Monday, December 31, 2007

Year of the Rat

Three New Year cards I picked up in Japan in December. I like simple graphic design cards but there were many types, ranging from Mickey Mouse to sumie. Traditionally greetings & messages are written on the front of the card rather than on the back. There is ample white space allocated to the cardface for this purpose. The back is reserved for the recipient's address.


I received this lovely snowflake Christmas card from Jacqueline. She also added a rat stamp in the back signifying the Year of the Rat, which starts tomorrow!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Red Mail Boxes in Australia

These 2 photos of Australian mail boxes were sent by Yvonne Frindle. She took them on her way back from visiting her parents during Boxing Day. The bottom one is a lovely old-fashioned mail box, rare now except in certain places like Sydney. She sent the photo of a modern box above it as a comparison. Thank you Yvonne for these wonderful pictures!

Christmas Collage

I received this lovely Christmas collage from Anu Vatto of Finland. I love the piece of cinnamon she adhered next to Santa and all the kitties. She's a Postcrosser and she and I have exchanged a number of cards - handmade and otherwise.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Mail from Ryosuke Cohen

On Christmas Eve, I received an envelope from Ryosuke Cohen of Osaka, Japan, who has an ongoing mailart project called Brain Cell Fractal. I'm not a participant in this mailart exchange and so was surprised and delighted when I unfolded the large sheet of stamps and stickers. It was the best kind of Christmas surprise. I will send him stickers in 2008. Those interested in the Brain Cell Fractal project can visit Ryosuke Cohen's website at:

Monday, December 24, 2007

Little Multicolored Sock

Received this fabulous handknit sock card from Postcrosser "Hella" in Germany. Her hobby, like mine, is knitting socks!

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Quite a minimalist mail box in Fukugawa.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Red Stars, Red Threads

A fabulous eco-card from Postcrosser Thomasina of Australia. The card is made of rice paper, crochet cotton, Australian film, TV & radio school compliments slip.

Little Red in Iki

Found this little red mail box just outside the ferry building on Iki Island, Kyushu. Iki is infamous for the slaughter of dolphins but for Japanese tourists, it's known for ancient burial mounds, WW2 bomb shelters, a rock outcropping shaped like an ape, sea urchins and some stone children facing the sea.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Fukugawa Mailbox

Fukugawa is a small town in Kyushu that offers boatrides along the river. The oarsman steers the boat along narrow canals and sings folk songs. It's the Japanese version of the Venetian gondoliers. The boat has a table running through the center and people sit on either side. I saw schoolgirls writing poems on board. Fukugawa is also famous for its grilled eel. The whole town smells of sweet soy and grilled fish. This mailbox was on a house by the the river.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Recycled Collaged Postcards

Collaged from Easter Seals and Boystown Stamps
Vintage Gameboard Piece
Recycled children's books
Found in free bin of garage sale

Four interesting cards made of recycled materials from J. Heritage.

Gorgeous ATC

Another lovely surprise from J Heritage. This one is a metallic, collaged ATC.


I received these two interesting boxes in the mail from J. Heritage of Denver, Colorado. The blue box contains an orange cat, which is obscured by the fragile sticker. Her message is written on the outside edges of the box. It reads, "The story on this piece: It was in a free bin at a garage sale. The Lady who bought this said it is from England. She went to an open-air stall where an artist sold it to her."

The framed image below is "Our Lady of Recycling."

Both pieces arrived intact!

Friday, November 16, 2007

2008 Japanese New Year Stamps

The 2008 Japanese New Year stamps will go on sale December 3 at post offices throughout Japan. Each stamp depicts a calligraphy by an artist representing the character, "rat" or "mouse."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

RWB Exhibit Extended!!

At the Postmaster's request, we have extended our Red/White/Blue mailart show at the Springtown, PA post office! The show will be up through November 11, Veteran's Day.

