(Postcards) travelling home the long way round

I’ve been participating in the Swapbot ‘Adventures of the travelling postcard’ for a while now. I suspect that my original card is long lost but I love seeing where the postcards have been. The last cards I received came with a philosophical travelling note too. The note is now on its 4th journey! If I’m not going far for a little while, at least I can send other things on journeys πŸ™‚

These two cards are following the same path but will end up so far apart

One card will eventually go home to Germany, the other card should soon fill up with names and head home to USA!

And all part of the adventure, the cards were rather damp when I received them so they look well travelled!


The first day of advent (calendars)

I did a couple of advent calendar swaps again this year. Everyday becomes a bit more fun with little gifts to open in the morning πŸ™‚ Obviously I haven’t seen much of the calendars I received yet – I’m resisting the temptation to open everything at once! but I’m pleased with what I sent out so I hope my swap partners are enjoying their advent too.

Full advent calendar, sent to Australia:

I rearranged some of the order after I’d taken the pictures, but the calendar includes note pads, note cards, stickers, craft items, coasters, and a bit of chocolate. I also included a little note for each day, the first advent calendar swap I did a few years ago included notes and it made the calendar extra special, so I try to do the same now.

And of course it all got wrapped up nicely πŸ™‚

The second advent calendar I swapped was slightly different. It’s made up of 4 swaps of 6 items, with a theme for each set. I can’t quite remember now which swap went to who, but I think it ended up mainly within Europe.

Random flat items:

Possibly not all technically flat, but I sent 2 swaps to the same person so it was never going to be a slim package! Includes fabric, beads, stickers, decorative paper, and a clear stamp.

It’s only just December but I’ve already used up several rolls of wrapping paper so far!

I also sent the 6 pairs of socks swap to this swap partner, but I forgot to take a picture before I wrapped them!

Kitchen items:

Cake decorations, cupcake kit, a tea towel, cookie cutters and felt coasters. All very festive and hopefully useful.

Cards with gifts:

I raider my Christmas card stash for an extra festive feel πŸ™‚ Surely everyone has some cards left over from previous years?! Gifts included bath salts, craft items, a face mask, and a bit of tea. I tried to brighten up the plain envelopes too πŸ™‚

I hope the recipients are enjoying starting to open their gifts. I definitely had fun this morning – I got penguin gift tags and an owl key cover πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see what I get tomorrow!

Happy Mail supplies swap

I feel like I haven’t blogged for a while… I’ve been struggling with low energy and feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the things I think I should be doing – getting all my post organised, written, and sent; sewing a large birthday present; my scrapbooking is 6 months behind; preparing for my next holiday; so many things I want to sort out and tidy up; and then just all the things that I need to keep on top of in basic living… Most evenings I do very little of that and then the weekends fly by and there’s a whole new week to deal with! Maybe at some point I’ll feel like I’ve caught up with myself.

I’ve still been doing a few swaps. It’s amazing how much time can vanish when preparing the perfect envelope of goodies! I’ve been thinking recently it might be nice to have a penfriend who does more mail art, I’ve had a few ideas for more creative letters but no one to really try them out on… I don’t want my existing penfriends to feel they have to reciprocate but I do really enjoy receiving more creative post. I’m not entirely sure where to find such a correspondent, the methods I’ve used before have introduced me to lovely people but with more normal letters. Anyone have any ideas?

A recent swap was for “happy mail supplies”, I sent items thinking one way and received from someone thinking differently…both valid by the swap and it wasn’t profile based but I’ll admit I was slightly disappointed – I don’t do a lot of papercrafting so I’m not sure I’ll do much with the smaller bits of card I received.

Sent to UK – I can send a lot more for less postage within the UK so I didn’t have to worry about it being flat πŸ™‚

Watercoloured envelope

Stickers, envelopes, note cards, postcards, sticky notes, paper clips, patterned fabric tape, and a shaped peg. And a flow magazine journal because they listed it as a magazine they liked – I bought them because they looked fun and I like the magazine too. but then I never used them…

Received from Chile:

A fun envelope and bright little parcel πŸ™‚ And yes the confetti went everywhere!

