Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What I Found in the Mail

On the way home from work one night, I stopped at an estate sale. This wasn't one run by an estate sale company. It was run by the family. A really nice family.

I picked up some nice things at the sale--for really good prices. Several lovely aprons. Some nice linens.  A sweet tulip salt and pepper shaker set. Some pretty metal trays.

But what I was most interested in was an envelope with about 50 photographs from the mid to late 1930s and early 1940s and a Ziploc bag of what I thought was just stamps and empty used envelopes with postage stamps still attached. Just the type of ephemera I use in my handmade journals.

I didn't even have to look far. Both were just inside the front door to the place. And, only dollar each for the envelope of photos and the bag of stamps.

When I picked up the envelope of photographs and the bag of stamps, I certainly didn't expect the treasure trove I found when I opened them up at home.

The collection of stamps was nice and will be quite useful for my craft projects. The corner of the envelopes containing the stamps had simply been torn off and thrown into the Ziploc bag.

At the bottom of the bag, however, were a few whole envelopes. All but one were addressed to the same woman. One was addressed to a man who I assume was woman's husband. Over the course of the 12 years the postmarks represented, 1925-1937, the couple appeared to have lived in Texas, western Nebraska and, eventually, central Nebraska.

To my delight, four of the envelopes still contained the original cards.

Such a lovely Mother's Day card, dated 1925.

And, why wouldn't someone with "moonbeams" in her blog title be bowled over by this adorable Valentine card also from the 1920s? It reminded me of how much I loved the imagery in the movie "Paper Moon."

A whimsical birthday card, dated 1935, for the mister, is just doggone cute.

And the icing on the cake is this tease of a Valentine. A true treasure. Like Russian stacking dolls, the outer envelope opens to another, and another, and another. Ten times over. The prize in the tenth and final teensy, weensy envelope--a construction paper heart. Each envelope has a fun rhyme printed in red ink on the front coaxing the reader to open it. As if I needed to be coaxed to look further!

The cards and empty envelopes are all addressed to members of one family. And, let me just say, the package of photographs--the same family--is a delight. Many have detailed, hand-written descriptions on the backs. I'm excited to share those with you in a future post.

As for the little mailbag featured today: It definitely has my stamp of approval.

Make it a great day!


  1. What great finds! I am looking forward to seeing more info as well as the projects you create. Seeing something like this always makes me second guess whether I should throw cards and stuff away when I am cleaning out my own drawers! Do you do the same thing? I always wonder if I am throwing away a part of my past that someone will enjoy years from now-but I don't want to be featured on "Hoarders-Buried Alive" lol

  2. OH what a wonderful find! It would be like a little treasure hunt of history! Great find, Ann!

  3. Oh my... those cards are quite the find. The little moon card is adorable!

  4. Quite interesting finds! I like the idea of stacked envelopes. I might do that to my husband's card.


  5. Wow!! what an amazing bounty of treasure, I would have been crazy over the moon to find something like that! I'm sure it will inspire many art pieces! :)

  6. You found some wonderful ephemera! Your "nesting" project is darling! Saw your picture at Very Merry Vintage Style.

  7. What an awesome find. I love this! Not sure I could separate the items though--so special together.

  8. You lucky, what treasure you found! This kind of stuff makes me weak in the knees. :)

    Happy VTT!

  9. Now you are are enjoying what make others happy that are long gone. Life works in many good ways.

  10. Fabulous find! Thanks for sharing!


  11. What a wonderful find! I love the moon valentine, perfect for you. Doesn't make you wonder how someone could give up that stash of great old items? Glad it went to someone like you that will really appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by, Laura

  12. What a treasure that was! How very cool for you to find it too- I hope you have oddles of fun with your future creations!

  13. Gorgeous finds! So fun that they went to a great home that will treasure it. Thanks for linking up to Share the Love Wednesday!


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