Five 2019 Stamp Releases that I'm Very Excited About

Interested in the 2019 USPS forever stamp lineup? Details are here!

On November 20th, USPS issued a press release detailing the 2019 Forever Stamp Lineup. Here are five sets that I’m particularly excited about, and why.

All images sourced from the United States Postal Service.


Wild and Scenic Rivers

What they are: “This issuance celebrates Wild and Scenic Rivers — exceptional American streams that run freely through natural landscapes without man-made alterations. The pane of a dozen different designs features photographs that represent the more than 200 rivers or river segments designated within the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.” - USPS

Why I love them: I do SO many nature-themed wedding sets for brides. I always love being able to pull in an at-price current stamp that helps to tie in vintage ones. I’m particularly excited about this set because it features 12 stamps that are ALL gorgeous in their own right. Bravo, USPS on pulling some beautiful images across the sheet. (clapping emoji hands here)

 

Image Credit/Source: USPS Press Release

 

Walt Whitman

What they are: “With this stamp, the 32nd in the Literary Arts series, the Postal Service honors poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892) on the bicentennial of his birth. The stamp features a portrait of Whitman based on a photograph taken by Frank Pearsall in 1869. In the background, a hermit thrush sitting on the branch of a lilac bush recalls “When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard Bloom'd,” an elegy for President Abraham Lincoln written by Whitman soon after Lincoln's assassination on April 14, 1865.” - USPS

Why I love them: First, this is a 3-ounce stamp (currently worth $0.92, though rates are scheduled to go up early in 2019), which is awesome because with everyone getting super creative with their mailings/wedding suites (read: lots of inserts, wax seals, etc.) I am running out of ways to get more and more postage on heavy/irregular sized envelopes. Second, the GORGEOUS lavender hue will pair so nicely with so many existing vintage stamps — I’m excited to have more violets in my lineups!

 

Image Credit/Source: USPS Press Release

 

Frogs

What they are: “In 2019, the Postal Service issues Frogs, four new stamps in a booklet of 20, featuring digital illustrations of four North American frogs: the Pacific tree frog, the northern leopard frog, the American green tree frog and the squirrel tree frog.” - USPS

Why I love them: Say what you will about amphibians, these bright green stamps will add such a fun pop to your correspondence. With an extensive vintage hoard of green stamps, the sky is the limit on pairing these with some gorgeous green hues. I can’t wait to pair these with some of those vintage low-value greens that I love using so much.

 

Image Credit/Source: USPS Press Release

 

California Dogface Butterfly

What they are: “The California dogface graces the seventh non-machineable butterfly stamp for use on irregularly sized envelopes, such as square greeting cards, invitations or announcements.” - USPS

Why I love them: I’m all about the butterfly stamps. This will mean that eventually those beautiful blue butterflies will go away (OMG, please no!), but it’s time for something new, and these open up some new possibilities with different color schemes… pinks, yellows, oranges… I’m loving the idea of shifting away from a heavy blue phase. Though, I still love the idea of having a little something old and blue on the outside of a wedding invitation.

 

Image Credit/Source: USPS Press Release

 

Coral Reefs

What they are: “Four new postcard stamps celebrate the beauty and wonder of coral reefs. Each stamp depicts a type of stony coral, along with associated reef fish, in a highly stylized manner: elkhorn coral, shown with two French angelfish; brain coral, with a spotted moray eel; staghorn coral, with bluestriped grunts; pillar coral, with a coney grouper and neon gobies.” - USPS

Why I love them: OK, so these might be a little too bright for most of my brides, but the more I look at these, the most I love them. These are postcard stamps, so they are currently worth $0.35. I feel like there are some fun tropical weddings that could pull these into some fun response envelope designs. Thoughts?

 Image Credit/Source:  USPS Press Release

Image Credit/Source: USPS Press Release


My Paper People Series | Cheree Berry Paper Holiday Cards

Interested in vintage postage this season? You’ll need some beautiful holiday cards to mail first, and I’ve got just the place to find them!