Tags, decorations, bits of card and paper, various types of stickers, decorative bits and pieces. All bright and fun but not stuff I typically use. It could be good to have something unusual to play around with, I might use some bits in a few mail art ideas…

I sent another couple of envelopes of nice things out recently, just need to wait and see what I receive next πŸ™‚

Lettermo 21st – 23rd

I’ve been writing, I’ve just been bad at updating…

A few days of incoming post:

3 of these are from the Swap-bot ‘happy mail all month’ swap – a colouring card with flower seeds, a selection of stationery items, and a postcard of a wooden bridge apparently common to certain areas of USA. The cat face card also comes from USA as part of the ‘postcard roulette’ swap.


21st – I made this scrapbooked art letter thing I have forgotten the name of a while ago but never figured out who to send it to… the ‘happy mail all month’ swap seemed appropriate πŸ™‚

22nd – a letter to a penfriend in Germany

23rd – I didn’t feel up to letter writing this evening although I have 2 I want to get out over the weekend… today I’m sending a postcard to Italy through Postcard United. She likes UNESCO sites so I’m sending Strutts Mill in Belper.

Lettermo day 2

There’s 2 postcards heading to USA today. The quote card is off on adventures with the swap-bot travelling postcard swap – I can’t wait to see where it goes! The camera and coffee card is also for a swap-bot swap, the first item I’m sending for the happy mailbox all month. I’ve been having fun sorting out other things to send throughout February too πŸ™‚

2 days in and it’s going well!

The day in pictures – 14th January 2017

I put together a bit of happy mail for a Swap-bot ‘send something to make me smile’ swap. Hopefully an envelope of goodies with a card will do the trick…

The shadow of holly on the bus shelter. Today the sun came out, I went into town, and again failed to buy any new boots.

The start of a new quilt! I’m planning to make the Star Light Star Dark quilt from Quilt Habit for someone’s big birthday. The bottom section will be orange, shading to red then purple.

In order to tidy things up, it is first required that I sort the mess into piles on the floor – Elinor tidying theory then says to leave them there to fall over until I get so fed up of it all I finish the job!

And now on to letter writing!

October’s month of happy mail

I really enjoy month long swaps, I can look into all of my swap partners interests and find lots of cards and items that I hope they’ll like. I usually select everything at the start of the month and have it ready to go, one of the best parts is matching cards and gifts to someones profile. And it’s a guaranteed series of things arriving in my letter box! The requirements for this swap were to send 7 items over the month, including one letter. It’s all randomly assigned but last month I got really lucky with my partners. I could find lots of things in my stash to send, and received some amazing post that definitely made me happy πŸ™‚

Sent to USA:

I started with a card full of inspiring and fun quotes, with a few flat gifts. I sent 3 postcards over the month – one local view, one fun quote, and one colour changing patterned postcard. I wrote the required letter, sent a small shiny card with a few cheerful words, and finished with an envelope of happy mail – cute and colourful stickers, postcards and envelopes. And my swap partner loved it all!

Received from Switzerland:

I was so lucky to have a really creative swap partner. I received lots of fun and interesting things over the month. It started with a birthday card and some fun little gifts. I then received two envelopes numbered 2 and 3 – it turned out to be a set of 3 cards that make one picture sent from different locations on the same day, that can’t be read until all 3 cards are lined up because the message goes across all of the cards! The first two cards arrived on the Saturday, but I had to wait until Monday to read them πŸ™‚ I’ve displayed the fantasy Eiffel tower on my bedroom wall. I also received a flower skull card for Halloween, a postcard from Tenerife sent while my swap partner was on holiday, and possibly theΒ  best thing ever posted – a personal art gallery! It’s a concertina style ‘building’ full of pictures with tags explaining why she likes that painting or artist. I’ve got lots of new art to discover wandering around my private gallery πŸ™‚ I’ve also received a lot of beautifully decorated envelopes, I’m not sure what to do with them but it seems a shame to just throw them away…

I enjoyed this swap so much I’ve signed up to the December Christmas version too!

