Sunday, December 9, 2018

Q is for Quilt

The uppermost of these lovely stamps on this nice fall exchange envelope from Carolyn C features a quilt. 

The 13c stamp quilt stamp was issued in 1978 and is one of a set of four.

If you're wondering about the 37c stamp, it is one of four from a 2005 set featuring New Mexico Rio Grande blankets.

For more quintessential Q stamps, check out the links over at Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

P is for Poinsettia

Having skipped issuing a global Christmas stamp for the last few years, USPS issued one in October featuring a poinsettia, also known as Christmas Star. These decorative plants are a fixture of the December holidays in the USA, and come in red and white varieties. They are native to Mexico, where they were used by Aztecs to obtain red dye. 

Are poinsettias part of the holiday decorations in your country?

I used it to send a Canadian fast-food related trashpo mini-book to Mail Art Martha, along with a related postcard.

For more P stamps to ponder, head over to the links at Sunday Stamps.

O is for Orca

An easy choice for the letter O, is this wonderful stamps from Russia.

Issued in 2012, it features Orcinus orca, more commonly called orca, or killer whale. They have no natural predators, and live in stable matrilineal pods. Males breed with females of different pods in order to promote genetic diversity.

For more outstanding O stamps, explore the links at Sunday Stamps.

N is for Night

Eva has a great mail project where she sent out envelopes with questions about mail monsters accompanied by these excellent stickers...

Here is the mail monster she drew on the return envelope, with the mail monster I created (collage).

And the stamp I used to send it back is the global rate moon, shown, obviously, at Night, with a dark blue background. It was issued in 2016 and the rate back then was $1.20. Then in 2017 the rate was cut to $1.15, where it will stay through at least 2019. (Image from Eva's blog).I like to think the mail monsters are more active during the night.

The Moon stamps come in a sheet of ten with a great background (none of the other global rate stamps look so nice, being printed on white).

For more of the mail monsters, click here.

For more nice stamps with an N theme, check out the links at Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

M is for Macron's Marianne

I did not realize for a long time that each French president gets to choose a new design for the definitive Marianne stamps.

President Macron chose a design by street artist Yseult Digan, aka YZ, which he described as depicting Marianne as a politically engaged young woman. Link to article at art news.

I think the blue Europe rate below is the first of the new design I have received, and it comes from Heleen who was on vacation in France. Thanks for the unexpected mail!

'Penny for her thoughts' made me think of the fact that the first stamps issued in Britain cost 1 penny :)

To see other entries for marvelous Ms, explore the links at Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

L is for Levitation

USPS issued a set of five stamps titled Art of Magic this year. Each one has a theme, today's being levitation. I really enjoy the clean graphic design of these stamps.

Used on Halloween mail to Eva. From her blog:

For more lovely L-themed posts, explore the links at Sunday Stamps

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A dragon for Halloween

Eva sent me this awesome dragon mail. I love the way she extended his tongue (or is it a flame?) onto the stamp.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Be safe!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Monday, October 29, 2018

Double, double toil and trouble...Fire burn and cauldron bubble...

Fillet of a fenny snake, 
In the cauldron boil and bake; 
Eye of newt, and toe of frog, 
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting, 
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing, 
For a charm of powerful trouble, 
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Macbeth Act IV Scene I

Fortunately for me this envelope did not contain any type of hell-broth, just a nice letter from Eva. Great coloring that goes with the stamp.

Although these eyes on the back gave me pause...

Sunday, October 28, 2018

K is for Kupka

A great autumn envelope arrived from Fabienne, with this wonderful stamp celebrating the art of František Kupka (1871-1957), arriving in perfect time for Sunday Stamps. He was a co-founder of the abstract and orphic cubism art movements. [Links take you to wikipedia pages]

A close up of the stamp, showing the painting Planes by Colors.

And included (amongst other things) a postcard featuring some medieval (I think?) art showing a Cheval de Neptune.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Creatures from Maggie

Some great creatures on this October exchange envelope from Maggie. The Halloween-themed lettering is fun, too.

As Jean would say, stealworthy.

The Captain Hook stamp is also perfect for Halloween.

Friday, October 26, 2018

A despicable Halloween tale...

Hester always likes Halloween mail (except for that one year when I sent sickening envelopes made from a zombie calendar), so I'm always on the lookout for something fun to send her.

This year it was a great coffin-shaped ad for ghost tours here in town.

Not too long after I sent it, came this excellent postcard featuring a somewhat unhappy stock market pumpkin (not to mention perfect timing given this week's stock market falls).

The despicable part isn't the ghostly tours, and it isn't the drastic market drops. What is it? 

Hester says it all...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Here be dragons!

