30 June 2018

Hands Up

One of the things I love about the Smurfs is that happiness seems to be natural to them. As on this envelope drawn by John (the UK). Don't tell me that this Smurf isn't a happy one!

I am amazed of the matching of the stamps John chose: the man, even the lion, are on the same position (so... happy?).

Now I realise that I had received another stamp from the same set:

29 June 2018

28 June 2018

HitM | Could You Live In an Igloo?

I like to receive different types of houses for the Houses in the Mail project. And no doubt this is! Rosemary (Canada) used cut-outs of a book with both English and Chinese, using Dr. Seuss illustrations for teaching vocabulary. 

When I visited Canada, I was amazed by the size of farms. I have never seen a real igloo, I am afraid. 

27 June 2018


Envelope made of a paper bag by Eric (France). I had already received two of these stamps showing masques of  Micheangelo Durazzo (see here the complete set). They that look to me playful and a bit scary at the same time...

The postcard inside is a collage on a background done with a gelli plate and some rubber stamps. I like the message: Together is the place to be.

26 June 2018


There isn't too much to show here because, obviously, I don't want to display Philippe's address. I think it isn't evident from the picture, but it took a lot of time to draw and paint the letters using watercolours...

And about the stamps, they belong to the philatelic series 12 Months, 12 Stamps, 12 Provinces. Correos issues stamps dedicated to every province (there are 48 in Spain, plus 2 autonomous cities). During the month of the issue, that stamp is used as the only type of postage for all post-office shipments sent from of the featured province.

The design of every stamp is based on the old license plates once used for vehicles in Spain. Inside the letters, you can see typical things of every region, like flora, fauna, food, inventions, architecture...

And I can help but tell you about a funny story. On the stamp dedicated to the province of León, you are supposed to see the cathedral of the capital of the province: León. But, during the official presentation of the stamp, a women from the audience said that she didn't recognise the cathedral depicted, but certainly it wasn't the cathedral of León.

After a short discussion, they discovered that it was the cathedral of the capital of a different province: Burgos. The stamp was already being used. So, they decided to issue a new stamp, with the right cathedral.

25 June 2018

Spring Letter

I am quite proud of this green letter that I sent to Alan (the UK) back in March. It included a booklet made of four small envelopes of repurposed paper and tape. Besides the letter itseft, I added some little surprises.

24 June 2018

Women on Stamps | Suffrage

There are a lot of stamps dedicated to the women's right to vote. Even issued in my country, but I don't have any of them (I think).

However, I received recently this one, issued in 1970 by the USPS to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the constitutional amendment that guaranteed American women the right to vote, ratified in 1920.

On 15 February 2018, Royal mail brought out a 8-stamps set to celebrate the centenary of the vote for women, being granted in February 1918. The stamps reflect and commemorate the movements behind the fight for the vote for women as a whole. You can see all the stamps here. I have got three of them:

Suffragette Prisoners’ Pageant, 1911
The ‘Prisoners’ Pageant’ was a striking element of the suffrage ‘Coronation Procession’ in 1911. Seven hundred women participated, representing the number of suffragettes who had been jailed. Dressed in white, they carried silver lances from which pennants were flown. The ‘From Prison to Citizenship’ banner symbolised their determination.

Leigh and New Released from Prison, 1908
WSPU members Mary Leigh and Edith New were freed from Holloway Prison in London on 22nd August 1908 and were presented with purple, white and green bouquets. Imprisoned for throwing stones at 10 Downing Street, they were the first suffragettes to demonstrate what Emmeline Pankhurst called ‘the argument of the broken window pane’.

Welsh Suffragettes, Coronation Procession, 1911
For the suffrage ‘Coronation Procession’, which took place in the London on 17th June 1911, Welsh suffragettes and suffragists put aside political differences to march together, each carrying a red Welsh-dragon standard. Many had made their own costumes; some using purple, white and green material, which were topped by the traditional Welsh hat.


For the new edition of Sunday Stamps-II A to Z, I have decided to show some of the stamps I have got on letters and postcards, related to one topic: women. This is the post for the letter S.

More women on stamps.

