Thursday, August 26, 2010

Well, these photos of Europe OUGHT to be postcards!

This PowerPoint presentation is being passed around the Internets, so I hope the author and photographer don't mind my sharing these wonderful images here on my blog! These aerial photographs of various European locations are WONDERFUL! Now I want to visit Europe more than ever!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gorgeous greetings from Germany

When it arrived, this very thick and colorful, cheerful card brightened my day -- and it has brought smiles to my face many times since!

It is an official postcrossing card from Germany. The sender writes on the back: "First I bought a postcard with my hometown Frankfurt on it, but as you have children, I thought they might like a more colorful postcard."

She was right! They DID like it--as did I! It is among my absolute favorites :) I liked it so much that I looked up the artist online to see what I could find. The name is Turnowsky--and he (?) seems to be somewhat of a mystery. I am not sure if this is children's art published by Turnowsky, or if it is actually art by Turnowsky. I did find the website, but it does not seem updated and provides little information. The most I could find is that Turnowsky is in Israel, and this, on a Turnowsky vendor's site: "Publishers of exclusive fine paper products, widely acclaimed for the originality and refinement of their designs, and unique printing techniques. The large ranges, all created at Turnowsky’s own studio, include a great variety of art cards in different sizes and styles, gift wrap, gift bags, notebooks and bookmarks. Turnowsky’s lines are seasonal and inspired by prevalent trends and colours. The rich collections are exported to more than 20 countries."

I know this: I will be looking for more Turnowsky! :) Thank you again, kind sender!

Business card of a 10-year-old

My oldest and youngest children recently opened their own (competing) "businesses" to earn money above and beyond allowance: The Silver Foot and The Happy Foot. You can guess what they do :) My middle child, though, does not like "doing feet." So he created his own business, called New Designs. Here is his business card. Cute, eh?

Handmade card

Handmade card, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This adorable handmade card came in an order of soap from an Etsy vendor.

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada

My husband has been scanning albums filled with old family photos--and this card came from one of those albums. We had planned to go to Banff for our honeymoon, but it was not to be; we went to Washington DC instead :) We still talk about going to Banff--maybe for a second honeymoon?

From the back of the card: "Chateau Lake Louise Swimming Pool. The pool available to guests at the Chateau Lake Louise is a boon to the vacationer as the lakes in the Canadian Rockies are universally too cold for bathing. The mountain lakes are fed directly by glacial streams and even in mid-summer they are very close to freezing."

Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This sunflower--and its postcard, an official Postcrossing card--hail from a little town in the center of Tuscany, another region I would love to visit someday.

Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar

Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This oversized card comes from Afendi (thank you!), an Indonesian working in Doha, far from his home. He discovered my blog, commented, and a postcard trade soon followed!

This image comes from a painting by Rosemary Morrell. It shows the Souq Waqif traditional market in Doha. Souq Waqif means "standing water" -- it is so named because in days long past, Doha was a small village split by the Wadi river, along whose banks vendors would gather to sell their wares. As the water often ran into the streets, vendors were forced to stand -- thus the name "standing water." The Souq has been recently restored and is, according to Wiki, one of the top tourist attractions in Doha!

Doha, Qatar

Doha, Qatar, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This amazing view of Doha was taken from the Museum of Islamic Art. The city appears so large and contemporary, yet looks as though it sits on the edge of the desert! Exotic and beautiful! Interestingly, my sister recently visited Doha and brought me a card showing the Museum of Islamic Art--what are the chances of that? Thank you again to Afendi for this great card! You can check out other great cards and views from Doha at his blog.

The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

A nice map card showing the Oregon Trail, from a distant (geographically!) relative on my husband's side. She picked this up for me on a recent trip to Portland--thank you!

From the back: "Lewis & Clark [sic] expedition of 1804 paved the way for the westward exodus of an estimated 200,000 pioneers by wagon train along what became known as the Oregon Trail." Imagine traveling all that way by horse and wagon....

Old Town, Portland, Oregon

Old Town, Portland, Oregon, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Another card from the same country-hopping relative, this time giving a glimpse of Portland's Historic Old Town District during Saturday market. Smaller, inset images show the MAX Light Rail, New Market Theater, and Skidmore Fountain.

Great Southern Land, Australia

Interesting--a postcard with the stamp pre-printed on the front! This rugged view of Australia comes from a mountain tag on the Postcrossing Forums.

