Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sent card #33

My 33rd card went to Wees in Germany. I have to confess I hadn't heard about this town before, but it's in the north ... so far north, in fact, that Christina (who is half Danish) even works in Denmark. :-) She likes buildings and castles, among other things, so I sent this card, which shows one of the extremely few castles we have here in Norway - Akershus Fortress in Oslo, constructed over many centuries from ca 1200 onwards.

Since Christina says she understands Norwegian in addition to Danish - and that's no surprise, since the written forms of the two languages are pretty much the same - I wrote part of the card in Norwegian.

I sent the card on December 10th. It only had 575 kilometers to travel, but it still took a worryingly long time to arrive ... but finally did on December 28th. :-)

In other news: Happy new year 2010!!! :-)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Postcards from Pomegranate

From a discussion on the Postcrossing forum, about where to get postcards online, I picked up a tip about the publisher Pomegranate and their online store. They publish a lot of great Edward Gorey stuff, so I was already disposed to like them. ;-) It was mentioned on this thread that they do a kind of surprise package deal ... 200 randomly selected postcards, all different, for a good price. I couldn't resist ... !! :-) Not all the previous customers on the forum were equally happy, but when my cards finally arrived I thought it was a good selection. Very varied, no two cards alike, and good quality cards that I'm sure I'll find happy recipients for. :-)

However, even so, I don't think I'll be ordering from them again. Partly the price - the cards themselves weren't too expensive, but with the shipping to Norway and an extra fee charged by DHL the order as a whole ended up costing too much for my liking. It also took a really long time for the package to arrive. I placed the order on November 5th, then got an email on November ... 13th, I think, saying that my items had been sent, but the package still didn't arrive before December 8th. And the information on the box indicated that it certainly had not been sent on November 13th. >:-( So ... not too happy with that, unfortunately. Probably won't be shopping there again, and can only recommend doing so with reservations.

Anyway, I think I have enough of their type of card now to last a good long while, so it doesn't really matter, I suspect. ;-)

In addition to the surprise grab bag package of cards I also bought some postcard books. V. nice ones, all of them.

Pictures of all the cards I got are in one of my Photobucket albums, here. All clearly labeled Pomegranate. Too many to post all of them here, but here are some of the most interesting ones.

I also got these ten cards as a thank-you present for ordering.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Received card #23

My 23rd card arrived from an extremely exotic place - Tahiti!! :-o Or to be correct, French Polynesia. This country is extremely rare in Postcrossing terms - my card was in fact only the 91st PX card ever sent from there. Lucky me!! :-) When I saw it, I could hardly believe where it had come from ... :-)

The sender of this card is the 2nd most active Postcrosser in French Polynesia. :-) I couldn't quite figure out where she lives ... Google Maps tell me it's a place called Windward Islands on Tahiti. Not sure that can be right. :-) But I love the card, regardless. It's so pretty, and it's traveled so far! It was sent on November 26th, and it covered its amazing journey of 15,037 kilometers in twelve days to arrive in my mailbox on December 8th.

Wow. :-)

My longest traveling received card so far, hands down.

The three best things about Tahiti, according to Jeminys: the natural beauties of the island, the kindness and friendliness of the people, and the cool lifestyle. :-)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Swap #6

My 6th completed swap was initiated by me. I was just surfing the site and came across Anca in Romania, who likes to show off her country through Postcrossing - something I can relate to ;-) - and is also interested in swaps. So I emailed her to ask if we could swap with each other, and she sent me a link to her Flickr album where she has photos of various cards she has to trade. So many pretty and interesting ones! I couldn't choose just one ... ;-)

We ended up deciding to swap ten (!!) for ten cards ... and since I much prefer postcards to have writing on them, even if it's only a greeting, we agreed to write a little something on all of the cards, something about the place shown on the card, or whatever we could think of. Anca really went the extra mile and wrote as much as she could possibly make room for on each card. :-)

This wonderful pile of postcards arrived in my mailbox on December 4th.

