Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Birthday Gift to Me

Since I've already done this on my photoblog, I want you to see it here in more detail. More pics, that is.

Actually, they're gevelstenen...carved and/or painted stones that were used to identify houses before street numbering was introduced in the 16th century. Many reflect the owner's occupation. Our tourist books call them wall plaques or tablets. Wiki calls them gable stones and supposedly there are 850 of them in Amsterdam!

Today is my 62nd birthday and this is my gift to me! It may be my most soulful collection of all that we have. For one thing, I have had to go off walking in all directions each day to find the 346 I have found thus far (photo ablum). It's like finding money! I'm like a little kid in the candy store.

Here's a sampling:

You know I have to show you an organ grinder!

I haven't a clue, but someone has a sense of humor!

Many of them are from the 1600-1700s.

Some are self-explanatory.

Some remind me of my upbringing!

I especially like that they're still making them, no matter how new!

And that the creative juices are still there, no matter how recent in time!

Some can get pretty complicated.

And some are simply my favorites because of what they depict.

Amazingly, I received a comment on my photoblog today with a link to this man in nearby Zutphen who carves these stones. If you go into his collection link, you can find several of his that are also in my album. The second and last stones posted here are his. I am in total Hog Heaven and hope that some day I'll be able to meet him. Wouldn't THAT be something.

So, Happy Birthday to me. I think I'm the luckiest 62-year-old woman in the whole wide world!


  1. Oh happy happy BDay.... you are 5 months older than me!!
    Those stones are absolutely lovely, I have never heard of them before, and now I WANT ONE!! But I suppose I shall have to go to Amsterdam to get one. The fellow with a pill on his tongue is priceless! Great post, my next internet stop will be the man in Zutphen.

  2. Happy Happy Birthday to you, my friend!!!! Hope you have a lovely day. The stones are amazing.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!! What an amazing life you lead with so many amazing memories and tidbits to share. As always, thank you for sharing with us. WE are thankful for you, and especially on this particular day, we celebrate you! :-)

  4. Happy Day to you!!

    Luvs to go around from all here!

  5. My very best birthday wishes to you, my friend! I've been thinking of you all day and wondering what you'd post today (I don't go on blogs from work). Awsome stones and the story behind each one must be just as exciting!

  6. Ex-S: Well, someone has to be older, so it might as well be me, right?! :) You'd go crazy over these stones, just like I have. I went out today on a 2-1/2 hour walk and found scads more. What a birthday treat!

    Christina: It's been a lovely day, even though I'm here alone. Donica went to Brussels today thru Friday but she says she has a surprise for me this weekend. So it's gonna be a birthWEEK, not just a day!

    Amy: You are so sweet, my dear! I feel so very loved by one and all. I truly am one very lucky and blessed woman!

    Mrs.M: Thanks a million, dear Shari. We need to get together with you all one of these days!

    CS: I must have felt your loving care! Today has been so special. BTW, instead of going home tomorrow, I'll be staying till next Wednesday the 21st! How's THAT for a nice birthday gift!

  7. happy B'day Ginnie.....:)
    and this sis such a beautiful collection, so beauitfully captured..could not take my eyes off from them........what a lovely b'day gift for oneself....:)
    And are u a magpie when it comes to collecting pics ;)

  8. A Big Happpyy Birthday, Ginnie!! I should send some strings over to serenade you. Those door-things are amazing. I am impresssed how many you have collected photos of already!
    Have a great day :)

  9. Happy Bday Ginnie! Oh I just love this post! These stones are so amazing, and you know I'm so puzzled how you could already find that many!!!

    And how do you keep track of duplicates? got a map??? I must know. ;-)

  10. Happy Birthday to you, those are really neat, yes that was a good present to yourself.

  11. I didn't make it here, but I did to SC, on your birthday. :(

    I love these gelvestenen!

  12. I didn't make it here, but I did in the précédent post!..Dear Jinnie...
    Thanks Ruth, for your help in my english!!!.

  13. Happy belated birthday again Ginnie! I'm so sorry I missed the actual day. These are awesome, what a fun collection to get, too.

  14. Moi: You are so right about this collection. I love it. :)

    RRD: Awww. Strings would be nice. :) Thanks for your b-day wishes.

    ET: HA! I have taken many duplicates that look familiar at the time but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I can always delete a duplicate but all that walking to go back is for the birds! :) And, NO, I just wander up and down the streets, looking up!

    L&N: Awww. You're so sweet to stop by and comment. Thank you.

    Ruth: Yes, you did, on SC, and it doesn't matter anyway, since I'm celebrating my birthWEEK! :)

    Ritadaphné: Ohhh. You're so sweet to remember my b-day. Thank you so much!

    Mad: The actual day doesn't matter a whit to me. Besides, I'm celebrating a birthWEEK. Donica's got something up her sleeve for this weekend! :)

  15. What did Ritadaphné mean about my help with her English??


  16.!!! I don't know!!!....

  17. Sorry I'm late but belated Happy, Happy Birthday to you Ginnie. It must be mostly two years since you where in Oslo now and I met you on your blog afterwards. It's a privelige to have you among my blog friends!

    The tablets was wonderful (have never heard of it or take notice of them when in mid Europe - so now I learned something new again) and you have captured them so well - thanks for sharing!

    I wish the luckiest Birthday Lady a happy weekend:-)

  18. Well, I forgot! :( Happy belated birthday, Ginnie! :) And those gevelstenen are really beautiful!

  19. Ginnie,
    please forgive me - almost a week after your Birthday: Wish you the very best. Must be my age or lack of stabel internet connection. Or both.

    Like, Renny, I did not know what these tablets were originally used for. May be that's the reason I have not really looked at them.

    Your pictures are as allways superb;D