Earlier this year, a lot of kind people helped me out when I made a plea for used postage stamps featuring birds for Project Dissimulation (in aid of bowel cancer awareness, following my dad’s diagnosis). Well, it suddenly occurred to me that it was time to pay this thought forward.
I have accumulated far more stamps than I will ever be able to use over the last few years. I’ve shared some recently with Britta/JaguarSnail (see below) and I am going to send a big batch off to the RNIB(Royal National Institute of Blind People) next week. I’ve chosen this charity because it is based in Benfleet, where most of my dad’s family lives. While I was growing up, we always saved our stamps (I had lots of penpals when I was at school, so this was an area I felt I could help!) and gave them to my great aunt Rene when we visited in the holidays – she passed away several years ago, but I know she would appreciate my carrying on the tradition.
Britta (/JaguarSnail) does amazing things as a volunteer for the Air Ambulance Service – her job is to creatively re-craft plain items that have been donated for sale, so that they can be sold at a higher value and raise a greater amount of money. She does lots of postage stamp collages which appeal to me for obvious reasons…!
There are so many great causes out there that need our support, though, so here is a non-comprehensive list of UK charities that are currently appealing for used stamps – please help them out, if you can! (If you know of any other charities collecting donations of used stamps, whether UK or overseas, please feel free to add the link in a comment.)
I must confess, I’m really not much of a letter writer (something which I’m sure will be readily confirmed by anybody who has corresponded with me in the past). It’s a little odd, you might think, because my zines are generally pretty wordy; but for some reason I just don’t seem to have many words left over when it comes to actual personal communication. I can usually fill a postcard, but not much more. If I’m sending somebody a zine (etc), usually a mini card (/business card) has more than enough space for what I have to say. Thus, my latest range of postage stamp stationery consists of flat notecards (/blank postcards) and mini notecards. Because these are the sizes I’m most likely to use myself.
My question is…actually a series of questions… I’ll list them instead! So, are you ready? When it comes to correspondence:
What kind of cards do you prefer?
Are you a full-on letter writer and would prefer notepaper, instead?
Do you ever/often use notepaper & notecard combined, or would it usually be one or the other?
If you use notecards, do you prefer a flat, single-sided notecard or a single-fold notecard with more space to write inside?
If you prefer a folded notecard, do you prefer a design printed on the back as well as the front, or do you prefer the back to be left blank so that you can continue your note?
Do you have any other thoughts about notecard design which might be relevant?
You might gather, I’m thinking of adding a blank-inside single-fold notecard to the range in the future, so I’m just trying to establish what would be the most practical, attractive-to-a-buyer/notewriter option. But I’m also genuinely interested in your correspondence habits & preferences, so please do share. And browse the current range, too. 😉
As April is bowel cancer awareness month, I was keen to get the first issue of the Project Dissimulation zine completed in time for April – so keen that I managed to be finished early! When I first put out a call for donations of bird-themed used postage stamps and artistamps, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what exactly I would do with them, although the title chosen for the project obviously lent itself to working with collective nouns (a dissimulation of birds being the traditional collective noun for a group of birds). Once I sat down to get started, though, the idea shaped itself and the first zine was quickly born, as well as a series of badges.
So far I have completed Volume I of the zine, a matching Project Dissimulation badge (I will create a new badge design for each issue, so they can be collected!), and bird badges made from upcycled postage stamps for anyone who would like a completely individual souvenir of the Project:
The first issue of the Project zine features a variety of collective nouns for birds, illustrated with selected used postage stamps which were donated to the Project. I’m not sure yet how many zines there will be in total, but I will keep going as long as there are stamps to work with. 🙂 In addition to the current items available, there will soon be a one-off chance to buy a set of badges made from the actual stamps used to illustrate Volume I, as well as bird badges grouped by species. As the Project progresses, I’m also planning envelope seals, address labels, postcards and mini-notecards – watch this space for updates & availability!
If there are any bloggers out there reading this who would be willing to help spread the word with a mention of the Project (please feel free to ‘borrow’ any of the pics used in this post), I would really appreciate your help, too – the more people we can reach, the bigger difference we can make. 🙂
Just a reminder that I still have an open call for bird-themed used stamps (& artistamps) for Project Dissimulation. I’ve received some beautiful stamps already, and am really looking forward to craftifying them! The first Project zine will be issued in April, to coincide with Bowel Cancer Awareness Month (in the UK; not sure if this is international or not), but I will be continuing to collect stamps & artistamps for the project & will release further mini-zines as material is collected. Follow the link for full details of the Project & how you can help.
If you’re fond of postage stamps but don’t have any bird stamps for the Project, don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you! I’ve also recently decided to clear out some of my excess hoard of used Machin stamps – can I tempt you? I’ve put together some colour themed packs in the TangleStore so that you can creatively upcycle them however you choose, because with the best will in the world, I will never have enough time to use them all myself! I’ve also put together a couple of packs with a stamp-upcycling mini-zine for inspiration. This mini-zine was written in 2011 but hasn’t been available for sale before & will only be available now while my stocks of these used stamps remain. See listings for more pics & info.
July’s TangleClub freebie has just been added – hop over to the TangleClub Archive for an exclusive-to-TangleClub-members printable Mail-Craft Mini-Zine! I spent a lot of June playing with my lovely collection of Machin stamps (and making badges from them!) so this mini-zine was the natural progression. It includes some very easy ideas for making your own, personalised stationery by using & upcycling your own collected postage stamps, plus some Etsy links for further inspiration.
If you are not currently a member of the TangleClub but want to share the monthly freebie goodness, click here for all current membership options, and remember, if you spend $10 or more in the TangleCrafts Etsy Store, you will qualify for TangleClub Basic membership absolutely free!
I just received a packet in the post today. Normally I would be disappointed to see it was stamped with one of the generic Royal Mail postage labels (as shown upper left) rather than ‘real’ postage stamps; but today’s generic label made me laugh – the label has been made to look like an enlarged version of a real 1st class stamp, right down to the Machin design profile of the queen and the serrated edges. It’s real postage that looks like a real postage stamp, except that it’s a faux postage stamp – genius!
Maybe they have decided to try to lure stamp collectors into collecting labels instead – or probably as well! To be honest, I really wouldn’t mind the generic labels so much at all if they were to start issuing them with interesting background designs, like this one. I’ll have to keep an eye on this development. I like. 😀