Monday, November 30, 2009

Received card #15

My 15th card arrived on November 4th - again, a great Postcrossing day. Three cards on the same day. :-) This one came from Carlijn in Leiden (which I had in fact heard of! :-). She'd chosen a card with a famous painting by the celebrated Dutch painter Jan Vermeer, and she thought I might have seen the movie inspired by this painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring. Indeed I have, and I've read the book too - both are very good. :-)

The card was sent on October 31st, and it traveled 945 kilometers in four days to reach me. :-)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Received card #14

My 14th card came from Brazil - from Rio de Janeiro, a place which I was excited to get a card from as I have friends there and hope to visit one day. :-) The photo on the card isn't from Rio, but from Teresópolis, a much smaller town not far away. It's famous in Brazil for its natural beauties ... part of it is a national park and it has a number of beautiful mountains. A lot of skiing going on there. :-)

Ana says that the top things to do in Rio are to visit the Sugarloaf mountain and to see the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Mount Corcovado.

Ana included her address and said she'd be thrilled if I would send her a card in return. (She wants to visit Norway one day, because she really likes cod. :-D) This is something that happens every so often with official Postcrossing cards, that people ask to be sent a card back ... some PXers are against the practice and others don't mind. This was the first time I'd had such a request, and I decided to go along with it. Ana had made a real effort with her card to me, she's young and enthusiastic :-) - I sent her a card back, although I can't quite remember which one. But I sent something. :-)

The card was sent on October 22nd. It traveled a very impressive 10,393 kilometers in 12 days to reach me on November 3rd. (Part of a really good Postcrossing week, I got two cards on the 3rd and three on the 4th. :-) My longest traveling received card by far up to now.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Received card #13

Now here's a coincidence for you ... o_O

As I've said before, the US is the second biggest country on Postcrossing ... so when I received my second card from there as my 13th card, I didn't think anything of it. Until I logged on to register the card and, get this, discovered that this second American card was from not only the same state, but from the same city, as my first one! :-o This one too came from Grand Rapids, Michigan. :-D What an incredible coincidence. :-) The sender this time was Stephanie, who told me that the top three things to see in Grand Rapids are the Frederick Meijer Gardens (a botanical garden - I'd love to see it! :-), the Voight House and the Calder Plaza.

The card was sent on October 22nd, and it traveled 6,324 kilometers in 12 days to reach me on November 3rd.

Friday, November 27, 2009

My postcard collection - the golden oldies

I used to have an enormous collection of free postcards ... and I mean really enormous ... way before Postcrossing was even invented. Postcards I didn't really do anything with, but mostly just let pile up. One time years ago I tidied up this pile and got rid of some of it ... the really useless ones. :-) You know, the kind with writing printed all over the back and no space to write anything ... and really glaring ad-type artwork, for things that I didn't even like. So a lot of it, like maybe half, got thrown out. But I kept the rest. For no reason, I didn't really use them for anything. But I kept them - thinking, I suppose, that one day they might come in handy. Yay me! :-D That day did finally come. By then of course I'd forgotten where I'd put this stash of going-on-vintage postcards, but as I was going through some desk drawers the other day looking for something else entirely, suddenly they turned up again. :-)

Not all of these are freebies - some are actually touristy cards that I must have bought at some point, and look at picture #5, I've even got lenticulars. I'd totally forgotten about those. What fun it is to find cool stuff you'd forgotten that you even had. :-D

And a few days later, again looking for something else, I found even more cards ... ! :-D More lenticulars ... ! :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My postcard collection

Of course since I started this new hobby I've started to amass lots of postcards too. It's too time-consuming to have to go out hunting for a postcard for each new address that I get ... and at my local mall the selection of cards available isn't that good (and also kind of expensive). So I've been going through bits and pieces that I've had lying around, and I've been out shopping too. Another thing I love shopping for, that was really what I needed. ;-) But it's giving me yet another reason to want to go traveling again ... I will so be buying lots of postcards the next time I go abroad ... !! :-D

These are (mostly) cards that I've acquired since I became a Postcrosser, or at least relatively recently.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sent card #21

My 21st card is still on the road to Glasgow in Scotland. Its recipient is Annie (or Qiqi? :-), a young Chinese woman who comes from Shanghai but lives in Glasgow, where she is a student. I've been to Glasgow too, although just as a tourist ... I had a great time there and would love to visit it again some day. :-)

Annie likes bright and colorful cards so I sent her the pink flowers with the yellow/green borders. When it arrives I hope she will like it ... :-)

I sent the card on November 3rd. It had 994 kilometers to travel, and I hope to hear it's arrived any day now.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sent card #20

My 20th card went to Taiwan ... to Taipei again. I'm a little ashamed to say that I don't think I can name one single other city in the whole of Taiwan. :-(

Elaine is a student and has quite a varied list of interests. I decided to send one of my own cards again, this one showing the impressive roofs of Gol stave church at the Folk Museum here in Oslo. This would fit both her interest in specific architecture and in 'distinguishing characteristics of my country' ... stave churches were once common all over Scandinavia and in the north of England as well, but are now extant only here in Norway.

As Elaine says she loves to read I told her a little bit about BookCrossing on the card as well. :-)

The card was sent on November 3rd, and it made its journey of 8,704 kilometers in 15 days to arrive on November 18th.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Received card #12

My 12th card was from Washington state in the US, but it came from Canada. :-) Kimu lives in Kelowna in British Columbia, a few hours' drive from the American border. On her most recent trip she went to Washington, where she obviously did some postcard shopping. :-)

The card shows a map of the Cascade Loop, which you can read some more about here.

Kimu sent the card on October 22nd, and its journey of 7,032 kilometers took 11 days; it arrived on November 2nd.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

DIY postcards, option #1

Well, maybe not entirely DIY, but you get my drift. :-)

One of the very first Postcrossing cards I received was one that the sender had had made from one of her own photos. That this was possible hadn't really occurred to me before, but of course, it's a brilliant idea. I have quite a few very good shots that I would love to do something more with than 'just' posting them on my blog. :-) So I started looking around for someplace where I could have some of these made into postcards.

I first thought I should try to find some Norwegian option, and some googling led me to I'm not sure that I'd ever heard about this company before. They advertise photo products of the highest quality. Their prices seemed pretty good, so I decided to check them out. They offered a ten-pack of cards from each photo uploaded. I used two different photos, and I ended up paying about 130 crowns (postage included) for 20 cards.

Production and shipping was quite quick, my cards were in my mailbox after one week.

The quality however ... meh. I wasn't entirely happy with the quality. The print is too grainy and the color reproduction isn't as good as I'd hoped. I've been using the cards, of course - they're certainly good enough to send, and I've gotten very positive feedback on them - but I will not be ordering from this company again.

My original photos.

The postcards. They actually look better photographed than they do in real life. :-D

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sent card #19

My 19th card went to Bochum in Germany ... to Ann-Christin, who collects pink cards. :-) I looked through my collection to see if I had any cards that could be construed as pink. Not really ... but I did have one with a picture of pink flowers. :-) So I decided to send that and hope that it would be found worthy of Ann-Christin's collection. When it arrived she did say that she liked it, so here's hoping. :-)

I sent the card on October 31st, and it traveled 964 kilometers in five days to arrived on November 5th.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Received card #11

My 11th card came from Hoogland in the Netherlands. Another Dutch town I'd never heard of. :-) Floor sent me a card with a pretty and evocative and very Dutch image ... she thought it fitted the season - almost Halloween. :-)

According to Floor, the three best things to see in Hoogland are the local zoo (which I think may be some kind of petting zoo?), the St Joris church and its tower, and the town wall. Ooh, I love town walls. I wish Oslo had one. :-)

This card was sent on October 27th, and it covered its 925-kilometer journey in three days.

Update: As we see from the comments on this post, Amersfoort Zoo is a regular zoo with lots of different animals (some of them extremely cute! ;-) - visit them online here. :-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Received card #10

My 10th card arrived from Graz in Austria. Anita sent me an adorable Turnowsky card with lots of little elephants on it. I love elephants, and they're one of my favorite things mentioned in my profile. Aw. :-)

Anita answered the question in my profile, and in her opinion the top three things to see in scenic Graz are the clock tower, the fortress, and Castle Eggenberg. So here's hoping I'll get to see those things one day. :-)

The card arrived on October 30th after travelling 1,461 kilometers in three days.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sent card #18

My 18th card went to Germany again - to Anne in Emmerich am Rhein. She was interested in seeing the places people come from and hearing something about them. The places, that is. :-) I picked a card made from a photo I've taken, showing a scene from the Folk Museum here in Oslo, complete with Norwegian flags and all. On the card I told her a little about the Museum and about our national day, May 17th, when the picture was taken.

