Wednesday, 16 September 2009

A confession

I have to confess - I've always loved stamps. As a child I collected them and spent hours going through my dad's albums. As an adult I still collected the first day covers until I realsied that there was no point to this exercise other than the fact that I loved them as miniature works of art. Whenever I can get access to them for next to nothing I do so. When I was in Oxford a couple of months back I was thrilled to see packets of assoerted stamps still attached to the original paper in a charity shop in Oxford. This was great - I could buy the stamps and not feel I was wasting my money as it was going to a good cause.

These packs were great and I particularly liked this miniature sheet of lighthouses (another of my obsessions)

I can spend ages sorting my stamps depending on what I'm going to do with them. Last year I saved hundreds of royalty themed stamps for my sister who is mad about the queen. I sorted them, soaked them, arranged them and stuck them all onto an old rectangular tray, covered it in in decoupage medium and gave it to her. I couldn't believe how thrilled she was!

So a couple of nights ago I found myself sifting and sorting stamps again. This time I was looking for Christmas stamps (above) and definitives (below). I haven't worked out what I'm going to do with the definitives yet - any ideas please let me know.

Once sorted I soak them off in a bowl of water overnight and by the next morning they are ready to be peeled off their backing and laid out to dry while I'm at work. Gosh my life is thrilling.

I try to concentrate on a few stamp designs at once so that I have a selection to play with. With the Christmas ones I decided to try out some card designs for this year. The card on the right is one I made last year and begged it back for the purposes of this post but it was well received so I decided to do some more. Still playing with ideas at the moment...

One of my earlier projects was to use all the lovely monotone stamps from the early part of the last century to cover a disney wastepaper bin thrifted for 10P. My original idea came after reading one of Kaffe Fassetts books where he had covered a lampshade with stamps. That man has a lot to answer for and I for one am thrilled at the impact he's had on my life over the last 30 years with his knitting, patchwork, books painting and general inspiration. If it hadn't been for him there might have been far less colour in our lives! I digress. I love the shades on this and the only thing stopping me making another is that I need more stamps!

I'm saddened that we use so few stamps these days and always like to pick up new designs when they come out hoping that by using those on my letters I can make somebody else's day in the way that unusual stamps on a leter makes mine!

Anyway if you like playing with stamps/maps and other bits of paper check out the work of "BOMBUS" on etsy. I think he/she is as obsessed as I am!

Hope you're having a good week!

Love Wend


  1. I think the Christmas cards are great. a really clever idea. I also really like what you did to the bin but I just don't think I would have the patience !
    Ann x

  2. You certainly have some great stamp ideas. I also have always loved stamps they can tell so many stories. Just keep collecting because I have a horrible feeling that one day some bright spark in government will decide we don't need them anymore. I bought a lovely pack from an antique centre and the money went to the guide dogs, someone had sat and lovingly sorted the stamps into colours-true devotion.

  3. What a wonderful use of the stamps, I know what you mean about sitting and sorting out, I feel the same way about buttons. Good work with the bin it must have taken you absolutely ages.

  4. My son would absolutely love a bin like that but I am not sure if I have the patience to create one!

  5. looks amazing , the christmas card idea is really clever, did you just mention the word christmas!!!!!
    loved bombus work too....I've decoupaged my sons bedroom ceiling with old maps ....its a fantastic art form isn't it ...lots of possibilities.

  6. Fab Christmas cards. My husband collected stamps as a child and I used some of these to make a framed picture to go in our son's bedroom, like you say they are miniature works of art which need to be displayed.

  7. I would just love to sit and look at them and "soak" them up mentally. They are such lovely things aren't they? Anything to do with letter writing is: the inside of envelopes (quite a lot of different patterns if you look) and also I love postmarks. Thanks for a brilliant post. x

  8. I loved stamps as a child - had my Grandfathers stamp album & colected first day covers. Those Christmas trees are rather lovely xx

  9. What a great collection. I used to collect stamps as a child along with my dad. I think he wants to get my 2 boys collecting - any excuse to get the stamps out again!

  10. I have hundreds (maybe thousands) of stamps if you want them. I recently went through a similar exercise of soaking them all of the paper and sorting them into colours, but I doubt I will ever use them if I'm honest. I'd rather they went to a good home. If you would like them - let me know!

    I also have a couple of postage stamp inchies I made - you can have them as well if you like!


  11. Great collection of stamps...
    I love the idea of re-purposing things.
    So the fact that you are using your collection, to make wonderful things with them, its great!


  12. The Christmas card stamp tree is a wonderful idea. I like the stamped bin too!

  13. If you'd like to email me your address, I'll send you an envelope or postcard with one of the famour French chocolate-scented stamps on, if you like! I've only got a few left, and I resent using them on tax envelopes...

    I love your stamp crafts. Last year Son 2 made 'iris folding' Christmas cards and used an old Christmas stamp in the 'iris' of each one. That was quite nice, but would hardly use up much of your collection!

  14. LOVE that Bin hun!! Maybe you can go smaller scale and cover hard back books, tubs etc for someones desk etc??
    Great're right about being mini works of art!! Never really looked too hard at them but you have made me pause for thought now!!
    Annie x

  15. Hello Wendy! Did you get my email? I just wanted to know if you received my giveaway from the Linden Grove blog. Have a nice weekend.