dinsdag 31 januari 2017

In: from Morocco

A nice mixture, connection, between the digital and the analogue world I received today from Eva.
The image has been made by German artist/typographer Harald Geisler.

Eva herself is an artist and typographer, too, which is proofed by the wonderful typography on the envelope:

The stamp has been issued last year for the 41st anniversary of the 'Green March'.

The card is part of a larger serie of postcards. Eva was so kind to send already three to me. Among these also this delicious cake:

The best choice of cakes, as in general I am not so fond of eatable cakes, but I am fond of fonts!

Thank you very much, moltes gràcies, Eva!

zondag 29 januari 2017

Postcards for the weekend: anything you wish

This weekend's Postcards for the weekend theme is 'anything you wish'.

The theme made me wondering: 'Anything you wish to share via Postcards for the weekend', or 'Anything you wish to get/to have'?

One thing I definitely wish to have is 'free time'. Having a paid job, a family to take care of and a too many hobbys and interests in anything, free time is scarce at the moment. In free moments I am sending out mail and cherishing incoming mail (and blogging, not to forget), or I am drawing, but not as much as I would love to do.

My choice for this weekend's Postcards theme is the combination of the two:

1. Postcards I would love to receive. Among many others, these are postcards showing great drawings and meanwhile causing a smile.
One publisher whose postcards most of the time make me smile from ear to ear, while enjoying the art of the illustrations, is the German editor Inkognito.

2. Things I would wish to have more free time for. Among many others, I wish to do the following activities:

Sitting on a bench in a park, chatting with a good friend while watching the snail passing by:

'Hühner' (Chicken), illustration by Rudi Hurzlmeier

Visiting a museum, enjoying the art (the last time I did must have been ages ago):

'Der Haken' (the hook), illustration by Gerhard Glück

See how other mail lovers have explained this weekend's theme at and via the links under Postcards for the weekend!

zaterdag 28 januari 2017

Sunday stamps: Outer space

This Sunday's Sunday Stamps theme is 'Outer space'.

The first stamp which came into my mind is this one, received from Assel from Kazachstan.
The stamp connects our world and outer space, I mean: we watch outer space, thanks to the naked eye and to telescopes, and meanwhile one can watch us, our planet earth, from the same outer space:

Micu sent the following pretty stamps from Hungary. They are part of an eight stamps mini sheet, issued in honour of anniversaries and events in space research:

Doesn't the dog remind also you of the unfortunate pioneer space dog Laika?

In 2015 Hong Kong Post issued stamp series named 'astronomical phenomena'.
This is one stamp from this serie:

By the way, the vessel doesn't belong to the stamp, but to a pictoral postmark!

A stamp issued in Italy in honour of the exploration of Mars:

Sri Lanka has issued a stamp serie about our solar system. Thanks to Ravindra I received and subsequently scanned these:

Are you also surprised that Uranus has a ring around it? In the complete serie (see here) you can see that indeed it is Saturnus who has the clearest and largest ring.

Also the USA Post (USPS) has issued a stamp serie on the outer space. Of which I received these two:

The recent USA international 'forever' stamps show the moon and earth respectively:

In the Netherlands PostNL has issued a so-called 'postset' on Dutch astronaut André Kuipers, who worked for the European Space Agency ESA and went on a space mission twice. The 'postset' exists of a stamp sheet and three postcards. Funny enough the year of issue hasn't been written, neither on the stamp sheet, nor on the postcards front or back side. I remember André Kuipers latest (second) space mission as if it was yesterday, but when I looked it up it appeared to be already five years ago.

This stamp sheet (and my enthusiasm about this sympathetic person) I posted previously, almost three years ago, here.

The postcards I'll add here, too, as it shows beautiful views of and from outer space:

And the circle is round, I'll finish where I started by saying that our Dutch astronaut and his Russian and American colleagues returned back to earth and landed, 1st of July 2012, on a countryside in Kazachstan!

See more stamps on this theme at and via today's Sunday Stamps blog.

zondag 22 januari 2017

Sunday stamps: books, authors

Today's Sunday Stamps theme is 'books / authors'.

According to many postcrossing profiles, books are popular among mail lovers. And among mailing people there are several librarians. Thanks to John I received this stamp which shows a library. It is one of my favourites as it shows the evolution of reading. And, according to Royal Mail, the evolution of information technology:

Belarus Post has issued these stamps in 1997 in honour of one of the first book printers in Eastern Europe, Frantzisk Skaryna (for more information, see for instance here and here):

Similar to mail, books connect the writer and the reader. And sometimes postage stamps themselves connect countries, via joint issues.
This stamp I received thanks to Eva, and connects Morocco and Monaco:

Dutch PostNL happens to have issued a book stamp sheet recently. Only after purchasing this stamp sheet and reading the words in the selvage, I learned that 2016 was the 'Year of the Book'! Did you know is was?

Two books of which I used to mix up the title and author, for the title is a person's name, are Don Quixote and Max Havelaar.

Regarding the first mentioned: these Spanish stamps have been designed on behalf of a contest in honour of the author Miguel de Cervantes.
The book character Don Quixote and his good friend Sancho Panza you can see on the stamp on the left. And I am not sure whether the portrait on the right is the book character or the author:

Concerning Max Havelaar, he isn't the writer but the main character of the book 'Max Havelaar', written in 1860 by Multatuli, pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker.
The stamp shows a portrait of the author, and a quote from the book. 'Ik groet u allen zeer' means 'I'm greeting all of you very much'.

Although I've never read Multatuli's Max Havelaar ('Max Havelaar: Or the Coffee Auctions of the Dutch Trading Company'), I think it an important book. In colonial times the Europeans have done a lot of harm to the people in the countries they colonized. Multatuli was one of the few who, by for instance this book, openly critized the abuses of colonialism, in this case in the Dutch East Indies (today's Indonesia).

