Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Sender: StarrySky
In one of the Colour RR's group, we had to send cards befitting the tastes the participants chose. In response to my request for "spicy", StarrySky sent this card. I simply love it!!

Spices can be grouped by plant part such as seeds, barks, dried flower buds, stigmas, roots, amongst others. But it is easier to group them simply into dry spices and wet spices. In my daily soups or curries there are four kinds of dried spices I normally use: cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and star anise. But I also use other dry spices in my cooking like chili powder, cumin, coriander, candlenut, mustard seeds, black pepper, fennel, fenugreek and turmeric. Certain dishes call for wet or fresh spices like fresh chilies, fresh ginger, fresh galangal, onion, shallots and garlic. They smell heavenly when pounded finely & tossed in hot oil for cooking. By the way, my simplest dish is to coat fish or chicken in fresh pounded turmeric with rock salt (or powdered tumeric and fine salt if I'm in a lazy mood) & deep fried. Best eaten with steaming hot rice plus a vege dish. But I grumble when the turmeric stains my fingers yellow! Or my clothes!

Spices! I can't live without them!! ;)

Toledo in Sepia Tones

Sender: marcelo

UNESCO World Heritage City Toledo was once the capital city of Spain. It is situated on a Castilian hilltop overlooking the Rio Tajo (River Tagus) near to Madrid (the current capital of Spain) and is full of many charming, narrow, winding streets which are almost like a labyrinth.
The history of Toledo dates back to Roman occupation circa 192BC. Roman occupation was followed by Visagothic rule, Muslim rule and finally the Reconquest of Toledo in 1085AD.
During the 13th century, Toledo became one of the few places in Spain where Moors, Christians and Jews managed to live together. Visitors can still admire the remains of churches, mosques and synagogues built during this time.

Some of the religious attractions are:-
The Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz (Mosque of Christ of the Light)
The Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes
The Iglesia de San Román
The Church of Santo Domingo el Antiguo
Santo Tomé
Sinagoga de Santa Maria La Blanca
Sinagoga del Tránsito
Toledo Cathedral

I think "Holy Toledo" isn't just an expression! 

Rose Azalia

Sender: oksana_raz

MIKHAIL VRUBEL (March 17, 1856 - April 14, 1910) Rose azalia. 1886-1887. Watercolour, lead pencil on paper. Kiev Museum of Russian Art.

oksana_raz sent this pretty Rose Azalia card with lovely stamps for the Art RR. I read on the net that Mikhail Vrubel was a natural artist who succeeded in every medium he worked in. Although he is most known for his work as a painter, he also experimented in costume design, pottery, stained glass and architecture. His greatest achievement was his Demon series of oil paintings based on a poem by Mikhail Lermontov.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Alexander Ivanov

Sender: parapanda
Alexander Ivanov. 1806-1858. Oil on canvas. 172 x 247 cm.
"The Appearance of Christ to the People". 1837-1858.

This painting was worked upon by the artist for 20 years! He died of cholera aged 52 after its completion, not knowing that the painting would be celebrated as his greatest work. The scene is set on the banks of the River Jordan and is based on the bible. 

Mardi Gras

Sender: tobiejonzarelli

"Masking and Madness, Mardi Gras in New Orleans" - tobiejonzarelli wrote about Mardi Gras. I have heard of this celebration before but did not know that it has its roots in preparing for the start of Lent. To me, catching beads and doubloons from floats sounds like a wonderful experience, and so do masking, music and dancing.

I read further on the net that Mardi Gras is scheduled 47 days before Easter (the 40 days of Lent, plus seven Sundays). That each parade reflects a specific subject and the floats then follow the theme for that year. Maskers are costumed according to the parade theme and the individual float title. Among the more popular subjects have been history, children's stories, legends, geography, famous people, entertainment, mythology and literature. Mardi Gras has traditional colours which are purple, green and gold whereby purple represents justice, green stands for faith, and gold signifies power.

"Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighbourhoods, and our joy of living. All at once." says a New Orleans resident.


Sender: Ann
Esperance, Western Australia. Thistle Cove & Lucky Bay.

Ann wrote that this is one of her favourite aerial views of her local area. It is now one of my favourite views too although I have never been "down under". 

