I have another project in the works for my sister Sharon.
I’m using my surgery recovery time to carefully remove hundreds of postage stamps from one of our dad’s stamp collections. When I’m fully mobile again, I’ll move on to phase two: a stamp-covered table.
Our dad had many hobbies, but the one we remember the most is stamp-collecting. Mom kept his albums for years after he died. She eventually sold a few and gave each of us the money toward college. It wasn’t much, but it was important for her to turn his collection into something more tangible for our future. Thankfully she hung on to a few albums.
Dad died when we were 8 and 9 respectively, a short time after immigrating to the United States. Dad started life in Oldham, England, moved to India, twice, immigrated to Canada where he met our mother, and then ended life in California at the age of 54 from lung cancer.
His albums took on a certain status. They were our connection to our beloved father. I don’t remember looking at them individually, but more as a collection and a representation of what to us seemed like an exotic life.
I wrote about the emotions around his stamps back in March of 2015. Here is an excerpt:
Last August, on the anniversary of my father’s death, I was finally able to re-frame my feelings about his stamp collection. I once viewed his stamp albums as life interrupted. They reminded me of my loss instead of the joyful hours he spent pursuing this hobby. The stamp albums sat in a cupboard, revered. Now I see them as a gift to be shared, and as a way to celebrate my father’s kind and curious nature. I hosted a blog giveaway and sent many of Dad’s stamps to friends and acquaintances around the world. It was an extraordinary exercise in letting go. If you would like to read the post in its entirety, you’ll find it here: Vintage Postage: A Daughter’s Love Letter and a Blogging Giveaway.
Five years ago I made a round accent table using postage from my album. I created a few cards using his stamps, and then mailed extras to bloggers around the world. Pauline King turned several of them into a wonderful piece of art. It’s a treasure!
Sharon loves my table and asked if I would make one for her using stamps from her album. So here we are.
I’ve removed about 400 stamps so far, each meticulously mounted in the album with gummed labels. If those stamps could talk. I’m sorting by color as I go, with a special pile of multi-colored stamps that I plan to use along the table’s border. I’m thinking a lot about my dad as I go and about my sister too. We’re both excited about the table.
Here are a few more pages from his album.
Here is a gallery of Pauline King’s art made incorporating some of Dad’s stamps, along with my postage stamp table, and a few greeting cards.
I’ll let you know how it goes.