Friday, August 31, 2012

A SilverCrow Giveaway!

Note from Mel:  Happy Labo(u)r Day, North Americans!  I'm re-running this post from Monday so that more people sign up for this AMAZING giveaway - sign up soon, because the contest ends tonight at 5 p.m. CDT!  Have a safe weekend, everyone!

Happy Monday, everyone!  I thought I'd begin the week with a fun chance to win an AMAZING prize pack!

If you read Friday's post, you may have seen the sneak peek of the giveaway; now I can let you know that this is an Asian Papers Pack from Silver Crow Creations (scroll about halfway down the page to see)!  Here, in Annie's words, is what the pack is all about:
SilverCrow's Asian Packet is a collection of articles from the exotic lands of the East. We've compiled an exquisite selection of about 67 items, including fine papers, Joss and spirit papers, ephemera (vintage and new), golden-leaved envelopes, vintage hand-written pieces, spirit money and origami selections.
Each package is unique, but includes a 1-inch hand-made origami crane, a bronze good-luck charm and a whimsical paper umbrella. All of the items in the package have been hand-selected, making each assortment a unique and creative inspiration pack.
This wonderful pack is worth $39 if purchased separately; SilverCrow is selling it for $19, and if you win the giveaway, it could be yours FREE.  This is a fantastic giveaway!

If you want in on this action, here's what you do:

  • Head to SilverCrow Creations to see what the site is all about
  • In the comments below, let us know your favorite category (they have SO much stuff, it wouldn't be fair to ask you about your favorite item!)
  • LEAVE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS IN THE name(at)domain(dot)com FORMAT!!!!  I CAN'T STRESS THIS ENOUGH! If you don't leave your e-mail address in the comments, you'll be instantly disqualified.
That's it!  :D

I know many of you enjoy collecting or collaging with Asian papers (or both!) - now's your chance to score some for FREE!!!  I'll announce the winner on Friday, August 31 at 5 p.m.  Because it's a holiday weekend for much of North America, I'll give you until Tuesday, September 4 at noon to respond if you're the winner. If I don't hear from you by then, I'll draw another name.

Best of luck to all of you, and a HUGE thanks to SilverCrow Creations for allowing me to do this giveaway! Thank you, Annie and Pete (and Omar the cat)!  :D

Thursday, August 30, 2012

If it Ain't Broke....

"We try harder" in phonetic Thai
We Try Harder.

Quick - whose slogan is this?  Or more correctly, whose slogan WAS this?

Most of you North Americans probably know that the slogan belonged to Avis.  Yep, belonged.  Very recently, they changed it to "It's your Space".

I've always loved advertising logos and slogans (as seen in this post).  I used to own a board game called "Adverteasing", where the whole object of the game was to guess the company to the slogan on the card.  I'm sure "We Try Harder" was one of them, because it had been around since 1962.  The slogan is six years older than I am!

In the articles I've read about Avis' decision to switch a tried-and-true slogan to an arguably more forgettable one, they all wonder, "why the change?".  I have to agree - what does "It's your Space." even mean?  All I can say is that they better come up with some super clever ads to go with the new slogan (they haven't yet, as far as I'm concerned), or they'll revert so fast it'll be like the whole thing never happened (only millions of dollars later).
"We try harder" in

"We try harder" in
Just HOW ubiquitous was "We Try Harder"?  Well, check out these Avis tab buttons in all different languages.  Aren't they great?  I got them a while back at The Paper Flea Market, and I believe they're from around 1967.  To me, if your slogan is known worldwide, you think twice before blatantly tossing it.  I think heads are going to roll over this one.

Then again, the new slogan has people talking, doesn't it (points to self)?  :D

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rippin' Good!

Brian and I had dinner with his parents, Rose and Dave, the other day.  We got to talking about the giant box of cookies that they had brought into the office to share with everyone (Dave works at a couple days a week with Brian and Rick, my bro in-law; it's a family affair!).  "What cookies?", I asked.  "Didn't Brian bring any home for you, Mel?", Rose asked.  Uh-oh, Brian's in trouble!  :D

Not really.  But when Rose and Dave told me they had been to Rippin' Good, I ORDERED Brian to bring some home! (Not really.)  :D

You see, Rippin' Good Cookies is a subsidiary of Ralcorp, the "Ral" part being "Ralston", as in "Ralton-Purina" (but I think the "Purina" part is owned by Nestle now - who the heck can keep track?!?). Ralcorp bought out Ripon Foods, who made "Rippin' Good", in 1999.  I'm sorry, but "Ralcorp" just doesn't have the same ring to it as Rippin' Good, does it?  Whoever owns the company, their cookies are indeed, "ripping good", and they sell boxes of the broken or damaged cookies for super cheap.

