Monday, May 25, 2009

collecting stamps...

stamps 2

Just wondering...

Do children still collect stamps these days??? What about coins???

Perhaps it's a dying art.

When I was growing up, it was a very 'boy' thing to do. All the boys seemed to have either a stamp album or a coin album, where they lovingly and carefully stored away their treasures. There was always great excitement when a new item was added to the collection.

One of the great decorator items of my childhood home, was the STAMP LAMP. Made by my father, it was the focal point of the living room. Originally it was a glass wine carafe. Dad had covered it in stamps... added the necessary cabling... filled it with sand... and added a lampshade. I loved the STAMP LAMP.

Unfortunately it didn't stand the test of time, and no longer exists. But I always imagined I would one day make one of my own.

stamps 1

Over the years, Mum had hoarded an interesting array of goodies. Mostly things from our childhood. Toys, school books, letters and cards. All sorts of things which we had long forgotten about. So it has been an interesting time to sort through these memories, now that she has passed away.

While sorting through my brother's memories, we came across a huge envelope BURSTING with stamps. They had been collected with the aim of addding them to the stamp album, but they didn't quite reach their destination. Most had just been torn from the corner of their envelope, and stashed away.

Of course he no longer wants them. They've been in storage for at least twenty years, and naturally his interests have changed since then.

But I couldn't allow them to be trashed!

They're home with me now... to be transformed into something new. Perhaps my very own STAMP LAMP, or maybe a vase.

Actually... I'd really LOVE to cover my filing cabinet... but I don't think I have nearly enough for that. Maybe I will start... one drawer at a time?


Sicilian said...

25 years ago when I was in college, I worked in the admissions department of the college. We got letters from all over the world, and I started saving the stamps.
I found those stamps, and like you have had visions of a lamp shade or something.
I am thinking about making a collage on paper and framing it up.
Thanks for your story because it made me smile.

Beth said...

I started collecting stamps and coins as a child, and still do. I have some stamps in an album, but not ones from recent years since my albums have been in storage. I even put them in the correct order, by issue date and left gaps for ones that I was missing in some sets.

When I have kids I hope they want to collect them too!

Ez said...


A few years ago, whilst semi-watching Wimbledon, I covered a desk-top filing cabinate with stamps.

Work was slow; drawer at a time, and I worried about the clashing colours of the stamps, but when it was finally finished it looked fantastic: a far snazzier creation than such a haphazard and effortless (though time consuming)thing had any right to be.

So fantastic it almost makes me want to be organised and file!

Good luck with your projects.

heklica said...

That stamp lamp sounds interesting. Hope you chose to make it.

Fruitful Fusion said...

I'd love to see how you get on with the stamps! My 9yr old daughter collects coins and keyrings. With the world being so much smaller these days, she has quite a collection of foreign coins! My friend's mother once mounted and framed part of her coin collection and it hung in their living room!

Orange Vaquita said...

I think the problem with stamp collecting is that most countries don't even use stamps anymore, just a printed tag or a stamp.

I know I start collecting them when I was a kid, and it was just impossible to find them. And if I did they were just the started ones with nor artwork on them.

It's a pity.

whatsonox said...

Look at Charles and Di!! He was definitely standing on a box. But that does take me back.

When I bought stamp albums for my nephews I had to really search hard to find the albums and spend far more than I thought I was going to have to. And I'm sure they weren't used for very long.

My children have put stamps in a stamp album but they weren't that interested.

But maybe stamp collecting will become trendy again. It was reported in February that the French president collects stamps - he gets the people he meets at conferences to keep him supplied with new ones:

Lisa said...

I decided the otehr night to make a penny collection (LOL) I am trying to find a penny for every year (possibly). I am not sure what Ill do with them but I figure its time I had a collection!

Anonymous said...

my mom covered a wooden box about the size of a cigar box ... as a kid i thought it would make a neat purse !

Sam said...

I have lots of stamps leftover from my (not very enthusiastic) stamp collecting days. I did dig them out for my kids, but they are so not interested, lol.

If you run out, I could send you a top up...unless of course what you come with is so good I have to copy! :-)

laughing purple goldfish said...

sicilian - please let me know if you go ahead with your plans... I would love to see photos!

beth - I'd love it if my kids were into collecting stamps and coins... but they prefer to collect POKEMON cards

erika james - that desk top file sounds wonderful! well done for sticking with it...

misha - I promise to let you know how I go :)

fruitful fusion - I love the idea of a framed collection... out on display so that everyone can enjoy it

orange vaquita - I wondered about that, too... most of the mail which arrives at our place does not bear a stamp

whatsonox - lol! I had a bit of a giggle at charles and di, too! a little unrealistic, I think :)

interesting to read about the french president, too... thanks for sharing

lisa - yay! you don't have to do anything with them... it's just interesting to look back on at a later date

anonymous - that would have made a fabulous purse! does she still have it???

sam - you're a treasure (I think!)

I'm going to have a play around with them and see how I go... I will definitely do a 'call out' on my blog if I need more to get the job done... much appreciated

Amy S. said...

I collected stamps in high school...but I never knew any one else who collected them. Many of my stamps I gained from the collection my Dad kept from his childhood, and some I gained from a stamp/coin collector store in my town here. I still like stamps, and I never got rid of the collection I grew. (Tucked away in storage right now.)
I liked the Japanese stamps the best, stemming from my fascination with all things Japanese. But there were ones there from all over the world.

My Aunt sends me collector sets of coins every couple of years, like this past year she sent me one for the upcoming Olympics (I live in Vancouver, where the next Winter Olympics are). Although I never got into coin collecting as much as stamp collecting, I still tuck away coins from other countries that somehow end up in my till at work. I ended up with a Romanian coin the other day actually. It's such an adventure looking at coins and stamps from around the world!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I actually collect stamps. As another poster replied, I work in graduate admissions and get stamps primarily from China and India. I collect them and then make jewelry out of them ( It's very awesome and people love them.

Big mamma frog said...

I was an avid stamp collector as a child (my sister less so). It's probably how I learned the limited geography that I still retain. I tried to interest ds1, but he gave up pretty quickly - prefers collecting coins (but then he likes money so no surprise there!). If you do come up with something fab to do with stamps please post. I've got loads and loads still rattling around in biscuit tins and cardboard boxes, I'd love to do something with them!

hexidecimalhack said...

I collect buttons and bottle caps, as well as other odd notions that I find in various places. I'm currently 21. My bottle cap collection is HUGE now. :D

laughing purple goldfish said...

I love hearing all about the collections people have... thank you all so much for sharing your stories with me :)