Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday-NOT a slow mail day!

Happy Tuesday Readers!

I hope you all are having a great day! Things were pretty slow at the bank today (except when I was trying to leave of course) which is good and bad. Good if I have something that I need to work on. Bad, if like this afternoon I don't. However there is a silver lining to my uneventful work day....what's that you ask?

Thirteen, yes 13, pieces of mail! And on a Tuesday! I just about fell over with excitement!!! Let's get to the mail, shall we?

A better late then never birthday greeting from my pal Weazer over at the Tulsa Zoo! I hear he had some help writing it out from the Volunteer Coordinator. Either way, I love it! 
 From a Postcrossing user in Russia. Such a pretty card, the text reads "Merry Christmas". Thank you to Oxana for the correction :)
 The top card, comes from an 82 year old Postcrossing user in Latvia who actually got this card from her great-grandson who lives in the UK! Thank you to Cindy for my first card of the Concord Point Lighthouse in Harve de Grace, Maryland!
Photographed and made in to a postcard from Emily over at FrouFrouPostcards! Next a great artists view of New York City comes from Patricia! Thank you Ladies!
 Silke in Dresden sends a (first) and wonderful view from The Elbe Sandstone Mountains (in German: Elbsandsteingebrige), a range that sits between the state of Saxony in South East Germany and the North Bohemian border of the Czech Republic.
 Regina sends "Reading Woman" by French artist Pierre Auguste Renoir. I agree with you Regina, I like these cards--don't blame you if you buy yourself a set to keep! :)
 Birthday Greetings come from Magi, a German pen pal! Kind of neat card from Kenna's second record! Thank you :)
 Pamela sends what she calls "a little doodle from me to you" hahah! I think that it's a great doodle personally and it sits in the ranks of only 5 handmade cards that I have ever gotten! Let me know if you take a Zentangles class!
 A beautiful Birthday card and letter from my German Pen Pal, Stephanie! I have to find something nice to write back on! :) Look for a letter soon.
 Three more letters came today! One from Lenie in Poland, some reading recommendations from Jemma in the UK and a pen pal letter from Lucas! Thank you all! Letters soon I promise (I just stocked up on a ton of cards and I'm looking for some nice paper!)

I am hoping to get some mail together tonight! I clearly have some letters to catch up and I need to drop some cards to Anna and Wes! Happy Mailing!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday's Postcard--Welsh Love Spoons

Happy Happy Monday Readers! I had a couple of letters come my way today but I got a really neat postcard that I want to share! This card comes from Victoria on Postcrossing! Not only is this card a first but it is one of only a handful that I have gotten from Great Britain.

"Welsh Love Spoons"
"The giving of a carved spoon by a lover to his lass as a taken of affection is a Welsh custom which dates back to the 17th century. Spoons were also made for social occasions such as courtship, weddings and christenings. Each spoon is made individually and consequently tells its own store.

The Welsh spoon is unique as it is developed from the 'cawl spoon', a spoon used for eating Welsh broth. Each cawl spoon was an individual spoon made by the man for the household. This carving of spoon developed into the Love Spoon as the handle became a vehicle for the ;spooner' to tell his love by means of symbols. Hearts are common and should be full hearts and  not fretted out. Chain links represent  being linked together in affection. Grooves may be cut to outline a house or church and be filled in with coloured wax, thus giving a picture of "My house is yours" or "I wish to take you to church". A cockerel or peacock is often carved on a wedding spoon as a wish for fertility and a horseshoe for good luck. These are in face innumerable symbols which represent the individual wishes of the 'spooner'".

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Find: Send Postcards For a Cause (or two)

Hello Readers and Writers! It's been a few days since I've popped on to the blogosphere and while I do have some great mail to get you all updated on, and more than a few letters to reply to, I wanted to bring your attention to a couple of postcard projects that I have had the pleasure to stumble across within the last week.

  • Postcards for Arianna--Diagnosed in December of 2011, Arianna is a 9 year old little girl fighting off a vicious form of childhood leukemia. In order to keep her spirits high, her mother is asking two things; One, that if you have an extra postcard you would be kind enough to send it to her daughter and two, that you will be kind enough to share the page with your friends or letter writing circles. It is the family's hope that Arianna receives postcards from all over the world.

  • Postcards for Wes-Help me fill a 5 year old w/ cancer's mailbox--Wes is a 5 year old little boy who is being treated for  Stage 4 Neuroblastoma Cancer. Wes loves getting mail, especially postcards from all around the world! He has even recently had the chance to get signed postcards from a number of Disney characters! You can send Wes a postcard by going to the link above and track his progress by going here.

  • Postcards for Libya--This project is meant to bring a smile to the face of Libyan children and refugees living in Tunisia, by sending them something with a warm greeting in the mail. By going to the official site you can also learn about ways to donate money (through reputable organizations providing aid and volunteers in Tunisia) if you so choose. The cause also has a facebook page.

