Saturday, January 28, 2012

Double-Sided Card

A wonderful altered card by a high school-aged postcrosser from Taiwan! He took apart an ad card, taped it back together in a new way, and left a clear window in the middle (made with tape). His message ran all over the front and back of the card. He muses that the mailman would be turning this card around and around wondering, "What's this???" Thank you Victor for your creative card and your great sense of humor! The mailman delivered and this card probably made his day.

Doubly Interesting!

This postcrosser from the Ukraine sent a sun-drenched postcard of  the Byzantine Chersonesos Taurica Basilica ruins in the Ukrain. The back of the card was embellished with happy drawings of nature and gorgeous stamps.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Altered Poetry

One of the pleasures of asking people to alter cards is that you never know what you are going to get. This Dutch postcrosser transferred two favorite poems onto the card - one in Dutch and one in English. She also put her coffee mug on the card. I don't quite know how the transfer occurred (rubbing?) but the effect is very cool. She also added her pet dog on the card.

Toys for Tots

Received another quirky card from Derrick D in Sacramento. Yes I remember my brother cutting his finger on a sharp metal toy. They didn't consider child safety in the same way back then.  In fact, I used to buy syringes and poison each summer to kill and display butterflies. These were also in the toy section, along with the wooden stretcher bars for properly stretching out the wings. Japanese children always had insect collecting as part of their summer "homework."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gung hay fat choy!

Was surprised my post office already had these stamps on hand today. The Japanese has celebrated New Year on January 1 since 1873 but most other Asian countries still celebrate in the lunar year. I had no idea that this was the case until I moved to the States and found out my friends operated on a different time frame. I was born the year of the Dragon so I guess I had better behave appropriately.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Lost Art of Thank You Letters

Along with letter-writing in general, there seems to be a decline in mailed thank you letters. Perhaps it is because we don't mail gifts much to people these days. Most of the gift-giving is local and in-person. Nonetheless, it is a pleasure to receive a thoughtful, well-composed letter such as the above, which arrived this week. This card mentioned the received gift, something that gave the recipient pleasure from it. It was also written in script - which showed that she took the time to write the note, address the envelope, and mail it. I must say I am often remiss in sending thank you letters, and must learn by example.

Two From Canada

This postcrosser filled a vintage map of California with cute fairy tale stickers. She also included two fabulous stamps of Canadian movie stars. I wonder if her vision of California is Disneyland and Hollywood?

This postcrosser stickered a stunning postcard of a farmhouse right before a fall storm. The dark sky and the sunlight on the barn and house look incredibly ominous. She also used a wonderful dragon stamp on this card.  

Big Top

I found this card on the street quite a while back and forgot about it. It's for a club that calls itself a homo disco circus, a party for fags, dykes and tranimals.

Postcrossing Stamp!

Glad I looked closely at the stamp on this card from a Dutch postcrosser. Yes it is - the official postcrossing stamp issued in the Netherlands! It's got quite a lot of postcards mashed together so it's hard to tell but indeed it does say postcrossing on it. I went on the website just to make sure. The postcard itself is a classic windmill dairy card from the Netherlands. I quite like it!

Reminders of Cologne

A German postcrosser sent this card from Cologne. I was there in September for a few days before going to a conference in Bonn. The cathedral brought back memories of my visit, which was wonderful because I was traveling with someone who enjoyed traveling and difficult because I was worried about Jacqueline's health. The bear that the postcrosser drew reminded me of a fabulous gummy bear shop at the train station. We spent hours selecting the special flavors they had there. I remember the berry flavors were rich and deeply satisfying. 

Latvia Places

This cool card utilizes the geographic shape of Latvia and lists all the towns and cities in that country. this Latvian postcrosser pointed out to me places to visit, places that serve her favorite ice cream, the city of residence, as well as her summer cottages. On the back she drew a topless sunbather and added a beautiful stamp of Johanna & Zanis Lipkes. Zanis, a wharf-worker and his wife rescued and sheltered Jews in the city of Riga during WW2.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hero Astronaut

Yuri Gagarin, astronaut hero for the Soviets. What a self-assured, rugged, handsome man he was all those years ago! A very cool card from a Russian postcrosser.

Smoking Cessation

Here's a giant Koala shape card from a Australian postcrosser. She's an artist too, and a smoker, from the small little confession on the card.


I am not sure how these folks came to be in such a tight spot. A real cliffhanger of a card from a Malaysian postcrosser.

Monday, January 16, 2012


An enigmatic card by artist Aron Meynell. Other than the butterfly, the objects are difficult to identify. The long piece looks like a wooden femur. And the lump on the side, an unraveled tennis ball. That's just my imagination speaking.

Young & Happy

Two exuberant cards from WhiteWalls. The bouquet above is by Dogpatch artist Casey Gray. He uses stencils and paint in his mixed media still-lifes. The dancing card is by street artist, Above.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Hairy Eyeball

Show is called "Something About Everything About Something." The artist is Mark Warren Jacques. Something very postmodern Hippie about this design.

Union Jack

I spied this splendid freecard at the WhiteWalls gallery the other night. It was in the corner of a window sill, too far for my arm to reach. Then a hipster guy came up and grabbed one of the nearer postcards. I looked him in the eye and asked if he had long arms. He looked a bit startled, but complied with my request to stretch his arm out and pick up the Union Jack for me. Score! 

Text and Font

Two postcards from different shows that feature text and font as art. The Shoplifters Beware card is from a recently opened show at the Guerrero Gallery. Andres Guerrero has a soft spot for sign painters who create amusing and nostalgic works using the basic tools of enamel paint, wood and metal.

