Hey Postcard Designers: Leave Room for Stamps! Sent to Austria, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

We’ll get to the “room for stamps” bit shortly, but first: 17 postcard sends represented this time, so let’s get to it!

I clicked on “send a postcard” on Postcard United! This California map is bound for Longhua, Shenzhen, China. A second click sends another copy of the card to a map lover in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.

California Map Greetings from the Golden State w mermaid sea lion orca

Another click on Postcard United sends this card to a map lover in JiangSu, China.

postcard a map 1


The Queen of Hearts is going to Foshan, Guangdong, China


Ursula is off to Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan.

Pig Pen–the dirty candidate who is in fact innocent–is going out by request to Taichung City, Taiwan.

postcard toon Peanuts Vote Pig Pen

Another card going off by request: this view from Hilo, Hawaii’s Merrie Monarch Festival is destined for a Postcrosser in Yonago, Tottori, Japan.

Hilo Hawaii Hula

Whoa… Lucy & her balloon are off to a rare county for Postcrossing:  this is on its way to Melben, Austria.

postcard toon Peanuts strip Lucy balloon

Still more Peanuts: this one is going to Hong Kong.postcard toon Peanuts Snoopy

This octopus is attacking the San Diego Central Library. One thing to know if you are a postcard lover: the Friends of the Library store here is a great place to go postcard shopping! I sent this one out to a post pal in Hawaii.

San Diego Public Library ToshWerks

Another copy of the card is going out in a Postcrossing Forum library tag to a recipient in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. Sadly, the design of the card’s back does not leave much room for anything larger than the smallest of domestic first-class stamps. No room for a larger stamp (like our round international stamps, among any number of others); no room for multiple stamps; no room for the postmark, which so often obscures a sizable chunk of real estate on the back of a postcard.  It would be nice, wouldn’t it, if the people designing the address side of cards were also people who send & receive postcards, themselves.

I recently popped into the Charles M. Schulz Museum, on the way home from somewhere else, just long enough to do a little postcard shopping! Poor Charlie Brown is going to a Postcrosser in Gunma, Japan.

Schulz Museum AAUGH

I also bought this new postcard, one copy of which is on its way to East Jakarta, Indonesia.

Schulz Museum My Favorite Peanuts

This image from The Princess & the Frog was requested by a frog-lover in Beckum, Germany.

Disney Princess and the Frog night lily

Another Art of Disney card–this one of Lion King’s Pride Rock–is going to Taichung, Taiwan.


This beautiful sea otter is going to Foshan, Guangdong, China.

Postcard A Sea Otter California Coast

And finally, why are hard taco shells so popular? One bite, and the whole thing falls apart. Give me fresh corn tortillas! This box panel from “white people taco night” goes to Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.


Okay, are you ready for a huge party of stamps, stickers, & washi tape? Here you go! Any favorites this time?






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Unwanted, Recycled–and Otherwise: Received from Austria, Belarus, Canada, China, Finland, France, Greece, Hong Kong, & the U.S.

I am SO behind on posting postcards I’ve received.  I grabbed a big handful to scan, and the main theme for most of them seems to be “unwanted cards.”  We’ll soon get to what that’s all about, but I want to be sure to start with two cards I really do like!  Both of them found their way to me in Postcrossing Forum tags.

I just love this sketch of a Hong Kong storefront & apartments; it really takes me there!  The sender asks, “have you tried egg tart before?  It has to be my favorite Hong Kong snacks.  California has always been somewhere I desperately want to visit, and hopefully I can visit there soon!”


That breathtaking mountain view came to me from Shaanxi, China, and the sender tells me it is called Hua Mountain, and “it’s a little dangerous to climb, but because of the wonderful scenery, lots of people still trying and enjoy it.”

Next up, the kitty classroom, comes to me from Belarus, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “favorites” tag.  I’m so forgetful, I didn’t even remember having marked it as a favorite.  Good thing to check those once in a while!


Another cat, this one riding a tortoise, and it comes to me from France as a regular Postcrossing card.  The sender’s writing is quite difficult to decipher, which is a lesson to me, even though I THINK my printing is neat, that I could stand to try harder.  I thought she wrote that she is in the “Louie Valley,” but a consult with Ask Jeeves (or whomever it is running the internet these days) let me know she probably meant Loire Valley.  Also, if I’m reading this correctly, she hopes to open a bed & breakfast next summer.  Or it could be that she just got back from a waterslide with Santa–I just don’t know.  Well, I do know I prefer the latter.

