Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD A Modern Medicine

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Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD A Modern Medicine

Post by Canada stamper »

Having taken the plunge and entered a thematic exhibit at the recent CSDA stamp show in Toronto, I wanted to share my experiences. It has been a lot of fun, and I am really glad I finally took the time to put an exhibit together. It was a lot of work, no doubt, but it's been a very rewarding experience. I collected stamps for a long time, but expanding to a thematic collection that includes not just stamps but also covers, postmarks, meter marks, postal stationery, etc. has rejuvenated my interest and also taught me a lot!

Before I post pictures, I want to say that I could not have done it without the knowledge shared by members here. Also, I joined a local stamp club (North Toronto Stamp Club) and don't think I would have done this without their encouragement as well.

So, here goes...

First, before deciding to do this, I read a lot about thematic exhibiting. I realized that the judging for a local show would not be that strict, but (being obsessive compulsive) I wanted to try and follow the "rules" as much as possible - with regards to the type and variety of philatelic elements that are allowed in a thematic exhibit. One book that was very helpful was "Thematic Exhibiting" by Wobbe Vegter - recommended for anyone thinking about doing this!

Second, I decided to use Microsoft Publisher to make my pages. I made an outline of the story I wanted to tell, and figured I had enough items to make 2 frames - 32 pages total. I looked through my collection and decided which ones to include and scanned them. In Publisher, I resized the images to actual size so that I could lay out the text and images. This is a sample page:

Image

Once I was more or less happy with the layout, I remeasured all the items carefully and replaced the images with thick borders that were slightly larger than the items themselves, so that the items would be "framed" once I mounted them onto the pages:

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Finally, I printed the pages on 110 lb white card stock and used clear mounts and photo corners to mount everything. I cut "windows" for covers where I just wanted to show part of the cover (for example, only the slogan cancel). For clarity, I used a different font for philatelic vs. thematic text and a slightly smaller font for captions. Translated text is in italics. Some pages I ended up re-making several times in order to get the best layout (again, my OCD).

Here is the actual page scanned:

Image

Although I had been thinking about this for a long time (and collecting items I thought I could use in the exhibit), I didn't start working on it until January, and really not in earnest until March. The hardest part was just getting started. After I finished planning the layout, it took me about 3 weeks (working on and off) to put the pages together.

It's been fun and very rewarding, and I will likely do this again. Maybe an exhibit on organ donation next time. Or I may try to expand this one and include some interesting non-philatelic items I've collected - that would mean changing to "Display" or "Open" class - something new to learn again! :D
Last edited by Canada stamper on 26 Jun 2018 05:34, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: udpated title of exhibit
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

For those interested, here are my pages - all 32 of them! I hope the images are big enough to read.

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Well that's all folks. I hope you enjoy it. Some of you will recognize your own contributions to the exhibit - many thanks again! :D :D Also, I've posted questions about many of these items on other threads and various members have been very generous with their knowledge - thank you! I couldn't have done this without you. Please let me know what you think and any suggestions for improvement!

Jean 8) 8) :D :D

P.S. The judges will be coming to our next club meeting next week and I am hoping to get their specific comments then - will post those here too.
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by organicm »

Congratulations Jean the pages look fantastic and so neat. I hope the judges agree. It will be interesting to hear their comments and any technicalities they might raise with you.
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Timbres »

Very nice layout Jean...easy to follow, very informative and interesting. You've got a great selection of items that presents a cohesive story line that is presented in a vey attractive manner. Congrats! Really nice!
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by AMark »

Jean,

Congratulations on taking the plunge. :D

The exhibit is very informative and neatly organized.

I've been thinking about exhibiting myself, underpaid mail, but I doubt that I have enough material. Oh, one more, where to start? Tis the question. :D

Anyway, looks great.
Wishing you the best of luck.
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by warm »

Yes well done.
A delightful 'read'
I look forward to the critique
Thanks

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Thanks for the kind words guys. :D

AMark - the hardest part for me was figuring out the story to tell - as you say, where to start? There is a lot of information on this topic but I had to decide what to include and what not to include - in the end, it often depended on the material I had. Someone gave me some good advice (or maybe I read it in a book, can't remember for sure) - the thematic text should be a story with a beginning, middle and end, and the stamps and other items are there to illustrate the text. Underpaid mail would be a traditional exhibit - much more daunting in my eyes! :D I thought about exhibiting for a long time before I finally did it - maybe some day you'll try it - if you do, I hope it will be as good an experience as I've had! 8)

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by PBR »

Congratulations, Jean!

