I can’t help but read this post title in the dialect of SLOTHS! I basically read all one worded exclamations this way. Anyway.. I originally hoped to be sharing our Save The Dates with you today but sadly I’m still waiting on some special stamps that I ordered to get here [they're a week late] so that I can mail them out, and once everyone gets them THEN I can share some details about them. So since stamps are obviously controlling my life, I thought I would share some stamp treasure I came across. Remember this post about how I want to layer vintage stamps on our wedding invitations? Well several of you asked me to keep you posted [get it?] on my stamp hunt, so here we go!
I was having a lot of trouble finding “face value” stamps online, but I did some research and found that SA was having a Stamp Show on April 14th. I didn’t really know what to expect, so I dragged Derek along for moral support. When we got there we were by far the youngest people in the room, and everyone made it a point to stare at us thinking “what in tarnation are these kids doing here?” I imagine they would use words like “tarnation” in their heads because at least four of them looked of that era.
After asking a couple of the booths if they were selling any stamps at face value, I was feeling a little rejected. Apparently only high dollar stamps are brought to shows for the more serious collectors. A rookie mistake. Finally one of the booth owners told me about a local stamp shop on Broadway St. called ABC Stamps that has a ton of face value stamps. When I got there I asked the owner if he had any and he pulled out buckets and buckets of vintage stamps he was selling at face value. VICTORY!
Needless to say I spent three hours there going through each and every bin finding just the perfect stamps the match our personalities and color scheme. Then came the hard part. Stamp math. I knew I needed 72 envelopes worth of 45¢ postage and I wanted each one to look relatively the same. So as I sorted through the piles and chatted with the old men about my wedding and how much they love cake, I started making my own piles of what I like to call “starters” and “fillers”.The starters would be the consistant stamps on each envelope. For example I found some old 15¢, 18¢, and 20¢ Architecture stamps that I had been eyeing online that were selling for $1 a pop. So I asked the owener if he had any more of these and he pulled out sheets and sheets of them and gave them all to me for face value. Awesome!
The 20¢ were my favorite because they featured more modern Architecture including our bestie Mies van der Rohe. Sadly there were only like 12 of these so we’re saving them for our favorite Architecture loving guests.
Using the different Architecture stamps would be perfect because you want to have some higher priced stamps to start with and then build off of with lower valued stamps until adding up to your total postage. Having different valued starter stamps made the math tricky though because I had x number of 15¢, x number of 18¢, and x number of 20¢ so I just made a table with each starting stamp’s value to work down from. The owner felt my pain gave me a huge pad and pencil to work out all of the math.
My piles were divided into the following categories: Architecture stamps, cool 6¢-ers, colorful dancers, bright fillers [a bunch of 3¢ guys], pink flowers, hemisfair ’68, states of guests, and cool extras to keep for myself [surprise surprise]. I’m sure this sounds crazy but it made sense to me.
I found a bunch of colorful dancers and pink flowers that I liked because they were big and 13¢ and 18¢ which would help get up to 45¢ much quicker. There weren’t 72 each of these so I divided them in half [1/2 guests will get colorful dancers and 1/2 with get pink flowers].
I also found some great Hemisfair ’68 stamps which are important to us because Hemisfair was in San Antonio, and these stamps are a beautiful purple and magenta, and they were textured! A very cool find, but at 6¢ a pop this didn’t help much. So I was sure to also incorporate a bunch of my other “cool 6¢-ers” starting with some Walt Disneys. We’re both huge Disney fans and these stamps have his face with colorful fairies and balloons floating around him. Very whimsical! I definitely didn’t have enough Disneys to fill all 72 piles so I switched to some beautiful botanicals I came across, followed by some pink and purple jazzy trumpet players. I had a bunch of 3¢ guys I wanted to use as fillers when getting up to 45¢ was more difficult. I found a bunch of fuscia Thomas Edisons that were nice and small, some bright orange 200th anniversary commemoratives of Nassau Hall, and some fun states like Michigan’s great lakes, Florida, and New York [which is perfect because we have a lot of family coming from those places so I'll be sure to plan those accordingly for our out of state guests] In the end everyone has about five stamps on their envelopes which looks very charming.
I ended up being a little overzealous with my calculations at the shop and had a bunch of smaller valued stamps left over. But they definitely won’t go to waste with all of the thank you cards, rehearsal invites, greeting cards, and general correspondence we’ll be sending. After spending the whole afternoon there I was officially smitten with vintage stamps. Even Derek was proud of everything I found and we made a deal to go back every month to restock our supply of these little goodies.
So the moral of this story is that it’s much better to dig through a bucket of stamps all day, then order them online and pay three times as much. Plus you get to meet some really fun people along the way! If you’re having trouble finding a local stamp shop, contact your local stamp club to find out where one is. It was so easy, and SO much fun!