Author Archive | Debra Schmidt


Brain Connectiveness

Perhaps if I had a name as long as this, I wouldn’t find so many scientific words impossibly long: Vilayanur Ramachandran. He goes by the much easier name Rama and similarly can take complicated subject and make it accessible and compellingly interesting to the rest of us.

Tonight I enjoyed watching his 2007 TED Talk: A journey to the center of your mind. If you’re interested in how brains work and a connection between brain wiring and creativity, you may enjoy it also!

He talks about brain damage and surprising connections within the brain, finishing with a remarkable insight into creative brains! Equally fascinating is a quest to resolve phantom limb pain with boxes and mirrors.


Zazzle Product Review: Postage Stamps

Zazzle postage stampsIf you’re like me, you don’t buy postage stamps as often as you once did. The electric bills, the car payments, the rent are paid online now so we don’t write checks and send those in the mail much anymore. What we do still mail is more of the fun and celebratory stuff in life: birthday cards, baby announcements, bridal shower invitations, graduation announcements, wedding invitations, thank you cards and Christmas cards.

Ordinary post office stamps were fine for all those bills, but now we want to sometimes splurge for special occasions and get unique or custom postage!

At, the postage stamps are:

• Real U.S. postage
• 100% satisfaction guaranteed
• 3 sizes for all mailings
• Produced in as few as 48 hours
• Vibrant printing & color
• FREE customization

People sometimes wonder: is it legal to design my own stamps or use really awesome designs like what I find on Yes, it is! The U.S. post office has guidelines about what is allowable, but they are pretty generous. Keep in mind that nakedness, bad words and religion are the main no-nos. And you cannot violate intellectual property laws or personal privacy either.

After several years of designing stamps on Zazzle, I finally purchased some myself recently. Just before the latest rate hike, unfortunately! Drats. I ordered sheets of both the small and the medium stamps: Pinecone on a Snowy Branch Painting and Heart of Shells on the Beach.

   Zazzle pinecone postage stamps  Zazzle Heart on the Beach stamps


packagingVery well done! The sheets arrived in a cardboard envelope with a cardboard folder inside so they were in perfect condition. Mine were dropped off by UPS at the door, so no worries about the envelope getting bent fitting it into a mailbox.


I was astonished at how GLOSSY and how BIG the stamps are!

Unlike post office stamps which have a very matte finish, these stamps are high gloss. If you think of glossy photos, that’s a good comparison. The colors print really well and true to the image on the screen. (Note: I have a calibrated monitor, so your results may differ!)

Zazzle and US postage stamps Zazzle and US postage stamps On the images above, standard U.S. postage stamps from the post office are laid over the Zazzle custom postage stamps so you can see the size and gloss differences.

I have to tell you that I must never have looked at the actual sizes of the in the past, only relative sizes and proportions, because I never realized these custom stamps are almost twice the size of standard post office stamps. The small stamps – which feature a square image – are almost 2 inches tall!
Heart of Shells on the Beach Postage Stamp stampPine Cone on a Snowy Branch Painting stamp

Postage Stamp Sizes

Small: 1.8″ x 1.3″ (image: 1.1″ x 1.1″).
Aspect ratio: 1 x 1.
Landscape or Portrait orientation.
20 stamps per sheet.
Choose from thirteen postage denominations.
Medium: 2.1″ x 1.3″ (image: 1.4″ x 1.1″).
Aspect ratio: 3 x 4.
Landscape or Portrait orientation.
20 stamps per sheet.
Choose from thirteen postage denominations.
Large: 2.5″ x 1.5″ (image: 1.7″ x 1.2″).
Aspect ratio: 5 x 7.
Landscape or Portrait orientation.
20 stamps per sheet.
Choose from thirteen postage denominations.


These particular stamps are currently, by size: $21.80 / $23.10 / $24.40. Prices vary by the rates of the different kinds of postage, starting with 32¢ postcard stamps and going up to $5.15 priority stamps. (Note: prices may change as the Post Office raises rates, or Zazzle revises prices or a particular designer does.)

You do pay a premium for the customization, artistry and short print runs!


Would I recommend Zazzle postage stamps? Absolutely! The ability to create or order very small runs of stamps is awesome. And the printing is wonderful. If you have a special occasion coming up, custom stamps will really set off your cards or letters.

I would suggest that you choose the small stamps for postcards, however. You can see in the matching postage stamp and postcard image that a bigger stamp would overwhelm the postcard!
stamped postcard
Many designers create sets of wedding or party invitations with coordinating postage. If you are looking for custom stamps, check out the options below.

Love & Weddings



Browse other gifts from Zazzle.