The exhibit is very impressive. Well done! :D


Cheers

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Eli »

Very informative, well organized and excellent exhibition. I learnt a lot from it. Thank you very much for sharing with us. Wish you success in the exhibition.

Since you mentioned blood tests, I would mention the recent developments in blood testing. Many viruses and bacteria that infect blood cells are tested today by using PCR (Polymerase chain reaction), since this method is very sensitive and can detect even low concentrations of the Infectious agent. Well, I don't know about stamp depicts blood test by PCR, but Palau issued one stamp depicts Mullis, who developed this method:

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As a common disease, I think Malaria should be mentioned in one sentence and a stamp (sorry if you mentioned and I missed). Here are several stamps show Malaria infected blood cells and blood tests for the Malaria parasite:

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Do you need stamps or any philatelic item from Israel? I will be glad to help if necessary.

Again, thanks for well done exhibition pages!!!

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Right28 »

Jean, I think this is already a winner! You have given out the right amount of information while keeping the reader hooked and guessing what's next to see and read.
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

PBR, Eli, and Right28: thank you. :D The best part of this hobby is being able to share it.

Eli, thank you for your suggestions, I will keep them in mind when I expand this exhibit.

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by sksondhi1 »

Hi Jean,

Great first attempt. You should try to expand it to five pages for participation in higher level exhibitions.

Satish

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Hi Satish,

Thank you. At the moment I don't have enough philatelic items for 5 frames, but if I change to Display Class I can add some of the interesting non-philatelic items I have, but even then maybe 3 frames... I don't think this will ever go beyond a regional show, but maybe if a future national show is in or around Toronto, I'll give it a try. :D

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Kennethsequeira »

Simply amazing ....... Jean :mrgreen:

Great to see the UAE 2007 Blood Donor issue finds a small place in your exhibit :D
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Thanks Kenneth! :D :D

Did you notice...there's a special cancel for World Blood Donor Day 2008 from UAE on the same page. 8)

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Kennethsequeira »

Canada stamper wrote:Thanks Kenneth! :D :D

Did you notice...there's a special cancel for World Blood Donor Day 2008 from UAE on the same page. 8)

Jean
Oh yes !!! did see that :)
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

The judges came to our stamp club meeting this week to give their constructive critiques. There were some really fantastic exhibits at the show this year, including a 12-frame exhibit on Canada's part in the Great War, which won Best in Show. I also really liked a single frame exhibit on German propaganda forgeries from WWII, which won a Gold, and a multi-frame exhibit in the Court of Honour showing advertising covers from Victorian Montreal.

The judges' comments for my exhibit included good title page and plan, good story line and items well chosen to illustrate the story, good variety of philatelic elements, and they liked that I included and in particular identified harder-to-find items. I was really pleased to win a Gold and the Best Novice Award. :oops: :D

Well I'm definitely going to try this again! Thanks again everyone for your kind comments. :D :D

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Kennethsequeira »

Canada stamper wrote: I was really pleased to win a Gold and the Best Novice Award.
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by AMark »

Jean,

Congratulations!

Well done. :D
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by King Tut »

Hi Jean

First time I have read this thread. I found your display easy to follow, informative, and nice to the eye. It is obvious the time you have spent on planning!

Congratulations on the result.

Regards

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by pookie9121 »

I am a bit late at finding this topic but congratulations Jean. The work you put into it shows. Great work.

Cheers,
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Thank you King Tut and Erik! :D The best part about making an exhibit is being able to share. :D

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

I received a question about how I made one of the pages in my exhibit, and I thought it would be easier to explain and illustrate in this thread, and maybe helpful to others who are planning on making an exhibit, so here it is.

The page in question is this one:

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The question was how did I mount the 3 envelopes/cards on the page so that only the part of interest was showing (slogan cancel, meter mark, etc.).

Here are the entire covers and card:

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I made all of my pages using Microsoft Publisher, which lets you place pictures and text on the page, resize them, and easily move all the elements around until you are happy with the layout. For single stamps and minisheets, I simply placed boxes with thick borders on the page, with captions as necessary, and used clear mounts. If the boxes are sized correctly, the stamps will cover the white area inside the boxes when mounted.

To make a "window" on the page for the covers and card, I measured the area I wanted to expose, and made a box with thick borders with the inner dimensions to match the measured area. If needed, you can add a text caption under each box.

Here's what the printed page looks like before anything is mounted:

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Before mounting anything, I carefully cut the windows along the inside border where I wanted to slip the cover in. In the case of the Argentina cover, the part I wanted to show ran along the entire width of the cover, so I just cut a slit along the bottom of the box (again, along the inside border, so that when the cover is slipped through the slit, the entire border is still visible).

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Next, I mounted the stamps:

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...and then slipped the covers and card through the slits, securing them at the top right corner (both top corners for the Argentina cover) and also at the back with corner mounts. Here's what the back of the page looks like with the covers and card mounted, with arrows showing where I added corner mounts to secure the covers and card to the back of the page:

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Image

Due to the layout, it's easiest to mount the Argentina cover last as it will cover up part of the window for the German card.

Jean :D
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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by sksondhi1 »

Jean, very nicely explained with illustrations. Great job.
Satish

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by jcats »

Hello there Jean

Firstly I absolutely love the scans for your display; a well deserved gold I say; well done.

Secondly, the instructions provided for the cut outs is great, because that is something I am going to start doing for my collection on the heart and for future pages on blood. I saw the technique used last October but as yet haven't used it myself. I will let you know how it goes.

Jenny

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Re: Fun with Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Girish Vaidya »

Congratulations for the great exhibit :D :D

Enjoyed reading it

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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by britjag »

I am really late to this thread, but that was a fascinating and incredibly well-researched exhibit.

One thought from a guy who writes for a living: your best pages were the ones where the pictures of stamps or postal items told the story.

Be ruthless with your text. Edit! Edit! Edit! Less is more. Let your pages breathe. Don't be afraid of white rather than gray. Keep text to a minimum.

Recommended reading: Strunk & White Elements of prose. Timeless.

But all in all great stuff. Are you in the medical field?
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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Hello britjag and thanks very much for your comments. As a matter of fact, this exhibit was already expanded to 3 frames for a show last spring, and I am working on expanding it to 5 frames for this year's ORAPEX in Ottawa. I agree with you that less text is better, but some of the heavier text pages were a function of me not having enough items to illustrate the written text - this is hopefully improved in the expanded version(s). You might be interested to have a look here for some of the additional items I've acquired for my 5-frame exhibit: http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=66808&start=150#p4315803 (That whole thread has lots of tidbits about both thematic and display class exhibiting, the latter thanks to vickingeck).

And yes, I am a hematologist, so I had a bit of a "head start" when doing the research for my exhibit, although my specialty is not transfusion medicine, and I ended up learning quite a lot about the history of transfusion medicine myself!

Jean :D
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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Mrs. Stamp »

Dear Jean,
Congratulations, you did an amazing work! I like your layout very much. :D
Good luck for your next exhibition and the most important thing: Have fun with your hobby! :mrgreen: :D
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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

An update...I expanded this exhibit to 3 frames for a national show last spring (ORAPEX 2015) and got a silver award. I got some good constructive comments from the judges at that show, which has helped me to develop the theme more and expand to 5 frames. I originally planned to show it again at ORAPEX this past May, but work and family kept me too busy. However, this year the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada pushed their annual show in the spring back to August to avoid conflicting with the World Stamp Show in New York in May, which gave me time to get the exhibit ready.

I now have a huge backlog of swaps on my desk that I need to catch up on, but first I thought I would post a few pages of my expanded exhibit here. It's now 5 frames (80 pages). Here are a few highlights that are my personal favourites, hopefully the judges will like them too!

First, my revised Title and Plan page:

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I've put a cover addressed to a leech importer in London on the first page (my favourite item in my whole collection), as it is not allowed in a Thematic exhibit (the addressee is the thematic link here), but you get more leeway on the first page to show a special item that may not fall within the rules. If I ever find the time to expand to a larger exhibit for display/open class, I'll be able to use that cover within the body of the exhibit.

Compared to my first Title/Plan page posted above, the story is more developed, and I've added subsections to make it easier for the reader to follow.
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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

When I was at the World Stamp Show in New York, I saw this technique used for highlighting a small area within a larger item without using arrows. Sometimes it's hard to find room for an arrow, and it doesn't necessarily work well if you are not just pointing to a specific spot. I used heavier weight (56 lb) tracing paper cut to size, with a small window cut out to highlight the desired area - in this case, the Fer Bravais ad. This allows the reader to see the whole card, but brings out the relevant area very well. The tracing paper is held in place by the same photo corners that hold the card.

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I also like the 2 New Zealand adsons on this page, which are a more unusual element - I was fortunate to find one in the scarce blue ink.
Always looking for new swap partners: Swap thread (INDEX of Lots in first post)
Please visit my Colnect page for my country and thematic wish and swap lists - these are always being updated.

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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

This is another page that I rather like. The thematic text here relates to a simple statement, that a blood donation rate of approximately 1% of a nation's population is required to sustain the blood supply. I had 3 different versions of a slogan cancel from Belgium (in Dutch, in French, and in both Dutch and French) where the numbers worked out relative to the population at the time. Also, the recent sheet issued by the Netherlands for World Blood Donor Day 2013 has text in the selvage thanking all 400,000 Dutch blood donors - again the numbers worked out. 8) Just small details that appealed to me... :D

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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

One of the comments I got at ORAPEX was to try and add some preproduction material. I did manage to find some engraver's die proofs, colour trials, and even a piece of original artwork for blood donation issues. Rather than simply show these next to the issued stamps, I wanted to incorporate them somehow into the thematic text to keep the flow of the story going. Here are the results:

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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Here I use the idea that special awards are given for every 5 donations, showing the colour trial block of 4 plus the issued stamp (4+1=5) - I hope the judges like my arithmetic. :D

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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

I had 2 different die proofs plus a colour trials strip of 5 for the 1959 France blood donation stamp showing the arms of blood donors. I also had 2 Tunisia stamps with a similar motif. So I incoporated all of these into the text describing the manufacture of medicines from plasma pooled from many donors (the latter hopefully evoked by the images of many donors' arms).

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Always looking for new swap partners: Swap thread (INDEX of Lots in first post)
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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Finally, I wanted to end the story with a message of hope.

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Thanks to the many members on Stampboards who have helped me with advice and knowledge. I could not have gotten to this point with the support of this great community. I'll let you know how it goes this weekend. :D

Jean
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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by fossick »

Best of luck Jean.

Regards

John G

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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by cursus »

Wonderful, Jean! Congratulations.
Just a small thing: on this context, the Barcelona Grifols meter, I think it can be better translated as "Everything through the vein" (that is, "by the vein").
Which makes more sense, as Grifols bussiness were (and still are!) blood derivates, rather than products for the veïns.

Please, Jean, excuse this very friendly correction. All my admiration for you and your philatelic work.
I collect: Estonia 1990-1992 Postal History. Barcelona Postal History and postmarks. Catalan cinderellas. Botanical gardens. Ice creams on stamps. Used UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria & Scandinavia.

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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Kennethsequeira »

Lovely exhibit Jean....
Collecting Interest: Cricket; India: Joint Issues, Flags on stamps
Mint MS : India,UAE,Canada & Malaysia

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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Thank you guys! :D

Joan - thank you very much for the translation, Google Translate does not always work very well. :)

Jean
Always looking for new swap partners: Swap thread (INDEX of Lots in first post)
Please visit my Colnect page for my country and thematic wish and swap lists - these are always being updated.

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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

Hi everyone. :mrgreen: My 5 frame exhibit earned a Vermeil at the ROYAL show in August. I rewrote some of the pages and added some items, and as you may have already seen elsewhere on SB, managed to earn a Gold at CANPEX a couple of weeks ago. I am very delighted, to say the least. :D :D This has been a lot of fun and very educational as well for me to put together, and it would not have been possible without the help and encouragement of many members here. I really encourage anyone who has never exhibited but is thinking about it, to dip your toes in the water, so to speak. Although it does take some time and effort, it's well worth it! :D :D

To try in a small way to thank those who have helped me along the way, I'd like to show you a few pages that display items that have been given to me by other Stampboards members.

First of all, when I first set out to collect items related to blood donation and transfusion, I really had no idea what I was doing as I had never had a thematic collection before. On one of my early posts asking for advice about slogan covers, Rackrunner offered to send me a slogan cover from the US, which ended up being the very first cover in my collection! Here it is on a page describing the first World Blood Donor Day in 2004, along with a Meghdoot card sent to me by Girish Vaidya

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Always looking for new swap partners: Swap thread (INDEX of Lots in first post)
Please visit my Colnect page for my country and thematic wish and swap lists - these are always being updated.

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Re: Fun with Thematic Exhibiting - BLOOD The Gift of Life

Post by Canada stamper »

On this page is a Norfolk Island stamp showing "Bloody Bridge", given to me by satsuma

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Both satsuma and librarianc contributed New Zealand "Adsons" stamps advertising Beecham's Pills that appear in the bottom right of this page:

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This page was slightly modified from the version you see earlier in this thread - I replaced the common US pharmacy stamp with a Kingdom of Italy stamp with advertising label that mentions anemia. :D
Always looking for new swap partners: Swap thread (INDEX of Lots in first post)
Please visit my Colnect page for my country and thematic wish and swap lists - these are always being updated.

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