Sunday, December 14, 2014

Masterpieces of Canadian Art

Both of these art stamps have a gold foil border, which looks elegant... until it gets all scratched. This series was started in 1988 and with each successive year a new stamp featuring Masterpieces of Art being issued.
first is by Jean Phillipe Dallaire (1916-1965) called "Coq Licorne" Unicorn Rooster issued 1999 from his 1954 painting                                         He is best known for his festive paintings populated by strange and macabre people. In his work, the real and the imaginary intermingle in a world of form and colour. (credit National Gallery of Canada)
next is by Alex Colville (1920-2013), Church and Horse, issued 2002 from his 1964 painting. 
Drawing his inspiration from the world around him, from the most repetitive gestures of everyday life, he placed his unsettling juxtapositions of figures, objects and animals in an ambiguous atmosphere of disquieting tranquillity, as though time were suspended. His compositions are rigorously constructed according to a precise geometry and executed with a technique that consists of minuscule dabs of paint applied meticulously dot by dot. (credit National Gallery of Canada)

For Viridian's last Sunday Stamps 
join us next week at See it on a Postcard for another round of Sunday Stamps

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


some of you may be wondering what these are...
some of you may be wondering what these would look like...


community mailboxes!

I rather like them (compared to the other ones, they are attractive)
though I did notice that there is no shelter or light
and no recycle/garbage bins at any of the locations
while it may be convenient to have mail picked up at the same location,
you never know just what time it will be picked up
a little something shared with signs, signs

Sunday, December 7, 2014

blue stamps

Normally, I like stamps that have a bit more detail to them than these, but there is something about the simplicity that really appeals to me. below is the full set of Dutch icons, that with all the Dutch postcards I've been getting, I hope to have completed soon

There is more detail than you might think from a first glance at this Japanese stamp, from the waves in the water to the hint of ruffled feathers in the swan.

(I am beyond frustrated that I can't get the proper, exact, shade of turquoise, I must say)

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

Sunday Stamps link up will soon be featured on my other postcard and stamp related blog See it on a Post Card 
yes, the one I started then rarely posted on... that was me (how many Violet's do you know?? and you do know that's not my real name, right?)


I would like to thank Viridian for keeping this stamp party going for so long - next week 200 posts! It has introduced me to many of you lovely people and to many, many interesting stamps. 
a round of applause and cheers, cheers!!

Starting on December 21, a link will be up at 12:30am Eastern - so before breakfast for you all in the UK and Europe, and before dinner for you in Australia and Southeast Asia.

we'll start with Christmas or Hanukkah on the 21st 
and move on to children's toys for the 28th

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

street signs - Main St

You probably can't get a more mainstream (or boring) a name than Main Street. At least in the US and Canada, it is very common. It is even used as a metonym to described the major retail street, or what the Brits call the 'high street'.
but I have never seen it written as it is in the town of Delhi (pronounced DEL-high, by the way) not far from Woodstock, where we saw last week's street sign.

signs, signs

Monday, December 1, 2014

the sport of mums

A highlight of the fall season around here is the annual Mum Show (officially the Hamilton Fall Garden and Mum Show) 

with this year's theme being, appropriately, the Pan Am Games. The games are coming to Toronto in July 2015. There was great excitement when the bid was won. Then things went quickly downhill. Among them were the years of wrangling about what to do with Ivor Wynne Stadium and a long drawn out period of months (literally six or eight months) when every day, the front page of the newspaper (remember, I deliver the thing, I saw it even if I gave up reading about it) carried stories of the ups and downs and to-ing and fro-ing and reversals and back to the future stories of the fate of the stadium that would hold the soccer matches. Homes were expropriated, sites were challenged. It literally went up the mountain and back down again (yes, Hamilton has a Mountain though it is really a part of the Niagara Escarpment that divides the city). In the end, the old stadium was knocked down and a new one with a different configuration built on the same land. It was also renamed after a well-known coffee and donut chain (started by Tim Horton - who was a hockey player, not a football player, but that's beside the point) for a lot of money, though for the duration of the games will be called the Pan Am Soccer Stadium

