2009 Miscellaneous


USPS News, 2009:

New Forever Personalized Stamp Envelope

WASHINGTON — A noted author, a philanthropist and a racehorse champion are among the subjects featured on the Postal Service’s 2009 price-change stamps. In addition, a new Forever personalized stamped envelope is being introduced.“The stamps we are issuing cover a variety of subjects and will have wide appeal across many audiences,” said David Failor, manager, Stamp Services. “We are especially pleased to introduce a new Forever personalized stamped envelope. It will make quite an impression.” Most of these stamps will be issued on or before the May 11 stamp price change, Failor noted.

Richard Wright (61 cents)

Richard Wright stamp

With this 25th stamp in the Literary Arts series, the U.S. Postal Service honors author Richard Wright (1908-1960). Best remembered for his controversial 1940 novel, “Native Son,” and his 1945 autobiography, “Black Boy,” Wright drew on a wide range of literary traditions, including protest writing and detective fiction, to craft unflinching portrayals of racism in American society. The stamp artwork by Kadir Nelson features a portrait of Richard Wright in front of snow-swept tenements on the South Side of Chicago, a scene that recalls the setting of “Native Son.” Nelson’s portrait of Wright was based on a circa 1945 photograph.

Polar Bear (28 cents)

Polar Bear stamp

This stamp features a stylized illustration of a polar bear. Polar bears, found throughout the Arctic region, are among the largest land carnivores in the world. Newborn cubs weigh just over one pound, while full-grown males can weigh more than 1,500 pounds. Illustrator Nancy Stahl used a collection of photographs to create this design. Stahl has created several stamp designs for the Postal Service, including the Florida Panther in 2007 and Dragonfly in 2008.

Koi Fish Stamped Cards (28 cents)

Koi fish stamped card
Koi fish stamped card

These stamped cards feature colorful carp known as koi. Many Americans collect koi, prizing these large freshwater fish for their bold, bright colors in striking combinations and patterns. The stamp art is by Kam Mak, who left Hong Kong as a child and grew up in New York City’s Chinatown. He based the art on his own photographs of koi.

Purple Heart (44 cents)

Purple Heart stamp

With the reissuance of the Purple Heart stamp, the Postal Service honors the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the president of the United States to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action. The medal is the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first award made available to a common soldier. The stamp features a photograph by Ira Wexler of one of two Purple Hearts awarded to James Loftus Fowler of Alexandria, VA, who was battalion commander of the Third Battalion, Fourth Marines serving in Vietnam. This stamp was first issued in 2003.

Wedding Rings (44 cents)

Wedding Rings stamp

This new one-ounce stamp featuring wedding rings is intended for use on the response envelope enclosed with a wedding invitation. Photographed by Renée Comet of Washington, DC, the rings rest on a small white pillow united by a slender ribbon of white silk.

Wedding Cake (61 cents)

Wedding Cake stamp

Sure to add a touch of beauty and romance to wedding correspondence, the 2009 Wedding Cake stamp is being issued at the two-ounce mailing rate in order to accommodate the heavier weight of an invitation. In addition, the price covers other mailings such as oversize cards or small gifts that require extra postage. The stamp depicts a three-tier wedding cake topped with white flowers, their green stems and leaves a delightful contrast to the cake’s creamy white frosting. The cake was photographed by Renée Comet of Washington, DC.

King and Queen of Hearts (44 cents)

King and Queen of Hearrts stamps

These stamps pay a clever tribute to the world’s favorite game—the game of love—with the issuance of the King and Queen of Hearts, the latest stamps in the Love series. As the English poet, John Donne, wrote, love is “got by chance” but “kept by art.” With all its risks and pleasures, love is sure to keep writers busy for a long time to come. And with these stamps, love letters and other correspondence will have a delightful, playful touch. Using images from 18th-century French playing cards as reference, artist Jeanne Greco created the stamp art.

Forever Personalized Stamped Envelope

Forever Personalized  stamped envelope

Whether it’s for business or personal correspondence, the way you send your mail sends a message. Make an impression with this new Forever personalized stamped envelope. You can include your name, your company’s name, address, and even a short message or slogan as part of the personalization. There’s lots of extra convenience with personalized stamped envelopes, and no need to affix postage or type in your name and return address. This envelope is available only through the Personalized Stamped Envelope Program. Call 1 800-STAMP-24 to order.

Seabiscuit Stamped Envelope (44 cents)

Seabiscuit stamped envelope

An unassuming champion, Seabiscuit raised the hopes and spirits of a beleaguered nation during the Great Depression with a series of unlikely victories. A small, dull brown, unattractive horse, he ran perhaps his greatest race against just a single horse: the 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral. Held on Nov. 1, 1938, at Pimlico in Maryland, the race drew around 40,000 spectators and was broadcast on the radio to 40 million listeners across the country, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt. War Admiral, the favorite to win, ran his fastest time at the track distance by 1-3/16 miles. However, Seabiscuit won the race by four lengths and set a blazing track record in the process. Artist John Mattos created the design, which depicts a scene from the exciting 1938 match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral.

