Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Many Thanks and My Special Hobby

I have been on a blog "give away" winning streak lately and I have to thank some very special bloggers for their generosity and friendship.

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!

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GardenofDaisies said...

You really have been on a winning streak!! If you want one more chance, come over to my blog... I have a giveaway going too. I need to go back and take a better look at that pile of stamps you have. :-)

GrandmaK said...

My goodness how fortunate for you!!! And what lovely gifts they are too!! Wishing you well! Cathy

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What fabulous gifts! I've been blessed to win some things lately, too and need to catch up on my thank yous! I always loved stamp collecting when I was a kid! I still have a few stamps and a couple of coin books. Of course...you know what I collect now...DOLLS! heehee! I'm going to follow some of your links...I'm going to Italy first! ♥

nanny said...

Wow, congrats....to you. You deserve some nice gifts....we love your blog!

Claudia said...

Sweets for the sweet. All that goodness couldn't happen to a lovelier person. Savor - you also spread such happiness around.

My name is PJ. said...

Holy Toledo! You've been showered in good luck and treasures! (Thanks for the shout out!)

I've already popped over to Melanie's place and I'll check out the others too!

Allie and Pattie said...

Very well deserved!! I learn something with every one of your posts and tonight I learned about some great new blogs. Thank you Pat!
xoxo Pattie

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow, you have the magic touch Pat. May your good fortune continue.

mbkatc230 said...

What lovely gifts you have received! And thanks for the links to some new to me blogs. I've been following PJ for awhile now, I think I found her through Jenny Matlock. She cracks me up, and I love her "Weekly Bleat". And I'm definitely going to check out the art cards. I just spent a weekend with family in the "old south" and was gently reminded that not everyone is tied to the internet - bless my heart:) Hope you have a great week. Kathy

Old Kitty said...

Oh Pat!!!

What lovely, lovely, lovely special gifts! Isn't blogging such a wonderful thing - really and truly!

I'm going to confess and tell you that I work in a library. We used to get our print copies of journals from all over the world and used to keep the stamps and give them to charities at the end of the year.

These days with e-journals, we can barely scrape enough stamps each year! So I'm so glad to read about your stamp collecting - that's brilliant!!

I've bookmarked all these intriguing blogs - can't wait to read them!

Take care

Anonymous said...

What lovely prizes. Your grandson is going to love those books. I think the ones we have in childhood and re read over and over stay with us the rest of our lives. I'll have to share my fairy tale book one day. :-)

Totally welcome to the stamps. Definately too pretty to just throw away.

Joanne Kennedy said...

My my! You have been lucky these days. I think you should go get a lottery ticket. Never know!

Can't wait to see your St. Patrick's Day post. I'm doing one too.


Kathleen said...

Well don't you have the luck of the Irish! Congrats, and enjoy!
To answer your ques..prob the 15th if I can get it to work!

steviewren said...

Gosh, you are one lucky girl! I don't think I've won that many things in my whole life.

I'm not a dedicated collector of stamps like you are, but I do save anything unusual. I think of them as tiny pieces of art as well. How fun it must have been to open that envelope and find it full of stamps.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Congratulations on your winnings! I will have to check these new blogs out.

Just wanted you to know that my mom reads your blog...since we met in NYC last year she has been one of your readers! :)

Riet said...

What great gifts you got. Lucky you. Now i read you collect stamps, would you like some older ones from Holland? And some countries around Europe? I always tear the stamps from a card or envelope because there will always be somebody who collects them. If you can mail me your adres I can send you some if you like.
Have a great day.

Tracy said...

Such wonderful cards, treats and stamps! Melanie is wonder, isn't she?! How does she get all those quilts & crafts made?! Must be special vitamins...LOL! ;o) Those stamps are wonderful to see. I use to collect stamps in my teens, and so did my Hubby--so between us have a pretty little collection. Though we've collected a little less in recent years. A great thing with blogging friends all over the world is the occasional card/package and lovely stamps to keep in addition. Happy Day, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

Gracie said...

Isn't the blog world just wonderful?

Junie Moon said...

How much fun you're having with all these wonderful blog wins -- you deserve each and every one. I'm going to explore all the great links you've shared.

I love that you are a stamp collector, too. I just got some from an international order I'd made, so if you email me your mailing address (link on my blog), I'll send them to you. My own stamp collecting involves collecting ones from around the world that feature seashells on them.

Sharyn Sowell said...

I'm glad you got them! And it looks like you are definitely being blessed by gifts from all directions. Enjoy... you deserve them.

myletterstoemily said...

what lovely gifts, so happy for you! that is
such a grateful way to showcase them, too.

i visited your "seens" blog and enjoyed it
very much. was happy to find the vintage
clothes blog there, which i passed along
to a young dress designer.

isn't this such a fun network?

hobbies? i collect old, preferably antique,
books, and i am a singer.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Pat! What wonderful gifts! And I can't think of anyone who deserves them more.


Sheila :-)

Vee said...

Time to buy a lottery ticket, Pat, while this trend continues! Lucky gal!

Guess that my biggest hobby is blogging and all that that entails, which is a lot. Otherwise, I'm afraid, my world has become quite small.

M.Kate said...

Congrats on all the goodies Pat and you do know we love you max :) Happy weekend soon..love/M

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Congratulations Pat...you have been lucky...the links to the other blogs were very interesting too.
♥, Susan

Willow said...

Wow! That's amazing, Pat, that you won so many give aways. I've won two and they were in the same month, but I haven't been lucky since then.

I enjoy Melanie's blog and am astounded at how much crafting she does. What a lovely gesture that was, to send those stamps to you.

My hobbies? fiber! knitting, crocheting and spinning-- and photography! I love to take pictures.

Jay said...

You have been lucky, haven't you? Wow ...

I've already opened some of the blogs you've linked to in separate tabs so I'll pop over and read them in a mo, thanks for that! Since I'm learning Italian right now, Italyville is a must!

Hobbies? Me? Why, dogs and Depp, of course! Collecting, writing, reading, watching, and attending Meet and Greets - yeah, for both. Tee hee. LOL!

Oh yeah, and jewellery making. You have to love beads and sparkly things!

La Petite Gallery said...

Happy Saint Pat's Day,
Dear Pat,
Sure you aren't Irish... What a streak of LADY LUCK..
Have a Lucky Week ..
Interesting post.


La Petite Gallery said...

Happy Saint Pat's Day,
Dear Pat,
Sure you aren't Irish... What a streak of LADY LUCK..
Have a Lucky Week ..
Interesting post.


CatHerder said...

Luck o the "not-so" Irish lol?? :-)

Oliag said...

...I hope you bought a lottery ticket this week:)...you are on a lucky streak for sure...Wonderful giveaways too...

Wish I started stamp collecting when I was young...it is facinating...

Anonymous said...

Lovely gifts! You ARE on a lucky streak!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hi Pat, What goes around comes around, so well deserved! You're on a roll, now go get a lottery ticket! Came to check out all your informative posts, been sick with a bad cold and just catching up now.

The Muse said...

Dropping in to wish you a most lovely day (well, evening... no...I guess it is really a morning lol) I need sleep :)

Isn't it wonderful...utterly fantastic...that we can touch so many lives...and that others can, in turn touch our own?

I am so happy to hear that you have found some special friends and have some memories as well.

What great treasures!

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! Lucky girl...

Blogtrotter 2 is still in Jamaica. Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

joe@italyville.com said...

Congrats Pat!