Poinsettia Stamp Now Available

[From guest contributor Carol]

The Poinsettia Forever® stamp is available now! This morning, the stamp will be released officially at the ASDA National Postage Stamp Show in New York City.

The stamp art is so realistic that you can almost feel the texture of the leaves. There is a good reason for that—artist William Low used a live plant as his model. Low started with a lush, full poinsettia bought at its peak growth. He placed it in the perfect location in his studio to allow the light to accentuate the plant’s vivid color.

When he began by working from the live model, he took several photographs so that he would have a reference point for when the plant was past its prime. This was especially helpful with the flowers, which are not, as many people believe, the bright red leaves—called bracts—but rather the small, modest cup-shaped structures in the center.

For the Poinsettia stamp, Low used a pressure sensitive screen on which he “painted” his brushstrokes using a stylus, adding dabs of color and weaving layers of texture into the digital painting as he filled in the details. (If you’d like to learn more about Low’s artistic process, check out this fascinating video on his website.)

While painting a perfectly detailed poinsettia might be extremely difficult, you can still make your own poinsettia art. Design poinsettia place cards for your holiday parties or learn how to make felt poinsettias for decorations. If you are adept with a sewing machine, make beautiful embroidered organza poinsettias to embellish packages, candlesticks, wreaths. Kids love crafts, too, so help them make poinsettia ornaments for the tree, create beautiful paper poinsettias, or paint poinsettias using their own hand prints!

Don’t forget that the beautiful Poinsettia stamps will brighten and decorate all your cards and letters this holiday season. Buy the stamps at usps.com/stamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices nationwide.

Holy Family & Santa and Sleigh: Some of Our Favorite Links

Are you ready for the holidays? Well, we are, and we kicked off the start of the holiday season last week with the release of the Holy Family and Santa and Sleigh stamps. In case you missed the fun, here’s a brief roundup of some of our favorite Christmas stamps news stories of the week.

  • The Holy Family stamp departs from the usual Madonna and Child image that appears on U.S. postage stamps. “Forty-eight out of 50 years were the same type of image,” says Louis Guiliano from the USPS Board of Governors. “We wanted to express a different part of the Christmas story.” Read more from Guiliano and about the Holy Family stamp here.
  • Even Santa himself made it to the dedication of the Santa and Sleigh stamps! For more pictures from the celebration, visit the USPS Media Center.

Also this week we send a special shout-out to Hints from Heloise, which featured Stamp Camp USA, an organization that introduces kids to the fun hobby of stamp collecting. Follow the link to learn how you can help.

Voting by absentee ballot this year? Make sure you have the right amount of postage!

December 17, the busiest mail day for USPS, will be here sooner that we realize. Have you gotten your stamps yet?