zondag 29 november 2015

Sunday Stamps: words, numbers

Today's Sunday Stamps theme is 'words and/or numbers (no pictures)'.
I had a few Dutch stamps in mind when I read about this theme, but while searching my stamps I found a lot more. Many from the 'gulden' era but also newer ones, issued after the introduction of the euro.

If I only were allowed to choose two stamps, then the following two would be my choice:

The one which fascinates me most:

Why it fascinates me? Well, this one inspires me to add / draw a lot of pictures! Korfbal, in English known as Korfball, to my opinion is the most emancipated sport, as men and women are treated equally: they play together. My late grandmother (born 1910) used to play it as a teen, and we used to play it at school. Alas it isn't a well-known sport and to my frustration it still hasn't become an Olympic sport so far. I hope one day it will be.
So if I would have been the designer of this stamp, I sure would have added the typical basket, a mixed-gender team, Olympic rings as an advertorial, or whatever. But the designer made a strong design by using words only. And by leaving most of the stamp empty!

And this one is one of my favourites, for it shows true words from a female writer, Belle van Zuylen:

'Lezen en schrijven verandert werkelijk het bestaan van de mens...' means: 'Reading and writing really changes the being of mankind'.
A little more of this written letter you can see on the 'postzegelblog'.

Well, still no-one has stopped me after posting these two, so I'll post more stamps on words-without-pictures :-)

One issued in 1986 for the 350the anniversary of the Utrecht University (where Belle van Zuylen happened to have been to):

Two about law, the new, that is, in 1992 reformed, 'Burgerlijk Wetboek' (Dutch Civil Code), stamp issued in 1992:

and the Wetboek van Strafrecht (Penal (criminal) Code), issued in 1986:

This one I love for it shows an important part of book making: print letters:

The stamp has been issued in 1977 for the 500th anniversary of the first printed book in Dutch language (which happened to be the Delft Bible).

Stamps on the edge of words-no-pictures and pictures are these ones:

Five different stamps issued on a ten stamp sheet, for five anniversaries:

In which some elements of pictures slightly have been added to the pictures, like staves in the last one, issued for 'Hundred years Dutch Composers Association' (I've sent out one of these with the accompanying text).

The twelve provinces (of which I've sent out four):

(Click to enlarge the following six stamps)

The stamps show words only - the pictures are besides the stamps themselves - but the words also form the province flags!..

From letters to numbers, via the stamp issued for the Court of Auditors, which in Dutch means 'Rekenkamer', literally 'counting (or calculating) chamber':

Some number stamps. Until the introduction of the 'forever stamp' it was clear what a stamp would cost, for instance in 2002 for mail up to 20 grams:

And mail between 20 and 50 grams:

In 2007 for mail up to 20 grams:

And then there was this '1' stamp. This year it's value is € 0,69, in the new year one '1' stamp for national mail will be € 0,73.

Finally an other nice stamp, issued in 2003, on a subject you might like: 'verzamelen' means 'to collect':

The tiny words in the background have to do with (stamp and banknote) collecting.

See more interesting and beautiful stamps on this theme on Sunday Stamps, and the links under that post!

zondag 22 november 2015

Sunday stamps: Children's stories

Today's Sunday Stamps' theme is 'children's stories'. I am happy to share with you this stamp sheet showing Frog and friends. The characters are from the children's stories of Kikker (Frog) by one of my favourite Dutch illustrators, Max Velthuijs (1921-2005).
More information about Max Velthuijs you can find on wikipedia, in this article in the Guardian and at this website.

My favourite picture books are 'Kikker en de Vreemdeling' (Frog and the Stranger), a story which deals with prejudice and fear for outsiders, 'Kikker is verliefd' (Frog in love), about being in love and intercultural relationship, and 'Kikker en het vogeltje' (literally 'Frog and the little bird', translated into English as Frog and the Birdsong), about the mystery of death and the need to celebrate the joys of being alive.

zaterdag 21 november 2015

In: from the USA

Already since my childhood the puffin ('papegaaiduiker' in Dutch, which literally means 'parrot diver') is one of my most favourite birds. I always had thought that there only was one species of puffins, but last year I learnt that the one I knew is named the Atlantic puffin and that there are two more puffins.

So I was very pleased with this recent postcard, which FinnBadger has sent me from the USA (yay, FinnBadger, I jumped another hole in the air :-) ), and to which he had added a stamp of the Tufted puffin (and a Frigatebird, the only one of the three who I have seen in real - an intriguing bird, too).
The picture above has been designed by famous American artist Charley Harper.

The card came in an envelope, made of a Charley Harper calendar page. I've posted the beautiful envelope somewhere else on the world wide web, but the first bird - tiny in an edge of the envelope - which immediately attracted my sight I'll show below. It is... a puffin :-)

Thank you very much, FinnBadger!

vrijdag 20 november 2015

In: from the United Kingdom / Morocco

Eva has sent me a lot of great mail. Alas I haven't sufficient time to post all interesting postcards that I would have loved to share with you, but every now and then I (try to) do.

This card has been reproduced from a stamp issued by Royal Mail in August 2009. The mailbox / post box is an 'Elizabeth II Type A Wall Box', the description on the back side says. With Eva I am wondering what Type B would be. Anyhow, I love to see mailboxes and this card is a great additioin to my postal postcards collection.