You may wonder where the name Rippin' Good comes from - well, the headquarters are located in Ripon, Wisconsin, about 25 miles west of Fond du Lac.  Ripon's other claim to fame?  It's the birthplace of the Republican Party. It also boasts a lovely liberal arts college, Ripon College, which is in the heart of the city on a beautiful campus (almost all of Brian's high school pals got their Bachelor's Degrees there, and Harrison Ford actually attended for a couple of years too!).

And in all of our talking about Rippin' Good, I had remembered that I had this cool brochure!  Looking at the cover, one would think that this brochure was done in the early Sixties.  Well, maybe originally, but this particular booklet was printed in 1980.  One look at the clothes of the executives would probably give this away - plaid as far as the eye can see!

Another noticeable difference is the lack of gloves on any of the workers they show - OSHA would have a field day in this place!  Maybe they're invisible, but I don't see any hairnets, either!  Ah, such were the pre-litigous days of the 1980s.  

A couple of things wrong with this picture:  Firstly, these
are most certainly not "girls" working.  Secondly, has
anyone ever heard of a hyphen?  And last but not least,
I don't think it's necessary to refer to cellophane as "sparkling".
I won't even get into the lack of hygienic gloves or hairnets!

Probably the saddest part of the Ralcorp takeover is the absence of this sign as you're heading into Ripon - it's small-town wonderful, isn't it?  :D

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I've got LOTS of Tickets to Ride (and I DO care!)

Saturday was a great mail day, mainly because I received this package from England:

If you said, "WOWIE WOW WOW WOW", then you think like I do.  :D  This incredible lot of tickets came from my friend Robert Forsythe, whom I met on Facebook via The Ephemera Society.

Robert has two degrees in Theology, but he also has post-graduate qualifications in industrial archaeology and adult education.  I think Robert's passion of railway history stems from the industrial archaeology side of life - he also had a huge publicity collection regarding railways, which is now housed in the National Railway Museum-York.  I wonder if anything in my ephemera collection will ever be in a museum?  Probably not.  :D

One day I was commenting on one of Robert's many Facebook pages about these wonderful tickets, and he asked me if I'd like to have a sample pack of an auction he is currently holding at  WOULD I?!   This collection is truly amazing!

There are so many different types of tickets represented, it took me quite a while to go through them all.  There are tiny tickets:

TONS of credit card-sized tickets:

And a very healthy lot of large boarding pass-sized tickets.

All fantastic, don't you think?

One of the things that struck me as I was going through this monstrously-sized pile was how different the UK and the US view railway transportation.  In the UK (and indeed, a good chunk of Europe) traveling by rail is easy, affordable, and very clean and comfortable.  What do you think of when you think of trains in the US? Cargo freight?  Train robberies?  The Golden Age of Travel, which has long since passed us by?  Amtrak? Most of us here don't think of trains as a way to get from Point A to Point B, which is terribly sad.  Just think how our metro areas could benefit from train travel or even light rail.

Okay, I digress.  :)  We all have our reasons for collecting the ephemera we collect, and I'm sure the reason Robert collects these tickets (his passion for the railway) is different than mine (OOH!  Fun numbers and colors!  And the "Underground" logo!).  The tininess factor can't be ignored, either.

I'd like to publicly thank Robert for sending these to me and for allowing me to blog about this HUGE stack of tickets!  I can personally vouch for the winner of this auction - you are getting your money's worth!  Go check it out!  :D

Friday, August 24, 2012

Funky Food Die-cuts, plus a Sneak Peek!

Happy Friday, everyone!  I thought I would end the week on a hootful note -

These weird die-cut food items!  Aren't they great?

I got these on Etsy over three years ago, and recently encountered them again (can you tell I've been cleaning this week?).  I just love them!  They're so darn quirky, and the washed-out photography that's so typical of the '70s makes it even better.

According to the item description, these are flash cards from the National Dairy Council, copyright 1974.   My guess is that they were used in grade school nutrition units, or maybe when discussing good choices in the hot lunch line?  Maybe they were giveaways when you sent in proofs-of-purchase?  Whatever the case, I'm glad I have them.  They make me smile.  And now that I've found them again, I have a great idea for a collage....wheels are turning....stay tuned!  :D

Now, what's this sneak peek all about?  Well, I want to prepare you for the fantastic giveaway I have lined up for Monday..... stay tuned!  You will absolutely want to enter this contest!  :D

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Remember Local TV Kid's Shows?

