Thursday, January 31, 2013

Direct Swap - Kathryn from Australia

Kathryn and I first swapped through the "12-12-12" group swap. She posted that she had Year of the Snake cards to swap and thought it would be fun to add to my collection. Her card arrived last week. Australian Post also does pre-paid cards similar to Canada Post, however they do not have the matching image as a stamp. Having said that, the postmark more than makes up for it! She wrote telling me she is a Rabbit, the cutest sign if you ask me. I am a Sheep, not so cute if you ask me! What sign are you?


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Random Act of Smiliness - CaptainSoul from USA

CaptainSoul was once again giving away cards through the forum. This time is was US State maps. I am down to one - Connecticut. I messaged him and asked if he had one and if not, not to worry. Well, sweetheart that he is, he did check, didn't have one and mailed be the closest thing alphabetically! And he used some great stamps too!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Direct Swap - Mark from Thailand

Over the holidays I received a note from Mark asking if I would like to swap. He too, felt Postcrossing was a bit slow and swapping was also his solution. He requested a card of Niagara Falls and let me choose a card. He had many interesting ones and I decided on this one of many different beautiful smiles. The card is actually from Laos, although I would imagine given the proximity of the geography, ladies in Thailand would be equally as stunning!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Direct Swap - Sam from Canada

Sam was looking to put together a birthday surprise for her Mom. She was asking Postcrossers through the forum to send postcards with birthday wishes and she in turn would send a thank you card back. I mailed her off a card last week and her thank you must have passed in the mail as it arrived a few days later. Sam sent me this map card of her home province of Newfoundland. One province I have yet to see in person. Hope her Mom has a fantastic day.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Direct Swap - Peter from Tibet, China

Peter was travelling to Tibet for his birthday at the end of December and generously offered to send cards through the forum. While cards from China may be frequent, cards from the Tibet area are not (at least not for me). His card arrived last week. The view shows Norbu Lingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama. This is also a UNESCO site. Peter wrote saying the Potala Palace, was majestic and you could see for 10 kms away. He also had a special cancellation of the Palace used on the card.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Direct Swap - Stanley from China

I don't even remember the last time I received an official card. I stopped sending cards early to mid-December as it figured the post office and people were busy enough with the holidays. Sadly (and very irritatingly) most of that last bunch of cards sent are still travelling and the users haven't signed on since then either. Luck, or unluck, of the draw, yes, but to have 3 or 4 cards in a row expire (or near expire) kind of "hurts" the cards coming to you too. So, I kept myself busy with a bunch of different swaps.

Stanley and I swapped back in the Fall and at the time agreed to swap Year of the Snake stamps when our countries issued them. His card arrived earlier in the week. I normally do not include the full back of the card but it was just so beautiful I couldn't resist. Stanley, was also able to have the card stamped with the special Year of the Snake cancellation.

Friday, January 25, 2013

January - Ayn from United Arab Emirates

In December, Ayn posted in the forum that she was looking for swap buddies for the year. She was looking to learn a bit more about different countries and people over the course of 12 postcards as opposed to one. I have never had a pen-pal and thought this would be a fun and easy way to try it out. The fact she lives in a country - United Arab Emirates (UAE) that I know very little about is an added plus!

This is the first card Ayn sent me which I received last week. The card shows Burj Al Arab, a seven star (yes, seven!!) hotel in Dubai, one of the major cities in UAE. Ayn lives in a small city which is part of Abu Dhabi, the capital. The photo was taken from Madinat Jumeirah, a neighbouring shopping mall and resort. Ayn writes that she has not been in the hotel before, however hopes to one day - me too!!! She also told me a bit about the geography and make up of the Emirates, which means States.

Looking forward to see what February will bring.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Direct Swap - Kimi from USA

Kimi and I agreed to swap map cards back in November. After a few bumps her card arrived last week. Now, I only need one state - Connecticut - to complete my collection. I seem to be going nowhere fast on trying to connect with someone to send me this card. Patience is a virtue I don't often have.