Where to start with this incredible group of artists and creatives…

I had heard tales of Cheree Berry Paper a number of years ago, but it wasn’t until my best friend got married and worked with the Cheree Berry Paper team that I really came to understand the level of differentiated experience and product that brides, and by extension, holiday card purchasers, receive when working with and buying from Cheree and her talented team. Custom... High-end…. Unbelievably stunning... all projects are done with an eye for detail and beautiful design.

In short, this company provides all the answers to my bizarre and obsessive paper fantasies. 

For those who don’t know the backstory of Magnolia Postage, I got into the vintage stamp business after I decided that a fun wedding project would be to customize every single one of my wedding invitation envelopes with postage that spoke to my relationship with each guest, their location, their hobbies, etc. This involved spending an unconscionable amount of money on vintage stamps (no one was really doing the custom vintage postage thing yet), and being left with a HUGE collection of vintage postage.

 

… no really, I mailed 175+ envelopes that all had different stamps on them.

 

I relay this story because my goal as an obsessive bride was to do things here and there that I thought would truly floor or touch our guests in a different way. Paper, despite everyone’s argument that people would just throw it away, was a place that I thought I could differentiate the experience… and for the record, we got more positive feedback on the stamps and on our invitations than on just about any other thing we did (my uncle claimed that he was planning to frame the envelope).

But let’s get back to the point I’m trying to make:

 

Paper, in an age where people seem to be numb to the constant onslaught of information and email communication, is an incredible way to make a statement and to set your event or greeting apart.

 

Around the holidays, this applies just as much - there is nothing I love more than sending a beautiful card with an envelope covered in vintage stamps that makes people pause, take another look, and say “Wow! This is something that goes in the keepsake box”. Cheree Berry Paper does just that.

Cheree’s team has a stunning set of holiday cards and envelopes this season which can be customized with a family photo and holiday message, and many of which also have personal elements that can be modified to represent you and your family (monogrammed envelopes, illustrations, gold foil, etc.). Cheree Berry Paper’s cards are known for their interactive elements like die cuts and peek-a-boo windows (remember that keepsake box comment?....), AND to my great joy and excitement, they also have a number of statement envelopes which feature creative holiday touches on the envelopes themselves (those reindeer pulling a sleigh full of vintage stamps is pretty incredible). 

Cheree Berry Paper has a design and production department based in St. Louis, MO that lines all the envelopes, ties all the bows, and assembles each set of cards before shipping them out to you.

I love their website’s about section that sums the group up as “a team of creatives that approaches all aspects of the design process with enthusiasm, passion and meticulous care. Founded in 2007, primarily as a custom stationery company, CBP has since evolved to become an award-winning graphic design firm sought after for its playful, yet polished, sensibility. As visual storytellers, we create conceptual designs that are unexpected, clever and command attention. No matter the project, big or small, we love the creative challenge of identifying one visual solution just right for our clients.”

If you’re interested in purchasing vintage stamps for your holiday cards, you can shop our vintage holiday postage collection here, peruse our sample holiday postage gallery for inspiration, or you can submit a custom design request here.

You can learn more about Cheree Berry Paper here: https://chereeberrypaper.com/. All holiday cards in this post are linked to their counterpart on chereeberrypaper.com, but they can also be found here:

BOXED CARD SETS

  • Merry Mail Boxed Card Set – Interactive mailbox card. Put your holiday message on the postcard and pull it out to reveal your greeting.

  • Scallop Boxed Card Set – Gorgeous scallop envelope with room to place a personal holiday message inside.

PERSONALIZED HOLIDAY CARDS

You provide your family photo and holiday greeting, and then a designer hand typesets your message, performs slight retouching on your photo and delivers a digital proof before production.

Vintage Christmas Seals, what's the deal?

A few years ago when I was getting started in the vintage stamp business, I accidentally bought a large lot of Christmas Seals thinking that I was buying a large collection of Christmas stamps (oops). When the holiday seals arrived I found myself saying, “huh, that’s strange, why don’t these stamps say how much they are worth?…” which was when the realization set in that I hadn’t bought vintage Christmas stamps at all.

