Sunday, August 31, 2014

Year of the Snake, Indonesia

after a break last weekend, here I am back with Sunday Stamps...with the subject of reptiles. I have to say that I've never really managed to grow some fondness of reptiles...well, apart from turtles and tortoises maybe....but all others are like a big NO NO NO to me...and I'd just like to stay as far away from them as possible (which is not always manageable, since every single summer we have these small lizards climbing our house walls...Im not gonna be telling you this story of this time when I actually found one inside my room...I wasn't freaked was more like a ewww feeling of 'what if it falls over me' or 'what if it ends up inside my bed without my noticing' and stuff like reaction to reptiles is more or less like this:

yeah, sorry Agi...and all other reptile lovers...they may be fascinating...but keep them away from me por favor! :)

with that confession made, here comes my choice for, well I wasn't really sure if this is appropriate to be posted cos in a way it covers a completely different subject, the Year of the....theme...but then again, being it is a Year of the Snake issue, I said, hey, why not...the 'topicality' of the issue has long time gone...and on top of that, I've realized I have never posted something Indonesian here before, so here it comes...a fascinating FDC issued by the Indonesian postal service for the Year of the Snake (which was last year) is strange that I call something reptile-related, fascinating, but in all fairness, as an issue, it really is.

In my possession I have the FDC that was issued with the souvenir sheet...there is one with stamps only as of issue: 22 January 2013

a few words on the holiday and its importance in Indonesia...

 The Lunar New Year is considered the most important festival for the Chinese people in Indonesia and around the world. The festival celebrates the arrival of the first day of the first month of Chinese calendar as well as the coming of spring. In Indonesia, the Chinese Lunar New Year is a national holiday, where 2013 was denoted by the snake shio with the element of water.

To welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year 2564, stamp series were issued depicting the object of snakes and water elements, namely:

Naja sputatrix - an Indonesian cobra or locally known as Sendok Jawa snake, which is a  poisonous,  snake and can be found in the islands of Java, Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo and Flores. With a maximum length of 2 meters, this snake is capable of spraying venom directed to the eye. The color varies in each region. Black in western part of Java, brownish to yellowish in East Java and Nusa Tenggara. Its habitats are usually damp but warm, like under a bamboo tree or it may occasionally be seen near the river. Although not included in the endangered species list, a number of species tends to decline each year due to trading of snake skin and as pets.

Dewa Ruci - The legend of Dewa Ruci, a story of Javanese traditional puppet play called wayang, began when Bima was instructed by his teacher, Resi drona, to find Prawitasari holy water in order to reach peaceful mind in life. The Prawitasari holy water represents the essence of divine spiritual knowledge for the human being. Bima eventually realized that the Prawitasari holy water was located at the bottom of the ocean. Undoubtedly, he jumped into the ocean, but there he faced a giant sea snake - the symbol of evil traits that must be fought. Once he got rid of the obstacles, Bima met the tiny God Dewa Suksma Ruci who knew Bima's purpose of coming to the center of the Ocean.

 Naga Seba is batik design depicting dragon (snake) and birds (wings). Considered as Keratonan batik style, the design is highly influenced by the Hinduism and thw Islam. As also founded in the chariot of Singa Barong and Paksi Naga Liman, the ornament of Naga Seba combines snakes and wings as a symbol of the Sultanate of Cirebon. Typical Cirebon traditional glass paintings often use Naga Seba as objects.

that would be my contribution for today...for some more, ermmm, interesting (?) creatures, visit Viridian's blog :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Marine Life, Norway

Hello Sunday stampers...and everyone else!! Today was another one of those days when I thought I'd have to miss the Sunday Stamps' post due to lack of relevant material..but then as it often goes...I accidentally stumble across something that would fit in here we go! And I am sort of shocked to realize that these are the first EVER Norwegian stamps on this blog...

So here are three stamps of the Marine Life set issued in 2004.

The first stamp here shows the a Little Cuttlefish (or as its Latin name goes, Sepiola Atlantica), which is a species of bobtail squid found in the North East Atlantic Ocean from Iceland, the Faröes and western Norway to the Moroccan coast. (I copied this explanation from one of Bob's earlier posts, since he had this stamp featured too)

The stamp in the middle shows a Coronate Medusa (Periphylla periphylla), also known as helmet/crown jellyfish, represents an exception, very rarely found in the phylum Cnidaria: the medusae go through no polyp stage, thus presenting a "holopelagic" life cycle. The medusae strew fertilized eggs in open water and these develop directly into medusae, whose development rests entirely upon the egg's high yolk supply. The ephyra stage common among other jellyfish is not to be observed in P. periphylla.

The last stamp shows a Catfish (Anarichas lupus), which is a marine fish, the largest of the Anarhichadidae family. Apart from their unique appearance these are distinguished by the natural antifreeze they produce to keep their blood moving fluidly in their very cold habitat, involvement by both the male and female in brood bearing, and the large size of their eggs.

Well, Im far from an expert on the topic, so I just rely on what google has provided...I hope it hasn't let me down :)

for more underwater beauties, click on the button below...and enjoy your Sunday :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

European Capitals on Stamps!

