zondag 20 augustus 2017

Sunday stamps: 'C' is for 'Cavia' and 'Capibara'

In common Dutch, the guinea pig is named 'cavia'. Which is also part of the scientific name, Cavia porcellus.
A nowadays old-fashioned Dutch word for cavia is 'Guinees biggetje', which means 'Guinea piglet'. However, the animal is no family of pigs, nor origins from Guinea, but from the Andes mountains.

In English, the term 'guinea pig' is also used as a metaphor for a subject of scientific experiments. In contrary in Dutch, an other animal is the unlucky one in common language, namely the 'proefkonijn' ('experiment rabbit').

A large cousin of the cavia is the capibara, whose name also starts with the letter 'C'. In English it is spelled with a 'y', in Dutch we use an 'i' instead.
I would love to have a capybara stamp in hands, but alas I haven't. Fortunately I found on the internet several nice pictures, among them these two from lands they are living in, these largest rodents in the world:

Curious to know what other stamp lovers have in mind when thinking of the letter 'c'? Check the delightful Sunday stamps site and the links mentioned there!

zondag 13 augustus 2017

Sunday stamps: 'B' is for 'brief', 'bellen' and 'blindengeleidehond'

I love 'false friends': words which in one language have a certain meaning, and which have in an other language a totally different meaning.

That is the case with the word 'brief'. In English 'brief' means 'short'. But the Dutch word 'brief' has a meaning which I guess you all might like: 'epistle', 'letter'!

On the first stamp Nijntje (Miffy) is writing a brief (letter).
And on the second stamp you see the happy receiver of this brief (letter).

An other funny false friend is the verb (not noun) 'bellen', a false friend between German and Dutch.

In Dutch, the verb 'bellen' means 'to make a phone call'. In German, 'bellen' means... 'to bark' (in Dutch: blaffen).

Here you see some people 'aan het bellen' (calling),

And talking about barking (blaffen), the type of dog on the next stamps doesn't bark a lot, but works hard instead, to help to guide blind people.
In Dutch he/she is named 'blindengeleidehond' (blinden = blind people (plural), geleiden = to guide, hond = dog).
Sunny was the first guide dog in the Netherlands and started to work in 1935, the founding year of the KNGF (Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation).

The characters on top are from the Braille alphabet, named after Louis Braille and thus has the same name in Dutch, English and German.

See more stamps concerning the 'B' at and via today's Sunday Stamps.

woensdag 9 augustus 2017

In: from Spain and Greece

From the city of Athens this postcard originates. Showin 'Pensive Athena', a marble relief (made appr. 460 BC) depicting the ancient Greek Goddess standing in front of a stone stele. Pallas Athena is one of my favourite mythological figures for the fact that she is the goddess of wisdom and art/craft.

Fortunately Eva remembered me liking a rubber stamp depicting Athena, and therefore she chose to send me this card. Bought in Greece and sent from Spain. So the stamp on the back is Spanish, and has been issued for the 2017 Europe theme, 'Castles'. Click on this link, and then on the country, to see the variety of Europe 2017 stamps issued this year.

Thank you very much, moltes gràcies, Eva!

maandag 7 augustus 2017

Sunday stamps: 'A' is for 'Aap'

From last Sunday until 25 Sundays later, the Sunday Stamps are dedicated to the alphabet.
As it is easier for me to find a complete pictoral / stamps alphabet in my native language than in English, I thought to combine my to-be-shown stamps with a small course in Dutch language. Twenty-six nouns only, you might have learned after the coming half year.

So the letter 'A' does stand for... Monkey! In Dutch the word is 'aap', the pronounciation of which I cannot explain to non-native speakers. Even translate.google.com has difficulties explaining: its sound (click the speaker under the word in this site) does not sound native into my ears.
Anyway, we have been lucky that the aap also is part of the Chinese Zodiac. Thus many stamps have been issued on this theme. Above the very first Chinese Zodiac Dutch PostNL has ever issued: a year of the monkey (jaar van de aap) stamp sheet in 2016.

From Hong Kong I received this beautiful matching combination of postcard, stamp and postmark.

