Postage Stamp Garland


How lovely are these garlands? I have one hanging over my desk, a gift from my friend Dari. Her friend Claire makes and sells them at her Etsy shop, MontclairMade. They would be fun to make too. Here’s an inexpensive gift idea: Mail one of these garlands to a snail mail appreciating friend, using vintage stamps for postage (un-cancelled stamps never expire). Who wouldn’t love receiving that?

Time Capsules

Last week I wrote about sending a postcard to an imagined recipient with whom I have something in common, the current occupant of my old post office box from college.

How about sending off messages to imagined recipients of the future? To someone who you feel a commonality with, even though she or he does not yet exist? Time Capsules for our Grandchildren is a project by artist Stephanie Diamond, Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, and a group of elementary school students in Philadelphia. The kids photographed their neighborhoods, gathered ephemera circa 2013, and wrote letters to their grandchildren. All of these items have been placed in air tight containers and will be buried in the Tyler School of Art Green Space on June 6th, 2013 at 4pm. And in 50 years to the day, the time capsules will be opened, and hopefully the children’s messages will be received!



I am so curious about what the kids wrote and what it will be like for people not yet born to receive their messages. Apparently the kids will read from their letters on June 6th and since the event is open to the public, you Philly area readers should go as VSM correspondents (how did ya like that double entendre?) and report back!

Viva Snail (like 50 years snail-y) Mail!

College Mail

By way of social media I learned that Jason Uechi, a fellow alum of Hampshire College, was encouraging people to send mail to their old college post office boxes. Of course I lit up at this idea. I immediately found this ‘so terrible its good’ postcard of Hampshire from my collection and sent it off.


Uechi was inspired by the care packages he used to receive in college from family back in Hawaii, filled with items that he couldn’t get on the East Coast. Recently he started sending treats back to his parents and somehow made the leap to mailing something to the current occupant of the po box where he received all those much loved care packages back in the 1980’s. He put the word out on Facebook to other alums and the response was enthusiastic.

I’m guessing that the p.o. box is far less important for college students these days, what with all the instant methods of connecting with the world beyond campus. For me, pre internet and pre cell phone and on financial aid, mail was a real link to my friends and family and much cheaper than making long distance phone calls. I love that Uechi’s idea reactivates the p.o. box as a place of surprise, connection, and chocolate.


Cather Mail


Author Willa Cather‘s never before seen letters were recently published as a book. Javier Jaén Benavides used the 1973 Willa Cather postage stamps to create a simple but perfect illustration to accompany the write up in the New York Times Book Review. These stamps were included in my postage stamp inheritance from Grandpa Sidney. Nice to see them revived, in remembrance of an American treasure like Cather.