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.

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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!

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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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Hello Again: Sent to Belarus, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, & Malaysia

Hello there, it’s been a while! I am so behind in posting here.  I’ve still been posting–that is, mailing & receiving mail–but other things have been getting in my way of keeping track of it all: more work, more tired, trying to fit in more time for reading & other important things.  I’ve got a fistful of mail ready to go out, so let’s look at it before I send it off!

These all come from Postcrossing Forum trades, most from the offers threads, where a user gets to choose which postcard they will receive from a sender. I love looking through those, and discovering I have a card another user would love to receive.  Let’s start with Lucy here, because there is a story.  Not much of a story, but it’s as dramatic as things got this time around, so let’s go with it.

postcard toon Peanuts Lucy

I got tagged by a possible recipient in Germany, who wanted me to send the card blank in an envelope, because he wanted it for a friend. This is exactly not why I joined Postcrossing. Postcards are meant to be written on, stamped, and dropped directly into the mail box. This fella knew that, because it’s now part of my Postcrossing Forum signature.  Eventually, he settled on the idea that I could mail it directly to his friend–which is what I did (with a note that started off by saying so-and-so thought he would like this card).  Off it goes to Berlin, Germany.

Let’s go on to more Peanuts, and also more Germany: Snoopy here was requested by a Postcrosser in Köln (AKA Cologne), Germany.

postcard toon Peanuts Dark and Stormy

More toons, this time going to Selangor, Malaysia, to someone who likes children’s book illustrations.

postcard toon Eric Carle Museum Elephant and Piggie art studio

Do you know Elephant & Piggie? They are by the wonderful Mo Willems, who also wrote Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. If you’ve not exposed yourself to his work, you are missing out.

Someone in Minsk, Belarus, wanted this windmill postcard from my offer album, so that is exactly what she shall get.

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The “North Central Coast Wineries” map card was requested by someone in Yotsukaido, Japan. I told her I go to Monterey a lot, but I wasn’t at all aware of the wineries in the area before buying this postcard (at a gas station way down in San Luis Obispo County).

postcard a map SLO wineries

I took a nice little trip to Trinidad–CALIFORNIA–a few months ago.  This card was requested by a Postcrosser in Hefei, Anhui, China.

postcard a California Trinidad

The last card goes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in a “last movie I’ve seen” tag. I never saw “Maudie,” though I did see the preview.  The last movie I’ve seen is Victoria and Abdul, starring Judi Dench.

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Stamps, stickers, washi tape: see anything you like?

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Sent to China, England, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, & Taiwan (Part 2)

Last time, I ended up just showing off the backsides of these eleven postcards I’ve sent out recently.  Time to flip them all over!  Most of these went out in Postcrossing Forum tag trades–if anything else is the case here, I’ll make note of it.

These three presidential Peanuts characters went out into the world along with my recommendation that each of them would have been a reasonable choice for my nation’s top office.  The worst I could say was that Pig-Pen may be dirty–but he’s certainly not the kind of dirty we are becoming used to!  That candidate went out to Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, and Charlie Brown (“He is kind & fair to everyone,” I wrote) went to Tokyo, Japan. The third candidate, Franklin (“Oh, how I wish Franklin had run! He’s such a good guy, who studies hard & is always fair”) went to my Peanuts-crazy postpal in Peacehaven, East Sussex, England.

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Peanuts 2020.  Because we’ve proven we’re not against cartoon characters holding office.

Okay, now that we’ve seen the would-have-been candidates, let’s rush through the rest of the cards, four at a time.  Which are your favorites, this time?

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The Met Museum: Sevilla, Spain (Postcard United draw)

Tiled Peanuts gang: Yokohama, Japan

Marching ducklings: Udupi, Karnataka, India

Flying crane: Neuss, Germany

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Monterey Bay Aquarium octopus: Shenyang, Liaoning, China

Pismo Beach butterflies: Selangor, Malaysia (Postcrossing draw)

Matisse-Still Life with Pomegranates: Kaohsiung, Taiwan (Postcrossing draw)

Matisse-The Divan: Weifang, Shandong, China (Postcard United draw)

Chock Full O’ Peanuts, with a Hint of Veggie Bacon: Sent to Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, & Taiwan

Over the past couple of days, I’ve prepped cards to send off in several Postcrossing Forum trades–including the nearly-always-dormant (but currently moving) Snoopy/Peanuts thread!  And though that only accounts for one of the four trades here, there are several Peanuts lovers in the bunch.

