Mostly postal but art and other things of interest too.
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Budapest Flea and more Postal Love

Budapest was a very postal-friendly city. Lots of charming post offices and mail boxes to look at, at well as a Postal Museum and a Stamp Museum (another post on those).
And a fabulous flea market. 

Want to come and check things out with me?

Post Office and Post Box

No photos inside - no fun. But the outside looks good. And I did get my hands on free postal forms.

The Mail Boxes have legs!

Budapest Flea Market -- my husband always takes me to really cool, really off-the-beaten track flea markets. And then the poor guy has to wait around - forever - while I fondle everything postal.
What a guy!

And, this one had a lot of postal ephemera...loads of old stamps, first day covers, stamp books, old letters....just the sort of things that make me go crazy.
Forget department stores.

Give me the old paper...old photos...

Just look at those little packs of stamps. And they were cheap. Why don't I ever find things like this here in California?

Oh yes....this is where I found many of my treasures. No one spoke English but  writing numbers on paper works fine...

Some nibs for a fountain pen lover..

How could I possibly resist? Right. I couldn't.
Now that I look at this photo I am wondering why I didn't get more postal stuff. 
(It may have been the 50 pound limit on my suitcase)

After all that excitement at the flea market I needed to sit down and  have some  calming coffee and cake at the very beautiful New York Cafe. (Why New York? I don't know. I haven't seen anything like it in NYC)

OOps, I did it again. Another day, another beautiful cafe. This one is the Bookstore Cafe.
Now you know, if you are going to Budapest, you can visit lots of nice post offices, the flea market and eat cake. What more do you need?
(Maybe the Stamp Museum and Postal Museum? I'll show you those soon)

UPCOMING -- Interview with MISS RED LETTER DAY herself.
Co-author of GOOD MAIL DAY and organizer of the Ex Postal Facto mail art event coming up
here in San Francisco in February.
Anything you want to ask Jennie? This is your big chance. I'll show you a little of her studio and she'll tell you about Ex Postal Facto.

Stay Tuned.

Are the holidays over yet? I'm ready for "normal", whatever that may be.
Vintage paper fair here in SF next weekend. Maybe not as great at the Budapest Flea Market but it's one of my favorite local paper ephemera events.
See you there?

Monday, December 23, 2013

What's On the WorkTable (and Other Stories)

Things are busy this time of year, aren't they?
I like to be working on art projects more than doing holiday stuff. But sometimes you can combine the two.

There's always outgoing mail on the table.....
Why send it plain if you can send it fancy?

I had fun making a zine for my pals who went on the Portland-Seattle Art Trip in October with me.
It seemed like a long time ago since I had that other big trip right on it's heels.
But I promised to make a zine -- and I always keep my promises.

I used 11x17 paper for this zine and it was 99 cents to copy it at the  copy store. Not bad and the larger size was more fun to work with....
I copied tourists brochures from the places we went and attached real wallet sized photos to the pages. A Seattle pressed penny went in there too.

Kind of a good Xmas idea for some friends I think....Did you do something fun with your friends this year? A party? Weekend getaway? Outing for lunch and flea market? You could make a zine to commemorate the fun.

It was fun tucking things into the zine like extra photos and business cards and it is a nice reminder of the fun we had.

Don't you just want to laugh when you see those cats? I sent them to two cat-lovers I know.
Hope they got as much of a kick out of those faces as I did.

Interesting note - one cat lover in Virginia got her Grumpy cat envelope right away but the other,
which went to Connie Rose took almost four weeks to arrive in Fortuna, CA.
As Connie suggested on her blog post, maybe the cat walked there...
Don't you wonder where that envelope was for so long?
I sure do.
But at least she got it -- I am having some bad postal karma lately. Nesting dolls bought in Russia and sent to a friend are "Delivered" accordIng to the USPS tracking but she never got them.
Another friend in Budapest hasn't gotten the mail I sent her weeks ago and I am still waiting for Virgo's postcard collage from Russia.

This postal pencil case went out to Monika Csete in Budapest and happily that is one thing that got delivered. Read her blog post about our meeting at the Stamp Museum in Budapest.
(more about that visit soon)


OUTGOING to Vizma in Australia.

