Stamping Out the Disappointassortment!

I may have mentioned The Disappointassortment before: that blind variety of postcards I mistakenly ordered online, because the price was too good to be true.  It was, truly, too good to be true: look at this hideous lot.


Look at that hideous lot.  If any of them look good, that’s just my mad photography skillz.

Of course, that’s just a few of them.  How many were there?  A hundred?  Well, some have gone off in swap-bot “shove a bunch of postcards in an envelope & mail them off to someone” trades.  Of course, in order to avoid the dreaded bad swap-bot rating, I had to add more cards than were called for, and make sure that in addition to Disappointassortment cards, I put in several nice postcards.  Some of the d’ssortment happened to match people’s wishes, and I think a few more still will.  I do need to chip away at the grand lot that have been begging me to either recycle them, or spackle over them, though.  So I’ve finally grabbed the spackle Mod Podge!  The cards above have been refaced; please observe:





I hope you think I have stamped out hideous postcards!


Scooting Up the Beach, Away from the Jerks: Sent to Canada, Finland, Germany, & Russia

Four more Postcrossing draws this time.  It’s a good time to mention that, hey, I bought some unique new postcards for my stash!  I stopped in on the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas last week during a quick work-related day trip to northern San Luis Obispo county, California. I popped into a restaurant for a bite, and found that the place sold postcards with photos taken by the establishment’s proprietor!  Two of them–the ones emblazoned “San Simeon, California”–are here.


It’s an awesome thing to be traveling along the Pacific Coast Highway, near Hearst Castle, and then happening to spot a herd of zebras grazing on the east side of the road.  They are vestiges of William Randolph Hearst’s private zoo, and their presence within view of Highway One always gets drivers pulling over & leaning over a barbed-wire fence to take snapshots.

The zebra card is on its way to Turku, Finland, to a Postcrosser who says her favorite postcards “are landscapes or photos of your city.”  This area is not my city, but I do find myself there an awful lot.

The Postcrosser I drew in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, actually wants postcards to be written to her grandmother, who was recently widowed.  Grandma apparently likes stamps, so I sent one of my ugly postcards resurfaced with a layer of stamps.

Matisse’s Harmony in Red goes to a Postcrosser in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, who stated she would like postcards printed with “reproductions of paintings by famous and not.”  Since ALL she wrote in her “profile” was a list of postcards she’d like to receive (and some she’d not), I was sort of at a loss of what to write.  It was horribly hot yesterday, and will likely be again today, but I don’t want to be that kind of bore, so I wrote:

“…Want to see something cool?  Check out the elephant seal cam at  They are 3 hours south of me, at Piedras Blancas near San Simeon.  I went to see them in person 5 days ago!”

And there’s an elephant seal now, on the front of a postcard working its way toward Lörrach, Germany.  The recipient says she works in a cinema, because she loves movies.  She also made a mention of the type of postcards she might like to receive:

“My favorite kind of cards are ones of a sunset over the city, landscapes or famous sights. But I´m more than happy about any postcard I receive.”

Well, I assume the shot on the card I sent her was at sunset–why else would it be so dark?  And it’s kinda landscape-y, and a pretty famous sight–I mean, the parking lot was madness when I was there last week!  Okay, these new cards are burning a hole in my postcards stash, so eager am I to unleash them on the world!  I told her about the cam, too.  I was watching the cam as I wrote the card, and I happened to see a couple of male elephant seals fighting, as a female scooted up the beach and away from the jerks.



“Hey, What Do You Want from Me? I Don’t Know You!” Received from Belgium, Netherlands, Poland, & Spain

Bert & Ernie! Bert & Ernie!  Bert & Ernie!  Hey, I got a Sesame Street postcard!

Yes, a handful of cards received in one day, and it’s the Sesame Street card that has me doing the happy dance (though I really do like the crashing surf one shown right next to it here).


My Muppet friends came to me from a Postcrosser in Haelen, The Netherlands (12 days/5,542 miles traveled).  Not much of a message here, but it does intrigue me: “hello, a postcard from our national cartoons ‘Bert and Ernie.'”  What?  Does she think that B&E are Netherlands creations (heck, does she think they are cartoons)? This pair, plus Elmo, Big Bird & company, are global imperialists–and they were born right here in the U.S. of A., da**it! But it’s in the Nethers that they got their own stamps.  But WAIT: news to me, but there was a Sesame Street stamp in the U.S., too!

Moving along to the beautiful splashing surf, which came to me from a Postcrosser in Łańcut, Poland (21 days/6,002 miles traveled).  The sender tells me this card depicts the Baltic Sea, and she also tells me she enjoys living in southeastern Poland:

“My city isn’t big but I like living here.  We have a beautiful park and a historical museum-castle here.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night to watch NBA games (you know, different time zones).”

The drawing–and the packed beach next to it–came to me thanks to a Postcrosser in Ciudad Real, Spain (8 days, 5,847 miles).  The sender gives me a lesson in Andalsian Rock:

“The origin of this music is very curious.  In the 7o’s Spain was a bad musically country.  American soldiers had military bases in some cities like Sevilla and Cádiz.  There, young people exchanging music and met the hippie movement.  Then the influences of Janis Joplin or Hendrix mixed with the Spanish folk music and a new psychedelic rock emerged.”


Finally, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “USA to Any Country” tag, there’s the “De Oude Markt” postcard.  The sender lives near Seraing, Belgium–but not for long:

“…this summer we will be moving back to France… I have been in Belgium for 9 years and loved it.  Belgian people are really kind, they love to have fun, drink beer, and party!  They easily speak to people they don’t know, that is what surprised me the most when I arrived.  I was like ‘hey what do you want from me, I don’t know you.’ :-/  I will miss my life here but I am very happy to move to a quieter place, in the French countryside, in a house with a garden and see the horses when I get up.  I can’t wait!”

Stamps, postmarks, sticker, washi tape: it’s interesting, but the postcard from Poland (the one with the beautiful crashing surf painting) somehow arrived in my mailbox with no sign of a stamp or postmark!  How do these things happen?  I asked the sender whether she knew, but no reply as of this posting.



A Criminal with an Empty Space: Received from Germany, Japan, Netherlands, & Singapore

It’s been a good couple of days for postcards!


Pingu & friends as the upper left came to me from Tokyo, Japan, as part of a Postcrossing Forum “what did you do today?” tag trade.  This trader went to some toy stores, shopping for her nephew’s 3rd birthday.  He wanted a red light saber, and she is quite worried he may fall into the dark side.  Scroll down, and you will see part of the back of the card.  I really like the happy little red mountain, with the bright sun & swirling sea.  Also, there’s the lady on the stamp, who reminds me of the super-old U.S. comics character, Emmy Lou.

What a cool beer ad!  That is from a regular Postcrossing draw, and it came to me from Mosbach, Germany (9 days; 5,732 miles).  The sender tells me hers is a hilly, rural area near Heidelberg, “a world-known city for tourists and students.  You can meet there a lot of American and Japanese people.”

Those weird creatures Fred & Ed are rescued from what seems to be some sort of candy package, and they were created by a swap-bot memeber in Lelystad, Netherlands, for an “upcycled cardboard” trade. This is one special card.  Scroll down to the card right below my writing, and you will see what I mean: absolutely covered with text, and drawings, and very unusual stamps.  The two stamps on the right are a hard plastic material, with the right-most one having a black-and-white image of a building, overlaid with a golden facade.  The stamp right next to that depicts and ice skater–and when I tilt the postcard to & fro, I can watch the skater skate!  WHOA!  Now, I am fond of my country’s Charlie Brown Christmas stamps–but they don’t move!  You’ll see the sender has drawn a “criminal with an empty space,” a reference to my swap-bot profile, which notes my view that empty space on the back of a postcard seems criminal.

Another Postcrossing card at bottom left, the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.  It took 10 days to travel the 8,469 miles to get to me, and the sender asks if I’ve visited the just-about-to-close UnderWater World (about to shutter due to competition from a newer, bigger aquarium attraction).  I have, indeed.  There were parts I loved, and one thing that disturbed me: performing dolphins. These gorgeous Indo-Pacific humpbacked dolphins, like much of UnderWater World’s stock, are being sent on to an attraction in China. By the way, if you love dolphins, killer whales, and other cute cetaceans, as I do, I highly recommend the films The Cove and Blackfish.

On a more pleasant note: Spirited Away!  It’s from a Postcrosser in Kitami, Hokkaido, Japan, part of a Studio Ghibli-related tag trade.  Beautiful stamps on the back, check out the last attached image.





Least-Influential Factor: Sent to the Netherlands

I drew another Postcrossing name this morning.  This user is a nurse in Oss, Netherlands, and I saw that I happened to have one of her “favorites” in my Postcard stash.  I’m not usually one to send postcards in envelopes, but I did in this instance because:

  1. She said she preferred receiving her postcards in envelopes (least-influential factor in my decision)
  2. She said she’d love getting a few canceled stamps from senders’ countries (eh)
  3. I happen to have a little stash of envelopes I’ve made from recyclables (most-influential factor)

Here’s what she gets!


That SF United Airlines travel image reminds me of the beautiful art they turned out to promote Hawaii.  I wonder if there are postcards of those very inviting images!

BTW: In the last 24 hours or so, I’ve received Postcrossing “Hurray” messages that 2 of of my postcards have reached their destinations:

  • A card I send to Estonia took 9 days (5,551 miles);
  • A card to Russia took 49 days (5,879 miles).

That extra 328 miles really makes a difference, huh?


Bidding Good-bye to to Bad Rubbish: Sent to China, South Korea, & the U.S.

And so we return to the Disappointassortment!  Yes, that misbegotten purchase I made, and have been struggling with ever since.  Well, thanks to a swap-bot trade entitled “I HATE This Postcard,” that horrible spider-web scene is finally out of my life!


It’s going to a swapper in Indianapolis, Indiana, and even though we were supposed to send something we hated, I’m afraid the recipient may hate this so much she gives me a low rating!  I tried to make the back nice, with an assortment of stamps, stickers, & washi tape.  I could not add any ink-stamped images, as the Disappointassortment’s manufacturer makes the writing-side of most of their cards slick.  So nice to have this card out of my home, and my life; now I just need about 15 more swap-bot trades like this!  Or I can collage over all of them.

On to more pleasant things.  The whale will go to a whale-lover in Xi’an, Shaanxi, China, whom I tagged in a Postcrossing Forum Far East to America Tag.  The card right below it–kitty*on the beach–goes out in the same thread, to a new Postcrosser in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

Finally, Fay Wray & King Kong (okay, it’s Yotsuba & King Ken) are headed off as a regular Postcrossing draw to another brand-new Postcrosser, this one in Anyang, Gyeonggi, South Korea.  Hey, it’s my first Postcrossing card to (or from) that country!

A look at some of the stamps, stamps, and washi tape.  One of the recipients in China expressed an interest in Harry Potter postcards.  I didn’t have any of those, but I did have a stamp:POSTCARD629

*It’s actually supposed to be a dog, but I have a hard time recognizing that.  This is Max Toy Company’s Shibara, which is supposed to be a monster shiba inu.  I just see a cat, until I see their Negora, the monster cat.  This is a constant issue, and it seems to frustrate the friend who gave me versions of each toy.


Only a Monster Would Do That: Sent to Czech Republic, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.


The scene from the Monterey Bay Aquarium is going to a swap-bot member in Belton, Missouri.  She’s a turtle lover, so that’s why the sea turtle card.  The swap theme was the book we are currently reading, so I told her about that: “The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America,” by Michael Eric Dyson.

The cathedral goes to Vejprty, Czech Republic, to a Postcrosser who expressed interest in arts, history, churches and pictures of saints.  I like saints, too.  Saint Bernards.

Tom & Jerry went to Changhua City, Taiwan, in a Postcrossing Forum “last movie I’ve seen tag, and the last movie I’d seen at the time (I sent that card out over a month ago) was “Fan.”

The zebra card went to a zebra lover in Tamaki, Mie, Japan.  I like this person; she’s all about the message part of the postcard:

“I’m happy to receive any postcard from you. It’s a special moment for me when I read the messages.  I’d like to know about your life. Any messages would be interesting for me even if it seems very trivial events for you. It would be also nice to hear what you’re doing now, for example, writing while drinking a hot chocolate or waiting while baking cookies! 🙂 Or, how was your day? How did you spend it?”

All I wrote on the card was “Happy Postcrossing!”

Just kidding!  Only a monster would do that!  I wrote about someone I know with the same last name as her, and then I went on to tell her what I would be doing that day.

Stamps, washi tape, sticker:



Cats & Peanuts: In & Out of Oklahoma

I love Kliban Cats.

It all started with my grandma.  She was a Cat Lady, and she introduced me to B. Kliban’s tabbies, and that’s about all it took.  And so, when I saw evidence of Kliban Cat postcards on the Life Flails blog, yes, I suppose I did enthuse to the point of downright silliness.  “Awesome, on top of awesome, times awesome,” is how it came out, in fact.  Am I blushing?

Well, the proprietress must have taken pity upon me, because she offered to send me a card.  And I offered her a card in return, and this is how it all came out in the wash:


I don’t remember encountering this Kliban image before!