Good morning all! It is a nice Sunday morning and it is time for Sunday Stamps!
I feel like Im gonna have a lazy day in general, and spend it mainly on cards, stamps and blogging on the same topics...yeah, I've been allowing myself a lot of lazy days lately, but come on, it's summer, so why not :P

Theme of today...faraway (exotic, romantic) places....hmmm, at first I thought this should only be about some places far far away, and I had the association of  'rare' countries in my head as well, don't know why....but then I saw Viridian's post, and I realized I could probably show these beauties, and I've been wanting to for a long while. After all, a faraway place is a rather relative thing, depending where on Earth you actually are...and same goes for romantic/ is an individual perception (and you'll see a clear example of this somewhere below).

So ladies and gentleman, fasten your seat-belts, and get ready for a short European tour through these awesome sheets of stamps issued by the French postal service! Each year, they portray a European capital. So far they've covered around ten I think...I do not have all the issues yet, but I hope to acquire them over time :)

And first comes Budapest, Hungary's capital, issued in 2011!

Beautiful city, that I had the chance to visit back in 2001, but I'd like to visit it again one day since I don't think I was able to absorb enough of it back then, neither enjoy the small cosy moments of just sitting at a cafe and doing nothing but relaxing and observing people.
On the sheet you can see the Parliament (which I believe is like on almost every Budapest postcard), the Great Synagogue, the famous Chain Bridge (one of the many bridges over the Danube), the Royal Palace (which I actually do not remember seeing), the Széchenyi thermal bath (haven't seen it either), the Matthias Church, the Heroes' Square, and that round thing in the middle that at first glance looked like a coin to me, actually represents St. Stephen's Basilica (or as it is in French, Basilique Saint-Étienne).

In 2010, it was Paris. And here comes the clash of romantic vs non-romantic for me. Yeah, I know Paris is considered as one of the most romantic and beautiful cities and all...but how do I put this...Paris has been one of the greatest disappointments in my life, and to me it is just way too overrated! Sorry guys, nothing personal and no offence, but Paris doesn't give me thrills no chills...and that's why at the beginning I said that 'a romantic place' is also a rather relative and subjective thing :)

However, out of all the stamps issued for the European Capital series, I do believe the one portraying Paris is the most beautiful one. Well, ok, it is issued by the French postal service after all, maybe they were biased :P
My favourite part of the sheet is the cafe atmosphere shown at the very left, plus I love the detail of part of the building being shown.
Other than that, you have the Triumphal Arc (we have one here as well I must say), Notre-Damme, the Eiffel Tower (how does it feel to climb on the Eiffel and all you see below is fog fog fog? terrible! =/), the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, Palais Garnier (a famous Opera House in Paris), a Champs-Élysées street plate...and at the very top, something that is called "Under the roofs of Paris".

If out of nowhere someone French stops talking to me/unfriends me or so, I'll blame it on this post :)

The latest issue from the series (issued this year, that is) is the beautiful beautiful Vienna! ❤

Visited it the same year as Paris, but was left with two very different impressions (so I dont know, maybe someone could tell me here something about my personality, something I am unconscious of, based on the places I like and dislike :))

Vienna is portrayed with the Secession Building (or also known as the Secession Pavilion), the Belvedere Palace, the Karlskirche, and the Hofburg Palace.
What I can't possibly understand here is how come they excluded the Schönbrunn Palace...

Well, Vienna is a place I fell in love with at first sight...a place where I felt at home, due to its lovely atmosphere and the overall high percentage of Serbian/Croatian languages I could hear spoken in the streets...for someone having grown up in Yugoslavia, yeah, that makes you feel like home...and it was simply my all time favourite place that I've been to...that is, until I visited Prague last year...

and yes, here comes Prague, issued in 2008! ❤❤❤

Another city that is probably spoken about and praised too much..but here, things clicked from the starters...I'll never forget the early morning when the bus arrived to Prague...and I just looked outside the window...and was in love! It is one of those places that captivated me IMMEDIATELY! I didn't even have to walk around...the very first view from the bus was just enough...spending a few days there just cemented our relationship...and it was then when Prague took over the pedestal from Vienna and has been there ever since...I wonder if there will be a place that will dethrone Prague..and I really wonder which place that's gonna be :)

Starting with the Charles's Bridge..then the Powder Tower, St. Nicholas's church in the Lesser Town, the famous Astronomical Clock, which is beautiful, but to me the performance is just plain boring and not worth the fuss (same goes with the one in Münich)...then you can see here the Church of Our Lady before Týn, the Castle, the nice and charming Golden Street....and a candelabra at the Hradčany, or the Castle District.
Ahhh, Prague......

Next comes the capital featured on the 2013 stamps...and another place due to which people may mysteriously stop talking to me...Madrid.

Well ok, I like it more than Paris..but however, this is another place I have not been impressed with...and couldn't find that bond...the city is nice and all and there are some great places to see, but personally just wasn't my type...I don't know if the fact we didn't bond was also due to the fact that during the time I was there, there were protests and I didn't really feel at ease...but however, I left Madrid rather disappointed...probably the best thing about it were the churros! Oh boy, those churros....a heavenly delight! I tried churros in Mexico too, but they didn't even come close to the ones in Madrid. I didn't try churros anywhere else in Spain, and Madrid has the Chocolateria San Gines, recommended on all travelling websites about 'places to see and do in Madrid' I guess if I ever wanna go back to Madrid, it would be to indulge into those churros again...and oh yeah, go to Madird Atocha, since I didn't get to do that last time (that is the Railway Station in Madrid :))
A quick go-through the places shown: Plaza Mayor, the Almudena Cathedral, the Plaza de Cibeles and the Royal Palace...where we wasted two hours waiting in a row, on what was supposed to be a free entry in the afternoon, just to find out that the 'free' entry was not valid for countries outside the EU...or unless you are from a Latin-American country...yeah, just to add to the annoying Madrid experience :))
Btw, I believe those 'artistic' pictures come from the Prado Museum..

And last comes the only place out of these that I haven't had the chance to visit, but that I'd really love to one day...there is something just so inviting about Lisbon!

Since I cannot give my personal insight here, I'll just name the places shown (and I'm familiar with most of them thanks to the postcards I have :))

So you have the Jerónimos Monastery, the Santa Justa elevator, the National Tile Musuem, the Belém Tower, the Bairro Alto District, St. George's Castle and the Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos).

Well, a bit of a longish post, though I tried not to get into details about each of the place shown on the stamps.

And I have to give a thank-you note here to Eric, thanks to whom I have these beauties in my collection!

If you wanna check out some more faraway/exotic/romantic places, click on the button below...and have a great Sunday!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

I ❤ Postcrossing, Finland

Time for another Sunday Stamps post, and a theme of 'anything you wish'...and NO, it won't be a train post :) When Viridian mentioned that we could maybe choose something that doesn't really fit into another theme, I don't know why but my choice fell on this Postcrossing FDC...yeah, I could probably squeeze it into a 'mail-related' subject, but who knows...I may miss that one time..and to admit, it is always really difficult for me to pick one thing when I have anything to choose from, so in order not to get stuck into an infinite loop here, I'll go with this one :)

This FDC was issued last year by the Finnish post, to commemorate the fantastic project of Postcrossing!. In case for whatever reason someone reading this is not really familiar with it, I highly recommend it that you check it out..if you've stumbled here than you probably love mail, and if you love mail, you will definitely love Postcrossing! I accidentally discovered it more than 6 years ago (yep, it's been that long), and I am not overreacting when I say that it is one of the best things that has happened to my life! Seriously!

Why I love it?  Well, I've always been into snail mail and after simply ceasing contact with my long-term penpals (that's both sides to blame, we just didn't have the time), I realized how much I actually miss stalking the postman, checking my mailbox dozen times a day and finding something inside that's not bills or commercial leaflets. And thanks to Postcrossing, my mailbox started feeling happy again...and me as well. Because it is not just about the cards you receive but also the fantastic people you meet on your way along...and I've had the greatest pleasure of meeting some of those people in person. And when I look back, I can't believe it how much this project has shaped and changed my life...for the better! May sound pathetic, but finding cards in your mailbox is one of the rare things sometimes that can brighten up your day and make you feel better instead wallow into your own misery...yeah, something so trivial can have such great powers :)

Btw, I am more than proud to be the number 1 postcrosser from Macedonia :D

Me at Postcrossing :)

Hope you are all having a nice Sunday...and enjoy the variety of stamps and themes today!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Modern Art in America - The 100th Anniversary of the Armory Show, USA

a very hot Sunday here...and cloudy...making it unbearable...esp for people like me with low blood pressure...I barely function on days like this...and all I do is sleep...but then it is also a perfect day to idle,  and dedicate your time on stamps and cards!

Today's subject is "Artists and Illustrators" and it took me a while to figure out what would fit...and I hope I nailed this one right...

Here I have a fantastic cover...sent by Bryon of course, featuring the set of stamps USPS issued last year to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armory Show.

The information I have come from the paper Bryon included (as he always does for which I am extremely grateful!)
Might be a long read since there is a short text on each and every stamp...but I hope you wont be too bored :)

After the International Exhibition of Modern Art known as the Armory Show, opened in New York on February 17, 1913, the work of Marcel Duchamp and other European artists greatly influenced their American counterparts. Like Duchamp, who became a U.S. citizen, modern art soon found a congenial home in America.

(in order of appearance on the cover)

Joseph Stella, Brooklyn Bridge (1919-20)
Joseph Stella, an Italian immigrant, painted multiple images of the Brooklyn Bridge and other New York icons. Brooklyn Bridge was inspired by Stella's experience standing late on night on its promenade. "I felt deeply moved", he later wrote, "as if on the threshold of a new religion or in the presence of a new divinity."
Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2 (1912).

Charles Demuth, I saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928)
Charles Demuth created a series of "poster portraits" of friends such as William Carlos Williams, whose poem, "The Great Figure" describes a speeding fire engine. Lines from that work gave Demuth his painting's title. The words "Bill" and "Carlos" appear - the latter on a marquee in the backgroun - and the poet's initials are painted at the bottom.

Marsden Hartley, Painting Number 5 (1914-15)
Marsden Hartley spent time in Germany during World War I, when he painted a series of works sometimes called the German Officer paintings. Painting Number 5 is a composite portrait of Karl von Freyburg, a young German officer who was killed in the war. Symbols related to his identity and personality combine like puzzle pieces.

Aaron Douglas, The Prodigal Son (1927)
Aaron Douglas's modernist illustrations, created for some of the most important books of the Harlem Renaissance - the flowering of African-American culture centered in New York during the 1920's - drew partly on African artistic traditions. His Paintings for James Weldon Johnson's book God's Trombones included The Prodigal Son, which imagines the biblical parable in terms of African-American experience.

Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No.2 (1912)
Marcel Duchamp was famous in the US before he ever set foot here. His Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 was the most talked-about work at the Armory Show of 1913, an exhibit that introduced many Americans to modern art. Nudes were traditionally depicted bathing or reclining, not as abstract figures going down staircases!

