The Happy, Happy Mail Month

June was a “happy mail” kind of month.  I found postcards, letters, photos and other goodies in my mailbox almost every day. I was so spoiled by the month of June that it was with a heavy heart that I left the mailbox empty-handed on the first day of July. Well, there was a bill and a boring car magazine I didn’t ask for.  Today was better and made up for yesterday.  For now, I’ll focus on the goodies that came in June.  Some were sent to me for themed swaps.  Others were sent for random happy mail swaps. Still others were sent “just because…”

"Second Line Jazz Band."  New Orleans musicians perform on street corners.  At funerals and celebrations alike, the audience frequently joins in to "second line, dancing as they follow the jazz band through the streets.  Photo by Werner J. Bertsch

“Second Line Jazz Band.”
New Orleans musicians perform on street corners. At funerals and celebrations alike, the audience frequently joins in to “second line, dancing as they follow the jazz band through the streets. Photo by Werner J. Bertsch

My “baby” sister sent the New Orleans postcard.  She also sent one to my hubby and son. Isn’t she sweet?

While we’re on the subject of “tourist” postcards, here are others I received in June:

"Sail into the Harbour," Port Elgin, Ontario.

“Sail into the Harbour,” Port Elgin, Ontario.

“Saugeen Shores” came from swap-bot “Retiredartgal.”  She writes that Port, Elgin, where she lives, Saugeen Township and Southhampton are known as Saugeen Shores which is located on Lake Huron and surrounded by fruit, corn, cattle farms and forests.  10,000 tourists arrive there each summer.

"Martha's Vineyard, Massachussetts."  The popular island resort of  is located approximately 6 miles off the coast of Cape Cod  the island is approximately 25 miles long and 7 miles wide at its extreme width.

“Martha’s Vineyard, Massachussetts.” The popular island resort of is located approximately 6 miles off the coast of Cape Cod the island is approximately 25 miles long and 7 miles wide at its extreme width.

“Mamarochat” sent the “Martha’s Vineyard” postcard because I collect map cards. One of her goals is to visit all 351 towns in Massachussetts.

"The Virgin Islands."  Tropical isalnds located 1100 miles south from Miami, located in the eastern Caribbean.

“The Virgin Islands.” Tropical isalnds located 1100 miles south from Miami, located in the eastern Caribbean.

One of my closest friends, Dee, went all the way home to St. Thomas and “all I got” was this postcard!  Of course, I’m happier with it than I would have been with a T-shirt! 🙂  Thanks, Dee!

“Artybeth3” made our mailbox jump for joy with unexpected mail.  She sent the four postcards below and a beautiful washi tape-decorated envelope filled with even more happy mail. She is so kind. She even sent a postcard to my little one–the Crater Lake one.  Awesome, isn’t she?

(Click each image for a closer look and more information).

“Denimblu14,” who graced my mailbox with the beautiful “Panda Comes to Tea,” featured in an earlier post, blessed my mailbox with another set of cute teddy bears.

"Teddy Bear Tea Party on the Beach"

“Teddy Bear Tea Party at the Beach”

Speaking of teddy bears, “Christy102194” made this A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E teddy bear ATC just for me–for the “Price of Happy Mail Swap” hosted by “Artybeth3.”

"My Teddy Bear." Artist: Christy Turner.  Medium: art pen and watercolor paint

“My Teddy Bear.” Artist: Christy Turner. Medium: art pen and watercolor paint

“Pyropae” shared a lovely postcard she received from one of her penpals; she captured my love for purple and flowers all in one postcard.

It’s a good thing people send me lots of flower postcards and photos.  I’m quickly learning that I’m allergic to practically every flower I meet, so this is a less “sneezy-itchy-scratchy” way for me to enjoy the beauty!

I joined a few “Children’s Book Illustration Swaps” in June. Here are the postcards I received so far:

"Miffy."  Illustration by Dick Bruna.

“Miffy.” Illustration by Dick Bruna.

Johanna sent Miffy–Nijntje in Dutch–all the way from the Netherlands.  She loved reading Miffy as a child and has the pleasure of enjoying the books again with her two small children.

Wonderful Jenny, from Oregon, sent the next two.  Like me, she probably has a difficult time limiting the “verbage” to one postcard.

"The Snow Queen." Illustration by Edmund Dulac.  Stories from Hans Christian Andersen, 1911.  From Once Upon a Time.

“The Snow Queen.” Illustration by Edmund Dulac. Stories from Hans Christian Andersen, 1911. From Once Upon a Time.

"Alice succeeded in getting her flamingo's body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, but generally just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, it would twist itself round and look up into her face.  From Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.   Illustration by Margaret Tarrant.

“Alice succeeded in getting her flamingo’s body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, but generally just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, it would twist itself round and look up into her face.”  From Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.
Illustration by Margaret Tarrant.

I sent an Alice in Wonderland postcard to a partner who loves A-I-W. This one came from the Postcards from Puffin collection.  Just in case you didn’t know, Puffin is the children’s imprint of Penguin Books (links to USA sites).

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  Illustration by John Tenniel, Puffin, 1946

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Illustration by John Tenniel, Puffin, 1946

And here’s the postcard I received on the last postal day in June, sent to me by “eepy,” from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. She sent this one because of my love for “bookish” postcards.  I enjoy receiving eepy’s letters and postcards–she’s so engaging.

