Switcheroo, or Double Switcheroo? Sent to Estonia

The cool thing about Postcrossing Forums is that you get to choose the tags in which you participate.  Do you want to send & receive cards made from food packages?  There’s a tag for that!  Cards from a postcard book?  They’ve got that!  Animals? Islands? Ugly cards? Yep, yup, and oh, yez!  So when I tagged a Postcrosser in Tartu, Estonia, in the Snoopy/Peanuts tag, I knew my card would find a good home.

Or maybe not so much.

In her U2U (internal Postcrossing Forum email) to me to give me her mailing address, the person I tagged wrote, “I´m very thankful, if you will change your cards and send to me fauna postcards.”

WHAT?!?

I went to look at her profile, and asked “WHAT?!?,” again, as I read this line:

“Sry, but i don’t like drawn postcards and also i don’t like postcards with…cartoons…”

HUH?!?  WHY ON EARTH would you enter a themed tag, if you don’t want cards that fit in with the theme?

Further, she wrote to me, “please, if possible, send a card / cards in an envelope.”  Not only against the spirit of Postcrossing, but, as I say in my auto signature on the Forum, I send my cards as the snail mail gawdz intended: written & stamped.

¡Increíble!

Here’s the card I sent:

postcard toon Peanuts Charlie Brown Schulz Museum

A backside?  Yes, this card has one: and as you’ll see, I was able to give her some fauna.

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Snoopy Treasure! Received from Hawaii

After a somewhat long & stressful work day, that began with me waking up hours early thanks to a vivid (but actually quite useful) work dream, I was so happy to come home to this beautiful surprise envelope from my pen pal Cindi.

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I love all three of those stamps.  You know, I grew up on comics–ALL of them.  I used to read every single comic strip in the newspapers.  This lasted until Bill Watterson gave up producing Calvin & Hobbes, my favorite strip.  That’s the day comics stopped being so fun. Now I still do receive a paper–but I don’t always pick up the comic section at all, yet alone read much of what’s in it.  I suppose if more people got newspapers, read the comics, and got vocal about what they loved & why, the comics could–dare I say it–be great again.

Okay, enough of the aside, let’s get back to the treasure!  I love this art atop Cindi’s letter.

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Hey, it’s Young Sally Brown!

And here, the treasure amid the treasure!  Suntan Snoopy enjoying some Hawaiian local food: Loco Moco!  I love the sticker.  I might have gasped when I pulled it out of the envelope, I don’t remember.

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Now a sticker sheet!  Awesome.

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I would love a sheet of Pig-Pen stickers!

Now, a New Year postcard from Japan!  I’ve said it before, & now I’ll say it again: why aren’t New Year greeting postcards a thing here in the U.S.?

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Hey, a book mark!  Two, actually!  Which is good, since I never read just one book at a time.

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So many details in this package, I need to try to include as many as possible.  Let me show the backside of the letter paper:

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And there were these somewhat small envelopes (not quite 4″ x 6″) that were printed for mailing.  Dare I try it?

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…and the matching letter sheets…

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And, putting a stake in it–washi tape!

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WOW.

What a great way to end a day!  And it was all so overwhelming, I went right to sleep.

 

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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Has Russia Hacked Postcrossing/-cardunited? Sent toGermany, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Taiwan, & the U.S.

This time:

  • A conspiracy?
  • A Snoopy treasure trove discovered, and cast far & wide
  • Other stuff
  • Tons of stamps & stickers

Let’s start with Good Ol’ Snoopy Brown.  I’ve mentioned many times in this space the lack of Snoopy/Peanuts cards here in the U.S.  Despite being the birthplace of the comic strip, and although Peanuts greeting cards seem to be sold absolutely everywhere (even in supermarkets), the postcards are just not found unless you go to the source: the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

That being the case, I was thrilled to find a book of 1970’s-era Snoopy postcards on sale online!

