New U.S. Stamps – The War of 1812: Battle of New Orleans

Today the United States Postal Service issued a new stamp, The War of 1812: Battle of New Orleans. This is a Forever stamp, currently at $0.49. The description is as follows:

The War of 1812, sometimes called “the forgotten conflict,” was a confrontation with Great Britain that brought the United States to the verge of bankruptcy and disunion. With this 2015 issuance, the U.S. Postal Service® concludes its commemoration of the bicentennial of a war that ultimately helped forge our national identity and gave us our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The subject of this final stamp is Andrew Jackson’s triumphant victory over the British on January 8, 1815, at the Battle of New Orleans. Using mixed media, stamp artist Greg Harlin, a specialist in historical paintings, depicts American troops and artillery repelling British forces from behind a mile-long defensive earthwork known as Jackson’s line.

A portrait of Andrew Jackson in his military uniform, by artist John Vanderlyn (1775-1852), appears on the reverse of the stamp sheet. A nineteenth-century depiction of the battle by Oliver Pelton appears on the front of the sheet above the selvage text. The stamp sheet also includes verso text.

The Battle of New Orleans was the most decisive victory in the war for the underdog Americans. The British suffered some 2,000 casualties as they were gunned down while trying to breach Jackson’s line. Jackson instantly became a national hero.

Ironically, the battle was fought two weeks after the Treaty of Ghent, which essentially declared the war a draw, had been signed in Belgium on December 24. But this news had not reached American shores, and the treaty would not be ratified until February 1815. Jackson’s victory, coming as it did in the final weeks of the war and before the peace treaty was ratified, left Americans with the impression they had won the war as a whole-and had defeated the greatest power in the world.

Greg Breeding served as art director and designer for the stamp.

From Liset in the Netherlands

I’ve had a bit of a postcard drought lately! But I just got this adorable postcard from Liset in the Netherlands and it made my day!

Liset wrote on the back that autumn is setting in where she lives. It’s the same here so I know how she feels. Here’s how she described it:

Nights are getting colder, the air becomes humid, and I really, really don’t feel like going outside. I prefer staying indoors with a big mug of tea and with the heating turned on!

I feel the same way in autumn and winter Liset!!


Postcards primarily sent via Postcrossing, an online community that allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards.

From Cici in China

Cici is a 9 year old girl in Guang Zhou, China who (probably with the help of her family) sent me this adorable postcard.

What a cute dog! She also drew on the postcard some flowers and what I believe is the character Totoro. This was very sweet. I love it when Postcrossing becomes a family affair!


Postcards primarily sent via Postcrossing, an online community that allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards.

From Yoyo in Taiwan

Yoyo chose to go cute and quirky with the postcard she sent me from Taiwan.

I have no idea what the text here says and she didn’t translate for me. Anyone who knows, please feel free to comment! It almost looks like a holiday postcard, but I can’t be sure.

Either way, it is adorable! Thanks Yoyo!


Postcards primarily sent via Postcrossing, an online community that allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards.

New U.S. Stamps – Winter Fun

Today the United States Postal Service issued a new stamp, Winter Fun. This is a Forever stamp, currently at 49 cents. The description is as follows:

Winter days can be a wonderful time to appreciate the great outdoors with friends and loved ones. Drawing on nostalgic images of snowy childhoods, the Winter Fun stamps can be used not only to convey the joyful spirit of the holiday season and the new year, but also to send cheerful greetings for any occasion all winter long. Each stamp is sure to add a welcome splash of warmth to letters and cards during the year’s coldest months.

With four playful designs, Winter Fun celebrates some of the season’s most enjoyable activities: ice-skating, making snow angels, building snowmen, and bird-watching. The art for the ice-skaters design was painted with acrylic on plywood with a dry brush technique to give the illustration a textured, folk-art feel. The other three were all hand-sketched and then digitally manipulated.

Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps using existing illustrations by Janet Atkinson, Jing Jing Tsong, and Christine Roy.

From Walter in Sweden

Walter sent me this lovely postcard with views from Sweden! It was my first postcard from Sweden!

He wrote in his message that he loved Sweden and the nature. It does look wonderful! He also wrote a small phrase in his language that it difficult to read because of the postmark, but I believe it says “Många hälsu ugat.” Right before he wrote this he said “Many greetings” so I assume this is what it means. To be sure, I went to Google Translate!

It turns out I just couldn’t read his handwriting, but I was close! The actual Swedish phrase should read “Många hälsningar.” Now that I look again, what I thought was a “u” does actually look like the other “n” characters that he made. Thanks Walter for teaching me this phrase!


Postcards primarily sent via Postcrossing, an online community that allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards.

From Evgeniy in Russia

Evgeniy sent me a beautiful postcard showing St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia.

This is gorgeous! I love the building and it is so iconic as a part of Russian culture. The photo is also lovely, with the lighting and angle. It is almost eery as well as wonderful. Thanks Evgeniy!!


Postcards primarily sent via Postcrossing, an online community that allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards.