Birds on Stamps

The theme for this week in Sunday Stamps is Birds. Though Viridian wrote this is "a perennial theme", I have published birds on stamps just once (thanks to Sunday Stamps again!).

Let's show some more beautiful received birds.

From Belgium

From Finland

Update: After reading the comments I must add that... you are right, it is not easy to see the birds on this stamp! Maybe because the main topic is love. This stamp belongs to a series called Drops of Happiness issued on 22nd January 2009 to celebrate friendship on St. Valentine's Day. I have received three of five. You can see the set here.


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From Malaysia

From Monaco
 I like a lot this stamp from Monaco, maybe because the birds are flying.

From Russia

From Switzerland

Naranjito



Letter sent to the orange lover Keith (USA). I tried to draw Naranjito (='Little Orange'), FIFA World Cup's Official Mascot in 1982 (Update: I had not realised that it is the second time I send Naranjito!).

It was my answer to this orange mail:




VQR Contributions

Some of the latest (not the last, I hope!) contributions to the VQR Postal Project, sent by: Christophe (France), Heleen (the Netherlands), John (the UK), Keith (the USA) and Raphael'L (France).

Boxes

Annoy a Postman

I hope no postman is reading the title of this project...!


Thinking of You

When I write a letter, I'm thinking of you. I guess you think of me when you are reading it...


Letter sent to Josep (PC), front and back of the envelope.


Parallels Project


Mail art call: Parallels

Participation: Free. Everyone is welcome to take part in the project.

Technique: free / Size: Free / Deadline: No

Please send your works to the following address:

c/o Alexander Limarev
Do vostrebovania
Novosibirk-106
630106
Russia

For more information please contact: s-hybrid@mail.ru
Read the complete call.

--------------------------

The mail art project Shakespeare 450 (I published here about) has extended the deadline until 23rd April 2015. So you (we) have still plenty of time to participate. See the works in the blog.

Chairs on Stamps

Not an easy theme for today's Sunday Stamps: Furniture. 

Since I read some Heleen's posts (this and this) I wanted to publish the Hungarian chairs I have received myself, though maybe they are not new to most of you. This theme makes me curious.





I have also received another chair from the USA:



And two more chairs from Canada. This stamp was released on July 2014, and shows a work of photographer Lynne Cohen. (More information about these stamp)



The main subject in the last one (from the Netherlands) is not furniture but Little Red Riding Hood. But I decided that the beautiful chair and bed deserve a place in this post!


Postcard Planet App


I have not tried it because I do not use this kind of phone. But still I think that Postcard Planet is an very good app to organise your postcards. 

How to Send a Letter?

In Morocco a lot of people don't use snail mail never. Therefore some people even don't know the address of their house. This is normal, and not just in little villages, but in the city (some of my neighbours, for instance!). Nowadays the service is like most postal services in Europe (well, a lost letter from time to time...). However, most people maybe have kept a image of the past, when service wasn't all but reliable. And, of course, for some people is just too expensive.

In Spain people in general don't use snail mail for personal communication any more. I mean, in general. But it never had occurred to me that there is a generation who doesn't know how it works, that writing and sending a letter isn't a basic skill any more.

Central Post Office in Barcelona
Picture by William Avery

One day I was in the queue of the main post office in Barcelona and before me two girls around 20 asked to the post office worker how to send a letter to Cuba. They seemed amused with the idea of communicate through snail mail for the first time.

The postmistress thought they were asking about the fees. But not: the girls really wanted to know how. The astonished woman explained to them that they needed an envelope, a stamp, the complete address of the receiver... It was strange to me discover that those youngsters have never sent a letter or a postcard in their lives. And more sad: they have never received a handwritten piece of mail.

I am not sure if the letter was finally sent. The faces of the girls were worried, as if all these steps were too complicated. 

A Snail Mail Diary


I, MountainMan/CityBoy (Robert Duddy), will begin my journey by heading to Ft. Lauderdale, FL from Durham, NC. From there I fly to Lima, Peru on December 3rd. I will be traveling by any means necessary, accessible and exciting. The mode of transportation will vary but from past experience, I can promise you at least a handful of bus rides from hell. I will not be following a route that is set in stone, but I anticipate stops along the way in Peru, Chile, Argentina. Ecuador and Uruguay are also a possibility, depending on time. I will remain in South America for at least 3 months before flying out of Peru back to the United States. While on the road I will take at least one photograph each day, and I will write about a thought, experience, sight, or encounter. These two elements will be combined into a postcard that I produce in the field and send to a project backer.
I would like to send these postcards myself... You can learn more about the project (and/or become a backer) here.

Jigsaw Mail


I think this is the most difficult mail experiment I have carried out so far. I wanted to send this message to Heleen (the Netherlands).

I draw it it in the back of four similar envelopes:


So I obtained these (front):


I sent one of them from Morocco and then the second one from Spain. As I wanted every envelope arriving from a different country, I ask two friends for help (don't worry: I paid them in kind. In postcards, to be precise). So Laura sent the third envelope from the UK and Micu sent the last one from Hungary. So... five postal services involved in the matter!