23 June 2018

HitM | Morocan Doors

Envelope and postcards that I sent to Allen (Canada), as a thank you for the contribution to the Houses of the Mail project. I like to think that my painting looks better in person!

22 June 2018

Snail Mail & Latin

Latin Snail Mail 

Latin Snail Mail is a project that join, Latin language and snail mail, through the sharing of postcards, mail art and a travelling journal. 

I am afraid that I have lost all my Latin skills. But if you are able to write and read it... Go ahead!

Epistolae: Medieval Women's Letters

Epistolae is a collection of letters to and from women dating from the 4th to the 13th century AD. These letters from the Middle Ages, written in Latin, are presented with English translations and are organized by the women participating. Biographical sketches of the women and descriptions of the subject matter or the historic context of the letter is included where available.

Dr. Joan Ferrante, Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, of Columbia University has collected and translated these letters mainly from printed sources.

21 June 2018

Summer Has Officially Arrived

Summery postcards sent by Laura (the UK). I received the second one during the winter, when the good weather seemed impossible to reach...

By Jenny Wiscombe

20 June 2018

What Do You Do with Old Postage Stamps?

Rosemary (Canada) made this postcard with some old stamps from different countries (even countries that don't exist any more!). It is a very entertaining one. A pleasure for the eyes!

19 June 2018

HitM | Streets of Paris

Another beautiful sending for the Houses in the Mail project, from Fabienne (France). The envelope was made of a page of a magazine. I guess it shows Paris? It matches perfectly with a superb stamp:

Le quai aux fleurs, Notre-Dame (1950) is the work of the Japanese-French painter Léonard Foujita reproduced on this stamp, issued on 26 January 2018.  

And still more Parisian streets inside. This postcard reproduce's Van Gogh work View form Theo's Appartment (1887). 

18 June 2018

Odd Shape

I received this postcard through the Postcrossing site, sent by Sun. It travelled 10,739 km in only 51 days. Although I don't understand what this food is, the drawing is beautiful. And, especially, the shape of the postcard fascinates me. And how it survived the postal machines!

And also the back. I never see the name of the country written in Chinese! The stamp belongs to the World Heritage Sites issue of 1998 (20 August), joint with Germany. I am happy that I received the Puning Temple in Chengde.

17 June 2018

Women on Stamps | Revolution

For the fourth consecutive year, Correos (the Spanish postal service) has held its National Stamp Design Contest. The winners of the last edition were two women: Simona Peres in the general category, and Alba Guzmán Alcalde in the children’s category. Their works appeared on stamps on February this year.

The winning stamp in the general category illustrates a dream-like female character, in shades of purple, using feathers to write words full of love: the revolution of snail mail!

I received it from Imma (PC). Along with the pictorial postcard, it seems to make part of the decoration of this hand-painted envelope. If you look closely, you can read part of this poem by Pablo Neruda.


For the new edition of Sunday Stamps-II A to Z, I have decided to show some of the stamps I have got on letters and postcards, related to one topic: women. This is the post for the letter R.

More women on stamps.

16 June 2018

Postcards for Bloomsday

Bloomsday is a commemoration and celebration of the life of Irish writer James Joyce, during which the events of his novel Ulysses (which is set on 16 June 1904) are relived. It is observed annually on 16 June in Dublin and around the world.

I should say that I haven't read the novel (yet?), but I sort of love the idea of this literary celebration. I wanted to mark it with two postcards received from my friend Laura (the UK):
Patrick Kavanagh (1904 – 1967)
The first mention of "Bloom's Day" is to be found in a letter by Joyce of 27 June 1924.

On the 50th anniversary of the events in the novel, in 1954, John Ryan (artist, critic, publican and founder of Envoy magazine) and the novelist Brian O'Nolan organised what was to be a day long pilgrimage along the Ulysses route. They were joined by Patrick Kavanagh (on the postcard above), Anthony Cronin, Tom Joyce (a dentist who, as Joyce's cousin, represented the family interest) and AJ Leventhal (a lecturer in French at Trinity College, Dublin).

The Odyssey, 1946
The trip of Homer's Ulysses (the original one, isn't he?) that I have actually read, in a different version that the one featured on the postcard.

