Sunday, January 31, 2010

altered hearts again

And these aren't even all of them.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

haiku greetings

Artist Honda Takeshi, a former neighbor in Ayaori, sent this New Year's greeting, featuring a Basho haiku about spring flowers.

natural arkansas

Lynn B. sent this card from Arkansas. It's snow, what else can I say!

Friday, January 29, 2010

altered avatar

I made this card using a talisman from Sanbutsuji, a mountain temple in Misasa, Tottori prefecture. I've been several times to the temple, but never up to its famed Nageiredo, a platform-style hall that seems to cling to the side of Mt. Mitoku. The ascetic Enno gyoja is said to have flung the hall into place in 706. This talisman shows the avatar Zao gongen. I confess that what I remember the best about the temple was the little shop nearby, selling local delicacies made from wild vegetables and homemade tofu. Misasa is famous for its radon hot springs. I once had an unforgettable overnight stay in the town.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

more altered hearts

All of these altered cards are being sent far away so it's time to get going.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

it's mozart's birthday!

January 27 is the day! I made this altered card for Priscilla.


Stamps from two different places I have called home.

venus rising

Lynn B. sent a postcard of a marvelous painting called Venus Rising from the Sea--A Deception. It was painted in 1823 by Raphaelle Peale, an American painter who lived 1744-1825.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

rorschach girl

Sandy Sapienza sent this cool postcard made during a friend's visit. She says they spent some time playing with monoprints and collage. This is one of eight prints she made in a series featuring this girl.

altered hearts

Is it ever too early to make Valentine's Day cards? Yesterday's rain and wind got me started on these altered hearts.

Monday, January 25, 2010

extreme stamps

Two postal extremes came in the mail today. The top stamp was from a Finnish postcrosser and the bottom from a friend at the Had Yai airport on his way to Bangkok, then back to Japan. Wish I were anywhere!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

chinese mint chocolate chip

This card from a Chinese postcrosser instantly reminded me of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

red remembered

An exercise in recalling a list of names for red (with one repeat) started with barn red, once a common color here in Pennsylvania. Barns now, however, are falling down almost daily. The card is for the mail art call listed below on January 17.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Temple Rebuilt

Inside this altered card was the remains of this Israeli postcrosser's breakfast. A bit gross but funny.
Obama's ciggie seems to have ignited this temple.

Lots to Love

This wonderful collage card arrived from a Finnish postcrosser. My fat-rights friend would love this card.

Tall Ship All Aglitter

This Finnish postcrosser added glitter and silvery angels to her sailboat. I love receiving glitter cards!!

The Universe

I love the universe stamp this Estonian postcrosser affixed to her multiview card.

chinese birds

Pretty bird paintings on a card from a Chinese postcrosser.

Heart Cutout

A sweet heart card from a Polish postcrosser!

Friday, January 22, 2010

dreaming of butterflies

Another belated delivery, this one from organic farmer friends in Tono, who dream of having a butterfly garden this year. The husband usually does the illustration, while the wife writes the message. Good to hear from them!

"the post office and mailing"

On the heels of what I wrote below, I'm turning to a plea made by the folks at Sand Hill Preservation Center, a small family-run poultry and seed supplier in Iowa. Sand Hill has a great no-frills, no-nonsense catalog and for reasons of time and convenience accept orders only by US mail. Yes, email may be cheaper, faster, and more convenient but their theory is that in the long run the less we all use the mails, the more expensive they become. Sand Hill ships its chicks by mail and relies on six-day mail service. The idea being floated by the postal service of cutting Saturday deliveries would be a blow to the baby chick industry. Sand Hill's plea: "Send your order in by mail, support the system and support jobs and post offices." Hear, hear!

The mailing address for Sand Hill Preservation Center is 1878 230th Street, Calamus, Iowa 52729-9659.

late mail = belated greetings

Mailed at the end of last year, this New Year's greeting from an old friend arrived this week. The photo is of Japanese flowering apricots in his garden. I don't know what's going on with the international mail but it's working both ways. A card I mailed before Christmas reached a friend in China only yesterday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

rabbit no. 1

This postcard is from a Chinese postcrosser, who explains that the card shows a painting by an illustrator from Chengdu. The title of the work is rabbit No. 1. There's enough going on in it for me to want to see no. 2, if there is one. The sender also used some pretty stamps on the card.