Anyway, this post and walk for Restless Jo's Monday Walk takes place at the Gage Park Greenhouse
as you walk through the greenhouse, you'll find  some of the participating sports displayed 

with equipment to admire and explanations  to read
the most interesting of which I found on the table tennis sign. we all know it is also called ping pong, but who knew about 'whiff waff' and 'flim flam'?? or that originally it was played using books as net and paddles hitting golf balls?
and of course, the centrepiece is the giant soccer ball

and hiding in the foliage was the pretending-to-be-shy mascot Pachi

previous walks through the mum show can be seen here  and here 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

colourful birds

Birds is the theme for Sunday Stamps this week. In all honesty, I could probably post bird stamps every week for a year and still not have shown my whole collection. 
maybe because I keep collecting them...

anyway, these little songbirds are the only ones from the series I have (though I'm sure I have a bluebird somewhere) 
I need to get more postcards from the US
and then there are these posing parrots from Australia
from L to R we have the 
Princess Parrot with the pretty pink chin and baby blue crown
Rainbow Lorikeet with the blue face
Green Rosella whose colours blend beautifully from blue to green to yellow to red
Red Capped Parrot who has a distinct red cap and yellow beard
Purple Crowned Lorikeet with the unexpected subtle soft blue breast

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

street signs - Light

I have no idea where Light St in Woodstock got it's name. It just made me smile to see that that sign was in the sunlight, while the Dundas St sign was in shadow.

and a green porcelain sign is unusual.

twelfth in the resurrected series on street signs

EDIT: thanks to Andy and his sleuthing, we now know that Light St was named for Alexander Whalley LightBy the 1830's retired British military men were encouraged to move to the colonies to help settle the land and ensure loyalty in the community to the Crown. Colonel Light was the first of these new British immigrants to arrive in Oxford County.

below is an excerpt from a diary entry in 1833 by Cpt Phillip Graham
Monday, 21st. A fine day. Went to visit Colonel Light’s new building on his land adjoining mine. This building is of brick — a good large house 42 feet by 28 but when the wings are added the front will be 84 feet facing to the south in a fine elevated situation about the River Thames which is there rather narrow. The country here is well cleared and finely undulated with high hills. Walked to the Village of Beachville about 1 1/2 miles from Light’s. Here are grist mills and saw mills and two whiskey distillers — with a small Tavern and good stores. The road from the bridge at Cedar Creek runs principally along and near the South Bank of the Thames and is one of the best roads I have seen in the Province — along which an English carriage may be driven with safety. The country all the way from Hamilton to this part abounds with apples and all kinds of vegetables of the first quality — also abundance of cherries. 
--- sadly, there is not now the same abundance of all kinds of all kinds of vegetables or fruits.

in 1849 he also wrote a book called 'A plan for the systematic colonization of Canada' and all other British colonies which you can read here.  Interesting to read what others think of your pioneer country.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

art is therapy

Two of the museums form my summer trip...
I don't like taking photos of the art (and I like it even less when other people insist on photographing every piece that's on the wall...) so these were pretty much all I took
Below is the inside of Amsterdam's refurbished Rijksmuseum 
(with the Night Watchmen in the distance)

the pleasant and restful cafeteria and excellent giftshop (surely the best gift shop in any museum). the big yellow post it notes were part of an exhibit from Alain de Botton. This link takes you to an explanation from his Art is Therapy. I found these quotes as interesting as the art.

the garden at the rear of the Rijksmueum was always a popular oasis
In Glasgow, the floral Clyde (the mascot from the Commonwealth Games) still stood outside the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
in case you can't tell, he's meant to be a thistle

inside, you can see an intriguing installation by Sophie Cave of several dozen heads 

each with a different facial expression
we were fortunate to have timed our visit with a noon hour organ recital

there were two large screens with one showing the organist's feet, the other his hands. pretty cool! 

