Reclaiming My Time: Sent to China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, Serbia, Taiwan, the U.S. & the U.K.

In my last post, I lamented how attempting to track my postcard comings & goings is claiming too much time. Thanks to some commenters on the post, and some introspection, I have begun to implement a few techniques to chip away at the time suck:

  • Going as I go: I am posting outgoing cards & info in a draft as I go–no more spending time trying to rediscover the information to post. I will be clearing all the shots on my phone & computer that I may or may not have already posted. This is huge.
  • Faster than scanning: I will use the photoscan app on my phone when it seems faster. It’s–inelegant, as you’ll notice below, but it makes things faster!
  • Keep it simple: I have begun editing my scans using PAINT! Just a simple shrink & crop. The free photo editing sites are adding more hoops that suck up time and computer space, so this has made a HUGE amount of difference.
  • –And simpler: However I scan the backs of my postcards, I am trying to do it BEFORE I write them out. This means less editing later to protect recipients’ personal info.
  • Making choices: Moving forward, when I finally make another post of received postcards, I may well leave out the ones I don’t care for so much (though I’d still show stamps I like). This has got to save a lot of time, right? We’ll play that one as we go.

Updates on this project as we go, and your input welcome. OKAY, let’s get on with the cards! When you see repeated cities down below, some may be going to the same person in that city. Sometimes. Didn’t necessarily keep track. See how well I’m doing with this project, already?

First off, there’s a food package postcard going to Ruian, Zhejiang, China. When I requested the recipient’s address, I received a response that this was to be a greeting for her friend’s 18th birthday, that the friend would like a Marvel card, and that she likes two singers no one over the age of 17 has ever heard of. Since this is a food package postcard tag, I sent her this sweet card, with the birthday greeting, and lots of stickers (which you will see, if you scroll down far enough).

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A second panel like this is going to Osaka, Japan.

Cute otters heading to Yonago, Tottori, Japan

postcard a Monterey Bay Aquarium otter mommy and baby

Morro Rock going to Taoyuan, Taiwan

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The evil queen is off to Essen, Germany. This was in a “I’m Offering” tag, and the recipient had at first selected a card I just could not find in my available cards. I apologized, and this was her second choice. It’s just as well: the first choice was a lovely view of Trinidad. This Postcrosser mentions in her profile that she would like to live in the Caribbean, so I have the feeling she doesn’t realize that the “Trinidad” emblazoned on the missing card actually refers to Trinidad, California.

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Here’s one going to Novi Sad, Serbia

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More Peanuts, this by request to a Postcrosser in Taichung City, Taiwan.

postcard toon Peanuts Snoopy

This pair of otters was requested by a Postcrosser in Pencoed, Bridgend, Wales:

Postcard A Sequoia Park Zoo Eureka

By request to St. Petersburg, Russia

Postcards a Women in Science Elizabeth Blackwell

The Aladdin card goes off in a Disney tag to Taichung, Taiwan.1529247783241

One of the handmade envelopes I made some time ago takes the hula Jetoy card (my last, I think) off to Novi Sad, Serbia. The recipient asked that the card be written, but in an envelope to “keep it clean,” I think were the words she used. I don’t usually stick my cards in an envelope, and the standard-sized boxed envelopes I have wouldn’t fit the card–but what the heck.1529330809791

The best thing about this Chinese vegetarian restaurant in San Francisco’s Chintatown? FREE POSTCARDS! This one goes to Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. in a food card tag.

Lucky Creation Vegetarian Restaurant SF

Hey, the Disappointmentassortment rears its head again! I repurposed some stamps accumulated via Postcrossing to salvage an ugly card received in a cheap set I purchased. This goes to Englewood, Colorado, U.S.A., to a Postcrosser who wished for collage cards.

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I drew another name in Postcard United; this card goes to a recipient in Nagoya City, Japan.