 
Magnolia-Postage-7049.jpg
 

Lesson learned: seals and stamps look very similar - but Christmas seals are definitely NOT postage stamps.

Are they vintage? Yes

Are many of them gorgeous and well designed? Most definitely

Can you use them? Yes

… just not on the front of your envelopes.

The first Christmas seals were created in Denmark in 1904 when a Danish postal clerk named Einar Holbøll was looking for a way to raise money to help sick children with tuberculosis. Throughout the 1600-1800s in Europe, TB caused 25% of all deaths. Similar numbers were reported in the United States [1]. Tuberculosis was a disease with a massive impact on populations and its impact on children was particularly cruel. Though TB rates have gone down over time, especially in the US where a total of 9,105 TB cases (a rate of 2.8 cases per 100,000 persons, or %0.0028) were reported in 2017 [2], TB is still one of the most common major infectious diseases in the world.

More than 4 million Christmas seals were sold in Denmark that first year, and the trend was subsequently picked up by other countries. Soon after Denmark issued the first Christmas seal, many other European countries followed suit with the majority of all TB seals issued around Christmas time. Many of the Christmas seals included the international symbol against TB, the double barred Cross of Lorraine (you will see that red symbol on most older Christmas Seals).

 
Magnolia-Postage-7047.jpg
 

Christmas seals were introduced to the US by Emily Bissell in 1907 when she was looking to raise funds to save a sanitarium in Delaware that was on the verge of needing to shut down. Bissell had heard of the success of Christmas Seals in Europe and she designed and printed special holiday seals to sell for a penny each at the post office.

By the end of her holiday campaign (and after an endorsement by President Roosevelt), she and a large group of committed volunteers had raised ten times the goal and the American Lung Association Christmas Seals® were born. The tradition continued and grew year after year through World War I, The Great Depression and World War II. [3]

As the American Lung Association’s mission expanded to include research into other respiratory diseases, such as lung cancer, more people began to send Christmas Seals®. As the American Lung Association stepped up to protect children and families from pollution and cigarette smoke in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, America continued its support each year by supporting the Christmas Seals tradition. [3]

In 1987 the American Lung Association acquired a US trademark for the term "Christmas Seals" to protect their right to be the sole US national fundraising Association to issue them, and Christmas Seals are still released annually to benefit the American Lung Association.

Today, there are nearly one hundred different lung associations worldwide that issue Christmas seals. Many different countries issue their own Christmas seals, as well as cities, states and territories. Additionally, many other organizations and charitable funds (e.g., religious organizations, civic and fraternal societies, patriotic organizations, sororities, etc.,) issue seals around the holidays, often designed to portray Christmas themes.  Since these seals are not issued to fight tuberculosis, they lack the double barred cross of Lorraine, the international symbol for the fight against tuberculosis.

 
Magnolia-Postage-7041.jpg
 

Vintage holiday seals are a fantastic way to not only dress up your holiday cards and support a good cause, but also to ensure that the back flap of your envelope stays closed. Christmas seals don’t need to be constrained to an envelope though, you can use Christmas seals to attach gift tags, hold gift wrap and ribbon in place on gifts, or just generally to dress up a greeting or note to someone who will appreciate the vintage touch.

We sell a number of vintage Christmas seals here


Sources:

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/history.htm

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/tb/statistics/default.htm

[3] http://www.christmasseals.org/history/

Throughout: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_seal

My Paper People Series | Happy Menocal

I had such grand plans when I decided to start this blog project (isn't that the case for like 99% of all blogs - most of which are total flops?), in fact, I sat down and came up with enough ideas to do two blog posts a week for the whole rest of this year .. there were grand plans to go on and on about vintage stamps, and vintage wedding postage, and themed stamp collections, etc., etc... I have no shortage of ideas, but I do seem to have a shortage of free time.

... But, I digress ...

Here I am, with another blog post to kick off a new (realistically not so regular... let's just be honest, shall we?) series called "My Paper People", because stamps need beautiful paper to go on, and as such I work with a lot of beautiful-paper-making people.