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Several have already been dispatched, including to Peanuts-loving pen-pals of mine in Hawaii, Tokyo, & England (I know I didn’t write that trio out as an equal set, yes).  Those cards (and one to Taoyuan, Taiwan, for a Postcrossing Forum tag) went out as postcards should, with a note & a stamp on the back, & dropped into a mailbox.  The next one here went out to a Postcrossing Forum regular in Finland who says that she gives Snoopy postcards to a friend, so she’d like hers in an envelope.  Okay, fine–I made an envelope:

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She also likes to collect stamps, so since I was already throwing stuff into an envelope, I added some stamps from my incoming mail.

The foggy view of Golden Gate Bridge was chosen by someone in Berlin, Germany, in a Postcrossing Forum “show the card you offer” tag.  I’m glad I had something she liked.

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To Berlin & St. Petersburg

Okay, let’s get into the Russia hack scandal story I’ve just made up (or unearthed inadvertently, who knows).  I have fallen way behind on “official” cards traveling out via Postcrossing Forum & Postcard United: between the two sites, I had only 1 card traveling (I think I can have around 30 at this point if I chose to).  Yes, I’m sending a lot of cards out, but it’s mainly via Postcrossing Forum, which offers so many different options that I’ve just found it the more fun way to go.  The problem I have with the main focus of the two sites is that Postcrossing Forum seems to send me constantly to just the same 3-4 countries, and Postcard United’s algorithm is so rough that there are repeat encounters with the same people, and I’m being paired within my own country.

Anyhow, I decided to send some cards out again via the two sites, so started asking to be assigned addresses:

Click 1–Postcrossing: Saint Petersburg, RUSSIA.  Of course.  Decided to try my luck next at the other site.

Click 2–Postcard United: Moscow, RUSSIA.  Why, I oughta…

Click 3–Postcard United: Krasnodar, RUSSIA.  What?!?  I claim shenanigans.  I’m moving back to the other site.

Click 4–Postcrossing: Alkmaar, Netherlands.  Fine.  I then quit while I was ahead.  We’ll see when I click on those “send a postcard” buttons again.  This is supposed to be relaxing.

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A sweetened pickle to the Netherlands, and the rest to Russia.

Moving on from the Eastern European drama… the pair of cards pictured next went off to China, in Postcrossing Forum tags.  The aerial view of Hearst Castle (another card I replenished during my recent postcard-gathering road trip) is headed toward a food safety major in Beijing, who expressed his wishes for anything local to the sender: “local buildings…anything local is welcome!”  If by local, he meant anything in the same state, this place 3 hours or so away from me is local!

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The pancakes, which I received recently from a Postcard Uniter, go to Heifei, Anhui, China, in a food postcard trade.  The recipient is a chemistry student who says he loves travel, and receiving food postcards.

Finally, this multi-zoned California map card (part of my recent haul) went off to Hong Kong, to someone hoping for map cards. I told her that within just a couple of months, I will have traveled to every segment on the left sided of the card within this calendar year.  I do love coastal trips!

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Now a look at stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff–do you have any favorites down here? Behold the new USPS stamp release, Delicioso, which “celebrates the influence of Central and South American, Mexican, and Caribbean foods and flavors on American cuisine.”  And I always love the shorebird & sea shell postcard stamp sets.

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Snoopy Treasures Fit for Framing: Received from Japan

Look at what I received from my pen pal in Tokyo, Japan!

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Two of my favorites would be at the bottom center of this scan, because I love Pig-Pen & Franklin.  Of course, the 2nd one in on the row above that is great, too.  And the 3rd & 4th ones in the row above that.  And all the rest of them, as well!

Unless you are viewing this on a phone, I think it’s safe to say each of these little cards are smaller than they appear on your screen.  My friend tells me what they are:

HANAFUDA.  It’s one of cards game in Japan.  Honestly, I have never played it.  Moreover, I’m not sure how to play.”

This is most of the cards, but not all of them; I only laid them out until my scanner glass was full.  I took a couple of shots of the box, too:

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Aren’t they beautiful?  Here’s what I’d like to do: FRAME THEM.  I’d take them to a framing service, but every time I do that,  it costs an awful lot of money.  Do you have any framing tips for these?  I’ve only scratched the surface of online search results, as I write this.

