A Canadian Family

Natives, French Canadians & Acadians

A Festival of Postcards (3rd Ed.) – Signs

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A Festival of Postcards –  Signs

Welcome to the third edition of A Festival of Postcards where bloggers share their love of vintage and modern postcards. This month we have contributions from over 30 bloggers on 3 continents (Asia, Europe & North America) and from several postcard “communities” including artists, deltiologists, family historians and Postcrossers. Some have interpreted the theme literally so we have a great selection of postcards showing painted, wooden, metal and neon signs but others have worked with the idea of sign as symbol, so we have a great selection of postcards for everyone!

With so many entries this time, I’ve divided the Festival into three sections: The Artful Postcard (altered postcards, mail art and  postcard design), Postcards in the Past Tense (images from the past, family & social history), and Contemporary Postcards (images from the 1990s on including family & social history and Postcrossing).

The topic for this month’s featured article was inspired by Vickie Everhart’s June Festival entry Main Street in Rockdale. She inspired me to take another look at many of my favourite blogs and I was struck by how many artists and family historians are experimenting with scrapbooking techniques as a way to present their family history, so the feature article for this Festival is by mixed-media artist Mandy Collins.

Feature Article

Pearl Maple

In her article Altered Art-Mail or Postal Art, blogger Mandy Collins (aka Pearl Maple) provides an introduction  to altered art, shows us the steps she followed in her postcard project, and closes with a bevy of useful links to other postal and mail art sites. We’re very lucky to have this article from Mandy because she’s a very busy professional mixed-media artist. You can see an example of her work online at  Featured Artist Of The Week at Paperclippings and  she has also been published in Somerset Memories and most recently in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Altered Art by Allyson Bright Meyer.

The Artful Postcard

Kevin Kidney

Kevin Kidney is a “self-employed art director, illustrator, writer, sculptor and maker of things” who has worked as a Disney designer. I asked his permission to link to this Old Lamplighter article because Kevin’s post displays and discusses some of the artwork related to the production of a Disney postcard. If you’re interested in the art behind Disney postcards, type “postcards” into Kevin’s Search Box and you’ll find two more articles of interest (“Chicken of the Sea Tuna Pirate Ship Restaurant” and “In Amazing Realtistic Presence”).

Fans of Disney postcards and other memorabilia, will also want to look at the Disneyland Concept Card aConceptCardt the Disney Collection blog. If you’re wondering what a concept card is, then here’s an explanation from the blogger himself “The first 23 postcards featured at Disneyland didn’t feature photographs but rather used artist conceptual art work. This series of cards has become known as the concept set”.

You’ll also find a great series of Donald Duck postcards Gorillasat Gorillas Don’t Blog, which fits our theme quite perfectly! These cards are identical except for 2 changes:the little sign in front and Donald’s hat! If you type postcard into the Gorilla search box you can find a few more posts about postcards. Family historians will proably enjoy the one about the Monsanto Plastic Home of the Future!

Next we have two pieces of mail art. The first is by a San Francisco blogger who presents “Good Girls, Bad Girls” posted at the Little Red Mail Box, a blog which “features mail art of all kinds”. In fact, if you enjoy creating original art, this blog hasgood girls an ongoing project that collects and publishes altered art postcards, and has many exquisite examples that will surely inspire us. Our second altered postcard (on the left below) is from Vickie Everhart who created a piece of art around the Festival of Postcards and Old Orchard Beach Vickie’s blog is .:BeNotForgot :: begotten & ne’er forgotten :., Here’s an excerpt:

BeNotForgot“My Mom has photos (from the early 1920s) of her mother, Elizabeth Marilla Henry nee Smith (1912-1932), enjoying outings at Old Orchard Beach in Maine…” and she goes on to say that she and her Mom “spent some time walking that beach” so she decided to share that postcard with us. Thanks again to Vickie for sharing her altered art with a family history theme!

Postcards in the Past Tense

We have 9 new blogs participating in the vintage postcard category (Acadian Ancestral Home, Acadian Roots, Flint Expats, Illuminated Ancestries, Postcard-A-Day, Postcards From Old Town, Retro Roadmap, Vintage Postcards Revisited, Wellington and Kings) so let’s start with those first!