And I sent these off to Rădăuţi on December 8th. Anca has 16 items listed on her wish list on her profile; I wanted to cover as many of these as possible with the cards I sent and managed to check 13 items off the list. Not too shabby. (And one of the remaining three shouldn't really count - skyscrapers - because there aren't any in Norway ;-).)

They arrived safely too and we were both very happy with the swap. :-)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sent card #32

My 32nd card went to China, to Xiamen in Fujian province. The recipient was only 17 years old and quite a new Postcrosser - she's only been a member a little longer than me. :-) One of her two top favorite cards are ones with pictures of pretty flowers on them, so I picked this colorful card to send to her.

On the card I told her a little about myself, since that's what she asked for in her profile. :-)

I sent the card on December 9th. It had 8,594 kilometers to travel and covered the distance in 17 days, arriving on December 26th.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

An Austrian surprise

I got a card from Austria back in October, it was a great Turnowsky card with wonderful little elephants on it. I blogged about this card about three weeks later, here, and I posted the url as a comment on the card on the Postcrossing site. Anita who sent the card read the blog post and decided to surprise me ... with another wonderful Turnowsky card!!

This arrived in my mailbox on December 5th. It was such a lovely surprise, I totally wasn't expecting any such thing. I was so happy to get it. Postcrossers are wonderful people. :-)

I couldn't let a thing like this pass by unnoticed, so I asked Anita to give me her address so I could send her a card in return. Looking at her wish list on her profile, I thought of several cards I could send ... and I ended up with this one, to match her interest in ships, especially 'named sailing-ships'. The perfect card for the occasion. :-)

This card shows the SS Sørlandet, one of the three most famous sailing ships in Norway (the other two are Christian Radich and Statsraad Lehmkuhl, but I couldn't find any cards with either of them). Sørlandet (the name means 'the South Country') is the oldest full rigged ship still under sail in the whole world.

I sent the card on December 11th. It arrived on December 17th and Anita seemed to really like it. Good news all round. :-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sent card #31

My 31st card went to Minnesota in the US ... to a town called Adrian which I had never heard of, but that's perhaps understandable as it's really very small. :-) Laurie didn't have any very specific postcard wishes, but said she likes unusual ones, so I sent her one that I thought she could never have gotten before. :-)

On the card I told her a little about the product that the card is an ad for, Divine chocolate, and about my faith in fairtrade as one of the best ways to change the world.

I sent the card on December 3rd. It had 6,728 kilometers to travel and it covered the distance in 21 days, to arrive on Christmas Eve. A happy Christmas surprise for me ... especially since Laurie seemed to really like the card a lot. :-) She's favorited it and everything. Hmm, come to think of it, that gives me an idea ... ;-)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sent card #30

My 30th card went to Finland again - but not to one person, to a whole group of friends who are all Postcrossing together. :-) What a great project. :-) They live in Nurmes and call themselves korttivuosi, which means something like 'card year' ... ? They haven't been learning English for very long, but what a wonderful way for them to help each other learn. :-)

They were interested in popular tourist attractions from the senders' area, so I sent this card with an image from the Vigeland Park here in Oslo.

I sent the card on December 2nd. It traveled 1,086 kilometers in six days to arrive on December 8th.

And in other news, merry Christmas!! :-)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Swap #5

This swap wasn't initiated by me ... I just out of the blue received an email from Japan. :-) Chiaki wanted to swap postcards with me, and when I looked at her profile and saw where she lived, I was definitely interested. Hiroshima! So I asked her if she could send me a card showing the Genbaku Domu, and she said that of course she could. :-)

On her list of interests, Chiaki has listed the aurora borealis ... something I know that a lot of Japanese are really into. :-) I offered her a card with the northern lights, because of course they are very readily available around here.

I sent this card off on November 30th ... it took about a week and a half to arrive, but when it did, Chiaki totally loved it. :-)

I received this card on December 1st. Wonderful. :-)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More postcards

Some more postcards I've got. :-)

These are free cards I got last summer at Røros Museum, showing some of the objects from an exhibition on dress clothes used in the town in the 19th century.

