Wednesday, August 30, 2006

China...Africa...Europe...South America.... Wow!

The postcards are coming in more quickly than I can process them :) Here are 8 cards from the last two days, plus two bonuses :)

1. Chinese booklet on The Great Wall of China, from a tag with Yan in the People's Republic of China. This is a very lovely book with almost archival quality paper and many beautiful images, although written in Chinese. According to Yan, the English version is very rare...and therefore out of his budget for penpalling purposes. Quite a treasure...thank you! ;)

2. discount card, as an added bonus from Yan in the tag above! I love how there's an "e" and then, I presume, the word "long" in Chinese. :) Very neat!

3. Before I turned this card over, I looked at it and said, "Hmmm.... Europe." Then I tried to narrow it down: "Germany?" Nope! This is a great aerial view of Szeged , Hungary, from a tag with Hanan! I love the card...the city looks so lively and busy and bustling...just not what I have in mind when I think "Hungary." My mind is obviously skewed and does not perceive reality properly :) But that's what this hobby is's to correct my misperceptions and clarify my view of the world :) Thanks Hanan! Love the card!

4. Pottinger Street, Hong Hong, from a private swap with Ameko. I love this view! It is almost like I am stepping into a busy street in an average day-in-the-life of a native! And look at all the detail: the signs have both Chinese and English (shoes, fruit juice, photo supplies); on the right see the box of cereal featuring Tony the Tiger. And on the back, "Chinese" English: "Neighbored with modern buildings, this is where old and new charmingly mix." :) Love it! :)

5. The Olive Pit, Corning, California. A unique card from a private trade with Amy in Oregon! I love it! It's's's a real establishment! Thanks, Amy! :)

6. Atomium, Brussels. This card is from a private trade with Ron in New Jersey. I love science...especially cutting-edge stuff like this really appealed to me! I would love to visit this they have some cool souvenirs to be had! :)

7. Cape Town, South Africa, another card from my trade with Ron. I selected this card because it seems so hard to get cards from African nations...they are therefore rare and exotic to me...and any view I get is a treasured one :)

8. Ruta de los Volcanes, Quito, Banos, Ecuador...this, another card from Ron...chosen for the same reason. How many people have a card from Ecuador??? :)

9. Som Moro, Hervannan official postcrossing card from Maija in Finland! I love this card as well! It shows contemporary architecture...Finnish text...and it's just not your typical Finnish landscape-snow-bird card :) It represents the Finns well! :) Although it was not easy, Maija attempted to translate this card for me: "Words, this is a weird thing! Your dream has come true. Every one has it's own place and has been organized to lines. Just come in sight with smile." Now isn't that just the coolest?!? :)

10. The Forth Rail Bridge, also from Ron. This bridge is so unusual looking--and I just love unusual looking things :) It is a view from North Queensferry in Fife..which, I learned when I looked it in Scotland, in the U.K. :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New cards for cards for me!

Traveling and Postcarding!

What an excellent week this has been--both for acquiring new postcards to trade and for receiving postcards for my growing albums! Last Tuesday, I took the kids over to the Forest Discovery Center in Pisgah National Forest (near Brevard, North Carolina). We stopped at the ranger station and saw beautiful hummingbirds everywhere...and postcards for a very nice price! :) We then went to Pink Beds picnic area for lunch, and then over to the Forest Discover Center so the kids could do the scavenger hunt and so mom could practice her photography :) Then...we stopped at the Center for Wildlife Education and saw where the forest service raises trout for local rivers :)

Yesterday, the whole family headed south to Greenville, South Carolina, which is less than an hour away. We stopped at The Children's Garden, a lovely little character-oriented garden to help children learn all sorts of neat stuff :) They didn't have potties there, so needless to say we couldn't stay long :) Next stop was Falls Park on the Reedy River in downtown. What a beautiful place! There are waterfalls there...a swimming hole for the the only cantilevered people bridge that crosses a river in the world! I took lots of photos; hope to translate at least a few of them into unique postcards to share and swap with you all :)

My postcard trading album now hosts a bunch of South Carolina cards; check it out to see! I also added many new homemade cards, a selection of Johnny Depp cards, Pirates of the Caribbean cards, and new mountain cards!

My personal albums have grown as well after this week! I received nearly 50 cards from various trades and swaps....many, many lovely cards! I can't take time to post them all, but what you see here are a few of my favorites--and a sample representative of the whole :)


1. Alaska Railroad along Turnagain Arm, from a private trade with Sarah in Alaska. I love trains and I love mountains...this has both :)

2. Alaska from Space, again from my private trade with Sarah. Once upon a time, I wanted to be an astronaut...or at least a scientist at NASA. That didn't happen...but I sure enjoy visions from space like this!

