I collect postcards. I am an artist. This blog showcases both hobbies.

Friday, July 29, 2011


It's supposed to say Greetings from Victoria TX but it got cropped. Anyways this was a direct swap, from a long time postcard collector; thanks Betsy!

I need to update my maps at some point....


Savonlinna, a small town in Finland complete with a castle. Part of the randomness of postcrossing; I always like the surprise location cards! Thanks!
Haha you can see my reflection.... I tried to get good light, no shadow, no blue and just did not succeed.


A view of the most populous cities in Lithuania. My first card from hat country, thanks! Looks quaint and green. A direct swap.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Off I sent 6 cards to other states in the USA, via direct swap (yesterday); and whenever I get to it admidst preparing a rental home, moving, and visiting my mom and grandma, off I'll send one to Russia. I get almost as excited picking out, writing, and sending cards as I do receiving them.

I think of postcards as a snapshot of one's country and themselves. Somehow your place makes you who you are, even if it is subtle. Your memories are affected by place and you stamp yourself on that place, you are a piece of that place's history and memory. That place's history, people, culture, sounds, smells, sights can all be represented on a card, so sending a postcard is sending part of you and part of the world around the world; quite intimate in a way. It is a really neat way to share your world with someone you either do or do not know. I wonder what others in the same place would do- would they choose a different card? Why? How would their message differ? Anyways I am getting too philosophical!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


A direct swap from Colorado, thanks Clarissa! I love mountains and sunsets so it is perfect. I have been to the edge of the Rockies in UT but never CO. Looks like a very nice place to be.

Monday, July 25, 2011


A dying art, crafting of tin as shown here in my card from Portugal, Morsmodre sent it via the randomness of postcrossing. I like things like this that show culture, reminds me of reading National Geographic whic I've thumbed through avidly since before I could read.

handmade card

A strikingly beautiful handmade card from Safa of Bangladesh. I want to hang it on the wall!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

USA States

Cards I have from the USA. I had many more but they went missing :(

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Ahhh glare and a bad cell phone photo but alas the card in person is quite pretty, thanks Eunice! It is of Aberystwyth, Wales, UK - my first card from Wales. It shows a city view, castle, University, church and rail.


My second postcrossing random card, from Byodo-in temple, Kyoto, Japan. I've been to the city but never the temple. I learned about Tanabata a star festival with mythical origins.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Macedoniam Skopje to be precise. It featues a rather ancient bridge and Vardar, the longest river in the country which pours into the ocean in Greece. It looks like a very pretty city with old and new architecture and nearby mountains. Thank you Ana. And too bad the image quality is so poor, the lightning was not working in my favor.Add Image


My first received swap from the USA, thanks Logan. A pretty rural scene! Also, I found out OH has wineries which I did not know before.

A First

Woo hoo, I got my first "random". non-swap postcard from postcrossing from Akira Xiang Lu in Beijing so here is a photo. I like that the building is lit up at night

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A map of where my postcards of Europe are from. Yellow = country I have a card/cards from, red square = location

Monday, July 18, 2011

An early autumn walk around Lake Gregory
I have received one swap card and zero postcrossing random cards in the almost two months Ive been a member boo hoo. So since I don't have cards to show you I will tell a little more about my area, some information you might recognize if you ever receive a card from me. (Yes, I know, my last post was about my area too) The "Rim", a road along the top edge of the mountains with views to the valley below

The area I live in is east of Los Angeles and is called the Inland Empire. It features Riverside County and the largest county in the nation, San Bernardino County, which is larger in size than Costa Rica, Bosnia/Herzegovina, or the state of Maryland. Over 4 million people live here, but it is not as crowded as one may think since the land area is so vast. However, most of the population lives to the southwest in part of the Los Angeles area urban sprawl. The area was known for citrus groves, dairy, and gold mining but with cheap land, the area became populated and is now more known for industry and housing. The area is mostly either mountainous or desert. The high desert
Wildflowers and a Joshua tree in the high desert

Elevation range from a little over 11,000 feet high (San Gorgonio peak) to 220 feet below sea level near Indio!
Lake Gregory in winter

Okay more on my neighborhood! Silverwood Lake at sunrise
The San Bernardino Mountains (which San Gorgonio is part of) are a 60-mile long mountain range, part of the San Andreas Fault, with many small communities and a lot of forest- 800,000 acres (3,200 km²). View through sugar pines towards the desert
Over 50,000 people live here and because of the lakes, hiking, camping, and ski resorts, the population can exceed 100,000 on holidays and weekends. People visit because it is so beautiful and gets snow unlike the surrounding area,
A flatter road in snow
but because the roads are not salted and are steep and windy, it means many accidents and traffic which the local residents don't favor. A winding road, this is a state highway.
Lake Gregory in autumn, homes among the trees

Growing up here, I rarely went "down the hill" to the city as my family hated traffic, smog, heat, all that.
View of a sunset from my dining room
There are a few stores here but as an adult, I usually shop in the city as there is more variety. I loved living here as a child as I went hiking a lot, wading in the lakes and creeks, sledding on the snow, climbing trees... so much fun! I cannot imagine growing up in a city with yards, sidewalks, and the like....how boring!
I like living here when I wake up to a gorgeous sunrise and the stellar jays, chickadees, ravens, red tailed hawks, and the occasional bald eagle as an alarm clock. Hopefully no bears, coyotes, or raccoons got in the garbage cans over the night, haha. I love the four seasons we get, and all the variety of animals as I had listed (plus deer, fox, skunk, bighorn sheep, squirrels.....) and plants (lodgepole pine, sugar pine, jeffrey pine, coulter pine, yellow pine, black oak, live oak, maple, cedar..). However when the fog is so thick you literally cannot see more than ten feet, it is best to stay home, inside, and hopefully the power wont go out as it may be days before it is restored.