CJ commented that the dragon stamps make for great additions to Halloween mail. I agree, even though this one was sent a while ago, to Eva.

You can see this envelope in the other orientation at Eva's blog, along with a lot of other fairy tale-related stamps.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sugar skull from Jean

The Halloween mail continues with this fun envelope from Jean.

The scanner hates neon, so here's a photo. The envelope is a lot brighter in person.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Bonus J is for Jack-O'-Lanterns

J is also for Jack-O'-Lanterns, the first ever USPS Halloween stamps issued in 2017. Halloween is huge in the US, so I am surprised that they don't have issues every year. They were certainly a success, as they are no longer available from the online store, unless you want to buy giant press sheets for $60 dollars each (I think that is 120 stamps). A few post offices might still have them in stock.

I received one as part of this months envelope exchange run by Jean W over at Pushing the Envelopes - this one is the fantastic handiwork of Chuck M. I love how the close-up photo came out - it really shows off the inner glow of the pumpkin.

For more J japery, head over to the links at Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

J is for John Lennon

An unusual subject for a stamp, given that John Lennon was not a US citizen, putting him up there with the likes of William Shakespeare. Unlike Shakespeare, he did have permanent residence at the time of his death, although there were times in the past that he was denied entry into the US due to his anti-Vietnam war stance.

The stamps are issued in the usual pane of 16 designed to look like a record sleeve for the Music Icons series. Unique to the series (so far) is that there are four different versions of the stamp due to the change in color.

I received one of them on this excellent piece of mail art from Keith C.

And the other side... which reminds me that Halloween is not far off.

For more joyous Js, head over to explore the links at Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

I is for Italy

This stamp arrived on a postcard sent by Eva. It shows the Piazza Ruggierio Settimo in Palermo.

This view shows the Teatro Politeama, with the statue of Ruggero Settimo (1778-1863) in the froeground. Settimo was a Sicilian naval officer, and fought in the Naploeonic wars. Later he was an important figure in the Sicilian revolution of 1848, and served as head of the independent Sicilian state until Ferdinand II put down the rebellion in 1849. He escaped to Malta, living in exile for twelve years. Ultimately he became head of the senate in the new parliament of the Kingdom of Italy following Italian reunification in 1860-1861. He held this position until his death.

For more interesting I posts, head over to the links at Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

H is for History

I think history could apply to so many stamps.

In this case it is one about the history of Spain - the Treaty of Tordesillas, where Spain and Portugal divided the newly discovered (to Europeans) eastern and western lands between them.

For more links to H topics, head over to Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

G is for Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez, to give him his full name, was a Colombian writer, born in 1927 and died in 2014.

His life is celebrated on this Spanish stamp, issued in 2015, that Eva sent me.

You can read about his many accomplishments on his wikipedia page. He was awarded the Nobel prize in Literature in 1982 for his body of work to that point that have themes of conflict and solitude, largely as they reflect life in the South American subcontinent, and are often written in the style known as magical realism. 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' is considered to be his masterpiece, which was published in 1967.

I have to confess I have never read any of his works.

For more great G-related blog posts, check out the links at Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

F is for Frozen Treats

USPS issued a set of 10 stamps celebrated ice pops (ice lollies in some countries).

These are also the first scratch and sniff stamps issued by the USPS.

I used some of them on envelopes 925 and 928 sent out for one of Jean's envelope exchanges.

This is not one of the envelopes, and unfortunately the scanner was malfunctioning a bit, hence the grey lines.

I also used some on this envelope and minimal mail art to MomKat in Greece. I called this one 'Is it pink, or is it lime?'

For more fabulous F posts, head over to the links at Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

E is for El bullying, Espana, Europa, Euro, and Eva

I think this had a postal adventure of the delayed kind, because it arrived 2 days ago, and I think it was sent a while ago.

Regardless of that fact, the are a lot of Es on this postcard.

The stamp in question, issued in 2016, is foiled, so hopefully the photo does it justice. Showing the silhouette of a person, the translation of the message is: You can stop bullying, don’t ignore it at your school”.

Thanks, Eva, for this unique sending. 

For more excellent E postage, check the links at Sunday Stamps.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

D is for Dragons

USPS issued a set of dragon stamps in August, and the first day of issue ceremony was here in town. I couldn't attend that day, however I did stop by, and this was the USPS area:

There's one person I know who loves dragon-related mail as she is a dragon in the lunar zodiac, so who better to send envelope 847 to than Heleen?

You can't appreciate it in online or flat scans, but the stamps have flecks of orange foil as highlights. I tried to take some photos, but they really don't do it justice.

For more postage with a D theme, delve into the links at Sunday Stamps.