Monday, January 21, 2013

OFFICIAL Card - Taiwan

Ray lives in Taichung City, Taiwan and dreams of travelling the world one day. This card shows views of Beitou, a district in Taipei City. I have received other cards from this "Fun Taiwan" series and do like them.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Group Swap - Merry from China

Here is another of the cards I have received from the group swap I participated in for the "12-12-12" postmark. This time from Merry who lives Qingdao City, China. She wrote telling me it is a beautiful seaside city in eastern China.The card she chose for me shows the old government building, built in 1906. Since then it has had many different hosts - German Government, Japan Army and others. In 1995 when it became an important cultural relics. I really can't find much on Google about this building, however was able to find this. Of the three cards I have received in this swap so far, this is the clearest postmark. One more is on it's way to me from Poland.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Direct Swap - Natalie from England

Last week I saw a Forum post offering London 2012 Olympic cards with a matching stamp. Natalie, had many different sports to choose from. I let her know a few a liked and she ultimately selected this one depicting rowing for me. I was especially happy with her choice as it reminds me of this card issued last summer by Canada Post. In return, Natalie requested a Year of the Snake card as that is her lunar zodiac sign. Hoping to get my order any day now so I can send it along. Also, this card made it to me in a speedy 5 days.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Random Act of Smiliness - Melanie from Canada

It was a nice surprise to find this in my mailbox last week. Melanie had followed-up with me on a Christmas card I had sent her. She emailed to say she reads my blog daily - yeah me & hello Melanie! She had a card she thought I would like based on my writings and was sending it along. She was right on in selecting this one for me! The card shows a painting by Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis. The piece is titled "Yellow Birds". This is an artist I was not familiar with and I really enjoyed learning more about her. Melanie tells me she has been to the gallery with her sons and they studied Maud Lewis in school. I think I what I like best about this painting is the bird on the right with the worm. I don't know how to describe it exactly but it looks like he is wearing a baseball hat the way his beak and "cap" are painted. Totally brings a smile to my face. Thank you Melanie! I hope 2013 brings you everything you hope for!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

OFFICIAL Card - Netherlands

Wietze from Kollum, Netherlands sent this card of a neighbouring village just 12 km from his house. Here are views showing De Westereen in the Province of Friesland. You often see the same stamps on cards, however these are all new to me. I've rotated the scan so they could be seen easier.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Belfast from Boppa

Now for something a little different -

It seems like I am always cleaning and sorting things. And January always makes me feel like I should be trying to get things in order for the new year. By no stretch would I consider myself a hoarder but I do have stuff and lots of it and sometimes it isn't kept as neatly as it should be. Note: all children are safe LOL! Three years ago, while I was cleaning out my Mom's condo I came across this postcard that my Grandfather Boppa (long story how he got that name!) sent to my Dad. The cancellation isn't 100% clear but I think it is May 15, 1959. I kept it as it was the first time I had seen his handwriting. Who knew one day I would have a different appreciation for it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Direct Swap - Laura from USA

Laura lives in Ohio and collects cards showing the stadiums Major League Baseball Teams play in. I had a card showing Rogers Centre, where the Toronto Blue Jays play.  She had a map of Ohio. It was a perfect fit! Haven't heard if she has received my card yet, hopefully it will be there soon.

Monday, January 14, 2013


I had to do a double take when this card arrived last week. The caption didn't match "my picture" when I first read it as I was thinking Washington DC, not Washington State. Kathy lives outside of Seattle and sent me this view of the Capitol Building located in Olympia. She wrote telling me she likes to read, craft, try new recipes and loves Italian food. Sounds very much like me! I like how Kathy used "the other Washington" on the stamps. This is probably one of my favourite US stamps.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

OFFICIAL Card - Russia

Only 14 more months until the Games begin! Sofia sent me this cute card of one of the mascots for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. As best as I can see it is simply known as The Hare. She also chose a stamp featuring the same mascot. The day she wrote me just before Christmas she had written one of the hardest of her 7 exams and it was -17C outside. I don't know what sounds worse?!? A super card and hopefully I will get a few more like these.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Group Swap - Vix from Philippines

Continuing with the lighthouse theme....This card was sent to me as part of the group swap I participated in on "12-12-12". Vix lives in Bulacan, Philippines and was paired up in my group. I cannot say enough about how well organized this swap was. Monique really took time to give each group a really nice mixture of people (and therefore countries) to swap with. Vix sent this card of Basco Lighthouse. I included the write up on the back of the card as that is where the cancellation is. The mark is a little light and in red, while it may not show up well in the scan it is most definitely there. Vix wrote that the Jeepney shown in the picture is one of the most famous symbols of her country and she rides one every day. Looks fun!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Random Act of Smiliness - CaptainSoul from USA