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Lucy is pounding sand on her way to Dongshan Township, Taiwan.  This user wanted senders to draw a cute picture for her, so I did, as you will see below.

Those “bacon strips” are a vegetarian product from Morningstar Farms, and something I’ve been buying & enjoying for years.  The card is on its way to Singapore for a Food Package Postcard tag, and as I told that recipient, I just used some of that bacon this week in a veggie BLT with avocado.  She’s a dalmatian lover, and you’ll notice that I tried to please her when I adorned the back side of her card.

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Let’s go with Lucy, a born leader!  That’s from a series of Peanuts character cards printed for the political season.  As I told this card’s recipient, who lives in Selangor, Malaysia, I do not think Lucy would make a good President–but I can think of at least once person who would be worse.

Finally we come to the postcard that shows us the time Linus attempted to sell Violet some bogus cat toys.  That’s the one that is going off in the Snoopy/Peanuts tag, and it is going to Yokohama, Japan.

Time to show off the backsides of the cards, each one a real party!  The stamps I pre-ordered quite some time ago finally arrived this week: they are the Lunar New Year stamps, and also the seashell stamps, which I love.  I’m also a huge fan of the shore birds postcard stamps, which I’ve had for quite some time.  I’m going to have to rework my stamp math now that the Forever stamp rate has come up; my first attempt, with one Forever stamp plus two postcard stamps, runs a couple of cents over the $1.15 international rate.

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The Fussbudget Goes Overseas: Sent to Japan, Malaysia, & Thailand

Four off on their way to Asia!  The two cards on the left, featuring famous fussbudget Lucy Van Pelt, are both going to Japan in separate Postcrossing Forum tag trades.

The top one goes to Tokyo, Japan, thanks to a Snoopy/Peanuts tag, and the one below it goes to Osaka, in a “Studio Ghibli/something from your wishlist” trade.  No, Peanuts is not part of Studio Ghibli.  That is what someone will be sending ME.  I purchased both of these cards at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California, the only source for Peanuts cards that I’ve come across here in the U.S.  I told both of these recipients that I love these versions of the characters; the original ’50s/’60s (but really mostly just ’50s) versions–complete with Snoopy on all fours–are my very favorite looks for the Peanuts gang.

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The two cards on the right are regular Postcrossing draws, and how lucky am I?  Two rare destinations in Asia: Malaysia & Thailand!  Both cards are pulled from the Disappointassortment, but only because the Postcrossers expressed an interest in the general themes depicted.  The book card goes to someone in Bangkok, Thailand, because she was interest in book/reading-related cards, and it is this card that is the problem.  The manufacturers of this line of cards saw fit to coat the back of many of them in a somewhat-glossy finish that, as you can see by peering at my scans below, ruins stamped impressions one makes on them: the ink immediately blurs/smears.  Also, not all writing implements can stand up to this surface, but mine is fortunately up to the task.  It’s a shame I did not notice the surface before stamping, because that mailbox & fish look like h-ck.  Compare them to the versions immediately below, on the card bound for Selangor, Malaysia.

Enjoy the stamps, stamps, sticker, & washi tape:

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Fun, double-sweet, with a strong chaser: Received from China, Malaysia, Slovenia, & the United States

Love that cut-out postcard with the bottles o’ booze!

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It came to me from China, via Postcrossing, and the sender tells me, “this is a card about the traditional Chinese wine ‘Er Guo Tou.'”

Next we have a pair of chocolatey treats, first from the swap-bot chunk o cardboard trade, from a swapper in Arizona, comes the talenti gelato bar.  The sender tells me these things are “confirmed tasty.”

I would probably first go for the Magnum bar, since there is no caramel involved.  This one is from Selangor, Malaysia, via a Postcrossing Forum “food package postcard” tag.

The old toys came to me from a Postcrosser in Trbovlje, Slovenia.  She describes Trbovlje (I hope I am pronouncing that correctly) as a “coal mining town in the heart of my homeland.” She also writes about this postcard:

“This card shows toys of our childhood, which was in collection of Children’s Museum Herman’s Den in Celje.”

Intrigued by the name, I did an online search for this place, and found a photo of a group of the most bored-looking children ever.

Stamps & postmarks:

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