With All Apologies: Sent to Finland, the U.K., & the U.S.

I’ve recently done some transgressing in my postcard life.

It all started when I signed up for one of the Postcrossing Forum “you choose” threads, in which the person tagging you makes a selection from cards you offer.

And I could not find the card selected by the person who tagged me.

I was SURE I still had the card the person selected.  So I looked for it.

FOR WEEKS, I looked for that card.

It shouldn’t have happened, and it felt bad, but that’s what happened.  I was just so sure it was waiting for me to find it.  In fact, now that I’ve mailed something else to my poor tag-mate, I’m still fairly positive that postcard will jump out and say, “SURPRISE!”

The card she chose was a movie poster, so I sent her both of the movie poster cards I COULD find, plus an otter card since she likes animal cards, a landscape shot since she likes landscape cards, an Elephant & Piggie card since she likes children’s book illustrations, and several stamps, as she–well, you get it.  I crafted an envelope from an old calendar page, & off that went.  Oh, I also included a sticker sheet I had found while attempting to locate the card she actually wanted.

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Then came the swap-bot debacle.

I went on a very nice little vacation recently, and while I was gone, a swap-bot trade for which I’d registered opened up for swapping.  And before I’d returned, the “send-by” date had come and gone–all of this without me realizing it.

At some point, months ago, I had tried to adjust my swap-bot e-mail notifications, so I wouldn’t get trivial emails from them every five minutes (I really don’t want to know, “helpful” mod, every time there is a sale at Joann’s Fabrics.  I DON’T CARE).  It didn’t work; I still get the nonsense emails, but NOT the ones that keep me informed about swap deadlines).

Anyhow, if I had been keeping track of swap-bot, and my own calendar, this would not have happened.  But when I came home to see I had for the first time missed a swap-bot deadline, I got down to business.  I was to have sent each of my two partners a single postcard, but instead I sent them each four, along with extras, using their profile as a guide:

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I also sent each of them a message (and a message to the swap admin, too) to apologize & let them know the actions I was taking.  I got three very kind & understanding messages in return.

Have you ever found yourself on the wrong side of postcarding law?  Feels so bad, am I right?

We Begin with Buns & a Dragon: Received from Australia, China, Germany, India, Poland, South Africa, & the U.S.

NINE (count ’em!) cards to share this time around!  They come via Postcrossing, Postcrossing Forum, Postcard United, & swap-bot.  Let’s start with my two very favorite, one of which is this delicious image of char siu bao!  The card is from Shanghai, China, and the sender writes:

You know the picture of the food on the postcard? It’s steamed bun and it’s a little sweet. You can usually eat it in Guangzhou province in China.

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The beautiful seahorse card is from Australia.  Pretty cool how the postage “stamp” is part of the printed image.  The sender tells me:

The weedy seadragon is native to Australia and are a threatened species.  They are found in seaweed beds along the southern parts of Australia.  They can grow up to 45 cm (18 in) in size.  They are slow moving and rely on their leafy body parts as camouflage in the seaweed.  Although I haven’t seen a seadragon in the wild, I have seen them at Seahorse World in Tasmania, which is a working seahorse farm who have guided tours.  I could have stayed there all day watching them and the seahorses!

Otters!  That one is from Lowell, Indiana, and was part of a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, which means this sender received the card from someone else, but slapped a new backing on it & sent it my way.  I like this one enough to keep it around!

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I’d regift this nice couple, though!  The card came to me from Poland, from a Postcard Uniter who tells me she is 20 years old, and she loves to travel and cook.

Still more mentions of food on this colorful night view from Nanjing, China.  The sender asks:

Have you tried a special Chinese snack called spicy dry tofu?  It’s a famous snack in China.  It’s spicy, little sweet and salty.  Maybe you will love it!

Maybe I will!  Since she didn’t include the Chinese name in Pinyin, I couldn’t tell if it’s one of the tofu snacks I’ve tried.

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More scenery, this time from India!  So rare that I have postcards traveling to & from there, so it’s a real pleasure.  The image is labeled as being of the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Gangtok, Sikkim, India, and the sender tells me she picked up the postcard there “when on the Darjeeling-Gangtok-Kalimpong circuit!”

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The gazebo came to me from Virgina, and it’s labeled as being at Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin.

These two avid readers were sent to me by a swap-botter in Germany, and she says:

Well, I don’t know about you, but if I have to choose between the 2 newspapers–I definitely go for the comics!!!”

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I took a hard look at the comics section, and was able to discern the strips printed here: Peanuts, Andy Capp, Blondie, and Prince Valiant.

The last card is made from the panel of a waffle box, and it is not as tall as most of the postcards, but much longer than any of them.  Hard to tell, as it was scanned separately!  It came from a swapper in Brakpan, Gauteng, South Africa.

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Okay, it’s finally time for stamps, stickers, and washi tape!  One of my favorites this time around would be the beautiful sun conure from Australia.  See anything YOU like?

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There are some Russian stamps in this card, because while doing the scanning, I overlooked the fact that I’d already logged the corresponding card.  Oops!  The stamps are still interesting though, so enjoy (again)!

