Postcrossing blog!

    PostMuse is not only one of my favorite pen pals, but also one of the greatest mail enthusiasts around -- she sends a ton of mail and it's all thoughtful and awesome. Take a look at the excellent Postcrossing blog post about her, where you can learn about her history with Postcrossing plus see some wonderful photos of her amazing home mailbox, and the mailbox where she sends mail, and her P.O. box. (Yep, it's like mailbox porn for mailbox geeks like us.)

    She wrote a fun post about it on her blog, too - I love it when all these fine internet resources to revitalize mail all cross digital paths!

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    Want to follow by email? Now you can

    I've had a number blog readers ask me recently why I don't have a subscribe or follow by email option. Honestly, I've never had a satisfactory answer. I recognize that my blog is not ideal for mobile devices, and expecting people to come back often and check for new content is really not realistic. (I hardly read blogs like that myself any more!) So, by popular demand, I'm trying out the Follow by Email option. I hope folks like it. Let me know what you think. Oh, and you can always follow me on Twitter if you're so inclined, too.

    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Last mail art of 2012

    Last mail art of 2012

    A postcrosser who received one of my postcards asked me if I did any mail art. It occurred to me that I haven't posted about anything I've sent in absolute ages. It's long overdue! I had a tough fall for letter-writing, and my sent stats have been fairly paltry until December, when I really tried to plunge in again as best I could.

    I wrote and decorated this letter on December 31, 2012. I had so much fun breaking out my washi tape, stickers, rubber stamps, postage stamps, and all the fixings... they had sat gathering dust for quite a while. My cats Soda and Memo (of blessed memory) adorn the photo stamps, and in fact that stamp of Memo with the fur wig is the last one I had.

    :ast mail art of 2012, back

    The back of the envelope isn't quite so busy, just some red and black and of course a fine Red Tango cat sticker.

    Last mail art of 2012, alternate view

    Happy New Year! My best wishes to all blog readers and postal enthusiasts for a fantastic mail year in 2013.