Happy Menocal Paper Suite with Magnolia Postage Vintage Stamps

Happy Menocal Studio is based in Brooklyn and is a team of creative geniuses who create whimsical, gorgeous, drool-worthy paper suites (along with other fun projects) for all manner of celebration and heraldry. The team is led by Happy Menocal, and I love working with them because they are responsive, have a 6th sense for beautiful design and color combinations, and they genuinely love the work they do.

Happy Menocal 11.PNG

I first came across Happy Menocal a number of years ago when I realized that Paperless Post had a real paper arm to go alongside their paperless one. I did all of my wedding save the dates and invitations through Paperless Post, and the ease of pushing out a custom paper invitation (along with the seemingly endless selection of options) helped me come to the conclusion that all parties, events, announcements, and general correspondence truly require gorgeous paper, with curated vintage stamps, of course. 

 

Happy Menocal Paperless Post Samples

 
 

 

If you go to paperless post and search for Happy Menocal Studio's designs (or click here)... there are a cool 95 options to select from.

But Happy and her team don't only supply Paperless post with paper/paperless options, they also work with clients to create stunning... and I mean REALLY stunning ... paper suites and custom emblems (and more!) for all sorts of things (weddings, parties, events, announcements, etc.). Talk about the perfect team for a passion project!

 
 

When I reached out to the team and they graciously agreed to collaborate, I almost cried when the box of paper (samples pictured in shots below) rolled into my mailbox. Had I died and gone to paper heaven? I think I had... I have... Yep, I'm there. 

I'll wrap this up by saying that Happy and her team are one of my favorite groups of paper people, and I offer up the following as proof that beautiful paper and vintage stamps were meant to be together.

Who wouldn't treasure a wedding invitation and outer envelope with vintage wedding postage like this for years to come?

Vintage Mountain Wedding Stamps

Is it just me, or is there nothing as romantic or whimsical as a mountain wedding - especially one that takes place mid-June while the wild flowers are in bloom and the fresh mountain air circulates? Warm days, cool nights, the sounds of a mountain stream? No? Did I lose you there?

All weddings are perfect in their own way, but some of my favorite sets of vintage wedding postage to curate pull in mountain themes that highlight vintage stamps that feature things like fly fishing, hiking, skiing, wildlife, and mountain flowers.

Here are a few sets of vintage mountain wedding stamps - see what we mean?:

Magnolia-Postage-Mountain-Wedding-Stamps-5.jpg

Gorgeous, right?  Beautiful paper suite by Cheree Berry Paper.

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Cactus and Copper Styled Shoot

One of the best parts of my job is getting to work with wedding professionals who are equally as passionate about creating impossible to forget weddings and events.  From photographers, to stationers, to pastry chefs, to makeup artists, to videographers, to calligraphers, to planners, to dress designers, and on, and on - there are so many people whose passion ensures that a person’s big day is everything they dreamed of and more.

A side benefit of getting to work with these passionate individuals is collaborative projects and styled shoots.  The one featured here today just wrapped, and it is one of my absolute favorites! Cacti, bright colors, gorgeous tablescapes, pretty paper, and Magnolia Postage vintage stamps (of course), all pulled together by an incredibly talented team of passionate wedding professionals (all credited below).

Shoots like these remind me of the fun in pulling together a cohesive set of vintage stamps for wedding invitations.  I often ask clients about their interests, family, fiancé, how they met, where they met, what they love doing together, and where their big event takes place ... are there colors or themes that are being used during their event that I can help to highlight with a nod though vintage postage?  Understanding these fun facts helps me pull stamps that hint at the wonder of their upcoming event... like an inside joke, or quiet hint, a coordinated set of vintage stamps can help to reflect the special day that is to come.

There are so many fun examples of other styled shoots that I can’t wait to share.  Stay tuned for more fun updates.

Huge credit and thanks to the wonderful team listed below (most located in/near Annapolis, Maryland).