I sent the card on October 28th, and it made its 940-kilometer journey in three days to arrive on Halloween. :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sent card #17

My 17th card went in roughly the same direction as the 16th. :-) Gabrielle lives in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. She's not too impressed with her country though. In fact she is/was quite down on it in her profile, saying that there's little to be proud of in present-day Ukraine, that it's only their history that is great. As an ESC fan I could of course not let that stand, so I just had to remind her of some of the wonderful entries Ukraine has sent in recent years. (Not this year's entry, though, no. *shudder*)

She wanted to see 'some view of my land' :-) so I decided to sent yet another of the cards I have had made from my own photos. This one is a very lucky shot that I took on a day-long hike to the Vulu valley in Rondane national park, showing one of the wild reindeer that live in the area.

The card was sent on October 28th, and it took five days to cover the 1,632 kilometers between Oslo and Kyiv; it arrived on November 2nd.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sent card #16

My 16th card went to a pretty exotic location - Russia. But not just anywhere in Russia ... to a place I had never ever heard about in my life before. o_O Elena lives in Yoshkar-Ola, which is the capital of Mari El, a republic in the Russian federation, the existence of which was news to me. Had you ever heard of it?? :-) I read up on it online and felt quite proud of myself for learning something very new that day. :-)

Elena wanted to be sent a phrase in my language, and she was interested in pictures from nature ... so I decided to send this card, with an adorable frog on it and a few words in Norwegian that mean How are you doing?

I sent the card on October 24th. It had 2,178 kilometers to travel. It took forever! It actually expired and I started to give up on it ... but on January 9th, it finally arrived!! 78 days! :-D That's a record for me. I was SO happy to get that email. :-)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sent card #15

The 15th address I was given was in the US; in Ojai, California. Thousands of kilometers away. :-) Kate talks in her profile about liking clouds, nature scenes, changing light ... so when I saw her profile I immediately knew I had to send her my Rondane card, below. I wrote about the area and my connection to it. She was quite interested, and emailed me when she received it to ask for more information. I answered her questions and sent a link to my blog ... and later I did see someone from her area looking around the blog and looking at pictures and so on. Neat. :-)

This card was sent on October 23rd; it traveled 8,609 kilometers to reach its destination after 11 days, on November 2nd.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sent card #14

My 14th card went to Finland again. The recipient, Heli, has no information at all on her profile (at least she hadn't when I pulled her address out of the bag, and she still hasn't now at the time of writing this) so it was hard to know what to choose for her. I picked a card that is an advertisement for a product I really really like, Divine chocolate. I sell this chocolate as part of my volunteer job, it's delicious, and it's guaranteed fair trade. :-)

I sent the card on October 22nd; it traveled 731 kilometers to arrive in Tampere five days later, on October 27th.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sent card #13

My 13th card was sent to Poland ... to a town I hadn't heard about, called Reda. It's a small town in the far north of the country, almost on the coast. I was happy to send to Poland as I was there on vacation in March of this year and had a really good time. :-)

The recipient, who calls himself s2 on Postcrossing, mentions several interests on his profile. One of them is architecture, and he also wants whatever the sender finds interesting and/or eye-catching. So I decided to send a card that I have left over from one of my trips to Brussels in recent years, showing one of the spectacular buildings on the beautiful Grande Place. I really like Brussels and I hope to go back there before too long. :-)

I sent the card on October 20th. It traveled 745 kilometers to arrive three days later, on October 23rd.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sent card #12

My 12th card was sent to zinnober in Germany. There wasn't a lot of information in his/her profile, so I had pretty free hands to pick a card ... I decided to 'choose one that tells something about my interests'. :-) I sent another card I've had made from one of my own photos - one of the best shots I took this summer, showing my mother on a hillside in Rondane, the oldest national park in Norway, where my family has a cabin in which we spend part of every summer.

zinnober wants people to draw a little star on their cards to him/her, so of course I did that. :-)

I sent the card on October 20th. It traveled 1,164 kilometers to arrive in Nuremberg on October 28th.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Received card #9

My ninth card came from Henry, an American living in Japan. He had managed to fit in a lot of writing on the card ... because in his opinion he and I have a lot in common and he wanted to share some of that with me. So much so in fact that a second card arrived a few days later. :-) And he's right, we do have a lot of things in common. But more on that later - I hope Henry will be mentioned again on this blog. :-)

The card showed a beautiful scene from Henry's home town Tokyo ... a shot from the Imperial Palace. Very Japanese. :-)

The card was sent on October 13th, and it traveled 8,430 kilometers to reach me on October 19th. Of all my received cards thus far, this had traveled the longest distance.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sent card #11

My 11th sent card went to the Netherlands again - to Winsum in the north. Janine didn't have a lot of information on her profile - she likes music and horses, but I didn't have any cards with either of those :-) - so I sent a card that I would have liked to receive myself. Do unto others, etc, and you can't go wrong. :-)

I sent the card on October 17th; it traveled 776 kilometers in five days to arrive on October 22nd.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Received card #8

October 16th was a great Postcrossing day for me - I received three cards on the same day. Happy day! :-) The third one, my eighth received card, was from Torres Vedras in Portugal. Portugal is one of the few countries in Western Europe that I haven't visited (yet), so it was great to get a card from there.