Last month I responded to a post in the forum for free random cards from the US. I received these great cards. A week or so after I received them, CaptainSoul posted again. This time he offering lighthouse cards. I really liked the first one he sent me and once again threw my name in the hat. The Nauset Light is the lucky card sent to me. Located in Eastham, Massachusetts it is featured on the logo for Cape Cod Potato Chips. A great selection of stamps finish off this card. Who knows what CaptainSoul might have in store next!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

OFFICIAL Card - Germany

This card is one of the most unique and fun cards I have ever received! Brigitte from Munich, Germany sent this to me just before Christmas. She wrote telling me that Toronto is her favourite city in Canada, and that she has a skiing trip planned to Banff in January. She even tells me she has the same red Olympic mittens as I am wearing in my avatar picture. It wasn't until after I registered the card and had a chance to see Brigitte's profile that I saw the "cut-out doll" is actually her. I messaged her just to make sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me and it is! What a neat idea! These were Christmas cards she had made for family, friends and Postcrossing - truly original!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

OFFICIAL Card - China

One thing I do remember of my trip to China was that some days some things really started to blend. I don't know if it was because of the schedule we were keeping, the pace of the day, the time difference - who knows?!? That isn't meant to be disrespectful, however was true. Often the buildings and gardens looked similar and some of the lesser known places while beautiful didn't have quite the same ohm-pa-pa impact if you know what I mean.

Angel lives in Shenzhen, China. I had to smile when I read what she wrote. She said her parents took her to Beijing when she was young to see the Summer Palace and that she doesn't remember anything. Well, I was "older" and I don't either! This view shown in the card is of  The Marble Boat.

Love, love love the bird stamps Angel chose for me.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

OFFICIAL Card - Japan

This is one of the prettiest cards I have received in awhile. Yoko from Sendai, Japan wrote telling me she wore one at her sister's wedding. I also love Hello Kitty so was really happy with this stamp. She too is wearing a kimono!

Monday, January 7, 2013

OFFICIAL Card - Belarus

Ah, the famous Belarus stork. I have seen and heard that the stork has long been considered a national symbol of the country. I must admit I have found it rather odd, but then again others might think having a beaver or a loon just as odd and I can't explain that either. Now that I have read this it does make a bit more sense to me. I absolutely love this series of postcards from Belarus so was delighted when it arrived last week. Margarita from Minsk sent this to me mid-December and tells me a bit about her life as a student there. I was equally happy that she used a Christmas stamp on this card. Not too sure where I had seen it on-line but did somewhere and was hoping I would get one.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Group Swap - Kathryn from Australia

In November, I responded to a Forum post about a Group Swap to commemorate the date 12-12-12. This is the last "symmetrical" or repeated date like this for this century. I thought it would be fun to join in. At the time I was completely unaware of all the doomsday talk about the Mayans nor all the good fortune talk about choosing that day to be married. Just thought it would be fun!

Monique lives in The Netherlands and she has gone above and beyond in terms of organizing the 40 people who joined up for this project. Around the 1st of December, she sent out names and addresses which gave ample time to select cards and write them. I even mailed some of my Christmas postcards and RAS cards that day so they too could have the "special" postmark.

The first card of the four cards coming my way arrived last Monday. It came from Kathryn who lives in Queenstown, Australia. She sent me a lovely multi-view of her home state. She told me Tasmania is known as the "Natural State" for its scenery and wildlife. The card shows Wineglass Bay (love that name!) in Freycinet National Park, the Tasmanian State Flag as well as State Flower, the Tasmanian Blue Gum. Lastly, a map of the island and the totally cute Tasmanian Devil! The postmark while a little smudged is still very clear. A prefect choice for me - thank you Kathryn!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Random Act of Smiliness - Claire from USA

Over the holidays the mail is always hard to predict. With the days off and volumes, some days you get nothing and others "too much" - if there is such a thing! This past Monday I received this delightful Christmas postcard from Claire in Santa Monica, California. She had offered cards she designed for Hallowe'en in the forum back in October which she sent me as seen here. Claire designed another card for Christmas and surprised those who she had sent to in the past. And it was a surprise! Love the colours in this card. (It looks a little washed out in my scan). It was sent in an envelope and the stamps were not cancelled. She also used some vintage sticker/stamps on the actual card which are fun. Happy New Year to you too Claire! This card was a lovely way to end my year!