Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I have a stamp collection from my childhood, and I have no idea why.

Recently Jeff and I went to the storage unit to grab a few things, including my childhood stamp collection. I have a craft project I'm working on involving stamps, and have a way larger collection than I remember! I know some of them came from Grama & Grampa, or their friends. Some came from a "stamp collectors show" in the basement of an old building in Ottawa that I got my mom to take me to even though it was kind grungy looking and smelled old and I was too shy to talk to people or even really look at all the stamp collecting stuff. And a lot of the stamps were purchased sets from a mail-order company.

I don't know how I started collecting stamps. Was it:

Me: "Mom, can I start a stamp collection?"
Mom: "Sure."


Mom: "Hey Kristin, how would you like to collect stamps?"
Me: "Sure."

I don't recall. I know that I must have been in about junior high, maybe as early as 4th grade. I very distinctly remember we lived in the house near Triumph, because I remember laying on the living room floor looking at the stamp sets and figuring out which ones I wanted to buy.

Where the money came from for stamp collecting, I really don't know. Those stamp sets weren't cheap, and I also had 3 books to put stamps in, as well as the hinges.  Just a guess here, but I would say at least $100 was spent on the collection I have under my bed, and that's an amount I never could have earned in allowance...
I've tried over the years to give my stamp collection away.  I would think of someone and say "Oh, I bet he/she/they would like my stamp collection!" only to be told, no, thank you, not interested.  I've read online that there are tons of unwanted stamp collections out there.  Back in the day, before everyone was fully immersed in their on-line/couch-potato lives, a few things were true:
  • You received a lot more communications via postal service, and with a real stamp.
  • People were bored and looked for things to do to keep them busy.
  • And people had either lived through or were being raised by people who had lived through the Great Depression, and therefore knew not to throw things away.
So someone looked at all their mail/envelopes that kept accumulating, and they had a light bulb moment.  A HA!  I will take these stamps off of the envelopes and put them into a book!  And then later, I can open the book and look at the stamps, all put together, in a collection!  A Stamp Collection!
Apparently just about everyone had a stamp collection (kinda like the sticker collections that every 3rd grade girl had in 1985), especially in the eastern European countries where fun was scarce and therefore rationed.  Now that the kids these days are more worried about how many likes their status got or how angry the birds are, there is no one to pass the stamps down to.  You can't sell them for much; the law of supply & demand and all.  The ones I have sure aren't worth anything, or at least worth less than the gas it would take me to drive them from home to the stamp place, if there even is such a place... 
Rhy was excited to see my collection, saying she had always wanted a stamp collection.  I gave her a few marine mammal stamps, since that's her favorite, but I don't know that she's interested in actually having a collection, since soon she'll have her drivers license and that really cuts down on the time you have for things like stamp collections.
So, once I'm done with this fun craft project (details to come once it's done), I'll have to decide what to do with the rest of the collection. I've gotten rid of the collecting books, except for the few pages that held stamps.  There's just so many stamps, I don't know that I really want to go through and look at them.  There are not a whole lot of postage stamp craft ideas on the interwebs to inspire me.
Which brings me to this:
  • Would you like some of my stamps?  Any particular color or interest so I can pair you well?
  • Any ideas on postage stamp crafts?  Also, once I reveal what I'm working on, there'll be info about either me making you one or me sending you stamps to make your own.
  • Any charitable organizations or schools that you think might want them?  I know a co-workers church sends them somewhere and gets paid, but I'd like to spread the wealth if I go this direction.
Did you have a childhood stamp collection?  Do you still have it?  If not, what happened to it?

1 comment:

  1. Lol I totally had/have a stamp collection too!!! Mine isn't as big as yours, I don't think. Cousin Leah used to send me all of the stamps she could find when we were pen pals back in the day. Lol