Simão wrote that he works in the local museum, where dinosaurs like the ones on the card are on display. What a cool job. :-) I'm interested in reptiles, that's why he picked this card for me. There's even a turtle on it if you look closely ... ;-)

The card was sent on October 12th, and it traveled 2,696 kilometers to reach me on October 16th.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Received card #7

My seventh received card was my first American one ... the second of those, in a way, because I'd also sent a card to Richmond, Maine, earlier. Actually not a lot since the US is the second biggest country on Postcrossing. But I'm not complaining, of course. Variety is the spice of life. :-)

This card came from Grand Rapids in Michigan. Debbie, the sender, is a single mother of a four year old boy, and she told me that she's recently been getting more and more into reading with her son. Awesome!! I'm sure she mentioned this because I've got a lot about books and reading and BookCrossing on my profile. I was happy to hear it, because I believe reading is so important, especially to children who have their educations ahead of them. Read to your kids, people!! It makes so many things so much easier for them in their lives. I was happy to hear what Debbie had to say.

The card was sent on October 7th, and it traveled 6,324 kilometers to reach me on October 16th.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Received card #6

My sixth received card came from somewhere quite exotic to me - Minsk in Belarus. Masha who sent it had looked at my profile and hadn't managed to find a turtle card, but hoped I would like a lizard card instead. Of course! I love her card with its - to me - very unusual artwork.

She told me about what Minsk looks like in the fall and how she loves the beautiful autumn colors. :-)

The card was sent on October 7th, and after travelling for 1,216 kilometers it arrived in my mailbox on October 16th.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Some stats

These are my stats after one month of Postcrossing. Me so happy. :-)

Click to enlarge, the pictures will look much much better then.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Received card #5

My fifth received card came from Vantaa in Finland ... where, according to Sari, the three things no one should miss are the science center Heureka, an old stone church and what I think is like an open air museum kind of place, maybe outside the town itself.

Sari likes dragons and so do I, so she sent me this v. cool shiny dragon card. :-D That little white spot isn't supposed to be there; the card got a little damaged in transit, unfortunately.

The card arrived on October 15th after traveling 794 kilometers in three days.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Received card #4

The fourth card I received came from Nico in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht in the Netherlands. A place I'd never heard of. :-) I have been to the Netherlands several times, though. Nico wrote that the weather was bad there on the day he sent the card - it was windy and rainy. So taking that into consideration I think I preferred crisp and sunny Norway just then. ;-)

The card was sent on October 12th, and it traveled 975 kilometers to reach me three days later, on October 15th.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sent card #10

The tenth address I pulled was in Taiwan. Coolness. :-) All the more so since, when I looked at the recipient's profile, the chances seemed to be good that my card would be the first Postcrossing card this member would ever receive. :-D And that's how it turned out, too. Judychu had sent one card and received none ... mine was the first she received. I was really happy to send her that card. :-)

Judychu had no personal information in her profile, so I picked something neutral to send to her - I figured that this colorful sunflower card would be appreciated by most people. When the card arrived she said that she liked it, anyway. :-)

The card was sent on October 14th - my birthday! - and it travelled 8,704 kilometers to arrive in Taipei on October 21st.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sent card #9

My ninth sent card went to Dani in Donostia-San Sebastián in Spain. He has - among other things - mountains on his list of interests, so I decided to send him one of the cards I had recently had made from one of my own photographs. (More on that later. :-) This picture shows the Rondane massif in central Norway, and it's taken from quite a famous location - you can read a little more about that here. My family has a cabin in this mountain area, which is also the oldest national park in the country. I wrote about that to Dani.

The card was sent off on October 13th, and after traveling 2,038 kilometers it reached its destination after three days, on October 16th.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Received card #3

My third card came from Germany, and was sent by Marion in Aschaffenburg. She 'loves to be dazzled by curiosities' and has an interesting list of preferences. She sent me this charming arty card. She picked it because I have elephants listed as one of my interests. This is certainly a cute little pachyderm. :-) On the card she'd written about the weather in her town that day and what she could see from her window. I like that. :-)

I also really liked the stamp, which shows a lighthouse in a place called Norderney.

The card was sent on October 8th. It travelled 1,109 kilometers to reach me after four days, on October 12th.