Saturday, December 31, 2011

Coco Chanel's fashion tips

I have dusted off my computer keyboard and am ready for a new year of exciting and edifying blog posts. Oh, and funny.... can't forget funny. These are my hopes, mind you, not promises.

First of all, a big thank you to my dear friend Mae West for her guest blog yesterday. So kind of her to take the time. Dear, dear Mae. So well-meaning but just a little, well, shall we say "blunt"? However, here I am writing again, so her post was a success.

I know that many of you are waiting for fashion advice from me so that you will know how to dress for New Year's Eve.  For those of you on the other side of the International Date Line, I'm so sorry I didn't get to you in time.  I can only hope that you didn't look TOO tacky last night.  I have called in an expert today to help me: Miss Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel.

Coco recommends wearing every single necklace you own at the same time, especially if you are trying to cover up the top of an ugly dress.  Try to find a really big wristwatch to wear around your waist.  Coco reminds everyone to be careful when placing a pin on your hat. She accidently stuck this one right through the top of her head and has been unable to remove the hat for years. And last but not least, wear a beautiful fragrance, like Chanel No. 2, or, if you can afford it, No. 2-1/2.

Thank you, Coco, and a very Happy New Year to you too!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Guest blogger: Mae West

Hey guys and gals. The one and only Mae West here, filling in today for the incredibly unreliable author of this blog. I once said "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly", and apparently Ms. Blogger thought I was referring to her. Ha! She was the farthest thing from my mind! So I'm here to light a firecracker under her. If you're going to write, get on with it!! I've been things and seen places and so has Ms. Blogger, and the world needs to hear from us, probably. We are entirely too interesting to hide our lights under a bucket.

If Ms. Blogger does not take up my challenge to become a responsible emblogulator again, then all I've got to say is that her mother should have thrown her out and kept the stork.

Check back soon.  And Happy New Year!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Recent goodies

Hi, everyone! For those of you who live in countries where Thanksgiving is celebrated, I hope you and your families had a great holiday. Don't let the consumer madness get to you this Christmas season. Give a gift to someone who really needs it.

It was a good postcard week. I got another Kaj Stenvall duck illustration, this one called "Signs of Winter In The Air". I'm so glad these ducks have sweaters to keep them warm around the campfire. Thanks to Katri in Finland for this card.

From Ron in The Netherlands, who is both a truck driver and a fireman, came this very handsome truck.

Going back in time a bit, here we see a couple of young French women touching up their makeup in a public garden in Paris, around 1930. Makeup: perfect! Hair: smashed utterly flat by their hats. It looks like they have just been shopping for more hats, too. 

Jodie sent this card of happy Dutch children dancing. They can't hear the music over the stomping of their wooden shoes, but they imagine it is wonderful.

This German mathematics professor is chuckling because no one can understand what he wrote on the blackboard. Even he isn't too sure.

"Little Street in Gdansk" by Polish painter Albert Lipczinski (1876-1974). Sent to me by Anna in Poland.

This is a Russian Pinocchio. He appears to be off on some serious business. 

I'm off too, but not on serious business.  See you soon!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to get from here to there

Have you ever traveled by train? If not, you've missed out on a fun experience. I no longer take train trips, but I do love the old black & white movies where part of the story takes place on a train. Clickedy-clack, rattle, rattle.

This 1925 poster by artist Walter L. Greene is called "Westward Bound, in the Mohawk Valley...The Twentieth Century Limited...New York Central Lines". Probably someone on the train is getting murdered.

I think I may actually have ridden on the Shasta Daylight a time or two.

It's always a good idea to take a banjo along on a road trip. 

This family is lost in the desert but doesn't realize it yet. They just love their new car and their new hats.

Cars with teeth.

The Owl and the Pussycat. An illustration based on the Edward Lear poem, from a 1928 children's book. Once again you can see the benefit of taking musical instruments along on your travels.

There are other modes of travel, of course. This witch had trouble getting her broom started this year and is really angry because Halloween was three weeks ago. You can tell she is not in a good mood.

Ah, a train with wings! And eyeballs.

Happy travels, y'all!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Catch-up time

Oh dear, I'm very far behind again! How does this happen? Perhaps I have a slight time-management problem? Naw!  Well, the only solution is......vast numbers of postcards posted for your enjoyment, I hope. Beware of whiplash - many quick and unexplained changes of direction will probably follow.

 Riga, Latvia.

Folk pottery from the Ukraine

For you dragon lovers out there, here's a painting by English painter Roger Dean (b. 1944). Not recommended as a house pet.

Great photo by Dutch photographer Cas Oorthuys.  I wonder if these ladies ever got where they were going. If so, they are probably still trying to find their way back. (Oh, the sadness: "Whatever happened to Grandma? We miss her!")

Naughty, naughty. A 1940 illustration by Gil Elvgren, who appears to have been a dirty old man but was actually a famous painter of pin-up girls.

How would you like to live here? This house was designed by Alexander Jackson Davis (1803-1892) for his residence Wildmont Lodge in Eagle Rock, NJ. Somehow I wouldn't have guessed New Jersey for this house, would you?

And finally, Toulouse-Latrec's 1899 painting At The Circus. I guess lions and elephants were in short supply then, so they had women dancing on lily pads instead. The crowd seems enthralled.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bye, bye, October!

One of my favorite months is circling the drain, which won't be long until Christmas! Let's celebrate with some totally unrelated postcards!

This photograph appeared at the 1900 Paris Exposition exhibit, but the woman's name has been lost to time. 

For all you cat lovers out there.

This is an ancient dolmen (prehistoric tomb) near Sochi, Russia. I was interested in learning more about this monolith, but googling it gave me only links in Russian, which I could not read. Fortunately, the sender of this card, Irina, was kind enough to answer my questions. Here's part of what she told me:

"Scientists think that it's an ancient sanctuary, where our ancestors used to meditate. The dolmen is basically a huge single piece of sandstone with a flat platform carved in it at the height of 4 metres. Above it there's the front wall with a hole in it. The builders used this hole to carve the inside room through it. Besides, the monolith was placed in such a manner that its front wall faces the summer solstice.

The dolmen is roughly 9,5 thousand years old. It's called "Volkonskii dolmen" in the honour of duchess Volkonskaya, who spent a lot of time communicating with it spiritually. When you come close to the dolmen, you can look inside through this hole (there's also a door and some steps carved out in the stone, but you're not allowed to get inside, so you can only peek into the room). However, some people reported feeling strange after that, so the guides usually advise to consider your potential before looking. I don't think there's something particularly weird inside, but those places have ancient energy about them sometimes, and some people feel it.

There's also this legend about the two stones and a river not far from the dolmen. There lived two brothers of noble blood, but the younger one fell in love with a simple girl. So the elder brother told him to just forget about it, but the younger said that he'd rather turn into stone than live without his beloved. When his words came true, his elder brother couldn't bear it, and also turned into stone. And when the girl learnt about what'd happened, she turned into a river that flows nearby, so that she stays eternally close to her beloved. Pretty romantic :)"

Thanks, Irina, for all the fascinating information! I'm not sure if I want to peek through that hole or not!

One last vintage Halloween card.

I recently got my first map card from Luxembourg! Thanks, Alice!

A 1925 illustration by Tom Purvis is shown on this Museum of Modern Art postcard. This woman is either drowning or having a great time, I'm not sure which. Thanks to Aimee for this card and the other great ones she sent that I'll be showing you in future posts.

See you in November!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

'Round-the-World, Pt. 2

Hope you've had your porridge, because we're off again!

Isn't this a great bear? He doesn't seem too happy with his porridge though. He was hoping for French Toast and maple syrup.

A beautiful Mediterranean scene. And a great cow stamp on the back.

A country lane in New Hampshire. Betcha there's some maple syrup in them trees.

This postcard from The Netherlands asks the eternal question, "Wat izzit?". This really had me scratching my head, but I finally figured out what it is. 

Amazing Thailand. With stamps that sparkle!

What a gorgeous photo this is - Dawn at Sungai Palas tea plantation in Malaysia.

You are probably hot and tired after all this traveling, so how about a nice bath with your ducky?

More tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

'Round-the-World, Pt. 1

Today will be one of those "no theme" days, just cards I like that I have recently sent or received. There's a bunch, so this may stretch over several days!

This card from Taiwan shows a group of Chinese glove puppets. I think they are all waiting for Wal-Mart to open up. These puppets have carved wooden heads and embroidered costumes. How many of you can say that?

I thought it was interesting that this Las Vegas card was printed in Italy.

A reproduction of an old travel poster, one of my favorite types of postcards. The man is a rock collector and has been filling his pocket up with them. The woman is wishing she had stayed back at the hotel.

From South Africa, a land of contrasts. My camera wants me to take it there.

Here's a good one. This is Muriel Page as The Flame Dancer with Pima tribe members Red Feather and Running Buffalo, at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. Admirers christened Muriel Page "Princess Burning Wings". Don't try this at home.

My friend Sipsu in Finland, with whom I share a birthday, just sent me this wonderful Inge Löök card. Inge Löök draws the best old ladies! These two look like they've set their purses down and broken into a bit of spontaneous dancing. (Probably waiting for the cafe to open.)

I have only made a slight dent in my un-blogged cards, so I will probably be back sooner than usual. I know this is very exciting for all of you.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween eye candy

Lately I've been sending and receiving a lot of postcards with vintage Halloween images. Now don't be frightened!

This young lady appears to be filling her pumpkin with small pieces of paper in preparation for setting the pumpkin on fire. I don't know....your explanation is as good as mine. Vintage pumpkin soup perhaps, or a very old type of mailbox.

I wish I could get my cats to use a broom.

The owl is looking at the girl, the girl is looking at the cat, and the cat is staring off into the distance. Typical cat - not wanting to get involved.

This isn't even a FRIENDLY Halloween card - it's just plain strange. A snake? A bat sitting on a pumpkin? The stuff nightmares are made of. And here I am about to go to bed - OH NO!!

Well! I'm going to be up all night for sure now. I'm glad no one told me about the Pumpkin Headed Halloween Man when I was a kid. Or maybe they did. That would explain any number of mental problems.

Sweet dreams!