30 June 2015

Lighthouses on Maximum Cards

John has recently sent two maxicards showing two of the most impressive English Lighthouses:


Needles Lighthouse

29 June 2015

Big Swedish Lighthouse

Postcard sent by Karin (Sweden). It shows Långe Jan ('Tall John') lighthouse. So not only the postcard is big: this is the tallest lighthouse of Sweden. It was built in 1785 and stands on southernmost point of the island of Öland, in the Baltic Sea. 

When I add the postcard to the album I recalled that I have received Långe Eric (curiously, sent from Finland). Eric is Jan's brother; he stands on the northernmost point of the same island, the second largest one of Sweden.

How cool is the back of the postcard?

28 June 2015

Ports, Harbours, Canals... on Stamps

The theme for today in Sunday Stamps II is Ports and Harbours. So I am not sure this stamp will fit...

It was issued on July 20, 1993 (but I received it on a postcard some weeks ago), and belongs to a set of four dedicated to the bicentenary of the Canal mania that reached his height in England in 1793, when the Parliament passed 24 acts authorizing a new canals to be built (while 38 more were in the works). This one shows the Stainforth and Keadby Canal, today called the Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigation.

Probably the following British stamps will appear today in Sunday Stamps. But, just in case, let me show again some stamps of the set Seaside Architecture, issued by Royal Mail on 18th September, 2014. This set is a very favourite!

27 June 2015

Unbirthday Cards

Postcard sent by Heleen (the Netherlands). This is the second part of a wonderful birthday present. In fact, it was received some days after my birthday, so I can say it was an unbirthday present...

I received another unbirthday present... some days before my birthday, made by the little girls of my family:

26 June 2015


Sent to Heleen (the Netherlands). Also published here.

25 June 2015

Reading Women

Two postcards sent by John (the UK) about a favourite topic

The postcard above shows a the painting Woman Reading (1921) by Leon Kamir-Kaufman, a 19th century Polish Artist. The postcard below is Meditation (c. 1871) by French painter Claude Monet (1840-1926). Both are in the Musée d'Orsay.

24 June 2015

Letter from Taiwan

Last week I have received this piece of mail from a friend in Taiwan. It had been long time since the latest... and now I realise how much I had missed her letters!

23 June 2015

Did You Say Beach Postcards?

Sent by Ania (Hungary).

Sent by Laura (the UK).

22 June 2015

Another Summer Postcard

Another summer postcard, this one sent by Lluïsa and arrived from Paris (France). It shows a work by Eugène Boudin: Sur la plage (1863).

21 June 2015

British TV Children Characters on Stamps

Today's topic for Sunday Stamps II is cartoons or children's drawings. This is one of my favourite themes... So it has been hard no to show one hundred stamps in this post!

These were issued by Royal Mail on January 2014 to celebrate 12 much-loved children characters on TV. Each decade since the 1950s is represented in this issue. 

Have you noticed that each character breaks out of the border? Most of them are/were not very famous in my country. But Postman Pat and his cat Jess have appeared more than once on this blog

Ivor the Engine worked in top left-hand corner of Wales from 1959; Andy Pandy was first screened in 1950; Mr Benn appeared in 1971.

I have received four of them. I would not mind to receive the rest, but I am not sure if they are still available. The rest of the characters are: 
-Windy Miller - Camberwick Green
-Great Uncle Bulgaria - The Wombles
-Paddington Bear
-Bob the Builder
-Peppa Pig
-Shaun the Sheep

20 June 2015

Dandy-Beano Summer Special

Postcard sent by Emily (the UK).

I don't know anything about these characters. But when I saw the postcard I remembered I had received these stamps long ago:

18 June 2015

Mail Suitcase

I had always wanted to send a letter inside a suitcase... And this one finally reached Alan's mailbox (the UK). The back:

It was made of a cereal box, and looked better with the stamps.

It seems that it wasn't so easy to figure out how to open it!

17 June 2015

Biscuit Letter

Letter sent by Micu (Hungary), inside a biscuits bag (without biscuits, of course!). The letter itself was also funny:

And these people inside made me laugh!

16 June 2015

Beer Doesn't Make You Fat

Letter sent by PostMuse (the USA). It is an envelope made out of an old calendar. The beer is beautifully painted on. It seems a real one! I am just happy that this arrived before Ramadan starts... (Probably the post office workers are neither eating nor drinking during the daytime in Ramadan. So I would not want to disturb their fasting with beers).

Among other nice stamps, she included this one, issued on 1971 and wrote it is one of her least favourites. However, I like it. Not just the fact of receiving old stamps, which is great. But I also love the vintage design and the colour.

