Postcrossing Blog

Stories about the Postcrossing community and the postal world


The most anticipated day of the year is here at last — it’s World Postcard Day! Today is the day we celebrate the joy and history of sending and receiving postcards, a tradition that now spans 154 years.

World Postcard Day logo, next to an arrangement of postcards

Celebratory World Postcard Day events have been taking place for a few days already, and they will continue for a few more but today is the BIG day, and so there will be a lot of postcard-writing! 😍 All around the world, people are setting up their desks or dining room tables, spreading out the postcards and stamps and address books and just writing, writing, writing! We hope you have some nutritious ravioli or stamp-shaped cookies by your side, to power this task of spreading postal hugs around the world. You can send them to postcrossers, but remember also to send them to friends, family and everyone else you think deserves a little love. In particular, think of the children in your life and their delight at receiving a special postcard when they open the mailbox next week… you could be their favorite person for a day with just one postcard!

To us, it’s really heartwarming to think of all the postboxes that will see some love this Sunday. Like our favorite ones in town, which we make sure to keep well-fed!

A hand holds a World Postcard Day-themed postcards next to a couple of pillar postboxes

And as always, if you need a break from writing so many postcards, do come share with us how you’re getting along on your World Postcard Day celebrations in the comments below, on this forum topic, or on social media using the hashtag #worldpostcardday. We’ll be reposting and highlighting some photos and posts throughout the day, hoping to spread the word to even more people, and inspire them to write a few postcards too.

Wherever you are in the world, we hope you have the best World Postcard Day. Enjoy!


Last year, we had a post on the blog about Reto’s Travel Mode experience in South Georgia, an island in the South Atlantic Ocean. You might have thought that that was definitely the southernmost post office in the world… but you’d be wrong! There’s a small post office hidden away even further south, processing over 70,000 pieces of mail every year — it’s Port Lockroy, in Antarctica!

Here’s a short video introducing the post office, its staff, and the many penguins that they share the space with:

Located on Goudier Island, off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Port Lockroy Post Office is visited by 18,000 people annually. Besides being a post office, it functions as a living museum, and the workers also double as scientists, observing the penguin population as part of the British Antarctic Survey. Tourists flock here to experience its rich history and, of course, send postcards from the southernmost post office in the world.

The post office and museum are maintained and operated by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT), a charity organization committed to conserving historic buildings on the Antarctic Peninsula. The funds raised from the sale of souvenirs and postage fees go directly to supporting the conservation of six historical sites in the area.

But you don’t have to go all the way to Antarctica to send a postcard from there! Currently, the UKAHT is raising money for their conservation efforts by selling postcards that will be sent from Antarctica. Each postcard costs £20, and you can personalize it with your message. Orders are being accepted until October 5th.

postcard support us

If you’ve never received a postcard from the icy continent, now is your chance — or, you can also take the opportunity to surprise a friend with a special postcard from far away. You’ll be helping to preserve history and ensure that stories of Antarctic exploration, science, and resilience remain accessible to future generations. Who knows… one day, you might even be able to visit it yourself! 😊

PS: Their Paypal interface system is having the hiccups at the moment, but payments through credit or debit cards are working!


We’re in countdown mode for World Postcard Day around here, and the excitement for the big day is growing! This year, October 1st falls on a Sunday, which is perfect as many people don’t work on the weekend — that means more time to celebrate postcards!

World Postcard Day logo

With a little less than 2 weeks until World Postcard Day, it’s time to gather your postcards, check your address book, and make sure your favorite pen is inked and writing smoothly. This year’s theme is Postal Hugs, so take a moment to think of the loved ones you wish to reach out to, the friends you miss, or those you might want to send a bear hug to. Whether it’s your neighbors, a cherished teacher, the brave firefighters, or other people in your area who might have faced a challenge this year, send them a token of your appreciation and love. Save one for your local media outlet too, so you can tell them about this nice day! Got more ideas on who to send postcards to? Share in the comments! We’d love to hear them and get inspiration from you.