FinnBadger sent me this wonderful stamp and postmark from the USA. It took me some time to find the aap on the stamp, maybe you can spot him/her sooner?

Here he/she is:

This stamp arrived from Malaysia:

This apenmasker (monkey mask) like picture appeared on a Canadian stamp:

And three different apen ('aap' plural) stamps traveled from Japan. The first two seem to have had some trouble during their journey, but the two of them make one complete picture. From 1968:

From 1992:

A definite stamp (I think, not a zodiac one), received in / probably from 2016:

From Taiwan I received various zodiac stamps in one mail. First I thought to cut out the aap from this picture, but the postmark is worth sharing, too:

See what 'A' stamps our colleague stamp lovers have chosen for this Sunday at and via Sunday Stamps!

zondag 30 juli 2017

Sunday Stamps: Stars, moon, planets

Today's theme of Sunday Stamps is stars or moon or planets.

Coincidentally my mail art colleague Cascadia Artpost sent me a stamp from the USA recently (received yesterday!), including all three items in one.
A stamp, issued in honour of the solar eclips which will be seen on 21st of August, mainly in the USA.

Three in one? Yes: the sun (a star), more or less hidden by our moon (the moon), seen from the earth (a planet).

The technique used for this stamp is - as far as I know - new in its use for stamps.
The mechanism is used for mugs, but now it isn't warm tea or coffee which reveals the image, it is the warmth of our own finger. Fortunately Cascadia added an instruction manual to it, as you see above.

When warmed up, you can see the moon!

See more stamps on stars, moon, planets at and via today's Sunday stamps.

zondag 23 juli 2017

Postcards for the Weekend: Bridges

This weekend's Postcards for the Weekend theme is 'Bridges'.

As some of you know, bridges are one of my favourite themes. They connect people, cities and sometimes even countries. No surprise that I posted several bridge stamps and postcards before.

First I'll take you to Asia, the continent I've never been to myself. Thanks to postcrossing and to instagram friends I 'traveled' virtually to beautiful places, by receiving and enjoying pretty postcards.

This postcard I received from a Postcrosser from China. The back of this card doesn't say where this bridge is located. The sender lives in Wuhan, so maybe this beautiful, quiet looking place might be in this area.

From my instagram friend Jael I received this postcard from Singapore. All attention, of both the artists and us, card watchers, goes to the Merlion, but looking close, you can see a bridge on the right. It's one of the bridges over the Singapore River.

This bridge I drew - as a postcard - for a mail art project in Indonesia. It is the Kahayan bridge in Palangkaraya, Borneo. I chose to draw it because the mail art project was in honour of the 60th anniversary of this Indonesian city.

From Asia to Europe.

In Venice there is a lot of water, and fortunately there are bridges, too. Most famous I think the Bridge of Sighs, but the bridge I received thanks to Rio is a more innocent one:

On the back side she added a matching stamp and postmark, showing a larger bridge from Venice:

From John I received a nice postcard showing maybe one of the most well-known bridges:

I replied by this postcard, which to my surprise was available in a local store, here in the Netherlands:

I don't know if it is a good or bad habit, but at least it made and makes me happy: when visiting familiar cities (among them Nijmegen, the city where I grew up, and Murcia in Spain, which is the home city of my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew) I sometimes send postcards to myself. Not that many, so far maybe 7 or so, but to my surprise the majority of the postcards show bridges.

Here you can see two bridges over the Rio Segura in Murcia:

This is the Railway bridge over the river Waal in Nijmegen:

The same bridge you can see in the very back of the photo on bottom on this card:

The two other bridges are the Waalbrug (my favourite bridge as it reminds me of my former 'home'), and a pedestrian bridge, which is new to me.

As a 'dessert' here are some stamps:

A bridge in a winter scene in Finland:

And bridges from Singapore, Hong Kong, Russia and the Netherlands, gathered in one chaincard about this theme:

The stamp bottom left shows a newly built bridge over the forementioined river Waal.

