Sunday, April 27, 2014

children on stamps

here we have a 'sleeping child' by the Italian baroque painter Bernardo Strozzi. the painting can be found at the Residenzgalerie in Salzburg which perhaps explains why it is on an Austrian stamp for the theme 'old masters' (2012)
and the wide awake faces of the three daughters of King Willem-Alexander: Catharina-Amalia of Orange (right) and her sisters Princess Alexia (left) and Princess Ariane (middle)

and from Finland, this stamp for the theme of agriculture & food and games & toys was issued in 2010

see more children themed stamps here

Friday, April 25, 2014

maps and animals

I don't have nearly enough postcards from Australia but was thrilled to get a second map postcard earlier this month to go with the one I got last December.

this card's arrival means a little shuffling is in order as my album of maps and large letter cards is now full

and some more iconic images

I spent a long six months backpacking around (a tiny portion of) AU and NZ and for years thought of little else but going back. It was a bit of a shock to realize (due to someone's significant birthday next month) that that trip was 25 years ago. 
For sure, if/when I do make it back, it won't be with a backpack.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

jacket required

We had a lovely Easter weekend, and I thought I'd head out on Monday for a stroll and a visit to one of my favourite patios. 
unfortunately, it isn't in the town where I live, but no matter
except for special events, my town doesn't do banners, which is a shame as I think they liven up the streetscape.

there wasn't really much evidence of spring yet, either, 
though this planter at the cafe did a grand job
and the weather wasn't quite warm enough to sit without a second layer, but that didn't stop any of us. there isn't nearly enough outdoor seating and many people chose, or had no other choice, to sit inside. though, by the time I was ready to leave, so were a lot of other people. and then it clouded over and started to rain...

oh, I just realized that this is my 1000th post! 
it has taken me six years to get here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wesołych Świąt

An Easter card from Poland

with a 2014 Easter egg stamp

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April really is the cruelest month

The days when the weather was warm and sunny, it was far too windy to really enjoy the warmth and sun. 
On Monday, it got as high as 23ºC. 
Last night the temperature dipped to -8ºC.
Yesterday it snowed. Not much, but enough. 
That was after a day and night of rain. And cloudiness. Which meant there was no lunar eclipse viewing for us. I'd been looking forward to that as it was happening right at the time I'd be outside delivering my newspapers. Then this morning, as I was driving home, I caught a glimpse of this low riding, morning moon by the sunlit bathed condo building. 

(well, one of them is a blood-orange colour)
I just thought I'd share it with you.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Parliament Buildings

The Parliament Buildings have featured on the definitive stamps several times. This series from 1977-79 which also includes a 1¢, 5¢, 12¢ is a one-colour steel engraved stamp based on a photograph by Reinhard Derreth from Vancouver and features an 'oblique view of the Centre Block with the Peace Tower predominating'.
Moving on to this series from 1985-89 designed by Montreal graphic artist Rolf Harder, we have the Parliamentary Library predominating. This view is from the back which overlooks the Ottawa River. Opened in 1876, the library was the only building spared when fire destroyed the Centre Block in 1916. An iron door separated it from the flames sweeping the remainder of the building. 

The 34¢ stamps issued in 1985 were printed in four-colour lithography and the 36¢ with added autumnal colours in 1987.
Above is another view of the Library for a stamp commemorating the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association issued in 1966. 
designed by Paul Aleksander Pedersen
picture engraved by Allan Alexander Carswell
lettering engraved by Donald J. Mitchell

and back to the front of the Parliament Buildings with the Centre Block and the Peace Tower flanked by Queen Victoria and King George IV. This stamp was issued to commemorate 100 years of responsible government, so the reigning queen in 1848 is shown with the reigning king in 1948.
The Parliament Building was used on this steel engraved stamp since it is 'the meeting place of the elected representatives of the people of Canada'. 
Picture engraved by Silas Robert Allen
Designed by Herman Herbert Schwartz

We are allowed to use the older stamps at face value on current letters, but I've just done a quick calculation to see the inflation rate (I have no idea how these things are figured out, I just used the Bank of Canada inflation calculator)

.04¢ stamp in 1948 would cost .44¢ in 2014 
.05¢ stamp in 1966 would cost .36¢ in 2014
.36¢ stamp in 1987 would cost .66¢ in 2014
.34¢ stamp in 1985 would cost .68¢ in 2014
.17¢ stamp in 1979 would cost .55¢ in 2014
.14¢ stamp in 1975 would cost .62¢ in 2014
It's a shame the stamp value can't be adjusted for inflation....

Saturday, April 5, 2014

more baby wildlife

We have new stamps, issued on March 31, 2014. The excitement has been tempered a bit by the dramatic increase in price (up 35% for domestic rate) This was announced in December, but there are still people who are so angry they are continuing to write letters to the editor claiming they will never, ever mail a letter again. These people probably sent their letter by email and didn't do so much mailing anyway, I'm guessing. There are also those who have been dismissive, saying "no-one mails anything these days" and "when was the last time anyone went to a post office?" Those are people who were not standing in a long line on Monday last week to buy the new stamps. It was so long, I left and went back on Tuesday. One good change coming out of all this are the pre-paid postcards that you can buy for $2.50 (or 5/$12.50 - no tax) These cards can be mailed anywhere, so in effect, if you are sending it overseas, you're getting a free postcard with your stamp! The older postcards were only 15¢ more than the overseas postage rate, so was still a good deal.

So, from my cards we have the burrowing owl
for the domestic rate of $1.00 
(there is a beaver stamp for the domestic rate of 85¢, but I don't have that one, nor do I have the one for international rate of $2.50 featuring an elk. I'm not sure why my local outlet didn't have the complete series.)

the puffin for the oversized letter rate of $1.80

and a mountain goat for the US rate of $1.20

These are the last of the baby wildlife series. For SundayStamps

Friday, April 4, 2014

flowers for a rainy friday

We've had relatively warmer weather around here lately, and I've been outside more....
now I'm inside nursing a fever, sore throat and raging headache.