Later in the year, the following stamps will be issued:

Mary Lasker (78 cents)

Mary Lasker stamp

This stamp in the Distinguished Americans series honors Mary Woodard Lasker (1900-1994), philanthropist, political strategist, and ardent advocate of medical research for major diseases. Lasker persuaded the nation’s leaders to adopt dramatic increases in public funding for biomedical research, and her efforts helped make cancer research a national priority. Created by Mark Summers, the stamp artwork is based on an undated, black-and-white photograph. Summers is noted for his scratchboard technique, a style distinguished by a dense network of lines etched with exquisite precision.

U.S. Flag (44 cents)

U.S. Flag stamp

This stamp depicts one of the most recognizable symbols in the world. The American flag has regularly appeared on definitive stamps intended for mail use, and recent commemoratives have displayed the flag as well. This new stamp, a photograph by Rick Barrentine of Duluth, GA, depicts a detail of an American flag. The detail, showing a softly folded flag, features most prominently the starry blue field, with red-and-white stripes occupying the remaining space.

Celebrate! (44 cents)

Celebrate! stamp

This stamp, first issued in 2007, helps to acknowledge a host of happy occasions, from birthdays to engagements to anniversaries and more. When good times call for good wishes, this stamp will add a touch of cheer to special greeting cards and gift-bearing packages. Artist Nicholas Wilton of San Geronimo, CA, designed the Celebrate! stamp

Dolphin (64 cents)

Dolphin stamp

This stamp features the bottlenose dolphin, a marine mammal noted for its high intelligence and playful behavior. The bottlenose dolphin belongs to the family Delphinidae, which includes over 30 species of dolphins that swim in oceans and bays around the world. Found mainly in temperate and tropical waters, bottlenose dolphins are social animals that live in groups ranging in size from two to several hundred. They eat a variety of fish, as well as squid and crustaceans. This stamp was illustrated by Nancy Stahl.

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (98 cents)

Grand Teton National Park stamp

This international rate stamp in the Scenic American Landscapes series features a photograph by Dennis Flaherty (Bishop, Calif.) of Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming. The photograph was taken from the Snake River Overlook at dawn. Originally established in 1929 to protect part of the Teton Range and lakes near its base, the park was expanded in 1950 to include much of the adjacent Jackson Hole valley. Renowned for its climbing and hiking trails, the park, which encompasses nearly 310,000 acres, receives most of its nearly 2.5 million recreational visitors a year in the warm summer months, where they marvel at the park’s wildlife, including moose, bald eagles, and trumpeter swans.

Zion National Park (79 cents)

Zion National Park stamp

This stamp in the Scenic American Landscapes series features a photograph of a sandstone formation on the east side of Zion National Park in Utah. Established in 1909 as Mukuntuwean National Monument, the park was expanded and designated a national park in 1919. Now encompassing more than 229 square miles, Zion National Park is characterized by high plateaus and mesas with deep standstone canyons carved into towering cliffs. One hundred twenty miles of hiking trails are available to the approximately 2.5 million people who annually visit the park. The photograph featured on the stamp was taken by Richard Cummins of Temecula, Calif.

In addition to these stamps, the Postal Service is introducing a new Forever Personalized Stamp Envelope, as well as a stamped envelope featuring the racehorse champion Seabiscuit and a stamped post card featuring the koi fish.

American Treasures: Edward Hopper (44 cents)

Edward Hoppert stamp

A sunlit painting by Edward Hopper is showcased in the ninth entry in the American Treasures series. “The Long Leg,” painted in oil on canvas around 1930, depicts a boat sailing against the wind near Provincetown, MA. As a child, Hopper enjoyed drawing and reading. He determined early that he wanted to be an artist. One of his teachers at the New York School of Art was Robert Henri, the noted realist painter. Today, Hopper’s work remains highly popular and influential. The American Treasures series was inaugurated in 2001. It is intended to exhibit beautiful works of American fine art and crafts.

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Miscellaneous Items from M-J

My latest housecleaning formula: water, vinegar, lemon juice, eucalyptus oil, and banana extract–smells lovely!

New Article in the Telegraph U.K. on the Recession, Citing some of the Advice I Have Given on Elegant Survival for Three Years

Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

Gardening, Spring 2009:

Buy eggs in cardboard cartons, rather than in styrofoam ones. Fill them with dirt, and start your seeds in them, one per egg-cup.  Then, when the danger of frost has ended, you do not need to transplant each seedling individually. All you do is dig an area and set in the egg carton (minus the lid, of course, which you tore off earlier). Cover up the edges with soil. The cardboard egg carton will bio-degrade inside your garden.
Spray a solution of 30% hydrogen peroxide and 60% water on your seedlings and plants to give them an oxygen-boost.