Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012: The Year that Was

As 2012 draws to a close it is very tempting to do a bit of reflection on the year that was. So please excuse me while I indulge in some trips down memory lane...

This year I:

And in between I also:
  • Had some very fun times at work with the gang;
  • Danced like a teenager in a friend's loungeroom into the early hours, during a weekend escape to the beach;
  • said goodbye to Glenholme;
  • Saw the Shins do a fantastic gig at Festival Hall;
  • Went to a couple of amazing music festivals (harvest and laneway) with the wonderful Jaz;

In 2012 I managed to visit some amazing places and do some amazing things:
  • I started the year in Cambodia with my work friends doing some volunteering in a village;
  • Went to Perth for a weekend for Em and Steve's beautiful wedding;
  • Did a couple of sections of the Great Ocean Walk near Point Otway;
  • Had a great time visiting friends in Adelaide;
  • Went on a couple of little day trips - to Clunes (for a book fair) and to Steiglitz (a ghost town).

All in all 2012 had some sad times, some changes, but lots of really great highlights too.

So... who knows what 2013 will hold? Lots more fun times, I hope. And some more blogging. Thank- you to everyone for all the blog love. Thank-you for tuning in and for leaving comments, emailing and supporting.

Happy New Year Everyone! 

xx Helen

Monday, 24 December 2012

Festive Stamp Gift Tags & Merry Christmas

As has become blatantly clear over the course of the past few months of blogging, I have a lot of stamps. A lot of stamps I don't even know what to do with. And I don't like chucking things out. But I do like re-using things. Given that postage stamps are little mini pieces of lovely design, it makes sense to use them.

Lots of people who otherwise might not post things, tend to post things at Christmas. Therefore there is an abundance of Christmas stamps. I keep them all separately, and I have found the perfect use for them - as Christmas gift tags.

I had a little 'crafternoon' the other weekend and sat down in the sun and made some tags to go on all the pressies that I was yet to buy.. although I still had plenty of things to do pre-Christmas, making gift tags is way more relaxing and fun than heading out into the madness of shopping centres, so that is what I chose to do.

These are all the supplies I used

I meant to post this little craft project last week, but now it is so close to Christmas it is probably too late for people. But, as you are sorting through the post-Christmas debris, you may wish to set aside your Christmas stamps for next year. I keep my Christmas stamps sorted in little black album cards.

For the gift tages I used coloured paper and washi tape to give colour to the tags, and then used the stamp to decorate. (And here is a tip: packaging tags from the newsagent are far cheaper than tags from a craft supply store.)

Choosing the right stamp to go on a tag

The finished product

So now it is Christmas eve and it is now time for me to go and use these tags and wrap up my presents that will be sitting under the Christmas tree tomorrow.

I don't think the USA stamp is necessarily a Christmas stamp.. but it works! 

This is a bit of an unusual Sunday Stamps edition... apart from the fact it is now Monday here in Australia, but I thought this was a nice way of sharing some of my old Christmas stamps. And I have previously shared what I think about this year's Christmas stamps here, which you can check out if you haven't already.

And with that I would like to wish everyone: Sunday stampers, friends, readers, passers-by, bloggers, and everybody else who has kindly supported this blog this year, a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy festive season.

For other festive Christmas Stamps, check out other blogs through the Sunday Stamps link above.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Nerds on Film

Hello blogosphere.
Today I am particularly thrilled about the awesomeness of the internet, excited by its connectivity and vastness. This warm and fuzzy love of cyberspace is in part due to the fact I had a film director (a film director!) contact me this week after he had found my corner of the internet. And he is making -- wait for it -- a film about stamp nerds. Yup! Crazy.

This is the preview for his film... you've got to check it out, because it is hilarious. And it goes a long way in proving that I am not the most stamp-nerdy stamp-nerd in the universe. Am not sure about the chick with the cleavage at the beginning of the preview, but I guess you gotta sell a film about collecting postage stamps somehow (I know not everyone loves post as much as I do).

I have to agree with the googly-eyed dude in the beginning who says "stamps define what a culture stands for, and once you start looking at that, it is really cool". Couldn't have said it better myself. Although I do think his googly-eyes add something to the profundity of his statement.

Anyhow, a film about hijinks in the stamp world. Sounds like a good time to me!! The film is due out in Spring 2013 (northern hemisphere, I assume), so I will keep you posted if I hear of more developments. I am a little excited - thanks for getting in touch Mark. Your film looks ace.

In other post news, I received my first Christmas card today from my friend Rach.  And speaking of nerds, the card came with a personalised Christmas stamp featuring Rach's cat, who is lovingly called 'whingey'.

If you think Whingey looks pretty cute, you may wish to look her up on twitter. I believe she has her own account. I am so not a cat person, and from my perspective, Rach saw my nerdy and raised it to a whole new level when she decided to personalise her Christmas stamps with her cat (and lets not even get started on the twitter thing). But I love nerds (even if I don't love cats) so full respect, Rach.

