Blast Off to the Eclipse! Sent to Canada, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Poland, South Korea, & the U.S.

Here comes another post that I started, but shelved for some reason. I had pretty much finished this one, but did have to go back & fill in a little detail here & there. You can tell it’s been sitting in the fridge here for a couple of months or so, seeing as it relates in part to that well-hyped eclipse, now pretty far in the rear-view mirror. Read on, & enjoy!

This great work of art is from 10 Little Rubber Duckies by Eric Carle, and I picked it up at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts.  The card went off in a Postcrossing Forum tag to Saitama, Japan, to a recipient who enjoys picture book art.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, you’ll see there is more picture book art on the back of the postcard: Green Eggs and Ham washi tape, purchased at the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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To a cat lover in Echizen, Japan, I sent this Jetoy postcard.  It also goes out in a Postcrossing Forum tag, and since the recipient says she likes reading, watching movies, & traveling–and I do, too–I told her about my last read, last movie attended, and last trip taken.

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Next up, the card on the left (a scene from the Hearst Castle gardens) went to Chantilly, Virginia; and the Rocky Mountain National Park scene went to Chicago, Illinois.

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Another Postcard United draw: this reading kitty went to Räyrinki, Finland.

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And ANOTHER Postcard United draw–this one went to Seoul, South Korea–and I like that this user offers writing prompts:

*If you don’t know what you should write me, here are some hints 🙂 May 2017 question :> Pick one and answer it please! 1. “Why some people are fascinated with vampires?” 2. “If you can get a superpower, would you like to be a superhero or a villain? and why?” Backside ideas :> -your favorite book / writer -your favorite movie / series -favorite animal, have you got a pet? -favorite food -favorite quote -your hobbies -your love story 🙂 –

One of the types of postcards she wanted was movie-related, so I sent her this l’il movie poster picked up at a local cinema.

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The next trio of cards are hewn from food packaging, all sent off in the current round of a swap-bot “Chunk O Cardboard” trade.  Babu’s Kati–Masala Pizza flavor–was okay, but too sweet, I think.  Needless to say, it was munch better than any Hot Pocket.  It’s on its way to a swapper in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Instant update on Babu’s Kati!  The card has been received:

Hi there! Thank you so much for the Masala Kathi chunk o cardboard. I especially like the orange price tag on the front, and particularly the postage you used. The postmark situated itself just between the spaceman and the solar eclipse! Was very fun to receive, and brightened my day!

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The gardening tips went off to Topeka, Kansas.  They are from a box of off-brand Chex cereal.  Actual quality cereals do not have room for gardening tips; they use all of that space telling you what cool toys are inside the package.

The DeliChoc panel landed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada.  I don’t remember where or when I got this stuff, but doesn’t it look delicious?  I love these dark chocolate/biscuit combos, like the LU Little Schoolboy.  Mmm.

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BraveStarr here went to Budapest, Hungary, to–well, I just don’t know whom. I was assigned this user when I clicked “send a card” on Postcard United, and the user had absolutely no profile at all. I wrote a friendly note:

Greetings from California, U.S.A.! I was sad that you have no profile. Most of the fun here is getting to know a little bit about other people. Maybe soon?

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Another Postcard United, this one to Rybnik, Poland:

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Stamps, stickers, & washi tape time. Do you have any favorites?

 

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Here comes the scan that gives this post its title.  I’m glad I finally found a use for these spacey stickers I bought quite a long time ago.  If you compare this scan to my previous post, (or if you’re lazy, even just the moon stamp that appears right above this text block), you will see that in the day between those scans and this one, the temperature in my house (and of course, out) has risen considerably.  These heat-sensitive stamps are showing their full moons. At the very bottom of the post, you will see a colder version of the stamp.

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Foodie Edition! Received from China, Hong Kong, Russia, & the U.S.

I’ve got some catching up to do, in posting my received postcards, and as I was sorting through the stack looking for a unifying thread, I sure found one: FOOD!  Those are the cards I’ll share this time, starting with my very favorite:

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I’d love to spend some time in that amazing scene.  It came to me in a Postcrossing Forum “Hong Kong to the world” tag, and the sender writes:

“This is the traditional wet market in Hong Kong.  Instead of supermarket, my mother still goes to these traditional market.  People know each other in the market and the owner sometimes gives us ‘gift’ too.”

Now, look at this amazing biang biang noodle poster, sent to me from China in another forum tag:

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The sender tells me:

“Biang biang noodle is the most famous food in Shanxi Province.  The character ‘biang’ features the most strokes in all Chinese characters.”

Yes, go back & look at that!  The character is like a big box full of smaller characters!

Next up, also from China:

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“This card is about the stinky tofu in Changsha, it’s very delicious!”

Have you ever encountered stinky tofu?  It is STINKY!  You always know if you are in a restaurant that serves stinky tofu.  Nevertheless, I did try it once, from a food truck here in the south San Francisco Bay Area.  It didn’t work for me, but do you know who LOVED it, and wished I had bought more?

My dog.

But yes, I do suppose I will try it again at some point.  Grownups aren’t afraid to try new things, and to realize that one taste doesn’t represent the entire food, and also that tastes change.  Speaking of changing tastes, do you know something I liked as a kid, that I absolutely can’t stand now?

Ketchup.  YUCK.

Okay, moving on.  Time for some more deliciousness, this time from Nanjing, China:

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You can read the sender’s brief commentary on the diversity of Chinese food below, in the scan of the flip side of her postcard.

Now we have a bowl of soba, sent to me from Lompoc, California.  This person was assigned my info from Postcard United, which I, until quite recently, thought only assigned international partners.

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The chili peppers are from Russia, and the sender writes:

“You say you like Asian cuisine, so you should like hot chili pepper.  I prefer European food mostly but sometimes I like something hot also.”

That person should also scroll down & read about the diversity of Chinese (never mind Asian as a whole) cuisines.  “Spicy” is by no means a word that unifies Asian cuisines.

Finally–and also from Russia–we have this food package postcard.

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The sender tells me he recently went to a Natalie Imbruglia concert.  I felt like I was stepping into a time machine!

Stamp time!  There are indeed some food stamps down here.  My original idea was to only scan & share the food-related stamps, but I also enjoyed the story-based stamps from China, so I ended up deciding to scan & share everything.  I like the round fruit stamps from Russia, how about you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cool robot sticker, though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Taiwan’s stamps are so beautiful & colorful.

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

Peanuts & Curry: Sent to Hong Kong

Usually, I wait until I’ve sent out a few things, before I try to recapture the whole lot of them to share here.  This morning, though, I put something together for a Postcrossing Forum tag trade to Hong Kong, and I just couldn’t wait to share.

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This envelope I made first entered my life earlier this week–through my mail slot–as the cover of a magazine.  As soon as I finished reading the mag, I started sizing up the cover for its possibilities as an envelope.  It turns out the possibilities were quite good!

The Postcrosser in Hong Kong did state a preference for envelopes.  I don’t normally pay any attention to that.  Having seen that she likes Peanuts postcards, I was going to just write, address, & stamp this one, and drop it in the mail “naked,” as the postal deities intended…

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…until I saw this line in her profile, where she suggested what people might talk about in writing to her:

“You could try to tell me…your favorite pizza topping.”

This is exactly the point at which I decided I would make an envelope, and stick my postcard in there–along with a menu from my favorite pizza place.

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I can recommend anything from section 2 of this menu, two of my faves being the Paneer Tikka and the Tandoori Potato.  And as I told this mailing’s recipient, Pizza & Curry is just (I think) the first of many places now in the area that serve up pizzas with Indian flavors.  So good!

I think I’ll order one on Monday.

Going Heartless: Received from Canada, China, Indonesia, Ukraine, & the U.S.

Ooh, how about that top row?  I love those two cards!

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The first card is from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, and part of a swap-bot “Upcycled Cardboard” exchange.  The swapper writes:

“I enjoy this swap so much because it’s cheap, recycling, and requires creativity.  It’s from snack box, the brand is SMAX.  Actually, I don’t really like the taste of this snack, LOL.  I hope you’ll like it (I mean the postcard. 🙂 )

I know how she feels!  Once you get the idea of using packaging as postcards, you look at your grocery basket in a whole new way!

Snoopy!  I always love finding Snoopy in my mail box.  That’s from Cindi in Hawaii, and you gotta scroll down & look at all of the cooooool stickers & stamps on the other side.

The second row of cards both came to me due to a swap-bot “Disney postcard” trade.  The fireflies are from “The Princess & the Frog,” and the card was sent to me from a swapper in Alberta, Canada, who writes:

“…I’m about 3 hours from Jasper National Park & the Rocky Mountains.  It’s my favorite place to go…”

The Toy Story card is from a sender in Chicago, Illinois.  This guy left so much white space on the back of the card, I can hear the wind blowing through.  He writes:

“I remember seeing this film when it came out in 1999!  Take care,”

That’s it: the greeting, then that, then the signature, then an expanse of white space that represents about half or more of the card’s writable area.

If you know swap-bot, you know it’s a ratings-based system, and you may know I cringe every time it’s ratings time on the ‘bot.

Every time I send out something for swap-bot, I go for that heart, the “extra-special” rating that I think should be so easy to achieve, that I don’t understand when I don’t earn it.  The same week that the half-written card previously mentioned to me, I received a swap-bot rating for the  doubly-free card I sent to Minnesota.  It was a heart-less rating.  Here’s what I’d like you to do.  Look at this card, front & back, and let me know what I should have done to earn that heart.  Let’s begin with the swap instructions:

Send 1 free/ad postcard to your 1 partner. Theme of the card can be anything, no offensive though. Senders’s choise. It would be great that the card has some room to write your greetings. Add at least the swap name and your Swap-bot name! Send written and stamped.

Okay, now here is my card, back & front:

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Lots of stamps, long substantive note, ink-stamped images & washi tape… what else, then? Should I start taping cash to my postcards, or what?  Please do help me out, here!

On the flip side, when it comes to being the person doing the rating, my policy is to err on the side of generosity: I INTEND to give the heart rating, and only withhold it in the rare cases when the sender is clearly hardly straining toward the bare minimum.  Like, for instance, on the nearly-empty card I described previously.

Oh, those swap-bot nerves…

Moooooving on…

Bottom row: the book with leaf card came to me via Postcrossing from Chernihiv, Ukraine.  The sender tells me that she is a web developer, but in her free time she prefers needlework.

Finally, we come to the terracotta warriors.  This comes to me thanks to a Postcrossing Foum Far East to America tag, from a sender in Guangzhou,China.  Here is what she has to say:

“This’s Terracotta Warriors, which was established by Qin Shi Huang and listed in UNESCO, is located in Shanxi Province, a famous ancient province in China.  This series of postcards is rare, since the seller said this’s only presented to the foreign reporter as a gift.  But I send one of them to you and want you to learn more about China.  Maybe the color is a little wierd, but it’s acceptable, right?  Maybe you should visit there one day!”

By the way, I found this History Channel write-up, 5 Things You May Not Know About the Terra Cotta Army.  The piece of info about Qin’s burial complex that really stuck with me?  “So far, archaeologists have uncovered a 20-square-mile compound…”  Whoa.

Taking a peek at the backsides– stamps, postmarks, stickers, & washi tape:

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The Drug Store Ice Cream Chain of Command: Sent to China, Germany, Malaysia, Russia, & South Africa

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It’s time for another exchange of recycled goods via swap-bot!  The postcard hewn from a Dixie Cups box is headed for Dalview, Gauteng, South Africa.  The Pillsbury Dough Boy is going to live in Kiel, Germany, and as I lamented to the man who will end up with this card:

“…the problem with the Dough Boy’s tubes of refrigerated cookies, breads, etc., is that they all taste the same.  One bite, and, ‘oh, Pillsbury!’

The ice cream cones are actually for a Postcrossing Forum Food Package Postcard trade.  Yes, I love making postcards from boxes of…whatever. I have a whole big stack of them, just waiting to send out!  Just ask, & I’ll send you one.  Anyhow, the ice cream cones: this card is going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and it is from a box of Thrifty brand cones.  I told the card’s recipient about the whole deal with Thrifty Ice Cream:

“Thrifty was a big drug store chain, and at their ice cream counter, scoops were CHEAP!  And then Thrifty shut down, and their ice cream moved to another chain, Pay Less.  And then Pay Less shut down.  Now you would buy Thrifty Ice Cream at Rite Aid.

I ran out of room on the card to tell her this, but the last I heard, Rite Aid was looking like it was going to get swallowed up by Walgreen’s.  Too bad: I’m a CVS guy.

Stepping away from the recycling, the restaurant card in the top center is going off in a regular Postcrossing draw to a young couple in Münster, Germany.  The restaurant is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and as I told them, I don’t know how I got the card (either an unearthed family stash, or sent to me from a swap-botter), but I looked up the restaurant, and it still exists!

Next, let’s go to the funky leopard under the ice cream cones.  Off to Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with that one.  This was for a swap-bot trade called “Think Before You Send.”  My partner likes leopards–that was the first part of the thinking.  The second part was to look up details about the card, and share them.  I’ll just tell you it involved doing some research into the cards’s artist, Kazumi Yoshida, and I will let you do any leg work on that yourself, if you care.

The second (and final) regular Postcrossing draw goes to Kaliningrad, Russia, and it is the b&w pic of Radio City Music Hall.  The card’s recipient says she likes to travel, as do I, and I told her I also like going to the cinema, and that day I planned on seeing (and indeed, I did end up seeing) “A Flying Jatt.”

The California Natural Wonders map card goes out in a Postcrossing Forum trade in which we were to send the person we tagged a card from their favorites wall, and this person had actually marked a card I happen to have!  Off it went to Schiffdorf, Germany.  When I got tagged by the next person in the thread, I did not follow the link s/he provided to the card that I will be receiving from my favorites: I prefer to be surprised!

Finally, tiger goes to Shanghai, China, in a Postcrossing Forum trade to a 19-year-0ld who is interested in landmarks & scenery (those things are indeed behind the tiger, if you look).

Okay, giant stamp, stamp, sticker, & washi tape party at my place:

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Received from: Finland & Poland

Cards from both Postcrossing & swap-bot today!  Postcrossing first, with this from Poland:

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Really colorful, interesting stamps on that card:

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Through swap-bot–and an “up-cycled” card challenge–I received this card from Finland:

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Hey–I love red pandas! Beautiful stamp art, too, and it’s really nice to see the enlargement in that sticker.

Sadly, the person who sent these didn’t bother to write anything more than the necessary distinguishing tags for swap-bot credit–a real shame–but the stamps all over the card were cool.

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Sent to: Groningen, Netherlands; Singapore; Deltona, Florida; and Frenchtown, New Jersey

First off: Postcrossing news.  A card I sent to Qingdao, China, has been received!  It took 24 days to travel 5,977 miles.  Now, I get to send out a new card–to Groningen, Netherlands!

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Yes, this card has appeared on this blog before.  The fact there are 500 of them means it is also likely it will appear again. In fact, I am also sending one out, not via Postcrossing or swap-bot, to a friend in Singapore.

To Deltona, Florida, part of an “upcycled postcard” swap-bot trade:

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Nancy here has walked down the The Snail Mail path before, too.

Also for the swap-bot “upcycled” trade, this masterpiece goes to Frenchtown, New Jersey.

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Hmm, perhaps, I should have saved that one for an international art collector…