Who among you, my dear readers, remembers locally produced kids' shows?  This is definitely a generation-definer, with mine being the last one (it was already gone by the time I worked in local TV, from 1988-92).  I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and I remember one local show in particular - "Barney's Clubhouse POWWW!".  Whoever dreamt this idea up was pure genius!  The show aired on WLUK-TV (Channel 11) and was hosted by Barney, who was this cute little stick-figure with a bulbous head and torso.  He was voiced by a guy named Doug Heim, who also worked at the station. In my amalgamated memory the show was on for years but in watching the video (highlighted, above), I discovered it was only on for one school year (1980-81), due to high production costs.

The reason it was called "Clubhouse POWWWW" is because Barney, in between cartoon segments, would phone lucky kids who had registered at the local McDonald's and have them play the very advanced voice-activated video game, much like Space Invaders (which of course looks hysterically primitive now).  Every time you said, "POW!", the game would shoot and the object was to hit as many targets as possible.  And wouldn't you know it, I  was actually chosen as a contestant!  I had NO proclivity for video games, and I did horribly.  But I did get a "Scoop" hat for my troubles - it was a blaze-orange knitted ski hat with a HUGE pom-pon, with the words, "Scoop 11" around the hat.  I stopped wearing it because I got teased at school, but oh, how I wish I still had it.  I can't even find an image online to show you!

If you were a kid in Chicago anytime between 1951 and 1976, I'm sure you remember Garfield Goose, the self-proclaimed "King of the United States".  A guy named Frazier Thomas created the character and was his voice (all of his friends: Romberg Rabbit, McIntosh Mouse, Chris Goose (Garfield's cousin, who was born on Christmas day, natch), and bloodhound Beauregard Burnside III were created later by Roy Brown).  The show began in Cincinnati in the late '40s/early '50s but moved to Chicago in 1951. In 1955, the show settled in to its position at WGN Channel 9, where it remained until Mr. Thomas became "ringmaster" on the Bozo show, which also aired on WGN (and I remember watching at my great-grandparents' home in 1977).  The puppet characters enjoyed 5 more years of celebrity on that show, where Frazier Thomas stayed until his death in 1985.

I got the card in a huge ephemera pack from Manto Fev - I just "re-found" it in one of my drawers.  I'm sure this was sent in the mail for some lucky kid's birthday, maybe as a perk of being part of the fan club, if they had one.  Judging by the font used for the "WGN Televison 9 Chicago", I'm going to say that this was pretty near the end of their run - maybe mid-Seventies?

While it would be totally easy to use it in artwork (replacing the "sign" with some other collaged bit), I'm going to keep this intact.  It's a fun reminder of how local TV used to reign, before cable and the Internet.

UPDATE!!!  The good folks at Channel 11 directed me to a photo of the elusive Scoop hat that I mentioned in this post - is this groovy or WHAT?!  Apparently they were hand-knitted!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My South African Benefactors!

One of the zillion perks of what I do is receiving amazing parcels in the mail!  I've often wondered what our mail carrier thinks of me - maybe he thinks I'm an international spy!  :D

Lately I've been getting quite a bit of mail from South Africa!  You may remember me talking about the incredible lot of postal/air mail ephemera I received from Rob Rudman a few weeks ago - well, without any prompting, I received ANOTHER batch yesterday!  It came with the loveliest of notes:
Hi Mel, here is the little parcel of items of "ephemera".  The stamps are damaged (to that I say, doesn't bother me! - Mel) but may be useful for decoupages (sp?).  If any or all of it is of no use to you then simply throw it away (HARDLY! - Mel).  If anything is particularly useful or of interest, let me know so I can put more aside for you. (Isn't that the nicest thing? -  Mel) The 'parcel' I had prepared was too much for the envelope so I have kept the rest for later (if it is of interest).  
It makes me chuckle that Mr. Rudman thinks that any of this wonderful package would NOT be of interest!  :D

In this packet, there were not only LOTS of stamps included but a flyer for a Portuguese restaurant in Gillview, in what must be the "Gauteng" neighborhood?  And check out the back - it's got the proprietor's photo on American money!  Isn't that funny?  Why wouldn't it be on a South African Rand? :D

I also got this 1981 first-day cover from Mafikeng, which is now the capital city of the North-West Province of South Africa, but when this was put out was still the capital of the pre-independence bantustan of Bophuthatswana (now Botswana).  This is FASCINATING, and once again I've learned more from the ephemera than any history class I've ever taken; for example, did you know that Mafikeng was the site of the Siege of Mafeking, the most famous engagement of the Second Boer War?

