Sunday 25 February 2024

Silk on the Web!

If there is one stand-out Stampers on Youtube that never disappoints, it's Silk on the Web. I included him high on my list in this post last April, and he has not disappointed since!

He posts regularly, which is not easy. He has fun. Also not easy for those stodgy stampers out there. His videos are always interesting, varied, regular and enjoyable.

Recently, he offered some trades, and who doesn't love a good trade? In yesterday's video, he opened some of those he's received, including mine that I mailed on January 23 to St. Paul in an interior envelope made from Eric's album pages
No names or addresses other than his are mentioned. Seemingly happy with my modest trade (some traders are sending albums, mint stamps and series, but I'm sure he would even appreciate and enjoy anything!) including the cover and the postcard, one that my Dad picked up in New York City over 50 years ago! Glad to see someone enjoyed seeing it all these years later and many miles from here.
As the video says, people are giving up VAN life but not STAMP life. (I've often thought of adopting the van life. Stamp collecting could easily be done on the road, unlike say, blacksmithing or Coke machine refurbishment. But with my luck, parked in my plywood-lined van beside some Instagram-worthy mountain lake or wherever, a phantom breeze would probably blow through and all the stamps would suddenly be scattered to the four social media-friendly winds.) So I'll be staying put and indulging in the stamp life!

Silk kindly sent a trade back, arriving here on March 1. Included were two mint booklets, the one shown depicting a Stranraer amphibian! Awesome.

Wednesday 21 February 2024

Michael's Stamps - Free!

And by that title, I don't mean rubber stamps you can buy at Michaels craft stores! No, this is an intriguing effort by fellow retiree and musician Michael Lynn of Wellington, OH. Again, trying to spread stamp collecting in new ways, and who doesn't like Free?
After reading the article from StampEd, I emailed Michael and he will gladly accept donations of duplicates. I sent Michael some topical packs of 50 stamps each.  Michael emailed, "I just received your stamps and they will be super useful. I have been struggling trying to help with topical requests and this will make it much better."

Michael has sent out nearly 300 free kits. When I have duplicates, this will be where they go in the next little while! 

StampEd - I LikEd It!

Imagine my surprise when I found something online that actually promoted stamp collecting in a non-stodgy, non-boring, engaging manner! It's the debut issue of StampEd e-zine, I soon DiscoverEd, and it's aimed at the digital generation! (The Ed thing is part of the e-zine design theme.) 

It's a new outreach by the American Philatelic Society, and contains only a very soft sell for new members, which is nice to see. In fact, several articles and pieces in the magazine promote new ways to engage potential collectors, which is also nice to see. 

I snapped some screenshots of parts I liked, not only to share with whoever the heck is reading this blog, but mainly for my own reference! Their target demographic is not 50-60 year-old men, it's actually the 20-50 year-old crowd, especially women.

Canada's own - StampCat!
Mystic does indeed make neat stamp catalogues, but this Free! offer is only available in the U.S. 

Monday 19 February 2024

Michael Deas Paints Stamps

A recent CBS Sunday Morning report on New Orleans realist painter Michael Deas revealed his involvement in paintings used on U.S. Postal Service stamp issues: Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis, James Dean, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Katherine Ann Porter, Stephen Vincent Benet, Thorton Wilder, Thomas Wolfe, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Tennessee Williams, presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, and in autumn 2023 Ruth Bader Ginsburg and nine more. His paintings are often commissioned up to three years in advance of the release date.

In the early 1990's, Deas was also commissioned to paint Columbia Pictures illuminated logo that I've seen many times as the movie starts! He's also painted TIME magazine covers.

The master at work in his studio:

Wednesday 7 February 2024

When Worlds Collide

The words of model railroading and philately collided today. I grabbed an envelope mailed in the UK from the mailbox, realizing it was a complimentary copy of the bimonthly Roundhouse, the periodical of the NMRA British Region. I appreciated publisher Peter Bowen soliciting the article, patiently checking in with me in October/22, March/23 and May/23. I finally got on track and sent the article electronically in June/23. The article and photos reproduced nicely, and I was pleased to have my article on my home layout next to Tom Klimoski's Georgia Northeastern! But back to the stamps... 
Two different worlds also collided on the franked cover, with three stamps of two monarchs. The three stamps - 10 pence turquoise-green and 3 pound purple showing Her Late Majesty The Queen and 2 pound 20 dark green Jennings design showing King Charles III - each have an attached 2D code, implemented in February, 2022 as an attempt to reduce stamp counterfeiting. These stamps mark the transition between monarchs as well as the transition to coded stamps that render previous definitives unusable. The codes also allow the Royal Mail to track mail through its system, and are separated from the effigy by a fake perforation!
Now, I only have to figure out what the above label was doing on the front, underneath the mailing label!