Banging Huge Pocky Together: Received from Canada, China, England, Estonia, Germany, & Sweden

I have some good ones to record this time, maybe especially Donald Duck & the load of toys!

I don’t think Donald gets drawn any better than he does in the creation of comics for the European market.  This postcard came to me from Germany, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag, and the art is beautiful! The sender clearly took a look through my Postcrossing Favorites.

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Another person who knows what I like is my post pal in England, who tells me she thought of me when she spotted the toy-jammed card in a gift shop at a railway station.  Even better are the Mr. Men & Little Miss stamps she affixed to the back (shared below)!

The gigantic crystal ball in Dalian, China’s Friendship Circle must be an amazing thing to see at night. I received that thanks to another Postcrossing Forum tag, from a sender who says he likes collecting postcards & mint stamps.  As for me, if I were to eat stamps, I’d prefer they be chocolate.

Speaking of chocolate–look, POCKY!  It’s another swap-bot upcycled cardboard card, and it’s from a sender in Canada who tells me:

“At our local 7-11 is a surprisingly large selection of imported snacks.  Usually, it’s things like Crunchies or nori crackers, but we occasionally get special Pocky snacks or limited edition Caplicos.  These Almond Crush Pocky snacks are pretty good, but I think it would have been better with dark chocolate.  That said, it’s a very attractive box!”

Certainly better with dark chocolate–that’s the kind of Pocky I like!  By the way, occasionally one of my local Asian supermarkets will have a Pocky promotion, with people there to give out samples of the many different flavors, and even give away huge inflatable toy Pocky sticks that can be banged together to make a lot of noise!  No, I have not adopted one of those–yet.

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Postcard United time: The architect beaver comes from Sweden.  The sender writes:

“Mr. Castor doing woodwork?  These books are written by Lars Klinting and are very popular in many countries, not only here in Sweden.  Castor is a beaver, as you can see, often a very handy one.”

I looked all of this up online, and eventually found that before becoming an author/illustrator, Lars Klinting was himself an achitect.  Also, as you can see clearly illustrated on his Amazon page, this character Castor took on the English name of Bruno–before changing it to Harvey!

Then we’ve got those gnomes, who I am definitely mailing off to my friend who actually likes these creatures.  That’s a Postcrossing card from Tallinn, Estonia, and the sender told me that on New Year’s Day, “the weather outside is unfamiliar warm in the winter to +6°C, no snow!”  Well, brrr.

Something that doesn’t leave me cold?  The stamps & washi tape!  Check them out!

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A Little Trouble with the Scalloped Scissors: Sent to Austria, Germany, & Hong Kong

How do you keep track of your sent cards to be recorded?  These first two went out nearly three weeks ago, and have already been received & acknowledged on the other end.  The other three just hit the mailbox yesterday morning.  Several in-between are still waiting for me to record.  Ugh!

Okay, let’s do this.  If you cut into a pineapple, and found the insides were watermelon, would you be mad?  I love both fruits, but the fact I’d be happier to cut into a watermelon to discover pineappely insides tells me I prefer pineapples. This hybrid went to Giessen, Germany, in a Postcrossing draw.

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The Magnum Infinity Chocolate panel also went out to Germany (Münster), but this time in a swap-bot trade of upcycled cardboard.  I’ve had some scallop-edged scissors around that I’ve been ignoring, and I decided to attempt to use them on the edges here.  HOW ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO USE THESE THINGS?  I’m thinking they are really intended for short (rather than long) cuts, as this card was longer than the scissor blades, and things got difficult toward the end of each cut.  Not extremely graceful–much like myself.

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The Hearst Castle garden scene is going to Hong Kong, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum tag.  The tiger card is also off to HK, but in regular Postcrossing draw.  Finally, the touristy card is headed to Linz, Austria in the only Postcard United draw for this post.

Stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape:postcard899

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We Begin & End with Fish: Sent to Japan, Netherlands, Taiwan, & the U.S.

It’s a good time to try to think of pleasant things.

I have some catching up to do!  Let’s start with these cool new postcards I bought, two of which have long-since gone out to post pals in Japan & Hawaii.

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This mermaid smells like a wet dog.  And fish.

Later, I made envelopes to send more stuff to the same two people.  This one I made from a photocopy of an old comic book cover, & sent off to–can you guess?

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Yes, Hawaii!  And here’s the back-side of the envelope.

