A Stampy Start to the Year

Scan_20150103 (12)-edit2

It has, indeed, been a “stampy” start to 2015, to use an adjective coined by one of my favorite online collector forums.  Not only did I have a few days of holiday time during which I could sort, scan and catalogue many of my stamps and postcards but the first mail delivery of the year brought several philatelic – and other – goodies.

Continue reading “A Stampy Start to the Year”

Philatelic Pursuits: December 2014

PhilatelyThis past month has (probably) been my most philatelic of the past decade, possibly the past two decades.  The reason for my uncertainty is that any records of my pre-Thailand life are long gone and my memory isn’t that keen either.  While living in New Mexico, I did attend a few first day of issue ceremonies held within the state – the most memorable of which was a journey to Chama in the northern mountains when the ceremony for a set of train stamps was held aboard a narrow-gauge steam train!

Continue reading “Philatelic Pursuits: December 2014”

Most Thoughtful Gifts

Scan_20141221 (9)

It took a couple of years of packages that never arrived and frustrations over extremely high shipping costs to convince my sister and I that annual holiday exchanges between Kansas and Thailand were more trouble than they were worth.  Since 2008 or so, the majority of our exchanges have been the online variety.

But every once in a while, I’m shocked by some morsel in the morning mail delivery.  Whatever it may be, it always reaffirms my belief that my sister is the smartest and most thoughtful person currently living (having inherited those qualities from our dearly-departed mother).  This year, Marilyn truly outdid herself…

Continue reading “Most Thoughtful Gifts”

The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 12 – Christmas Island

$_57 (2)

It’s Christmas Eve and we’ve come to the end the “12 Days Of Christmas Stamps” for 2014.  I hope that you’ve enjoyed the stamps I’ve selected to highlight this year.  For the final installment, I decided that I couldn’t leave out the Australian territory of Christmas Island.  Located in the Indian Ocean some 2,600 kilometers north-west of Perth, the lush tropical island was named by Captain William Mynors who made the first sighting on Christmas Day in 1643.  Christmas Island holiday stamps are traditionally a light-hearted and humorous depiction of Santa Claus enjoying festivities on the island with the various creatures, including crabs and birds, that the island is renowned for.

Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 12 – Christmas Island”

First Christmas Card for 2014!

With just two days to go before the holiday, I have just received my first Christmas card for 2014.  Appropriately enough, it was sent from the administrators of the only online stamp collectors’ forum that I am a member of, Stamp Bears.  The envelope was franked with one of the new Silver Bells Wreath Global Forever stamps released a couple of months ago, postmarked with … Continue reading First Christmas Card for 2014!

The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 11 – Spain, Poland & Austria

navidad-l.jpg

Spain has been issuing Christmas stamps ever since 1955 and the latest set of two – one in a classic style, the other more modern – were released on 11 November. 

The Class A stamp bears the image of a stained-glass window depicting a typical scene of the birth of Baby Jesus, with the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. It is accompanied by the message “Merry Christmas” written in the four official languages spoken in Spain. Cold foil was added to the stamp to accentuate the colours and give greater depth to the stained-glass image.

Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 11 – Spain, Poland & Austria”

The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 10 – Liechtenstein & Cyprus

14260

On 13 November 2014, Liechtenstein released three stamps that in my opinion are additional candidates for the most beautiful Christmas stamps of this year.  Featuring mountain chapels, they are even more stunning on their official maximum cards.  The following description comes from the postal service’s press release:

Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 10 – Liechtenstein & Cyprus”

The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 9 – Switzerland & Brazil

Christmas 2014 Switzerland

Switzerland released a set of four festive stamps on 13 November depicting Santa Claus, holiday cookies, an advent wreath, and a crib.  They were designed by graphic artist Dominique Rossier from Puidoux, above Vevey.   The press release from WOPA provides a wealth of information:

Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 9 – Switzerland & Brazil”

The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 8 – Åland & Faroe Islands

13818

Back in the late 1990’s, one of my main collecting specialties was in the stamps and postal history of the Åland Islands, a small group situated between Sweden and Finland.  That collection is long gone, but I still pay attention to the territory’s new releases.  Åland released a single Christmas stamp on 9 October 2014 entitled “Emma’s Christmas Dream,” designed by Emelie Hage.  The press release provides extra details:

Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 8 – Åland & Faroe Islands”

The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 7 – Ireland & Monaco

Three Christmas stamps were released by Ireland on 6 November 2014.  The 68c self-adhesive stamp features a photograph of a little girl of St. Joseph’s Nursery in Dublin singing carols while the other two stamps feature portions of stained glass windows designed by Harry Clarke.  These are “The Infant Christ” and “Angel With A Lute.” Monaco’s 2014 Christmas stamp was released on 3rd November and … Continue reading The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 7 – Ireland & Monaco