I've never seen an organ in a museum before. this one was built in 1901 for the Glasgow International Exhibition and after the exhibition, was moved from the temporary concert hall to this Centre Hall. there are daily recitals at 1pm and on Fridays there are tours up close and personal in the organ loft. we were not there on a Friday, unfortunately.

 a few shots of two museum strolls for Jo's Monday Walk and something for Toby's WWDD

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

street signs - Kerr St

It's been many weeks (okay, a year) since I last posted a street sign. Has anyone noticed or cared? I didn't mean to take so long to continue the series, but once I'd gotten so far with the alphabetical order, I had to carry on thusly. The next letter was K and I had a street in mind, but not the picture of the sign. Every time I thought I'd get one, something got in the way. And time went on, and on... But the interruption has been hanging over my head for so long  so I abandoned that street and finally chose another.

Kerr Street in Oakville has undergone a renaissance in the last few years. Unlike Bronte, Kerr was never a village. Named for a former postmaster and mayor of Oakville (in 1866) who was the son of one the town's founders, it used to be just another ordinary retail strip that was rather run down. Now, with an injection of government money over the last ten years or so it has become a 'destination' through an intense rejuvenation project. Situated just west of the downtown, this north-south street is now full of many new restaurants and cafes as well as some of the older establishments to meet the needs of the community.

It's not a particularly charming street, full of strip malls like this one

but it is an improvement from only a few years ago before the facelift of some of these businesses. The new banners are serious and sedate looking, a change from the previous ones which were a bit more fun, and quite frankly, I think gave a better indication of the village feel.

If you find yourself on Kerr Street, stay awhile and explore.

see more signs over at Lesley's signs,signs
and click on the street signs tag at the bottom of the post to see the first half of the alphabet!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

grave post - William Miller

To a person, everyone we mentioned our visit to the Necropolis asked "did you see the "wee willie winkie" stone? Glaswegians are proud of their homegrown author of this nursery rhyme, William Miller. 
I, and possibly most people, only really remember the first verse

Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town,
Up stairs and down stairs in his night-gown,
Tapping at the window, crying at the lock,
Are the children in their bed, for it's past ten o'clock?

but there are more verses. quite a few more.
(if you're interested, here's a link to the Scots version)

Hey, Willie Winkie, are you coming in?
The cat is singing purring sounds to the sleeping hen,
The dog's spread out on the floor, and doesn't give a cheep,
But here's a wakeful little boy who will not fall asleep!
Anything but sleep, you rogue! glowering like the moon,'
Rattling in an iron jug with an iron spoon,
Rumbling, tumbling round about, crowing like a cock,
Shrieking like I don't know what, waking sleeping folk.
Hey, Willie Winkie – the child's in a creel!
Wriggling from everyone's knee like an eel,
Tugging at the cat's ear, and confusing all her thrums
Hey, Willie Winkie – see, there he comes!"
Weary is the mother who has a dusty child,
A small short little child, who can't run on his own,
Who always has a battle with sleep before he'll close an eye
But a kiss from his rosy lips gives strength anew to me.

According to the Scottish Poetry Library:
William Miller was born in Briggate, Glasgow, in August 1810.  He served an apprenticeship to a wood-turner, and became a skilled cabinet-maker, a trade which he followed for the rest of his life.  He began to write poetry while still a youth, contributing to local newspapers and periodicals; the appearance of 'Willie Winkie' and several other nursery poems in the 3rd and 4th series of Whistle-binkie  (1839-43) established his reputation.  His best poems were thus produced before he was thirty-six; he then wrote little until the year before his death.  He died in poverty in 1872, and is buried in Tollcross, in a plot that does not bear his name.  There is a memorial to Miller in the Glasgow Necropolis, and in 2009 a plaque was placed on the wall of the brewery which now stands on the site of his former home in Dennistoun.