All of these links and more can be found on the blogs facebook (here). I welcome any questions or concerns, also, if there are any "mail for a cause" programs that you are aware of or participate in please let me know and I will be happy to let the Internet know! I plan to be dropping a few cards in the mail this week for each of these groups along with my regular outgoing mail.

I hope you all are having a great weekend and looking forward to the mail coming on Monday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Two New Postcard Swaps Up!!

Hello Readers! I feel like I have been doing a lot of "long letter" and "blog post" swaps lately and well, I miss my postcards! What a better way to cure that than hosting my own postcard swaps over at Swap-bot!

Both swaps are simple, sender's choice, multiparty postcard exchanges; one is an international swap for those of you who like the surprise of a foreign card, but I am also hosting a regional (US only) swap for those who appreciate a break in postage!

You can read about each swap by clicking on I'm Regional! and I'm International!... Hop on over and show a lady some swap love!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Mail!

A good handful of mail made it's way this weekend. Some awesome postcards to share with all of you! Let's get to it !

My grandmother is in the process of cleaning out drawers and closets so that she can move. She usually comes across something interesting (or something she forgot she had haha) but this time she came across a pack of postcards from Ashtabula County, Ohio! The cards show off 16 of the county's covered bridges-now I just have to decide who to send them too! Thanks, Grandma!

Yay! Another awesome card came from Andrea! I am going to have to step up my postcarding game and make something awesome to send her way. To bad I lack any creative skills (ideas and tips are welcome!)!
 Tiffany in Sand Springs definitely spoiled me today. Not only did she take the time to decorate the envelope to represent Tulsa and write me a letter ......
 But she also sent me for awesome and adorable envelopes made from old calender pages! How cool are these? Such a great way to jazz up your outgoing mail and find a way to recycle your wall calendars! Thanks a lot Tiffany, I know what I will be doing with my 2011 calendar now :)
 While Darla's kittens are making their way through New York, Pamela's Arizona rattlesnake seems to be anxiously awaiting them! I'd hate to come up on that snake anywhere but man are those kittens cute! Thank you ladies!
 From Victoria in Chezkasu, Ukraine! Thank you for the fun card and I hope you enjoy your traveling! :)
Look at the cool stamps that came along for the ride!

 Scenes from Old Sacramento (which flourished during the gold rush) makes it's way to my mailbox from Yanelis.
 My first Annie Oakley card! Thank you Lisa for adding something new to my collection!
 Another first (and along those same western lines),  a map of the Oregon Trail! Walter, who was kind enough to send the card, has ancestors that to the US from Denmark and then traveled to Utah by covered wagon!
 The last postcard of the day comes from Karroline in Poland. Her card shows off an artists rendering of the city she lives in, Piotrkow.
I really do love foreign stamps, I can't help myself!

All of this wonderful mail greeted me on this cold Saturday afternoon--as well as a slew of pen pal letters! You all really know how to keep a girl busy! I'm off for a post birthday dinner! Happy Mailing :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Little Bit of Mail!

Happy Happy Wednesday Everyone! I have a bit of mail this so far this week to show off, Ill be honest though, I did pick this batch up a couple of days ago and I haven't been able to swing by my PO Box since then! I hope you all have gotten some great mail this week!

A multi-view of Kassel. Located in Northern Hesse, Germany, population about 195,000, The city's name is derived from the ancient Castellum Cattorum, a castle of the Chatti, a German tribe that had lived in the area since Roman times.

The Milwaukee Art Museum, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava the museum is know for its sunshade which gently rolls up against the back drop of Lake Michigan!

From Daugavpils, the second largest city in Latvia!

My first Valentine card! I had no idea they made postcards for V-Day! Thank you Krysal!

Adorable Christmas Puppies from Susan

This has to be the TINIEST Christmas card that I have ever seen! I mean really, how cool! Thank you so much for adding some flair to my card size, Vanessa!

With an adorable Squirrel stamp, might I add!

Thank you to Yvonne for a wonderful letter and some Halloween goodies! I will write back soon!

That's all for me today folks. I should go write some letters but its my birthday so I'm being lazy!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Stamps--January 2012

The start of the New Year is always exciting for a lot of different reasons, and even though here in the US our first class stamp price is set to raise by a penny (effective January 22nd), we seem to be getting a lot more options to choose from. This month alone offers 15 new releases! Check out the January stamps and let me know which ones you'll be buying!

Spectrum Eagle, Release Date: January 3rd, 2012

In June of 1782 Congress declared the Bald Eagle as America's national symbol. The Eagle is not only native to North America but serves as an icon in many Native American cultures, myths and legends. As of 2007, June 20th has been marked as "American Eagle Day" to celebrate the birds recovery in population. The eagle is no longer an endangered or threatened species.

New Mexico Statehood, Release Date: January 6th

Celebrating 100 years of New Mexico becoming the nation's 47th state. New Mexico's long and rich history includes settlement by the Navajo and Pueblo Tribes, being a Spanish and Mexican territory, and then finally being ceded to the US in 1848 after the US-Mexican War.

