Outgoing postcards – cities and flowers

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My Postcrossing sent cards reached 0 today! So it was time to send a few more out travelling. (Of course I should really be answering my letters before I abandon them all for 3 weeks of holiday, but I’ve still got 10 days to panic and write)

1 to Netherlands – they had a very short profile mainly about postcards and happiness, so hopefully this metallic quote is appropriate.

1 to Germany – this Postcrosser likes cards with the town name on. I haven’t got any of Derby but I have some from a recent visit to York.

3 to Russia – hopefully this Union Jack coloured stripe view of London is close enough to the black and white architecture this Saint Petersburg based recipient likes. And off to Moscow, the vintage railway poster card of Buxton fits the vintage and illustrated views requests of one Postcrosser, and a liking for flowers is always easy.

And now I’ve nearly run out of stamps again, I’ll have to sort that out quickly!

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Recent sent and received cards (and a bit of history)

Received from USA as part of the Postcrossing April postcard diary RR – “Soot sprites and tea” a lovely card of one of Studio Ghibli’s cutest creations 🙂

Sent for diary week 2, and continuing the Studio Ghibli theme- Howls Moving Castle

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Received from a postcard pal in Russia and very suitable for spring – “Pasque flowers in the Kurai Steppe”, it looks like a beautiful area.

Sent in reply – Battlefield church, Shrewsbury – bought when I visited home for Easter.

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Received from a postcard pal in Turkey – a lovely illustrated view of Istanbul

Sent in reply – an historic style map of Shropshire

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Received from a postcard pal in Taiwan – an illustration of a traditional Taiwanese window

Sent in reply – Archbishop Richard Scrope as a Saint in the Book of Hours, bought in York Minster.

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And now for the historical links between random cards… The battle of Shrewsbury took place in 1403 between Henry ‘Hotspur’ Percy who felt the King hadn’t fulfilled his promises, and King Henry IV (and if you don’t know the result, Hotspur got an arrow in the face and King Henry was still King. Percy thought the Welsh might help but they were busy fighting somewhere else… It was also the first battle that pitched English longbow men against each other).

So the church is at the site of the battle in 1403 (sent card 2) which is in Shrewsbury, Shropshire (sent card 3), and Archbishop Scrope (sent card 4) was free to become a Saint because he also rebelled against Henry IV and lost, and was executed in 1405. Gory English history about to travel the globe!

Snail mail frustrations

Maybe it’s all the other stresses in my life right now but even my post isn’t making me happy at the moment 😦

I put my Postcrossing account on inactive with a few cards travelling and maybe one or two owing. I thought I’d stop any arriving when I’m away for medical and holiday reasons, and get a few owing for in a couple of months time. I’ve had several of my cards arrive but I’m also now 2 cards negative with everything I’ve received! It bothers me because I feel like I have to catch up all the time, and my response to the two cards today was “what, more?!” and “could be prettier”, so I may need to back down from Postcrossing again and focus on penfriend and postcard pals… Is the UK just rare enough on the website that as soon as I start sending, any future owed cards are a instantly given out by the system?

And swap-bot has frustrated me too. I know I should focus on who I’m receiving from and not their country, but the last 3 swaps are coming from USA while I’ve sent to Chile, Japan, and Malaysia. Maybe it’s the traveller in me wanting something more exotic or varied…or the tired office worker in me! The only solution I can think of for that issue is to adjust my attitude… I know that some of my nicest cards and swaps have come from the most common Postcrossing/ Swap-bot countries, and I have amazing penfriends in those countries too, but I still want to see something of the rest of the world!

Today has been just dull enough to get me down, I’m sure I’ll feel brighter again later.

/rant over, I’ve got swaps to send…

Lettermo – half way

Well, I’m doing a Lettermo/ InCoWriMo mash-up really. Month of Letters is only aiming for every day the post runs (so Sundays off here) and I’ve aimed for every day, but International Correspondence Writing Month doesn’t seem to have updated for this year…but whatever I’m doing it’s caught me up on my post so well I’m not quite sure who to write to for the rest of the month! I’ve got a few swaps coming up, the monthly round robin, and a journal to reply to. After that I’ll hope I receive something to reply to, I’ve got 9 free Postcrossing slots and some friends I should stay in touch with better. I’m sure I’ll manage 🙂

The post so far:

