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Crafting With a Vintage Look #044 - Christmas Stamp Card and Free images!
December 17, 2009

Issue #044 - We know we promised you one issue a month - but it's Christmas! This Special Edition of Crafting With a Vintage Look just couldn't wait.

In our last newsletter, we said that we were hard at work on getting our Christmas cards made and in the mail. As much as we wanted to add another 1,500 VintageImageCraft friends to our Christmas mailing list, we chose sanity instead. So, we are sending our 2009 Christmas Card to you through the miracle of Internet technology.

As a gift, we are also including the step-by-step instructions and the FREE vintage image we created for our cards. So you can make one, sign our names, and send it to yourself. Or better, make some for special friends!

Read on in this Special Edition of Crafting With a Vintage Look for:

  • Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or a Joyful Christmakwanzukkah from us to you with our 2009 Christmas Stamp Card!
  • The History of Christmas Stamps began with a Royal blunder in 1898.
  • Don't forget to download our newest FREE collage sheet, Christmas Treats.
  • Buyers speak out about our Christmas card e-book.
Let's get crafting...

Stampy Holidays from Scott and Martin

We created this One Cent Stamp Christmas Card as a nostalgic look back at an earlier, more economical day. You know we avoid fancy crafting gadgets and paraphernalia, so the scalloped stamp edges are simply nipped with a plain old hole punch. Painting the evergreen sprig is just a few quick strokes of green craft paint with a dry brush. Best of all - this is a small, 4.25" x 5.5" card, so you can make two from one piece of cardstock (thanks for the suggestion, Russell, at TwistedPapers!).

The inside is a simple printed panel - but we added our signatures with a heartfelt wish for a wonderful holiday season for you!

Click the link for everything you need to make your own Christmas Stamp Cards - The FREE vintage image (created exclusively for this card), and the step-by-step instructions:

Vintage Christmas Stamp Card

Write us a note if you have any questions of suggestions.

If the craft link above doesn't work for you, type into your browser:

The History of Christmas Stamps

Let's begin with the first-ever postage stamp. Until the 19th century, sending mail was free - the recipient paid for the postage, no matter how unwelcome the letter might be. Then in 1837, an English schoolmaster named Rowland Hill (1795-1879) changed it all. He noticed that the post office lost money when recipients refused delivery. He wrote a pamphlet proposing prepaid adhesive stamps, even suggesting that the postage rates should be based on weight. In 1840, the first "Penny Black" stamps went on sale in Britain. The stamps had to be cut apart with a knife or scissors, but in 1854 the first perforated stamps were introduced in England, and in the US in 1857. A few years later, Rowland Hill was rightly knighted for his service to the British Post Office.

The first stamp with a Christmas connection was the December 1898 Canadian stamp that had the word "Xmas" printed under a Mercator map of the British empire. The story is actually funny: The stamp was designed to commemorate the birthday of the Prince of Wales. When Queen Victoria was informed by the Canadian Postmaster General that the new stamp was to "honor the Prince" she bristled with Royal one-upmanship and asked icily, "What Prince?" The quick-thinking Postmaster replied, "Why, the Prince of Peace, ma'am." She bought it, and the designers quickly added "XMAS 1898" to the design.

Philatelists agree that the first postage stamp created specifically for the Christmas season was the 1937 Austrian "Rose and Zodiac" stamp, although the images are hardly traditional. In 1939, Brazil issued four stamps with designs featuring the three kings and a star, an angel and child, the Southern Cross and a child, and a mother and child. In 1941 Hungary also issued a stamp whose additional fees were to pay for the "soldiers' Christmas". The first stamps to depict the Nativity were from Hungary in 1943. The next Christmas stamps did not appear until the 1950s, when Cuba issued designs with poinsettias and bells (1951), followed by Haiti (1954), Luxembourg and Spain (1955), then Australia, Korea, and Liechtenstein (1957). Many more nations took up the practice during the 1960s.

The first US Christmas stamp was issued in 1962 (Four cents!). Designed by Jim Crawford, it featured a Christmas wreath and candles. This was followed in 1963 by Lily Spandorf's design of the National Christmas tree and the White House. In 1964, Thomas F. Naegele designed the four-stamp set of holly, mistletoe, poinsettia and pine.

Christmas stamps by the billions have been issued every year since. Today, the US Post Office prints more than 4 billion Christmas postage stamps each year.

Christmas Treats I
Download this FREE Christmas collage sheet

Don't forget, your FREE collage sheet this month is fresh out of the oven and ready for you to download and print!

Christmas Treats I celebrates the edible delights of Christmas. Plum Pudding is here, along with Christmas cookies, and something fishy only a kitten would love. These images would make great recipe card gifts: Just print your favorite cookie holiday recipe on the back and tuck it into a plate of the finished product!

As our free gift to you for Christmas, click below to download a PDF file of this one-page collage sheet, Christmas Treats I:

Download PDF: Christmas Treats I

If the image link above doesn't work for you, type into your browser:

Buyers Speak Out!

"I just wanted to drop in and extend my warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season for the both of you and your loved ones. You have inspired me with your card a day and I am grateful. Thanks for all you do!" Su

Thank you Su, Kath, Amber, Mandi, Cindy, Sal, Pat and all who have sent holiday wishes. Su gets quoted here because she has the distinction of being the FIRST to see our Christmas Stamp Card. We were trading e-mails just as we finished it, and we were excited to show someone.

The 'card a day' she mentioned was our series of newsletters just before Thanksgiving with pictures of the ten Christmas Cards from our e-book, Ten Vintage Christmas Greetings to Make. It is published in a convenient, high-quality PDF file format. You download it to your computer for reading or printing. The vintage images are included in high-resolution, pre-sized format, ready to print at a copy center or on your home ink-jet printer!

If you still have time to make some SPECIAL Christmas cards, just go to:


Click on the "Add to Cart" button and complete your purchase with PayPal. You'll immediately receive an email with the download link, and you are one click away from creating some of the most unique vintage-look Christmas cards this season!

If the e-book link above doesn't work for you, type into your browser:

Next issue:

Martin is half-way done with decorating the Christmas tree. For some strange reason, we have a fish theme, with glass fish ornaments of all kinds. At the top, we have a vintage mermaid along with what we call "The Starfish of Bethlehem." It is really stunning, but since there are many dried starfish scattered about the tree, it has the distinct odor of a bait shop. We've gotten used to it.

It is time we came up with a New Year's craft again! We have something percolating that we hope to have out to you shortly.

We also hope to launch our new "Crafter's Gallery" on VintageImageCraft, where you can submit your photos, craft stories and questions - so we can ALL enjoy them!

Enjoy the wonders and bounty of the Christmas season! Let us know about the crafts, cards and decorations you are making.

Countdown to Christmas!

Scott & Martin

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