Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Little Tiger and Little Bear, the German National Library's anniversary and Tagetes - a card from Germany


Country: Germany
Place:  Bamberg
Received: 10/02/2013
Distance: 1 225 km
Travelled: 32 days

Little Tiger and Little Bear

Little Tiger and Little Bear on this postcard are the popular characters, created by Janosch (Horst Eckert), German writer and illustrator. They are very popular among both children and adults and appear in books and TV series.

The German National Library's 100th anniversary

The stamp commemorates The German National Library's 100th anniversary. The Library was founded in Leipzig in 1912, and all publications in German were systematically collected there starting from  January 1, 1913. Now the Library counts about 24.1 million items in total, located in Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main and  Berlin (wish I had all of them ;))

Tagetes flower

Tagetes is native to North and South America, but some species are naturalized around the world. The common English name, "marigold", comes from "Mary's Gold". 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Two pasta pieces hugging and Winter Olympics in Vancouver - a card from Italy


Country: Italy
Place:  Saluzzo
Received: 09/02/2013
Distance: 1 776 km
Travelled: 14 days

Two pasta pieces hugging near a heart or basil pesto

This photo is made by Ermione from Italy and shows two pieces of pasta hugging warmly near a heart of basil pesto... Let's try the recipe!

[Simply Recipes,]

Classic, simple basil pesto recipe with fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Romano or Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper.

Preparation time: 10 minutes


2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1) Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2) Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

21st Winter Olympic Games “Vancouver 2010”

This stamp is dedicated to the 21st Winter Olympic Games “Vancouver 2010” and shows a skier in action during his performance. The five Olympic rings are top right.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dormition Church on Pokrovka Street in 1900, a horsecar and skeleton - a card from Russia.


Country: Russia
Place:  Moscow
Received: 02/02/2013
Distance: 677 km
Travelled: 15 days

Dormition Church on Pokrovka Street in 1900

The wooden Dormition Church on Pokrovka Street originates from 1511 to be rebuilt in stone in 1656. In 1936 the Church was demolished as the part of the building blocked the roadway.

A tram we may see on this card is a horse-drawn tram. The cars were bought in England and had an imperial (space on the roof where people could also sit) and a staircase to climb up. Imperials were not protected from rain and snow.


Skeleton is a kind of a fast winter sliding sport. An athlete is lying down on a small sled and rides down a frozen track. The sport of skeleton originates from 1882 to be practiced be the soldiers in Switzerland.

The popularity of skeleton grew in Europe and it became a recognizable kind of sport. In 2002 skeleton was added to the Olympic program with the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bears from Suomenlinna Toy Museum, countryside romance and the golden time of plastic - swap cards from Finland


Country: Finland
Place:  Turku (Abo)
Received: 28/01/2013
Distance: 795 km
Travelled: 24 days

Cute bears

She has a busy day...

The Suomenlinna Toy Museum presents the toys of the 19th century, as well as the newest, coming from the 1960’s. This collection is based on Piippa Tandefelt’s private collection and features hundreds of dolls, teddy bears and other toys.

The Suomenlinna Toy Museum was opened in 1985 in the family´s house and now is having approximately fifteen thousand visitors per year.
The Suomenlinna Toy Museum has a small museum shop to sell items and own production represented by postcards etc.

Countryside Romance

This stamp was issued in a set of 5 on the 8th March, 2010 and represents Countryside Romance of Finnish cosy places.

The golden time of plastic

In the 1960's and early 1970's the main material for innovative design products was plastic. This stamp shows a chair, a telephone, wall paper, Stereo, Go-go boots and a shelf, made of different kinds of plastic.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

"UN GROS BISOU POUR TOI...", Marianne et l'Europe stamp series and "Le Cheval" - a card from France.


Country: Russia
Place: Bruay-la-Buissière
Received: 28/01/2013
Distance: 1 742 km
Travelled: 22 days


It is definitely established the Teddy Bear to be born in 1902, but Germany and the USA are still struggling for the right to be the “birthplace” – first upright standing teddies appeared in both of these countries.


In 1879 the magazine “Die Mod Ewe Itt” suggested a pattern for a baby elephant toy made of soft felt. Margaret Steiff, a girl handicapped after suffering polio in her childhood, liked this idea and made a few funny elephants to present to her nephews for Christmas. Margaret had a great talent for toys, and her parents helped her to open a small toy shop to grow to “Steiff” factory later. In 1902 Richard Steiff, Margaret’s nephew, was looking for some inspiration for new toys and visited a travelling American circus. He saw a trained bear to walk and dance on two feet and created a bear toy, acting in the same way.


November 14, 1902, the President Theodore Roosevelt visited the states of Mississippi and Louisiana to handle a border dispute. Roosevelt, being a great lover of hunting, decided to hunt for bear in the wooded areas. The bear wasn’t  found and his hunt failed. In order not to make the President completely upset, his people ordered to get the bear to the place of his rest. The bear was found and tied to a tree to let the President notice it casually. Theodore Roosevelt saw the bear, understood the situation and said: “Liberate the bear!”. He was not able to kill a defenseless animal.

November 16, 1902, a cartoonist Clifford Berryman published a drawing in the “Washington Post”. It depicted Theodore Roosevelt and a funny little bear with round eyes and big ears – sentimental Americans felt a huge sympathy. Russian emigrant Morris Miktom put a teddy bear, sewn by his wife Rosa, into the window of his small shop and hung a newspaper drawing next to it. Many people stopped, passing by the shop windows, and wanted to buy this bear, so Rose and Morris started to make them for sale.

Marianne et l'Europe stamp series

The Marianne et l'Europe series or Marianne of Beaujard series is a French definitive postage stamp series. Marianne, the allegory of the French Republic, wearing a Phrygian cap, is presented in profile, looking to the left. Stars are surrounding her head, evoking the flag of Europe

"Le Cheval" (Horse), a sculpture by R. Duchamp-Villon

"Le Cheval" is one of the most famous sculptures by the French sculptor Raymond Duchamp-Villon, created during his serving as a male nurse for the French army during the World War I. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Inspiration: The art of Jose Lorenzi - a card from France


The art of Joze Lorenzi

This amazing card was received  from Corsica by Scriptor

"From his childhood memories of the windswept Cap Corse, the painter José Lorenzi remembered the intense blue as a symbol of the fierce light of the Mediterranean summer. He started painting marine watercolours at six years old and now his paintings can be found in collections throughout the world. 

In Bastia, in its José Lorenzi Gallery, there is a permanent exhibition of paintings where he sometimes receives his friends and loyal supporters."

Friday, February 1, 2013

Ded Moroz and the Kremlin of Zaraysk - a card from Russia


Country: Russia
Place: Lobnya
Received: 23/01/2013
Distance: 676 km
Travelled: 36 days

Ded Moroz

Ded Moroz is the main character of the New Year holiday in the East Slavic region. Ded Moroz originally is the symbol of winter frosts in mythology. 

Ded Moroz is mostly portrayed in a red or blue coat and wears a long white beard. His modern canonical image started to form in the end of 1930s, after some years of Christmas trees being prohibited.

The Kremlin of Moscow

The Kremlin of Zaraysk

The Kremlin of Zaraysk is a XVI century’s monument of architecture in Russia built on the order of Vasily III. The fortress was a part in a line of fortifications to protect the borders of Russia.

At the beginning of the XVII century the Kremlin of Zaraysk was conquered by the Polish invaders commanded by the Colonel Alexander Joseph Lisowski. To immortalize his victory, the Colonel ordered to bury all the defenders in one bed of honor with a mound.