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Inside went some stickers, a note on a postcard, and an old brochure I unearthed.

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That piece of advertising has to be 35 years old, at minimum.  When I unearthed it, I had to do some online research to see if the place still exists.  It does!  Here’s the rest of the brochure:

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I asked my friend if she’d been there.  She has, to the restaurant–it’s a cheap place to eat!  I’ll have to remember that, the next time I’m in the neighborhood.

Here comes the other envelope I made, this one for my friend in Tokyo:

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I enclosed another sheet of those Peanuts stickers, plus a note on this postcard:

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Here are more postcards that went out, these for Postcrossing Forum & swap-bot exchanges.  Off they went to Hoofddorp, Netherlands; Goleta, California; Taichung City, Taiwan; and Tsukuba, Japan.

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Finally, have a look at the stamps, stickers, and washi tape!  I think it might be time for me to restock my stash of fish stickers!

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Dank. Pricey, but Dank: Sent to Germany, Hong Kong,Netherlands, Russia, & Taiwan

I’ve sent five more down the mailbox chute!  We start with two views of Hearst Castle.

The majestic exterior is a Postcrossing draw going to Texel, Netherlands, and the dank interior is a Postcard United draw which if all goes well will wind up in Magdeburg, Germany.

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Rapunzel is headed for Hong Kong in a Postcrossing Forum tag.  The recipient likes Disney princesses.  This is a piece of concept art from one of the “Art of Disney” sets.  Have you ever noticed how the concept art (especially now in the digitally-rendered film age) is so often much more beautiful than the final product?

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The Smurfs are off to Novosibirsk, Russia (the third-most populous city in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg), in a Postcrossing Forum tag that’s all about looking at your partner’s favorites, and sending them a card you think they will like.  I know she’ll like this card, because it was one of her favorites!

Finally, Fremont went off via Postcard United to Tainan, Taiwan.  The recipient was interested in seeing & learning about local geography, so I told him about the winding canyon road near here that has been so often closed due to mudslides in unseasonably-heavy rains.

And so we have reached that time again: time for stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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An Extra Finger: Received from Chile, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, & Taiwan

I’ve got a handful with an extra finger, all from either Postcrossing Forum trades or Postcard United.  Let’s start with my favorite postcard from this round, that very pretty food map from Taiwan.

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The sender tells me that the card is “showing local cuisines in different area.  You can find rice dumpling, xiao long bao, beef noodle soup, pearl bubble tea, fried oyster egg, fruits snow ice, I feel hungry now writing this card LOL.”

Me, too!  And in case you’re still virtually hungry, you can virtually feed yourself with those plates full of sushi from Japan. This card’s sender writes:

“I live in a small town in Osaka with my family and some pets.  Osaka is the second largest city in Japan.  I’m a big fan of U.S. and have visited there 3 times.  My last trip was to CA last December.  It was amazing and want to come back again.”

I asked her where she went while she was in California. She told me, “we went to Disneyland of course, Disney Adventure, Hollywood, Universal Studios etc! I will never forget the amazing holiday there. My daughters keep saying they’re dying to be back again…so do I!!!”

Next up is the hipster raccoon, and it came to me from a sender in Russia who is also a traveler: “I was in France, Spain, Ukraine, Israel, Egypt and India.  🙂 I like to read books about travel too.  My favorite author is Karin Muller!”

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The Alice in Wonderland drawing came to me not from one of the sources I earlier cited, but swap-bot, and its sender tells me about her region of Chile:

“We have beaches and to the other side mountains with volcano, national parks and huge, tall and millennial trees called Araucaria.  I think you like here (9th region of Chile, La Araucanía ).

Next up, from northern Italy, is what the sender describes as a public swimming pool in her city.  I have this pegged as a retro card, but how would I know?   What do YOU think–old card, or new?

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Finally, there’s that perfectly lovely view of Utah’s Bryce Canyon, on a card which ended up being the most disappointing of the lot for me.  WHY?  Because it was sent to me from Malaysia. I’m fairly certain she would have been disappointed if I were to send her a Malaysia postcard.  What do you think?

Anyhow, the stamps on the back of the card are gorgeous–it’s hard to beat Malaysia’s stamps, in my book–and she wrote a nice message:

“Oh, I had a lovely time reading through your profile; you really do enjoy lots of things 🙂 I’m glad that you enjoy Malaysian cuisine!  What’s your favourite dish? Have you tried durians before and sambal petai, I wonder? I’m 19 y.o., studying arts and social sciences.  I hope one day to make a positive change for the natives of my land.”