Greetings from Holland

Greetings from Holland, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Lovely tulips from Holland -- an official postcrossing card!

Harwich Old Books, Essex, UK

Harwich Old Books, Essex, UK, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This card and the two that follow come from my long-time penfriend across the pond, Kerstin. This advertising card comes from her favorite place to visit--an antiquarian bookshop. Reading the back of the card, you learn that, beyond stated operating hours, the shop is also open "extra days in summer and bank holiday afternoons, and at any time by chance or appointment." :)

Harwich, Kerstin says, in the county of Essex, can be accessed easily by regular summer ferry services, across the River Stour estuary. An old maritime town, Harwich is very popular on hot summer days, when you can sit on the pier, have a crab sandwich and a drink, and watch the world and boats go by ... which is precisely what Kerstin did ;)

St. Mary's Church, Hadleigh, Suffolk

From the Internets, I learned that "Hadleigh is one of those pleasant, if rather self-important, Suffolk towns, whose remoteness from other places of any size makes it a microcosm of bigger towns - the factories, shops and housing estates all to scale. ... If Hadleigh is small, however, St Mary is not. This is one of the grand Suffolk churches, the only big one with a medieval spire; indeed, the only proper wood and lead spire in the county. It was built in the 14th century, and the exterior bell, a 1280 clock bell doubling as a sanctus bell, is Suffolk's oldest. It is one of the longest churches in Suffolk. The Catholics who built it are now banished to the suburbs, and the surprising modern church of St Joseph."

Row Chapel, Hadleigh, Suffolk

Row Chapel, Hadleigh, Suffolk, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

The Row Chapel, with its exposed timber framing, dates back to the 15th century. Kerstin says that Hadleigh is a beautiful little market town just 12 miles from her home in Ipswich. it is typical for many former wool towns in the region: in the Middle Ages, when the wool trade was at its height, the town was extremely prosperous and built impressive churches and timber-framed halls and residences. When the trade collapsed in the 17th-18th centuries, Hadleigh and other towns like it became impoverished, unable to replace the old buildings with newer, more fashionable ones. And that's why these places still look medieval today, full of 15th-16th century half-timbered buildings and massive churches far too big for the communities they serve. But modern tourists love them, of course! :)

In my Internet searches, I also discovered this wonderful tidbit, which I thought that you might enjoy as well:

I saw a notice on a board about a coicle roide,
Oi thought oi'll hev a goo at that
Thass suffin oi int troid
So oi went hoom an' oiled me boike
An oi got a form as well,
Oi picked a quid up 'ere 'n' theer,
From the folks oi hed ter tell,
So orf oi went on Satd'y morn
The sun was shoinin' broiht,
Oi met a decent crowd a folks,
An' oi troid with all me moight,
Theyput me name down on a board,
Oi thought wa'll thass o'roight
The day thet went boy whooly quick
But theer were churches oi coin't foind
Still oi come hoom wholly happy
But oi got a sore behoind.

J.R. King, Hadleigh

Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary

We took a ride up onto the Blue Ridge Parkway recently, stopping at several of the many wonderful visitor's centers along the way. Each one sells those passports to America's national parks, and offers passport holders a stamp with which to mark their visit. I don't have a passport, but I really liked the stamp, noting the park's 75th anniversary, so I stamped a piece of paper instead :)

For those who'd like to learn more, I nipped this text from Wikipedia: "The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. It runs for 469 miles (755 km), mostly along the famous Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. Its southern terminus is on the boundary between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina, from which it travels north to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and becomes Shenandoah's Skyline Drive. Land on either side of the road is maintained by the National Park Service. The Parkway is not a National Park, but is a National Scenic Byway and All-American Road, and is the most visited unit in the United States National Park System."

Photograph by Leon Supraner

Photograph by Leon Supraner, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This came in a swap-bot trade. I'm not entirely thrilled with it -- looks like a photograph of windows onto which other buildings have been painted? I suppose this is an example of cards I don't really like--it's from one of those Pomegranate Publications packs of postcards that people buy to join postcard swaps. I suppose someone, somewhere, would like it, but it's not really for me.

P.S. I am just noticing now that it appears there is something wrong with the scan? If you are looking at a blackened image, you are looking at my blog before I've had a chance to rescan the card! Please check back soon for an updated image.