Photographer
Emily Brianne Photography - @emilybriannephotography

Stationery
Susan Wilson Design@susanwilsondesigns

Envelope Calligraphy
Pluma Palomino (Candice Webster) - @plumapalomino

Vintage Postage
Magnolia Postage - @magnoliapostage

Venue
Prism Annapolis (Jennifer Casey) -  @prismannapolis

Design
Sentimental Fools (Jess) - @thesentimentalfools

Cactus Signage
The Printed Palm (Lindsey Houser) - @theprintedpalm

Florist
Keleidoscope Florals (Kelley) -  @keleidoscopeflorals

Videographer
Abidoodle Productions (Abigail Coale) - @abidoodleproductionsvideo

Hair and Makeup
Wild Hearted Beauty (Gretchen) - @wildheartedbeauty

Gown
Annapolis Bridal and Tuxedo (Flavia) - @annapolisbridal

Jewelry
Rachel Mulherin -  @rachelmulherin

Chair Rentals
Something Vintage Rentals@smthingvintage

Baker
Little Village Bakery (Lina)@littlevillagebakery

Models
Liz & Dennis - @roxyliz93 @dennisthomasjr

Rosé
Day Owl Rosé@dayowlrose

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The Season for Green

It is late spring here in North Carolina and perennial bulbs are bursting to life, grass is growing, leaves are unfurling, and brides are heading down the aisle. What better time to talk about one of the most abundant colors in the vintage stamp anthology: Green.

I use green more than just about any other color when it comes to styling vintage stamps for wedding invitations. The options and themes that can be pulled from the green stamps that have been released are seemingly endless: florals, trees, golf, fishing, nautical, Florida, New York, DC, South Carolina, Nevada, Minnesota, lakes, poets, authors, colonial history, and on and on… you get the picture.

And what could be better than green vintage postage? Well, pink and green vintage stamps of course, but we’ll cover that another day.

 

Looking to purchase green stamps? Here are some of the ones we stock:
1-5 Cent Green Stamps | 6-20 Cent Green Stamps | 21-30 Cent Green Stamps | 31+ Cent Green Stamps

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Selecting the Perfect Stamps for your Mother's Day Audience

When I think back to what started my vintage postage obsession, I default to crediting Pinterest (where all fabulous ideas come from); however, my mother reminded me a few months ago that she has been sending me envelopes covered in [strange] combinations of vintage stamps for years.

So perhaps now is the right time to credit my mom for inspiring my philatelic obsession.

Philately \ phi·lat·e·ly  \ fə-ˈla-tə-lē \ noun \ the collection and study of postage and imprinted stamps : stamp collecting

Philatelic \ˌfi-lə-ˈte-lik\ adjective

Philatelically \ˌfi-lə-ˈte-li-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

As I got my Mother’s Day card ready to send out, I veered towards her vintage stamp style - stamps chosen more for humor than for good looks. I covered the envelope (which was obscenely over-posted) in vintage stamps that ranged from potentially offensive due to changing social norms and vocabulary over the past 50 years, to downright strange and generally unappealing.

Does it tell a story? Yes, but probably not one that most people would appreciate, or understand, but, I know that when she receives it she’ll get a kick of out it, and that’s what’s really important.

The lesson here is: Know your audience.

This is what I truly love about curating vintage stamps - you have the ability to command attention, tell a story, get a second, third and fourth look, and remind people that what they just received in the mail took time, effort, and love to put together. Whether it's vintage stamps for wedding invitations, holiday cards, birth announcements, or just a cute note to say hello, don't we all want that second, third and fourth look?

If my Mother’s Day audience was different, my card might have looked more like one of these, and perhaps would have been accompanied by peonies, my mom’s favorite flower.

Wishing all of you a very Happy Mother's Day - we're so excited to be sharing with you on a fun new platform.

Beautiful calligraphy in the images is by Suzanne Cunningham, and hints of a beautiful paper suite by Ledgewood Fine Stationery.

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Our First Blog Post is Coming

Keep an eye out this Saturday, May 12th for our very first blog post!

We can't wait to share what projects we're working on, what's inspiring us, how we think about combining vintage postage, and how you can use beautiful vintage stamps for wedding invitations, response cards, announcements, holiday cards, and all other forms of beautiful paper correspondence.

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