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Aren’t Movie Ads Always Better Than their Movies? Sent to Belarus, Chile, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Africa, & the U.S.

Starting with a trio of cards going out in a swap-bot trade.  The giraffe goes to an animal lover in Santiago, Chile; and the lighthouse goes to a lighthouse lover in Newnan, Georgia, U.S.A.

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Next up is an image from the book “Furqan’s First Flat Top,” by Robert Liu-Trujillo. That goes to Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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The “California Has Everything” card went out in a Postcrossing Forum tag to Hidaka, Saitama, Japan.  The Postcrosser said she liked map cards, so there she goes.  Not great for navigation, but I don’t think that’s necessarily what most map card lovers have in mind.

This movie poster postcard is going out to Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, in a Postcrossing Forum “last movie I’ve seen” tag.  Nice when the theater has free postcards for their movies!  Sometimes I like the availability of postcards more than I like the movies I see.  Such was the case with this film.

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I have clicked on Postcrossing’s “send a postcard” button 3 more times, and landed on eastern Europe with each click.  The gargoyle head goes to Bad Säckingen, Germany, and though I’d love to know more about it–including where it can be found–this card is from the Disappointassortment, so zero information was forthcoming.

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The scene from Hearst Castle goes to a castle lover in Minsk, Belarus; and the tiger should be landing in Yaroslavl, Russia.

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Time for a look at some of the back sides: Stamps!  Stickers!  Washi tape!

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Traveling, Recycling–and Whittling Down the Dissapointassortment: Sent to Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, & the U.S.

I’ve got cards going out to seven different countries, all but one being signees of the Paris Agreement.

Hey, I got rid of one of my Disappointassortment cards!  That heart locket card goes out in a Postcrossing draw to Brasschaat, Flanders, Belgium, to a recipient who said she likes cards with hearts on them.

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The mail-a-sea-lion card goes to a sea-lion-loving family member.  I love sea lions, too!  Scroll down, and you’ll be able to see the other side of this very functional card.

It’s the Grinch!  He and a lot of other offspring of Dr. Seuss’s imagination reside in Springfield, Massachusetts, in the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.  I visited this site in May, just missing by a couple of weeks or so the grand opening of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum!  But I did get some postcards, & sent this one to Cindi in Hawaii.postcard128

I also visited the PEZ factory in Orange, Connecticut! What a fun experience.  I bought a lot of stuff–and I also picked up some free postcards they had, promoting their party room.  This one went to North Hollywood, California, for a very specific swap-bot trade: “Free/Ad Card: I picked this up on vacation.”  I just knew these would come in handy.

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The fox went off toward Tokyo, Japan, for a Postcrossing Forum USA/Asia tag.  The recipient said she liked foxes!

There’s a second Disappointment card going away!  These ballet folklórico dancers are not the problem; it’s that the card manufacturers failed to give context for the card, and…oh, just refer to the original post.  The card went off to Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, in a Postcrossing Forum “China Meets the World” tag.  The recipient said he liked cards featuring cultural celebrations for our area, and, well, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, this counts!  I grew up enjoying ballet folklórico in schools, museums, and other settings.

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Something not so easily found in the Bay Area is great Thai food.  Oh, there are Thai restaurants absolutely EVERYWHERE… but just try finding a Southeast Asian person who would want to eat in any of them.  I have finally found two restaurants that break that sad mold, and one is San Francisco’s Kin Khao.  You, I assume, being someone who is interested in postcards, you may love to walk into this restaurant to find a wall decorated with a huge postcard rack, full of food cards yours for the taking!  I’ve mentioned this before; you can see the rack in that post, here.  This one goes to Stetten, Germany for another specific swap-bot trade: “Free Postcard–Restaurant/Coffee Shop.”

Next we have a couple of cards I created from boxes of frozen food, for another swap-bot trade of “up-cycled cardboard.”  I don’t usually buy frozen prepared food, but these two items from my local Indian supermarkets reeled me in.  The Kati sandwiches (card going to Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) seemed like an improvement on Hot Pockets (a low bar; Hot Pockets are nasty), and they were.  As for the other package (going to South Elgin, Illinois), I really like good sambhar.  This was not really good sambhar.  Better stick with home or restaurant-made.  THEY MAKE FOR NICE POSTCARDS, THOUGH!

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This Mickey Mouse card went to Longquan Station, Taiwan, via a Postcrossing Forum Disney card tag.

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Okay, let’s move on to the stamps, stickers, washi tape, & stuff.  I think there may be some stamps here you haven’t seen before.  Please share your thoughts!

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Toons & Travelogues: Sent to China, Malaysia, Spain, & the U.S.

First, a couple of Postcrossing Forum sends!  I saw the Tom & Jerry card in the favorites of a ‘crosser in Madrid, Spain, so off this goes.

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The Giant Pacific Octopus card went off in a Marine Life & Sea Creatures tag, to a recipient in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Butterflies!  There are a lot of monarch butterfly groves along the California coast, resting places where these guys stop on their winter trip to Mexico.  The one in Pismo Beach is my favorite, because it’s super-concentrated: a lot of butterflies, quite close–and docents there to provide binoculars & telescopes!  Check it out.  This one headed out in a regular Postcrossing draw, and will end up with a high schooler in Quzhou, Zhejiang, China.  She really wanted to know good places to visit, so I told her to seek out butterfly groves.

