The Traveler, the Cook, and the Sailor: Received from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, & the U.S.

This time:

  • Snoopy!
  • Disney!
  • “Word lovers” with nothing to say!
  • Falling apart in the post!

 

Let’s start with a great pair of cards I actually got to choose, thanks to Postcrossing Forum offer tags.  This Peanuts postcard, with Patty scratching Snoopy’s chin, came from Japan, and the sender wrote, “I hope you will enjoy this card!”  Well, yes… I did ask for it…

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The sender in Hong Kong tells me about her local Disneyland:

“(It’s) the smallest one in the world, but it’s still popular, especially with Chinese tourists.  Every day the park is crowded with tourists.  😦 and I am not interested in it.”

Ha, when I spent a mere 3 nights in HK a few years back (not nearly enough time to properly see the city), I tried like crazy to avoid Disneyland–but everywhere I turned, there was another image or large advertising display for the place.  I finally gave in, & made a whirlwind early-morning trip, before meeting a friend for a dim sum lunch.  Fortunately, my mid-week, early-morning trip yielded a very uncrowded park, with no memorable waits for any of the rides I chose.  I had a great time!

Speaking of tourist zones, look at this cool 3-D card my pen pal in Tokyo, Japan sent to me when she visited Tokyo Tower!  The fact that they had a special mailbox & postmark tells me that Japan is very much more of a postcard-writing-and-treasuring culture than is the U.S.  Now I did, on a recent road trip, see a general store in a little community that had its own postcards, which it would mail for you for free, should you fill one out to someone & drop it in their basket.  I didn’t take advantage of the offer, as I don’t carry an address book on me.  Guess I could have looked up addresses on my phone email app–but I don’t know how many Gs I was getting in that remote area!

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The soup comes via a Postcrossing Forum food tag from a sender in Yokohama, Japan, who tells me about the photo on her card:

“This picture of Japanese local cuisine ‘Sanpei-jiru.’  It’s Japanese sake less soup with chopped salmon and vegetables.  It’s very good.”

A flying whale from Albany, New York, thanks for a Postcrossing Forum “marine life & sea creature” tag.  I see I made a note on the card quoting a line from this Postcrosser’s profile: “I love words.”  Now, why did I want to remember that?  Oh, I see now: the card was mostly blank space on the back, with the only message being “hope you like this card!  I thought it was pretty cool. :)”

So, that happened.

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The rug-looking card seems to be a piece of cardboard covered in gift wrap.  I’d have guessed contact paper, but this thing arrived in my mailbox flapping apart, attached only at one end.  This has been a bit of a theme recently. This one came to me from Blitar, Indonesia, thanks to Postcrossing.  The sender tells me I am her first match–she just joined the night before!  She also wrote:

“I am 23 years old, living in a small city in East Java province, called Blitar.  I love reading too!  My favourite is about self development, business/marketing and also recipe book because I’m a chef… I am a food consultant here, my clients are spread in Palembang, Jakarta, Surabaya, etc… so I live nomaden sometimes… Hahaha.  I love traveling too!  My fave Asia destinations are Thailand and Hong Kong!  The food is superb!  I hope someday I can go to USA!!!  That’s my dream destination.”

Finally, there’s the St. Petersburg card, another Postcrossing draw, this time from a 16-year-old girl in Checkhov, Russia, who wrote that she’d just returned from Camp Artek, where she was in the sea squad, and had a great time learning knots, semaphore, and much more.

Okay, enough for now!  Here come the stamps, stickers, & stuff.  See anything you like?

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Snoopy x 3, Mickey, & More! Received from China, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, & the US

Lots of fun stuff this time around, from postal pals, Postcrossing Forum, Postcard United, & swap-bot!  It was an amazing day last week, when I reached into my mailbox to find THREE Snoopy cards!  They’re all so great.

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This big Mickey card arrived on the same day.  He’s pretty awesome, too.  I opted to receive this card in a Postcrossing Forum “you choose” tag.  The sender lives in Germany, and she tells me:

“I’m a big Disney fan (especially of the old ‘classics’ like Beauty & the Beast, Pocahontas, & Aladdin.”

I like those movies too, but I call them modern classics, having been a grown-up by the time they came out!

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I wonder whether that deer know that Hello Kitty is not a kitty.  It’s confusing.

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Don’t miss the back of these cards!  Cindi creates a beautiful Peanuts overload–and I love that Krazy Kat stamp!

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Kitten & bird stamps!  Chipmunk sticker!

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Do you have any favorites here?  I sure do!  Well, practically all of them.

Mark as Logged: Received from England, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Romania, & the U.S.

This time around, I’m sharing some recently-arrived cards, as well as some much older ones that (as far as I know) I haven’t shared previously.  Keeping track is hard!

The “World Famous Brighton Rock” card came from a postal pal in Brighton, England today–and today I learned “Brighton Rock!”  I had to look that up online, because my friend was actually lamenting a familiar situation:

“As for Peanuts postcards, I’m no closer to finding any of them here, so I’ve had to cheat and make my own with stickers that I found in New York last month.  Quite a few of the Hallmark shops where I would normally buy Snoopy stuff from had either shut down or no longer stocked Peanuts merchandise, which was a bit disappointing, but didn’t ruin my vacation!”

Another postal pal, Cindi in Hawaii, knows exactly how to get Peanuts postcards: throw down for mail order from the Charles M. Schulz museum in California!  I love this new “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” Snoopy card.  Make sure you check in at the bottom of this post, for all of the wonderful stamps, stickers, & washi tape from the card’s back side.

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The next card shows three guys I am always very, very, happy to see: The Three Caballeros.  It was sent to me from Seattle, Washington, at the end of 2015 for a Postcrossing Forum “request a Disney card” tag, and I haven’t marked it as logged in this space.  The sender drew a fun rubber ducky pic on the back, so be sure to scroll down for that.

Second set of cards begins with another card postmarked in December of 2015, from a Postcrosser in Hong Kong.  She wrote:

“This is a new shop that just opened near my apartment in Hong Kong, and they were giving out some nice postcards.  I hope you enjoyed some dim sum and egg tarts in Hong Kong.  Egg tarts are my favorite!  Also egg waffles.  So good!”

I did indeed enjoy some dim sum while in HK (don’t recall if egg tarts were part of it), and I was in fact looking to buy an egg waffle maker while I was in town!  That didn’t happen, but around the time I received this card, I received one as a gift!  Made some egg waffles just last week, in fact.

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That scary, scary monkey card might just have to get sent off to someone else.  It came my way from the Netherlands in a Postcrossing Forum “ugly postcard” trade.  I think this, and 2 or 3 other cards from today’s entry, had been serving as bookmarks!  My poor book!

The snowy card next to the monkey is from a Postcrosser in Japan.  This only goes back to September of 2016.  The sender told me she lives in a small town in the mountains, and she doesn’t have any beach cards, so she decided to send me a snow card.

The last set starts with another snow card, this one recently received from Romania via Postcard United.  The sender tells me:

“I love to spend time in the countryside, where life seems not to have changed in ages.”

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We’ve got a food package next, this from another Postcrossing Forum tag, and sent to me from someone in Raleigh, North Carolina, who writes:

“My husband loves lychee and I love mochi.  These were delicious.  Ever had them?  My parents tease me for loving mochi so much.  It’s called dduk in Korean.  They call me a dduk-bo which is essentially a person who loves dduk.  Rice cakes freeze pretty well.

I think it was the weekend before I received this card last month that I’d just been buying fresh mochi treats in San Jose’s Japantown, so this was very timely.

Final card is another from who-knows-how-long-ago, a Postcrossing incoming from Mexico.  There were, as you will see, Doraemon stickers on the back, and the sender explained:

“Here are a couple of Doraemon stickers I was given in Hong Kong at supermarket.  Very nice place and yummy food!  Anyways, this postcard is from my hometown, we have yummy food, too!”

Okay, that’s it for the fronts.  I’ll mark them as logged now, so you won’t have to be bothered with them again.  Now poke around the backsides–so many amazing finds down there this time!postcard014

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Let’s Start Out Nice, Get to the Sad Meat of the Issue, & End with Beautifully Busy Backsides

Yes, I’ve got a little something to whine about, but I’ll put it off for a moment!  This first trio of postcards is awesome.  I love the retro Goofy cartoon cartoon poster, which came to me from Germany in a swap-bot trade of Disney cards.  The sender told me her favorite Disney character is Belle, and asked who mine is.  Such a pantheon, it’s hard to choose, but I do love Chip & Dale, and Donald, and I have a soft spot for obscure characters–such as Grandma Duck & Li’l Bad Wolf!  OH, and April, May, & June!  OHH, and Morty & Ferdie!

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Who’s driving the Peanuts bus?  It came all the way from Hawaii, thanks to “Good ol’ Cindi!” Keep on scrolling down to see the beautiful decorating she did on the back side of the card!

The Little Mermaid card is the product of another swap-bot Disney card trade, and it came to me from a swapper somewhere in Texas who tells me:

“I also love comics.  My husband and I both love the New Archie and I am super into Harley Quinn.”

Okay, let’s take a short break to enjoy something less pleasant.  Another swap-bot trade coming in is one of “free/ad food cards.”  A swapper in Colorado sent me a promo card from a restaurant in Texas she likes. The challenge was that it wasn’t designed to be used for correspondence: it’s printed all over.  She found the solution: to add a sticker to make my address legible.  I’m sad to report she didn’t use the same solution in her message to me; she used red ink, even over reddish brown print, and between that & some creative spelling, I had a REALLY tough time making out the message!   I had to go near a bright light & wag the card from side to side to read the reflection of the words.

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Cool robot sticker, though.

Oh, and someone else this time wrote part of her message in green ink.  Honestly: not all of us can read whatever people write, not matter how they write it. #writeinblackinkplease

Let’s move on!  The statue came to me from Hong Kong, in a “Hong Kong to the World” Postcrossing Forum tag, and you’ll see the back below, very decorated in plenty of beautiful stamps, washi tape, & more.

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A swap-bot “upcycled cardboard trade” is what brought me that panel from a box of chocolate-ish.  I saw it was rum & raisin, & went “oof” a little inside.  The sender, who is in Canada, writes:

I had this box of chocolates for months before actually trying it.  I put it off because I hate rum & raisin flavour…so obviously I didn’t like this chocolate.  Just remembering the taste makes my stomach turn.  It lives a better life as a postcard now.

You see this group contains the front of the card we discussed earlier.  On to the next set!  I love this “Taiwan Bravo!” card.  Apparently I’d favorited it, because it came to me in a Postcrossing Forum thread in which we are to send the person we tag a postcard from their favorites.  The sender tells me, “I’m a social worker.  Work for poor children.  =)”

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I had a really tough time finding out who sent me that Studio Ghibli card at right, so that I could acknowledge its receipt.  The sender did write the tag name, but no name, user name, or date.  Really, there’s a lot of identifying stuff that needs to be written on cards in the trade site game.  Often it’s good to write the important ones twice, as insurance against inky cancellations & machine tears.  I’d entered the particular trade multiple times lately, so used the fact that this card bears stamps from Taiwan to guess at who the sender is.  I sent her a conditional “thank you.” By the way, she wrote: “Ghibli is a nice cartoon.  There are many warm story.”

Last in that set is another from a swap-bot Disney swap.  Those bugs are from The Princess and the Frog, and was sent to me from a swapper in Green Cove Springs, Florida.  She wrote:

I am an avid Disney fan.  I love visiting Walt Disney World whenever I can.  In two weeks I’ll be renewing my annual pass for another year.  I hope you have a magical day!

She used some cool old stamps on her card–and a sticker of Stitch, too.

Last pair of cards: the “CCTV New Headquarter in CBD” was sent to me by a high schooler in Changchun, China. He didn’t note the tag trade thread, but he did write his user name, so that helped me find & thank him.  He wrote:

“Changchun is a city located in northeastern China.  My hometown is famous for winter sightseeing and automobile industry–a city of cars, like Detroit in U.S.  Welcome to China!”

He uses an extremely neat block print.  I should take such care when writing my postcards to be read around the world!

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Last card! It’s thanks to Postcard United, and it’s from Budapest, Hungary.  The sender wrote:

The Hungarian Parliament building is the 3th most biggest parliament building in the world.  It is very interesting, because Hungary is a little country.

So much beauty in the backsides: stamps, stickers, washi tape.  Enjoy!

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Taiwan’s stamps are so beautiful & colorful.

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I really, really like my country’s shorebirds postcard stamps.  I’d love for them to be a permanent offering!

My Quarters for a Map Card! Sent to England, Germany, Japan, Macau, Scotland, Switzerland, Taiwan, & the U.S.

A dozen outgoing cards to share this time, and lots of variety.  Make sure to check out all of the stamps, stamps, stickers, washi tape, & weather doodles at the end!

But before we end, we begin.  And we begin with some food recently detailed in another post.  This portion went out to Alamo, Texas, in a swap-bot trade of ad/food postcards.

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California’s Grapevine–a very yawny route–went to Macau, in a Postcard United draw.  I don’t remember sending to or receiving from Macau before, but that’s all changed now.  A day after I drew this user’s name, I RECEIVED a postcard from her!  This is not the 1st time that this has happened to me on Postcard United.  Do you use the site, and has this happened to you?