  1. ​Swap card to USA – Wollaton embroidery
  2. Swap-bot map card swap, Netherlands – Peak District map
  3. Swap-bot ‘Happy February’ card, USA – butterfly/ letter to Carmen, Germany
  4. Postcard reply to Swap, UK – ‘You’re all kinds of lovely’ / Postcard diary week 1 to Gina, Germany – British Library books
  5. Postcard to Yulia, Russia – Shrewsbury Dingle
  6. Letter to Linda, USA
  7. Postcard to Alex, Russia – Rodin’s ‘The Kiss’
  8. Letter to Tanja, USA
  9. Postcard to Deniz, Turkey – Campervan
  10. Letter to Becky, NZ/ Postcard diary to Gina, Germany – cartoon rabbit
  11. Card to Louise, Australia
  12. Postcards to Sandy, Japan – Be Awesome & York
  13. Swap-bot Random Postcard swap to USA – Jane Austen quote
  14. Postcrossing card, Germany – Peak District villages
  15. Letter to Carmen, Germany

Received post – Christmas and beautiful views

I went home for 10 days over Christmas and arrived home to 14 cards, plus a few letters!

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So from the top left:

Postcard diary December card #1 from Russia of a happy festive squirrel

Winter scene from a postcard pal card from Japan

The second postcard diary card from December, a beautiful time-lapse photo of the stars

A card from Taiwan that appears to be the front of a Christmas card from someone I swapped with last year. Not sure if she’s expecting a reply…

A Finnish Postcrossing Christmas card

A pretty Christmas Postcrossing card from Taiwan, designed by school students

A card from a postcard pal in Russia
A lovely scene of Thai rice fields from a Postcrosser in France

A beautiful mountain sunset from a Postcrosser in Russia

A German Christmas card from a swap, that’s probably what Santa does after Christmas!

A Christmas card from a pal in USA
Seagulls for my birds theme from Germany through Postcrossing

A Postcrossing year of the monkey card from South Korea, complete with monkey stamp 🙂

And not pictured, another German Postcrossing card of a peacock that’s went straight onto the bird card display on my wardrobe

…and breathe…

My Postcrossing received cards is now slightly frustratingly 6 higher than my sent, with my current travelling cards all slowly heading to Russia. So maybe I’ll send a few faster travellers too sometime…

Outgoing post – flowers and experiments

A part of me feels like at the start of a new year I should do some sort of review or make some resolutions… I don’t keep track of things well enough to properly display my achievements at the end if the year, that’s sort of what this blog is for recording anyway. And I’m already feeling so overwhelmed by 2016 (20 hours in) that I doubt I’ll remember resolutions let alone keep them. One thing at a time, I realistically can’t go to the far side of the planet and look for a house at the same time. So I’ll just keep going as I am and keep improving on that. And if I stay generally happy, fairly well travelled, and delivered of nice mail I think I’ll be doing well.

So here’s my first outgoing post of the New Year:

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The Mark Twain quote is off to Japan to a postcard pal. York with blossom is headed to another pal in Russia. And the Darley Abbey cottage is going to Czech Republic as the first card of this month’s postcard diary.

I’ve also set in motion a postal experiment. I saw somewhere a while ago a post by someone who’d sent coasters through the post so I thought I’d try it.

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It’s off to my Mum because she was there when I bought them. It should arrive, it’s like a small postcard and I glued everything down for extra security. It would be fun to send them further too, anyone fancy a trade?!

Christmas swaps unwrapped

After the Christmas unwrapping, here’s a few things I received from some Christmas swaps:

Postcrossing – Christmas swap

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Barbapapa writing paper, ladybird magnets, patterned tapes and stickers. I think I’ll have fun with these gifts!

Swapbot – Secret Santa Europe

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A pretty tea towel with a pattern of flowers and tea cups, and woodland magnets. My fridge is going to look wild soon! And nice tea towels always brighten up and personalise a kitchen.

Swapbot – Surprise Christmas gift swap UK

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Another interesting tea towel, more fun patterned tape and jasmine infused dark chocolate. I’d been thinking of trying this chocolate before and now I can!

A fun collection of useful things. And I’ve just signed up to more swaps in January 🙂

Recently sent and received cards – Christmas and small towns

Received cards

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This week’s received cards ^ There’s been a bit more post too, Christmas cards and gifts from penfriends which are always lovely to receive 🙂

In this small collection of received cards, the Polar Express came from USA, the Postcrosser says that she works for the post office so Postcrossing is like job security!

The little character in the snow is a thank you card for taking part in to Postcrossing forum Christmas gift swap. It’s an illustration by Finnish artist Virpi Pekkala. It’s been much to warm for snow here so far.

The beautiful nativity is from Poland. The only problem is the stamps fell off! Inspection of my little post holder found 2 out of 3 stamps…

The lower 2 cards are both pretty places in Germany. They remind me of the great holiday I spent visiting my amazing penfriend in that area 🙂

Sent cards

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A beary Christmas off to Germany for a Christmas card swap, and a village on stilts is off to Russia as part of the December postcard diary. It’s from ‘The earth from the air’, all the pictures are much more exotic than England so I don’t send them much as most people want local views!