On the card I sent, I wrote some of my long-suppressed Kliban memories.  At some point, I remembered that his Cat book had a drawing lesson, which informed how I drew cats when I was young.   I made an attempt at recreating that…


Oh, yes: Kliban’s lesson did include whiskers, and the “dots” at their bases.  I abandoned those at some point in the evolution of my own cat drawing.  I attempted to draw the way he demonstrated, but–yeah, I forgot the whiskers.


“My Husband Does Not Like Your Country:” Received from Germany, Russia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

Mail call!  And there were enough interesting lines from my correspondents this time, that I had a hard time deciding what to entitle today’s entry.  You’ll see.  The first two postcards are regular Postcrossing in-comings, and the second two were received via trades on  Postcrossing Forum.


Hey, it’s a recipe card from Khabarovsk, Russia!  The sender tells me:

“Blini is a traditional dish that is cooked on Maslenitsa.  It is a holiday when people see off the winter.” 

Yay, seeing off the winter!  Good riddance, Buster!

And speaking of good riddance, Buster:

The little shore scene came to me from Hamburg, Germany, and here’s what the sender has to say:

“My dream is to travel times America.  My husband does not like the country.  But my daughter and I will eventually make round trip with no husband.  He love the Greek island.  I can not believe that there is such big houses with you, though I have been there.”

I am glad she clarified “round trip;” for a moment I thought she might just stay here, leaving her Mister to his Greek island.

The building surrounded by cyclists came to me from:

“…an 18-year-old girl from Taichung City, Taiwan.  I will become a college student after the summer vacation.  Because I don’t need to join the test in July, I have much time writing postcards now.  It’s my pleasure to join the (Taiwan Meets the World) tag, it’s interesting for me.  I’m a new member of Postcrossing, so I have lots of things to learn.  Happy Postcrossing, hope you have a nice day!”

Lastly, from Seattle, Washington, comes what the sender tells me is a Black Rock Shooter anime card:

“BRS is an anime released on DVD in 2010.  It’s also a game and manga in Japan.  This chick has blazing blue eyes and a cannon that shoots ROCKS!  Take care.”

Stamps, postmarks, & washi tape: I love everything on the card from Taiwan!



We Eat Ham and Jam and SPAM a Lot: Sent to Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, & Taiwan

And so it came time to draw more Postcrossing names!  Oh, and enter another Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  Of note today: I have mailed out 2 of my very last “Postcards from Puffin” children’s book cover cards!  This is the box that was all I had when I initially began Postcrossing, and now I have one single card from that set left.  Oh, the box is full–as I’ve purchased other cards to use in my snail mailing, they have gone in–but there is only one of the original cards left to go out.



The beautiful tiger is bound for Taichung, Taiwan–to a classroom full of students! An English teacher at a language school has been Postcrossing with her students for over 5 years.  She writes that they range in age from elementary school to college.  I tried to write very neatly, since I was aiding in a language exercise.

We’re Knights of the Round Table
We dance when e’er we’re able
We do routines and gory scenes
That are too hot for cable
We eat ham and jam
We eat ham and jam and spam a lot

— Spamalot

These knights are off for Gelsenkirchen, Germany, to a woman who wasn’t sure what to write about herself, so she copied & pasted her city’s Wikipedia entry, instead.  Actually, though she didn’t write a LOT about herself, she did much better than many profiles I’ve seen: for instance, her hobbies include baking, biking, cooking, reading, skiing, and traveling–and those details are just for starters (although that is most of it)!

Have you read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books?  I haven’t, yet, but I have seen a couple of the movies.  Oh, and I have the bendable toys.  The card is making its way to Viljandimaa, Estonia, to someone who actually wrote less about herself that my German friend above, but wrote enough about the postcards that she’d like that I feel I actually know… the postcards that she’d like to receive!  She did write that she has “a special interest in books,” saying, “anything related to that will make me glad,” so I gave her this, one of my most special book postcards.

Oakland for Yogyakarta, Indonesia!  This card was part of a “what did you do today” Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  Seeing as I tend to write my cards early in the morning, I wrote about what I did the day before, which is visit Kehoe Beach along the Point Reyes National Seashore.  I’ve made a lot of day trips to different spots in Point Reyes.  It’s quite far from me–2 hours-ish–made all the farther by the fact that it’s all so remote and wind-y.  It’s all justifiable, though, thanks to an exceptional ice cream shop in the general region.

It’s a great day for stamps, stamps, sticker, & washi tape: