Friday, March 29, 2013


this bunny card seems to have been through a lot in its travels
signed by H.H. - Herman Hanke who designed several postcards. This series for Easter has "Br'er Rabbit" on the back. Possibly around 1915.

I hope everyone has a wonderful easter weekend.
My arm is really needing a lot of rest, so I am off to a frozen lake for a week. I know, most people go to places like Florida or Cuba at this time of year... not me, I head to Lake Huron.
Postcard Friendship Friday

Saturday, March 23, 2013

dressed in pink

Pink was a fun colour to be searching for this week. It was also a difficult colour to get just right so it didn't look too red or lavender on the screen....
 I thought I would save the pink flowers for a later date and today take a (loose) look at fashion
presents from Taiwan

here is the Queen in pink in 2007

and in 1967

For Women's Day in 2012, Finland issued a series of four stamps called Kisses Blown. Designed by Ulla Bergström they were inspired by spring festivities, friendships and evening gatherings.

and the piece de resistance
featuring designer Jasmin Santanen from Finland. you can see the whole fashion themed sheet here (the link is slow) this dress looked more pink on the postcard

Now, I probably shouldn't be spending more money, but today (Sunday) I will be off to the Buffalo Postcard Show and Sale. Because I just can't help myself. And while dithering about whether or not to go, I found an envelope with rather a lot more American money in it than I expected which must have been a sign...

Friday, March 22, 2013

cruising the lakes

For nearly 100 years, from the early 1800s, packet boats (dual freight and passenger) were the predominant mode of transportation through the Great Lakes. As vessels grew in size, and iron hulls and steam power became more sophisticated, the demand grew for ships that were in fact floating hotels rather than freight boats. Vessels became quite luxurious with the interiors made of the finest wood that would rival the quality of accommodation on the great ocean liners of the day. Overnight cruising also came into its own, and by the ‘20s and ‘30s, there were many lines offering ships with all levels of accommodation. 

But by the 1960's the decadent era of steam ship travel sputtered to an end - mostly due to the expensive new fire regulations after the catastrophic disaster of the S S Huronic's sister ship the S S Noronic which burned at dock in 1949.

I remember the S S Assiniboia's sister ship, the S S Keewatin. It is the only Edwardian ship left and is now resettled in Port MacNicoll on Georgian Bay as a museum. I hope to see it this summer.

The S S Huronic was built in 1901 and owned by the CSL (Canada Steamship Lines). She ran aground in 1928, was refloated and converted to cargo use in the 1930's and later scrapped at Hamilton in 1950.

The S S Assiniboia was built in 1907 and was the last ship still in service until the CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) discontinued the passenger service in late 1967. It unfortunately burnt down in 1969 while under conversion to a floating restaurant in New Jersey.

I am not sure which boat is under all this ice.
    both of these cards are linen from around 1920.  Postcard Friendship Friday

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

spring has sprung

It is the first day of Spring, though it is hard to tell by going outside. The sun is shining but it is barely 1C. Much is being made of the memories of last year at this time when the temperature was 23C. One of 8 days when the temperature was over 20C. We have not had any days of 20+ temperatures in March this year.

But, I didn't care. I woke up this afternoon feeling 1,000 times better than I have for the past 12 days. The nasty flu is gone. The tendinitis is still there, but we can't have everything happening at once, can we?

And I actually felt like going out for a walk (rather than simply dragging my butt outside because I thought I should make the effort). AND I even felt like taking photos. I haven't done much photography for what seems like forever. Not sure why (the tendinitis made me a bit wary - I have dropped too many cameras in the past so know how clumsy I already am) but I just could't be bothered. Maybe it was too cold. Or too dreary. Any excuse would do. I crawled back into bed and wallowed in my laziness.

The fresh air was invigorating and I made my way to the marina to see how many swans were still hanging about. Many of them will have moved on to their northern habitat by now, but there were still quite a few in the bay. That was when I discovered the battery in my camera had died. I'm guessing from inactivity. Luckily I still had my point and shoot as a back up. I was hoping to get a shot of a bufflehead, or maybe a long tailed duck. Or a goldeneye.  Swans and mallards are lovely creatures, but, well they are around all the time and so get to be a little ...  dare I say it, boring. The migrating ducks are the exciting sightings. Buffleheads are adorable little things, but they are divers and their constant disappearing acts are frustrating when trying to photograph them.  