These next 3 cards all came my way via swap-bot.  The big building is the Fine Arts Gallery in San Diego, California–but the card was sent to me from a swapper in the state of Georgia.

I think the Santorini, Greece, card actually came to me from that locale.  The sender wrote:

“You can walk to the top.  To get to the volcano you can get a small local boat to take you straight there.  Otherwise you can take a tour that includes Thirasía.  When you get to the top, the view of Santorini is incredible!  This is must place to visit if you here.  You can jump into the warm springs if you want.”


The last card of that trio is the boat on the river.  The card was sent by a swapper in Illinois.  She sent it in a “recycled postcard” trade, but if she did indeed but a new backing on a card she previously received, I sure couldn’t tell–and I picked away at 3 of the 4 corners!  When I do these, I always like to leave the original stamps exposed (but on the bottom left of the new backing), as a bonus for the new recipient.  Anyhow, this card’s sender says the scene pictured is the Mississippi River, a sight she’s never seen in person, but that she imagines herself taking “an old time paddle wheel river boat ride down this river, if they still exist.” They do.  No, I’ve not been on the Mississippi, but more than once, I HAVE ridden a riverboat on the Rivers of America.

There’s a tag on Postcrossing Forum called “The Card You Want to Get Rid of,” and if I’d had this next card, I’d have sent it off in this trade, too!  I might just send it out in the next “recycled postcard” trade in which I participate.  The sender is in Tampere, Finland, and she told me, “I find this tag superb; it’s hard to find a suitable recipient to every postcard, but every postcard deserves to travel.”


Another postcard I’d be happy to get rid of is the “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt” card–that comes from Sheffield, England, in a swap-bot trade.   The sender wrote the card on July 11, telling me: “right now it is nearly 10 a.m. and it’s raining, and probably won’t stop for the rest of the day.  Typical UK!”

Still more cards getting no love: the trio below were sent to me together from Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada, in a swap-bot “I Don’t Want These Postcards” exchange.  I’ll have to post them in my page of cars available for trades!  That one that looks like a b&w “magic eye” game will probably have to go out in another round of these “I don’t want it” tags!


This next card came my way from Graz, Austria, in the “recycled postcard” tag I’ve been mentioning, and I may just have scanned & posted the other side here before, but I didn’t mark it as such, so either way–here we go.  In this tag, a person is supposed to slap a new backing on a postcard they received from someone else, & then send it to their assigned partner.  Let this serve as a warning that all glue sticks are not created equal; there was no postcard attached to this backing.  When you flip it over, all you see is shiny streaks.  In any case, I thought you might enjoy reading the hand-written recipe.


Well, it’s just about stamp time, so let me ask you now:  what are your favorite cards this time?  Which ones would you first choose to send off in a trade of recycled or “I don’t want this” cards?  Remember, one good use of a postcard you don’t think anyone else will love, is as a vehicle to send a message to your elected representatives!




Do You Ever Come Unglued? Received from Austria & the U.S.

(In which I hear from two people with definite fixative issues)

I really enjoyed this collage made by a swap-botter someplace in California.  She was pretty proud of her Inuyasha art–but was mortified when I told her that it had come apart in my mailbox.


Here you can see the front & the back of the card: the insides, which only she was supposed to see.  We seem to have some sort of tablet package, and a calendar page.


She wanted to make me a new collage, but there was really no need for that, as the collage itself was fully intact, and the card had miraculously waited until it reached me to fall apart.  I did recommend to her that Mod Podge may be good as collage lacquer–but it’s no glue.

I think the sender of this next card may have used the same product.  This was supposed to be a Postcrossing Forum food package tag.  It’s from Graz, Styria, Austria.


Now, I love how she crammed as much writing as she could onto the card, even including a recipe.  But flip it over to see the food package, and all you see are shiny streaks:


Yes, I let her know.  She deserves to know.  According to Postcrossing, she’s been registered for 8+ years.  She’s sent fewer than 10 cards, I think, officially, so I assume she’s mostly been on the forum, as I have been lately.  Don’t know how many cards she’s been making herself, but she deserves to know that this product is a danger.  That gloss: do you think she used Chapstick?