Stuart Davis, House and Street (1931)
The paintings of Stuart Davis were heavily influenced by jazz. His vibrant depiction of contemporary commercial objects such as advertisements and cigarette packages made him an important precursor of the later Pop artists. House and Street presents a street in New York from two angles, forcing the viewer to be in two places at once.

Gerald Murphy, Razor (1924)
In his brief career as an artist, Gerald Murphy produced slightly more than a dozen works, about half of them now lost. His first surviving picture, Razor, presents a razor and other items seen from multiple angles. It is typical of Murphy's work in its flat, stylized depiction of commonplace objects, presented at a larger scale.

John Marin, Sunset, Maine Coast (1919)
John Marin was the preeminent watercolorist of his era. He spent most summers on the rocky coast of Maine, where he painted the sea and sky in their many moods. Marin once wrote in a letter that sunsets on the coast were "the kind - No Artist can paint." But that didn't stop him from trying.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico/Out Back of Marie's II (1930)
Georgia O'Keeffe loved the New Mexico landscape. She spent some time in the upper Rio Grande Valley near the village of Alcalde, visiting her friend Marie Garland, and made several paintings there. "It was the shapes of the hills there that fascinated me," O'Keeffe said. "The reddish sand hills with the dark mesas behind them."

Arthur Dove, Fog Horns (1929)
Arthur Dove was one of modern art's earliest abstract painters. Fog Horns shows his interest in synesthesia, the phenomenon of stimulating one sense by means of another. The gray background suggests the ocean, while concentric rings of paint grow progressively lighter as they emanate outward from the center, conjuring foghorns blaring in the mist.

Charles Sheeler, American Landscape (1930)
In 1927, when Charles Sheeler received a commission from an advertising agency to photograph the Ford Motor Company plant in River Rouge, Michigan, he concentrated on the power of the machines and the plant architecture, emphasizing the impersonal grandeur of the scene. He went on to explore this vision in several paintings, including American Landscape.

Man Ray, Noire et Blanche (1926)
In Paris, American artist Man Ray made several iconic images of a woman known as Kiki di Montparnasse. Noire de Blanche is from a series of photographs juxtaposing Kiki's face with a West African mask. Man Ray and his contemporaries turned to African artifacts partly from a sense that Western art had exhausted its possibilities.

well, hope you liked at least some of the paintings!

for more artistic stuff, visit Viridian's page! And I apologize in advance that I will take at all the posts and leave my comments later today or tomorrow

Sunday, July 13, 2014

World Natural Heritage of Russia - Republic of Tyva, Russia

I've been feeling so sick all day long that I almost missed today's Sunday Stamps' episode...but thanks to the different time zones, the deadline is convenient, so here is my contribution for today's theme on Landscapes :)

I've chosen this Russian FDC - Russian stamps often feature some beautiful landscapes, though unfortunately I do not have many of those in my collection.

Here you can see the Uvs Nuur Basin, , which is a UNESCO whs and is the northernmost of the enclosed basins of Central Asia (on the territorial border of Mongolia and the Republic of Tuva in the Russian Federation). It takes its name from Uvs Nuur Lake, a large, shallow and very saline lake, important for migrating birds, waterfowl and seabirds.

Enjoy more breathtaking views over at Viridian's!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

British F1 World Champions, Guernsey

when the subject of sports was announced for Sunday Stamps, I somehow knew my post was going to be something about Formula 1...and since today it is Silverstone on the schedule, it does seem appropriate to go with an F1 post.....that though not related to Silverstone in particular, is about something British :)

well, I wont be watching the race today...with Raikkonen doing sooo terribly this season, I've barely followed a race, and with just 19 points in total and holding the miserable 12th position in the overall standings, I think that watching F1 for the rest of the year would be on stand-by...hopefully, next year he'll do better :)

anyways, today's FDC comes from Guernsey...yay, first time to post something from Guernsey here! And here you can take a look at the career highlights to date of the 2008 and 2009 British Formula 1 World Champions, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Lewis Hamilton was born in Stevenage, Kent on 7th January 1985. After graduating from karting to single-seaters, Hamilton then rose through the ranks of Formula Renault, Formula Three Euroseries and the GP2 championship eventually earning his maiden Formula 1 test and a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes race seat for 2007. His debut season was stunning and he appeared on the podium for his first nine races he ended 2nd in the Drivers' Championship by a single point. In 2008, aged just 23, Hamilton became the youngest World Champion in Formula 1's history.

Jenson Button was born in Frome, Somerset on 19th January 1980. One of his first major racing achievements was taking first place in the Karting British Super Prix aged just nine. His journey to Formula 1 saw him compete in the British Formula Ford and British Formula Three Championships. Button made his Formula 1 debut with Williams in 2000, and went on to drive for Benetton, later renamed Renault, BAR subsequently renamed Honda and then following a management buyout : Brawn. After a number of difficult seasons, his talent and tenacity paid off as he won six of his first seven races during the 2009 season and ultimately became a World Champion.

well, we know well enough that in the last few years it's been all about Sebastian Vettel, having won all the last 4 championships (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)...however, the prospects for 2014 are not so promising for him, so we'll see what happens until the end.

