Holiday Special III: A Family Holiday

It’s not happening this year, but there have been a couple of times when the right materials, time, and inspiration came to a confluence, and I created some very special holiday greetings.  This was one of them.


Do you think anyone appreciates me?

As far as I remember (and I actually don’t), this didn’t necessarily result in a spike in the number of cards I received the following year.


Holiday Special I: Astro Boy Edition

Holiday Special II: Peanuts on a Wreath

Holiday Special I: Astro Boy Edition

There have been a couple of years where I was truly inspired to go all-out with the home-crafted holiday greetings, me-style.  Here is the result of one particularly satisfying bout of craftiness:


I’m not sure if my friends & loved ones really knew what hit them.  While my parents’ generation issued holiday cards by the bushel, it seems the practice is not as appealing any more.  Now, I don’t miss braggy mass-produced newsletters, but it sure would be fun to receive…well, exactly the kind of card shown here!

Coming Up: Holiday Special II

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!

“What the…?!?”: Sent to Seattle

No Postcrossing/swap-bot action here: this is a great-big envelope I sent off to a friend!

The occasion is the Lunar New Year–and I did send a few specially-purchased Year of the Monkey goods–but as usual in the packets of madness I send out to friends, the “good stuff” is surrounded by a wealth of random bits I have accumulated for the purpose of amusement: stickers, trading cards, stuff that surfaces in fits of decluttering…all sorts of odd bits & ridiculousness.

The collage on the right is the back of the big envelope.  On the front I have stamped the little Snoopy scene you see on the left.  This uses all of the stamps I received in the “Snoopy Madness” order I shared recently in this space.  I’ve been using the mailbox stamp in my postcards going out this week, but this is the first time I have used any of the others in the 4-stamp set.

I always look forward to hearing my friends’ reactions after they’ve received my li’l mail surprise packages.  Not all people have the personality or intelligence to know how to react to this kind of fun, but this particular friend always reports that his office mates (ohh, yehhh, I send them to his office) are always amused & fascinated whenever these periodic mail days come.

2016-02-05 17.23.00a

Do you create wacky packages of your own, to add a little lunacy to the days of the people in your life?  Tell me about it!





Something Fishy! Received from Nevada, U.S.A.

Look at this beautiful piece of art I received in the mail!


When I responded to a swap-bot call to make a fish tank postcard, I was very happy with my entry.  I still am, but this amazing creation blows me away every time I look at it!

The artist, Grace, describes her work:

“I had awesome fun making your postcard. I gathered images from old magazines, an old book on fish tanks, the background from a new Game Informer magazine from my grandson. I really am hoping you’ll love it as much as I do.”

I want to frame the thing.

The art continued to the back of the card; here is a peek, along with the stamps.


The card’s artist created these geometric stamps by hand, along with a few more not shown here.

Donald & the Mail Art: Sent to Taiwan & the United States


Donald is on his way to Su’ao Township, Taiwan (Su’ao Township, located in southern Yilan County, Taiwan, is an urban township that is famous for its seafood restaurants and cold springs. –Wikipedia).  The card is part of a Postcrossing Forum Disney tag thread.

The next two cards are for a swap bot “not your usual postcard” trade.  All it meant was that we could send anything but touristy cards, but I decided to go the crafty route, with a couple I’d had laying in wait.

The stampy card went to Lowell, Indiana.  Back in April, I sent this one’s twin (identical, though not identical–uh, read on) to Liverpool, New York.  I had created a single collage of stamps, and then cut it into two postcards, sending one out  for a swap-bot “stampcard” trade.  The remaining twin has now also been sent out into the world.

The fishy card is a multiple-birth, too.  This one went out to Stone Mountain, Georgia.  It’s been just a couple of weeks since I created a sextuplet set of fishy cards, prompted by a swap-bot trade instructing participants to make a fish tank postcard.  That first card went out to Enterprise, Alabama.  Here goes 2 of 6; so you can expect to see more swimmers coming through!

Something Fishy: Sent to Alabama, U.S.A.

A swap-bot trade instructed participants to make a fish tank postcard:

“I don’t mind how you do it, but make one fishtank-postcard for one partner. Use your illusion 🙂 All techniques allowed…stickers are fine as long as you use them tasteful.”

I love fish, sea creatures, the ocean, and aquariums–so how could I resist?  I couldn’t, that’s how.

John collage cards fish 1 061615 Alabama

Here we have some gift wrap, layered with black plastic from a mailer, green plastic from a newspaper wrapper, brown paper coffee filter, stickers, and colored ink-stamp impressions.

Since I was hauling all of this stuff out, putting in all of this time & effort, I got the most I could out of it by making six postcards, rather than just one.  This means you will be seeing various other versions here as time goes by!

Tea & Chips: Sent to Finland, South Africa, and the United States


The “Greetings from Tea Partyland” postcard went to Raleigh, North Carolina, to the postal art blogger known as Dear Detective!  It’s a thanks for the postcard she sent me, shown here a few days ago.  This card was sent to me in a mailing by the Democratic Governors Association, bearing a pre-written message so I could mail it to a friend and scare them.  I slapped on a new backing so that I could write my own message, and I also glued on that cute, friendly little character from a bag of taro chips.

The next two cards are regular Postcrossing draws.  The birds will be flown (I assume) to Cape Town, South Africa.  The user’s profile photo shows her looking at the camera through a pair of binoculars, and she says birding is one of her new hobbies–so I found the birdiest card I could.

Lastly, that little peek of San Diego is headed for Joensuu, Finland.  Most of the cards marked as favorites in her Postcrossing profile were scenery-type images, and this was the closest I felt I had at the time to what she was looking for (though she does write, “The joy comes when the cards around the world. I’m glad all the cards…”).

Face it, Tiger: You’re Surrounded by Mail Art! Sent to Finland and the United States

It’s a swap-botty kind of day…


The three collaged cards are part of a “chunk ‘o’ cardboard” exchange, in which we need to do no more than mail out a simple scrap of cardboard cut to postcard proportions.  Sometimes I use these for my silly version of mail art, which may not be to others’ standards, either in artistic perspective or skill.

The top left card started life as a Kleenex box, onto which I slapped a bit of coffee label, and then characters from the packaging of pharmaceuticals, Kinder toys, and taro chips.  This lovely, layered piece of art goes to the swap’s host in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The set of two are cardboard scraps covered with a nighttime scene from a coffee canister, and then populated with Richard Scarry characters rescued from a worn-out, discarded library book.  They go to two cities in New York: New York City, and Liverpool.

The tiger is headed for Kokkola, Finland, part of a “Zazzle” swap in which we are to mail out cards we have had professionally printed (by whatever company) from our own images.  This, surely, will be one of the best cards ever sent out in that trade!