I hope to find some time some day to read this book. But - maybe you recognize it: my 'to-read'pile' is large..

A book on the selvage you can see here, it belongs to a stamp of the famous children's book character Paddington Bear:

What else to do with books?
You can keep them above your head, as did the woman on this Japanese illustration:

The image is part of a woodcut print, created in 1854 by Utagawa Kunisada, as part of a serie 'parody at six poets'. The artwork is in the Rijksmuseum, whose collection you also can find on the internet. The complete picture you can see here.
The stamp is part of a ten stamps sheet, issued in 2013 in honour of the Rijksmuseum. You can see the other (non-book) stamps and more details here.

Finally: what would books be without readers?
This pretty colourful stamp I received from Russia:

See more stamps related to this theme at and via today's Sunday Stamps!

Postcards for the weekend: sunrise, sunset

This weekend the 'Postcards for the weekend' theme is sunrise, sunset.

I think no photo can capture the sunrise / sunset as we see - and feel! - it in real. Anyhow, postcard makers do their best to approach reality as much as possible. Whether they use photoshop or not, I think sunrise and sunset make pretty postcard pictures.

The postcard above shows the lighthouse of Ameland, an island in the Wadden Sea. The postcard below I received from Ibiza, one of the Balearic islands.

See more beautiful postcards on this theme at and via Postcards of the weekend!

maandag 16 januari 2017

Sunday stamps: Winter sports

This Sunday Stamps' theme is 'Winter sports'.

In the Netherlands there are no mountains, so it won't be a surprise that I don't have Dutch stamps about skiing.
On my turn I was surprised to receive a postcard from Portugal - not to receive the card itself, as Alvin and I send each other a postcard every now and then, but by the stamp he added to the back side, as I didn't link Portugal with winter sports, until now:

Nevertheless there are several Dutch people who go to mountains to ski in winter, too.
But the typical and most popular Dutch winter sport - which I used to practise in my childhood only - is ice skating.

Dutch Post has issued not one, but as far as I know at least eight stamps linked to this type of sport.

This one is from a definitive stamp sheet. The type of skate is 'Friese (Frisian) doorloper', a skate made out of wood, bound to the shoe, with one iron under it.

For speed skating the 'Noren' ('Norwegians') are more suitable. As you can see on this December stamp issued last year, the iron under this type of skate is longer and straight at the front side:

In contrary to skates used for dancing on ice (figure skating) and for ice hockey.
See this december stamp issued in 2014:

To improve the speed at speed skating, the 'klapschaats' ('clap skate') was invented in 1980 in the Netherlands. The idea already existed in the 19th century, according to a patent application in 1894.
Dutch Post has issued a stamp sheet on Dutch inventions in 2007, one of the stamps is this clap skate stamp:

Now some stamps showing skating people / personalities.
This famous one you will know. The stamp has been issued in 2010 as a December stamp, for the 60th anniversary of Snoopy:

This is a 3D stamp - scanned not as nice as in real as the image 'moves' when you move the stamp. It shows Yvonne van Gennip, a famous Dutch speed skater:

The stamp was issued together with a stamp of Ducth skate legend Ard Schenk. I don't have that one, but you can find it on the internet, see this picture.

Last but not least a stamp issued in honour or Reinier Paping. He won the so-called Elfstedentocht (Eleven cities tour) in 1963, which was a horrible tour at that time:

Each winter all people from Friesland (Fryslan, a province in the north east of the Netherlands) and West-Friesland (a part of the province Noord-Holland in the west of our country) and some other skate lovers, wonder if the winter will be cold enough to skate on natural ice and, more important, for the Elfstedentocht to take place. Most years it wasn't. For the ones who are curious about this 200 kms long tour skate happening, see for example wikipedia about Elfstedentocht and the official Elfstedentocht website.

See more stamps on Winter sports at and via this Sunday's Sunday Stamps!

zaterdag 7 januari 2017

Sunday stamps: Winter white

This Sunday stamps' theme is 'Winter white'.
How coincidentally: the first snow in my city arrived in the night of Friday to Saturday. In the west of the Netherlands however almost all snow has gone. In the east and south of our country the snow will last for at least this Sunday, but by the expected temperatures of over zero degrees Celsius it soon will be over.

'Winter white' makes me think of large winter landscapes. However, I don't have a lot of stamps showing this. Only the one above from Germany does, so I am happy to show it here.

But 'white', 'snow', shows up in several other stamps. Or not:
The following stamp immediately makes us think of snow, while in fact no snow is visible, on this Nijntje-(Miffy)-on-a-sleigh stamp:

In contrary to winter landscape stamps, single snowman stamps have passed through my hands already three times, thanks to so-called chaincards. After receiving, before forwarding, I scanned them. I hope my own card will return in the coming weeks or months, but at least I can show you the following stamps.

The most surprising ones to my opinion are these from Indonesia. Surprising because snow is the last thing which comes into my mind when thinking of Indonesia. A quick search on the internet however, learned that there is snow on the high mountains in Papua.

Also Hong Kong Post has issued a stamp showing a snowman:

In Russia there is more snow, and note the typical (?) hats these Russian snowmen wear:

These Dutch snowmen I added to the chaincards, two are from December stamps series (2012 and 2014 respectively), and the flying snowman showed up on a 'kinderpostzegel', children's welfare stamp sheet in 1983:

Here a regularly received stamp, from the United Kingdom:

And a regularly sent one, from the 2013 December stamp sheet, designed by Sieb Posthuma (1960-2014):

Finally there is a snowman on the most recent December stamp sheet, which, in a way, brings us back to a 'winter landscape' (-:

See more winter white stamps on this Sunday's Sunday Stamps blog, and follow the links mentioned there!