Monday, May 26, 2014

Vintage Faux Vintage

These are two cards I recently mailed to postcrossers. One is vintage and the other, faux vintage. The top card, from a series on Yosemite, is faux vintage. It is a 2000 reproduction of an actual vintage card. The card is yellowing because of the inexpensive cardstock and so it has the aura of vintage. It is a lovely card of the four major waterfalls in Yosemite: Bridal Veil, Yosemite, Vernal and Nevada. The card below is vintage, printed in Dearborn, Michigan, home of the Henry Ford Museum. Probably printed in the 1950's or 60's. It was reproduced in Curteichcolor.

A mysterious postcard from someone called Bee. She/he directed me to Hmmm...I don't get the connection between this Kodak vendor, Bee, and religion. I must say that I don't miss the old film techniques that took so long and was so fraught with uncertainty and cost. Yet digital photography is just as expensive, perhaps even more so.

Tea Room in the Netherlands

My friend Susan sent this fun postcard she found in a relative's house that she is cleaning out. Dutch cards always remind us of Frannie, a good friend who passed away a few years ago. As a Dutch Indonesian, she was more Dutch than the Dutch themselves, knowing all the traditions, recipes and Dutch anecdotes. We miss her...

Loving Rain

A charming postcard from a postcrosser in Belarus. With the serious drought in California, I think everyone here would smile rather broadly when raindrops fall.

Aliens Attack Etna

This altered card was sent by an Italian postcrosser who lives on the slopes of Mt. Etna. What an imaginative alteration of a cool volcanic postcard!

Waddesdon Flowerbeds

Sarah, a mail artist from the UK created this lovely altered card.  It's a great papercut style, and reminiscent of Kara Walker or William Kentridge. I don't have her address to reciprocate but Sarah, if you are reading this, do drop me a line at my PO box and provide your address! 

Prancing Horse from Russia

I haven't received many horse cards this year but here's a lovely one from a Russian postcrosser. It reminds me of the tole painting in Pennsylvania and also of the Palekh painting in Russia. I love the blazing mane on the horse! 


Mailing this vintage card to a postcrosser in Singapore. Until I started reading Robert Caro's biographies about Johnson, I had no idea how interesting and complex this president was. I occasionally referred to passages about his leadership during my tenure as president of my organization. Among his achievements, the passage of the Civil Rights Act was his greatest contribution to this country.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


My favorite iconic image from Paris! Received this card the other day from my friend Stephen, who is having quite an indulgent vacation there. His Facebook postings are full of delicious patisseries and museum photos.

Search for Heaven

Here's a lovely postcard from a Chinese postcrosser. I wonder if this is a bona fide maxi-card? Not sure if the image of the stamp on the front page counts? The card is titled "Search for Heaven" but there is no explanation by the postcrosser on the meaning.


Here is an intriguing postcard from a Russian Postcrosser. She is dressed a bit like a Playboy Bunny but I am not sure of the meaning of "bang" in the champagne glass.... Can someone translate the Russian for me?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Half the Sky via China Post

Created these cards for the Half the Sky postcards to be mailed to Indiegogo donors who helped fund the WCA trip to China. In Hong Kong my friend and I signed the cards, used our special rubber stamp commemorating the experience, and added our newly minted chops. Mailed the cards from Shenyang via China Post. In a no-frills office setting, I managed to acquire some nice local postcards and pretty stamps. What a fun experience!

In Hong Kong

At the Shenyang China Post

Postcards of Old Shenyang

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Little Red Mail Boxes

Found a new postcard series produced by JP Post. Each area post office has its own version of the little red mailbox. I got one from a local post office in Kobe (left), and another one from the main Tokyo post office (center). I also got a general spring one (right). I guess such cards are initiatives of the privatized postal system to generate income. Sweet!

Having Fun With Chops

Recently my friend and I got chops made in Hong Kong. Another friend who lives there took us to Man Wah Lane, a narrow street lined with people making chops in little kiosks. Only one man was willing to create chops for us the same day. We selected our characters from a large dictionary of styles and he later delivered the carved seals to the hotel. In Kyoto we bought lovely cases to house our chops. In Asia, historically, a seal was more official than a signature. I remember my first chop purchased in Japan was simple, and consisted of my last name. Now, I like to get chops made with just the first initial of my first name in Japanese: 華 (Hana). I've had chops made in Hong Kong and Vietnam. I often add a chop next to my signature on my artwork.