How about these stamps?  In addition to the Malaysian ones, I also like the Taiwanese fish & elephants, and the food from Japan.

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Do I Not Try Hard Enough? Another Heart-less swap-bot Encounter

I’ve said it before: I think I really think that some swap-botters want money taped to the postcards they receive.

Every time I get that “New Rating Received” e-mail, I cringe & brace myself.  My goal is always the heart.  And I think I always put myself–and a lot of effort–into every postcard.  Well, let’s just get to the new rating, and go from there.

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She hates me, she really hates me.

Ooh, this one, to me, seemed not just heart-less, but downright unfriendly!  What was my misstep?  Why no heart to the left of that 5?

Before I show my work, a quick primer for anyone who might be reading this, and not know what this whole “heart” deal is all about.  Here’s the full explanation, from swap-bot:

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So a heart is like an A+, and clearly, no one is required to have a heart to put out there.  As a person rating, what I like to do is to start from a position of generosity, where a person has to seriously try to not get a heart.

Other people, though, seem to WANT MONEY TAPED TO THEIR POSTCARDS!

Or something.

Let me show you the swap.  First, the details from the swap page:

Do you have postcards from any TV series/Movies? this is the place to swap them.

For this swap send ONE Television or Movie related postcard to ONE partner.

Postcards are senders choice and must be sent naked (written, stamped and not in an envelope).

Okay, so here is the movie card I had:

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Definitely a movie card.

And HERE we have the back of the card, where you can decide whether or not I made any effort to make this a special swap.

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I am clearly a slacker who puts no effort into my swaps.

I grouse about this issue semi-regularly–and yet I continue to sign up for swaps, rather than pulling out of what is clearly my very least-favorite swap site. Am I not just a slacker, but a masochist, as well?

Stamp Foot Forward, & then for a Feast: Received from England, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Taiwan–& Muttville!

Can we start with a few of the stamps this time?  I love these stamps.

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That was a really, really good round of stamps.  Now, on to the postcards.  Let’s start with some FOOD!

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Two delicious servings from Taiwan. First the pinball-style image, and you can’t tell from the scan, but the words “Taiwan’s delicacies” and the little circles by each item and a shiny silver-colored finish.  The sender writes:

“Greetings from Taiwan!! This card is about Taiwanese food in ‘night market.’ They are really delicious, you must try if you have chance!!  Welcome to Taiwan!!”

I can’t wait.

That card was from someone who had drawn my name via Postcard United.  The next delicious Taiwan card is from someone who drew me on Postcrossing, and she tells me:

“Glad to send a postcard to you via Postcrossing this great project.  I really so like collecting postcards and stamps.  I selected this drawing card with Taiwanese foods. 🙂 Do hope you will like it.”

I do!

More food from Asia–in that Assam Prawn card from a Postcard United member in Malaysia.  The card was printed to promote a program on the National Geographic Channel called “A Peranakan Heritage: Gok’s Chinese Takeaway, Malaysia.”  I gotta find that online & watch it. As the card describes the dish, “the assam prawn is a classic Peranakan dish and is usually cooked in tamarind paste.”  The sender writes:

“Hello!  Welcome to visit Malaysia.  We have a lot of street food and local multi variety food.”

Okay, now I want to go to Asia & eat. Peranakan food is so delicious, have you ever tried it?  I’m trying to think whether I’ll have the energy for a cooking project this weekend…

Next up, from Japan, & thanks to a Postcrossing Forum trade, is this wonderful mass of Sanrio characters, anchored at top center by my buddy Badtz Maru!

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All the flowers were originally adorning the cover of a box of postcards, and thanks to a swap-bot trade, were upcycled into a postcard & sent to me from Malaysia.

The snowy, woody, lantern scene came from a Postcard Uniter in Russia.  The sender says:

“Greetings from Russia, Urals.  I live near Yekaterinburg with my family.  Today cold (-15 C) and snow.  Merry Christmas to you.”

Oh, my.  I’m freezing right here in the S.F. Bay Area, and then I get a postcard that brings me chills!

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Another snowy scene, made worse by clowns!  That’s a card purchased in Italy from a postcard pal in England.

Next up is a big postcard from MUTTVILLE!

