Going Postal

Going Postal

You may recall that in the spring I acquired several envelopes of vintage postage stamps once belonging to my great grandfather and I was casting about, trying to figure out what to do with them.

In the interim, my dad found some more of them in a filing cabinet, and now I have lots.

Going Postal 1

It took me a good hour to sort them from his weird Scottish code to something that I could understand.

Going Postal 3

And now I’m going to show you two things I did with them.  I’m sure I’ll do more in the future.

The first idea I had was to enlarge two of the stamps I liked very much.  To do this, I took a close-up photo of each using my macro lens and some bright light.  I was originally going to scan them instead, but I found they lost a lot of their depth that way.

Going Postal 5

This is my improvised light box: a bright window, a white sheet of board, and a clean surface.

Going Postal 4

I touched up the images to improve the contrast and remove imperfections. I love the sheer size of my new computer screen for doing this. No more sticking my nose to the screen!

Going Postal 6

After alterations:

Going Postal 7

So here are the two I want to blow up. The mountain goat:

Mountain Goat 1956

And Expo 67.  You can see that by taking a photo instead of scanning you can pick up the slightly raised red ink on the expo67 and the 5.

Expo 67

Then I had the Pie take the images to our university’s printing services and he came home with these nice big printouts.  I bought a special pair of scrapbooking scissors at Michael’s that resembles the edges of a postage stamp, so I cut out the stamp image to look like a giant stamp.

Going Postal 2 1

Then I simply inserted it in a photo frame of the appropriate size and shape.

Going Postal 2 2

This extra one is for Rusty, because he’s an ice maker (and does curling ice), so I thought he would like it.  Three stacked one on top of the other I think makes the colour contrasts stand out nicely.

Going Postal 2 13

The other thing I did involved a stamp series, which I simply placed in a collage on black paper (for contrast) and inserted in the frame.

Going Postal 2 10

This is actually two series together, both of Queen Elizabeth, both representing certain elements of Canadian culture and industry.

Going Postal 2 12

For added interest, I did a little research on each stamp (Collections Canada has a comprehensive list) and printed out the information to accompany each framed picture.

Inviting Inspiration: Vintage Postage Stamps

Vintage Postage Stamps

I have here an envelope.

Vintage Postage Stamps

Inside this envelope are a bunch of old postage stamps.  Each one is valued at 5 cents.

Vintage Postage Stamps

Each one is from Canada.  And I’m assuming most of them date from the late 1950s through the 1960s.

Vintage Postage Stamps

Vintage Postage Stamps

Vintage Postage Stamps

Vintage Postage Stamps

I want to do something awesome with them, so maybe you can help me come up with some ideas.  I’ve seen a lot of things on the internet that are postage-stamp inspired, but the three most common projects that seem to turn up using the actual stamps themselves are these:

I’m not that into découpage, but this stamped table is intriguing (though I don’t have a small table at the moment).

Vintage Postage Stamps

This postage stamp monogram is also interesting, and the Pie and I do share the same first initial (heck, I could probably do ALL of the Pie’s initials with the amount of stamps I have — and he has two middle names).

Vintage Postage Stamps

I also really like the collage of postage stamps, framed and based on colour.  Though I feel like this might be better suited for a collection of stamps from all over the world, or one where I don’t have so many stamps of the same design.  But we shall see.

Vintage Postage Stamps

This one is my particular favourite, from 1956.  I kind of want to blow this one up to poster size and frame it.

Vintage Postage Stamps

Vintage Postage Stamps

Please let me know if you have any ideas!