It's interesting that A.G. Bell would be a highlighted person of note.  The enclosed card says that this is the first in a series; of what series, I don't know.  But the stamps and the postmark are so cool, aren't they?

Here's another postcard from Ciskei, the bantustan I first mentioned in this post.  It's nearly the same as the other postcard, but the coloring is a bit different.  They're both great!  And again - isn't the postmark wonderful?

I want to publicly thank Rob for sending me, unsolicited, this lot of outstanding ephemera.  And speaking of that, you may remember my friend Cuan, who is also from South Africa!  These two gentlemen are so benevolent with their ephemera, and have served as cultural ambassadors of sorts for me and you, my readers!  Maybe some of you already knew tidbits of South African history, but I was completely unenlightened until these two Ephemeraologists shared their stories and their paper.  I am so grateful to both of them for their limitless generosity!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Token that I Appreciate!

I have a lot of "durable ephemera" - things like vintage Dutch food label stick pins, tobacco tags, tiny vintage tacks - that sort of thing.  I love all of these trinkets and tiny finds - each one is like a little lost treasure.

Speaking of lost treasure, I was going through my bin of durable ephemera and came across these:

I had TOTALLY forgotten about them (you know it's bad when you forget about something as cool as these!).  The seller described these as "Vespa petrol (gasoline) counters", which I initially thought to be tokens one could redeem at a French gas station.  Then I did a search for "Capiepa", the word in the middle of the token, and discovered that these actually belong to a French board game called "Tour du Monde en Vespa"!  It's REALLY cool and obviously very sought-after (I did find one on Ebay France for sale!).  I'd love to get my hands on this game at some point, but it looks like a lot of other people would like to, also!  :D

I did find out the word for coins and tokens with no monetary value - exonumia!  If that's the case, then I really love this exonumatic example that I was fortunate enough to nab while I could!  :D

In case you were wondering - yes!  I have used one of these babies in my art work; I did this ATC about three years ago:

As you might be able to tell, I also used a matchbook label with a Vespa-type scooter on it; that is the extent of my Vespa ephemera (the other stuff on the card is non-vintage wrapping paper).  But I love them, so I hope I run into more!  :D

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cool Old Wrappers

What are the odds of a wrapper standing the test of time?  Most people casually throw wrappers away every day (including me), but let's say that you've gone on a trip and you've managed to save a whole bunch of really cool ephemeral items that will remind you of your journey.  Even then, there are are bound to be a few pieces that don't make it.

Which is why I am astounded that I own these two pieces!

From a design standpoint, this first piece, an Israeli gum wrapper, is just fantastic.  I love the bold orangey-yellow with that shock of red - the Israeli lettering adds to the coolness factor.  It's stark, without any ingredients or other wording, which makes it feel more like a tiny piece of art - which it is, in my opinion.  :D

This next piece is a tad precarious - it's still FULL!  It's a packet of Sasso salad dressing from an Alitalia flight.  I just love everything about this packet - the font, the wonderful photos of the oil and vinegar, the Alitalia logo on the back, which hasn't changed at all in the last 33 years (at least!); but what do I do with it?  This packet is from 1979 (I'll get to how I know that in a minute), so if I open it up I may be subjecting myself to a rancid, horrid mess.  The quandary is, that's the only way I'll ever use any of the wrapper!  I'm also afraid that if I don't open it myself, it will at some point leak all over the drawer in which it's placed (note to self: it would probably be a good idea to place this in a sandwich bag PRONTO).  :D

You may have guessed by now that these aren't just ordinary wrappers; they happen to be from my Grammie's trip to Italy and Israel in the summer of 1979.  You may remember other posts about the ephemera she brought back with her, and how it fascinates me that we were so alike in this regard.  So I pose the question to you, my dear readers - do I keep that packet of salad dressing intact, or do I brave it and use it in artwork somehow?  What would YOU do?  :D

