Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tutorial for Old Postmark Stamp

Photoshop Tutorial Old Postmark Stamp

If you want to make your own vintage postmark cancellation stamp for your creations, here is a link to a tutorial.
I personally would not do any downloads from the site but would only use their tutorial and then the Photoshop program already loaded on my computer.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Town Construction: Stamp Houses

Imagine a Little Town residential construction site. The builder for this dream is Heather Donohue at Search under the stamp category.
Before: styrofoam, pins, glue, and vintage stamps

Here are little stamp houses/bird houses that you can make and wear as a pendants.They require a little more work than the ones above; however, Heather Alexander gives you easy to follow steps to construct them from stamps and other materials.

Chirpy Birdhouse Pendant by Heather Alexander
Heather suggests making your own little birdhouse pendant by decoupaging a tiny handmade house with your own paper memorabilia.

  • 3/4" thick piece of wood (maple)
  • 1 silver 1/2" eye screw
  • 1 vintage postage stamp
  • assorted paper ephemera, 1" square or larger or stamps
  • rubber stamp(s) and ink
  • decoupage medium
  • spray sealer
  • black permanent marker or paint
  • glue
  • table saw or jigsaw
  • awl
  • drill with 1/16" and 1/4" drill bits
  • 1/4" round hole punch
  • scissors
  • 100-grit sandpaper or sanding block
  • pliers
  • paint brush
Heather's EASY Tip: Try making these birdhouses using dice as the body of the house. Drill the door hole on the number one (1) side.  She says that no awl is necessary as there is already a perfectly centered guide.

Step-by-step instructions, along with here photo images, are at Jewelry Making Daily.

You can also purchase Heather's work at Art by Heather.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Purchasing Stamps for Projects?

Unless you are investing in creating a work of art or a commemorative piece, I would use cancelled stamps that you have collected over the years. Is that not possible? Here are examples of sources for purchasing cancelled stamps online:

Try Western New York Book Arts Collaborative at

For large amounts of stamps try This site offers a large variety of quality vintage postage stamps, available in mixed lots or selected themes.

See how you can create a monochromatic look as in this mini art print in blues by Packandpost via You could design personal stationery from a jpeg of your scanned creation.

If you wish to sell your work, then check about a country’s public domain for stamps at Stamps and the Public Domain.

In the next post I’ll share these tiny stamp houses being created.

Pinned from
Tiny Stamp Houses, from

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Mayor Visits the Post Office

"But here I am, and here I'll stay. I want the world to know I'm happy.” [Stella-Rondo in Eudora Welty’s wonderful short story "Why I Live at the Post Office"]

Eudora Welty
No, I do not live at the Little Town Post Office, but I do have a small connection. When my mother finished high school in 1940, she moved to a “small” Little Town and began working at the post office. Although my mother was not the Stella-Ronda character in the Welty story, I can hear her also saying, "But here I am, and here I'll stay. I want the world to know I'm happy."

With the next few posts, I will spend time at the Little Town Post Office sharing step-by-step DIY gifts, jewelry, art, and home projects that use vintage stamps and stamp scrap sheets. 

For now you might enjoy reading the funny and poignant short story "Why I Live at the Post Office." (You can read it online, but I have not linked to it for copyright reasons.)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Mayor Speaks on Education

The Mayor in Third Grade
In 1956 I began kindergarten in a “Little Town.” I was four-years-old with a birthday in late December. Never having been away from my mother much, I was terrified. Not helping was having a kindergarten teacher who looked like Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts who slammed her ruler on each little desk or rapped knuckles with that same weapon. I do not remember anything but the terror, the tears, and loneliness.

First grade was not so bad because I had a nice teacher like the one in Ding Dong School – if we had had a television and I actually knew who she was. I fell in love with Joseph Fitzpatrick, and I learned to enjoy music, games, and snacktime. I remember little beyond those experiences except wondering why Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer would go down in his story.

Second grade got tougher – mean and scruffy little classmates, mayonnaise sandwiches that went bad by lunchtime, trying to use a Hula Hoop, and performing on stage. I do not remember whether I was in the red-, blue- , or yellow-bird reading group, but I was not in the “top-bird” group. I must have been a yellow bird because I was still very scared; however, happily I had another nice Ding Dong School matron look-alike.

That year my family moved to another “Little Town” somewhat deeper in the South. I was behind all the bird reading groups and math groups. Worst of all, I had a teacher who looked and acted much like the witch in Wizard of Oz. I remember nothing about those three months except standing in the corner for crying all the time – watching spiders spin webs.

Third grade began with a good teacher but with rowdy classmates who knew less than I and would enjoy making me cry. Thankfully, this teacher was visited by the stork so that our class was divided between two other poor teachers.

I walked crying into that classroom. The teacher took me aside sweetly and held my hands. As I looked in her face, I realized that I had never seen anyone so beautiful. Mrs. Adkinson was a gentle princess with strawberry-tinted hair and fair skin. To build my confidence, she let me stay after school to help her with chores. I got Mrs. Adkinson all to myself before I walked home every day.

I remember being loved and getting the help I would need to catch-up after a few years to grade level. I remember making many friends whom I still have today.

At eight-years-old, I was now READY for school.

Third Grade Class Photo: Mr. Sanders was always a terrible photographer!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Little Town's Origin, Part Two

My favorite “Little Town” experience with miniatures is in Disneyland. Storybook Land, inside Fantasyland, is a kingdom in miniature.  Ride a boat or Casey Jr. to discover Pinocchio's cobblestone village with Geppetto's wood shop, Toad Hall from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, the Sultan's palace from Aladdin, London Park from Peter Pan, the village and castle from Cinderella, the dwarfs' cottage and mine from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, an English village with a church and the entrance to the White Rabbit's hole from Alice in Wonderland, the pigs' homes from The Three Little Pigs, King Triton's underwater cave from The Little Mermaid, and Prince Eric's seaside castle from The Little Mermaid

For three years I was lucky enough to travel with my husband to Anaheim, California, during market shows.  My treat was to go to Disneyland and ride Casey Jr. so that I could photograph Storybook Land. Enjoy the ride here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Little Town's Origin, Part One

Hi! I am Jenifer, Mayor of Little Town. Little Town began in the finished attic space of my house that was my husband's hobby room. When other men had yet to hear of a "man cave," my husband had his own "man heaven." Enjoy a tour of Little Town here.