Portrait of a Prince, Artist Unknown

I would not normally like this card, another obviously Pomegranate selection, but it represents India, a country I'm learning about now through the audiobook Shantaram (a story I highly recommend, by the way).

The back says, "Portraiture was virtually unknown in Indian art until the Mughal emperors brought Persian art to the imperial court. The colors, costume details, and stylization of clouds seen in this careful study of a young prince are typical of Aurangzeb Period paintings, c. 1675."

The original is opaque watercolor on paper, kept at the Brooklyn Museum.

Yellow-bellied Macaw: Arara Caninde, Brazil

An official postcrossing card from Brazil, this sender was kind enough to tell me that the bird on the photo faces extinction, which makes an otherwise boring animal card worth talking about :) From the Internets I learned that the bird is docile, quiet, able to speak, and that it mates for life. Very pretty!

Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

I received this wonderful card as a surprise "thank you" in response to an official postcrossing card I sent to Japan! If I am fortunate enough to visit Tokyo someday, the sender has offered to show me around :) Better watch out ... because I just may take you up on that! :) Love the color of the Japanese maple in the photo!

Dijon, Burgandy, France

Dijon, Burgandy, France, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Another official postcrossing card showing views from Dijon, which Mapquest tells me lies about 320 km southeast of Paris--about a three-hour drive. Sounds like a lovely city worth visiting: "Dijon [known for its mustard!] has one of the best preserved medieval centers in France. It is easy to walk and see the sites, with lots of pedestrian walking streets. You'll sample some of France's finest cuisine and drink great Burgundy wines at dinner or at one of the many wine bars in town. Dijon offers many cultural activities, including a wealth of museums and annual festivals to keep the tourist busy, including the L'Été Musical (Musical Summer), a classical music festival in June."

Maybe I can stop when I visit Chartres someday.... :)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Handmade Easter Card by Kirkkonummi Artist

Sigh ... here it is July, 2010 and I am just now posting a lovely scan of a handmade Easter card sent to me in 2008 by my penpal in Finland, Satu. That shows you how LONG it has been since I have been writing to penpals and enjoying my postcard collection! In any case, Satu tells me that this card was handmade by an artist famous for her quiltworks in their local area. The egg, if you can't tell, is made from fabric! It is really very delicate and lovely :) Thank you, Satu! I am so sorry it took this long to share!

St. Anna church, Sweden

St. Anna church, Sweden, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

This was sent to me by my penpal Aila in Finland. She picked the card up during her trip to Sweden, driving toward the Northland with her sister :) Very pretty. The card says (according to Google Translate!) that it is a medieval gray stone church completed as the century turned from 1400 to 1500. Or something like that :)

Red currant and strawberry cheesecake tart

From my old pal Kerstin in England -- "food as it should taste, direct from the producer to you at farmers' markets, farm shops, pick-your-own farms and through farmers' box schemes." If you'd like the recipe, which is also on the back, send me a note and I'll send it along :) YUM!

Chocolate and strawberry pavlova

Also from Kerstin ... YUM! Recipe is on the back; if you're interested, let me know :)

Hawks Mill, Needham Market, Suffolk

Another reason why I love collecting postcards is for the EXTRA information many people share about the image on the front! Kerstin writes, "This Victorian mill stands by the Gipping Valley path at Needham Market. It used to be a mustard mill, grinding mustard seeds for the famous Colman's Mustard Factory, still in business at Norwich. Today it has been converted into desirable living accommodations with a nice view over River Gipping." And, as she also said, I wouldn't mind one of those apartments!

The Gipping Valley River Path

The Gipping Valley River Path, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Kerstin says that the River Path starts by the bridge and goes all the way to Ipswich (where she lives -- 21 miles away), by Needham Market and Claydon. She also says that the old "maltings" on the right have been converted to a bar and restaurant.


Dedham, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

"Another Stour Valley town associated with Constable and his paintings. They are all just a few miles apart, some 8-10 miles southwest of Ipswich. There are lots of popular signposted and picturesque countryside walks connecting Dedham with these other towns." (Kerstin, these publishers ought to hire you to write the backs of their postcards!)

