Monday, January 31, 2011

ukiyoe stamps

Sunday, January 30, 2011

c is for creative

Or cool. Or crazy, as in crazy about collecting. PostMuse sent the card and she is definitely a cool collector.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

crab cake love

This card finally reached its destination, Sandy S., outside of Baltimore, who introduced me to Faidley's.

german stamp

travel love

Is the moose traveling, or am I?

Friday, January 28, 2011

aasee bunny

The Aasee is a large lake in Munster, Germany. At first glance, I was taken by the chocolate-brown silhouette framing on the card and immediately noticed the rabbit looking up at the jogger. Aha, a subtle salute to the Year of the Rabbit! But no, the postcrosser who sent the card said that it reminded her of the Petra, in the movie Black Swan, who was a fan of swan boats. She added that Munster is an old city with lots of beautiful old buildings and lots of good shopping.


I recently sent this postcard of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to a postcrosser. What's interesting to me is how the I-beam, a symbol of the steel industry that once supported the region, is used to frame past and present. The past is the Moravian Book Shop, established in 1745, and the local steel industry itself, while the present is the Sands, operated on the grounds of the old steelworks. From steel producer to casino: a fable for our times.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

belated greetings

A late-arriving New Year's card from artist Honda Takeshi, who lives in what was my old neighborhood in Tono, Japan.

tea love

I sprinkled some stray matcha powder on the red bits on this card but, alas, it did not scan true to its brilliant color. Love tea, love Champagne. It was a fun card to alter.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

cyrilla mozenter and ex libris

Cyrilla Mozenter is one of 28 artists in Ex Libris, opening today at the Adam Baumgold Gallery in New York. The show runs until February 26. Shown is Mozenter's Problems of Art, 2010, paperback book, hazelnuts, handmade paper.

angel love

Each time I think I am done, another altered card jumps up. I've had this angel card kicking around from an early trip to eastern Hungary. It was lovely to put it to use.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

black-and-white trio

I opened a recent New Yorker magazine yesterday to this Alfred Stieglitz photo. Gasp! Nothing like running unexpectedly into an old friend. This is the postcard version of the photo. It's another card that I have been loath to part with but which, I know, shall soon go somewhere. Cards such as these remind me that black-and-white photography is the best, though most people probably already look on it as something from the pre-digital dark ages. I missed it but a show of Alfred Stieglitz photos was on at Seaport Museum New York, in New York City, until January 10.

About the time that PostMuse was sending the card below, I was mailing this one to her. It shows McSorley's, a famed saloon in New York City, which until 1970 did not allow women to enter. (A law suit finally changed that.) I've only been once to McSorley's and was totally turned off by the suburban 'frat boy' tenor of the clientele.

PostMuse sent this excellent retro card of students at the Dilworth School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It's from a century ago, when schools taught children about growing vegetables. Now that farmers' markets are again everywhere, I wonder how many public schools these days have gardening projects for their students. That's quite a harvest by the kids in the photo.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Sandy Sapienza wrote that she was on her way to making more of her current 'circle series' when the singing camel (see January 16) reappeared and insisted on having a close-up. He told Sandy that his beautiful eye fringed with eyelashes was a perfect circle for what she wanted to do. Sandy added, " Who would have thought that silly camel had such a streak of vanity! But he does have a lovely eye."

train love

A somewhat restrained nod to my favorite form of transportation.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

budapest love

I ate at Eden, a kosher vegetarian restaurant, on my last trip to Budapest. It was December and I had squash soup, a typical dish of Central Europe, an arugula salad, and cherry/poppyseed strudel for dessert. It was a memorable meal at an elegant but unpretentious venue. Vegetable love runs through the card like the Danube through the city. I took a tram across the river to get to the restaurant.

Budapest is much in this card, too, though the depiction of shelling a chestnut is from Kyoto. I always bought little bags of chestnuts on winter trips to Budapest. They were sold on street corners, straight from the roaster to the bag. Hot and delicious! No directions on how to shell them either.

different strokes

Mrpotani and her husband enjoyed staying at the LA Athletic Club on a recent trip to Los Angeles.

An Australian postcrosser sent a card from the Emerging Artists series. This one features an oil and acrylic work called Rashie Racers by Andy Baker and the Bald Art Company.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

number love

Another in the 'love series' of altered cards, this one inspired by a novel that featured an old math professor besotted by numbers. The card itself is now off to Russia.

red and green (sort of)

Green is a difficult color, much as I love it, especially when paired with red. This handmade card came from an Australian postcrosser. No matter how I tried to manipulate it, the scanned image refused to reflect the dreamy greens of the original. The Oscar Wilde tag is pointedly amusing and the sender's message was chock full of interesting comments.

What a beautiful take on the Year of the Rabbit! Kudos to the Canadian postal system for what is, I gather, an annual series. My thanks to the Canadian postcrosser who sent the card.