Some really nice Christmas cards I found in a drawer ... while looking for something else. :-D

Monday, December 21, 2009

Swap #4

Korea is a country that I'm really interested in ... it's one of the places I would most like to visit one day, if I get the chance. Fingers crossed. :-) So one time I was surfing on the site I looked to see if there was anyone there I could swap a card with. And I found Kyuhyun - she's on the top ten list in her country (7th on cards sent and 8th on longest distance) and she was happy to swap with me. Seeing the words photos of butterfly on her list of interests of course made me think of this card ...

I sent this to Kyuhyun in Seoul on November 23rd, and on November 30th this landed in my mailbox. Isn't it beautiful. :-) Makes me want to go there even more. ;-)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Received card #22

My 22nd card came from Finland again - from Vantaa, where I've gotten a card from previously as well. The more the merrier, I say. :-)

Alisa, who was thrilled to be able to send a card to Norway - although I was probably more thrilled to get it! :-) - is from Helsinki, but has lived in Vantaa for about two and a half years. She agrees with Sari that Heureka is a place not to be missed. :-) She also thinks tourists to her area should see lake Kuusijärvi and its scenic surroundings, and a place called the Viherpaja Garden Center, where apparently they have a Japanese garden. Ooh, I'd like to see that ... :-)

This pretty wintry card was sent on November 24th, and it traveled 794 kilometers in six days to reach me on November 30th.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sent card #29

With address #29 I got a country I hadn't sent to before - Canada. Alison lives in Mississauga in Ontario and likes, among other things, nature, scenery, storms ... so I was inspired to send her my Rondane card, with its dramatic cloudscape and light over the river and the towering mountains in the distance.

On the card I wrote a little about the national park and about my family's cabin in the area.

I sent the card on December 1st. It had 5,952 kilometers to travel and it made the journey in 11 days to arrive on December 12th.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Received card #21

And with my 21st received card, I could add yet another country to my Postcrossing list. :-) This one arrived from Frontignan, a town outside Montpellier in the south of France.

I love to travel and I mention on my profile where my most recent trip went - at the moment, the south of France. :-) Chloé wanted to know where exactly I'd been. The answer was Carcassonne; in other words, quite close to Montpellier. :-) I sent her a link to one of my blog posts with some photos from this trip.

The card was sent on November 18th, and it traveled 1,891 kilometers in nine days to reach me on November 27th.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sent card #28

My 28th official address and a new country for me, Postcrossing-wise. Maria, from the Estonian capital Tallinn, likes cityviews, so I chose this card which shows Stortinget, the Norwegian parliament (bottom picture) and Grand Hotel, a very famous hotel across the street from the Parliament building, in the café of which Henrik Ibsen used to drink his coffee every day, so regularly that people could set their watches by him. :-) As I think I may have already mentioned. :-)

I sent the card on November 30th. It traveled 788 kilometers in only three days to arrive on December 2nd. :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shopping in Oslo

A couple of weeks ago I had two Japanese tourists come to stay on a brief visit ... I took them to some of the most important tourist spots (guess which ones ;-) and of course, while we were there, I took the opportunity to do some postcard shopping. :-)

At the Nobel Peace Center ...

At the Viking Ship House ...

And at the Folk Museum.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Received card #20

My 20th card was from the US, and, yay, not from Michigan. :-D This really cool vintage card shows an eruption of the geyser Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. Mark from Woodmere in New York state wrote that the leaves were changing color and that Thanksgiving was just around the corner. :-)

The card was sent on November 18th and traveled 5,921 kilometers in seven days to reach me on November 25th.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Received card #19

When this card arrived I was soo thrilled to see it ... I hadn't gotten any official Postcrossing cards for almost three weeks. I was sad. :-( But of course this pretty butterfly card cheered me up no end. :-) Gabriela from Frankfurt am Main wanted to swap some cards with me ... I was of course interested in that, after what felt like a long drought ;-) so I asked for her address in my response message when I registered the card. Presumably Gabriela will be mentioned on the blog again. :-)

The card was sent on November 20th; it traveled 1,098 kilometers in four days to reach me on November 24th.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sent card #27

