Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bold & Beautiful

This colorful and oversized poscard arrived from Creativity Explored. Vincent Jackson, one of the artists at the center, will have a solo show in January.

Cut and Sewn

A card from a Russian postcrosser, cut smaller than regular size, and decorated with sewn red thread.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Best and the Worst

This amazing card arrived from a postcrosser in Belarus. It is a testament to the fact that altered cards, no matter how funky, can travel safely from one country to the next. She tore apart a card of Belarusian stamps and pieced it together on her musical notes. She said the experience made her think of the worst sides of her life and the best. The back of the card had a note in red to the post officers to deliver without any troubles. Deliver they did, to my absolute delight.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Her Version of the Nutcracker

And this is my favorite card today. This Russian postcrosser dressed up the ballet card with collage that makes for a wonderful nutcracker scene.

Tomb of Confucius

The ornate gates leading to Confucius' tomb. Note the dead tree on the left.

What Finns Eat

A lovely winter card from a Finnish postcrosser. She wrote down the typical foods eaten by a Finn: milk products, rye bread, Karelian pasty, Karelian hotpot, reindeer saute, meatballs, smoked fish, rice pudding, rye pudding, squeaky cheese, minced meat, cinnamon bun.  Yum! Will have to look up recipes. Noticeably absent: any mention of fruits or vegetables.

All Signs Point To....

A Canadian postcrosser sent this card with a note that said that her late husband purchased the card from his birthplace in Ireland. She lives in northern British Columbia surrounded by nature. I love the little yellow mailbox, over which she's drawn herself, waiting for her postcard!

Handmade Christmas

Top card made by Gloria and Cynthia; bottom card made by Riko. I had to resort to sending store-bought cards this year for the first time in many years. These cards are reminders that in 2014, I can go back to the pleasure of mail art.

2013 Christmas

This has been a Christmas of lowered expectations because of my current workload. Still, I received some lovely cards from friends and family. Clockwise from top left: artist S. Yagi's co-joined twins, brother Eugene's shape card from Japan, artist S. Cornett's mushrooms (my favorite European theme!), and an Artspan card of a drawing by a child from the Bessie Carmichael School.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Oh Starry Night!

My friend Susan made this gorgeous card of stars pieced with old Christmas cards. This is the first year that I've foregone making cards for the Holidays and this lovely gift will be a reminder that in two years I will be free again to create.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Inuit Card

I received this lovely card announcing the Cape Dorset annual print collection. My husband and I started collecting Inuit art in the 1980's, when we went to Quebec City. In San Francisco, there's a shop called Images of the North that carries a nice collection of Inuit work, from lithographs to sculpture to jewelry. It's a dream of mine to visit Cape Dorset, but right now I'm content to receive a card filled with squawking geese.

View from Above

I was looking forward to this gorgeous sheet all year. It reminds me of the Cloudscape stamps from years ago, but instead of looking up, these sheets look down. When I have a moment, I think I will create a set of cityscape artistamps in response to these earthscapes.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Land of Postcrossing

A wonderful altered card from a Dutch postcrosser. She writes, "I really enjoyed pimping the postcard." Indeed - the corners were carefully burned and the back of the card has lovely coffee stains on it as well as a postcrossing stamp. Thanks so much for creating this work of art!

Voyage from Poland

A beautiful postcard from a Polish postcrosser. I love the use of jute, buttons and text!

Tokyo and Kobe

This is a Toraya card, advertizing an exhibition of the making of wagashi (Japanese sweets).  I never made it to the show but loved the card.
I happened to attend the opening of the Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art in Kobe. It was a beautiful, new building but I wasn't too impressed with the selection of his works. I wanted to see more of his graphic collage work, like this postcard's. Instead, there were a lot of repetitive paintings of a female diver, and a woman openly drooling. I didn't know if he was trying to be droll or fetishistic, but they didn't work for me.

A Very Special Treat

Whenever my mother and I walk the Ginza, we stop at Toraya for something sweet. They specialize in adzuki-based sweets that can be enjoyed with matcha or coffee. This time, they had seasonal chestnuts on the menu, so that is what I ordered. The glass bowl comes filled with jellied agar cut up into flowers, leaves and cubes, peeled chestnuts, and chestnut puree, and azuki beans. I enjoyed it with a frothy cup of bitter matcha. My mother enjoyed the traditional yokan with matcha. It was such a pleasure to be in Tokyo once again!

2012 Japanese Stamps

1,000 Year Anniversary of the Tale of Genji 

Waka poets and their poems, issued on Letter-Writing Day
I just returned from a family visit to Japan.  As usual, I was on the prowl for interesting mail-related items. It is sad that the country is devoid now of the elongated red mail boxes, though I found one painted over in a ghastly beige tone.  
Japan post often sets up pop-up post offices in surprising places, and this is where you can purchase gorgeous commemorative stamps. I found a postal van parked on the back footpath of Kyoto's Kiyomizu temple. Two earnest postal workers had a spread of gorgeous stamps on their folding table. No one seemed to notice or care, but I made a bee-line. I was delighted to find the Tale of Genji stamps, issued in 2008 to commemorate the 1,000-year anniversary of Lady Murasaki's novel. The equally fabulous hyakunin isshu stamp provides portraits of 12th century poets, the poems in script, and the text reproduced in standard Japanese.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Road Sign

I love this roadsign card from a psotcrosser in Russia. It reminds me that I'm going on the road soon. My workload has kept me from traveling as freely as I used to. But a series of trips are coming and I'm ready!

