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Postcrossing Spotlight: Sprinkledonut from Canada!

Andrea (aka Sprinkledonut) is a world traveler and her beautifully decorated postcards caught the attention of some of you, who suggested we interviewed her for the Spotlight... here she is!

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

Hmm, you mean there was a time in my life before Postcrossing? Haha! I joined four years ago after learning about it on another website that I am passionate about: Couchsurfing.org. Someone posted about it in one of the group forums. I am very grateful to them wherever they are today!

I was hooked from the get-go! I loved seeing what types of interesting cards people would send me, what their handwriting looked like and all the little details.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!

Here's our typical Canadian mailbox, covered in postal codes as an anti-graffiti measure. It seems to work! Whenever I drop in my postcards it sounds like they're landing in a hollow cavern 10,000 miles below the surface of the earth. Where's everybody else's mail, I wonder??

Canada postbox
Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

I received a random card from Fiji which was very special. I'm a big fan of direct swaps so some of my fun direct swaps have been with people in New Zealand, Estonia, Kenya and Bangladesh.

Sometimes I like to check out this site to see what new stamps are being issued around the world. With the direct swaps to New Zealand and Estonia, I asked the people if they could send me a particular wonderful stamp and they were happy to help! Thanks, guys!

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

Bicycle cards are my absolute favourite to receive. Here's just part of my bike collection:

Andrea's postcards

Airmail stickers from around the world and some favourite art-themed postcards:

Andrea's postcards

Cards with quotes and positive messages. You can see two here from my friend Yvonne in the Netherlands who always sends me fantastic cards!

Andrea's postcards
Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?

When I was buying stamps in Portugal, all of the people in their post offices were really friendly. I told one of the postal workers about it and wrote down the website for him, which he immediate showed to his coworkers. I think he was excited to check it out! Some of my friends have signed up, too, when they saw what beautiful postcards I was receiving.

Maybe you have read this tip before but they say the best way to get mail is to send mail. I make a habit of sending postcards to my friends so now lots of my friends will send me postcards when they travel or just for no occasion but because they saw a card that they know I will like.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

Definitely working on outgoing cards for people!

Andrea's postcards

I try to choose a card that fits what they like to collect but the part I really love is decorating the back of the card. It's a bit of an elaborate process...first choosing the stamps (always more than one!), then glitter around the border. Next the stickers. Then the rubber stamps! Finally if there is any room left, I can write a tiny message. Haha, if you have received one of my cards you will know what I'm talking about. My goal is always to give someone a happy surprise when they turn the card over to read it. Plus when I'm busy working on the cards, it is like a form of art therapy for me. It's really fun and I get to be creative.

Andrea's postcards Andrea's postcards
Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

Well, traveling and couchsurfing are a big hobby of mine. I've been part of Couchsurfing for over ten years. It's an online project that connects travelers with hosts in cities around the world. I recently couchsurfed my way around Portugal this past June. Couchsurfing.org has the same kind of open, caring, friendly and generous spirit that Postcrossing has! Making the world seem just a little bit smaller. And of course I tell my hosts all about Postcrossing when they see me writing loads of postcards.

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I love to participate in Free Hugs events. So far I have given hugs in: Vancouver, Seattle, New York, Barcelona, Lisbon, Montreal and Austin. When we have a hugs event, people often ask why we are doing it. To share some love with the world. To make you feel good for a moment or maybe longer. To take away some stress, fear or loneliness. And hopefully because it feels nice and makes us both smile! Like sending a postcard.


Posted by on 25 Oct, 2014
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Stationery Shop Map

Museums are great, but if you're anything like us, halfway through an exhibition you're already wondering what goodies they'll have on the museum shop... right? :)

How many times have you been in a foreign city, walking around and being a tourist, secretly wishing you could just skip the monuments and go straight to the stationery shops instead... but had no idea where the good ones were?