Her Christmas greetings came with a postscript: 'no pressure, but I think the Whingy stamp should feature on your blog.'  Pressure aside Rach, I have never received a personalised postage stamp before, so I think it is definitely worthy of note. And the very lovely fact you sent me Christmas greetings the postal way also makes me very happy. It seems you love post as much as I do... but maybe we should all be a little worried about a future "I heart whingey" blog??

Gorgeous postcard from Fish
Thank-you internet world and real world for being awesome this week. Thank-you to the very intriguingly nicknamed Fish from Taiwan who recently sent me some gorgeous postcards from Laos (I promise I will write back this week) and to João from Brazil who offered to do a stamp swap. It is so nice to hear from everyone from all far-flung corners of the globe who have found my blog.

Peace out, post lovers.
xx H.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Something Special for Sunday Stamps

Today is the 100th edition of Sunday Stamps on Viridian's postcard blog, and so therefore the task for participants today was to share something "special"... worthy of the centennial milestone.

So, I have shared a lot of 'special' stamps on this here blog in the past, but today I thought I would whip out this sheetlet, which I didn't even realise I had until I found it amongst a miscellaneous box of 'stuff' at my parents house a few months ago. Therefore I don't actually know the provenance of this sheet - but I suspect it was a gift from one of my host families from when I did an exchange to Japan in 1999.

The ten stamps illustrate world heritage sites in Japan, several Shinto Buddhist temples, as well as some of the artworks that adorn the temples. It is a beautiful sheet. I think all the stamps are lovely, but I like the traditional Japanese image of a temple scene behind the stamps the best. I haven't been back to Japan since 1999, but looking at these beautiful temples makes me a little nostalgic, and definitely makes me want to return.

If you would like to see what special-somethings other bloggers have found to share for the 100th edition of Sunday Stamps, click on the button below to find their blogs. Thank-you Viridian for continuing to organise Sunday Stamps every week, it is a lot of fun to participate in!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Guest Collection: Danni's 1990s FDCs

One of the lovely things about doing this blog is that now many people tell me about their stamp collections. "Oh, I had a stamp collection when I was young" they'll say. But the truth is, they always still have the collection, tucked away somewhere, they just haven't added to it for a while.

Now, this may surprise some of you, but not too long ago, I used to keep my stamp collecting a bit of a secret. I mean - you don't really want to shout from the rooftops that you're a giant nerd, do you? Not if you're sane.

Christmas 1993 - a better effort than Christmas 2012, Australia Post 
But since I decided to blow caution to the wind and broadcast my insane pleasure in small perforated postage stamps, I have discovered I am not alone. People more often than not want to share their collections with me, and I think they find some pleasure in having an excuse to dust them off and rediscover them.

As is so often the case with FDCs, this one features a nice postmark!
So this is exactly what happened with my new(ish) housemate Danni a couple of months ago. I was hanging out in the kitchen and Danni brought in her collection of First Day Covers for me to look at. They are from the early 90s and they are kept in a Lindt Chocolate box.

This was in the early stages of living here, so it was in many ways a nice "getting to know you" exercise:
Danni - So, you blog about stamps.
Helen - Yup. It's not as tragic as it sounds. Or at least I don't think it is. I guess it might be...
Danni - Well, guess what? I have these First Day Covers!
Helen - Wow! FDCs! Awesome!
Or, at least, it went something like that.

So today I share with you, fellow lovers of post, Danni's collection of First Day Covers.

And here is my pick of the lot - the Queen's Birthday 1991. Would you take a look at the Mother-Daughter outfits with the matching black satin gloves. I am almost speechless. I certainly have FDC envy.
You know how I love a bit of Royal Kitsch! And check out those dresses!!

Thanks for sharing your cool collection of 90s FDCs with me Danni. They are ace!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Community announcement (from 1973)

The first thing that popped into my head when I found out that the theme for Sunday Stamps was "public service announcements" was this set of stamps that were issued in March 1973 to help educate the community during the transition from the imperial to the metric system.

The overweight strange-looking dude is a bit of a strange choice, but I guess the stamps get their message across.

I didn't really think that Australia issued many "public service announcement" stamps - but then, looking through my album I also spotted these stamps, which are from a 2008 issue entitled "living green".

Unfortunately my copies of the stamps are very far from mint... I clearly didn't do a very good job of soaking the gum off them.

It's a pity the stamps are so damaged, because the images are quite striking... I particularly like the walking bus. Save water; reduce waste; travel smart. Three very simple messages about living more sustainably and in an environmentally conscious manner.

That's it from me for this evening. Happy Sunday everybody, and follow the link below, should you wish to find out about more stamps with "a message"