Theater row

I’ve discussed Lucie LeBlanc Consentino‘s work before. She’s the powerhouse behind Acadian Canadian Ancestral Home and Lucie’s Blog. Lucie is joining the Festival for the first time this month with a “double-header” post showing A postcard daytime and night-time views of “Theater Row in Lawrence, Massachusetts”daytime and night-time views of the Palace Movie Theater in Lawrence, Massachusetts. You can see these beautiful postcards

Jon FriesekBluebirde blogs at POSTCARD-A-DAY and for his first entry in the Festival he’s sharing an advertising postcard from his “California Hotel/Motel series” of vintage postcards. It depicts the exterior and interior of the THE BLUE BIRD MOTOR LODGE in Santa Ana, California. Jon’s blog is elegantly simple and sleek. He shares one postcard a day (front and back) with accompanying information (sometimes rather humourous)  – and many of his postcards are organized into series.


Carol Genung at Illuminated Ancestries (isn’t that a beautiful name for a blog!) is new to the Festival of Postcards and new to Geneabloggers AND this is also her first carnival. She’s sharing a vintage postcard of Columbiana, Ohio andI hope everyone will give her a big message of welcome to the world of online carnivals.

RetroMod Betty (aka Beth Lennon) is another newcomer to the Festival – and if you’re a lover of all things retro, you’ll definitely want to stop by her blog Retro Roadmap which features all kinds of mid-twentieth century vintage such as “tiki and Polynesian pop, vintage diners and restaurants, classic cocktails and neon and classic old signs”. Mod Betty specializes in photographs of vintage roadside signs but for the Festival she’s sharing this vintage postcard of vintage postcard of New Jersey.  And it looks like Retro Roadmap will be showcasing some more vintage postcards one of these days!


Grace is an experienced writer with four blogs to her name (Thrifty Cheapskate, the Wandering Graveyard Rabbit, My Family Roots Run Deep and the Wandering News Gatherer) but she’s taking part in this Festival with her newest blog Vintage Postcards Revisited. Grace’s first entry includes 2 postcards. One depicts a busy street in Denver, Colorado and while the other features the Union Stock Yard in Chicago. It looks like Grace has a really fine collection of postcards and I look forward to seeing her next Festival entries!

ScottOur fifth Festival newcomer is Scott Caron of the blog Postcards from Old Town which is devoted to postcards of Scott’s home town, Old Town, Maine. Scott’s site already has a fine selection of postcards including industrial cards (e.g. pulp and woollen mills), and main streets (e.g. Center Street and Lower Main Street). For the Signs Festival he’s featuring the Toll Bridge between Old Town, ME and Milford, ME.


I came across this very interesting social history site Flint Expatriates which I’d like to share with you. The man behind the site –  San Francisco journalist Gordon Young – is creating what I would call a multi-media Ode to Flint using text, photographs, video and, of course, postcards! Mr. Young’s entry for our SIGNS issue is called Flint Expatriates: Flint Postcards: Walli’s Drive-In, but if you like vintage views of great American cities you’ll also want to check out some of his other postcards such as Flint Postcards: Flint Park Dodgem. His articles might also give family historians new ideas about how to write about their hometowns.


Another new Festival participant is Colin Jones who blogs at Rhyl Life. Rhyl is a town in North Wales and the site is chockfull of information about Rhyl’s past and present. What I think Festival readers will particularly admire is the way Mr. Jones is twinning modern and vintage images of Rhyl as in his recent post HOTEL-OLOGY . His SIGNS Festival entry WELLINGTON AND KINGS is set up in the same way. It’s nice to see another UK blogger, unfortunately Colin had to close his Comment Boxes for now,but if you do want to comment on his postcards you can reach him at: rhyl.colin.jones@live.co.uk.

Aline Cormier has entered her article entitled Postcards are important over at her Acadian Roots family. Aline says that her missions is to share “a little about genealogy, a little Acadian history, and a little about my memories…” and I look forward to seeing some of Aline’s postcards of New Brunswick in future festivals!

This is the last of our new participants in this category, so now we’ll move on to our 11 returning bloggers!


Postcardy Lynne of Postcardy: The Postcard Explorer really doesn’t need an introduction in the postcard community and she’s building quite a following among family historians who benefit from her gigantic collection of postcards and insightful articles. This month she’s sharing 5 sign postcards featuring the U.S.A.:

Las Vegas Fabulous Strip –  Napa Valley Welcome Sign Maine Sign Post Boot Hill Cemetary Alaska Highway Signs and finally the Old Post Office in Chandler, Minnesota. I’d like to draw your attention to the Chandler post because it’s accompanied by an article with a lot of her usual historical background and analysis of the card, but she also shares some tips on how to use your scanner to improve the quality of your postcard images so as to extract more detail. Lynne is a precious resource for those who blog about postcards. If you only bookmark one postcard resource site – this should be the one!

suffragetteSeveral bloggers had the same thing on their minds this month – equality. M.Diane Rogers is up first with her vintage postcard which pokes fun at Suffragettes. this postcard contains a sign AND is a sign of the times – a very clever postcard from  CanadaGenealogy, or, ‘Jane’s Your Aunt’.


Sheila of A Postcard a Day also blogged about equality but in her case she’s written a pieces about the symbolism of the Arthurian Round Table and is displaying a postcard of a Round Table which is located in Winchester (UK). Sheila is a postcrosser who collects modern postcards, but I had to put entry here in the “equality section”.

footnote Maven is passionate about photographs so it’s telephonenot surprising that she’s back with another vintage real photo postcard – A Modern Convenience Appears in a RPPC which depicts a candlestick telephone. As usual, footnote gives us a real education on how to “deconstruct” a postcard by analyzing the postcard itself, but also by doing a bit of genealogical sleuthing. For those who have never visited Shades Of The Departed, plan to spend a bit of time there as footnote has several articles on postcards and a mountain of  articles that would be of interest to postcard lovers. This is also the home of a carnival that’s always a treat for the eye – Smile For The Camera, and you can find information about this in her sidebar.

Hughes FlipsideFlipside blogger Linda Hughes Hiser is sharing a gorgeous photo postcard of her “great great grandmother standing in front of the family green grocer store” in West Hartlepool, England. This is Linda’s third entry in the Festival!

fried green tomatoes

Stephanie Lincecum presents a postcard of an old-style diner at her blog Lincecum Lineage and if you’re a fan of “Fried Green Tomatoes.” you’ll definitely want to check this one out! Stephanie blogs about genealogy and family history.

PointerNext we have Caroline Pointer who shares some of her detective work in her post I Just Needed A Sign in which she explains how “A familial postcard ends up being a sign of the whereabouts of an ancestor.”. Caroline’s blog is called Family Stories.

Another geneablogger – Judith Richards Shubertpresents Crazy Sign over Bankhead Highway at Genealogy Traces. Judith says this was One of the mostGenealogyTraces enduring memories of my childhood. The most famous street marker in the south. This postcard shows the 80 foot neon sign of the world-famous Crazy Crystals.” I’m glad Judith added to our nice collection of neon postcards for this Festival.

Next we to switch continents so that Judy can present her vintage postcard ofHotel des Ardennes Hotel Des Ardennes, Belgium at Judy’s Postcards Plus. Judy has issued a challenge – “How many signs do you see scattered about on this wonderful old hotel in Belgium?” I’m not sure but Judy’s postcard might have the most signs of any in this Festival!

This month, in her post Neon Signs / Modern Times Evelyn Theriault sharesEvelyn a twentieth-century plastichrome postcard depicting the neon signs along  Montreal’s St-Catherine St. and describes some of the resources she uses when trying to date a postcard. If you love neon signs (as I do) then make sure you visit Postcardy’s Las Vegas Strip as well as Elina Tozzi’s entry in the next section.

Contemporary Postcards

Signs of New Orleans

Jennifer Trahan found the perfect entry of this Festival with her modern – but vintage looking – postcards of some famous signs of New Orleans She’s also included some great links for anyone who wants to know more about some of New Orleans’ famous spots and a funny family anecdote. I’m glad that Jennifer and her Jennifer’s Genealogy Blog finally “caught up with us”!

Amanda of A Tale of Two Ancestors had the same type of idea as Jennifer, but she’s Amandashowcasing a city on the other side of the Atlantic with her postcard of traditional signs from some of London’s Pubs.

Lay Hoon of the postcrossing blog Travel Postcard has two postcards this month. The first is Jewel belonging to Tutankhamun and it interprets the word sign as symbol while the second is a lovely view

Lay Hoonof Jonker Street, in Malacca, Malaysia. Lay Hoon was one of the first Postcrossers to support the Festival of Postcards and I’m glad she could take part once again!

hello Kitty

For a little change of pace, check out the Soda Fountain sign on Marta Castro’s postcard  Hello Kitty posted at Inconfidencias de pedaços rasgados de memóriaUnfortunately Marta’s blog is not in English so I can’t do a proper review I can’t really review. but as I scrolled through her site, I could see that Marta is a Postcrosser but she also likes to display other fun vintage collections (e.g. pez dispensers).

AbishekPostcrosser Abhishek Chandra blogs out of New Delhi, India. For this Festival he’s presented a modern postcard from Laxey, Isle Of Man. His sign is in Old Norse – something I don’t think we’ll see too often in the Festival of Postcards! If you’re interested in modern postcards from around the world, Abhishek’s PostCrossing Journey is the site for you!

postcard Las Vegas neon signs

This month’s contribution from Elina Tozzi of Elina Cuts Loose is a beautiful night time view of the neon signs of Las Vegas, Nevada. I think it’s no accident that both Elina and Postcardy entered cards from Las Vegas since that city has always been  famous for its neon signs. For more information about that you can also check out  The Neon Museum Las Vegas.

This is Postcrosser Lara’s second entry in the Festival. Her blog Lara’s Cards and More is her “attempt to keep track of (her) hobby of collecting and trading postal cars. She’s actually sharing seven postcards cardslara which take us from Florida to China, b/w to colour and vintage to modern.

What a great way to end the July issue of A Festival of Postcards!

Logos and Links For Your Site!



A Festival of Postcards (3rd Ed.) – Signs

Information also available at:


July 29, 2009 - Posted by | .


  1. My apology to participants for the short delay in publishing. Following BIG technical glitches at Blog Carnival HDQ followed by WordPress issues, I had to rebuild the carnival from scratch. There are still some formatting problems but I felt it was important to publish and fix the small details later.
    Have fun!


    Comment by evelynyvonnetheriault | July 29, 2009 | Reply

  2. Evelyn.. thank you soooo much! You did a great job with this Festival of Postcards and it has to have been *lots* of work!

    It is so very interesting to see all of the postcards and blogs that were submitted. Congratulations to all the bloggers who participated. I’m proud to have participated in such a great Carnival.

    I also want to thank you for linking back to the review you made of my site back in March. A review from you is tops!


    Comment by Lucie LeBlanc Consentino | July 29, 2009 | Reply

  3. Evelyn:

    WOW! This Festival just keeps getting better and better! Thank you so much. I know how much work this takes.

    And hey, I had a major disaster with the last Smile for the Camera, so I understand completely.

    Worth waiting for!



    Comment by footnotemaven | July 29, 2009 | Reply

  4. Thanks so much for including me in the festival, you have inspired me to scan some of my collection and share. What a great resource, if only there were more hours in the day, I could spend all of my time looking at old postcards- in real life and on the internet 🙂


    Comment by modbetty | July 29, 2009 | Reply

  5. An amazing collection of postcards, thank you Evelyn for hosting the event and thank you to everyone who is sharing their collection with us.
    Working my way through all the links and finding lots of interesting blogs.


    Comment by Pearl Maple | July 29, 2009 | Reply

    • My thanks to you for a wonderful article which I know will be inspiring a lot of creativity among bloggers who haven’t experimented with mixed media yet.
      I am also beginning more in-depth visits of blogs that are new to me. I’ve been flipping through yours for the last twenty minutes and I’ve particularly enjoyed the altered book work you’re showing. Thanks for everything!


      Comment by evelynyvonnetheriault | July 29, 2009 | Reply

  6. Thank you for all your hard work in arranging this festival once again. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed visiting the participants. 🙂


    Comment by Sheila | July 31, 2009 | Reply

  7. The collection turned out great!
    Once again, thanks for adding my blog!


    Comment by Elina | August 1, 2009 | Reply

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