UPDATE: I heard back from this sender, and she says she used a glue stick.

Have you had any issues like these?  Even glue sticks concern me, sometimes.  It’s worth at least putting a dot of 70 of tacky glue along the corners or edges.

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.


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.


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


PU-3: The Last of My 1st Batch in w/Postcard United, & then…

Yeah, yeah, I dove into Postcard United a couple of months back, and once my cards landed, I eventually started receiving cards from around the world–and my own country.  I waited until they all seemed to be in, then shared them here, and here…and now, finally, right here.


Isn’t that pizza card sent to me from Beijing, China interesting?  It seems to me that the smaller image, separated from the larger one by a line of perforation, is meant to be saved by the sender– but of course, if you really like the pic, why not save the BIG one?  I got both, with the note:

“Hello!  Nice to meet you!  I’m from Beijing, China. This is a card of pizza.  Hope you like it.

I really like that toucan photo, which was sent to me from Novosibirskya, Russia:

“I bought this postcard in the Novosibirsk Zoo.  This toucan lives in it and sends you greetings.  Toucans easily tamed, because they are trusting and teachable.  Maybe I should make toucan as a pet? 🙂  Although two large snails live in my house.  Do you have any pets?  Good luck!  Happy postcrossing!”

Yes, she did say postcrossing, although we’re using the, uh, other service.  And a big NO on the toucan stuff.  Screw that noise–I hate to see big birds in small cages.

One final card to share in this inaugural lot of received cards, and it’s the kitten apparently allowing a puppy to swallow it whole.  It’s from Norway, and the sender tells me:

“I live in the south-east of Norway.  I have 2 kids, boy (21) and girl (16), cats and a boyfriend.  My job is to take care of kids and adults with special needs.  All the best!”

Stamps–the one from China is my favorite…


By the way, I neglected to share more than one of my “Great News!!!” messages (the Postcard United version of Postcrossing’s “Hurray!” message), but this one from a ‘Uniter I was assigned in the U.S. is worth reading:

Hello from Massachusetts! I want to thank you for the groovy vintage card! Totally love it! Postcardunited is a fun site that is struggling with growing pains. Sometimes it drives me crazy…but I keep coming back because at one time, I was #1. But the current #1 (Yuk) is tough to beat! Have a great weekend!! Nathan

So now what do I do?  START SENDING OUT MORE CARDS!  Yes, I will continue Postcard Uniting.


The donkey went off on its way to Hirtenberg, Austria, to a person who did in fact express an interest in donkey cards.  Here’s a snippet of her profile:

I live in a house with garden together with my dog-girl, she´s my sunshine, very naughty and cute!!

That pool scene went to someone in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China who expressed an interest in hotel ad cards.  This card, which I’d say is from the 1960s at the latest, is one I found in my late mother’s stationery stash, and it is from a place called the Maui Palms Hotel.  I’ve been to Hawaii plenty throughout my life, but I think this might have been from a trip my folks took before my time.

Finally, the bridge card is going to Jawa Timur, Indonesia, to someone whose entire list of cards she would like to receive was all about bridges.  I was happy to find a bridge in an old postcard book I found at a Friends of the Library book sale.

Looking forward to more Postcard Uniting, with more countries I never (or rarely) see on Postcrossing!

Cinephile Edition: Sent to Austria, Taiwan, & Ukraine


I picked up that postcard for “The Meddler” at the lovely Guild Theatre in Menlo Park, California.  The Guild is a single-screen cinema dating back to 1926, and the service is so personal: in fact, before the movie begins, a staff member walks to the front of the auditorium to welcome you & remind you of the rules.  Now, when a real person has come out to talk about niceties, you’ve got to be one mad jackass to pull out your cell phone during the screening!  Of course, people who do that are unstable, to begin with.

I mailed the card out to Taichung, Taiwan in a Postcrossing Forum “last movie you saw” thread.  The most recent movie I saw was not what I saw when I picked up this card at the Guild (I saw “A Hologram for the King,” which I do not recommend); I was at a different theater, and the movie I saw was “24.”  It’s a Kollywood movie, a sci-fi time-travel piece, where the lead plays three roles (as opposed to the 24 you may have guessed).  I go to Indian movies pretty frequently (mostly Bollywood); I really enjoy them.  Most of the big chains in my area play at least 1 or 2 a week, but I especially love to go to my local Bollywood cinema–the snacks are better.