Besides this, it matches perfectly with the beer-themed envelope, does not it? Remember that you must consume beer envelopes (mail art in general) in moderation.

14 June 2015

Beatles Fans + Missent

This is my contribution for today's Sunday Stamps II. The theme chosen is Making Music.

This stamp by Royal Mail on January 9, 2007. It belongs to a miniature set of 4 x 1st gummed stamps showing Beatles memorabilia (like this toy guitar), from the collection of Pete Nash. I find fascinating that these stamps are not dedicated to the musicians or the music, but to the merchandising around them.

The stamp arrived on the back of this postcard sent by John (the UK): 

A bit wretched arrived, didn't it? Well, not strange if we consider that it was written on March 22, 2014; postmarked two days later... And arrived on May 19... 2015. Nothing serious:the Dragon decided to go for a stroll before landing in my mail box. Just to... Jamaica.

13 June 2015

A Piece of Virtual Intimacy

«What a joy to write a letter that is everywhere and nowhere at the same time –a piece of virtual intimacy.»

Colum McCann, The Letters Page 1

12 June 2015

Annie M. G. Schmidt & Fiep Westendorp

I am always happy to receive illustrations by Fiep Westendorp (tulips are a bonus!). But this time I was double happy to get also a postcard of Annie M. G. Schmidt, the author of Jip and Janneke stories (among many other that I have not read - yet). And with a matched stamp. I like having two different pictures of her.

The letter was sent by (had you guessed?)  Heleen (the Netherlands).

11 June 2015

From Me to You

I guess that serious stamp collectors do not like this For Me to You Forever stamp, issued by USPS on April 1, 2015. But I think it carries a powerful message.

Do you like it?

10 June 2015

My Life in Morocco

Letter sent to Laura (the UK).

Probably, the longest letter I have written in the last (10? 15? More?) years.

09 June 2015

Give Me a Body

I received this envelope some weeks ago from Jon Foster (the USA). It contained a strange call for help: some Tucker's heads (and a mayonnaise jar - !?) claiming for a body!

I am a bit behind with mail art, but do not worry: I am looking for adequate bodies for you (Maybe something like FinnBadger's?)

08 June 2015

And We Persist

«And we persist in thinking, against accusations of nostalgia or worse, that there can be something uniquely considered about the letter form; that the slow pace of delivery creates a tone of thought and response which is different form the immediacy of digital correspondence.»

Jon McGregor, The Letters Page 2

07 June 2015

Mail Tag

I have been tagged by Hannah of Rose Tinted Crafting to answer the following questions about my written correspondence. So:

Do you exchange letters? 

Yes, I do. How did you know?

If so, how long have you been doing it, if not, have you exchanged letters before? 
I have started to exchange letters when I was 11 years old (28 years ago? Really??).

Do you remember who was your first correspondent? 
Yes, I do. I remember her perfectly, because she is still my regular correspondent.

Why did you start exchanging letters? 
I think I just thought it would be fun... Why, I was 11 years old!

Have you thought about stopping exchanging letters? 
Why would I do something like that? I write less letters when I am busier, of course. Or I write just postcards when life is hectic. But... stopping? It seems impossible: writing letters is not a hobby. It is a way of life; a way of taking a walk on the slow side.

What is the maximum of correspondents you had?
There are people who writes often, there are people who writes once in a while, even once a year... I am not able to count them.

Do you prefer handwritten or typed letters?

Most of my sent letters are handwritten, and also most of the letters I receive. But that is up to the sender. Everyone needs to feel comfortable when writing. I have only a rule in letterwriting: I answer every letter I receive.

How do you define the sensation of receiving a letter? 
Like this?

Do you prefer to write or receive letters?
This is a very difficult question... Anyway: I must send a letter in order to get a letter, mustn't I?

Write a handwritten message to your pen pals/correspondents.
I did. I sent it through snail mail. Sorry: messages are private!

Tag 3 people to answer this tag
I am not very into mail tags (this is my very first). I am not sure who would like to answer these questions. So, please: feel free to join. Let me know if you do!

06 June 2015

Address Labels

Mail idea: use your pictures of postal offices, postal vehicles, etc. for your address labels!

05 June 2015

Dear Data Inspiration

When I wrote about the Dear Data snail mail project, I did not expect to receive any letter inspired by it...!

Yes: written (?) on the back (the front, actually) of this envelope sent by Phillip (the USA) is not Alien code. These strange signs are a way to represent some data gathered by the sender during a crazy long week. The data are related to his mail art activities: the time (dark grey circles), the activity (coloured lines) and the person/people (coloured points). By the way: I am the turquoise point.

Also published in his blog.