Somehow I became a collector of stamps

Over the years, I have ordered several sets of collectible stamps from Canada Post. Until recently, I kept them in the wax paper envelopes they arrived in, on a shelf in my storage room, languishing.

It started innocuously with Chinese zodiac stamps here and there. My zodiac sign is of interest to me but then others also became interesting. Then special collections such as Chinatown gates across the country and the 75th anniversary of the creation of Superman.

But what to do with them if not to store in wax envelopes and never taken out? Last year, I framed a Superman one and made a collage of some zodiac ones. But then they seemed off limits in frames, too small to view from a distance.

Remember those albums with the plastic pages you peel back and then you insert your photo or momento? I considered such an album but when those pages were not available on the cheap from the dollar store, I thought about alternatives and cobbled together the following alternative that I’m quite happy about:

“Mounting” the stamps/souvenir on cream cardstock using photo corners accompanied by a description that is often a copy and paste and re-formatting from the Canada Post website. Then inserting each cardstock page into three-ringed page protectors and throwing them into a binder.

I tend to order Official First Day Covers (OFDCs) which are the size of an envelope display the stamp(s) with some additional artwork. The stamps are canceled and I admire the design of the cancellation stamps and the connection of the cancellation site with the stamp(s)’ theme. The OFDCs have more artwork and a blurb on the back so besides not wanting to ruin the paper with tape, using photo corners allows me to remove the OFDC and read the back.

The special series I own (and my connection) include:

  • UNESCO heritage sites in Canada – I have four of these beauties each with five stamps of fantastic places in Canada
  • Weather wonders – Canada is such a large country so a variety of wonderous weather phenomena will occur and although I haven’t been to any of the five places, I feel connected to them anyhow
  • 75th anniversary of Superman – the original artwork is just great
  • NHL Original 6 – the Leafs are one of the Original 6 and the player they chose is Tim Hortons which are all draws for me
  • Year of the Snake/Horse/Ram (2013-15) – even if I’m not a fan of the artwork, these are the signs for NPY, me and E
  • Year of the Monkey (2016) – the artistic is the same as in the previous years but with Monkey King as inspiration, this graphic is really sharp – in addition, this is my mother’s year so it’s poignant this way
  • Queen Elizabeths’ historic reign – the juxtaposition between the queen in her youth and now is compelling, and my mother is a fan of the royal family
  • Baby wildlife – because they are adorable
  • Canadian Museum of Human Rights – the building is striking and I want to visit someday
  • Barbara Ann Scott – although she is before my time, I used to figure skate
  • Japan Canada Anne of Green Gables – what a find to stumble upon and I browsed until I could get free shipping and added others – this is from 2008 and I completely missed out on the OFDC and must find it
  • Zambonis – also depicts Canadian NHL teams and my connection to it is that I used to figure skate

Below are a few pages from my stamp collection album. Oh dear, I am a collector now. But just Canada Post. For now!

– 180-count transparent photo corners from dollar store: $1
– 50-count cream cardstock from Michael’s: $3.59 (40% off regular $5.99)
– crappy black 1″ three-ring binder from dollar store: $1
– three-ring page protectors I already owned: “free”

On this day..