Faux Exchange

Seven members of Yahoo Group Fe-Mail Art participated in a faux stamp exchange. Each participant sent an image to "Jean," who then printed the images on pre-cut stamp sheets. We all got a set of each other's stamps.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Junk Mail Beauties

I submitted "Junk Mail Beauties" to a German postcard show called Prosperity in the Rubbish Bin. The card base is a freecard picked up at a movie theatre. It is covered by junk mail that's been shredded and reconstituted. The show is organized by Angi and submissions will be displayed in December at the Gallery Colognialwaren in Berlin.

Here is her call for entry - if you want to send a card, the deadline is Nov. 30:

You can think of Mail Art as some sort of exchange of ideas. It’s about creating dialogues between people and expressing experiences of our senses. The purpose of mail art is to abolish distant feelings between people, to show our open minded intentions and to form an international network.
Thinking of Mail Art, artists of Rixdorf are working on the topic “Prosperity in the Rubbish Bin”, trying to encourage people to participate. Therefore they are producing postcards or artistic items, postcard-sized.
“Art Made From Waste” shall become a creative examination of the item which has been thrown away. It is not just about recycling, thus regaining resources from waste - according to the African idol- but about recovering and about the reinterpretation of materials.
“Prosperity In The Rubbish Bin”
Waste – is it a question for our society concerned with issues of living standards? We are disposing, we are recycling, we are sending away all the stuff we don’t need anymore – everything we think useless. The recipient is Africa, one of the poorest continents of the world. It is the main target area for our unwanted things. African artists take this matter on; in the 1990’s they treated the issue as a form of art on its own. They named it “Art de la Récuperation”, in short “Récup”. Récuperation is not just reusing materials; furthermore it is about questioning the matter and reinterpretation. What is more, it is about decryption its ethical and cultural meaning.
More than 160 nations are living in Neukölln, a district of Berlin, capital of Germany. There is no day without problems or inharmoniousness on the streets. That is why we would like to cause creative cultural exchanges, talk about matters that move us and more.
Please do not hesitate to contact us. Send us your piece of art in postcard size to:
Galerie Colognialwaren, Richardplatz 20, 12055 Berlin, Deutschland.
All work that has been handed in will be shown in an exhibition at the gallery Colognialwaren in Dec 2007. Furthermore you can watch it in the world wide web, surf the internet on, the official website of artist in Rixdorf!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Send a Postcard!

Deadline: January 15 2008

Theme: Sustaining Our Environment Postcard Exhibition

Sustain our environment! The Women’s Caucus for Art (WCA), a national women’s artists’ association and an NGO of the United Nations, invite mail artists and artists of all media to support the UN’s Millenium Goal, “Sustaining Our Environment.” The Millenium Goal’s objectives are:

· Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs; reverse loss of environmental resources
· Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water
· Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020

Submit 4”x6” or Size 6 postcards made from recycled materials and reflecting the theme of “Sustaining Our Environment” by January 15, 2008 . On the back of the postcard, provide your name, address and the materials used to make the card. Submissions will be exhibited during the February, 2008 WCA and College Art Association (CAA) annual conferences at Ft. Worth-Dallas, Texas. At the exhibition, works will be auctioned to benefit the United Nations.

Documentation on No jury, no fee, no return. Postal delivery only.

Mail postcards to P. Otani, Curator, Sustaining Our Environment, 263 Laidley Street, San Francisco, CA 94131 USA

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Flamenco card from Postcrosser Bella from NE England. She sewed a pleated skirt, attached glitter and embroidered the bodice. Bella is an environmentalist. A lovely JRR Tolkien stamp of a dragon was affixed on the back of the card. She taught me the slang word "Mint," which means something good. As is this card!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

forbidden city

a view of the forbidden city comes from a young chinese friend, taking an english course in beijing during his summer vacation from university.

summer snow

this cooling scene in the dog days of summer comes from my friend blanka s. her sister has a summer cottage in this old mining village in slovakia. years ago i visited the village to do a piece on its traditional lacemaking. blanka's sister made a delicious tisane of herbs for the summer cold i had.

morning glow

this morning shot of mt. hokendake in the chuo alps captures the mineral beauty of the mountains against the endless blue sky. the card is from a japanese postcrosser.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Glen Ellen

Post Office in Glen Ellen, CA.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Painted Card

From Canadian Postcrosser Marian, this postcard was hand-painted. The stamps on the back were lovely too - a dragon stamp and a stamp of the Armenian Church.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

middlebrook at snyderman-works

through september nancy middlebrook is having a show of her sophisticated weavings at the prestigious snyderman-works gallery in philadelphia. i wrote an essay for the catalog and of course hope that people will flock to see this artist's work.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

more little league post office

this satellite draws little league fans and players from around the world.

the little league guys

the man on the left is showing one of the special postmarked postcards being sold for each day of the little league world series week. i bought a roll of stamps and got a classic babe ruth stamp pin as a bonus. there are lots of reasons to go to the little league world series. this p. o. is a new one.

little league post office

after watching chinese taipei beat up on mexico yesterday afternoon at the little league complex in south williamsport, pa, i came across this satellite post office on the grounds. excellent! it was selling lots of baseball-themed items along with stamps.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mailman Delivers

Iwamiginzan mailman caught in the act of delivering the mail.

Iwamiginzan, Omori

Small-town post office in Japan. Iwamiginzan is trying to get UNESCO World Heritage status for its historical silver mines. When I visited last year the town was just starting to build up for tourism. It's still considered out-of-the-way. I saw a lot of beautiful mail boxes in this town.

mcelhattan postmistress

cheerful, efficient, and informative, postmistress betty j. sets the tone at the post office in mcelhattan. she was sweet enough to let me take her photo.

mcelhattan, pa

this homey post office is in mcelhattan, a small town undergoing a growth spurt in northcentral pennsylvania. i stopped by the post office after having lunch at restless oaks, which had lured me off rt. 220 with its name.

Monday, August 20, 2007

cresson, pa

the post office in cresson, pennsylvania, on a wind-tossed morning of heavy fog and rain. this trim p.o. was built in 1999. i stayed the night at the station inn, a unique train-spotting hotel in cresson. on my way north, i stopped here to mail some things abroad and pick up some of the new jimmy stewart stamps.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

lyons, pa

the tiny post office in tiny lyons (pop. 500 or so), pa.

chili beauty

a late rwb entry from inga u. of british columbia, canada. the peppers remind me of her recent solo jaunt to bhutan.

jackie's real gone

have to love #42.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Farmington, ME

A prim-looking New England post office. The skies were threatening but it didn't rain.

decades later

old hot pants find new life in this fabric postcard from mr potani.

Friday, August 17, 2007


red brick, white zipcode, blue sky.

coudersport, pa

another brick post office from pennsylvania, this in coudersport, an old lumber town on scenic rt. 6. though it looks empty here, i had to wait for a spot in the adjacent parking lot. business was brisk on this early october morning.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

life lesson

love is like baseball, life is like baseball.

Hakodate, Hokkaido

This post office is located in a western-themed mall in Hakodate. Note the Santa mailman statue next to the booth. They had lots of nice Christmas stamps when I was there in December. The postal staff, however, was uber-postal. They had asked a customer in front of me if they would like the Christmas cancellation on their Christmas card. The cancellation was wonderful. When I asked for the cancellation on my postcard, however, the answer was: only for Christmas letters mailed to people in Japan. No amount of sweet persuasion could budge the young woman with the chestnut dye job.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New Sharon, Maine

Found this small post office on a residential street in New Sharon, Maine. The postmistress had just been transferred here. Because of its out-of-the-way location, they still had the triangular Jamestown stamps. I bought a sheet for Jacqueline here.