Sunday, 28 December 2014


2010: Toys
Its playtime and these brightly coloured plastic toys would attract any child's attention.  The tipper truck and the ducks are self explanatory but what about that little green creature?  Apparently it is a scooter called "the moon creature" and, as you can see, comes complete with red antennae.  Åland Plasto started to make it in the 1960s, ending production in 1988 but they have been manufacturing the ducks and trucks since the 1970s and continue to do so.  These stamps originally came three to a booklet and the images were photographed by Kjell Soderlund who has been involved with other Åland stamps. 
1963: Folk Toys
In complete contrast, and perhaps more ecologically friendly, here is a "Mottled Straw Cock" from Shanghai, part of a set of "Folk Toys" stamps.  These toys have been made for centuries in all sorts of  materials
Left: Little Cloth Tiger (Tsingtao) and Big Cloth Tiger (Beijing)
Right: Cloth White Rabbit, Wooden Figure and Clay Cock (Beijing)
Clay Spring Ox with Boy Rider (Shanghai)

An entry to Sunday Stamps theme of - Toys - and hosted by Viridian Sky's 'See It on a Postcard'  here.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

A Kindly Wish

"Fortune favour you/that so you may/Have all that gladdens life/this Christmas day"
 Postage date: 24 December 1914

I have been rather neglecting my postcards over the past year so its the perfect time to share this one with its Christmas wishes and echo them.  I like the subtlety of its colouring.  These two pretty girls are well insulated against the cold weather and I am rather envious of their hats, but possibly not the explosion of stoats over the girl in the foreground.

The card was part of my Grandmother's collection although not sent to her but addressed to her Aunt.  Like all postcard collectors she would have always have been on the lookout for more and have been a very happy recipient of this one, as so too am I.

Joining up with Beth's Postcard Friendship Friday after a long absence (happily its open all week for link up). It may prompt me to post more cards. 

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Let it Snow

With perfect timing a Christmas envelope arrived this week from Eeva with stamps that included these:

This was my first sight of  2014's Finnish Christmas stamps which are by the award winning book illustrator Kristina Segercrantz (graphic design by Olavi Hankimo) and show a snowy "Christmas Eve" with a little elf girl pulling her dog in the sledge, all lit by the glow of the reindeer's candle.  Then we have arrived at  "Christmas Morning" with the elf ringing out a joyful bell. No doubt the presents will be under the tree from 2012. 
Another book illustrator provided these happy gnomes delivering Christmas mail which appeared on the pre-stamped postcard Norway Post sent me wishing "God jul og godt nyt år!" (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year).  No need to  squint at the stamp because the postcard portrays a larger image
They are all wearing fingerless gloves, so much easier for sorting the post; I love the one in the side-car disappearing amongst the envelopes and peering at the address.  The artist is Kjell Midthun who has created lots of postcards, especially of Norwegian gnomes.  There are more of his gnomes here
Lastly here is one of Liechtenstein's "Mountain Chapels at Christmas" stamps who were painted by Erich Beck.  I was trying to decide whether it was a door or a window in the end of the building, the stamp shows a window but the photo makes it look as though it might be a door (which is where it would be on an English church).  Then I found this chapel had been featured before on a Liechtenstein stamp in 1964 and the entrance is actually around other side. Those handy wooden railings no doubt being useful to hang on to in icy weather.  This is St Theodul's Chapel at Masescha high over the Rhein valley near Triesenberg. The earliest mention of the chapel being here is in documents of 1465 so how marvelous to imagine all the people who have walked along this path for thousands of years.

Time to put on the yule log on this shortest day of the year and may it burn bright for all of you. 

An entry to Sunday Stamps, this week being hosted for the first time by Viridian Sky's See it on a Postcard

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Sunday Stamps #200

There is a full tourist industry surrounding the story of  Ned Kelly and the postcard shows Kelly Country  in North-Eastern Victoria.  Whether one considers him a villain or a folk hero he is part of the psyche of Australia as a battle against the establishment and colonialism.  His life and death has inspired  many artistic works such as Peter Carey's novel The True History of the Kelly Gang and famously Australia's greatest artist Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) produced a whole series of painting on Ned Kelly in 1946 and 1947 which are the best known and loved of his work.  
The stamp shows one painted in 1946 showing a defiant Kelly in his  home-made plate armour, master of his domain and riding his horse into a wide deserted landscape.  The armour could protect him from bullets but not his capture and ultimately his hanging in Melbourne.  The series of  Nolan's 26 paintings today hang in a gallery specially built for them in the National Gallery of Australia.

This is an entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps on the theme of Art, a subject which started the meme way back in January 2011. Incredible that there have now been 200 wonderful opportunities to talk about stamps and 'meet' people across the world. All is not lost because the baton has been taken up by Violet Sky.  See you all next week on - See it on a Postcard.,

I'm posting this early because I'm away carrying Christmas parcels south, hopefully I'll manage to link up on my return.  

Sunday, 7 December 2014


The first snow of the winter has not arrived yet but we have had our first hail showers so lets remember the summers by the sea. This miniature sheet was part of this year's Seaside Architecture issue, its decorative image shows the longest pleasure pier in the world, Southend.  It is 2.158 kilometre (1.341 miles) long and Santa is there at the moment bringing along his winter wonderland.  Like all piers it has had it share of disasters, the most recent being a fire in 2005 but everything is tickety-boo at the moment.

The stamps show:-
Top left - Llandudno Pier, the longest in Wales and is considered the finest surviving Victorian Pier in the country because it has been relatively disaster free.  When English Heritage gave it its listed status they described its style as 'Indian Gothic'.
Top right - Dunoon Pier in Scotland.  Paddle steamers used to ply between here and Glasgow.  Amazingly a paddle steamer is still taking passengers down the Clyde, and this is the Waverley (launched in 1945).  In 1977 she made her first trip away from there to celebrate the centenary of Llandudno Pier, sailing down to Fleetwood, Liverpool and then  Llandudno. 
Bottom left - Brighton Pier which is in actuality called Palace Pier because there used to be more than one at Brighton but this is the survivor and which, as can be see,  has a wonderful helter-skelter on it.
Bottom Right - Worthing Pier.  This has had the usual disasters of fire and storm damage but it must be the only one which was deliberately damaged when they blew a hole in it in World War 2 to prevent it being used in the event of an invasion. The stamp shows the 1935 amusement pavilion.

An entry to Viridian Postcards's Sunday Stamps theme of anything you like here