Okay, one last item of business - we only need ONE MORE LIKE in order to get the pendant giveaway underway (remember, from last week Monday?)!!  Seriously - ONE.  So, who wants to be known and the wonderful soul who was able to put this giveaway in motion?  If you already "like" the page, you are automatically entered in this giveaway (here is a link to all of my pendants on the Web site - you get to choose!).  Everyone is welcome, regardless of where you live!  As soon as we hit the 200 mark I will do the random number giveaway and I'll post the winner straight away.  If you're the winner and I do not hear from you in three days, I will draw another name and continue in this fashion until I get a response.  Ready? Set?  LIKE! :D

Friday, August 17, 2012


Here's a pop quiz for you on this lovely Friday morning!  Please answer as honestly as you can.  :)
When I was a kid, I:
                     a) Collected stamps
                     b) Still colored in coloring books when I was 13
                     c) Saved up my allowance money to buy a Dymo label maker
                     d) All of the above

If you answered "all of the above", congratulations!  You're a nerd.  Oh, and if you haven't already guessed, I did all of these things.  :D

When I was about 10 or 11, I became OBSESSED with having my own Dymo label maker!  I had seen my dad mark everything we owned with one and I just loved the idea of a sort of portable typewriter with colored tape.  The tape was what interested me the most and being the collector that I've always been, I wanted every single color tape imaginable.  I didn't own many things in those days that I could've marked with my Dymo (my bike?  My Barbies?) but it didn't matter; I think the idea of it was what I loved.  I wish I still had my original Dymo and all of those tapes.  I can't remember exactly, but I think it looked like this.

And like so many things I own, about 7 years ago I bought back a piece of my childhood.  Here is my Dymo today:

A lot sleeker, to be sure, and much more ergonomic. And now it's not just a lowly label maker; it's a Label BLASTER.  But I like the old one better.  :)

The machine came with a roll or two of tape, and I did purchase the primary colors pack of tape, but that didn't sate my hunger.  I wanted more.  And I got my wish, when visiting two amazing shops - Wegner's Department Store in Fond du Lac, and Winkler's Office Supply in West Bend.  Both are old-fashioned office supply stores that went the way of the typewriter when Staples and their ilk took over.  But oh, I love them so.  I proceeded to purchase tape in every single color they owned, and in the process discovered what I believe to be the holy grail of label tape:

Wood grain.  :D

This was my dad's favorite!  And I found another color that he used:

Avocado green!  :D

Okay, I just did a quick search on Ebay and discovered that I need not worry about running out - I can pick up these babies for CHEAP!  This makes me happy.  :D

I never use the tape for its intended purpose, but I have used it in my artwork!

"Sawyer Glacier' ATC - one of my first
"Arcane Typewriter" ATC - there's the woodgrain tape!

"Oxygen Distribution" ATC - for this one
I used the tape backing, which I love as
much as the tape itself!  :D

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is it Wrong that I Like These?

I love little coupons, trading stamps, stamps, premiums (premia?) - anything tiny that I can collect a lot of but still won't take up much room.  Many times these wonderful little bits of ephemeral goodness are vintage, which adds to their intrinsic value.  Sometimes I come across a coupon or premium from our recent past that I love, but I also wonder if it's okay to collect.  Case in point:

These Brown and Williamson (B&W) coupons!  I found these at an antique store in a little town called Eden, about 4 miles south of Fond du Lac - my friend Sue and I stopped there on a trip back from West Bend on Monday and she found these for me while she was digging for something else.  I'll admit it - I have always loved these!  From the first time (circa 1977) I saw one in a pack of cigarettes a family member smoked (and I wanted to start collecting then), up until I realized I could get literally thousands of these for under five bucks, I have loved these things.  You may be asking yourself why I'm fretting about these - they're just vintage ephemera, right?

Well, yes and no.  Smoking has been a big part of my life, whether I was smoking or not, since birth.  My parents both smoke(d) - my dad did up until he had a stroke and my mom still does.  Many of my family members smoked (but I believe all have since quit except my mom).  And I was a pack-a-day smoker for over 12 years, with my nine years smoke-free anniversary coming up on November 21.  The stupidest thing I ever did was start smoking, and one of the best things I ever did was quit.

And herein lay the quandary - should I be lauding ephemera that exists solely because people used to smoke like chimneys?  Every one of these coupons represents a pack of cigarettes.  If the numbers on these bundles of coupons are correct, the baggie represents two thousand packs of cigarettes, or 40 thousand cigarettes.  If the person collecting these coupons were a pack-a-day smoker, it would've taken them only 5 1/2 years to collect these.  When I think about the money wasted and the toll it takes on your body, it puts these premiums in a whole new light.

