A blog for anyone who understands the joy of writing and receiving handwritten letters.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Letter-writing milestones IV

I have just reached a major milestone. I have sent (and had received) 20 postcrossing postards - Yippee!

What's the big deal? Well, when you start out on postcrossing you can only send to five addresses... but once you reach 20 sent postards (they have to be registered on the site from the recipient) then you can begin sending six. And when you get to 40 sent postcards, you can send to seven people at a time, and so on and so forth. It all adds up to a wonderful maelstrom of postcards constantly flying around the globe.

It is hard for me to believe that a few months ago I had not even heard of Postcrossing. Now I am completely hooked. I have received postcards from all around the world. Yesterday I got my first one from France - I was thrilled as I'm rather obsessed with all things French.

What I love, I think, is the randomness of postcrossing. You never know who is sending you a postard; you don't know when it will arrive; you don't know what country it will be from; you don't know what the sender will write. And sometimes, someone you send to or receive a postcard from 'clicks' and you end up becoming regular correspondents. Even in the short time I have been doing this, I've gained four penpals through it.

The only problem I have now is what to do with all the cards! My kitchen wall is filling up quickly. Do I just tuck them away in shoe boxes, or put them in albums? I'd be interested to know what others who participate in Postcrossing do... I'm sure there are some very creative solutions out there. Hmmm.. perhaps I could wallpaper my whole house with them?....

In the meantime, here are some of my favourite postcrossing postcards:

From Mounet in the Netherlands. Doesn't it just sing "Summer"?

And to contrast, a winter view of Lapland from Lama in Finland.

From Yejin in South Korea, a 15th century painting of a hermit scholar contemplating the water. I wonder what he was thinking?

A self-portrait of Pablo Picasso sent from Hawkk in Portland, Oregon.

Moscow has been having a heatwave lately, and apple_jane writes that she and her fellow Muscovites are all moving like zombies!

Now, must run as I have two new postcrossing cards to send. :-)

Love from Kaz


  1. Oh ... and the more that you can send, the more that will be received, the more you can send, etc., etc., etc. It is so much fun!!

    I am now at the point where I can have 44 postcards traveling at once. And that's on just my main profile. See ... I have 6 profiles. There's a very good explanation, though. Back when Postcrossing first started (I have been doing it from the beginning), you could never have more than 5 cards traveling, so lots of people created multiple profiles, so they could send more postcards. Once the travel card limit was increased based on number of cards received, lots of us let our secondary profiles go inactive. Currently I only keep my primary one active (Zmrzlina), but when I am particularly postage rich, I'll request a few cards on my PostMuse profile. I could have 23 cards traveling on that profile, but I never do because Zmrzlina is so very active. My other 4 profiles are completely dormant and will stay that way.

    As for where to display .... I've come up with all sorts of ideas for displaying postcards, though I've never actually implemented any. One ... create a hanging room divider made up of postcards sandwiched between clear lightweight material and strung on thin chains (both sides of the cards would be visible, which would be very cool). Get one of Tate Modern's Perpetual Postcard Calendars. Decoupage a large table with postcards using fronts and backs. Covering my cubicle at work with a different postcard theme each month (I did coffee once ... my coworkers didn't even comment ... I obviously work in the wrong place). Just spend hours and hours organizing into categories and storing in boxes. The last I do all the time. It sounds tedious, but it is the most relaxing thing in the world for me.

  2. Congratulations!

    I'm afraid that my well is dry for ideas, as the postcards in my possession are dusting away in boxes as of now :-( But the above are all excellent ideas! I might have to borrow some of those, especially the displaying them in albums bit.

  3. PM - thanks for sharing your postcrossing story :-). I'm jealous - I wish I had been there at the start. And, yes, I totally agree that you are working in the wrong place. What drab people they must be not to be impressed by your wonderful coffee postcard wall. I would have been very impressed.

    Oh, and I really like the idea of hanging room divider. If I was really creative, I could even make a door curtain, with long strips of plastic coated postcards.... Hmmmm... you've got me thinking.

    Hi Elle - I love the thought of you sorting your postcards and relaxing. Did I tell you I got your letter the other day? It's so pretty! I will write back soon.

  4. I started the albums, then got thinking they should have an organization, so I switched to shoeboxes. for a while I put them on a large cork board, with a world map, but that was quickly insufficient. Right now, I have some boxes, and several stacks here and there.

    I love your comments about postcrossing -- the randomness, and the simple delight of a colorful and cheerful message, unpredictably arriving in your box. Enjoy!