The first is PJ, of the blog whose banner you see above, "Seens from the backs of my eyelids." PJ is a rather new discovery for me, and I have been enjoying her sharp wit and funny discourse on many topics. She is provocative, thoughtful and always interesting. She has a weekly feature post called "The Weekly Bleat" in which she describes as "Unrelated snippets of thought, odd questions, short rants, news items otherwise unworthy of print, comments, criticisms and harsh, radical statements in one blog post," which is not to be missed. Read and enjoy PJ with an open mind and a sense of humor, and I'm sure she'll soon become one of your favorite bloggers! I was very lucky to win an amazing $75 Amazon.com electronics gift certificate from PJ recently in a give away on her blog, and after someone in my household threw cold water on me and revived me from the shock of winning it, I did a search on Amazon and I ordered some accessories for my camera. Thank you so much PJ! Now you'll be part of every photograph that I take with my Nikon from now on!
Next, were these beautiful letterpress cards, printed on heavy Italian card stock, that I received from Sharon Sowell from the "Sharon Sowell Studio -Art and Design" blog. Sharon is a paper artist and her work is found on fabric, gift bags, greeting cards, stickers, and other craft products. I have admired her intricate and delicate paper cuttings since I first read about her in a 2008 Victoria Magazine issue. Sharon had a give away on her blog for a new paper cut that she made, and while I did not win it, she was gracious enough to offer a set of the greeting cards above to each person who entered her give away! The last card on the right is an example of a print made from one of her paper cut silhouettes. Isn't it gorgeous? Please visit Sharon's lovely blog where she posts wonderful photography from her beautiful Washington State. Thank you Sharon!
As you can imagine I was very excited to win a copy of the children's board book that you see above called "ABC Italiano." Joe, of the blog Italyville, did an interview with the author of the book, Sonya Caruso, on his blog recently and bought fifty books to distribute to other Italian culture and cooking blogs to give away on their blogs. He also decided to give away a few copies to people who left a comment on his post and I was a lucky winner! It will be perfect for my grandson who is just beginning to learn to talk, and who loves to look at books. I will be visiting him soon and I will bring the book along so we can both practice a few Italian words together. Thanks so much Joe!
Please visit Joe's blog as he is having another give away for authentic Italian olive oil when he reaches 50 comments on that post, and also to enjoy his wonderful, authentic, family recipes and reminiscences about growing up in an Italian American family.
Here is another new blog discovery for me, and another wonderful children's book give away win! Christy, of the blog Fudge Ripple, did a give away for the letter "G" in last week's "Alphabe Thursday," and I was a winner of a set of books written by her brother. Again, I can't wait to share them with my grandson when I receive them. Thank you, Christy!
Please visit Christy, who is a professionally trained pasty chef. Every Tuesday she posts a quick and easy recipe for dinner on her blog, which she calls her "Tuesday Supper Club." She also looks for guest bloggers to contribute their favorite recipes. There are also lots of links on her blog sidebar for past delicious dinner entrees.
Last, but not least in any way, as this wasn't a give away but a thoughtful remembrance from a blogger I adore. She sent me an envelope recently stuffed with canceled postage stamps from all around the world! Melanie, of the blog JellybeanAngel2 remembered that I had mentioned once that I've been collecting postage stamps since childhood. I consider them little pieces of art, history and travel -- almost all the things I love in life -- all compressed in little fascinating bits of paper! Melanie is a prolific crafter and enters many world wide swaps and craft exchanges, so she told me she often gets packages with wonderful stamps on them. Instead of throwing them away in the bin she saved them for me, and sent them off when she had an envelope full. Thank you Melanie! I really enjoyed them all!
Please visit Melanie's blog and be amazed by how many beautiful quilts, embroideries, hand knits, wood crafts, stained glass, etc., etc., projects that she completes in a week, and also to see her wonderful photographic tours of the English countryside, towns, castles and churches.
This is just a quick peak at some of my philatelic collection. I enjoy collecting first day covers, complete sheets of stamps, and commemorative stamp issues. (the photo mosaic above can be enlarged to see more detail by clicking on it)
One of my favorite and most precious stamps is a stamp that was one of a limited set that actually went up into space on the Challenger Space Shuttle from Kennedy Space Center on Aug 14, 1983, and returned to Earth to Edwards Air Force Base, CA, on September 5, 1983, and has both cancellations...the first space mail!
Stamp collecting is really a fascinating hobby. It doesn't require a lot of space, money, or supplies to get started so it is excellent for children, and you can easily add on to the collection during your whole life, as long as mail is sent the old fashioned way.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was an avid stamp collector from an early age and he expressed it well when he said: "The best thing about stamp collecting is that the enthusiasm which it arouses in youth increases as the years pass. It dispels boredom, enlarges our vision, broadens our knowledge, and in innumerable ways enriches our life."
I'd love to know what hobbies you enjoy? Also, when you visit any of the marvelous bloggers I recommended, could you please tell them I sent you?
I'll also be doing a give away very soon, so I can keep the giving cycle going, so please keep checking back with me.
I'm also joining in with Kathleen, of Cuisine Kathleen blog's Saint Patrick Day "blog crawl" on March 16, with what I hope will be a very special post.
I hope you will join in on the Saint Patrick's Day celebration fun!