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Whitby Abbey is heading for Ukraine. I hope they like the misty view with links to Dracula. I’ve just realised they stated a liking for fantasy such as werewolves and vampires and I don’t think I even mentioned the connection! Based on their favorites I thought they’d like this view.

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Wollaton Hall is off to Switzerland, it might be the first card I’ve sent to there…

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And the collection of all things blue is going to China, to a Postcrosser who likes ‘things’ such as shells and stones. Hopefully this is enough things to make them happy!

Swap-bot swaps

I’ve been a member of Swap-bot since August, and I’ve done some great swaps but I’m very bad at keeping track of what I’ve sent to who and when. In a way it’s nice to not worry about it, but it would also be nice to have a record sometimes, maybe I’ll start one for the next round of swaps I do…

So here is a photographic record of some recent swaps (I’ve also been bad at taking photos of swaps before I package and send them but I’m trying to improve!)

Sent swaps

Nearly winter care package – sent to France

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  • warm socks
  • ‘cosy by the fire’ yankee candle
  • Pukka teas
  • Rubber stamps
  • candy canes
  • stickers and a postcard

Response: “Thank you ! The socks are so soft 🙂 ”

Choose 2 – sent to Canada

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The swap was a choice of 2 from 5 homemade envelopes, 5 teas or 5 samples of washi tape. The swapper I sent to loved tea and envelopes so the choice was obvious!

The envelopes are made from scrapbooking papers, magazines and an old calender.

This swap only started travelling today but I hope they like it!

Meet my Country

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This swap asked for a magnet, keyring, a souvenir, sweets, 3 postcards of the local area and 3 teas – so here is my package nearly ready to go when the partners are assigned. My local souvenir is a bookmark, I’m not sure if it’s meant to be something a bit fancier…that’s my main issue with swaps – I worry if I’m sending something good enough to not disappoint someone or make them feel cheated. I’ve also included a few local leaflets, old tickets and some stickers of London. There’s quite a bit there to send so I hope whoever ends up receiving it all will be happy. Derby isn’t a big tourist place so my choices were a bit limited. The magnets and keyrings with pictures on weren’t great quality so I’m hoping the Derby city crest counts as showing something local 🙂

I’m not usually so organised but I’ll have to send this off quickly once I get home after Christmas.

Maybe I’ll stock up on Shrewsbury supplies when I’m there, or use Nottingham instead, but as I live here it seems right to send local things.

Received swaps

Nearly winter care package – received from UK

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I have nice soap and washi tape on my wish-list, and mention I avoid milk, and this swapper took a lot of care to make a nice package that I’d enjoy. It’s one of the nicest parcels I’ve received. I was really happy when I opened it, and that’s the main reason I swap 🙂

Don’t open ’til Christmas – received from Austria

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So I haven’t opened it all before Christmas! It was so tempting and I needed something cheerful the night it arrived! Three little packages in one, I don’t think I sent anywhere near as much to my partner, I’d interpreted it as a smaller swap. Socks (also on my wishlist), festive tape and a pretty diary, and one surprise left. I already have a diary for next year so this one will become my financial diary to track where all the money wanders off to every month…

Initial Christmas – received from Czech Republic

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I’ll admit I was disappointed in this one. The idea was to send 2 gifts corresponding to the partners initials – I sent to K.A. a book on festive Knitting and some scrap-booking Accessories which she loved receiving. I received 2 magnets – Elephants, and a Czech Spa and Shaped card. I was hoping for socks or soap or sparkle, but my fridge is looking brighter now.

Send me some papers – received from Canada

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The idea of this swap was to send paper/ letter writing type items. I think I sent postcards, envelopes, letter sets etc. This was an interesting package to receive, it felt like a lot of care had gone into it, but it also felt a bit random. The papers are lovely, and stickers and tape are always useful, but I’m not sure what to do with the little bits of cross-stitch and crochet…

Postcrossing swap

I also did a Christmas gift swap on Postcrossing. The organiser required references which gave me more confidence in this swap that most larger Postcrossing forum swaps.

Sent to Russia:

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Sticky notes, stamps and ink pads set, and a neon plastic decoration. It’s been received but not opened yet. I realised after I sent it she asked for no note-pads but I think sticky notes are different enough.

Received from Finland:

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It feels exciting, I think there’s several things in there but I have no idea what!

I can’t wait for Christmas now! All these surprises waiting to be discovered 🙂