I found out that Esperance lies along the southern coast of Western Australia, 721km from Perth and is part of Australia's Golden Outback. It is a busy port and tourist town with some of the best coastal scenery in Australia like snow-white secluded beaches, beautiful National Parks and many islands providing a variety of alluring locations to explore. I am already allured to explore them!

In the Garden

Sender: Larkie
ArtistFedot Sychkov 1870-1958 
"In the Garden" 1915. Oil on canvas. 80 x 95 cm. Mordovian Republican Fine Arts Museum of S.D. Erzya, Saransk.

There are many paintings of his shown on the net. And one up for bidding at Christies if you have between £15,000 - £20,000 to splash around! 

Chubby Cheeks!

Sender: libsem

Artist: L. Romanova - "Roly-Poly", 5.5" Linden, tempera. 2006.

What chubby cheeks! I love her winter wear and her pet bird too!

St Demetrius Cathedral

Sender: anaNasik

anaNasik wrote that the Cathedral of St Demetrius is famous for its masterfully carved exterior, representing the biblical story of King David. I read on the net that this cathedral is quite mysterious. It was built by Prince Vsevolod III but none of the chronicles mention exactly when this royal church was built. However, since reports stated that the icon of St. Demetrius of Salonica was brought from Byzantium in 1197, it is assumed that the cathedral was constructed around this time. Another mystery is the cathedral building itself, with thousands of images of lions, centaurs, snow leopards and exotic ornaments. A church with subjects of biblical but also non-christian classical mythology, carved on the white-stone walls. 

The Cathedral of St. Demetrius was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

(How dare the postal system fold this card almost in two...I tried to iron it but I couldn't get rid of the crease!)

State Dock Marina

Sender: rpierce

I was happy that this card reached me safely as the other side of it (the written side) had strips of paper torn off, leaving rpierce's description  of the card undecipherable. The address was partly torn too but maybe I'm the only postcrosser in my area as I received it anyway!

It looks like a holiday resort since there is a signboard stating "Welcome to Paradise!" with lots of boats moored by the lake. On the net, Lake Cumberland is tagged as America's best houseboats vacations. Now I wonder if lake waters have the same effect as sea waters. I don't have good sea legs and always suffer miserably in boats and such...so I can't imagine a happy holiday bobbing up and down in a houseboat! 

Iguacu Falls

Sender: Hanitles
Hanitles wrote that this is one of Brazil's UNESCO World Heritage sites. There are 275 falls in the river, the tallest one is 82 metres tall. The falls are 5 hours away from the city where Hanitles live.

I've googled photos of the falls and  they are really spectacular!! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kurents in Ptuj

Sender: Copacabana
Copacabana wrote about "Kurents" and their costumes. Some are really heavy, due to the  bells weighing 50 to 60 kg.

Ptuj is a city in Eastern Slovenia on the Drava River. It is known for its historic buildings and its Kurentovanje festival. Kurentovanje is a ten day long rite of spring and fertility involving feasting, processions and caroling. The main event of Kurentovanje is the procession of traditional carnival masks and groups. Its name is derived from the "Kurent", a mythical figure who was believed to have the power  to chase away winter and usher in spring. Groups of people dressed as Kurents wear sheepskins, don masks and fur caps and hang around their waists, chains with huge bells attached to it. All that resulting noise does a great job of chasing away winter. The Kurent also wear heavy boots and special red or green leg warmers, while the head is covered by a towering furry hat festooned with ribbons, and a mask typically sporting a long, red tongue. A wooden club is normally carried in the left hand. By the end of Carnival a Kurent will have collected many handkerchiefs (given by girls & women) which he carries tied around the club.

'A' and 'B'

Sender: Alienne, 'A' for 'Absence of people'. Very creative!
Alienne seems to know that I'd love to jump into the picture & start my leisurely walk along that path rightaway. Yes, I am fond of walking along scenic routes, along nature trails, basically, enjoying nature at its best. I miss doing this in the cooler climates. Where I am right now, I may be burnt by the hot sun or soaked by sudden tropical thunderstorms..or in the wilder nature trails, keep a lookout for monkeys eyeing my packed food, or ssssslithering reptilesss.
Alienne sent 'B' for 'Blumen'. 'Blumen' means 'Flowers' in German! What a lovely pink rose and blue forget-me-nots. I wish I can grow them in my garden but I am an indifferent gardener (no green thumbs!) and only bougainvilleas survive my indifference..


