maandag 25 januari 2016

Sunday Stamps: Bicycles

This Sunday Stamps' theme is 'cycles: bi, tri, motor'.

I love bicycles! They are good for health and for the environment. Here in the Netherlands most Dutch have learned to ride the bicycle already in early childhood, and we're lucky to have a lot of good cycle pathways and bicycle parking places :-)
Some consider the Netherlands a 'fietsland' ('bicycle-land') so it might not surprise you that the Dutch PostNL, including it's predecessors TNT, TPG and PTT, has issued several stamps showing bicycles.

My favourite stamp I've posted before - see here, a postman riding a bike, illustrated by Sieb Posthuma). And you can find two Tour de France stamp sheets here.

Bicycle stamps are part of two present 'forever stamps' sheets.
The national 'forever' stamp sheet consists of 10 stamps showing ten typical Dutch themes in white on blue background. Among them this bicycle:



The international 'forever' stamp sheet consists of five stamps, showing five different themes in blue on a white background. Also the bike:



Some years earlier - when 'Europe' and 'World' had different rates and different stamps (now both cost the same postage) - a bicycle showed up on the 'Europe' stamps. The 'forever' stamp was introduced in 2010:



One year before, in 2009, the rates for Europe were € 0,77, and outside Europe € 0,95 as you can see below (while today the 'forever' stamp above is worth € 1,25 for all countries outside of the Netherlands).



Riding the bicycle is common for most Dutch people as proofs this stamp, showing the royal family cosily together riding their bikes:



And yes, you have seen it right: in our country most people, including me, consider wearing helmets for common bicycle transportation 'not done'...
Only a few very young children and all sport / tour cyclists do...

From the pre-Euro, 'gulden' era come the following two stamps.
The first has been issued in honour of the ANWB which once has started as an organisation for bicyclists (but nowadays has more car drivers as a member):



And this pretty CEPT stamp:



Last but not least this Dutch stamp, which is part of a 'ten inventions' stamps sheet, issued in 2010 for the 100th anniversary of the Dutch Patent Act, and which shows an important part of the bicycle: the chainguard:




Fortunately I received some bicycle stamps from other countries, too, which of course made my day:

From Spain:



From Greece:




Finally from bi-cycle to a tri-motor-cycle. Usually I detest motor cycles, because their exhaust/muffler gasses ruin my good mood when I smell it while riding my bike.
However there are a few exceptions, among them tricycle electric motor cycles like these, because they help to deliver mail :-)
Lucky and happy I was when I found these maximum cards via the internet:

The electric trike Kyburz DXP,



and the electric trike Tribelhorn, both from Switzerland.



See much more great bi-and more-cycles at and via this Sunday's Sunday Stamps!

woensdag 20 januari 2016

In: from Spain and Morocco

Three cards arrived the same day - 19th of January - while there have been many days to post between them!
Thank you, Eva, for sending and for your kind messages!

This Smurf traveled the longest distance, but also the shortest time according to the postmark (14th of January), and in an envelope (maybe that helps?):



He might have been floating on this peaceful lake:



Sent from Spain the 29th of December 2015, so traveling 3 weeks, was this postcard of Little Red Riding Hood (and 'lo que no vío' - what she didn't see), an illustration by Mar Ferrero:



With on the back side this Europe toys stamp:



Last but not least, the postcard which has been traveling the shortest distance and the longest time (a month: written the 20th of December) was this postcard from Madrid, showing the Palacio de Cibeles, the former Palace of Telecommunication, in which nowadays a cultural center and the main post office is located.



Which a matching stamp:



Thank you very much, Eva! Moltes gràcies!

maandag 18 januari 2016

Sunday stamps: Water birds

This time the Sunday Stamps' theme is 'Water Birds'.
As I love birds this is an other favourite subject of mine!

The first two stamps I love to share with you I've published before, be it not for Sunday Stamps. Thanks to FinnBadger I received these two wonderful sea birds: a Frigatebird and a Tufted Puffin. Both on an awesome envelope, made out of a calendar page showing birds by Charley Harper. The Flamingo of course is a water bird, too.
And - thank you FinnBadger for correcting me - I first thought the Frigatebird had been created by this famous artist, too, but it appears to have been designed by Tyler Lang, who has created many more animals illustrations, which at first sight remind me of Charley Harper's birds, but when you look close their style is so different!