Aloha Shirts, Release Date: January 19th

"Aloha" is used as a blessing or greeting in Hawaii! These shirts which often depict bright, bold colors and images of Hawaiian life are widely considered business attire in the state due to climate making "professional dress" a bit uncomfortable. Some say we get the term "casual Friday" from these type of shirts

Glacier National Park Montana, Release Date: January 19th

Named for glaciers that formed it's landscape over 10,000 years ago, Montana's Glacier Park was established in May of 1910. The stamp depicts Logan's Pass which is the highest part on it's "Going-to-the-sun" Road.

Wedding Cake, Release Date: January 20th

First introduced in 2009, this years Wedding Cake stamp release features a 3-tier cake with white flowers and their green stems adorning the top.

Weather Vanes, Release Date: January 20th

A showcase of five 19th century weather vanes belonging to the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont. During the latter half of the century factories in major cities began mass production the weather instruments, today making them a piece of history and a pieces of collectible American Folk Art.

Baltimore Checkpoint, Release Date: January 20th

The official insect of Maryland gets showcased on a stamp this year! The second stamp to feature a butterfly is named after George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, who helped found the colony of Maryland. The black and orange coloring resembles the colorings and paters of the Calvert family coat of arms

Birds Of Prey, Release Date: January 20th

 This stamp series showcases 5 of the most voracious birds of prey (also called raptors) which live and thrive on every Continent except Antarctica.

Dogs at Work, Release Date, January 20th 

A set of four reminding us just how helpful man's best friend is in our lives! From dogs assisting blind persons to police dogs trained to detect guns or explosives, these stamps shed light on just how keen the sense of smell and natural instincts of these animals can be. It is estimated that some 10,000 dogs are used in the US and Canada alone to assist those with sight issues.

Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Release Date: January 20th

 Breath taking rural views and large Amish population give this area a traditional old world charm for the people who live there and the tourists who flock every year.

Sailboat Stamped Card, Release Date, January 22nd

Add some scenic beauty to your outgoing mail with this stamped card. The sailboat adds a bit of flair and adventure to any sea side view!

Lunar New Year, Release Date: January 23rd

The fifth in the lunar new year serious, The Year of the Dragon stamp (beings on Jan 23 and ends on Feb 9 2013) goes hand in hand with the bright and exciting festivals that mark the new year celebration. Many cultures gather at this time for parades, showcasing dancers, music, and the dragon. Lanterns are often hung for good luck and traditional food such as the kumquat are eaten and shared.

Bonsai, Release Date: January 23rd

 Japanese for "plant in a pot" this stamp release brings several kinds of bonsai plants front and center. Though it is not known when the first bonsai plant was created, it is widely believed by historians that the practice was brought from china to Japan by monks more than a century ago. in 1976, the  National Arboretum began in 1976 when the Nippon Bonsai Association in Tokyo, Japan, presented the people of the United States with 53 plants as part of the U.S. bicentennial commemoration

 Purple Martin Stamped Envelope, Release Date: January 23rd

This pre-stamped envelope shows off the beauty of the Martin as he is perched on a branch. Native Americans were the first to build "houses" for these insect eating flyer's by hanging hollow gourds for them to nest in. In the Eastern US, the Purple Martin lives almost exclusively in bird houses set up in back yards.
John H. Johnson, Release Date: January 31st

 The publisher of Ebony and Jet Magazines, Johnson built a media empire which catered to and portrayed African America's in a positive manner when such a thing was unheard of, played a major role in the civil rights movement ; his unrelenting determination sparked when he was unable to buy a lot for building in down town Chicago, Johnson hired a white lawyer and won his case. Mr. Johnson became the first black man to construct a major building in Chicago's Loop (where Johnson Publishing still stands).

This information and more can be found at Beyond the Perf. Thank you to the USPS for the pictures and info! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Postcards!

Well I suppose the actually came on Saturday but you all get the point! : -) A handful of cards made their way this weekend! I should get started as I have a number of letters to write back to and quite a few swaps about to come due.

The first card today comes from Jean-Michel in France showcases "The Chateaux de Samur" which over looks the  Loire Valley. One of Loire's most famous castles, tourists flock to this site every year. The castle served as the royal domain for Phillip ll during the 13th century. In 1621 the castle served as an army barracks and nearly 200 years later was used as a state prison under Napolean. As of 1862 it has been listed as a historic monument by the French Ministry of Culture.

First up a view of Vlissingen from Bianca in Norway  and from Robin, visited Niagara Falls on her honey moon, sends us a card of Maid of the Mists
 Magi sends (brightly colored) wishes for a happy New Year from Germany
 Holiday wishes come from Jessica--I thought this card was kind of cool with the Snowman holding a 2011 sign-and Mierna sends us one of her many Easter cards from the Ukraine!
These are the stamps on Mierna's card! How cool are these!

That's my haul for the week! I'll be picking up on my out put of cards and letters so I should have even more goodies to show off! Now lets go get some mail together for Monday!