Pretty Cottage

Sender: Erich
A cottage is usually a modest, often cozy dwelling, typically in a rural or semi-rural location. I don't mind staying in one if it is as lovely as this cottage!

Pink Building

Sender: olenenka
The text on the card states "Street architecture of Lviv". Lviv is a city in western Ukraine. Lviv's historic churches, buildings and relics date from the 13th century. The buildings have many stone sculptures and carvings, particularly on large doors, which are hundreds of years old. The remains of old churches dot the central cityscape. Some three- to five-storey buildings have hidden inner courtyards and grottoes in various states of repair. 

Boy & Pet Bunny

Sender: Elta
Elta wrote about her travel mishaps in the TM RR, and gosh, what sufferings she went through! As for the card, I love the expression of the boy, as he hugs the bunny rabbit..

Tiny Flowers All Over

Sender: yxw0614
Received this card for the Art RR, flowers & nature in art. I admire the scenic stamps too!


Sender: MichelleW
She sent "Abstract" in return for my "Traditional" :)

Melbourne by Night

Sender: Aussiebear
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, founded in 1835. Today, it is a centre for arts, commerce, education, entertainment, sports and tourism.


Sender: vejoyce
Alcatraz Island San Francisco Bay - The weathered and deteriorating laundry facility used when Alcatraz was a Federal Penitentiary. 

Alcatraz, which earned the nickname of the "Rock", was the ultimate American prison. For 29 years, the damp, fogged-in prison kept the country’s most notorious criminals put away from the rest of the world. The heavy mists, cold wind and water and the foghorns of the bay made Alcatraz the loneliest of the prisons. It was not conceived as a facility for rehabilitation. It was a place of total punishment and minimum privilege. 

The Exchange Bridge

Sender: Julia Fatieva
View of the Neva river and the (Birzhevoy) Exchange Bridge in St. Petersburg.
The Exchange Bridge is the bridge across Malaya Neva, distributary of the Neva River. Its length is 239 meters and width is 27 meters and it connects Vasilievsky Island and Petrogradsky Island. 

The Bargate

Sender: Duplevista
Duplevista wrote about this historic centrepiece in the city of Southampton called "The Bargate". The Bargate was originally built circa 1180 AD as the main gateway to the medieval city and has held a number of important positions throughout its history. These include being the city’s guildhall (until the 1770’s), the police headquarters during WW2 and now a contemporary art gallery.

I wonder whether the stamp is of The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon..

Sunday, May 22, 2011

'A' is for Albert Anker

Sender: Goyesca
Albert Anker (1831 - 1910) was a Swiss painter and illustrator.  His signature theme: the everyday life of people in rural communities. The card depicts his painting, "A Gotthelf Reader", 1884. Gotthelf being Jeremias Gotthelf, the pen name of a Swiss novelist, Albert Bitzius (October 4, 1797 – October 22, 1854).

I love this painting, TQ Goyesca!

Puerto Vallarta

Sender: emotis
emotis went to Mexico for a holiday and offered to send cards from there for participating RR members. Luckily I managed to get a place in the RR and here is the result, my very first card from Mexico, TQ emotis!

Puerto Vallarta  is a city and popular vacation resort on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. The church in the card is called "Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe" (Our Lady of Guadalupe Church). Construction began in 1918 and was completed in 1951. The gilded crown that tops the beautiful church is a replica of the crown worn by Carlota, empress of Mexico in the 1860s, the base of which is decorated with eight angels holding hands. The original crown was made of concrete and was unfortunately damaged in the 1995 earthquake, but has since been replaced by one done by a famous local sculptor.

'A' is for Austin, Texas

Sender: Nordbaer
Nordbaer sent this card for the 'A' group in the Alphabet RR.

I found out that South by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of interactive, film, and music festivals and conferences that take place every spring in Austin, TexasMaggie Mae's has been a host venue for SXSW the last 17 years, offering three different stages. The roof top boasts a view of the Austin skyline and 4,500 sq. ft. of space plus two bars.