John Constable and Flatford

John Constable and Flatford, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Flatford is a tiny hamlet whose most impressive building is themill by the River Stour, which belonged to the Constable family. The famous painter John Constable was supposed to carry on with his father's business, but was very relieved when his younger brother eventually took over -- it meant that John could become a painter instead, much to his dad's displeasure. Many of Constable's most famous paintings show scenes of Flatford and the local area.

The Bellcage, East Bergholt Church

The cage, standing at the side of the church, was built in 1531 to house the bells originally intended for the church tower. It is unique in that the bells, on of which is dated 1450, are rung by swinging the wooden headstocks. Kerstin adds even more history: "Apparently the tower, which was never finished and is just a stump at the west end of the church, was being paid for by the famous Cardinal Wolsey personally. But when Wolsey died disgraced in November, 1530, Henry VIII confiscated his entire property and fortune for the crown, so no more money was forthcoming and building work stopped. The bells were 'temporarily' housed in the wooden bellcage the following year, 1531. But no one every finished the tower, so that's where they remain to this day. The bells are rung by swinging them in a pit that was dug underneath them, by their headstocks." Now THAT makes this postcard come alive!

East Berholt Church

East Berholt Church, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Here you can see the church's interior -- and the bellcage interior. Very interesting!

Lapa Arches and Metropolitan Cathedral, Rio

This is from an old penpal in Rio de Janeiro. I have not heard from her in a long time and just recently sent a "hello" letter. I hope it reaches her :) And I must say, the cathedral back there looks amazing ... so much so that I had to look it up! It is awesome -- see for yourself BY CLICKING HERE! If anyone has a card of this cathedral alone, please let me know! :)

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Multiviews of the lovely Rio

Three amazing Rio views

Three amazing Rio views, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

At the top is Copacabana beach. In the middle is the Sugar Loaf cable car. At bottom, you see Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon. Rio looks so lovely -- would be a great place to visit someday!

Ironbridge, Shropshire, England

From another long-ago penpal in England

Stamps from Mexcio

Stamps from Mexcio, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

I know, I know ... this is not a postcard. These stamps came on an envelope from a one-time swap with someone in Mexico--and I loved the stamps so much that I kept the envelope as well as the cards, and then scanned them to share them with you, as well :) Very colorful and unique!

Cuernavaca, Mexico

Cuernavaca, Mexico, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

have so few cards from Mexico, which is surprising considering it is so close to the U.S. I should have lots of cards from Mexico! :) This lovely card shows the "panoramic view from the cathedral within the dome of Guadalupita church and the tercera orden parish." It is written all in CAPS so I cannot tell what should be capitalized or not :)

Santa Prisca, Taxco, Mexico

Santa Prisca, Taxco, Mexico, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Very lovely view of Taxco, Mexico

Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

Chimney Rock is on the "backside" of the mountain on which we live. My daughter went there recently with a friend and brought me back a few lovely cards. I've never been up to the park myself, although I've driven around the area "below" several times. The park entry fee is kind of expensive for a family of five :) But I do hear that the views from above are as lovely as they look!

Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina

Another from my daughter's visit

Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

When you visit Chimney Rock, you have the option to take a 1.0+ mile hike out to see this waterfall. A recent visitor told us how disappointed they were because it was HOT out and the falls were barely a trickle :) From the card: "Spectacular Hickory Nut Falls has a vertical drop of 404 feet, making it one of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River." (When it's flowing, I guess! Also teaches you not to always believe the flowery adjectives on the backs of postcards--I know at least two people who would disagree with the word "spectacular" as applied to this falls!) :)

Polymer Clay Artist Irene Semanchuk

We saw Irene at the Folk Art Center recently; I fell in love with her work and actually purchased a set of very colorful polymer clay magnets! Gorgeous stuff -- check her out online! :)

Calligraphy and a great quote

Calligraphy and a great quote, originally uploaded by CarolinaRen.

I've seen this several times at the Folk Art Center but have never wanted to dish out the $$ for the postcard. This time, I did :) It's very hard to read, but says:

Take time to

Work ... it is the price of success
Play ... it is the secret of perpetual youth
Think ... it is the source of power
Read ... it is the fountain of wisdom
Pray ... it is conversation with God
Laugh ... it is the music of the soul
Listen ... it is the pathway to understanding
Dream ... it is hitching your wagon to a star
Worship ... it is the highway of reverence
Love and be loved ... it is the gift of God

Calligraphy by Michael W. Hughey, Arden, North Carolina