Address number 27 was in Finland again. Always Finland. :-) But I'm not complaining, because sending to the land of a thousand lakes I know that the cards will arrive quickly. ;-)

Kajoniemi lives in Kouvola where she works as a teacher. Her two main preferences are map cards and pictures of squirrels (she teaches geography and biology :-). Seeing this, I thought that I didn't really have either ... so I went to look at her favorites to see if she had anything there that might resemble something I have. But every single card on her favorites wall - more than fifty - was a squirrel card! :-D I was in a bit of a quandary as I haven't seen either of these two types of card around here. So I decided to look through my stash to see if I had anything at all that might fit the bill. And guess what I found - a squirrel card ... !! :-D

OK, probably not what Kajoniemi has in mind. But I hope she'll like it anyway. The card shows a Sunday strip of the Norwegian comic Kampen Park, in which the two main characters are a gay couple who are also squirrels. :-D Sending it, I was really curious about the response I'd get. :-) I sent the card in an envelope because Kajoniemi asks on her profile that if possible an extra stamp should be sent along with the card, for her collection.

I sent the card on November 25th; it traveled 883 kilometers in five days to arrive in Kouvola on November 30th. Kajoniemi did like it and also understood quite a bit of it as she knows Swedish pretty well. So yay, success. :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sent card #26

My 26th card went to the US again - to Fresno, California. Eleanor (who I think is quite young? :-) seems to be very interested in sports, and especially in cycling. I've never seen a postcard with a famous Norwegian sports personality (although I haven't looked for one either) but as luck would have it I did have a card with a bicycle on it. :-) Kind of an arty one. I decided to send that; I hope she'll like it. :-) It doesn't look like anything else in her received gallery, so hopefully she will appreciate this addition to her collection. :-)

She asks about people's favorite things in her profile, so I told her that my favorite color is green and my favorite city to visit is York in the north of England. Also, since she mentions that she loves audiobooks, I had to recommend an audiobook to her too - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. An absolutely amazing audiobook that I just can't recommend highly enough. :-)

I sent the card on November 20th. It traveled 8,372 kilometers in eleven days to arrive on December 1st. :-) Eleanor's added it to her favorites now, so apparently she did really appreciate it. ;-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sent card #25

My 25th card went to Tampere in Finland. The recipient, user Hukka1979, is a very active Postcrosser, but doesn't have a lot of information about herself on her profile. So I wasn't sure what to send ... I picked the card below because I thought I'd seen something quite similar in her favorites gallery, but a couple of days after it was sent I realized that it wasn't in favorites, but just in received. :-( So that was kind of a screwup. But I hoped she'd like the card anyway.

I sent the card on November 20th. It traveled 731 kilometers in four days and arrived on November 24th. Hukka1979 seemed like she really did like it. :-)

Update: This card has now been added to Hukka1979's favorites, so yeah, she must have really liked it. :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sent card #24

My 24th card went to Dusita in Ayutthaya in Thailand. Cool! :-) I've never been to Thailand - the closest I've gotten is southern China - but I'd really like to go there one day. I wrote about that to Dusita; that I know her country is very beautiful. :-)

Dusita loves any kind of postcard :-) but she especially likes birds, flowers and insects. I sent this card with some lovely lavender flowers on it.

I sent the card on November 19th. It had 8,616 kilometers to travel, which it covered in an exemplary eight days to arrive on November 27th.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Swap #3

This swap again was initiated by me and I came across the user while just surfing the site. I had bought some typically touristy cards while shopping a few days before and one of them fit really well with Danhong's profile - she likes cards with black and white photos, and she's also interested in portraits of royalty.

We exchanged addresses and I sent this card on November 10th. It is an official portrait of Harald V, the currently reigning king of Norway.