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She’s a power user: 2,610 cards sent through this service in less than 3 years of membership. She’s also one of those people: the ones who list all of their “expired cards” that have disappeared into the ether (or postal service) without being registered. What purposed does this ever serve? I think many people do it just because they see others doing so. In this case the user realizes that close to half of her 380 expired postcards were sent to inactive members. This is probably why Postcard United is now tracking how long senders go between requesting an address.

Elephant & Piggie are bound for Hong Kong, in a Postcrossing Forum trade of children’s book illustrations…

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…and California’s North Coast should land in Selangor, Malaysia, thanks to another Postcard United draw…and my very next Postcard United draw (a day later) was to Sarawak, Malaysia!

postcard toon Peanuts Mud Pies and Jelly Beans Linus Snoopy

Right after that, I clicked again & came up with Shanghai, China.postcard 338

Back to Postcrossing Forum trades, this Ben & Jerry’s map will go to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The recipient wanted food cards, and Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops are some of my favorite restaurants! Chocolate Therapy, please…

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Time to show some stamps, stickers, & washi tape. New since the last post are the USPS scratch-n-sniff Popsicle stamps (which pair well with the older ice cream stamps), and also many stickers. What do you like?Hawaii 568

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Mail Boxes, Accordioned: Sent to Germany, Finland, Japan, Malaysia, & the U.S.

This is a very cool postcard that somehow ended up in my hands. If it looks as if it might be printed on a grocery bag, well, that’s not far off: in fact, the stock is so lightweight, the card got accordioned more than just a bit, just standing along with other postcards. It’s good, then, that some brilliant swap-botter thought of creating a “mishap” trade, in which we could all mail each other banged-up, stained, and mutilated cards. This one, in fact, goes to the trade’s creator, who is in Denver, Colorado.

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Isn’t the card otherwise very cool, though? It’s a giveaway from a stationary store in Canada that hosts a monthly letter-writing club.

The rest of the cards this time are heading off in Postcrossing Forum tags. Snoopy & his typewriter are on their way to Diamond Bar, California.

postcard toon Peanuts Dark and Stormy

Elephant & Piggie are going to Helsinki, Finland.

postcard toon Eric Carle Museum Elephant and Piggie we are on a postcard

California Natural Wonders heads off to Marl, Germany.

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Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado) goes to a national park lover in Osaka, Japan, and “California: A Photographer’s Paradise” is destined for a map card lover in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

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Time for stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape! I hope you’ll agree that there’s some good stuff down here.

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Sent to Germany, Taiwan, and the United States

Busy with four cards, for three trades.

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The stamp collage is one I made for a swap-bot “stampcard” trade.  It’s going to a recipient in Liverpool, New York.  All the postcards coming through my mailbox, it was nice to have a way to put some part of them to use!  Many of the stamps came from my incoming swap-bot/Postcrossing cards, while a few were far older ones I’d had laying around.  This is only half of the stamp collage I made; the piece was two-postcards tall, so I guess the other half will be showing up here at some point.

Two more swap-bot cards, both for an “all creatures great & small” trade.  The birds go to Westminster, Colorado, to a swap-botter who wants no cat cards.  This is why the cat card card is headed for Hessen, Germany. These animal cards are the 2nd and 3rd I have sent from my recently-purchased box of 100 animal cards.  The cat, like the elephant I sent out 1st, is one of my very favorite cards in the whole box.

Finally, the lobster. I went back on to the Postcrossing Forum, and found a “Marine Life and Sea Creatures” tag, and am sending this to the previous person to sign onto the tag, a Postcrosser in New Taiwan City, Taiwan.  In case you were wondering about this creature, the caption on the card says, “BULLSEYE LOBSTER (Enoplometopus holthuisi), rare, but wide-spread reef animal found from Hawaii to Australia.”

Received from Hong Kong, Spain, and the United States

After a week of just about nothing, I received three postcards in one day!