Btw, when ordering this FDC, there were also two with just the stamps, not the sheet, signed by Hamilton and Button...but of course, they were sold out, so I had to comfort myself with this one....

for more sports entertainment, check out today's post at Viridian's!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Antique Coins, Macedonia

time for another Sunday Stamps entry, and this time the topic revolves around archaeology and anthropology..from the very beginning i somewhat knew it was gonna be Macedonian stamps, I just wasnt sure which ones...well, after some thinking, I decided to go with these coins..even though the entire post may end up being controversial due to some political issues due to that silly Macedonian-Greek dispute. but this blog is certainly not the place to debate upon that and solve such an issue, right? All that should be in focus here are the stamps...and it would be a pity not to use them for today just cos someone may take this whole post wrong

Anyways...this set of antique coins was issued on  March 1st, 2002 - consisting of four stamps and one souvenir sheet.

the first stamp, with the lowest face value of 6 denars, shows a coin with Lycceios, who was an ancient Paeonian king who lived in IV century B.C
He was a son or a close relative of the Paeonian king Agis. He was forced to acknowledge the supremacy of the Macedonian king Philip II of Macedon (358 BC), and then seized the opportunity and joined the anti-Macedonian coalition led by Athens, in which also p Thracian king Ketripor and the Illyrian king Grabos took part. He is famous for having developed the monetary production and for the coins' production under the reduced Phoenician standard, later known as Paionian.

next is the 12 denars stamp, showing Alexander III of Macedon....or better known as Alexander the of the greatest rulers of all time

the third stamp in the set has a face value of 24 denars, and here Lichnidos is portrayed, which is not a person, but it used to be an ancient city, originally named as Lichnidos, while later it became known as what is nowadays known as Ohrid...some of you may have heard about it...those who haven' is the most popular tourist destination in summer here (and way toooooo crowded), and also our only UNESCO whs.
However, in May/October, it is one of the loveliest places to visit, when it is calm, peaceful, yet sunny and beautiful and one can enjoy his time without all those noisy tourists the weather ain't that hot either..

the last stamp in the set shows Philip II of Macedon, Alexander's father...and also Philip III's father...he ruled the kingdom from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC.

and finally comes the souvenir sheet, where you can simply see all the above coins at one's a pity the face value is just useless for regular letter or postcard...

hope you liked the stamps for today...for more different choices visit Viridian's blog!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dolphins and Sharks, India-Philippines

Time for Sunday Stamps...and my first ever post written from my backyard! On a sunny day!! Feels so lovely! My dad just installed this roof over our terrace, so now, rain or shine I can sit, eat, work, my backyard, outside in the fresh air! Cannot explain how happy I am cos of this..even work feels more pleasurable now!

Anyways, without any further ado...the theme for today is 'anything you wish' and while checking some of the recent envelopes I have received, my eyes got set on this...a perfect kind of cover for me, so here it comes to see the light of day...

well I must say that I absolutely ADORE ADORE ADORE dolphins!! And my earliest memory of them is this Flipper TV Series. Yeah, I may not have been born when the show was created, but they did show it here years later when I was a kid...and loved it! I have seen dolphin shows, but my absolute dream is one day to swim with dolphins...even the very thought of it gives me this stomach anxiety..I cannot even imagine how i would actually feel once it happens..and I hope it DOES happen one day.
Speaking of earliest memory is again from the childhood...with one of those horror shark-related movies...and NO, i would not want to swim with them, though I still do not approve people killing them...unless in actual danger

Anyways, regarding the cover...this is a joint issue between India and the Philippines, issued in 2009, where first of allyou can see the South Asian river dolphin (Platanista gangetica), which is a freshwater or river dolphin found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.
Besides the dolphin, you can also see the whale shark (Rhincodon typus), which is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest known extant fish species.It is usually found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea, with a lifespan of about 70 years.

Well, dangerous or not, I do love the cover...and as long as the sharks are on stamps, I feel on the safe side ;-)

For more interesting stamps, click on the button below...and enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Vintage Circus Posters, USA

Time for Sunday Stamps...ok, still Saturday here, but since the host's post is up already, and I just have been sort of on alert as well, why not use the time wisely...and get back to work's not like 20-30 minutes are gonna change much either way..

Anyways, I was aware that this issue will be posted by someone else, and Viridian did post 4 of these stamps...but having received this cover this week...and being such a beautiful one, I just couldnt resist and told myself that no matter what, I'll go with this one..this shouldn't go in least, the chances of someone posting the whole set ON a cover, shouldn't be that we'll see :)

from the accompanying letter :)

"Ladies and gentleman, children of all ages, welcome to The Greatest Show On Earth!" The Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey ringmaster''s famous words welcomed crowds to the circus, an extraordinary place brimming with irresistible attractions.
Posters gave audiences a taste of what awaited under the big top - an astounding magical spectacle. Like the circuses they touted, the posters were big and bold. A "sheet" was 42x28 inches, and stunning imagery often sprawled across dozens of them at a time. Sometimes, massive arrays of posters covered entire sides of buildings.
These eye-popping early 20th century posters showcased majestic elephants, fierce tigets, and colorful clowns, alongside acts such as acrobatic gymnasts, graceful wire dancers and daring stuntman.

Whether in small towns or large cities, the circus brought together folks of all ages and walks of life, to share its magic and to let imaginations soar like aerialists above their daily routines and cares.
Joyful posters beckoned the masses toward the grand show, thus proving P.T. Barnum right: "The noblest art is that of making others happy"

Speaking of circuses...when I was a child, I was overjoyed when one would come in town...eventually it was not so fun...esp. after realizing what may be happening to those animals behind the scenes...however, I would probably still enjoy a cool acrobats' show.

for more circus fun, click this big button...and have a great Sunday!