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As you see, it’s a senior dog rescue.  It’s based in San Francisco, and I received this greeting as a donor to their wonderful cause.  I also contribute to Old Friends, an organization in Tennessee that makes sure old pups have a happy home & great care.  Follow them, and they will fill your Facebook feed with some really engaging personalities!

The remaining stamps: more nice ones here, and not to do too much more singling out, but I always love Malaysian stamps.  Taiwanese, too.

Speaking of stamps, I just ordered a bunch more a day or two ago–and then today, I learned that there are new stamps coming out I really NEED to buy!

My stamp budget sure has ballooned since embarking on this hobby.

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It’s a Business Doing Pleasure with You: Received from Australia

This envelope arrived in today’s mail, completely intriguing me…

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Whom could this be from?  Someone I know?  The return address is Annandale, New South Wales, Australia.  The sender certainly went to a lot of trouble, with all of the stamps.  I really love that rose coneflower, with reminds me of a sea anemone.  I love protea in general.

I open the envelope, and inside there seems to be a postcard & a letter.  I really wonder who sent this to me!

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No trees seem to grow here, but the concrete sure does reach for the sky.

Flipping over the postcard, it seems the sender did not write on it…oh–wait:

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And this is where everything went sideways.

Oh, wait: the sender printed something & glued it to the card.  Why do that?  Why not write?  And then I look closer still.  Oh.  Oh.  He’s advertising something.  This person has a business, selling postcards.

How did he get my address?!? Then I saw the Postcard United i.d.  He’s using his account (and one on Postcrossing) to fish for clients & suppliers of images.  Obviously pumping out these messages as fast as he can get new postcard IDs, and just dropping in names & ID codes into a standard message.  Foulness.  So what’s this piece of paper?

Oh.

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If a person’s email address begins “store@,” chances are they are not here out of friendliness.

Front & back, with his needs.

This reminds me of the time, long, long, ago, when I was job hunting & was called to an interview.  It was in the evening, and a lot of people were there to be interviewed.  We were all called into a room, and–given a pitch for a pyramid scheme, AKA multilevel marketing (like Amway or Mary Kay).  I told off the herders, letting them know it’s crass to deceive people who need real work, and then I left.

It’s so disappointing to have this happen on what’s supposed to be a fun, interactive hobby site. What a horrible thing to happen on Postcard United.

I mean, if I wanted to have a bad time, I’d log onto swap-bot.

 

OH! And swap-bot did give me a bad time today.

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If you liked it, then you should have put a heart on it.

I sent this dog lover a dog postcard, with a dog stamp & dog sticker, among other delights. How much more “extra special” does it get than that? I really do think I need to start taping cash to my swaps.

To be fair, I did get a wonderful postcard today, one I really love, with a beautiful stamp & a nice food-related message…but I’ll save that for another post.  I’m having way too much fun grousing right now to spoil the mood by sharing that card.

 

 

Familiar Folk, in a New Context: Sent to Australia, Japan, Netherlands, & the U.S.

Happy New Year!  Here’s a post that’s been sitting in my draft folder for a few weeks, while I waited for the cards to reach their destinations (to avoid spoilers for the two people who happen to read this blog).  I think it’s safe now…

I like this handful of cards.  Three of them are going out in an interesting swap-bot trade the organizer named “postcard roulette.”  We were assigned one person as a recipient–and then we were to mail a 2nd card to another, unassigned, partner from the trade roster.  As I said, I mailed out 3 cards–one to my assigned partner, one to another participant–and one to the organizer, as a thank-you for hosting the trade.

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My assigned recipient is in Geldrop, Netherlands, and she is a Disney fan, so she gets the Aladdin card.

The swap host lives in San Francisco, California, and enjoys landscape and randomness (my interpretation), and that tiger card fits in both categories, I’d say.

The third card actually went out to a fellow WordPresser!  I was reading the profile of a swapper in Gaven, Queensland, Australia, to help me choose a card she might like (she likes wildlife, so I chose the elephant seals at Piedras Blancas in San Luis Obispo County)–and she mentioned her blog–Under a Canopy of Stars–which I follow!  Had to send a card & say hi.  Hi!

The remaining two cards to regular postcard pals of mine: The World War I Flying Ace went off to Kalaheo, Hawaii, and Pig-Pen (who would have made an awesome President) was bound for Tokyo, Japan.

A sampling of the stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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