This card, from an Indian postcrosser, shows a form of Indian classical dance from Kerala, called mohiniyattam. That, sez Wikipedia, means "dance of the enchantress". Dancers' costumes are typically edged in yellow. Here's to dance in all its wondrous forms!

minnie in iwate

This postcard came from Iwate, whose capital in particular has long been known for wanko soba, mouth-size servings of soba served in tiny bowls. An early form of eating competition, the idea is to eat as many bowls as possible. The card shows Minnie Mouse as a server in a Morioka soba shop. For me, it's a way too exhausting way to eat. I'll take my zarusoba straight.

taiwan tiger

Subtle, and pretty, Year of the Tiger postcard and stamp from a postcrosser in Taiwan.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

stamp book

Sandy Sapienza made this charming little book, barely larger than a stamp, for saving, protecting, or documenting stamps. She was inspired by the stamps posted on this blog but says I should use however I wish. What a lovely little treat! It arrived in yesterday's mail with the stamps below. What timing!

flowers in winter

The postmaster at my old post office in Ayaori sent these two sheets of stamps in a New Year's package that arrived yesterday. The stamps show prefectural flowers, top to bottom: peach blossoms, rape flowers, Japanese flowering apricot blossoms and primrose, Japanese bayberry, and (another kind of) Japanese flowering apricot.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

brazilan stamps

Anne (below) used some very cool stamps on her postcard. I've posted the trumpet ones before but say, hey. The others are new, including another in the Hector Consani series depicting people at work and one showing a mail carrier. Again, thanks!


A Brazilian postcrosser named Anne painted this wonderful, beautiful card from the state of Pernambuco. It took about two month to reach me but it arrived in great shape. Many thanks!

the departure of lot

Lynn B. sent this postcard showing a Rubens' painting called The Departure of Lot and His Family from Sodom. It made me think about the story of Lot, who was willing to sacrifice his daughters for slights to some, albeit heavenly, guests. It's a sketchy tale of righteousness run amok. I don't understand why Lot is spared, and Rubens' portrayal of his wife has got to give one pause.

Monday, January 18, 2010

tiger's nest

A Kyoto friend sent a late New Year's card to my mother. She annotated her collage image of a tiger with messages and drawings. She writes that her younger daughter, now 40 and a doctor, is the head of a fan cheering group for the Hanshin Tigers, a beleaguered but beloved baseball team. She also writes that their house is a "tiger's nest" (which reminds me that she and her husband last year made a trip to Bhutan) and was featured in an NHK documentary.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mailart Call: RED

Mailart Fans we received this call from France. Send your red mailart in!

The Françoise Giroud Library of Castries (France) organizes from January 4th to January 31st
2011 a Mail art exhibition. We therefore send out a call for contributions on the following subject : Red.
Please send your work before November 1st 2009 to the following address :
Art postal
Rouge Médiathèque
Françoise Giroud 15 Avenue de la Cave Coopérative
All works will be displayed during the exhibition at the end of the year, as well as on the Library's website at the following address :,in the "Action culturelle et pédagogique / Art postal" section.
No jury, no fee, no return. Postal delivery only.

utrecht smiles

A Dutch student named Ellen altered this postcard, the very first one she sent as a postcrosser. She wrote that when she read about altered cards, she reached immediately for her stickers, papers, and such. She also pasted the cutout of the apple in lower right onto the card. Thanks and happy postcrossing to her!


It's the time of year for perusing seed catalogs and starting to think about baseball. This postcard came from the Lakewood BlueClaws, in Lakewood, New Jersey. I'm not likely to take a group there or anywhere but I do like that ballpark.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Beautiful Altered Cards

From Finnish postcrosser Kirda, made with Christmas calendar, star stamps and Finnish TV programs.

From Finnish postcrossser Anniina, a distressed card that has been scrunched, sanded and burned.

From Chinese postcrosser "cutestella" a card collaged with labels, scraps and cute drawings.


This very cool altered card was sent by Finnish postcrosser Johanna. A very simple idea, beautifully executed!

Bloody Eye

Jacqueline sent this card of a painting by James Turrell called "The Way of Color."

Dancers and Deities of Afro-Cuba

Sue Matthews, an Oakland artist, likes to travel to Cuba to sketch and paint Afro-Cuban dancers. This is a print of her original painting and it was recently exhibited in an alternative space in Berkeley.