A Toast To The New Year


Another wonderful Inge Löök's postcard sent by Heleen (the Netherlands). With perfect stamps!

Begijnhof


Postcard sent by Heleen (the Netherlands). It shows the Beginhof, in Breda.

A hof or hofjie is (according to the sender and the Wikipedia):
(...) a Dutch word for a courtyard with almshouses around it. They have existed since the Middle Ages. A hofje provided housing for elderly people (mostly women). (...) The U-shape of hofjes was most likely inspired by the (older) begijnenhofjes (groups of small houses inhabited exclusively by religious women).
It seems that some hofjies are still in use, were elder people live together and take care of each other. Speaking on the elders... I added this post to Maria's link party Postcards for the Weekend, for the theme Time.

Social Networks & Letters

And another way to cross that supposed boundaries between the real and the virtual world is, for instance, using stamps that feature social networks. Like on this letter sent to Phillip (the USA):


The stamps were issued by Correos on 14 May 2015. You can see the whole sheet here.



I almost used the whole sheet on this letter to Heleen (the Netherlands):


And I went further in demonstrating that the Internet and the RealWorld® can be one and the same. Have you tried to draw someone's social networks? I had a lot of fun drawing Heleen's Instagram!


Heleen uploaded it... to her Instagram account, obviously!

Analogical Tweet


I read a lot about how we interact more and more the Internet and less and less in the so-called meatspace. (Ironically, I read that often on the web...). But sometimes, I am not sure that there is a barrier between both. For instance, I exchange real (physical) letters with people that I don't know in flesh, and I exchange e-mails with friends, neighbours and relatives. 

Another example of that flow boundaries: I have received an analogical Twitter tool (rubber stamp) by snail mail...

It arrived inside a very small packet. From Heleen (the Netherlands), of course!

The Christmas Version


Bryon (the USA) sent me this card during the summer. It is an original retro version of the Space Needle, drawn by The Brush & Mallett. It arrived inside an orange envelope, and with really summer (and yummy!) stamps:




Some days ago, I was happily surprised when the holidays version arrived!

Now I am imagining those giant Christmas lights...

Christmas Seals


Every time I had seen these on letters from Denmark, I have thought they were postage stamps. Only this year I have realised that they have not any face value. Of course, because they are not postage stamps, but Christmas seals!

The Christmas seals are specially designed stamps launched each year and sold as extra 'seals' in addition to Christmas stamps. They appeared in Denmark in 1904, as a way or raising money to help children sick with tuberculosis. Then the idea spread out around the world.


But it is in Denmark Christmas seals are quite a tradition, and their unveiling is an expected event every year. You see in this link all the Danish Christmas seals issued so far.


You can read more about Christmas Seals in this entry of the Wikipedia.

(This is a scheduled post. I will try to add this post to Sunday Stamps-II, even if it does not fit exactly in Religious Christmas. But probably I will be too busy with family meetings!)

Christmas Postcards From Around Europe

(This is a hand-made collage!)







A pretty Christmas stamp on the back,
that I added to this post.

(This is a scheduled post. I will try to add this post to Maria's link Postcards for the Weekend, because the theme is December Holidays. But probably I will be too busy with travelling & family meetings!)

Holidays Postmarks

Denmark


Puerto Rico

This is a spray-on postmark... often blurry!

The UK




The USA


White Stuff...


...is what we are waiting for! Happy winter!

Envelope sent by Laura (the UK), made of a page of a catalogue.

More Christmas Stamps Received

Canada


Finland

Hungary




Ireland


The Netherlands




Spain





The UK








The USA

(I think I had never uploaded this one, had I?)

Not sure these are not intended to be Christmas stamps.