Friday, January 21, 2011

david garrett

A German postcrosser shared her love of dishy classical violinist David Garrett, who is half German, half American and a total hit with generations of music lovers. (Where have I been?) He appeared this morning on the Today Show, prior to embarking on a US tour, but I learned that too late to watch him.

baseball love

Never too early for some baseball love. The Phillies' 2011 calendar finally arrived two days ago. I took the card enclosed and turned it into a baseball Valentine for Mrs. October.

two cities

A Japanese postcrosser sent this stunning view of Tokyo, sprawling across the broad Kanto plain, with a tiny Fuji in the distance. When I lived in Tokyo, a great place to work, eat, and drink, I could dig it. When I moved north into the mountains, it felt like this each time I had to go back.

A postcrosser who lives in Belo Horizonte sent this dynamic view of the city's Station Square. What I found out was that Belo Horizonte is the third-largest city in Brazil and is famous for its bars, called boteco, which are vital social venues for all in the city. Ah, city living.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

this time cats not rabbits

Friend Carolyn, who now lives outside of London, sent this charming card she made of Poppy's first Christmas. Poppy looks intent on some holiday fun! The card was mailed a couple of weeks before Christmas and arrived yesterday. I'm happy it made it!

Ozawa Yasuko, a gifted Japanese doll artist who specializes in cats, sent this card. We've been out of touch for years and the card, which also arrived yesterday, was a bolt from the blue. It shows a wonderful painting by Tamio Maita. I shall have to dig out some cards showing Ozawa's beautiful, mysterious cats.

As mentioned in the call for mail art, Vietnam ended up using a cat in place of a rabbit in its zodiac. That had nothing to do with either of these cards but the timing of their arrivals was a nice coincidence. I say every year is the Happy Year of the Cat!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

water love

I want to post this before mailing it off to a friend leaving early in February for Taiwan and other points. She's a big fan of kappa, the water imp shown on the sticker I used on this card. Originally from Germany, she will no doubt appreciate the Danube reference as well.

big ben in turmoil

A Portuguese postcrosser in London sent this dramatic view of Big Ben, framed by roiling clouds.

bizarre bizkaia

I've been to Bilbao but did not see this view, sent by a Spanish postcrosser. It was bizarre enough for an immediate turn to Google, where I first found the Bizkaia Basketball Club of Bilbao, then a bank of that name, and finally a city plaza that features activities for children. No clues, however, to the identity of the big mouth shown.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

old school

I sent this postcard out without making a note about where it was from, perhaps a living museum in Indiana. It could be a scene from any rural schoolhouse in the early United States. Most of the old one-room schoolhouses in my area are now residences, firehouses, or museums. The only ones in use are run by Mennonites, Amish, and other Old Order sects.

victorian figureheads

Both of these Victorian figurehead cards are from the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Both figureheads are from the late 19th century, which means that the one at top is not Mary Poppins. When I was a child, figureheads seemed so romantic to me. I never did hear what happened to either card after sending it off. I'm a fan of mariners museums, maybe because I used to think that marrying a ship's captain would be ideal. Even as a child I knew that the everyday part of life would be my bane.

Monday, January 17, 2011


PostMuse sent this evocative vintage card, which brings all kinds of things to mind. For me it was first of all snow.

red rabbit

Red means go. Another altered card is on its way.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

camel song at sunset

Sandy Sapienza sent another intriguing postcard collage from her series using circles. Two others were posted on the 11th. Thanks, Sandy, for sharing the creative fruits!

onion domes

This summery view of an imposing old wooden church was sent by a postcrosser in Russia.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

snow in slovenia

A Slovenian postcrosser sent this lovely snowscape from her native country, along with a pretty holiday stamp.

variations on a theme

Two altered rabbits join the fray.

Friday, January 14, 2011

russian stamps

This trio of stamps came yesterday on a card from a Russian postcrosser. The Vancouver stamp reminds me of what fun it was to track last year's Olympics, from curling to ice hockey. The food stamp is without doubt the first time I've seen caviar, not to mention a samovar, on a stamp. And the hare (or is it a rabbit) is perfect for 2011.

daddy longlegs

Lynn B. sent this Salvador Dali card, of a 1940 oil painting called Daddy Longlegs of the Evening--Hope! According to French peasant belief, a daddy longlegs seen in the evening betokens hope.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

thoughts of tristero

A couple of hours after posting the paprika card below, I came across this image of a post box, from my last trip to Budapest. The box was in the sprawling railway park in the city. Each time I see one of these European 'post horns' I am reminded of Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, which I used to reread obsessively while living in Japan. The plot veers from comic to cryptic to sinister, as the questing heroine, Oedipa Maas, is drawn deeper and deeper into the machinations, real or imaginary, of a shadowy postal system called Tristero.


I started making this altered card with Mozart's birthday (that would be January 27) in mind but it morphed into a little something about paprika, the sublime spice. Orange paprika is supposed to be the hottest. And, while Mozart may have felt the most love in Prague, he was no stranger to Budapest and Bratislava.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

the street

I sent this postcard off to Germany yesterday, prompted by the threat of snow in the air. It's long been a favorite. Alfred Stieglitz took the photo, which is titled The Street, and published it in a 1903 issue of his photography quarterly Camera Work.


A card made by Mrpotani.