On April 1, the United States Postal Service issued its “From Me to You” stamp to celebrate National Card & Letter Writing Month. Due to an unexplained decision made during the design approval process, however, the stamp was issued with no design.
Okay, okay, I’m probably being too harsh. I mean, the four words that make up the “design” of this stamp are in different sizes and colors. The 1991 “F” rate makeup stamp, stuck with a single font size and color, was arguably even less visually interesting.
On the other hand, that “F” rate stamp did have a border, so maybe it wasn't so terrible after all.
Granted, my negative opinion of the “From Me to You” stamp is hardly universal. When the Letter Writers Alliance blog covered the release of the stamp, comments were very positive overall. And my sister likes the stamp, too, so maybe my dislike of it is just my curmudgeonly old man side showing its face.
Sometimes you know what to expect in your mailbox. At other times, you get a nice surprise.
Today was one of the nice surprises!
I certainly was expecting neither this first day cover bearing a copy of Britain’s Penny Black anniversary souvenir sheet nor the informational card included with it, both of which arrived in an envelope from Royal Mail.
When I initially saw images of the stamps online, I disliked how the outline of Queen Elizabeth’s profile is superimposed on the upper right corner of the anniversary stamps, but after seeing the stamps in person…well, they’re not horrible. I’m not saying there was no way to take a more inventive approach to the subject, but really, the stamps could be worse. It is the Penny Black, after all.
Why was receiving the FDC a nice surprise? Because I didn’t order it. That means either a) someone at Royal Mail decided to send it to me gratis, or b) one of my readers sent it to me. The latter seems more likely, but with no indication of who’s responsible, all I can say to the unknown benefactor is, “Thank you.”
Have you received any nice surprises in your mailbox recently?
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a sneak preview of Philosateleian Post’s new red-shouldered hawk stamp. Now, finally, the “official” press release about the stamp is available.
I plan to begin using this stamp on July 1. If you want a copy, see the press release for instructions on how to request one.
The red-shouldered hawk stamp is Philosateleian Post’s 25th different stamp design. I’m a little surprised I’ve made that many different stamps, especially considering that I’ve never produced more than three different designs in a single year. Although 25 is just a number, it does feel like a bit of a milestone.
New Hampshire’s Purgatory Post recently issued the latest in its series of stamps picturing covered bridges in the Granite State. The new 25¢ stamp pictures the Carleton bridge, which is located in Swanzey, New Hampshire. Scott A., who operates Purgatory Post, was kind enough to send some samples of his new stamp to me.
The stamp is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, it's the 160th issue produced by Purgatory Post. Congratulations, Scott! Second, this is the first stamp that Scott has perforated with a pounce wheel or tracing wheel. The tool, which is more commonly used in sewing, produces a neat row of tiny holes; the results are most obvious along the left edge of the stamp pictured above.
Scott's solution looks to be on par with paper cutters that have so-called “perforating wheels” that produce a roulette-like separation. The results may not be perfect, but they are still attractive and quite sufficient.