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.

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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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Lots of Puffy Fish Stickers: Sent to Canada, China, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Russia, & the U.S.

This post is full of postcards–jam-packed with them, along with their accompanying stamps, stickers, and washi tape. What it lacks is full detail–but who cares, am I right?

We start off here with a couple of regular Postcrossing sends, and a couple of Postcrossing Forum sends: this set goes out to Zhengzhou, Henen, China; Shenzhen, Guangdong, China; Potsdam, Germany; and Saint Petersburg, Russia.

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I visited the Charles M. Schulz Museum this month & reloaded on my Peanuts postcard stock. Mostly more copies of old stuff, but they did have one great new postcard to go with their new temporary exhibit celebrating the character Franklin. Three of these have gone out in the mail recently: two to Japan, & one to Hawaii.

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These Postcrossing Forum sends are going to Ampang, Selangor, Malaysia; and Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

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One good elk leads to another…

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A food package and a movie postcard follow. I’ve had a lot of this drink; never seen the movie.

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Flying squirrels & durian–this card went to Ningbo, Zhejiang, China, in a Postcrossing Forum “Last Movie I’ve Seen” tag. That movie: Black Panther. The best of the Marvel heroes movies!

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Heavens help me, I’m dipping into swap-bot again. For this trade, I had to send a Disney postcard to 5 different people (4 in the U.S.; 1 in Ireland). A couple of these cards came from the Art of Disney: The Renaissance and Beyond box set, and the rest came from the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, which I visited for the first time recently-ish.

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Stamps, stickers, and washi tape time. Do you have any favorites? I do!

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Mega TOON Edition! Received from England, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, & the U.S.

13 postcards this time, all toon-related. Still playing catch-up, so while some of these are newly-received, some came in months & months ago. We have a combination of Postcard Forum tags, and incomings from postal pals of mine. Let’s get started, so we can get finished!

I love this Disney duck art, with Christmas greetings in Swedish. It came to me from Finland via Postcrossing Forum. I remember it was a very confusing parcel to receive: an envelope filled with many postcards, each with a tiny message denoting a different Postcrossing tag. This user had tagged me many times in different threads, all at once, did not message me to let me know, and surprised me with all of this. I keep track of whom I’ve tagged (since my memory is not so good), so that I do not overdo tagging the same person. In any case, though, I do love this postcard.

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Hey, Doraemon! The card came to me from Indonesia, and the stamps & stickers tie right in, so you’ll have to scroll down & check them out. The sender writes:

Doraemon is my favorite cartoon too because they are funny and taught us about friendship. My fave character is Nobita & Shisuka.

Peanuts time! Cindi in Hawaii knows that I love the oldest versions of the characters, & she has sent me two of my favorite cards, featuring Pigpen, Lucy, & Schroeder. The scans of the backs down below show a beautiful patchwork of related stamps & stickers.

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An extra serving of Peanuts, from a post-pal in Tokyo, Japan:

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I love Spirited Away. Just saw it on the big screen again a few months ago for one of those two-night return engagements that happen sometimes, and I was blown away all over again. This card came to me from the same postcard pal as the one right above it.

Mickey and his band also came to me from Japan, in a tag in which we were to list the characters we’d like to receive. Horace Horsecollar was on my list, and as you’ll see at the bottom of the post, the card’s sender was surprised by my obscure choices.

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Totoro here came to me from Russia, but the sender isn’t talking about Ghibli:

When I was a child, on TV on Saturday morning showed Disney cartoons. One of my favorites was Chip ‘n Dale.

The postcard teeming with Misters Men & Little Misses came to me from yet another postcard pal, this one in Brighton, England. Don’t miss the matching stamps down below!

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The kitty packing heat was sent to me from Seattle, Washington, and the sender writes:

I don’t know the cat on the front of this card, but Strawberry Shortcake was a favorite of mine, back in the day.

She mentions Ms. Shortcake because she affixed a sticker of that character on the back of the card. You’ll not see her in this post, because by this time I had scanning fatigue, and that kind of thing just doesn’t make the cut. I’ll just share that it was an older version of the character, in shorts, flip-flops, and a floppy beach hat.

This Hello Kitty card did make the cut. It’s yet another card from Japan, and the back has great stickers, stamps & washi tape which, along with the card’s message, you can see below.

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These funny little sea creatures came from Russia. The sender tells me that she loves Kinder toys, and that she used to play with them with her older sister when she was a child.

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That little mouse came to me from Berlin, Germany, and the sender tells me:

I’m a 28 year old Russian girl, moved to Germany recently. Before that I spent 2.5 years in Moscow working as an IT engineer. Now I live in the center of Berlin, Mitte district. My office is in crazy and fancy Kreuzberg! There is a cool graffiti on our office wall: Putin, Obama, and Merkel closing mouth, eyes, and ears!

Hey, I found that piece of street art!

I feel like this came from a more innocent time.

Let’s finally get to the previously mentioned stamps, stickers, washi tape, and messages. So much good stuff!

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I love, love, love that little squirrel sticker. The pair of cats on blue are awesome, too.

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Unwanted, Recycled–and Otherwise: Received from Austria, Belarus, Canada, China, Finland, France, Greece, Hong Kong, & the U.S.

I am SO behind on posting postcards I’ve received.  I grabbed a big handful to scan, and the main theme for most of them seems to be “unwanted cards.”  We’ll soon get to what that’s all about, but I want to be sure to start with two cards I really do like!  Both of them found their way to me in Postcrossing Forum tags.

I just love this sketch of a Hong Kong storefront & apartments; it really takes me there!  The sender asks, “have you tried egg tart before?  It has to be my favorite Hong Kong snacks.  California has always been somewhere I desperately want to visit, and hopefully I can visit there soon!”

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That breathtaking mountain view came to me from Shaanxi, China, and the sender tells me it is called Hua Mountain, and “it’s a little dangerous to climb, but because of the wonderful scenery, lots of people still trying and enjoy it.”

Next up, the kitty classroom, comes to me from Belarus, thanks to a Postcrossing Forum “favorites” tag.  I’m so forgetful, I didn’t even remember having marked it as a favorite.  Good thing to check those once in a while!

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Another cat, this one riding a tortoise, and it comes to me from France as a regular Postcrossing card.  The sender’s writing is quite difficult to decipher, which is a lesson to me, even though I THINK my printing is neat, that I could stand to try harder.  I thought she wrote that she is in the “Louie Valley,” but a consult with Ask Jeeves (or whomever it is running the internet these days) let me know she probably meant Loire Valley.  Also, if I’m reading this correctly, she hopes to open a bed & breakfast next summer.  Or it could be that she just got back from a waterslide with Santa–I just don’t know.  Well, I do know I prefer the latter.

These next 3 cards all came my way via swap-bot.  The big building is the Fine Arts Gallery in San Diego, California–but the card was sent to me from a swapper in the state of Georgia.

I think the Santorini, Greece, card actually came to me from that locale.  The sender wrote:

“You can walk to the top.  To get to the volcano you can get a small local boat to take you straight there.  Otherwise you can take a tour that includes Thirasía.  When you get to the top, the view of Santorini is incredible!  This is must place to visit if you here.  You can jump into the warm springs if you want.”

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The last card of that trio is the boat on the river.  The card was sent by a swapper in Illinois.  She sent it in a “recycled postcard” trade, but if she did indeed but a new backing on a card she previously received, I sure couldn’t tell–and I picked away at 3 of the 4 corners!  When I do these, I always like to leave the original stamps exposed (but on the bottom left of the new backing), as a bonus for the new recipient.  Anyhow, this card’s sender says the scene pictured is the Mississippi River, a sight she’s never seen in person, but that she imagines herself taking “an old time paddle wheel river boat ride down this river, if they still exist.” They do.  No, I’ve not been on the Mississippi, but more than once, I HAVE ridden a riverboat on the Rivers of America.

There’s a tag on Postcrossing Forum called “The Card You Want to Get Rid of,” and if I’d had this next card, I’d have sent it off in this trade, too!  I might just send it out in the next “recycled postcard” trade in which I participate.  The sender is in Tampere, Finland, and she told me, “I find this tag superb; it’s hard to find a suitable recipient to every postcard, but every postcard deserves to travel.”

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Another postcard I’d be happy to get rid of is the “Been there, done that, got the t-shirt” card–that comes from Sheffield, England, in a swap-bot trade.   The sender wrote the card on July 11, telling me: “right now it is nearly 10 a.m. and it’s raining, and probably won’t stop for the rest of the day.  Typical UK!”

Still more cards getting no love: the trio below were sent to me together from Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada, in a swap-bot “I Don’t Want These Postcards” exchange.  I’ll have to post them in my page of cars available for trades!  That one that looks like a b&w “magic eye” game will probably have to go out in another round of these “I don’t want it” tags!

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This next card came my way from Graz, Austria, in the “recycled postcard” tag I’ve been mentioning, and I may just have scanned & posted the other side here before, but I didn’t mark it as such, so either way–here we go.  In this tag, a person is supposed to slap a new backing on a postcard they received from someone else, & then send it to their assigned partner.  Let this serve as a warning that all glue sticks are not created equal; there was no postcard attached to this backing.  When you flip it over, all you see is shiny streaks.  In any case, I thought you might enjoy reading the hand-written recipe.

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Well, it’s just about stamp time, so let me ask you now:  what are your favorite cards this time?  Which ones would you first choose to send off in a trade of recycled or “I don’t want this” cards?  Remember, one good use of a postcard you don’t think anyone else will love, is as a vehicle to send a message to your elected representatives!

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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?

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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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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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?

 

 

They Faded Away by 2009: Sent to Australia, England, Germany, & Poland

In the interest of keeping up, I present this super-fresh post of cards I just prepped to send out this morning.  Warning: today’s post of post marks a return to The Disappointassortment!

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People Suck! That card’s going to Suffolk, England, in a Postcrossing Forum “you choose” tag.  My card was chosen by a retired woman who previously chose another card from this same lovely line.

Twister!  That’s an ad card, with a lot of printing on the back, going out to Munich, Germany, in a swap-bot trade of ad cards.  I remember working in S.F. years & years ago, and seeing racks of free postcards in plenty of cafes & bars.  This is something I don’t see any more, (well, not in my current stomping grounds) so I just looked it up, & found an online article stating that the two big companies distributing “free rack postcard advertising seem to have faded away by 2009.”  Heck, I find it hard to find postcards, in general–never mind just the free ones.

That beautiful dog is going to a dog lover (who lives with a Labrador Retriever) in Limanowa, Poland.  It’s part of a swap-bot “hello stranger” trade in which the whole point is just to send someone a nice message.  So appealing.

That horrible, horrible card is from The Disappointassortment, of course, and it’s off to Pinewood, Victoria, Australia, in a swap-bot trade of “weird/ugly postcards” (actually, they spelled it “wierd,” but never mind). I am so happy to finally be rid of that dungeon.  It’s been quite some time since I sent out a card from The Disappointassortment, and as soon as I flipped it over, I was reminded of yet another downside of this crappy “value” pack I bought online: the laminated writing surface, so ever-ready for an ink-smearing experience.  I slapped a little sticker on the back, in place of the ink-stamping experience I most often employ for random bits of white space.

Can we please move on to something more pleasant?  Here’s a peek a the back side of these cards: stamps, stamps, stickers, & washi tape!

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The German swapper is very interesting in rubber stamping, so I stamped the heck out of her card (in addition to squeezing in plenty of writing).

I am Losing Track! Sent to England, Israel, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, & Taiwan

This is getting out of hand.

The game of snail mail is such an ephemeral thing, I thought it would be nice to use a blog to keep track of the comings & goings, to e-save the postcards I send out, and to remember the countries & people I’m hearing from.  The fact is, though, it’s a lot of detail to keep on top of.  I’m losing out on reading time!

If you, as a snail mailer & blogger, have any tips for simplification & organization, please share!  In the meantime, let’s try to catch up on some of my outgoing cards I’ve been letting slip through the cracks here on the reporting end.

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Princess Tatiana from Disney’s The Princess & the Frog went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a Postcrossing Forum trade titled “what I’d really like to have is,” and I THINK the recipient asked for a Disney princess.

Eat More Hole Foods!  Just don’t buy them at Whole Foods, or they’ll cost you an arm & a leg.  The doughnut went to Suffolk, England, in another Postcrossing Forum “you choose” tag, in which the person tagging us gets their choice of a postcard from those we have posted as having available to send.  She’s since tagged me again, and has chosen a similar card from my collection–but that will have to wait for another post.

The next set of 3 are all for regular Postcrossing draws.  The corgi went to Johor, Malaysia; the bear to Saint Petersburg, Russia; and the shots of San Jose to The Hague, Netherlands. See how quickly I dispatched with all of that?  Not satisfying at all.  We are learning nothing, here.

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The Japanese Friendship Gardens in San Jose are beautiful.  There are a lot of beautiful Japanese gardens in the SF Bay Area.  My FAVORITE such garden, though, is in Hilo, Hawaii.  True story.

Okay, here we go.  This lady down here, don’t keep her waiting any longer.  I mailed her out like a month ago.

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The lady looking at clothes went to Tel Aviv, Israel.  That’s another card from the Klutz Press World’s Tackiest postcards, and if you don’t think it’s tacky, just look at the next image down, which is the text printed on the back of the card.

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C r i k e y .

Lovely.

It went off for a swap-bot trade of “weird/ugly postcards,” and as I wrote to my partner, “doesn’t get much weirder & uglier than this!”  You know, at some point, Klutz published a second book of these cards, but I don’t tend to see either of them around!

Finally, the sea nettles from the Monterey Bay Aquarium went to Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, in a Postcrossing Forum tag trade of marine life-related cards.  I love marine life.  I try to make an aquarium trip just about every place I travel, so just now I got curious about whether Kaohsiung happens to have an aquarium.  It does, but apparently it’s not such a great place to be a fish.

So, whether you have words of wisdom on keeping on top of recording mail, or favorite aquariums, or whatever… please do check in!