I did manage a goldeneye 
seen here with a swan for size comparison

and then I saw him
hiding amongst the mallards

my heart skipped a beat
I held my breath
while I quietly cursed my dead battery
a wood duck!!
surely the most colourful duck in the northern hemisphere

I almost cried with delight I was so happy

my batteries have now been recharged

Sunday, March 17, 2013

celebrating Ireland

Busy Night at Temple Bar, from Postcrosser Paul

The 82c stamp from 2008 shows the two ships, HMS Agamemnon and USS Niagara, that laid the cable connecting Trinity Bay, Newfoundland and Knightstown on Valentia Island. It took several attempts to successfully connect the cable.
Initially, messages were sent by an operator sending Morse code. The reception was very bad on the 1858 cable, and it took two minutes to transmit just one character (a single letter or a single number) The first message took over 17 hours to transmit, which though frustratingly long, was still faster than the previous 10 days by ship. 
How many of you remember the delay on transatlantic phone calls which made conversations with the family from away a bit confusing?! It would seem as if both of you were talking at the same time and sometimes you would hear echoes of your own voice.
anyway, after your late night in Dublin you could look into some recovery time on Valentia Island here

This second stamp I am not quite so enamoured with. I like frogs, but this is perhaps a bit too green and dark. It was hard to see properly without magnification. The Common Frog is the only species of frog found in Ireland and is the most common of the three species of amphibians. Their population is declining so it is now a protected species. There is an interesting and informative article on them in the Irish Peatland Conservation which you can read here.
See more Irishness on stamps here

Friday, March 15, 2013

celebrating St Patrick's

courtesy of Postcrosser Mandy
now, along with the painful tendinitis, I have the flu. also painful. 
perhaps a Guinness or whiskey will help?

Postcard Friendship Friday

Sunday, March 10, 2013

abstract art, part 2

This stamp from the Netherlands celebrates the Floriade, a massive horticultural expo held every ten years. On this particular year, 1992, it was held in Zoetermeer in the southwest of the country.
I would have expected a floriade stamp to be a little more colourful.

another one from the Netherlands, this one a 'greetings' stamp from 1993. I have no idea what those triangular shapes represent

but abstract art can be like that.....

see other abstract stamps here

I would like to write more, but this *^%# tendinitis gets in the way

Saturday, March 9, 2013

abstract art, part 1

abstract art is the theme this week for Sunday Stamps so, while I hunt for some stamps here are two postcards for Postcard Friendship Friday featuring 

this first postcard is entitled Etincelle d'amour - Spark of Love
the artist is Montse Gisbert, a childrens book illustrator originally from Catalonia in Spain and now living in Brussels, Belgium. This is one in a series of six (you can see the others here)

this art card below is the work of Hope, "a northern Dutch artist" according to her website.
you can see more of her work here. I can't honestly say I am attracted to her style from this card, but some examples from the website are fun. I prefer the cats to cows so am a little sad that they aren't represented here. still, it is good to have this introduction to a new artist.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

pigeon post

This group of pigeons from Budapest arrived in Evansville exactly 55 years ago
They were issued in December 1957, but mailed in Feb 1958, so not an FDC, but I liked the envelope design so have included it.

the stamps were designed in honour of the International Pigeon Fanciers Exhibition
Nemzetközi Galambkiállítás - Budapest 1957
I had a bit of trouble translating and finding information on each of these pigeons and ended up lost and - may I admit - quite engrossed in pigeon fanciers web pages and photos.
A few years ago, I went the same way with chickens. One thinks of them (chickens and pigeons) as one dimensional and basically whitish, but truly there are hundreds of amusing varieties.

The homing pigeon was the original air mail carrier having been used for millenia. 
Pigeon post was the world's fastest communication system for all the centuries of the Dark and Middle Ages, and remained so until Samuel Morse's invention of the telegraph in 1844 and Guglielmo Marconi's invention of radio in 1895. Stockbrokers and bankers relied on pigeons through much of the nineteenth century. London banker Nathan Rothschild made a killing when a pigeon brought early news of Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. In 1840 the European news agency Havas ran a London-to-Paris pigeon news service with the promised flying time of six hours. In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, a gap existed in telegraph lines between France and Germany. Julius Reuter bridged it with pigeons and made the fortune he used as the basis of what is now Reuters, one of the world's great news agencies.
you can read more here
Here is an interesting article on a modern attempt at using pigeons for delivering mail.

and, of course, more stamps can be found here

Friday, March 1, 2013

Caernafon, Cymru

In honour of St David's Day, I had an exhaustive search through all my postcards to find a suitable image of Wales. This is the only one I found, so it will have to do...

I threw this into my 3 for a dollar pile at my first postcard show not because it is a particularly great card (although unused, it does have that ink stain on the corner) but because it made me smile at the youthful, non-regal look of Prince Charles.

The castle, however, was built by Edward I in 1283 as the final act of conquest of English rule over Wales. It took nearly fifty years to construct, was never actually finished and was the costliest of Edward's castles.

It is a domineering piece of architecture constructed as a military stronghold and also as a seat of government and royal palace. Edward made sure his son, who was to become the first English Prince of Wales, was born in the castle.

As you can see on this card, the current Prince of Wales had his investiture in 1969 at the same castle as did Prince Edward in 1911.

Maybe by the next St David's, someone from Wales will have sent me a card showcasing some its beauty. Or maybe someone over at Postcard Friendship Friday is showcasing one?