My friend’s note was written on this postcard…

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And she bought the gift at Snoopy Town–something we just don’t have here in the U.S.

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Her packages always look so nice:

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Cool, huh?  Remember, if you have hanafuda-framing tips, I can’t wait to know about them!

Infinite Crisis: Received from Japan, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, & the U.S.

This time:

  • How do you slap a new backing on a received card (catch & release)?
  • Postcrossers not living in the country Postcrossing think they live in
  • An “inner-national” piece of mail via Postcard United
  • Not covered at all down below, but I recieved two pieces of mail (one a week for the past two weeks) for that house that is not on my street
  • And other stuff

Let’s do this.

Hey, look at this travel poster-themed card from Cindi in Hawaii!  She tells me the art is by Nick Kuchar, who I see has been doing some good work over there for a little while now.

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Some more beautiful art now, this one an original piece made for me by a swap-botter in Pennsylvania for a “Earth Day Upcycle Postcard Swap.”  She really got into the theme!  She tells me:

“I’ve always loved this holiday.  I was president of my school’s ecology club, and now I spend a lot of time hiking and camping in nature.  I want future generations to enjoy the same beautiful places as well.”

The line about hiking in nature reminds me of my Facebook friend who always posts a status of “taking a walk” when he is at a mall.

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Next up is Hello Kitty, who of course–as you know, if you follow the news–is not a cat.  That’s from Japan via Postcrossing Forum, and I’m not going to transcribe the message, because it’s part of the scan down at the bottom of this post.  Some fun sticker work there, too!

The big red star is a regular Postcrossing card, sent to me from Moscow, Russia by someone living there for the last 5 years. She says she was born in Belarus.  Her member registration is BY–meaning she still tells Postcrossing that she lives in Belarus, and thus officially, I received this card from Belarus.  But I didn’t.

I love that not-snowman beach scene, from a Postcard United member in Jeju Island, South Korea! She tells me the writing on the card translates to “I hope your dreams come true.  Keep it up.”

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The Mount Hood card was sent to me from the Medford, Oregon area for a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, in which we were to slap a new backing on a card we’d received & send it to our swap partner.  Now, when I do this, I grab a chunk of cardboard (usually from a stamp order), glue it to the back, & cut it to size. Very chunky, heavy, & inelegant.  This sender had some sort of thin white sticker printed with “POSTCARD” across the top, “Please deliver to” on the address side, and “This card handstamped by _________” on the bottom of the message side.  I can see through the sticker that there is writing underneath–but I can’t see it all that well.  I guess I should scan this side of the card so you can see exactly what I’m talking about, but it’s early in the morning as I write this portion of this entry, I’m curled up on the end of the couch with my 1st cup of coffee, and I’m feeling too lazy.  This takes up too much of my time, anyhow!  In my thank-you message to the sender, I suggested I’d like to know about the special (lightweight) backing–but now word back as of yet.  Do you think she designed it herself to print on some Avery sticker paper?

Pooh is from Taiwan, via a Postcrossing Forum tag trade.  Scroll down to enjoy a whole lot of wonderful stamps!

The two recipe cards here arrived blank, in an envelope, along with a signature written in an odd Easter card (no message, just “Happy Easter!,” a signature, & Postcard United ID).  It was sent to me from Chicago, Illinois.  What?  I thought we were only supposed to receive cards from other countries!  Consarn it.  Well, I know there are people who would like to receive these cards.  In fact, I’ve already mailed one out–but those details can wait for a future post.

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Time for stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff.

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I love this huge-man-in-a-little-airplane stamp from South Korea!

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It’s All About Having Something to Read When You Flip Over that Card: Received from China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Russia, South Africa, & the U.S.

From somewhere in the U.S.: I love this Ghostbusters postcard, torn from a toy box for a swap-bot “up-cycled cardboard” trade.  I opposite-of-love the lack of a message; all the sender wrote was “I hope you enjoy my postcard!  HAVE A GREAT DAY!” This is a postcard with a story, and I wish the sender had told a bit of that.