The weather can vary a lot. In the summer it is usually 75-85f in the day, 50-65f at night. The winter is on average 45f in the day, 28f at night but there can be days that do not go above 32f/freezing and nights as cold as 8f. The average snowfall is 60 inches/5 feet but you can get one storm with 4 feet of snow. The area is usually dry- no rain- from May to October.
Hence, fires. Fires. More fires. Here are two in the foothills near Yucaipa, small ones under 1,000 acres as when they're bigger, I am evacuating, not taking photos.
any by the way there are all my own photos :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

my town

Curious about where I live? Here are some links about where I live and places nearby.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Fire_%282003%29 Describes a huge wildfire that destroyed many homes; website has some good links too.

a blog that explains my town quite well

http://www.rimoftheworld.net a discussion forum on all things about the area and then some

http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast?query=92325 the current weather

Living in a very flammable area means this website can be needed.

http://lakearrowheadlifestylesblog.com/ another blog

http://rimoftheworldhistory.com/ history of the area

First Swap

My first swapped card arrived! It is from Iowa but Dresden Germany as Renee from Norwalk, IA was on vacation. Sorry the photo isn't the best, that's what you get for taking photos right when you wake up...and for using a cell phone. I have a quaility camera but my computer, Frankenputer, is an Acer pc shell with an HP memory and so things don't always work right...it wil recognize all zip drives and external things except my photo memory card or even the card loaded onto an external drive.
I was so excited to see a postcard in my mailbox! I read it probably five time, lol. My son was grabbing it as we walked across the road so even he was excited. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I was all excited yesterday...literally, I was smiling and excitedly exclaimed to my husband that it was postcrossing's 6th birthday and we HAD to go get some postcards so I could send six EXTRA cards which means I get some more cards in return! I even told him where I was sending them and showed him which ones I was sending. He loves me so he listened but he was not nearly as amused as I was. I'm all excited to go mail them this evening when we go to run errands.

Oh and about my blog the background is art from Nick Bantock's books. I do similar collage-style art. And this font, by the way, is my favorite, so pretty, if only my own writing was as lovely.

I've sent out 15 cards, 4 have been received, in a bit over a month. I sooooooo hope I have my first card in the mailbox today! And I so wish we had mailboxes outside our home instead of at the post office :( But then I'd probably check my box ten times a day if it were in my yard...I'd make a spectacle of myself, peeking through the curtain to look for the mail man and then run out like a predator to get my mail as it arrives. So I guess it is best that it sits in a box far away.
A postcrossing type of post, copying their blog idea :)

But first... I like to organize my postcards by look.... for example I have a card from Bulgaria with their flag, and then next to it a card from Costa Rica with a red frog on some colorful leaves, so the colors match. Or I'll match themes, like "round" or "skyscraper".

spotlight: Me!!!! (gemd @ postcrossing)

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked? Well...I "googled" something about postcards because I want to get one from every country and have been rather unsuccessful for about the past 10 years, maybe receiving a card a year. I went on postcrossing and was immediately hooked, signed up, and I think I browsed the site for two hours non-stop.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies? I love taking nature photos, of flowers, landscapes,sunsets. I also like to take photos of my son. I LOVE learning and am constantly online researching and exploring the world. I love food, especially "ethnic" food and spicy food. I love to eat organic, locally grown food and being wheat intolerant and milk intolerant...sometimes finding food to eat seems like a hobby.
Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards! ok...I admit it is a google photo ...
oh and I keep my cards in albums.

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special. I can't decide to pick just one, but if you visit http://postcardsworldwide.blogspot.com/2011/07/introduction.html you will see them.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process? Well I'm new to all of this so all of it! I have fun trying to pick a card for people based on their likes, even if I only have a few cards to give so I don't do so well. I like sharing a little piece of my life and for me, place is everything. I feel like if I share a postcard of somewhere I've lived or visited a lot, it is part of my personality, my soul, to share! I like receiving cards, but haven't received any yet :( I love the element of surprise..where will my next card be from? But I also love direct swaps so I can request one from a place I need.

Have you met any other members in real life? Nope. I'm a hermit, haha, more just that I'm a busy mom and live where, to visit people, it is a 40 minute or more drive, down 5,000 feet, and sometimes through fog, snow, and rock slides. And besides, I've always loved mailing things instead. While I'm an internet nut, if we ever rid of writing and mailing I would be beside myself. There is some kind of art and ritual to writing by hand and mailing things.


I collect postcards and have since I was 10 years old. I have lost my first postcard :( But I remember it had a pink border and a gray striped kitten on it. I will share, in another "off topic" post, some of my favorite or special cards.

I want a card from every country in the world. I am going to include a list of postcards I still need. If you see a country on this list and you have a card, great! Find me on postcrossing (name is "gemd") and send me a message! If your country is not here that means I have a card from there already but you can send me a handmade card or I guess if you find the most beautiful card ever, from your country, I'd be okay with that even though I already have a card from there.

Ta da! Here's some images of my postcards http://handsinthesoilfood.blogspot.com/2011/07/postcards-my-last-off-topic-post.html

Without further ado here is my "I want" postcard list...
  • Angola
  • Antigua & Deps
  • Armenia
  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bosnia Herzegovina
  • Brunei
  • Burkina
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Rep
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Congo {Democratic Rep}
  • Cyprus
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Fiji
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Iraq
  • Kiribati
  • Korea North
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Micronesia
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nicaragua
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Rwanda
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome & Principe
  • Sierra Leone
  • Slovakia
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe