To start, a little bit of personal background.

I reached Mail Art and the IOUMA community via my life-long interest in postage stamps and postal history.

I would like to see we Mail Artists celebrating their -- and others' -- national postal history.We would do so by sending a special 'commermorative' piece of Mail Art to other Group members on the anniversary of the first ever issue of a postage stamp in 'their' country.

For example: the world's first ever postage stamp, the Penny Black, was issued in Great Britain on 6 May 1840. To celebrate the 171st anniversary of this, those of us in any Group-to-be -- perhaps only Brits, perhaps everyone, who knows? -- would issue a Penny Black Commemorative Mail Art piece on 6 May 2011.The same would take place on other dates  -- for the US on 14 August, for the Netherlands on 23 May, for Austria and Spain on 1st June, etc.

This could be -- but I don't think that it is necessary -- linked to the activities of the existing IUOMA national (eg Dutch,Greek, Italian, French etc), local (Brittanish) and regional Groups (Hispanic). [No doubt Snooky and Angie will want to commemorate the first ever postage stamp that featured a dog, and others would want mice, cats and other beasties and other things commemorated too]

I recognise that the definition  of the date of the first ever postage stamp is not all that easy in some countries -- are we talking about the first federal stamp or the first national stamp? What happens when countries break up and reform? Pre- or post-independance issues? etc.But it should be possible for 'Local Heros' (including David Bowie, of course) and 'Local Experts' do set the date.

That's the basic outline of the nascent Group as I see it now. If the Group gets off the ground -- or in the post (sorry) -- we'd have to think of a name for it like Postal History Commemorative Group. 

Let me end, as I began, with another bit of personal background. I don't want to be the leader of this Group, but hope someone else will be.

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I think it is a great idea in so many ways !

Unfortunately I have not the skills myself to do intricate, almost 'replica' stamps that people here do-- including your good self. Unless some sort of 'fantasia' around the theme would fit in ?

I'd love to receive some more wonderful creations.

I think there is something basic, profoundly human and satisfying about 'marking dates', 'marking the time', celebrating our cultural and spiritual heritage(s) - and feeling glad....

all the best with it

Hi Laurence! I probably wasn't clear enough. I'm not suggesting that you make an (arti)stamp, rather that you make something connected with, say, the Penny Black. It could be anything -something from your local Post Office, Rowland Hill's photo, picture of your postman or postbox, Black (ness Sabbath?) -- anything at all. As you said 'Fantasoa' -- that's the name of the game.
The canvas is completely blank...except there is a date to bear in mind 6 May 2011.
Come on, mate, commit yourself,
Regards, Val

I see yes !  Thanks. I'll certainly give it a go, Val.


Thanks muchly,



Bonjour M Laurence! There's a Special Envelope Offer from the Postal History Boutique. Choose one of the many on offer.... (you'll have to find out where it is though on this crazy site). Regards, Val

I would love to be part of this group. What do you think would be involved in being the leader though?

Bonjour Jeanine! Things have moved on, and we now have not only a Group (or rather Boutique!) but also a Leader and her deveoted corgi -- yep, Angie and Snooky strike again.

If you want to be the Leader of another Group, I have a brilliant idea that i am just dying to give to someone.

Regards, Val

(PS if you join the Postal History Boutique you'll see -- somewhere, I know not where on this crazy website -- a Special Envelope Offer -- choose one!)

Special Envelope Offer?????


Hi Plush+ Rosie!

The Special offer was made (offered?) when we launched the group in mid-December.

The offer has long since expired, BUT at the back of the Boutique i am sure that we can find one for you.

All you have to do is dig around, find out what was on offer, choose one of the options, let me know what it is, and then I will send the Storeman into the Boutique's wharehouse to find find you a Special Envelope of your choice.

Regards, Val

Cool! And thanks, Val! I'll head over there now!


Okay, not sure where to go. It's a bit of a rabbit warren-fun but maze-like in spots. Got any ideas?



I can't remember what I wrote 15 minutes ago let alone on the 15th of December.

Regards, val

Bonsoir! Please see the reply to this from the Boutique's Customer services department.

Regards, Illegible Squiggle




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