Speaking of beautiful places to visit in California, we have these two scenes from the northern coast:

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The cards went out to Lacey, Washington & DeFuniak Springs, Florida, for a swap-bot “The Book I’m Reading Right Now” trade.  The book I’m reading right now:

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Saving a Sexier Island, by Neil Humphreys.  It kept me busy on a couple of long flights lately!  Actually, I have since misplaced the book.  One sure way to find it: buy a new copy!  Speaking of losing nice things, in this book, Humphreys–English born & raised, but living in Singapore for many years now–explores some of the overlooked & threatened treasures in his adoptive home, and humorously sings their praises.  I recommend his series of “sexy island” books, I’ve learned a lot & laughed a lot!

Okay, check out those backsides now!

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Do You Ever Come Unglued? Received from Austria & the U.S.

(In which I hear from two people with definite fixative issues)

I really enjoyed this collage made by a swap-botter someplace in California.  She was pretty proud of her Inuyasha art–but was mortified when I told her that it had come apart in my mailbox.

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Here you can see the front & the back of the card: the insides, which only she was supposed to see.  We seem to have some sort of tablet package, and a calendar page.

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She wanted to make me a new collage, but there was really no need for that, as the collage itself was fully intact, and the card had miraculously waited until it reached me to fall apart.  I did recommend to her that Mod Podge may be good as collage lacquer–but it’s no glue.

I think the sender of this next card may have used the same product.  This was supposed to be a Postcrossing Forum food package tag.  It’s from Graz, Styria, Austria.

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Now, I love how she crammed as much writing as she could onto the card, even including a recipe.  But flip it over to see the food package, and all you see are shiny streaks:

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Yes, I let her know.  She deserves to know.  According to Postcrossing, she’s been registered for 8+ years.  She’s sent fewer than 10 cards, I think, officially, so I assume she’s mostly been on the forum, as I have been lately.  Don’t know how many cards she’s been making herself, but she deserves to know that this product is a danger.  That gloss: do you think she used Chapstick?

UPDATE: I heard back from this sender, and she says she used a glue stick.

Have you had any issues like these?  Even glue sticks concern me, sometimes.  It’s worth at least putting a dot of 70 of tacky glue along the corners or edges.

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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Keep the Babies Out of the Cabbage, You Monster: Sent to Bulgaria, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, & Taiwan

It’s too easy for me not to keep track of the cards I send, so right now I’ll do the difficult thing, and make note of them (while I still remember, somewhat).

These first two cards (and several of each, by the way) were part of the stash I acquired a few days ago while hitting the state map card jackpot.  Since they are not state map cards, though, I didn’t share them when I wrote about the experience.

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Morro Bay is a pretty good place to see sea otters.

The sea otters are working their way toward Hong Kong, and the Morro Bay card toward Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan. It doesn’t show in my scan, but the flowers & the lettering in the latter card are covered in glitter.  It’s kind of awful, and I really don’t know if I even noticed it at the gas station where I was making my purchase, excited as I was to be filling my hands with dozens & dozens of state map cards so many Postcrossers seem to covet.  The recipient this time around wanted flowers & scenery, and I’m hoping she won’t mind a little glitter along with those things.  Would you?

This diner scene was chosen by a Postcrosser in Köln, Germany, in a “you can choose” thread.

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Hey, I just noticed that row of PEZ dispensers along the ceiling!  Scanning technology is awesome.

I just received this multi-image Belfast card a short time ago, and now it’s off for Sofia, Bulgaria in a swap-bot “recycled postcard” swap, in which we were to put a new back on a card we’d received.

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I REALLY like that piece of fish art.  If I were to visit Belfast, I’d certainly have to go & see that big fish.

The recipient of this card, her profile–well, it’s only a list of wants & don’t wants (leaving me very little to write about–I chose a few lines about the card itself & its provenance), headed by the line–in bold–“I collect only NEW postcards with a REAL photograph on them!”  This very heading makes me wonder why she wants to enter this swap for a no-longer-new-card.  The good news is, once of her big “wants” is touristy card (but she doesn’t like fish, so I may be eviscerated), so I mail this off with fingers crossed.  Oh, swap-bot, why are you so swap-botty?

Next up is a food package postcard headed for a medical student in Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan.  Maybe she will become the doctor who is able to develop a vaccine preventing Cap’n Crunch from tearing up the roofs of peoples’ mouths.

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Even if that never comes to pass, though, this Postcrosser already won me over with this set of horrors she hopes to never find in her mailbox:

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Another cereal, another food package tag, another country: this chocolatey panel went out to Seoul, South Korea.

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Getting into some older, previously-unlogged stuff now… I think they are both regular Postcrossing draws, but what do I know?  The indoor swimming pool from Hearst Castle went off to Taipei, Taiwan, and the bear should have ended up in Tokyo, Japan.

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Time for a look at the stamps, stickers, & washi tape:

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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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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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