I am not sure if I am going to repeat this. I was too anxious waiting for the four letters to arrive! But finally they did safe and sound. Here you can see two of them (from Spain and Morocco):

Good News Stamp

I wrote here about Correos' (the official Spanish postal service) contest for designing a new stamp. They announced the winners some days ago. You can see all the winners and finalist here.

They are going to sell a stamp with this design in 2015:


The design looks to me more modern than usual. And I also like the message: "Serve this stamp for giving good news". 

It is a pity that the designer wrote the slogan just in one language (there are four official languages in Spain). But this is the usual procedure of this company, anyway

Letters from Hell

Do you remember that people send lettters from Loveland on February 14? And what when you are in a very different mood? 

Well, if you live in Michigan (USA) or you are going to visit this area before September 30... You have the option of sending a letter from Hell.


Picture by David Ball

However, according to Wikipediayou cannot address any letter to Hell. How unfair! 
In the early 1930s, Pinckney, Michigan postmaster W. C. Miller began to receive requests from stamp and postmark collectors for cancellations: Hell had no post office, instead being served by the one for Pinckney, three miles away. On July 15, 1961, a postal substation was established at Hell, operating from May 1 through September 30. It remains at the back of the general store, although the United States Postal Service does not recognize Hell as a town; it instead uses the name of nearby Pinckney as the mailing address.

Calvin & Hobbes


-As a genius, it's important that I write a lot of letters. After all, my correspondence will be the basic resource material for historians to reconstruct my life. My writing will provoke countless fascinating insights for biographers.
-Such as how all your salutations begin, "Hey, Boogerbrain".
-It's been three weeks and still haven't received my X ray glasses!


Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson

Smurfs from Europe


Postcard sent by John (the UK).

However little you know about me, you know I am very fond of Smurfs. I used to play with these figurines as a child, and Smurf comics were among my favourites. As an adult, I started a new collection because the old ones had got lost. And I need to mention that recently the Smurfs have the main responsibility in the start of one amazing friendship.

I had to left  my little blue friends in Spain when I move into Morocco. I mean... this is not the kind of stuff that you put into your backpack when you move to a new country!

But, since then, I have received (and sent of course) some Smurfmail. I have even got four real Smurfs! In case you wonder why they are so different in size... Well, they arrived from the UK, the Netherlands and Hungary inside different packets. So I guess they are but cousins, not siblings.

The Slow Side


Altered postcard sent to Gina (UK).


The envelope:


World Stamp



How cool is this decoration? Made of stamps from different countries (in their right place) by Ben Everitt. Taken from here.

Music & Mail



Letter sent to Heleen (the Netherlands).

Reused envelope and reused stamps (as they were not postmarked during their first trip).

Walking with the Mailman


At any rate, I feel pretty confident that we mailmen experience a lot of things that most people just don't have the luxury of experience.
Walking with the mailman by Austin Brown couldn't have a better title. Literally, through the different chapter you are walking with the author dealing with dogs, kids, your supervisor, the weather, the elderly people...

It isn't a novel, but a collection of anecdotes. Most of the stories are funny and related with sense of humour. And readers can learn how the postal service works in the United States.

Paper Tea


Envelope sent to Alan (the UK). Design of illustrator Ben Javens (I just attempted to copy it...).

Cup of tea shaped letter inside:







I tea, and you?

Postcards from Catalonia

Today they are holding a popular consultation on the political future of Catalonia. So the best day to show to two postcards received from there. This is a beautiful country, isn't it?



Postcard sent by my sister and my nieces, showing the town of Cambrils.



Postcard sent by Xiruquero-kumbaià from Tossa de Mar.

At What Time Mail Arrives?

«Feia molt de temps que no apostava amb algú a quina hora arribaria el correu. Ho solia fer amb Rune quan tenien vacances, a l'estiu. Ho feien amb tanta freqüència que desenvoluparen un sistema de zones marginals i fraccions de minut per establir que s'hi havia acostat més. En aquella època, el correu solia arribar a les dotze, i els marges eren importants per decidir qui havia encertat. Ara ja no és així. Ara el correu pot arribar a la tarda, o quan sigui, de fet. Com si el repartís quan li surt dels nassos a l'oficina de Correus i com si el qui rep les cartes hagués d'alegrar-se'n a sobre.»

Fredrik Backman, Un home anomenat Ove

La Selva dei Colori

Jo visc al bosc dels colors / I live in the Wood of Colours
Io vivo nella Selva dei Colori / 
أنا أسكن في غابة الألوان

Sent to Angela (Italy) for La Selva dei Colori. I used a press cutting and stickers, and I drew the colourful snail. 

Colour Queen


Incoming stamps from the UK. Maybe I have left out one or two... I wonder in how many colours/values/versions I'm going to receive this stamp...


Souriez


Envelope made of a page of a magazine, sent to Christophe (France), for his mail art call about... teeth! The postcard inside:


Smile, life is smiling to you!


Also published here. And this was my first contribution to the project.