Stationery Shop Map

Well, fret no more! Tessa Sowry from All Things Stationery is solving this problem by compiling a map of the best stationery shops around the world... and she wants your input too!

Head over to her site to get your stationery fix - and if you know of any really good stationery shops in your area, let her know. I'm sure we'll all appreciate it when we visit that place!

And now, it's time to plan the next stationery shop crawl... have a nice weekend! :)


Posted by on 18 Oct, 2014
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Meet Postman Pieter!

You know how we all wonder whether our postmen and postwomen look at our postcards, and what they think of them? Well, Jessica (aka Jess18877) from the Netherlands did not wonder about this... she knew her postman enjoyed her cards as much as she did, because now and then he would leave her a note about them! :)

Postman Pieter has been working for the Dutch postal service for almost 30 years and is about to retire, so Jessica and her friend Marleen (aka Marleen1979) thought it would be a good idea to interview him for the blog. We agree... this blog needs more postal workers!

Postman Pieter and his bike!
Hi Pieter! Tell us more about you!

My name is Pieter Pepping but people often call me “Pieter Post” like the bunny. I am originally from Abcoude, a small town near Amsterdam. I was born in 1952 and I've been working as a mailman since 1985. A secure job with a lot of freedom.

What do you think of your job, do you like it? Does it involve a lot of walking? Have you found many mean dogs or are they happy to see you?

I've always loved my job! Sporty, always outdoors... and it can be cold, rainy, windy or hot here in the Netherlands! But I love to be in the fresh air, and I see it as a kind of sport. I always whistle when I carry the mail around — people hear me coming from far away! And I've never ever called in sick, not for a single day.

I don't have problems with dogs. I used to have a dog of my own, I think when you own a dog, then you know how to cope with them. I used to carry dog biscuits with me. Dogs were always waiting for me to come to get a cookie!

Postman Pieter making his rounds
Do you chat with people on your rounds? Do people complain to you about problems with the mail service?

I like a nice chitchat once and a while (laughs). I used to work in a shop so I am used to talking to a lot of strangers. People do complain to me about the mail services... I always try to give it a positive twist, and never argue with people. I smile and continue on my rounds.

A little bird told us you sometimes leaves notes on Jessica's cards - do you enjoy looking at the postcards that you deliver?

Unfortunately there is not enough time to look at all the nice cards... But when there is someone in your district who gets as many cards as Jessica, then you will notice it. That is why we all know her and I often tie her mail together with a string and put in a nice little note.

Lots of lovely notes!
How has your job changed since you first started? Did it get easier, or just different, and in what ways?

When you walk in a city center district as I do, there are always people talking to you or ask you for directions. That is what makes it so much fun to be a mail carrier! But nowadays we need to do more work with less people. They are continuously watching us. This creates a lot of pressure and there is not so much time left for a chat in the street.

What do you think about Postcrossing?

I had never heard of Postcrossing before. But the large piles of postcards that Jessica received did draw my attention. At first I thought she was famous or had many birthdays!

I like it when someone pays a lot of attention to find a nice card, a beautiful stamp, etc.

Do you ever receive nice mail yourself?

While carrying the mail around, I often get nice things, as kind gestures from thankful costumers. Something like a card, a drawing, a box of chocolates... or like today, the book about Pieter Post from Marleen and Jessica — thank you girls!

Thank you Postman Pieter!

That was really nice, thank you Marleen1979 and Jess18877 for interviewing Postman Pieter! We're thinking we should actually invite more postal workers to the blog... what do you think? Do you know a special postal worker that we should feature? Let us know in the comments!


Posted by on 13 Oct, 2014
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It's World Post Day!

World Post Day!

Hurray, 9th October is World Post Day!

On this day we celebrate postal services, the global network that connects us all together. From remote villages to large metropolis, the mail delivery systems are practically ubiquitous, making sure our messages and parcels are delivered across the world everyday.