24 (2016 film) poster.jpg

The other 2 postcards are regular Postcrossing draws.  The pickly one goes to Kharkiv, Ukraine (“Kharkiv, or Kharkov, is the second-largest city in Ukraine.The city has a population of about 1.5 million people.” –Wikipedia).  The recipient is a vegan who calls herself an epicurean, & says she would like postcards depicting tasty foods & drinks, so I decided she might like this first card I am sending from a brand-new box of food-related art cards.

Finally, the book card (one of the remaining few from a box of book cards that was all I had when I began Postcrossing) goes to a book lover (and soon-to-be-librarian)  in Neumarkt im Mühlkreis, Austria.

Stamps, stamps, & washi tape:


My Sweet Gerbils: Received from Austria, China, & Taiwan

Another day, another 3 cards in through Postcrossing


The beautiful dragon comes from the artist herself, in Beijing, China.  She doesn’t talk about art in her profile, but does say that she loves art history, & collecting illustrations.

The sender of the Italian ad card lives near Taichung City, Taiwan.  Now, I’d rather get Taiwanese content from Italy, than Italian content from Taiwan, but I’ll get over it.  The sender is a four-month Postcrossing member who tells me, “hope you can come here (to Taiwan) and eat snacks in night markets.  People here are friendly.  You live in California, a beautiful place.  One day, I will go there and walk along the coastline.”

And speaking of things I can see along the California coastline: sea lions!  I love them so much.  I took a little drive to the coast & heard their siren calls just days ago.  This card comes from Vienna, Austria.  Yes, from landlocked Austria.  The card was printed over in Berlin, Germany though, and I sure do love it.  The sender tells me that she is 65, and that her hobbies are “book reading, cooking, and my sweet gerbils (2)!” 

Stamps & postmarks:

2015-10-28 17.08.53

Magical Places: Sent to Austria & Turkey

I decided to draw two more addresses through Postcrossing.


The view of Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara, California is on its way to a couple in Graz, Austria, a city they write is the second-biggest in the country.  This pair portrays themselves as being curious about people & places, and wanting to see views of those places, so I decided to send them this card, what I tell them is by no means the best view of a very beautiful area.   I do have a few “view” postcards in my “to-be-sent” stack, but I chose this one because of current events: an immense underground oil pipeline rupture that has sent more than 100,000 gallons of beauty-marring muck out into a nine-mile stretch of coastline.  This is not just an environmental disaster; Santa Barbara County depends upon tourism–and who would want to go there right now?

The retro, scalloped-edge postcard depicting a bit of Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, California goes to Istanbul, Turkey.  This Postcrosser enjoys cinema, theater and television, and says, I don’t have any particular cards that I would like to receive. Just it would be really nice if you write something about your city or your culture…” I thought she would enjoy reading a bit about this classic park–still alive & well–that served as inspiration for Walt Disney when he was planning a family attraction of his own.

Cards-by-the-Sea: Received from Austria, Germany, Hong Kong, and Russia

All four from Postcrossing!  I have a question, if you are a knowledgeable Postcrosser: How does someone end up receiving more cards than they have sent?  A card number is not issued to be sent to you until one of your sent cards has been received (and “traveling” is the designation given to cards you have sent, but have not yet been received).  As of right now, I have received three more cards than I have sent!


That gorgeous, panoramic, very-recognizable view of Hong Kong caught my eye & my breath before I’d even turned away from my mail box.  It came to me from, if you can believe this, Hong Kong (it traveled 6,925 miles, and, according to Postcrossing, 116 days–but the card is dated April 5, indicating a journey closer to 2 weeks.  I am thinking that either the sender was replacing a card that she noticed had apparently gone missing–as I have needed to do once in my time there–or she was just really tardy in sending).  In her message to me, she writes,

“I read your profile and I know that you have been to Hong Kong!  Wow!  How do you feel about the food in Hong Kong?  I love to eat fish balls, egg puff, grid cake, and three stuffed treasures.  They are the local street-side snack that every tourist must eat in Hong Kong.  I hope that you have tried them”

I told her I have tried many of those things, and many of them are available in the area where I live, as there are many HK-style cafes & snack shops.  The primary food on my mind when I visited her city was dim sum, and yes, I got some!