3. University of Alaska at Fairbanks, from Sarah for my university collection. Very pretty campus...would love to see it in person! Thanks Sarah! :)

4. Windmills in the Mojave Desert from a private trade. Something about windmills is very appealing to me. And to see them all in a row like this is even more awesome :)

5. This awesome image comes from a private trade with Edwin in Hong Kong. I absolutely love the colors of the paper bags/lanterns/ornaments all over this the action of the chidren at lower right! This shouts, "HONG KONG!" to me, which is another reason why I love it so :)

6. Plane flying over Kowloon City, Hong Kong...again from Edwin. I know I keep saying this, but this is very close to--or actually is--my favorite card! I have a thing about airplanes...especially LOW FLYING airplanes! This image is foreign...colorful...a bit scary...AWESOME! Thanks, Edwin!

7. Card design by Minna Immonen, a tag from Kiti in Finland. Lovely! Wish I had a large-sized version of this...would be great in a frame in my office :) Thanks Kiti!

8. The next two cards, Rainforest and The Great Barrier Reef, by Richard Galloraith, come from a private trade from Carol in the states. I love local art cards like this! And the detail on them is amazing! If you look closely you see all kinds of neat creatures everywhere :) Colorful and fun! Thanks Carol...I am proud to host these cards in my collection! :)

9. Great Barrier Reef

10. Budapest, from a private trade with Lili, who will be attending school there this fall. I love how busy and active the city looks, even from up here! Just a good photograph :) Thanks!

11. Tallinn, Estonia...from a private trade with Merike! Wow...this is my first card from Estonia...a country I know just about nothing about. But that's why I love postcarding...I get to learn about so many people, places and things! :) Thanks Merike! Look forward to more swaps! :)

12. Japan map card from my dear sister Maria, who should be home from her month-long trip by now :) Another great addition to my map collection! :)

13. "Naturally! Beautiful!" Austria, from a private trade with Elke :) First Austrian card as well! Thank you! :)

14. Last, but not least, a Lyrikart card from a tag with Kirsten! I love this card because I love the German language! It says, "Only at the end of our way we find the answers." Thank you Kirsten! :)

A note to visitors...

Hey! Thank you very much for stopping by! I hope you enjoy my blog :) While you're here, would you mind taking a moment to leave a comment? It's nice to know I'm not just talking to myself here :)


Renae :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I Love Postcards!

Yesterday was another HUGE mail day here! Not only did I receive the cards you'll see below (which are just my favorite of the bunch!), but I also received a fantastic Paua shell keyring from Rachel in New Zealand, a Puerto Rico magnet from my sister (who went there on vacation a while ago and forgot to send it to me until now :)), and a magnet and little black purse from a swapper in Hungary! Thanks to everyone :)

1. Bryce Canyon National Park, from a private trade. I still cannot believe there are such awesome places on this earth. Amazing! I also received four other national park cards in this trade...and it's these cards that have started me on the road to collecting national park cards :)

2. Amsterdam, from a private trade with Mikiko. Even though the image is a bit dark, I still love all the interesting detail: FujiFilm sign, Bazar2000, trolley 658, Presitge Gallery--oil paintings and bronzes. This really makes me feel like I'm "there," and is exactly what I mean when I say I like cards showing "busy street scenes." Thanks Mikiko! :)

3. Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. From Susan through a postcrossings tag! Susan writes that there are hundreds of parks in the Vancouver area, but that this is one of the most famous and a common site for wedding photos. I see why :) I am guessing that building in the background is "Bloedel Floral Conservatory," as it is mentioned on the back of the card. Very nice! Thanks Susan!

4. Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands, also from trade with Mikiko. I love airport images for some reason. Must be the repeating images of planes? Either that, or it's just my fascination with planes...that such beasts can fly at all! :)

5. This image is either from a book, or it is artwork, called "Wounded Angel" published in 1903 by Hugo Simberg. I received this lovely card as an official postcrossing card from Heini in Finland. She is a librarian, so we both share a love of books :) The image here is stirring to me...a wounded child...a wounded angel. Same difference? :)

6. The Dolomiti: Misurina Lake and the Sorapis Group, from a private trade with Barbara in Italy. I love how the mountains absolutely dwarf the buildings in this image! Living in the mountains of North Carolina, I see mountains all the time. But I've never traveled west...nor anywhere I've never seen mountains like these! Thanks Barbara!

7. Bradenton Beach, Florida, from a trade with my sister Jessica :) Thanks Jess! I lived in various places on the west coast of Florida, from Tampa to Fort Myers, for 20 years! That bridge in the foreground leads to my parents' home...they're less than a 10 minute drive to that spot on the island.

8. Sunshine Skyway Bridge, from my sister again :) I traveled this many times...the bridge replaces the two spanner, one of which crumbled when a barge hit it many moons ago! You can still see the remnants of one of the spans in the background. This bridge connects St. Petersburg to Bradenton.

9. Holland, from private trade with Mikiko. I love windmills...and I love this is a great card for me :)

10. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah. This card is from a private trade; only LDS members can enter the temple...the rest of us have to admire it from the outside :) Very lovely!

11. Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand, from a private swap with Pip :) It's a perfect addition to my uni collection! Love it! Thanks, Pip!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Far East...Universities...Architecture..... Seems to be the "cues" for the day :)

The last few days have been so much postcarding fun! Not only did I receive a TON of postcards (so many so that seeing only "one" lonely card in my box today kinda seemed sad!), but I also tried my hand at rubber stamping cards in blank spaces and then coloring the stamped images with gel pens and markers! The images look oh-so-lovely! And they help take up space on those cards where I really don't have all that much to say :)

Here's a good handful of the cards I received recently. While they were scanned in similar groups (like Philly cards with Philly cards!), they uploaded in quite another order. And I don't have time to fix it :)

I didn't think you'd mind!

1. Nyonya Kebaya Malaysian Creations from a private trade with a generous and artistic friend in Malyasia! This is one of the more popular traditional dresses among the ladies. Beautiful! (All Malaysian cards posted in today's blog were from the same generous friend--not only are the images on the cards superb, but so are the images on the back! He took the time to draw and color cute little images on each card, which gave me the idea to stamp and color on my cards! I can't draw, so stamps had to do it!)

2. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, right down the street from a pretzel factor. Several times a week, people would come by the house pulling red wooden wagons filled with Philly 10 for a dollar! They also carried mustard so you could top one or two off right there for quick munching :) Well...I moved away from Philly 20 years ago. And it has been nearly that long since I have tasted a Philly pretzel--a REAL Philly pretzel! Others may call themselves that, but I have never yet found one to live up to the real thing. (These pretzels are making me thirsty!!!! :)

3. US Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I just love the architecture here!

4. Connecticut map from a private trade.

5. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, from the same private trade. I love academia--if I could, I'd go back to school full-time for a doctorate, and then teach at the college level. But since that doesn't look like it's going to be happening anytime soon, I'll collect university postcards instead :)

6. Yale Campus, from same private trade. Would love to hobnob among the Ivy Leaguers...if only for a day to see if the rumors are true :)

7. Katharine S. Day House, Hartford, Connecticut, from the same private trade. I love the color and style of this building. This looks like the kind of home I'd like to live in...I think it's all that brick that appeals to me.

8. New Zealand map from a private trade. This map is excellent in its simplicity. No facts...but a neat cutout showing where NZ is in the world's geography.

9. The Ubudiah Mosque in Kuala Kangsar--one of the oldest in Malaysia. Beautiful! This must be breathtaking in person!

10. Puala Perhentian Besar (puala = island; besar = big), part of the National Marine Park in Malaysia. Has a smaller brother island, Puala Kecil (kecil = small) that's more isolated and much prettier...according to notes from the sender :) Best time to visit is right before monsoon season...low prices and less people! :)

11. Fishing village on Pangkor Island. Can you imagine actually living in such a place??? I am so far removed from such a life....

12. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. This sent me over to the Wharton Business School site...and to ask my husband, "What do you think about living in Pennsylvania?" :) can continue to hope.... :)

13. Benjamin Franklin Parkway in downtown Philly. I think my last time there was on a kindergarten field trip :)

14. City of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and its financial and commercial center. I love this view because it's so contemporary...and green...and awesome! Looks like a place I would love to visit...I bet there is much to do!

15. The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur. This has got to be one of the best of the bunch. I love the architecture...the shimmer...the modernness!

16. Greetings from Malaysia. This card is spectacular for its various colorful images from Butterfly Park in Kuala Lumpur. According to the individual who sent it, the kitework you see is today a dying art. In fact, all of these games, says my friend, are, sadly, dying in Malaysia. In with the twin towers...out with yesterday's games, I suppose. Same as anywhere else.

17. Greetings from Malaysia. Another lovely, colorful card showing images from Butterfly Park...yummy images at that! Here you see sate and fried and sweet cakes, all of which are, according to my friend, very delicious :)

18. Last, but certainly not least, is this wonderful view of Guangzhou, China, sent by my new trading friend there. Guangzhou is the 3rd largest metropolis in the mainland, known as the "kitchen of China." The river is the Pearl River. Again, what strikes me about this scene is the contemporary look of the city. I seem to have a preconceived notion in my mind that places like China and Malaysia are more filled with ancient temples and buildings rather than skyscrapers and business centers! Shows how ignorant I am! :)