And a HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to Bryon for being a partner in crime in my Sunday Stamps adventures :P

Sunday, June 8, 2014

One Century of Aviation in Serbia (1910-2010), Serbia

Time for Sunday Stamps again, with the subject of airplanes, and my contribution are these two Serbian FDC's issued on 09 December 2010, to commemorate One Century of the Aviation in Serbia, as well as a guy named Ivan Sarić (You will read more below)

The idea of flying has haunted man for thousands of years. At the beginning it was just a dream, arisen from a mere human's thought to soar like a bird in the sky.
The pioneers of aeronautics became heroes of their time but also prominent persons of today.

On the stamps above you can see:
- a Breguet 14 (a French biplane bomber and reconnaissance aircraft of World War I)
- a Spartan Cruiser ( a 1930s British three-engined transport monoplane for 6 to 10 passengers built by Spartan Aircraft Limited at East Cowes, Isle of Wight.)
- The Rogožarski IK-3 - a 1930s Yugoslav low-wing monoplane single seat interceptor fighter with retractable landing gear, and was designed by Ljubomir Ilić and Kosta Sivčev as a successor to their IK-1/IK-2 fighter
- McDonnell Douglas DC-9 - a twin-engine, single-aisle jet airliner that was first manufactured in 1965 with its maiden flight later that year. The DC-9 was designed for frequent, short flights

The first among the first was Ivan Sarić (1876 - 1966) whom you can see on both FDCs (and on the latter on the stamp as well), sportsman, enthusiast and constructor from Subotica (town in northern Serbia). Since his first meeting with the aviation, his sports spirit completely devoted to the idea of conquering the last unresearched area on Earth. With a great elan and modest technological knowledge, he builds an airplane, based on his own construction plans. Intuitively, and with great luck and courage, already in the summer of 1910, he accomplished the first successful flights on the racetrack of Subotica. Gradually, he learns the techniques of piloting. On 16th October 1919, he had his first public performance in front of 7000 spectators.
With this accomplishment, made over 100 years ago now, Ivan Sarić has given Serbia the chance to celebrate the Centenary of Aviation, a jubilee of national importance, which just a little number of states in the world can be proud of.
On these laid foundations, a small country elevated aeronautics to an enviable level of development. During the decades that followed, the aviation proved itself to be one of the bearers of state's prosperity.

for more world-flights, click on the big button below

Monday, June 2, 2014

Musical Instruments, Macedonia

As easy as this Sunday Stamps' theme may have sound, I realized that I do not have so many things to choose from, even though this year's EUROPA theme is indeed musical instruments.
However, on one hand, I do not collect EUROPA stamps, on the other, Macedonia still hasn't issued this year's stamps, even though they were scheduled for April...but luckily, Macedonia did once issue some musical instruments on stamps, so here they are for my entry today.

There are four stamps in the set, issued February 19, 2003.

first is the 9 denar stamp, showing гајда, (gajda=, which is a bagpipe from the Balkans and Southeast Europe
Gajda bags are generally of sheep or goat hide. Different regions have different ways of treating the hide. The simplest methods involve just the use of salt, while more complex treatments involve milk, flour, and the removal of fur. In the Macedonian regions, the hide is normally turned inside out so that the fur is on the inside of the bag, as this helps with moisture buildup within the bag.

the next, 10 denar stamp shows a тамбура (tambura) - s a stringed instrument that is played as a folk instrument in Macedonia and Bulgaria. It has doubled steel strings and is played with a plectrum, in the same manner as a mandolin.
The Macedonian tambura has 4 steel strings in 2 doubled courses. It is tuned D D, A A or another pitch but at the same relative intervals of a fifth. Sometimes octave strings are used on the lower course. It has a floating bridge and a metal tailpeice. The instrument body is more often made from staves like a lute.

The 20 denar stamp shows a 'ќемене' (kemene), a three or four-stringed musical instrument that has the shape of a pear, and play with a fiddlestick over the strings, in order to play some music. It is thought that the origins of the word kemene come from the countries of Turkey, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia....

the last stamp of the set is this 50 denars one (yeah that one is a bit pricey so I have only one :)) and it shows a тапан (tapan), which is a drum used in the Balkan and Turkish music. (it is a large double-headed drum that is played with mallets). These drums are commonly used in the folk music of Iran and Turkey, as well as Romania, Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, portions of Greece and Serbia, as well as Iraq and Armenia. These drums have both a deep bass sound and a thin treble sound due to their construction and playing style, where different heads and sticks are used to produce different sounds on the same drum.
In the southern Balkans, the rhythm of the tapan is complex and utilizes many accents in numerous traditional time signatures. In Macedonia, tapans are most often used to accompany other instruments such as the zurla and gaida, while in Bulgaria they usually accompany gaida and gadulka. They are also played solo in some Bulgarian and Macedonian folk dances and songs. For centuries the tapan is irreplaceable at Macedonian and Bulgarian village festivities such as weddings and celebrations of patron saints of homes and villages. Players often use a rope hooked to the drum to hold the drum sideways, so that one head is accessible with the left hand and one with the right. Each hand is usually dedicated to playing one side of the drum exclusively, though this can vary by local style and tradition.

well, I hope you got to see and learn something new today. I almost missed this entry due to overall feeling of slow-motion and a bunch of work..
For some more music, tune in over at Viridian's!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The 15th Anniversary of the Death of Gilles Villeneuve (1950 -1982), Canada

First of all, I would like to thank you all for the kind comments on the last post and for your concern and wishes for meant a real lot to me! Thank you!

And since it is Sunday today (well, early Sunday, just past midnight), it is time for Sunday Stamps, with this week's theme of  'commemorating a person' or 'event worth commemorating'. What seemed as piece of cake at the first thought of it, ended up with great doubts of 'what to post what to post'..and when I laid my eyes on this, I knew it had to be IT! (Though I must admit that my initial thought was also F1 related, but I'll save that one for another time =))

Anyways, it may also be a bit of a biased post - those who know me, know I am an F1 fan, though I must admit I haven't been so dedicated to following it the past few years as I used to be. But still, it holds a special place in my heart and if Raikkonen starts performing better, I will surely get back to watching it more regularly.
Well, it is not Raikkonen for today, but Gilles Villeneuve, whom I have never had a chance to see him racing, since he had died when I barely knew to walk, but I do admire him and that's why I thought he deserved to find his place in today's post...not to mention that I absolutely LOVE this sheet! And for an F1 fan it is a great treasure to have as well :)

*from the booklet in which it was enclosed:

Blinding speed, astonishing car control, fierce determination and ferocious tenacity; these are the characteristics that marked Gilles Villeneuve's remarkable 5-year Formula One racing career. Villeneuve is remembered for his superb performance, winning six Formula One championship races; he is revered for his strength of character and indomitable spirit. Gilles Villeneuve is a Canadian legend and one of the greatest drivers of auto racing.
His F1 career started in 1977 in the team of McLaren, at the British Grand Prix, while from 1978 until 1982 he was part of Ferrari.
Unfortunately, he had died in a 225 km/h crash caused by a collision with the March of Jochen Mass during qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder
At the time of his death, Villeneuve was extremely popular with fans and has since become an iconic figure in the history of the sport. His son, Jacques Villeneuve, became Formula One world champion in 1997 and, to date, the only Canadian to win the Formula One World Championship.

This unique 8-stamp sheet includes two images. One stamp ($0.90) depicts Villeneuve in the Ferrari 312-T3, the car in which he won his first Formula One victory, fittingly at the 1978 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
The other stamp ($0.45) shows Villeneuve in the Ferrari 312-T4, which brought him his most single season wins.

And I know that if he was part of Formula One today, I would have liked him as a driver.

See where the other famous people or events are coming from today...I am sure that by clicking on the button below, you will be offered a lot of great things to read :)

Have a lovely Sunday!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The 75th Anniversary of Superman, Canada

In today's Sunday Stamps post, I'd like to ask you all a small favour. I usually don't do this, but sometimes life situations call for it and right now, all help is more than welcome...not to me, but to the people in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, who have been struck with one of the worst flooding disasters in more than a century. The images from there are heartbreaking. And right now these two countries need all the help they could get. The current situation is terrible, but its consequences are gonna be a real struggle as well.
I know that not everyone is able to donate money or goods, but sharing the news and making others aware about the actual situation is of great help as well and would mean a lot to me.
In the following Facebook links you can read more about it, follow the situation and see how you can donate if you want to.

We may not be superheroes like Superman. Superman tried to save the world and help the people in need. But people can be superheroes in their own special way and help the ones in need!

And I have these two Superman covers, one containing the stamps, the other one the mini-sheet. Sent by one of my mailbox superheroes! And they just came in appropriate for today.

The stamps were issued to commemorate the 75th Superman of my favourite childhood characters - with Christopher Reeve being my favourite Superman of all times! (never really read the comic books I must admit)

Since this is an 'anything you wish day' click on the button below to be surprised at the variety of thoughts and ideas for today's entries

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Flowers of Slovenia, Slovenia

Flowers are indeed like omnipresent when it comes to stamps...but when you need to choose some to post, you realize you do not really have that many stamps featuring flowers...and from the ones you have, you try to choose something that has not been already posted or is unlikely to be posted...therefore I decided to go with this Slovenian mini-sheet issued on May 20, 1994!

The stamps themselves are nice...but the surrounding map image is what really makes this issue so dear to me (and i have to thank my mum again for having purchased this many years ago)

Well, the map is just to give you an idea where Slovenia is in case you hadnt already can even take a glimpse of Macedonia at the bottom..cut in half...

as for the flowers...four of them are featured on these stamps.

the top left one shows the Primula carniolica or the Carniolan Primrose, which is considered as one of the most famous Slovenian plants, first spotted more than two hundred years ago.
The flower has glittering bright green basal leaves , which are smooth and bare and are not speckled with a farinose coating. The soft, red- violet flowers are in clusters, with a sprinkling of white dust at the mouth. It flowers in April and May in shady, damp gorges in rocky fissures and has been protected in Slovenia since 1922, and is also on the Slovenian Red List of threatened plant species.

next to it is the Hladnikia pastinacifolia, which is one of the most distinguished plants of the Slovenian flora. It has tripartite, denticulate and shining green leaves with whitish flowersin characteristic umbellate clusters. It is the representative of an independent genus, which has only one species (the great majority of genera have a number of species).
It was first noticed in the second decade of the nineteenth century, on Čaven, by the Slovene botanist, Franc Hladnik, the founder of the Ljubljana Botanical Garden (1810). As it can be seen, this new species was also named after him. Hladnikia grows on rocky meadows and cliffs, in a very restricted range of distribution. It also has found its place on the Slovenian Red List among rare plants.