New Yorker. Cover by Arthur Getz, March 3, 1973

New Yorker. Cover by Arthur Getz, March 3, 1973

That’s just some of the postcards I received in June. I also received a number of photos.

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If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll recognize Dee Stead from an earlier post.  She creates gorgeous photo cards and always sends warm letters and other goodies (like elegant stationery for my own use).   Kate includes some of her photos in a meditation book she’s created.  I received from Margie before, but I don’t think I’ve posted her work on the blog before.  Interestingly, she and Kate are from the same town in North Carolina.

That’s it for now. There’s more to share, but I think I’ve given you enough visual pleasure for one post.  See ya soon!

Art + Quote = Inspiration

I participated in a “Words of Inspiration” Postcard Swap last month.   The swap was hosted by Kara, of I Wanna Be Me When I Grow Up blog.  For this swap, swappers added a quote to a “work of art”–a photograph, a mixed media piece, etc.–and sent their creations to five other swappers.  I enjoy integrating words into photos and I have put together many, many “photo inspirations.”  For this swap I sent one that features two of my favorite things–music and Paddington Bear.

“The Musician”

The photo features “The Musician” from the Royal Doulton’s The Paddington Bear Collection.  A very dear aunt (-in-law) sent four of the PB figurines from this collection to me from England several years ago.  I cannot be any clearer than Martin Luther regarding my sentiments about music.

Imagine my glee when day after day I retrieved delightful postcards from my mailbox featuring the work of the individuals who sent them.  I had the postcards sent to my campus box, so the postcards were a special treat in the middle of a few workdays.  Here are the five postcards I received.

“Advice”

This postcard was made by Shari of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I like the color combination and the way Shari uses paint and book pages to “create” texture.

Lisa’s “Sea Jellies”

Lisa, lschwing on Instagram, took this beautiful sea jellies photo at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.  She writes on the postcard, “Life is full of amazing beauty! It’s important to take time to enjoy it!” Sea jellies are mesmerizing in their beauty, so Lisa chose a perfect subject to underscore her point.

“Every Leaf is a Flower”

Deborah of Ohio sent this postcard which features her own artwork–watercolor paper with airbrush ink, stitched by machine.  Deborah shares Albert Camus’ quote–“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.”

“Art washes from the soul the dust of every day life”–Pablo Picasso

Kara, our swap host, created this one.  I’m intrigued by how people like Kara can use a few simple art tools and techniques to create such interesting pieces. This one, along with Shari’s, is going in my favorite handmade postcards collection.

Last, but not least, Jo’s postcard traveled all the way from Christchurch, New Zealand.  Jo is attracted to rusty old houses “that are falling down.”  For her they are full of mystery.

“Rusty Old House”

Jo loves the many textures and colors in this lovely scene.  I do too.  Oh, don’t miss the tiny heart in the window or the good advice–Be in love with your life!

All of this inspirational art has me craving for a bit of creativity, so I must take some time over the Thanksgiving Break (yay!) to craft something meaningful.

“Wait and Drink Tea”

I could not store this super cute teddy bear postcard without sharing it.  Postcrosser Gabi from Germany sent this one.  The postcard features a German proverb that translates “Wait and drink tea.”  According to Gabi this means “wait and see.”  Good advice for those of us who are quick to judge or who want to rush in and fix every difficult situation and person we run across.  Sometimes, it’s necessary to preserve our sanity and take our time–or “wait and see”–how things will play out. “Wait and drink tea” makes perfect sense to me!  A piping hot cup of tea usually gives me peace over a matter, slows me down and sheds light on or lends clarity to certain things for me.  In fact, I think I’ll have a cup now…

“Wait and Drink Tea”

Teddy Bear Tea Party!

Teddy bears are among my favorite things–they certainly bring a smile to my face. This week tried my patience (and stamina) as I struggled to catch up and make up for the time I lost last week. Thankfully, this was a GREAT mail week and I found treats in my mailbox daily.

One of my swap-bot buddies, susieq11, organized a Teddy Bear Postcard swap because I missed the first one while I was in transition. Wasn’t that sweet of her? Here’s the beautiful postcard I received. It traveled from England to my mailbox (as you can see from the stamps). It is absolutely adorable and made me smile from ear to ear all morning.

“Panda Came to Tea”
Photograph by Irena Thompson, Bears and Toys from Irena’s Collection

And if the postcard isn’t cute enough, look at the AWESOME classic Winnie-the-Pooh stamp my partner, denimblu14, affixed to the postcard:

Winnie-the-Pooh and Rabbit

And now, here are the postcards I sent to my partner:

Family of Bears at the Beach

This postcard represents my farewell to the far too hot, far too short summer! My swap partner loves summer, so hopefully, this postcard will be a cheerful reminder of the heat when she’s had too much of the Ohio winter.

I found the the beautiful white bear that follows among items I packed between 8 and 16 years ago. (We found them in the attic of our “old” house which we moved into in 2004. I just can’t remember if they were packed for that move or for the move before that–in 1996–from Florida to New Orleans). This bear postcard comes from a collection of Hallmark postcards published by Warner Press. Each postcard features a Bible verse on the back.

“Seek peace and pursue it.” Psalm 34:14

While we’re on the subject of teddy bear postcards, you might as well relax and enjoy some of the others in my collection!

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These bears have traveled from various places in the U.S., from Russia, Belarus, the Netherlands and other places around the world. They’re not all so “teddy,” but they’re all cute!