Wednesday 16 November 2016

My Super-Awesome Stamp Collection

   Hi everyone! I hope you're all well and happy and bundled up nice and warm in this wonderful autumn-winter weather! With all the Christmas tensions I decided I would take a little more time this season to talk about me and more humble things, and I urge you to do the same on your own blogs. Turn your attention towards simple things and appreciate them.
   Today, I'm going to introduce you to one of my lesser-spoken passions. Stamps.
   My mum used to collect them when she was young, and when I was a kid my grandad showed me her collection. Now, I love stamps, truly, I think they're fabulous - they're like doll house pictures, lovely portraits or illustrations framed with a funny shaped white border. And somehow, these little pictures are the passports for letters and gifts and post cards all across the world!
   There were stamps from all over in her collection, some used, some mint, and the colours and range enchanted me. So I took up her collection and continued it along.
   I enjoyed it for a while, but in the end I got quite tired of ending up with the same stamps over and over again. See, I had no idea how to do it, so I'd buy mixed packs of stamps from charity shops with my grandparents or on ebay, and I'd get so many repeats. I ended up stopping, and it kind of upset me, but it was a waste of what little pocket money I had (after all the chocolate and cakes I bought with it first. I was a fat, happy child).
   I never stopped loving stamps, though, and I would continue to soak pretty ones off of envelopes. I always lost them shortly afterwards, so few made it into the remnants of my collection.
A few years ago, though, it started again. I saw on the morning news that the Belgian Post had made chocolate scented and flavoured stamps, and I had to have them. It was stamps, and it was chocolate. How could I not?! So I purchased straight from the Belgian Post website, though it was only in Belgian, Dutch and French, so I had to get Seeg to translate, but it all went through and I awaited them a little more eagerly than I should have.
   Now, I admit that I've not licked the paper, and while they do smell chocolatey, they also smell like paper and glue, so it's a strange combination. But I loved that the stamps were a combination of two things I loved - stamps and chocolate.
   I didn't intend to continue beyond this because, especially with such special and mint stamps, those silly bundle packs for 99p were put to shame.

   But then I found another set of stamps that happened to overlap with another interest, and I bought them without a second thought. New Zealand Post had released a set of stamps to celebrate the release of the second Hobbit movie, and after a little digging, I discovered they'd released a previous set for the first film, too. Well, that was it then, wasn't it? I started googling stamps and other interests, and while I didn't turn much up (fortunately for my purse strings), I have been keeping my ear to the ground regarding other, similar stamps.

   Before I knew it, my collection had started all over again, but this time it had a certain flavour. It was more interesting, and certainly something I was proud of and wanted to show people - like I'm showing you, now.

   A lot of people start collections like these in the hope that they'll be worth something one day. While it's true I only buy mint stamps, I doubt my collection will ever be worth anything. And that's fine, because I am truly enjoying it. I love that these kinds of stamps come out infrequently because it keeps it affordable and keeps my collection small.
   These are some of my favourites:

The Witcher Stamp

   This is my newest piece - it came out in September and I bought it straight from the Polish Post. The Witcher is an immensely popular game series, with The Witcher 3 sitting solidly at number 1 on my list of favourite games, and it will take a lot to knock it down. In fact, I want it to be knocked down because the game that did that would be beyond epic.
   But The Witcher was originally a series of books by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski - in six and a half years I have never seen Seeg read so fast - and though popular in Poland, the games through his creation into the international limelight. Which is why this is a Polish stamp featuring Geralt of Rivia in his Witcher 3 portrait. The print is also surprisingly intense, certainly the highest quality I've ever seen of any stamp. The colours are amazing, the detail is very strong, and even the setting paper is something worth looking at.

Dinosaurs Stamps

   What I loved about these stamps was the fact that they weren't perfectly rectangular. A little bit of each dinosaur protrudes from the border, making the stamps more interesting, and also, of course, I freaking love dinosaurs. I bought this one with a commemorative coin, just because. My dad also gave me the same set of stamps but framed for my birthday, and they're proudly displayed upon my shelf of epic, alongside a replica of Bilbo's pipe, Naruto's toad coin purse, a Hobbe figurine and a wind rider cub plush, among countless other things.
   This is not the only set of dinosaur stamps I have, but they're easily my favourite.

Andy Goldsworthy Stamps

   I studied this artist in A Level and grew quite fond of him. In school you're always forced into studying certain books, countries, historical events and the like, but few of them ever truly strike a chord. Andy Goldsworthy, however, did, so when I saw these stamps which combined my interest in his work and winter in stamp format, I needed them.

Fantasy Characters Stamps

   This set is quite wonderful in that it features both photographs and illustrations of characters from four different fantasy works - Harry Potter, Discworld, Arthurian Legend and Narnia. I'm not a fan of Narnia at all, but a set of stamps is a set of stamps, and I certainly wanted the other six!

Tolkien's Illustration Stamps

   These are my pride of my collection. Not necessarily rare or anything, but easily my absolute favourites. The stamps form a large collection in themselves, with 10 pieces, and I've bought them as both loose mint, and first day cover. They feature the artwork of Tolkien himself, as seen in the books, and they're all a nice square shape rather than rectangular. Tolkien is the reason I write, and while it's certainly true that my work is nothing like his, it was The Lord of the Rings that made me realise I wanted to write when I was 12 years old, and I've seriously not stopped since. I massively respect the lengths he went through with the creation of his world, and that he drew these gorgeous maps and illustrations himself. He was an intelligent, dedicated and immensely imaginative man, and I don't think a better decision for these 50 year anniversary stamps could have been made.

   If you have an odd collection, or a passtime you enjoy but rarely talk about, I urge you to do so. Your blog is your space, and take the time to really mark it as your own rather than creating 'quality content' to bring in the masses every single day. Put your face out there, let the world know who you are, not just what you write.

NaBloPoMo November 2016


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