On November 17th, I received an email from Danhong while at work, saying that my card had arrived and thanking me for the swap. When I got home that afternoon, this card had arrived in my mailbox from Sydney, Australia. :-)

Danhong was just on her way to a big adventure - the day after my card arrived she traveled to Peru :-o to spend several months there visiting with friends. (It's summer vacation in Australia now. :-) Oh, she's so lucky!! I dream of going to Peru one day and seeing Machu Picchu. :-) When she read this on my profile, Danhong offered to send me a card from Peru too, if she could find one (and a post office ;-). Aw, that's so sweet. I told her she is under no obligation to do so, but that I will really appreciate it if she manages to find a card for me. If she does I will of course send her another card too. Fingers crossed. :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sent card #23

This card is special to me - because although it was my 23rd sent card, it was the 20th of my cards that was registered as received. And when that happened, my 'card allowance' went up by one. :-D As of the arrival of this card in Espoo in Finland, I could have six cards traveling at once instead of five. Yay, me! :-D

Mia wanted a card from my town and she wanted to know what I like best about my town. I sent her a card showing two of the most famous (and one of them the most important) buildings in Oslo, and I wrote that something I really love about Oslo is that it has all you can want in a city, but it's also quite small and compact, so that it's easy to get around. It also has a wonderful public transport system, which is very important to me, since I don't drive. :-)

I sent the card on November 17th - it seemed like forever since I'd last sent an official PX card! :-D - and it traveled 773 kilometers in three days to arrive on November 20th.

The building in the top picture is Grand Hotel, in the café of which the great Henrik Ibsen used to drink his coffee every day, and the lower picture shows our Parliament building, Stortinget.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Swap #2

My second successful swap was also initiated by me, but actually not as a swap ... I just wanted to do something nice for a new Postcrosser. But that made him want to do something nice for me too. :-)

I was just surfing the site when I came across this user's profile. Kjell lives in Trondheim and collects stamps with frogs on them. He asked a rhetorical question in his profile - maybe there are postcards with frogs, too? He had never seen any, but he was open to the idea that there might be. :-) Coincidentally I had such a card in my collection, so I emailed him and told me that if he would send me his address, I would send him a frog card. :-)

He answered me almost immediately and was more than happy to give me his address. He also asked me to send along mine, so he could return the favor. I sent this card on November 9th.

On November 12th I got a letter and some photos in reply. V. cool reptile photos! It turned out that Kjell is a reptile fan like me. He'd taken the photos himself on vacation. I will do something fun with them ... but that'll be a story for another blog post. :-)

And seeing as how turtles are some of his favorite reptiles, I may be sending him another card one of these days too. Watch this space. ;-)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

DIY postcards, option #2

So, the first place I tried having postcards made from my own photos didn't really deliver the product I was hoping for. I won't be buying from that company again. So I needed ;-) to find somewhere else to try ... I really love the idea of cards made from my own best shots. As long as they're the quality I want. I decided to take a closer look at the company that had made the card I got from Sonja in Iceland -

Moo looked really professional and inviting at first glance. I also really liked the fact that in both of the standard postcard packages they offer - 20 or 60 cards - you can use as many different images as you want. Ie, if you buy 60 cards, you can get 60 different ones, 60 identical ones, or anything in between. I really really like that. :-) I uploaded 12 different images, so that I'd get five cards of each photo.

You can also add a text to your cards - a greeting, an internet address, your snail mail address, whatever you want. This text will be identical on all cards though.

I placed the order on October 10th, and it took about a week and a half to arrive. The price was good ... shipping included I ended up paying between 5 and 6 crowns per card, which compared to store prices here in Norway you cannot complain about. A regular tourist postcard will normally cost 8 or 10 crowns.

But the price is actually less important than the quality. I mean, I'll pay for quality. And if the cards don't look good it doesn't matter if they're cheap. When these cards arrived, however, I was very far from disappointed. I was in fact very impressed. :-) The quality of these cards is really excellent. Wonderfully strong and bright colors, beautiful details, thick cardboard ... really the same quality as actual photos. I couldn't be happier with these cards, and I will definitely be buying from Moo again.