The California state map with the gigantic surfer went to Schiffdorf, Germany in a Postcrossing trade in which we were to send the person we tagged a card from among those they had marked as favorites.  This was my very last state map postcard!  It’s a crying shame, because for some reason, a whole lot of postcarders seem to love & collect map cards.  I even took a day trip to touristy Monterey, California, last week, in part to restock on California map cards.  I popped into SO many stores selling cards–one of them had a huge wall of cards–and I encountered ZERO map cards.  I’ll be taking an overnight trip up the coast this weekend, & see what I find.

Next set of 3!  The “Keep Surfing, Dummies” shark swam off to Lynnfield, Massachusetts, in a Postcrossing Forum trade where partners choose the card they would like from those in an album the previous tagger has posted.  Scroll down & I’m sure you’ll be able to identify the card’s backside, seriously themed with oceany stamps, stickers, washi tape–and even a lurking shark!

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The very bored-looking reader went to Glasgow, Scotland in another favorites tag.  This Postcrosser’s profile mustn’t have given me too much to work with, because I behaved like a scoundrel & wrote about the weather.  To be fair, California weather has been extraordinary lately: 101, a major state highway, was completely closed down in southern San Jose due to flooding.  Heck, animals at the city’s zoo had to be moved.

Peanuts!  That’s off to Dongshan County, Yilan, Taiwan in another Postcrossing Forum trade.  That one was all about cards going to & from that country, so I’m happy to say another Taiwanese Postcrosser will soon be sending me a card.

Next set of 3, and aren’t those otters beautiful?  Every once in a while–and a couple of times recently–a wild otter will hop up to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s great tide pool exhibit, give birth, and hang out for a day or two before hauling back out with her new pup.  This card, and several other otter cards purchased at the aquarium, ended up being the only postcards I purchased during my day trip I mentioned earlier in the post.  This card went to my post pal in Hawaii!

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Kitty in pearls went to Tokyo, Japan in yet another Postcrossing Forum tag.  Yes, I love those trades.  You should check them out, if you never have.

Another beautiful kitty, the tiger, went to Poughkeepsie, New York, for a swap-bot trade of “beachy” postcards.

The last trio of postcards here go out in a pair of Disney-related swap-bot trades.

Beauty & the Beast are on their way to to a trader in Metairie, Lousiana, who might have the most beefed-up swap-bot profile (or any profile, for that matter) that I have ever seen.  Music, books, movies, TV, plus her Hogwarts house AND plenty of writing prompts for would-be correspondents–these are just for starters!  I enjoyed her list of dislikes, perhaps most of all this section:

“misspelling (stationery includes envelopes; stationary means affixed 🙂 and poor grammar (should have; a lot; lack of commas in direct address; don’t even get me started on it’s and its or they’re, there, and their :(“

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Rapunzel’s prison should end up in Sion, Valais, Switzerland; and Snow White & friends went to Brighton, Sussex, England.

Okay, time to look at all of those backsides!  If you look closely, you will see a few changes in weather in the time I was preparing these cards.

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Okay, here comes the back of that shark card I shared…

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Oh, it was really windy when I prepared the Disney cards.  I created a new weather doodle!  Also, a few days before writing these cards, I had been to San Jose’s Japantown, where I bought a sheet of silly sushi stickers, which I used on all 3 of these cards.

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DONE!  What do you think?  What are your favorite cards/stickers/whatever this time around?  And how much do you want to bet I will never see another California map card out in the wild again?

 

 

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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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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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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Holiday Special IV: Lawn Ornament Edition

There’s a neighborhood quite close to mine, populated by mock-Victorian homes, which are decorated quite austerely this time of year with white lights.

I avoid that place like the plague.

I head for the joy.  Yeah, THIS is the kind of thing I’m looking for!

 

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For about 50 years, this neighborhood has been decked out with custom-made, stand-up displays depicting classic characters & the latest movies, and has been raising lots of money for charity in the process.

I’m not showing my favorites–just the ones that are somehow snail mail-related.  These last 3 photos attempt to duplicate the “greeting cards” that can be seen as the boats exit the It’s a Small World Holiday ride at Disneyland.  I’ve always wanted Disneyland to actually sell these cards–but it’s quite difficult to find nice It’s a Small World souvenirs of any kind.

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One more Holiday Special to come!  Unless I post more than one.  Or just forget entirely.