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From Japan: Hey, those look like Bugles!  Bugles, the snack–have you had them?  I can’t remember the last time I have, but this makes me want some.  Anyhow, the card came to me via a Postcrossing Forum food package postcard tag, and the sender writes:

“This is one of my favorite snacks.  It’s made of corn.  I like its crisp texture.  You can see ‘TONGARI CORN’ at the bottom of the card.  ‘TONGARI’ means cone.  So, the name of the snack is ‘Cone Corn!’  It is simple and funny, isn’t it?! =)”

See how exceptionally easy it is to come up with something to say on a postcard created from a package?

From Russia: (from the same tag) That yellow panel from a cereal box, if you turned it over, you would see the sender wrote so much that there was almost no room to include my mailing address, which was jammed down into the lower-right corner of the card.  Here’s just a little bit of the message:

“I adore the packaging of products and my room is full of these things.  I have nowhere to put them, but I can’t throw out another box or jar.  It seems this is a disease!  This packaging is from a cereal called ‘Rye Balls.’  I bought these balls when I first went to the fair in my town last December.  They help me out when I have no time to cook breakfast.  Do you like graphic novels?  ‘Blacksad‘ by Juan Diaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido conquered my heart.  I had to read on the internet, but at the end of 2015, it was published in Russian.  I was so glad!”

That was only about half of the message.  You know, it’s all about having something to read when you flip over that card.

From Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa: That ice cream bar looks pretty good–though I would choose one with chocolate ice cream! The sender tells me about it:

“We absolutely love the Choc Pie ice cream.  Mind you, I love any ice cream.  I even eat ice cream in the winter.”

Well, winter is THE best time to eat ice cream!  After all, it’s loaded with fat, to warm you up.

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I especially like this next set of 3 postcards.  This structure is artistic & gorgeous.  It’s from China, and the sender tells me it’s a “traditional house…but most of them are become tourist places.”

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From the Netherlands, the reading man:

“I chose this card because I liked the image of this man.  He has obviously read so much that the letters come off of the pages.  I love to read!  Mostly sci-fi and fantasy.  Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors.”

Terry Pratchett is wonderful!  I’m overdue to read another of his books.

Oh, look at those fierce piranhas.  The sender is in North Carolina, and tells me:

“I visited Myrtle Beach last summer.  The aquarium was unique.  My favorite part was the jellyfish section.  They changed colors.  The alligator adventure animal park was awesome, too.  We also got our picture taken with two tigers and a monkey…”

Okay, that doesn’t sound like conservation.

From Germany, pancakes.  This Postcrosser writes:

“…I love cooking, baking, and good food.  The word on the front of the card means “enjoy!’  My favorites are Spanish, Italian, and Japanese food, and of course, the German food made by my mother.”

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From Russia: the snow scene is from a brand-new Postcrosser–he tells me this is his first card!  And other than that, a great expanse of snowy-white space surrounding his bit of a message.  I hope he will learn.  It’s the folks who have been Postcrossing or bot-swapping for years, and still can’t manage a message, who make me wonder.

I love that huge fish art installation on the bottom row of the Belfast card.  This came to me from Ireland, of course, and the sender tells me this is where he spent “the holidays.”

Okay, it’s finally time to look at the stamps.  There’s a sideways stamp, from China, showing some flying cranes.  Very nice.

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The Cereal Box Word Search: Sent to China, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, & Netherlands

As usual, I’m behind in logging my sent cards, to the point where I can no longer identify everything correctly. Let’s knock some out now, starting with a few that I’m just sending out this very week, and then I’ll work my way back a bit.  This still leaves more in the backlog.  I’m afraid my blog is no longer completist, if it ever was.  Let’s do this.  Most of these cards went out in Postcrossing Forum tags.

Two cards from the Monterey Bay Aquarium: the two otters went off to Kita-ku, Kobe, Japan, and the exterior view is on its way to Tianjin, China.

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I noticed I had zero traveling cards on Postcard United, & just one on Postcrossing, so I clicked on “send a card” on both of those services. The view of Hawaii’s Mauna Kea goes to Untermünkheim, Germany, to a brand-new Postcrosser (2 weeks in) who hasn’t even bothered to create a profile yet.  I grabbed a card that would give me something to say (in short, love the Big Island of Hawaii; don’t care for snow, so only gaze up at it from the warm below).