15 June 2018

Hay Postmark

imagine the world

Royal Mail has dedicated this slogan postmark to the Hay Festival. I read here (scroll down) why. But, at first sight, it made any sense to me. Because, if you read it in Spanish, the meaning of the slogan would be 'There is festival' :D

14 June 2018

Go Slow Mailbox

Thanks to this post, I learned that in South Korea there are a special mail boxes known as Slow Mailboxes. It started in 2009, and now several slow mailboxes are disseminate around the country.

If you post a letter in one of those, the letter will be delivered between six months and one year later. The idea behind, related to the Slow Cities movement, is to maximize the analogue value of letters. Actually, it is like a capsule of time. A letter to the future.

(I wonder how many people, especially foreigners, post their postcards there by mistake...)

13 June 2018

Desire to Write and Read Letters

This stamp designed by Anette Messager* was issued par La Poste on 19 February 2018. It belongs to the série artistique ('artistic series'), that reproduces contemporain artworks depuis 1961.

Désir means 'desire, wish, lust...'. As you can read here, the designer chose that word because: 
C'est le mot le plus important pour moi. Sans désir on n'a plus le goût de vivre. Cela peut être infini, comme par exemple avoir simplement envie de faire des confitures... Désir de vivre, d'être, de faire, d'aimer, de transmettre.
('This is the most important word for me. Without desire we no longer have the taste to live. This can be infinite, for example just want to make jams ... Desire to live, to be, to do, to love, to transmit.')
And, as usual, Philippe found the best way to use it on mail art...

This big (20x17.7 cm) is just stunning. It has been painted on cardboard. Then, collaged. The letters are made of cork (!), and the tree of a page of a book/newspaper. The only complete word you can read on the tree is bonheur ('happines'), is this a coincidence?

But the best part is that same days later, the second part arrived:

Often I think of framing Philippe works!

*Messager means 'messenger'. What a great name for a stamp designer!

12 June 2018

HitM | Russian Windows

For the project of Houses of the World, Eduard (Russia) sent this postcard: these are the traditional windows in his town, Alexandrov. The pictures were taken by Eduard himself, who has runs the mail art project Windows of the World.

Windows are an important part of a house. I have been always amazed and how differently windows look around the world.

11 June 2018

Trains from Sri Lanka

Illustrated envelope sent by Ravindra (Sri Lanka), railways-themed. You can head to Discover the World on Trains (only one of his many blogs!), to discover more interesting postcards and stamps about trains. His collection is quite amazing.

10 June 2018

Women on Stamps | Queens

I receive quite a lot of stamps depicting Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand since 6 February 1952, and also of 12 countries that have become independent since her accession. Queen of Stamps, I should add, because she is probably the person who has appeared more time on stamps around the world.

The palette of colours of the traditional Machin stamps amazes me. But I am happy when I receive different stamps. Like the following, issued with the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee:

United Kingdom, 2012
(More information and complete set)

Canada, 16 January 2012
(More information)

United Kingdom, 31 May 2012
(More information about the set)
The Queen address the General Assembly of the UN in 1957

Or from exotic countries, even those that don't exist any more, like North Borneo:

1 February 1961
(With a Sambar deer)

If you are a queen or an almost-queen (ie, a princess), you are more than likely to appear on a stamp. But, besides living real queens, you can find more original ones:

Annie M.G. Schmidt, known by the series Jip and Janneke illustrated by Fiep Westendorp as many of her books, is "the queen of Dutch children's literature" (Wikipedia dixit).

Anna de France (aka Anne de Beaujeu, 1461-1522) was a French princess and regent, the eldest daughter of Louis XI. Anne was the sister of Charles VIII, for whom she acted as regent during his minority from 1483 until 1491. This oval stamp was issued on 30 June 2017. See here the beautiful sheet, dedicated to the Treaty of Picquigny.

Issue Date: 16 July 2008
And, if you need an American princess, you can take Josephine Baker (1906-1975), who was the exotic Princess Tam Tam in a French film in 1935.


For the new edition of Sunday Stamps-II A to Z, I have decided to show some of the stamps I have got on letters and postcards, related to one topic: women. This is the post for the letter Q.

More women on stamps.