She continues:

“I learnt California from Geography textbook.  It is a place with great sunshine, right?  Hong Kong is also a coastal region.  It is well known for its glamorous night view of Victoria Harbour.  Quite beautiful, isn’t it?  But for me, I prefer the natural scene to the city view.  In the summer time, I usually go to beach with my friends.  Though I can’t swim, I enjoy the time of listening to the tide and building sand castle.  It is wonderful for us to breathe in some fresh air and escape from the busy time in the city.”

The zebra & the whale are from Nizhnevartovsk, Siberia, Russia, and they traveled 5,552 miles & 22 days to be with me.  The sender is a journalist for a local paper, and she takes in stray cats  She says right now she has three that are looking for good homes.

Two chickens on a beach.  They see a roast chicken on a blanket, and one chicken says to the other chicken, “I told you so: put sun screen on!” That came to me from Austria, having traveled 5,965 miles in 9 days. The sender, like my correspondent in Hong Kong, has a lot to say:

“Austria is the direct opposite to California (Oops!  I forgot Arni Schwarzenegger!), but here some things you have to try, if you come here once (“Once!” I love this movie!).  Go to a “Heuriger” and taste “Grüner Veltliner” (white wine) and black pudding–yummy!  And Palatschinken with marillen jam for dessert!  Forget Mozartkugeln, only tourists buy them.  Try Manner-Schnitten (wafers).  

Okay, so I have been to Austria–many, many moons ago on a h.s. student tour, one very much more about get-on-a-hired-bus-get-off-the-hired-bus-tour-the-old-palace-get-back-on-the-hired-bus variety, so I have no memories of experiencing cultures through special foods.  I do remember hotel meals with overcooked, gray vegetables.  I do know & despise Mozartkugeln, though: marzipan and I are bitter rivals.  And I do know & love Manner-Schnitten wafers, which are only a Cost Plus away.

Lastly, that gorgeous sea lion & bird scene came to me from Dresden, Germany in a voyage spanning 5,753 miles and 9 days. The sender writes,

“I love to walk along the coastline, too–every summer I go to the Baltic Sea or North Sea here in Germany to forget everything around myself and just relax.  Unfortunately I’ve never been to America and so I can only dream of your coastlines and the sea far far away.”

Stamps, stickers, postmarks…


Sent to Austria, Canada, and China

Looks like a fun day of sending!


Working counter-clockwise from the frog:

Keroppi is on his way to a Postcrosser in Radstadt, Salzburg, Austria, who helpfully lists the postcard likes of her grandchildren as well as herself.  I mail this knowing I can make someone in the household happy, despite the fact I don’t have a Charles & Diana card for the addressee!

Popeye goes to a Postcrosser in Guanghan, Sichuan, China.  Wikipedia tells me that the city’s main industries are tourism, pharmaceuticals and the supply of building material.  Quite the mix!  Anyhow, my card’s recipient listed “sea and beach” among her postcard likes, also adding, “whatever ,I’m pleased to receive any postcard you’d like to send me.”  Well, this card is a bit “sea and beach,” and a bit “whatever!”

Lastly, we come to the top right image, a little bit of mail art.  This is an envelope I created from a worn-out, discarded library book called The Adventures of Jo, Zette and Jocko: The Valley of the Cobras.  It is by Tintin’s creator, Hergé (“Chuck” to his friends).  Looking up this comic series (which was initially published from 1935 to 1958), I learned that Hergé’s biographer stated that the characters were “so colorless that we can hardly bring ourselves to care what befalls them,” and that “Chuck” himself admitted that they “bored me terribly.”

The envelope is full of stamps…postcard209bca

…and is going to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, thanks to a swap-bot trade of used postage stamps.  As I may have mentioned the last time I sent out stamps, I am not even a stamp collector.  It’s quite possible I just entered this trade so I could use my hand-made envelope! Fascinating fact: I created the template for making this envelope by deconstructing the envelope I received in the last swap-bot stamp trade. Also, if you look at the stamps I received last time, you might notice that many of them got reenlisted to head out for this trade!  I was careful, though, not to bore my partner with any Canadian stamps.