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The Matisse image is going to Hong Kong, to a VERY prolific Postcard Uniter: in less than 3 years on the site, she has somehow managed to send out 3,027 cards!  Through some odd injustice, though, she has only received 2,228 cards to date.

More recycled cardboard: I like that I was able to provide the person I tagged in Niigata, Japan, with an entire word search (hewn from the back of a box of cereal).

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Oh my gosh, this card–another one from the infamous (to me, at least) Disappointassortment.  It went to Berlin, Germany–and it was actually on that Postcrosser’s wall of favorites!

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I decided I needed to do what the producers of the card did not bother to: identify this clock tower.  After some amount of web searching & comparing images, I came up with the determination that it is Old Town Hall in Prague, Czech Republic.

Last up is an envelope that I sent off to Zaandam, Netherlands.  Just the envelope, because I can’t remember what card was inside.  Well, I think I know what card was inside, because I don’t often get a request to send a card in an envelope–and I don’t always comply.  But let’s focus on the envelope, which I made from an ad for…something.  I think it’s for the butterflies at San Francisco’s Cal Academy of Sciences.

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Okay, time for all of the stamps, stamps, stickers, washi tape, etc.  What did you like this time around?

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From Recycling Bin to Mail Box: Sent to Canada, Japan, & the U.S.

Lots of reuse/recycling/upcycling going on around here lately!  I sent out these cards in a number of upcycling-related swap-bot & Postcrossing Forum rounds.

I made these stamp cards months & months ago (and have shared them here), utilizing some of my most-unwanted cards from the disappointassortment I made the mistake of purchasing.  I sent these two off to Mounds View, Minnesota; and North Conway, New Hampshire.

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This mock meat product was just awful–and I have zero aversion to faux meats–the product was just bad.  The package makes a fun postcard, though!  Off it went to Tottori, Japan.

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Milk-Bones & Canada Dry going to recipients in Universal City and Houston, Texas.

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Same swap here, saltines going to Sweet Home, Oregon, and pineapple cookies to Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada.

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This next pair is going to Japan.  Okay, the Bay Bridge one isn’t recycled, but it got scanned with a recycled card, so in it goes!

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Time for stamps, stickers, washi tape–and a few weather drawings.  Enjoy!

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The Case for Waterproof Ink: Received from Germany

This morning–and I don’t know why this happened–I opened my front door to find this on my doorstep:

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I don’t know how this beluga got where it was–it might have swam there, as it was raining all night.  Oh, and it’s not the photo part of this card I saw first; it was message-side up:

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It’s amazing to me how this scan underplays how very smudged this card is.  Apparently my scanner needs to be calibrated, or something.  Do you see all the faded color behind the purple lettering?  Imagine it twice as dark.  And smudgey.

So many questions go through my mind:

  1. How DID this come to be on my front porch, about 14 inches from my door, exposed to the rain?
  2. Why did whomever brought it to me not drop it in my mail slot?
  3. Why did the sender (this came, you may have noticed, from Germany via Postcard United) write in colored ink on a floral field?  Colored inks are problematic.
  4. And why did that sender write part of that message across the address information?

Between numbers 3 & 4, I don’t really know what’s going on.  I mean, even the part of the message I CAN read–I just don’t know what’s going on.

I never know what’s going on.

I’ll assume, I guess, that the sender didn’t even know that the purple pen was filled with water-soluble ink.  And of course, the person didn’t know the card would be left on my semi-rainy front step–BUT–one can assume that any postcard, on its journey, may well encounter a bit of water on a floor, in a postal box, on a thumb–or something.

I use a water-resistant, fast-drying black-inked pen, and I always regret when I end up using a different pen.  Since joining the snail mail revolution, I’ve started buying these pens (which I learned about in a Mental Floss interview with a pen guy of some sort) in bulk.  It’s actually about time I ordered a 3rd box of 12.

Snail mail can’t win back the world, if it’s illegible.