Bad Girls of Hong Kong

Here's a fabulous card from a postcrosser in Hong Kong. It's a movie called "Bad Girls." the characters have been all marked up. Notice the halo and horns? 


This howling kitty card is from a postcrosser in Belarus. She embroidered a ribbon onto the box, which was pretty cool. 

Vintage Altered

This first card had beautiful ink splatters on it. The Hello from Russia feels downright like a James Bond message. This postcrosser is going to art school rather than spy school.

Now here's a fabulous retro card of an old tank from a postcrosser in Belarus. The edges are burnt and marked with ink. There's also an explosion from the nozzle scribbled in pen. I just love the alterations on this card!

Summer Cards

A starry starry night card from a postcrosser in Sydney. It was her second attempt, as the first card never arrived. Thank you for your persistence! I love your glittery stars.

A dreamy dance card from a postcrosser in Lithuania. Her exceedingly neat note said she created this according to my wish. I'm so glad she granted my wish because this card is yummy yummy yummy!

This card as sent by a postcrosser from Belarus. The back of it was covered with lipstick kisses. The bright summery colors on this card made me smile. How I wish I were in a field of ripening wheat with wildflowers in my hair. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Black Stamps

Just discovered these gorgeous stamps at the post office today, when I went to renew my PO box. I've been kept away from Little Red because of my workload, but I keep thinking about posting all the cards I've been receiving. It's been almost a year since Jacqueline passed, and I still think of things to discuss with her. It has been a difficult baseball summer. My team, the A's are doing unexpectedly well. Listening to the game on the radio is a great consolation as I slog through a never-ending workload. I could not bear to see the Phillies when they came to town to play the Giants this year. I'm glad that Jacqueline didn't have to live through the heartache of watching the Philliies players dismantled. Bye-bye Shane Victorino. Joe Blanton. Hunter Pence.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sailor Love

Here's a fabulous altered card with stickers and ribbons. A very romantic image and I like the use of color over a black and white image!

Sleeping Fairy

A sweet fairy postcard from a postcrosser in Taiwan. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Revelstoke Dam

This dam is one of the largest hydroelectrical facilities in North America. As the Canadian postcrosser points out, she built the fifth unit. Amazing!

Whistle While You Work

Love this sunset card from a Dutch postcrosser. She mentioned that she had her dog treck mud over the card, but it must have come off in the mail. 

Love is All Around

The Dutch postcrosser burned the edges all around, and created a hole on the right. Then she punched holes and sewed with yarn. This card arrived intact with stamp.

this German postcrosser added some love stickers to an otherwise bland card. Love the effect!


This gorgeous oversized card is from Tanya - a birthday card! She always creates the most amazing card with paper and medium. She's been doing a number of pieces on Grimm's tales. This one can be some sort of myth from the Roman days. Always fun to open the envelope and see the gorgeous work inside.

Dragon & Castle

The fantasy castle card is from a postcrosser in Minsk and the dragon card is from my husband, a birthday card. We're both dragon year birthdays - his is coming up in July. I really like these two cards juxtaposed. There needs to be a story that goes with them...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Through the Cards Darkly

This fine drawing card with tiny stickers is from Taiwan. The handwriting of this postcrosser is as delicate as the drawing.

This Latvian card ranks among my all-time favorite altered card. The drawing ink poured over this card left a molasses-like gooey look. The card isn't sticky at all, however. Dark and fabulous!

This altered John Lennon card was created by the son of a British postcrosser. I used to love to play with lettering like this when I was in high school!!!

Four Humorous Cards

This cheery smiley card is from the Netherlands. The postcrosser adhered shiny stickers all around and painted the card a hot pink.

This colorful card is from Australia and advertizes humor.

I love this mosquito card from Finland. She used the empty frames remaining from a sheet of stamps to create the screen. Brought back memories of hiking in Sweden in the summer. I foolishly wore black leggings, which attracted all the mosquitos to my legs.

I love the irreverence of this mustachioed Buddha card from Japan.

Altered Pets

The top card is from a Ukranian postcrosser who drew all over a conventional card. The cat's body is strangely distorted. The bottom card from a Dutch postcrosser who purchased a card of a dog dressed up like a bee. The dog looks so sad...


I love this dragon card created by a Japanese postcrosser. She used a dragon New Year card and drew the green tail on the right side. The stamps she used on the reverse was fabu as well.


Two handmade cards from the remaining FIPS team. The top one is created by Susan and the bottom by Irma. We miss Frannie but the tradition continues. We went to a great all-day symposium on Latina artists at the Galeria de la Raza.

Garment Industry

I love this card from Slovenia that depicts a garment worker. It reminded me of my past life, inspecting factories for human rights violations.