The puffin has been designed by Robert Giusti.

And as puffins belong to my most favourite birds and Harper to one of my favourite artists (he has created a lot of bird pictures) and Tyler Lang's artwork I think inspiring, too, no need to say that FinnBadger's mail made my day :-)

In the Netherlands also various birds have been imaged on stamps.
These two stamp sheets have been issued in 2003 as a tribute to the Dutch wad in the Wadden area. The images have been designed by Eke van Mansvelt.



You can see the 'Scholekster'(Eurasian Oystercatcher), the 'Lepelaar' (Spoonbill), two kinds of Geese, the 'Grote Mantelmeeuw' (Great black-backed gull, I guess - there are a lot of kinds of sea gulls), the 'Wulp' (Eurasian curlew), some non-bird animals
and on the sheet itself the 'Visdief' (Common Tern), 'Plevieren' (Plovers).



The Wadden is a part of the north Sea, south of the so-called Wadden Islands. Since 2009 it is a UNESCO world heritage site, nevertheless the area is threatened, by pollution, by business plans etcetera, so I hope (and in fact expect) the area will continue to be protected.

By the way, the postage has increased a lot since 2003. In that year we had to pay € 0,39 for national mail and € 0.59 for international mail (all up to 20 grams). Anno 2016 it is € 0.73 for national mail and € 1.25 for international mail..

See more Sea Birds - and Charley Harper stamps! - at and via the links under this Sunday's Sunday Stamps blog!

maandag 11 januari 2016

Sunday Stamps: Castles or Palaces

This Sunday Stamps' theme is 'Castles or Palaces'.
I wanted to post a stamp of the Muiderslot, a medieval castle which I visited as a child, and years later as a grown-up, and which still to me is the prototype of a 'real castle'.
Alas I can't find the stamp at the moment. It has been issued in 2009 and while I've sent tens on my outgoing mail, I thought I had kept a few. I hope to find one back before 'Castles' will be themed a next time.

Meanwhile I thought not to have any 'Palace' stamps, but on my search to the Muiderslot stamp I found even two stamps showing the 'Paleis op de Dam', the 'Palace at the Dam square', also known as the Koninklijk Paleis or Royal Palace, in Amsterdam.

The first stamp has been issued in 1982 and shows both the complete palace and the Dam square, on which the Monument op de Dam, or National Monument is located.



The tiny little statues right and left of the Monument show lions. In 1927 there were no lion statues yet. On this location there was a kiosk instead, in which my late grandmother sold newspapers at the age of 17. The minimum age to sell newspapers was 18, but somehow my greatgrandfather succeeded in having the kiosk owner employ her already before her 18th birthday. My grandmother has learned to count extremely quick there, I think no pocket calculator (nor I :-) ) could beat her!

Back to the Palace at the Dam square. In 2005 it shows up on a stamp again. On these stamps you can see the a part of this palace. Next to the stamp on bottom you can see a little more.



Finally a castle I didn't know until I saw the stamp. The Keukenhof is a famous bulb flower park. By the stamp, issued in 2012, I learned that the park belongs to the Keukenhof Castle area. A part of this castle you can see here:



The original stamp sheet shows more of this castle, but alas I've sent all stamps out. You can still see the complete set on the internet, for example on the stamps blog of a Dutch woman named Violet, and on the catawiki site.

Find more interesting castles and palaces at and via the Sunday Stamps blog!

woensdag 6 januari 2016

In: from the Craftivist Collective



This unique postcard from the Craftivist Collective I received thanks to Tasha from the United Kingdom.
I still have to explore the Collective's website, but already in advance I think craftivism a gentle way to say what you need to say and to create a better world.
Click on the picture to enlarge en read the wise words by Martin Scorsese:
"It seems to me that any sensible person must see that violence does not change the world and if it does, then only temporarily'.



On the back side a great squirrel stamp.
Thank you very much, Tasha!

zondag 3 januari 2016

Sunday Stamps: Bridges

Today's Sunday Stamps theme is 'Bridges'. One of my (many) favourite themes on stamps!

Dutch PostNL happens to have issued a bridge stamp sheet last year, which I am happy to share with you here:



See more beautiful bridges at the Sunday Stamps blog and via the links mentioned there.