Incoming postcards – time to consult an atlas

I was just think that Postcard United wasn’t much different from Postcrossing except the clunkier website, when a couple of much more unusual cards arrived πŸ™‚ Along with a few from travelling postcard pals and wandering family it’s been a proper global postal experience opening my letter box!

From top left: my Turkish postcard pal was visiting Athens and sent me this card of traditional Greek things; my Dad was in Spain (and wearing shorts while my extremities froze off, not fair!); the beautiful and mysterious looking girl is from a postcard pal in Russia, and I really like it although I have no clues about who or what it’s of; the lovely pink building is the Nassau public library, all the way from the Bahamas – first ever card from there πŸ™‚

And another first, a postcard and bank note from Guyana celebrating the anniversary of their independence. I’ll admit to checking the map for this one – north eastern South America if your geography is also lacking a little south of the equator πŸ™‚ I’m slowly and accidentally acquiring a foreign note collection, and I’ve checked the exchange rate – $50 is worth Β£0.20! Presumably it has more value in Guyana? Or possibly not if they’re posting them out to random postcarders… And I’ll take the stamps off the envelope and add them to my coffee table stamp display, it needs a bit of attention after moving house…

Who knows what and where I might receive next!

Outgoing postcards

I haven’t sent many postcards for a while, there’s been a lot of other things going on. But this morning I had the urge to post things! There’s a few replies to postcard pals and 6 cards through Postcards United. I thought I’d try it out and it’s a frustrating but addictive site, I’ve definitely got a lot more variety of countries in this batch. I have a feeling I’ll be alternating Postcrossing and Postcards United for a while…

The instagram camera is off to a postcard pal in Turkey, the cacti are going to a postcard pal in Russia, the night train is travelling to China, the London railway map poster is going to South Korea, old Queen Victoria is headed for the Bahamas, butterfly stamp to Indonesia, Matlock Bath is off to Luxembourg, the Derby Roundhouse illustration is going to Australia, and the mountain view is for a postcard pal in Hong Kong.

And now I’m off to post them all!

Birthday swaps

I find as I get older I don’t get as many birthday presents. There’s usually a few nice little things, it’s just not as big an event now (although I will be 30 next year, I’m already planning to deal with that by leaving the country…).

So this year I did a few swapbot birthday swaps. One swap was based off the other but I forget which way round now…

October birthday swap

This swap was to send one partner 3 gifts.

Sent to USA:

After a careful read of their profile I sent friendship bracelets, an adult colouring book and postcards πŸ™‚

All wrapped up to send!

Received from USA:

I have to admit, my first reactions were ‘that’s not what the swap required’ and ‘what am I going to do with that?’ but it’s actually a beautiful handmade journal. There’s a lot of work been put in to make this an amazing travel book. Weirdly the place names used as decoration are the cities across northern Italy, the route I was daydreaming about travelling recently! (Here) Maybe it’s a sign, I would love to see those places… Or maybe she read my blog?!

 October birthday wishes

This swap was to send a small flat gift to 3 different partners.


Sent to 2 USA swappers:

Note cards and postcards because I really couldn’t figure out what else to send!

Clear stamps and botanical postcard.

The USA swaps still haven’t been rated, so I sent messages asking if the envelopes had arrived. One replied to say they’d rate once they opened it, but I can only hope for the other one… If there’s no ratings by the end of the month I’ll chase them up again.

Sent to Germany:

Stickers and bookmark, I think I might have added a postcard too before I sent it.

The swap specified a wrapped gift, because that’s how birthday presents are done. However this swapper complained she had to open it to accurately rate – I should have let her know the American technique for these situations!


Received from USA:

Yes, that is a cat (party) bus! And a Totoro bookmark. I could display them with my 4 stuffed Totoro’s! Every bookshelf needs a line of Totoro’s πŸ™‚

Received from Canada:

Definitely useful, possibly not the most exciting gift?

Received from Luxemburg:

This gift arrived late, and I was a bit annoyed really because it was technically sent late, but then I liked it too much to be annoyed πŸ™‚ The floral envelope contains what I think are scented draw liners, although I’m not sure about the scent… And the frames are magnetic.

Now it’s all over for another year, I just need to decide where to hide from next year’s birthday!