OK, here is yet another piece of mail that has gone missing. Vizma in Australia still hasn't received this envelope -- which was mailed before Thanksgiving. Four weeks ago!
I think maybe I should call this post

Another holiday-ish project. Working on some cards using photos I took on my recent trip. A present for someone who doesn't read my blog (gasp!) so the secret is safe.

Ok, I am kind of a scrooge but I actually do enjoy wrapping presents.  Good thing too because Christmas is getting awfully close. Maybe too late for starting any holiday projects this year.
But there's always next year, right?

Remember, if you are really running late, you can do as the French do and send New Year's Greetings. There is still time for that.

Merry Christmas to All (who celebrate) and to all a Good Night! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Santa Baby

Dear Santa,
I would really like mail art for Xmas.
Thank you.
I am not the most easy person to shop for unless you are another mail art/postal/paper/ephemera nerd like I am.
So, in case Santa is wondering about some things I might want, here is my list.
Well--MAIL, of course! Lots of mail art in my mail box all year long would be very nice.
And some little parcels too.
Just like in this picture. Did I mention how much I love mail?
And..oh! A nice little portable typewriter would be very. very welcome. I would like one to toss into my car when I go on road trips so I could type letters on the fly. Wouldn't that be nice?
I'd also like some vintage ads for typewriters to frame and hang in my studio.

I really wouldn't mind a pink typewriter if anyone has one sitting around that they might like to send me.

Mr Zip Anything -- thermos, lunch box, rubber stamps, buttons....I do have a little crush on Mr Zip!

Paper Ephemera? Bring it on! And free postal forms from post offices all over the world would  be great to find under my tree...

I love typing instruction many great photos and diagrams inside. And  the pages make great envelopes. I just might have gotten these two for myself in case Santa doesn't see this list.
I really have been good.
Well, pretty good.

I bet all of you have been good too. Now, tell me, what would YOU like for Christmas?

Happy Holidays to all who celebrate.

(a little note to my friends, believe it or not, I did not send out any Holiday cards this year. I decided to concentrate on mail art instead -- not to say the two can't be combined).
So, here is a little holiday card from Thelma instead.


Friday, December 13, 2013

A PO in Poland

The Post Office in Krakow -- I think I'll have to go inside.
Want to come along?
Guess what? I could take photos at the Main Post Office in Krakow, Poland.
Poland and Russia are postal-photo friendly.

Want to come inside with me? Looks promising, doesn't it. And I have a couple of secret weapons. I took my Postal Love zine with the Polish translation asking to get airmail stickers (for free) and buy local stamps. But just in case that didn't work.....
A very special friend of mine lives in Krakow and she escorted me to the PO and was my official translator.
OooOoo this was a really nice post office, as you can see...there was a special section for postal supplies and a whole room for philatelists.  I explored the whole place.

You just take a number and wait your turn....

We didn't have to wait for very long. US Post Offices would do well to have you take a number and have a place to sit to wait. I just stood in a very long line waiting to mail some Xmas boxes here in San Francisco.

Poczta Polska shopping bags? I might need one. 

Actually, I just might need two or three....

Besides buying the regular, local Polish stamps there were displays of special stamp-collecting stamps to ogle. And of course there were all those free postal forms I like to load up on for booklet-making and Postal ATC's. I think you knew that already.

This Polish Postal worker really didn't know what hit her when I showed up. At first she was kind of mystified but with the help of my zine, my pal's translations and of course, my charm, she really got into the spirit and started pulling out stamps for me to buy. And she let us tear up the sheets to get however many I wanted (picture that in a USA post office). And she gave me a bunch of (free) air mail stickers -- in Polish. Maybe she'll see this post. Wouldn't that be nice?

She didn't seem to mind me snapping photos like crazy. And she took my zine!

Thank you to my special friend. You know who you are.

This is the old main post office right down the street....I kind of wish they kept that one but the new modern one is pretty nice too.


And, here is another little PO right around the corner from our hotel.

Post a letter and buy a Pretzel -- one stop shopping.

If the day wasn't great enough already, after the PO tour and stamp excitement , my friend gifted me with her childhood stamp collection album.
How lucky am I?
I will certainly treasure it and think of her every time I page through it.
I think these are stamps commemorating the Polish Postal Service --  with post office building on them.

I have lots of happy Postal Memories from Poland!



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