Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Postcard Giveaway Winners

I'd like to thank everyone for the warm greetings and for joining my birthday lottery.  
I chose the three lucky winners using the HAT!
Congratulations Alma Lee, Cheerful, and Titish!  Please send me your mailing details.

Wishing you happy journeys...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My Birthday Postcard Giveaway

In celebration of my upcoming birthday, I'm giving out three postcards, three refrigerator magnets, plus surprise gifts.

Just leave a comment to enter the lottery.  I'll pick the winners on November 5, 2011. 

Find out who the winners are in this post.

Wishing you happy journeys...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Stamps: Suomi in Bloom and Stamps that Glow

"Flowers are those little colorful beacons of the sun from which we get sunshine when dark, somber skies blanket our thoughts."

Flowers, indeed, brighten up one's gloomy day. So for this week's Sunday Stamps, allow me to perk up your Sunday by featuring these lovely flower postage stamps from Finland. 

The first stamp features red amaryllis belladonna flowers.  It was released on 06 November 2009.  The rich red color of the flower evokes the festive color of Christmas. 

The two circular self-adhesive stamps below were issued in April of this year.  I received these two stamps separately from two Finnish postcrossers.

Apart from the interesting shape, the dahlia stamps also glow in the dark.  (Erratum: I'm sorry for the wrong information.  I relied on a blog entry claiming that the stamps are glow-in-the-dark kinds, but it turned out they weren't.  I did a little experiment to find out if they really glow in the dark, but they didn't.  I guess the blogger misunderstood the description of the stamps, which read as:  "the two incandescent dahlias are easy to pick up from the dark sheet....")

Below is what the dahlia stamp sheet looks like:    

Indeed, against a dark background, the dahlias would seem to glow.  

Anyway, don't despair because there are indeed glow in the dark Finnish stamps! 

The Finland Postal Service issued this souvenir sheet in 2003.  It is said to be the world's first  glow in the dark lighthouse stamps.  Featured on the stamps are the Bengtskar, Russaro, Ronnskar, Harmaja, and Sodeskar lighthouses.  

Printed in the border above the stamps are the years that the each lighthouse was built and the height of each structure above sea level.  The Bengstkar Lighthouse was built in 1906 and stands 43.8 meters.  The Russaro Lighthouse was erected in 1863 and measures 21.4 meters in height.   Constructed in 1800 and standing 30 meters tall is the Ronnskar Lighthouse. The Harmaja Lighthouse was built in 1883 and stands 14 meters.  The Sodeskar Lighthouse, which was built in 1862, measures 32.5 meters in height.  

On the other side of the world, Malaysia and New Zealand also issued interesting luminous stamps.
Glow in the dark butterfly stamps from Malaysia
Issued in April 2008

Glow in the dark nocturnal animal stamps
Issued in March 2008
Glow in the dark New Zealand lighthouse stamps
Issued in 2009

How I wish I could get my hands on these awesome glow in the dark stamps! 

Wishing you happy journeys...

For more interesting stamps, head on to Viridian's Blog

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Xiaoshang Bridge

As I've declared in this blog, over and over again, I love bridges.  So for this week's Postcard Perfect round, I'm sharing the very first bridge postcard I got from Postcrossing.  It was sent by Shiliang of China. 

Bridges have always figured in the history of nations as sites for historic battles.  I am pretty sure you have heard and learned of quite a lot of stories of great battles fought on a bridge.  In military strategy, bridges serve as choke points that allow numerically inferior  armed forces to impede the movement of larger enemy armed contingents.       

The Xiaoshang Bridge, built over 1,400 years ago, certainly has its share of war stories.  Accounts say that it was were Yang Zaixing, a lieutenant of the Song Dynasty general Yue Fei, met his death during the war against the Jin Dynasty invaders.

If the Xiaoshang Bridge served a military strategic function in the wars and battles of the distant past, today the very same bridge serves a cultural strategic purpose.   In fact, it was declared as an important heritage structure by the local government.   

Recognizing the bridge's cultural importance, China's State Postal Bureau included the Xiaoshang Bridge as one of the four featured special historic bridge stamps which were issued in March 2003.

Bridges serve a plethora of purpose.  These structures were used as strategic ambush points and choke points to weaken enemy forces.  They also serve as historical, cultural and architectural timepieces.  Most of all, bridges serve as important structures that connect communities and ensure the continuous flow of progress.

Wishing you happy journeys...
for more interesting postcards

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Stamps: Spiritual Renewal

This is my first time to join Viridian's Sunday Stamps meme and I've chosen to feature a stamp showcasing the artwork of Canadian aboriginal artist Daphne Odjig. 

This stamp features the acrylic painting entitled Spiritual Renewal, which was done by the artist  in 1984.  It is one of the three artworks featured into stamps and released by the Canadian Post early this year.  

Odjig, who was born in 1919 at the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve on Manitoulin Island to a father of Native descent and an English war bride mother, has championed Canadian cultural diversity and love of her native heritage through her works.  She has received various awards and recognitions for her achievements and passion for the arts.  

Wishing you happy journeys...

For more interesting stamps, head on to Viridian's Blog