Sunday, October 05, 2008

Prague 2008

Sorry about my prolonged absence and thus neglecting the blog. For now, I would like to share some pictures and words from the Prague 2008 International Stamp Exhibition which I've recently attended.

This is my first visit to the Czech Republic. As a collector I've always been impressed by the stamps of this country. They have exquisite designs and are beautifully engraved. I especially like the stamps that Czech Post issued in the 60s-80s.

The night before I leave I was very excited because this was my first stamp show in a foreign country. My plan was to attend the show for the first day and 1/2 a day the second day and then go on with my other plans in Prague.

9/11 Looking out the window while flying from France to Prague, I gotta say Air France was pretty good in terms of service and food.

9/11 Looking at the land of the thousand spires. Almost there!!
9/12 First day of the show. Long lines at the entry gate! Unlike stamp shows in the US, stamp shows in Europe most likely are not free. But, first time I felt lucky to be a woman because women and children could attend the show for free :) Great wasn't it. This worked for me because I didn't know I would be in and out of the exhibit later on.
9/12 This is a picture of the Industrial Palace in Prague. We were late for 2 hours the first day because we had no idea how to get there. Haha, but we made it following the tracks of the tram that goes to the palace.

9/12 The venue itself was quite big! But of course, it was a lot smaller than Washington2006. I walked into the exhibition hall and felt a little overwhelmed because it was really really crowded and we were like the only Asians there and (young) No offense here .. hehe..
This is the catalogue I bought, I forgot how much maybe 500 kr.

9/12 The exhibition ground was divided into 3 parts. The right side of the palace housed all the competitive exhibits, the middle section had all the postal offices from the world and including Czech Post. Finally, the right side of the palace were the dealers.

Will continue soon.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Here comes Micky - er, not quite

In the past I've written a lot about my personal experiences with stamp collecting. However, I haven't really shown any covers that other collectors have sent me. So, in order not to waste the beauties of these covers and to express my heartfelt thanks to these collectors, I'll put online the images of the covers I've received randomly.

This I've received from Mr. L who's a collector of music, dance and ballet. Thank you. What is special about this cover? It's the 2 Frama labels on the left side from Hong Kong! Mr. L must have bought them 12 years ago? :o No? Because the Frama label depicted a mouse with a green background that says "The year of Rat."

Friday, May 23, 2008

First UN Braille Stamp

Wow, the UN is issueing its first Braille stamp this June. Although this is not the first and certainly not the least Braille stamp issued around the world, I am pretty surprised to see it coming.

Only one stamp out of the 6 stamps set will be embossed with raised Braille characters.

The stamp will be issued by the NY office. The Braille characters spell the word "UN" and I am going to touch the words and pretend I know Braille. :-P

According to Wikipedia - Louis Braille, born  4 January 1809 in France, was the inventor of braille, a system of reading and writing used by people who are blind or visually impaired. As a small child, Braille was blinded in an accident; as a boy he developed a mastery over that blindness; and as a young man – still a student at school – he created a revolutionary form of communication that transcended blindness and transformed the lives of millions. After two centuries, the braille system remains an invaluable tool of learning and communication for the blind, and it has been adapted for languages worldwide.  

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Hum..I guess I ran out of ideas and I've been lazy so I just pulled some old covers I made "years" ago to show you. Hehe...

Orchids have a big family. There are white orchids, green orchids, purple ones, big, small and they also come in different shapes. Love their variety but they are usually not fragrant. Or at least not the ones I've seen.

The one Orchid that I always run over to see them are the ones that shape like a slipper. They look really cute and I can put a finger of mine in the little pouch. Not that it's right to do so, but I just couldn't resist..sigh..
Couldn't believe I made this 3 years ago. It was actually my first UN FDC that I made for myself at the stamp show. I got the artist and also Robert Grey, who was the UNPA cheif to sign it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Yousuf Karsh & Winston Churchill

Yousuf Karsh was the most famous Canadian portrait photographer in the 20th century. He had taken pictures of celebrities, politicians, scientists, novelist and people from all sorts of backgrounds. One of his most famous works was a portrait of Winston Churchill taken right after his speech in the Canadian Parliament in 1941. This photo brought him frame and success later on as a professional photographer.

This month, to celebrate Yousuf’s achievement, Canada post will issue a set of stamps showing 2 of Yousuf's most beautiful works and a self portrait of the artist himself.

Talking about the subjects of the Canadian s/s.  Here is my favoritate photo of Audrey Hepburn!! Amazingly done and so beautiful! Coincidently, while I walked past by an odd little variety store the other day, I found this amazing postcard of Audrey. It is exactly the same photo! I think I will make a pretty nice Maximum card out of this.

 Most of Yousuf's portraits are in black and white, no props or decorations to distract attention from the model. The portrait of Audrey, captures the essence of Audrey's on screen personality, a sense of innocence, pureness and holiness. Audrey is definitely one of my all time favorite actress. 

Here is a larger photo of Sir Winston Churchill.  Besides being one of the most famous British politician during his time, he was also a great historian and writer.

I love some of the shorter essays he wrote here and there, but I thought he was too much of an imperialist at heart.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Next UN issue: Endangered Spices

The UNPA "Endangered Spices" is a very popular and my favorite stamp series from the UN. The series has been running into its 13th year and still going strong. I guess most collectors have a soft spot for these lovely and amazing creatures living around us. I wish we as human being could have contributed more to help them coexist amongst us.

This year, the stamps will be showing various animals from the sea. I am seeing Seals, corals, whales and sea horses. They are beautiful. Did you notice that all of the endangered spices stamps are actually painted by an artist?  I don’t recall seeing any photos of any sort.

And every year, they also issue a special silk cachet envelope with one stamp from each office cancelled. I usually buy a couple and have the artist signs them.

Since this series is issued in March every year and coincides with one of our semiannual stamp shows here in New Year, the UN also provides a special hand cachet.

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