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That cute one on the left came from a Postcrosser in Hong Kong–and in all the months I’ve been on Postcrossing (coming up on 7, I think), this is only the second Doraemon card I’ve received!  The first one, which was from Taiwan, is here.  The new card traveled 10 days & 6,925 miles to get to me from HK, from a young sender who tells me she loves “reading, drawing and eating delicacies like chocolates…”

The sunset view came to me from Madrid, Spain (in a trip of 5,786 miles over 24 days), from a beach-loving Postcrosser who has a dog named Janis, because she & her family love Janis Joplin music.

The card with the cartoon nuns comes from Switzerland, but not directly.  It is part of a swap-bot “not my country” trade, and the sender of the card (who acquired it from a pen-pal), actually lives in Colorado, U.S.A.  She notes that, like me, she loves listening to Public Radio.  Speaking of which, as I started to log all of this, I was attempting to drink coffee while also listening to Dame Edna being interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition.  A very dangerous thing to attempt!

Stamps and stuff:

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I love that Year of the Ram stamp from HK.

Received from Canada, Germany, Taiwan, & the United States

A new handful of cards, received through both Postcrossing & swap-bot:

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The two on the left are both from the U.S., and both part of a swap-bot postcard trade.  The top image, of Idaho Springs, Colorado, comes to me from Denver, where the sender tells me she remembers going to an old abandoned gold mine in Idaho Springs as a child with her family.  She also says Idaho Springs is about 35 miles west of Denver, and a stop for skiers on the way back from the slopes, many of whom take advantage of the town’s hot springs.

The bottom image, “Wacky Big-Hair Lady” (or as the painting’s artist, Lilian Westcott Hale, called it, “The Reading Woman II”), comes my way from Birmingham, Alabama, where the sender tells me that like Wacky, and like me, she is “a big reader.”

The rest of the cards come my way through Postcrossing.  That beautiful nature shot comes to me from Bielefeld, Germany, but I have no idea where the photo was taken; Bielefeld, the sender tells me, is “far away from the sea…so far away…haven’t any water around…”  Sounds absolutely miserable!

I love that card from Taiwan!  The photo in the corner is an embedded slide, making this a fun card to hold up to a light. You can probably notice that though that photo, the shadow of the underlying card is showing.  The card’s sender tells me, “I know you love to eat.  So if you have any chance, you must visit my country.  There are may delicious food in my country.”  YES!  Taiwan is on my list of top food destinations, and as it happens, I may be getting a few hours of layover time to go there & EAT before too long!

Finally come the fun herd of moose, all the way from Montreal, Canada.  The sender tells me she loves Montreal, but hates the cold winter.  She dreams of moving to San Diego.  Yeah, I am no snow bunny.

Stamps!

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Received from Japan, Lithuania, and the United States

Three more in…

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The card at the top of the stack was sent to me from Denver, Colorado, in a swap-bot trade of map postcards.  You might or might not be able to discern that this is not a map of the Denver metro area.  The sender tells me that fall in the Rockies is beautiful.

The two bottom cards come my way thanks to Postcrossing.

The card at bottom right came to me from Yokohama, Japan, having traveled 5,180 miles in 8 days. The temple pictures is in Kyoto, which the writer thinks is one of the best destinations for a domestic trip, with leaves turning red & yellow this time of year.

The third card–the one with the fish party–is from Lithuania, and it made a trip of 5,739 miles in 30 days to get to me.  I like that the card’s writer shared this bit of wisdom: “cleaning with kids in the house is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.”

All three cards had nice & interesting stamps:

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I guess I forgot that we here in the U.S. can make whatever stamps we want, thanks to services like Zazzle.

Sent to Fort Collins, Colorado

In 2006, Money magazine ranked Fort Collins as the best place to live in America.  I’m pretty sure it still snows there, though, so I am totally uninterested.

Yes, this postcard has appeared here before.  I bought two copies of this card, and now I’ve done used them both. The swap-bot user to whom I sent this said she liked nature & wildlife, so what else was I to do?

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No doubt I’ll be buying more copies of this card before long. It’s not like I foresee the local postcard stock diversifying anytime soon.