I had a couple of days off at the beginning of the year, and having already caught up on some other projects, took time to clean some things out of a couple of boxes of stamps and albums. In the process, I rediscovered (again) a couple of stacks of landscape stamps that I acquired over the past three years or so, and I’m slowly beginning to work my way through them.
As I may have mentioned previously, I create custom album pages for my landscapes stamp collection, using a different background image based on a stamp for the pages for each site and trimming the resulting page down to 5½″×8½″, half the size of a normal sheet of paper. I had not done any since the summer of 2017, but here are a couple that I created recently for stamps picturing Grand Anse Beach, Grenada, and Long Beach, Ascension Island.
I already have somewhere in the neighborhood of 650 such pages done—overall, of course, not since the beginning of the year. Creating custom backgrounds does take extra time, but I really like the results, and it’s not an impossible task for a collection of relatively limited scope.
The Beatles’ rooftop concert commemorated by Purgatory Post
When I stopped by the post office yesterday afternoon, I had a nice surprise waiting on me: Purgatory Post’s newest stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ rooftop concert.
The unorthodox concert on January 30, 1969, was the iconic British rock band’s final public performance, and was followed by the release of just two more albums: Abbey Road and Let It Be.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that the lower corners of this pair of stamps are darker than the rest of the stamps’ margins. That’s because the stamps’ designer, Scott Abbot, used an image of an apple as the background for the miniature sheets of four that contain two pairs of these stamps; the bottom pair in each sheet is as pictured here, while the top corners are darker on the top pair of stamps.
2018 annual supplement available for The Philosateleian
As you probably realize if you’ve been using The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album for any time at all, you probably realize I prefer to group my stamps by series, not necessarily by the year in which they were issued. That breaks with how various catalogues handle things, but I think it’s more aesthetically pleasing. In addition, I issue quarterly updates so I don’t end up with an envelope full of stamps with no place to go by the end of a given calendar year.
This approach does make it necessary to reprint some pages, which not everyone wants to do, so a couple of years ago, I began preparing an annual supplement for those who want to print just once a year. My complete set of free pages for 2018 is now available at the very bottom of my list of individual stamp album pages.
Please note that you do not need to download this update if you keep up with my quarterly updates; this update only applies for you if you previously switched to the annual update track.
With the 2018 calendar year now officially in the books, I can take a look back at Philosateleian Post’s numbers and see how my outgoing mail flow in 2018 compared to years past.
2018 was not by any means Philosateleian Post’s busiest year ever. It seems my household had about a 10% decrease in the number of pieces of mail we sent last year (374) compared to 2017 (417). The drop in volume is fairly consistent across the board—letters, bills, etc.—although we did send a couple of extra postcards.
Even the lower number is still far above what I sent in 2016, however; that’s the year we relocated to Texas.
One interesting side note: the number of items I marked “return to sender” last year was exactly the same as in 2017. It seems like someone’s not cleaning their mailing lists very well!
When I designed my first Republic of Texas fantasy stamps in 2015, I intended to eventually create a whole collection of stamps that could have been if independent Texas had issued its own stamps. My big plans got delayed by real life, but I’ve finally designed the second entry in my Republic of Texas series: a set of five stamps commemorating the Battle of Gonzales, which took place on October 2, 1835.
As was the case with my initial set of Republic of Texas stamps, these labels are denominated in 6¼¢, 12½¢, 18¾¢, 25¢, and 37½¢ values that match up with actual postage rates used during the first year of the Republic of Texas.
I’ll be the first to admit that my initial set of definitives is more visually pleasing than this batch, but I’m okay with the way these turned out. This is the third design I’ve completed in less than a month, the other two being my upcoming Philosateleian Post moon landing stamp and a not yet announced second Philosateleian Post issue for 2019.
If you like my new stamps, you can order a set from my online shop.