She sent the card from Morocco, so the combination of the card, sender, addressee and stamps includes not only the UK and the continent, but even two continents!

Thank you very much, moltes gràcies, Eva!

donderdag 19 november 2015

In: from New Zealand / Australia

From New Zealand I received this postcard showing the beautiful Australian Great Barrier Reef.
The postcard was sent by Devi. I didn't know the sender personally, but I got curious when I happened to read on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter about her journey. She is an enthusiast cyclist, poet and storyteller, and is traveling the world by bicycle and by boat to collect stories from people about water and climate change.

I decided to join the funding, and as a 'thank you' Devi has sent me this postcard. The back side of the card Devi had written at sea, while traveling hitching on a cargo ship from Australia to New Zealand. She stamped and posted the card in New Zealand.
Reading the card, in which she tells something about her journey, makes me dreaming of traveling that way, too! Well, probably I am stuck too much with the certainties and obligations I feel and have in my present life. A joy to read her card though.
For me, not born in the neighbourhood of a sea so usually not that much attracted to it, some of her words touched me, like these: "The sea has lots to teach me about surrender."

On her blog I found this nice post, and while enjoying her long text on the card I am happy that she loves snail mail, too!

If you are interested to support her journey monthly you can become a patron (see the website) or you can donate an amount once, see the kickstarter website.

Sunday Stamps: Famous people

I am a little late with posting, but fortunately today I could add my contribution to the latest Sunday Stamps blog.

The theme is 'Famous people' and I happen to join a 'famous people chaincard' project on instagram. In this project four people from four different countries are sending one postcard with stamps matching the theme, in this case famous people. We send our card to the next receiver, who adds stamps (and a next address) and forwards the card to the next receiver. This way all cards are passing four people, and have gathered stamps from four countries when they arrive back home.

So far I sent my card and received one, to which I sticked Dutch stamps, to pass it on to the next person.

These stamps I added to my card, showing:

A contemporary famous person, DJ Hardwell:

An other famous person of present times is the book character Harry Potter, actor Daniel Radcliffe:

And a quote from book character Max Havelaar with a picture of his author Multatuli:

Meanwhile I have received the first cards of two of the others. One postcard from the UK directly to me, and one from Italy to the UK to me.
So thanks to this international collaboration stamps of Italian and English famous people are united with Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren, former queen Juliana and her grandson (now king) Willem-Alexander and his wife (now queen) Máxima (click picture to enlarge):

I had to look up Aldo Manuzio, and his fame is related to the written word, too: he has invented the (printed) italic typeface and the semicolon.

And the English queen is connected to DJ Tiësto, Harry Potter and again the present Dutch king and queen:

woensdag 11 november 2015

In: from Australia

Usually I keep the digital versions of my received postcrossing postcards on the postcrossing site only. This time there's a postcard which matches with Eva's postcard, posted yesterday , showing a lighthouse and a postmark on the front side.
It is the very first lighthouse card I received from Australia. Which shows not only a lighthouse and a postmark in front, but also the postage stamp!

The card and stamp show the Casuarina Point lighthouse.

Australia Post has issued many so-called maximum cards, of which I am happy to have received this one.

dinsdag 10 november 2015

In: from Spain

Received from Eva from Spain, this wonderful painting by Edward Hopper.
Eva wrote, and I totally agree, that the sky painted is extremely bright blue. Beautiful!

The postal services must have thought the postage stamp to be on the front side, as they put the cancellation in front. And see, above top right, what the postmark says: Azul! Which means 'blue' :-)

Thank you very much, moltes gràcies, Eva!

maandag 2 november 2015

Sunday Stamps: Farm Animals

This Sunday Stamps theme is 'Farm Animals'.
As animals in general belong to my favourite subjects I am happy to search my collection to share some stamps with you.

Farm animals have been subject to Sunday stamps before and I have contributed then. However there are so many nice stamps on farm animals, that I think the theme has to be repeated on a regular base :-)

These two animals I received from Ukraine. I love the way they have been illustrated.

These stamps show the 'Lakenvelder' cow. The stamps are'personalized stamps', issued in limited edition by the Lakenvelder cow association, via the Dutch mail service:

Sadly in the Netherlands most farm animals live a miserable life, kept in small spaces in stables without daylight. The percentage of animal-friendly farming is far too small in our country, and alas the Dutch government listened to the EU who withdrew the milk quotas per 1st of April this year, so many farmers choose to keep even more cows in too little room. I hope one day (or better: now) all Dutch will change their habit of buying cheap, animal unfriendly meat into a better habit, of buying no meat at all or at least meat from animals who have been respected and kept in an animal friendly environment (and also I hope all will support NGO's like 'Wakker Dier' and 'Milieudefensie' who organize good campaigns to raise awareness on animal welfare in farming). So that all animals can laugh again, like the pig on the Ukrainian stamp.

These lovely chicken stamp, showing more lucky farm animals, I received from Indonesia:

Last but not least, back to the Netherlands, where PostNL has issued stamps showing paintings by Vincent van Gogh. Two of them are related to an other farm animal: the sheep. Here shaven and the wool processed:

See for more stamps on farm Animals the Sunday Stamps blog and the links mentioned under the blog post.