All over the world, post offices are celebrating this special day in many different ways! To help you celebrate with them, we've asked you to let us know what your own local post office was doing... here's what you found:

From stamp launches to free postcards, visits to mail sorting centers and letter-writing competitions... there's something for everyone! Check it out to see if your own postal service is doing something special - you might be surprised. If you know of any other activities taking place on this date that we've missed, just leave a comment below.

And like last year, we also invited our advertisers to join the celebrations. Many of them accepted the challenge, and created special offers for postcrossers! So if your stock of postcards is running a little low, now would be the perfect time to re-stock... enjoy!

Acards - 10% discount on all postcards

Promocode PostDay.

Ansichtshop.nl - 20% discount on all postcards

Promocode WPD2014. Dutch language, ships to Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, United Kingdom, Luxembourg and France only.

BuyMeCard - 20% discount for all postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above. Russian language only.

Cardcetera - 15% discount on all postcards, plus 5 customers will get a special set of cards for free

Promocode pcmailday2014.

CardInBox - 20% discount (excluding shipping)

Promocode WPD2014. Russian language only.

CardsShop - 10% discount on all postcards

Promocode CardsShop. Russian language only.

Coordinated.ru - 10% discount on all postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above. Russian language only.

Edelweiss Post - 20% discount + free pre-stamped postcard

Promocode WORLDPOSTDAY.

Heidin Korttipaja - 15% discount on all products

Promocode WPD15. Finnish language, shipping to Finland only.

Inky Fingers - 20% discount on all postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above. Dutch language, shipping to Belgium and Netherlands only.

Kaartfanaat - 20% discount from €25 + giveaway of 40 postcards to win

Promocode WPD14.

Magicard - 15% discount for all postcards, stickers and envelopes

Promocode MAGIC. Russian language, ships to CIS countries only.

Mark Stempel - 20% discount on all postcards

Promocode WorldPostDay2014. Russian language only.

Minor Postcards - 15% discount on postcards and stickers for orders above €10

Promocode wpd14.

modern times / AIM Produkte - 15% (once per customer) on all GEO and VIEW-Postcard-Packs (3 or 10 pieces per motive)

Promocode WPCD2014. German language, ships to Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

MOO - 15% discount on postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above.

Natuurlijkefoto.nl - 15% discount on all postcards + a free "King fisher" card

Promocode worldpostday.

Paper Postcards - 15% discount

Promocode wpd2014. Russian language only.

Papierdier - 10% discount

Promocode wereldpost2014. Dutch language, ships to Europe only.

Photofabrique - 20% discount in all postcards + 3 free postcards (gift) + free shipping on orders above 20 postcards

Promocode HAPPY2014.

Postallove.com - 15% discount on all postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above.

Postcard Fair - 20% discount

Promocode 20off.

PostcardID.ru - 15% discount on all postcards

Promocode PostDay. Russian language only.

PostCardPress - 20% discount

No need for promocode - just use the link above.

PostcardShop - 10% discount

Promocode Postcrossing.com. Ships to Europe, USA, Canada, and other countries after prior contact.

PostHorn - 20% discount on all postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above. Ships to Russia only.

Postzegelerop.nl - 20% discount in all postcards, and Free Dutch postage stamp

Promocode WPD14. Dutch language only.

Kruglokot - 68% discount on all postcards

Promocode VAZVLFF7QW4M. Russian language only.

Sendme.by - 15% discount on all postcards

Promocode POSTDAY2014. Ships only to Belarus.

Skrive - 10% discount on all cards

Promocode POSTCROSSING. German language, ships to Germany only.

Stationery Heaven - 15% discount

Promocode POSTCROSSING.

VanillaTreeVale - 10% discount on all postcards

Promocode WPD2014. Shop only in Russian language, ships only to Belarus.

UnaPhoto - 20% discount on postcards

No need for promocode - just use the link above.

All these offers will be valid through the end of October 9th. Pretty neat, right? A big thank you to all our advertisers for joining in the celebrations!