That being said, smoking is still legal and even though I'm not a fan, it is anyone's right to smoke if they so choose.  I also chose to buy this bag of premiums.  And you have to admit - this catalog is REALLY cool.  :D

I've shown you some of my smoking-related ATCs before, but here's another one, and probably appropriate for the blog post:

"The Science of Smoking" ATC

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Stamp Happy!

As promised, here's the second part of my blog post!  I couldn't just stop at the air mail envelopes - I had to show you the stamp lot I received in the same package!

I don't know if the seller was once the proprietor of Lizeck Stamps in St. Louis, but it seems like many of the stamps are from this shop, like this lot of bullfighting stamps from Ecuatorial Guinea.  The way they're presented, with the typewritten specimen-type showcasing, tells me that these stamps were probably originally up for sale in the 70s or 80s (the stamps are mainly from the 70s, with some newer ones thrown in).  The little display cards only add to the coolness factor!

Some of the lots I bought are topical; some are just random stamps from places that make me wish I had paid closer attention in Geography class.  Thank goodness for the Internet, or I'd have to bust out the encyclopedia to find out about New Hebrides (now called Vanuatu, as you can see on the furthest stamp to the right). Oh, the things you learn from stamps!

It seems to me that stamp design peaked in the 60s and 70s - before that time it was mainly boring heads of state or one-color designs, and after they became too glossy and "showy".  I love these stamps, which are still mainly engraved, and have really interesting subject matter.  Case in point:

*SWOON*  I am in LOVE with these car-history stamps from Ajman State (had to look this up too - it's one of the seven states in the United Arab Emirates)!  I recognized some of the car manufacturers, like Renault, Fiat, Mercedes and Peugeot, but others, like the three on the bottom, I have no clue.  Can anyone tell me which make of car these are?  Oh, and in case you're wondering - YES!  I will be making pendants with these awesome, tiny cars.  :D

Other stamps, like this one from the Soviet Union, need no words to describe what's going on; clearly, this is a "stop acid rain" stamp from 1990 (which, incidentally has to be one of the last "CCCP" stamps ever made, wouldn't you think?).

Here are some stamps from other countries, namely Belgian Congo and Sharjah (another UAE state), featuring JFK - does this strike you as odd?  The Congo ones are from 1965 and the Sharjah stamps are from 1972 as part of their "Prominent Persons" series.  I know he was a beloved president here (or at least revered after his death) but to see one of our presidents on foreign stamps is surprising.  Something tells me we're never going to see foreign stamps with George W. Bush on them..  :D

All in all I must have at least 100 stamps from this lot - I'm going to have a lot of fun with these!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Par Avion

I LOVE air mail stuff.  Anything - the stamps, the envelopes, the beautiful blue paper that many people use because it's so light and therefore cheaper to send - everything.

So you can imagine my delight when I got this awesome stack of air mail envelopes in the mail:

*GASP* Aren't they amazing?  They're from all over the world: Spain, Malta, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), Costa Rica, South Africa, Nigeria - and the envelopes are FILLED with wonderful goodies!

Let's first check out the actual "par avion" labels in every language!  I have a representation of Portuguese, Spanish, German (Swiss), Afrikaans, Danish, Italian, Hungarian - I have never seen such an amazing representation, and it's about 10,000 percent more awesome than the photo suggested!  For the price I paid for this lot, I feel like I stole it.  This seller is going to get the most glowing feedback I am able to articulate in 100 characters.  :D

Some of the envelopes are of the red-white-blue variety, which I always enjoy; some are that onion skin-type that is so fragile.  I have always loved that type of envelope, ever since we had Indian neighbors and they would show us the letters they'd receive from their relatives back home in Mumbai (Bombay back then).  I was instantly captivated by the look and feel - so different than the plain ol' letters we'd get in the mail!

And the stamps.  The stamps!  I believe this marks the first time I've ever received stamps from Monaco, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Kenya/Uganda (and still under British rule!) - amazing.  Speaking of that last one, check out the stationery that the envelope folds out to be!

The return addresses are also varied and wonderful!  Again, I can't believe my good fortune.

I may have to make this a two-part post, because I haven't even begun to tell you about the stamp lot that I received along with these beauts!  Check back tomorrow for more postal-y goodness - I guarantee you won't be disappointed!  :D

In the meantime, here are some collages and a clock I've done using air mail items (can you tell I really love them?):

"Par Avion" clock - available at!