The 60 SIT stamp shows the Daphne blagayana, the plant about which the Slovenian botanists have probably written the most. It is a species of plant in the genus Daphne and was discovered in 1837 near Polhov Gradec (now northeastern Slovenia) by Henrik Freyer and named after the botanist Rihard Blagaj (who after receiving the flower was the one to send it to Feyer). It has been determined that with time, this flower has been distributed the majority of the Balkan countries as well.

The last, 70 SIT stamp shows the Campanula zoysii, or the Zoi's Bellflower, which is endemic to Slovenia, Austria and northern Italy. It is considered a symbol of the Slovenian Alps, and called "the daughter of the Slovene mountains. The plant tends to grow low, reaching anywhere from 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 in) in height, and is unique among its genus of bellflowers. The mouth of C. zoysii's bell-shaped flower narrows, ending in a five-pointed star, while the flowers of other Campanula species are likewise bell-shaped, but open.(The "pinched" shape of these flowers nonetheless manages to allow insects inside for pollination.) The flowers are arranged one to three for each stem.The plant's pale sky blue- to lavender-coloured flowers bloom in June over a three- to four-week period. Its leaves are crowded at the root, stalked, ovate and blunt; stem leaves are obovate, lance-shaped and linear.

My overall knowledge and understanding of flowers is quite terrible I must say, though that doesn't prevent me from admiring them. My favourite here.....hmm, probably Zoi's Bellflower...for some reason it reminds me of the hyacinth...and I am totally in love with those..

for those interested, the size of the minisheet is 136 x 115 mm
well, for more springy-kind-of-posts, click on the button bellow and enjoy this floral Sunday :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Space Stamps, USSR

well, Sunday Stamps is a good opportunity to make a come back here as well after "raising the postcards' blog from the dead" first. And ever since I read the topic for today, the notion of USSR got stuck in my head, dont know why...after seeing the entries today I realized how narrow my thinking was, but simply, the thought of Russia or another former communist country, made me think of USSR and USSR only...and even with particular stamps in mind. In the end I thought I should maybe take a look at my Russian stamps too, but in the end I decided to go with my gut feeling and make myself happy and content...going with something else would have left this feeling of 'something missing' inside me and that's no good now, is it?

well, some of you know how hyped I get with EVERYTHING space related, so that's why I was also so anxious today to show a number of USSR stamps that are space I have never shown USSR stamps here before, so here is the first and I hope not the last time :)

I'll start with these two stamps issued in first glance they may seem the same but actually there is a difference in colour at the right is more on the violet tone, while the other one is something between bluish/greenish. These two depict the first manned flight to space, launched on April 12 1961 - and the stamps were issued one year later, to commemorate the one year anniversary.
Тhis set comes in the perforated version -an imperforated one can be obtained as well.

another set where the two stamps only differ in colour a bit. Issued in 1962 as well, representing Vostok 2, a Soviet space mission which carried cosmonaut Gherman Titov into orbit for a full day (or 25 hours to be more precise) on August 6, 1961 to study the effects of a more prolonged period of weightlessness on the human body. Perforated version.

Still in 1962, this time an imperforated version of a set of three stamps. These represent Vostok 3 and Vostok 4. Vostok 3 was a spaceflight of the Soviet space program intended to determine the ability of the human body to function in conditions of weightlessness and test the endurance of the Vostok 3KA spacecraft over longer flights. Cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev/Андриян Николаев (featured on the top right stamp) orbited the Earth 64 times over nearly four days in space, August 11–15, 1962. Vostok 4 was launched a day after Vostok 3, and this was the first time that more than one manned spacecraft were in orbit at the same time. Pavel Popovich (Па́вел Попо́вич)was on Vostok 4 (featured on the top left stamp)

Here is the lovely Sputnik, which was the first artificial Earth satellite, launched on October 4, 1957. The stamp commemorates its fifth anniversary.

and two more stamps from 1962, issued to commemorate all the Vostok Spaceflights, and in Russian you can read "Glory to the Conquerors of Space".

now, here is something from 1963..a fantastic se-tenant stamp if you are asking me! There is another single stamp in the set, but unfortunately I do not have that one. This is another issue to commemorate both Vostok flights going in the space together, Vostok 5 and Vostok 6.  A thing worth noting here is that Vostok 6 was the first human spaceflight mission to carry a woman into space, that is cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova.

two stamps from a set of three issued in 1964 - yeah, i miss the third one and what really bothers me is that I'm missing the stamp Gagarin is featured on...sniff ;-( but one cant have it all...
anyway, this set was issued to commemorate the Cosmonautic day and here you can see the Sputniks on the first stamp and the Space station Mars 1 on the second one.

a great stamp from 1965, representing the first space walk, done by Alexey Leonov (Алексе́й Лео́нов) on March 18, 1965.

and just one more set for today, again from 1965, again three stamps issued to commemorate the Cosmonautic day, and here you have from left to right: a Soviet space achievements monument, then a Sputnik sculpture in Moscow and at the end K. E. Tsiolkovsky's monument (Константи́н Циолко́вский), who was a Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory.

well, that would be all...I know it got a bit lengthy but since they were all topic-related, I couldnt just pick one.
A big hug goes to my mum who has collected these over the years while she was really into it ❤

and now it's time to check out what others have come up with for this communist-countries day :)

have a lovely Sunday!