This time I don't have to include the actual photos in the post, because the cards themselves are the same quality. :-)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Swap #1

Private swaps are quite common on the Postcrossing site ... members can check a box on their profiles to indicate whether they are interested in these or not. If they say they are, you can send them an email and ask them to swap with you. Of course I've been trying this out. :-)

When I post about swaps here I will only count the actually completed ones. My first ever PX swap was not initiated by me, but by another user - I agreed to the swap, emailed back my address, sent the card, then never heard anything more. I haven't received anything from her, not even a response to my email asking if she's gotten my card. And she's still active on the site. >:-( But I won't be counting swaps like these, and after this post will not be blogging about them either. It's not a big deal, these things sometimes happen and you've just got to let it go. But only completed swaps will get their own blog posts here. :-)

My first successful swap was initiated by me. I found this user, Simona in Lithuania, after just surfing the site. Her profile was interesting - I'm an Elvis fan too ;-) - and she wanted to swap stamps. I kind of collect stamps too - very small scale, but still - and I thought I'd quite like to get some Lithuanian ones. I had plenty of extra Norwegian stamps lying around that I could send. I also had a card showing an interesting animal, which is on her list of interests. I emailed her to see if she was interested, and she was, so I got some stamps together and sent them off to Lithuania.

The card I sent, on November 7th, shows one of my three pet turtles, Raphael, a male red eared slider, Trachemys scripta elegans, out on a walk on the lawn outside my apartment building.

Simona sent me a lovely multiview card from Klaipeda, which is the nearest larger town to where she lives. It looks like a very charming place. :-) The card arrived on November 10th.

I also got these great Lithuanian stamps. And I learned from this swap that Lithuania in Lithuanian is Lietuva. You can learn something new every day! :-D

Friday, December 4, 2009

Received card #18

My 18th card arrived on November 5th, from Ulm in Germany. I was a little confused by the German stamp at first, because the picture on the card made me think it was from Barcelona. :-D Very unusual architecture, certainly. However, Tanja, the sender (who is in Germany's top ten - I'm impressed!), said that it's a house in the region of Ulm. An apartment building designed by the Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and so it's called the Hundertwasser House. I think it's beautiful, I'd love to live in a house like that. :-)

Tanja, like Ana, included her address on the card, but she didn't just want to be sent a card back ... she wanted to swap some cards with me, ie, exchange postcards between us for a while. Of course I was up for that. :-) Tanja visited Oslo on vacation some years ago and I guess she'd like some cards from here. She'll be mentioned on the blog later too. :-)

The card was sent on November 2nd, so it covered its 1,282-kilometer journey in just three days.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sent card #22

On November 6th I sent my 22nd card ... to Lancaster in Pennsylvania, USA. Erin is a librarian who is open to all sorts of postcards ... she specifically mentioned that she likes handmade cards. I didn't have any of those, but I was inspired somehow by her profile to send one of my own cards ... a very pretty one, if I do say so myself. :-)

Since Erin loves to read I had to mention BookCrossing again. :-) When the card arrived she said she'd never heard of it but was going to look into it. I hope she does! It's one of the very best things online, IMO. :-)

The card traveled 6,109 kilometers in 10 days and arrived on November 16th.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Received card #17

The third and last card to arrive on November 4th came from China. Yay. :-) I love getting cards from China - I had an amazing time there on a three week round trip some years ago. I did not visit Huang's home town of Guangzhou, but a number of other cities.

The card Huang sent shows a view from the Xiaoqikong Park in Guizhou province.

It was sent on October 23rd, and it traveled 8,477 kilometers in 12 days.

The stamp on the card was beautiful - it showed a gorgeous dragonfly, which is my favorite insect, I love these creatures. :-) This was quite a coincidence, since I had actually forgotten to add dragonflies to my favorites list on my profile. (I've fixed that now. ;-) So I was just really lucky. :-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Received card #16

More fun on November 4th. :-)

This card came from Alex in Oldham in the Manchester area. He is the #5 Postcrosser in the UK, so that was kind of cool. :-) The card he sent wasn't entirely local, it was from Cheshire, which Alex said is near where he lives ... and it certainly has some very pretty images on it. The 'charms of Cheshire' indeed.

The card was sent on November 2nd, and it needed only two days to cover the 1,056 kilometers to Oslo. The Royal Mail is very efficient when it chooses to be. ;-)