See more bridges at and via this weekend's Postcards for the Weekend!

donderdag 20 juli 2017

In: from the USA

I received an envelope, whose sender seemed to be 'Lost Kingdom Station' in Tulsa, USA. Curious to know how this Lost Station would know my name and address I opened the envelope. And... Inside an other envelope, showing these great tiger stamps and wonderful special postmark!

Not send by the Lost Kingdom Station, but via this place by FinnBadger.

He added this great tufted puffin card, from the National Geographic Museum.

Thank you very much, FinnBadger!

zaterdag 1 juli 2017

Sunday Stamps: tall ships

This Sunday Stamps' theme is 'tall ships'.

For mail lovers of course this tall ship is a favourite one, as this ship was meant and used for mail transport:

The word 'tall ship' (in Dutch also in English) I heard for the very first time just two years ago, when the event Sail Amsterdam took place. I didn't have time to visit the event, but friends who did, told me they were impressed by the amazing tall ships, and they showed me beautiful photos. So hopefully I can take a look next time, in 2020 that will be.

This stamp sheet, Dutch PostNL issued in honour of the Maritime Museum in Rotterdam, shows one - tiny! - tall ship, see bottom right:

A similar old tall ship has been pictured on this recent stamp, part of a six stamps sheet connecting the Netherlands and Australia:

A tall ship (in Dutch also 'zeilreus', 'sail giant') is a large, traditionally-rigged sailing ship. I though it always has more than one mast. So I am not sure if the following, modern, vessel will belong to this Sunday's theme. At least she sails over the oceans, and is underways for a very long time, an amazing journey. On this stamp sheet, issued by PostNL in 2015, you can see the vessels and sailors in action:

See more stamps on this interesting theme at and via Sunday Stamps.

vrijdag 30 juni 2017

Postcards for the weekend: City views

This weekend's theme of Postcards for the Weekend is 'City views' (at daylight).

A nice way to visit a city is to travel by train. To me railway stations in many cases are a gateway to a city, because you can enter the heart of the city directly. In contrary to highways, not to speak from parking problems in at least the Dutch main cities.

Eva sent me these two postcards of the Atocha Railway station in Madrid. A city I never have visited so far, even though my family is hispanophilic - my brother and sister-in-law even chose to live in the south of Spain many years ago and they are still living there, along with my niece and nephew who have been born there.

An other place I have never been to but which I should visit - at least this interesting architectured museum Guggenheim - is Bilbao, in the north of Spain:

From Spain to the south there is Morocco. I received this pretty postcard from Essaouira, a city at the West coast of the country:

Stamp on the envelope containing the Madrid postcards (thus sent from Morocco):

Stamp on the Bilbao postcard:

Stamp accompanying the sea gulls:

See more beautiful city view postcards on this weekend's Postcards for the Weekend, and follow the links mentioned.

zondag 25 juni 2017

Postcards for the Weekend: Iconic persons

This weekend the Postcards for the Weekend theme is 'an iconic person'.

I had to think a lot about this theme. Of course I have certain thoughts and feelings, concerning the word 'iconic'. But I thought it good to first look for the official definition:

Definition of iconic
1: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of an icon
2: a : widely recognized and well-established an iconic brand name
b : widely known and acknowledged especially for distinctive excellence, for example an iconic writer, a region's iconic wines

Hmm, iconic people.. Who to choose.. A famous actor/actress, a scientist, a politician?

'Iconic' to my opinion also has some mystery in it. A contemporary artist who by my interpretation of the definition of 'iconic' matches most to this weekend's theme, is Banksy. He (or she? or they?) makes strong statements, in places all-over the world. And succeeds in keeping a mystery meanwhile.
Recently I read an article in which was said the identity is revealed, but I choose to respect Banksy's wish for privacy, for being Banksy: incognito and iconic.

So, no photo of Bansky himself (or herself, or themselves?), but some of his iconic works.

This man, throwing flowers instead of stones, to me is a real iconic person, too:

These postcards I have sent out for Postcrossing. I had made them from pictures, downloaded from Banksy's website some years ago. To me all these images are iconic, and definitely my favourite ones.

See more, other iconic people at and via this weekend's Postcards for the weekend!