Happy World Post Day everyone! Send a postcard or two (or ten!), and don't forget to say hi to your postman! :)


Posted by on 8 Oct, 2014
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The Little Mail Carriers in Tabriz, Iran!

Last year, the Little Mail Carriers went on a trip to a very special place: Tabriz, in Iran! This is where Ingrid (aka ipuenktchen) lives. She was the first person in Iran to ever sign up to Postcrossing over 9 years ago — and remains one of the most active members in the country, so we were thrilled that she hosted the little guys! :)

Here's what they wrote back after their time there:

Hello from Iran!

Hi everyone! We're so excited to be in Tabriz, the capital of the East-Azerbaijan province, in Iran's northwest. It's an industrial city, with around 2 million inhabitants - including Ingrid, who is originally from Germany but has been living here for 38 years! Can you spot it on a map?

Welcome!

Ingrid regularly hosts Toy Voyagers in her home, so we were warmly greeted by her own Playmobil toys Possy & Crossy (nice names!), who poured us a welcome drink! Mr. F.M. Baer was also visiting from the Baltic Coast, so we got to meet him as well.

Shah goli park

We took a walk around to the nearby Shahgoli park with our new friends. The park has a big lake in the middle, and walkways all around it, really nice for a stroll or a bike ride! Aaaah... feels good to stretch our legs a little!

Playing Halli Galli

Oh! Today is Ingrid's turn to host her weekly "ladies' gameboard gathering". The ladies come together to play all kind of games: memory games (their favorites), card games, Mikado, Halli Galli... or whatever the host proposes to play! They decided to teach us Halli Galli, which is quite fun and fast! We learnt that it is common for the host to offer some snacks, so we helped serve the food: Wow.... what a spread!

We had the great opportunity to see the Potters' house of Tabriz, a live museum. There is also a permanent exhibition of pottery of East-Azerbaijan as well as many classes for pottery and decoration.

The Potters' house in Tabriz Iranian music The Potters' house in Tabriz

On this particular day, it was the anniversary of the Potters' house and there was a great gathering, with traditional Iranian music, too! The mansion itself was an ancient traditional house of Qajar dinasty.

The Mausoleum

Then night fell, and it was so nice that we decided to have a stroll. We ended up walking through some of Tabriz's most famous sightseeing points, like the pilgrimage site Seyed Hamze, next to which there is a large modern mausoleum, called the Poets Tomb. It is very impressive at night, with all the lights turned on! This is where famous personalities such as scholars are laid to rest.

Khaqani Park

After that, we headed over to Khaqani park, which is named after a poet from Tabriz. It's just beside the Blue Mosque, but sadly it was closed, because it was quite late already...

Mourning banners

One week later, Ingrid had guests over from the Caspian seaside and they went together to Marand, 70 km far from Tabriz, for a mourning gathering. On our way back home we had a break at an ancient caravansary! These are places along the road where travelers can stop to rest and have some water - a bit like a rest area along the highway, but a 1000 times nicer looking! About 500 years ago, a Shah had 999 Caravanserais built all over Iran to make traveling easier. It was a brilliant idea!

Caravansary on the road

The next day, Ingrid showed the Bazaar of Tabriz to her guests and us. It is by far the largest roofed bazar in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010.

Bazaar of Tabriz Bazaar of Tabriz Bazaar of Tabriz

It was really buzzing with activity, and the smells and sounds were so enticing... everything was new and different, and we showered Ingrid with a thousand questions!

But it was almost time for us to leave... before hopping on our envelope once again, Ingrid took us to an old public bath, Nobar Hammam, where her husband used to go with his dad, back when he was a little child!

Nobar Hammam

Aaah... much more relaxed and ready for the trip through the mail! Goodbye Ingrid and lovely friends - we loved Iran!

That was lovely! Thank you so much Ingrid for hosting the little guys and showing them around! :)


Posted by on 5 Oct, 2014
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