Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Jim Lynch (aka jlynch9923) is a big fan of all things Postcrossing, and has even been featured on The Postcardist podcast (in episodes 60 and 92), sharing his enthusiasm for postcards with people all over the world! So we asked him if he’d be interested in doing one of our spotlight interviews too. :) Without further ado, it’s over to Jim!

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

I learned about Postcrossing from other friends in a postcard exchange that I belong to. I had heard of it before that but I never looked into it. Sending and receiving postcards from people from all over the world is what got me hooked.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

I love stickers. So I have a lot of stickers and I decorate my Postcrossing postcards with some stickers on the message side. I have also started making what I call “sticker postcards”: I take a food packaging postcard and I fully decorate the front of it with assorted stickers. All I need is a food package, my stickers and my creativity. These are so much fun to make and people seem to love them.

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

Yes. The first postcard from a country that I had never heard of was the Åland Islands. I recently got to send a postcard to Malta. I always love to add another country to my list. I am at 61 countries right now.

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

My mailman knows I am the postcard guy but I don’t feel comfortable asking to take his picture…

Jim's mailbox
Jim’s mailbox
What’s one way that postcards have changed your life for the better?

Postcards help me keep a positive outlook on life. I love to send and receive postcards. I get to send people joy in the form of a postcard and people do the same for me from all over the world. I have a lot of postcard friends in Postcrossing and out so I am blessed to receive a lot of Happy mail. I am involved in the postcard communities on Instagram and Facebook. Postcard people are the best.

Have you met any other members in real life?

I have met other postcrossers. The first time I found a local meetup only the host and myself signed up. We were going to meet at a postcard show. The host had to cancel but I still went to the postcard show. I had a great time and bought a lot of postcards. In 2019 I got to go to a real meetup with about 25 other postcrossers. The host sonataca was super organized. She hosted in one place on Saturday and a second location on Sunday. There was a meetup card and she had raffle prizes. It was held at a restaurant both days. It was such a joy finally meet other postcrossers, share stories and talk about our hobby. During the pandemic we keep in contact with each other through our groups FB page and we continue to send each other postcards. We hope to meet up again soon.

Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?

I got to be a guest on The Postcardist podcast twice. After my first episode I told everyone in the postcard exchange that I am in, and many of them listened to it. Some of them were already postcrossers but one member Bill had never heard of Postcrossing. He is now a member and enjoys getting and sending postcards all over the world. The Postcardist podcast has a good sized audience so I hope I have inspired others to investigate Postcrossing.

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

So many people have taken the time to read my profile and send me postcards from my favorites list. I don’t have just one favorite. I especially love the sunset postcards and the black and white postcards that I have received.

Sunset postcards
Some of Jim’s favourite sunset postcards
Black and white postcards
Black and white postcards Jim loves
Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I am passionate about photography, traveling and graffiti. My wife and I try to take at least one great trip every year. Because of Covid that did not happen last year, but we look forward to traveling again. There are so many amazing things to see in this world. One thing I have started doing during Covid was I started making postcards from my own photography. My main concentration has been graffiti. Graffiti Art is colorful and amazing. Plus it can be found in cities all over the world. I have my postcards professionally made by a company called moo.com. So far I just send them to my friends and other postcrossers.

on

Tags: ,

Hurray, it’s Postcrossing’s birthday today!! 🎉 Sixteen years of postcards and friendly connections all over the world feels like a long, joyful adventure… one that we cherish immensely.

The Little Mail Carriers celebrate Postcrossing's 16th birthday

All these global ties have felt extra meaningful in the past year, and we’ve heard from so many of you, letting us know how much you appreciated having a happy hobby during these rough times. So our big thank you to all of you out there, feeding mailboxes with nice mail and spreading some joy in times of social distancing — you are what keeps Postcrossing going. We hope you’ll have a brilliant day, and treat yourself to an extra nice postcard, or a slice of cake! 🍰

The other good news of the day is that a new Postcrossing-themed stamp from Austria is being issued today! Designed by Theresa Radlingmaier, 165,000 of these have been printed (in sheets of 50) and they should be available in Austrian post offices and their online shop today.

Austrian Postcrossing stamp

If you’re in Austria and manage to find some of these shiny new stamps on your local post office, do share some photos of them with the rest of us on social media! We’d love to see how they look on your own postcards.

on

Tags: , ,

Today is the day the colorful new Postcrossing-themed stamp from Belarus makes its debut! 🎉

The new stamp, designed by Evgeniya Bedonik comes in a sheet with six stamps, and is the third about the project issued by Belpost. Unlike the last one, this one has perforations on it, which we appreciate! It is available from today onwards on post offices throughout Belarus, and hopefully soon on their webshop too.

A colorful stamp, featuring several cartoon animals on a globe, holding postcards. The words Happy Postcrossing are written around the stamp.

We haven’t actually seen the physical stamp yet and are super curious about it… So if you’re in Belarus and can take some photos to share with the community, please do so and tag us on social media, so we can re-post them!

Update: Anna (aka ana_karp) posted some photos on the forum already!

We hope to see many of these stamps slowly making their way across the world to lots of happy mailboxes!

on

Tags: ,

Remember many moons ago, when we were gearing up for the 150 years of postcards exhibition at UPU? Among the many postcards we received that year was this lovely handmade piece by Annie (aka freezeframe03) from the USA:

Annie's postcard for the 150 years exhibition

Isn’t it just stunning, the way it combines the stamps with fabric, and the binding all around it? 😍 We were in awe of it!

Annie has done many fabric cards over the years and feeling inspired by them, I asked her if she could whip up a mini-tutorial to help me and other newbies get started on making one of them. She agreed, made a postcard just for it and wrote the tutorial below, which I’m happy to share with everyone. Enjoy!

"There are many ways to make a fabric postcard. I’ve made this updated tutorial to show how I make them. They are a lot simpler to make than you might think!

Selection of fabrics

The supplies you will need are as follows:

  • Fabric scraps for your postcard front design
  • 4”×6” (10×15cm) front base fabric
  • 4”×6” (10×15cm) piece of stiff Peltex
  • 4”×6” (10×15cm) light to medium weight fusible interfacing
  • 4”×6” (10×15cm) piece of paper or card stock (not too thin) for the address and message side
  • A bit of transfer webbing, if you decide on a pictorial design (I use the lightweight Wonder Under).
Traced designs on transfer webbing

Trace your design on the paper side of the transfer webbing. Loosely cut outside your traced lines. (Your design will be backwards from the way you trace it, so be sure to trace any alphabets backwards to begin with.)

Fuse your traced designs to your fabric choices

Fuse your traced designs to your fabric choices.

Then cut them out on the lines. Allow the pieces to cool until they will release from the paper easily.

Then cut them out on the lines

I press my design base fabric to the Peltex. It is not fused, but the layers will stay together better until you begin sewing on them.

Trim the interfacing a smidge before fusing it to one side of your paper. You don’t want any hanging over, it will fuse to your ironing surface. Set the paper message side aside until needed.

Fuse the interfacing to one side of your paper

With the paper removed from the back of your cutout pieces, arrange them on the base fabric and Peltex where you want them and fuse them to the base fabric. Be sure to leave 3/8” (about 1cm) around all sides as that is the space the binding will cover.

Fuse the front to the back

Now you will stitch around your design as desired. You can fuse all of your design at once or you can fuse the pieces as you are ready to sew them.

Stitch around your design

This method is raw edge appliqué, and it is my favorite to use on postcards. Pull your thread tails to the back on the Peltex side and tie them off.

Raw edge appliqué

My next pieces on this postcard I fused the webbing to the back of fabric scraps, then cut them with a cutting die through a cutting machine.

Add other pieces to the design following the same method

When the papers were ready to release, I fused the flowers where I wanted them on the base fabric. I then stitched the stems and the flowers.

Once you are finished with your postcard design, align the front and back and stitch them together roughly around the very outside edge. This will hold the loose fabric edges in place while adding the binding. It will be covered later by the binding.

Stitch front and back together

Most people will just zigzag (satin stitch) around the outside of their postcard to finish it. You can do that now, or follow my binding method that I show in detail on my blog, step by step. I like my binding method as it finishes the edges as well as giving the design a framing.

The end result will look like this:

The finished postcard!

To finish it up, I put a very tiny amount of Fray Check (glue also works) on the binding ends to keep them from raveling. Put a bit on, then wipe it with your finger. You don’t want too much, it will make the corners hard.

Adding a bit of fray check to the side corners

And, DONE! With a paper backing, adding some extra fun on the address side of the card is simple.

Back of handmade postcard

If you have any questions at all or need some further detailed info, I am more than happy to help out with both.

Happy Mail Day!
Annie"

Thank you Annie, that looks amazing… and maybe not even that complicated? I’m planning to gather the materials I need this week, dust off my sewing machine and give it a go with a simple design over the weekend. Who wants to join me in a little crafty session? 😊 Make sure to check out Annie’s blog for tons more creative inspiration and lovely handmade postcards!

on

Tags: ,

The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcards’ messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

This month, we’ve chosen a prompt from a forum post by esca0417 which really piqued our interest. We all have special topics that we know a lot about, from postcards to trains to almost anything else you can imagine… but what are the topics that you don’t yet know about, the ones where you’d love to learn everything and become an expert? What would you pick?

In July, write about what you’d choose if you could just go to sleep and wake up the next day an expert in any subject!
The Rosetta stone

For me, it’s really difficult to choose… I have so many interests I know a little about, and I’d love to know more about any one of them. Some have been preoccupations since childhood (Ancient Egypt and dinosaurs), and some are more recent (the history of fabrics and food, for instance). And for me, the journey is half the fun, so I wouldn’t choose to skip to the end of my degree and be an expert in epidemiology right now!

I think in the end I’d choose something that gives me a chance to learn even more about something that I already find interesting—I’d love to become an expert in Egyptian hieroglyphs, so that I can actually read ancient inscriptions for myself. I’m not great at learning languages or deciphering visual things, so in this case I’d really appreciate the boost of a magic wish to become an expert overnight.

Of course, now I’ve picked something, I can think of a dozen other subjects I’d love to become an expert in… maybe I’ll write about some of those on the postcards I send this month! If you’re not sure what to write on your own postcards this month, maybe you can do the same? We’d love to see your ideas about what you’d become an expert in here in the comments, as well!

on

Tags:



Back to top