My son Daniel was born with such fine blond hair that his round little head looked almost as smooth as a bowling ball. His hazel eyes twinkled and his smiled up at me as sweetly as a cherub, as I stood over him one morning to take his picture.
He may have looked like an angel lying there on his baby blanket, but boy did that child have a set of pipes! I am sure the neighbours two doors down could hear him cry when he was hungry or unhappy.
Those early photographs, taking with the most basic of Kodak cameras, were often blurry with truly heinous lighting, but they hold the key to such precious memories the skill of the photographer matters not at all.
These days there are so many new and creative things you can do with your personal photographs.
Modern printers and printing methods have made small print runs feasible. As a result a whole new service industry has emerged that is willing to take your pictures and make something fun and unique with them.
For instance: Did you know that you can take your own photographs and make a custom postage stamp? As it happens, Canada Post offers just such a service! (American readers will be glad to hear that the USPS has a similar service offering custom stamps.)
What a fun idea, I thought to myself! I want to try it.
For my first design, I selected the foxglove image above.
First you have to choose an orientation (portrait or landscape) for your stamp and then a decorative frame for the image. Because my photograph was busy, I selected a portrait orientation and a fairly plain frame.
Before I knew it, my booklets of 12 stamps arrived in the mail.
I was worried that I chosen too busy a picture, but my first stamp design turned out to be quite pretty.
I know some of you might think that your photographs aren't nice enough for a stamp, but I doubt that's the case. And at any rate, I don't think it truly matters in the grand scheme of things. As with my son's baby pictures, I think that personal meaning trumps quality hands down.
Not done playing, I had to do a second stamp.
I figured it was only fitting to make a "Three Dogs in a Garden" stamp. Again I went with a portrait layout, but this time, I used a frame that incorporated a few maple leaves.
And here is the final product.
Now of course there is a cost involved.
And unless you are very well-off, it is unlikely you are going to make your own stamps just to mail the payment for your household electric bill (that is, if you even use traditional methods to pay bills these days).
This is a pleasant little indulgence meant for special correspondence. I could see using a custom stamp to send off thank you cards after a wedding, to send birthday party or shower invitations or to give a birth announcement that extra special touch.
Like an image on a coin, there is a certain honour associated with having a picture on a stamp, so this might be a great way to recognize someone who is having a milestone birthday. It might also be a nice way to dress-up a party invitations celebrating a silver or gold wedding anniversary. Ways to use your custom stamp is limited only by your imagination.
And of course you can always do something fun like putting a picture
of your dog on a postage stamp.
Have a great weekend!
Disclaimer: This post was entirely my own idea. When I discovered this service was available, I approached Canada Post and asked them if they would be willing to create a couple of sample stamps for the purposes of this post and they kindly agreed. I have received no other compensation from Canada Post.
More information and Links:
Create an online order for a personalized stamp with Canada Post. The approximate price per booklet is $17.04* Canadian, stamps for mail to the US: $20.88*, stamps for mail to International destinations $ 36.48* (min. order is 3 booklets). Please see the Canada Post website for further details.
Canada Post can also create greeting cards, postcards and invitations.
* plus applicable taxes, shipping and handling