Monday, February 15, 2016

My 10-year Postcrossing Anniversary, and an etsy bargain


I write about Postcrossing a lot on this blog. (I recently received the lovely colorful cat illustration postcard shown above, DE-4784491, from Germany.) It's one of my favorite mail pastimes, and I've been Postcrossing far longer than I've had this blog. For a look through the years, you can check out all my posts tagged with Postcrossing. There are a ton of them.

I am really excited for an upcoming milestone: next month (March 2016) I will celebrate 10 years with Postcrossing. Wow! I wasn't active all the time -- there were definitely a few dormant years in there, and sometimes I send more than others -- but it is really fun to think about how long it's been in my life, and how many thousands of postcards I've exchanged. (As of this post, I've received 1599*, sent 1605, and have 16 traveling -- but those numbers are constantly changing!) I have lived in, and sent postcards from, 4 different states throughout my 10 years of Postcrossing participation.

To celebrate my 10-year anniversary, I'd like to offer a little unofficial discount in my etsy shop, where I sell, among other things, original designs of mail-themed postcards. If you order postcards in my shop, mention "Postcrossing" in the notes to seller section when you place your order, and I'll throw in an extra postcard . That's 6 postcards instead of 5, and I will do that for every postcard pack ordered (up to 5 postcard packs / extra postcards total). This offer is good from now through March 31, 2016.

Happy mailing, and happy Postcrossing!

*Update: a few hours after I originally wrote this post, I received Postcrossing postcard #1600. Woo-hoo!

Monday, February 8, 2016

2016: a year of great (space) stamps

I am extremely excited for the U.S. Postal Service stamp releases this year. There are some great stamps coming! Space and planets are a major theme, and there are three planetary releases: Views of our Planets, Pluto--Explored!, and The Moon global forever stamp. This article has more info about all three issues. I think the "Views of our Planets" stamps look particularly gorgeous and I can't wait to get my hands on them. Word on the street is that these will be released at the World Stamp Show in NYC somewhere between late May and early June.

Continuing the "space" theme, shown above are the stamps that so many of us are really geeking out about: Star Trek stamps! These stamps commemorate the 50th anniversary of the iconic TV show's premiere, and though I don't know the exact release date, it looks to be somewhere in the second half of the year. I'll have to get my eyes on them in person before I pass judgment, but I admit I have reservations about the design. What's with the grainy look? Oh well. I shouldn't quibble about Star Trek stamps, because it is a very fabulous idea.

I'm also a big fan of all the stamp releases that feature musicians... but I'm over the moon (ha! Space pun!) about the upcoming Sarah Vaughan stamps. Jazz singers are always close to my heart - I sing a lot of jazz myself, and there's so much to learn from any singer's individual style - but "Sassy" is in a class by herself.

Sarah Vaughan is not only one of my favorite jazz singers, but she's the one who made me first fall in love with jazz vocals back when I was in high school (and, at the time, singing only classical music). Her style, technique, and artistry are unparalleled, and I can't wait to buy up a TON of these gorgeous stamps to use on my letters. They'll be released on Mach 29, so we don't have too much longer to wait. Design thoughts: again, I'll wait to hold the inked paper in my hands, but this design idea gets a thumbs up from me. I think the artwork is lovely, and I appreciate the decision to use an illustration (a painting?) instead of a photograph. This really captures the mood of her style and her immersion in the music. I love that her eyes are closed, though I know not everyone will agree on that point.

There are more great stamps than I could even share here, and I highly recommend a look at the 2016 stamp release preview to see them all... but I'll just mention that the Pets and Jack-O-Lanterns also look very promising.

And I haven't forgotten about my promise to do a blog post about my new stamp organization system, which is working quite well so far. I have an unexpected snow day today (blizzard in Boston! the first flakes just started falling here in NH at about 11am) so maybe I'll manage some photos and some work on that. But for now, enjoy the stamp preview!