I picked up the Everybody Loves You card at the Shooting Gallery. Nothing on the back indicates whose show this is.

Infinity & Beyond

This gorgeous Eschercard was mailed by a friend of Jacqueline's, who just learned of her passing.  I hope Jacqueline's enjoying her second life in an interesting universe like this.

Fairies and Angels

A magical card from a British postcrosser. She forgot to add her registration ID, so I will have to ask Postcrossing to track her down for me! And guess what? Less than 24 hours later, Postcrossing found her. All I had to give them was the first name and country (guessed by looking at the stamp). Thanks guys, great job!

Moldova Doldrums

I think this is my first postcrossing card from Moldova! This card depicts the ethographic and natural history museum. The writer talks about the winter being dull and cold in the winter there. To liven things up a bit, she shared a joke about someone buying me an Ipad for my birthday. I responded to her via my Ipad.

Winter Windmills

I recently saw War Horse and this postcard reminded me of that film. The hazy sun imparts a chill to this wintry scene.

Punched and Be-ribboned

This Dutch postcrosser's reaction to my request for an altered postcard was: "I hate doing art/craft and so on." Nonetheless she obeyed my wishes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dragon Card from Mom

I was happy to get a New Year card from mom. She just had another eye surgery and I was concerned about its result. Looking at her handwriting, it looks like she made it through ok. She's written this card in the typical Japanese New Year card fashion: the message is written on the front of the card and the back is reserved for the address. I loved the whimsical stamp she used of a tipsy musician. The Ikuta shrine is located just downhill from our house. She did get me an ema - a wooden prayer card to write one's wishes on.


What a wonderful card from a Japanese postcrosser. She embellished it by adding tiny heard stickers around mother and child. Does it not epitomize ama-e - that hard-to-translate Japanese word?

Those Darned Mites!!

A wonderful card arrived from Derrick Dodson, one of this blog's readers. It's a bit of icky factoid about bed mites but I love weird stuff so THANKS!!! He writes that he has started hardwriting letters again. Bravo! Please continue. I recently got an acknowledgement from a postcrosser chiding me for my illegible handwriting. She actually used the F-word!!! LOL. Actually.....Jacqueline and I always prided ourselves in our "illegibility." That's what makes handwritten letters so much fun. It slows the reader down. Forces the writer's character upon the reader. I consider handwriting a part of my "art" and being able to actually read it, is secondary. Of course, I am often annoyed with bad grammar and poor spelling. Which I tend to do more often when typing because my fingers fly too fast on the keyboard. And I am irritated by the self-correcting features of my Iphone and Pad. The assumptions made by them are often presumptuous. But then, let's not get into an argument about Apple vs PC. I am, and have been, a fan of the latter.  

Addictions and Cures

The addiction Incorporated is a free card from a movie theater. It's an ad for a film about a whistleblower in the tobacco industry. "Lifted" is a free card from a cafe, advertising medical marijuana. On the back it cites the law that allows for its existence:  "in strict compliance with proposition 215 & sb420." Let's see if the Feds will be able to crack down on these State laws. 

Why I Love Free Cards

When I roll the dice with Postcrossing, more often than not, the person's profile requests "no free cards." Too bad! Some of the most interesting postcards in my possession are "free cards." I pick them up in cafes, movie theaters, bars, boutiques, even on the sidewalk. Like purchasing postcards, one has to be discriminating in one's selections. But so often the free cards are graphically beautiful, topically edgy, and reflective of the times and location. This card is a perfect example. I saw a small stack of them in the window of Mission Pie. I've not seen an "Occupy" postcard before and this one is a call to action in Spanish.
  More and more postcards are replacing posters and print ads in newspapers. It is amazing that these little bits of history can be collected for free and easily shared globally via mail. No doubt these cards will soon be made obsolete by the internet. Until then, I am a magpie, swooping down to collect colorful bits of San Francisco history.

Funny Heads

I think this Finnish postcrosser must have a cheery outlook on life, just based on the card she sent. The funny heads in the front were created with vegetable stamps that she bought last year. She didn't explain if these stamps were sold with vegetables or not.  They remind me a bit of Mr Potatohead characters. And the stamp of the two ladies playing badminton are whimsical as well!

First Dragon Card!

My first New Year card arrived from a postcrosser in Shanghai. I loved the calligraphy, which mimics the thrashing of a dragon's tail. The stamps are wonderful too!

A Walk in the Snow

A perfect winter card from a Ukranian postcrosser. She chose to embellish the back of the card. She writes that the owl is the Ukranian equivalent of Winnie-the-Poo. the red ink bled through to the front, which left an enigmatic stain in the snow. She also used the UPC code on the card to make the Ukranian flag. I appreciate her sharing the various processes used to embellish this card. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012


This postcrosser from the Netherlands sent a shape card in the form of a chunky windmill. That particular shade of blue brings back memories of visiting Delft. There was a candy store that had a zillion varieties of licorice. I had so much fun selecting from baskets of sweet and salty.

Late Arrival

The card arrived this week  filled with mysteries. The message on the back was all about Halloween. And I don't know what the title on the card means.  I can only guess that it took several months for the card to make its way to me from the Ukrainian postcrosser.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

All About the Dolphinarium

This Belarus postcrosser attached to a Christmas card, a news story about a newly opened dolphinarium in Minsk. Apparently it is a "dolphin therapy center," though it's unclear whose therapy we are talking about (dolphin or people?). I imagine it is similar to the one near here in Vallejo - Marine World.

Ming Garden

At first I thought the Dutch postcross had purchased this card in Asia. Turns out this lovely wall is part of the Chinese garden in Haren, Netherlands.