Like we mentioned in the stats email and on the forum, this year we’re going to set a maximum limit of 10 postcards for each postcrosser to send out on October 1st. If you only have a couple of slots available, you’ll be able to send a couple of postcards. If you have 5, you can request 5 addresses. But if you have 10 or more slots available, you’ll only be able to send 10 postcards on October 1st. While having people sending lots of postcards on the site and hitting records is always fun, it also puts a lot of pressure on Postcrossing: at some point, there just aren’t any more addresses to select. We came very close to that point last year, and this year we fear the problem will be made more complicated by the fact that World Postcard Day falls on a Sunday, a day when usually there is no mail delivery in most countries (and thus, even fewer addresses get thrown in the selection pool). So hopefully this limit will ensure that everything will go smoothly for everyone. Remember that you do need to send one postcard on Postcrossing during World Postcard Day (in your own timezone or during UTC — both work) in order to get the special badge on your profile, once it is registered.

As in previous years, local meetups, special postmarks and other events are on the horizon. To find out more about what’s happening in your area, check out the World Postcard Day events page. If you have young ones around, consider introducing them to the wonderful world of postcards: organize a mini-postcard workshop to teach them about the postal system, and then enjoy a short walk to your local mailbox together. Make sure to capture the moment with a photo and share it with us all! Or, if you have a talent for handicrafts, you can try to make something World Postcard Day-themed… like Jo (aka JustJo) who made this amazing postbox topper for her street! 😍


And last but not least, remember that the traditional meal for World Postcard Day is ravioli — they resemble little postage stamps! You might want to grab (or make!) some ahead of October 1st, so that you’re prepared and can celebrate the day with an extra dose of yumminess.

We wish you a brilliant World Postcard Day filled with joy, connections, and, of course, postcards! Let’s make it memorable and spread as many smiles as we can. And don’t forget to give your wrists a little break and a stretch now and then! 💪 💌 🌍


Carolyn Gavin is a painter, illustrator, and designer based in Toronto, Canada. A flower child of the 1960’s, Carolyn grew up in South Africa, left to travel, and relocated to Canada where she currently lives with her family.

Earlier this year, Clarisse (aka CStar9) connected with Carolyn via webcast to discuss her creative origins, the unexpected path from a pile of wood to an abstract painting, and why most Canadians don’t paint their houses pink.

On the left half of the image, the Flower Box set of postcards is pictured. On the right, three postcards from Carolyn (from this set) are displayed.
The 10 cards that represent you in The Flower Box: how were they chosen?

I paint a lot of flowers and florals, so they took what was existing, which is lovely. If my work is picked up and used as-is, that’s a dream. I don’t have to sit down and create something for a job or art director.

You create such an incredible range of work – paintings, textiles, books. What was your journey to get there?

It’s taken a long time. My family is pretty creative. My mom did mono-prints, painting—everything under the sun. As a very young child, I was guided into the direction of painting and creating, including papier-mâché, pen and ink, watercolors, and more. I went on to do graphic design for three years, which launched me into a design career.

Then I traveled, immigrated to Canada, and my brother and I started a family business, Ecojot. First I designed, then illustrated the covers of our new eco-stationery line. Working with recycled materials and bright and fun colors, and making the notebooks locally right in Canada, was innovative at the time.

A mix of images of Carolyn's work, including art pieces and fabrics. All of them look happy and colorful.

One thing led to another and I was picked up by an agent, and my work took a turn for the commercial: apparel, bedding, editorial, book covers, book illustrations, and fabrics, etc. Recently I started teaching and doing workshops and retreats. But I’m also trying to focus on my painting! I’ve come full circle. I really just love to paint – that’s what I’d love to do all day.

How do your new ideas for your designs begin?

Some blocks of wood with abstract paintings on themOne thing can lead to another, creatively. A wood pile is my latest obsession. I’ve painted on wood panels for a long time. While I was in Belize, I came across a building site and found this pile of discarded wood. I picked up a bunch of pieces to use and loved the unevenness and roughness of the material. That seemed to dictate the direction of the painting—such a beautiful organic flow and I was so inspired. However, it was at the end of my time in Belize, just the last few days, so I was painting like a fiend all night long, trying to get it all out. And then I had to come home.

Tell us about your studio space.

Right now I’m in my small studio. It’s very bright, but it’s a small space, which kind of translates into small work. Sometimes I work upstairs in a bigger space that has an easel. That’s where I do my larger pieces. In winter I go to my studio in Belize. It’s a lovely get-away, a place for playing and experimenting. It took me about two months there this year to finally get into this new spate of work, which I feel is a nice new direction for me. So, I think each space where I’m at, dictates what I’m doing.

Art piece: watercolor flowers, ducks, chicks, hens, and a rabbit
You’ve said your work is strongly influenced by your growing up in South Africa. Can you tell us more?

South Africa is hot, colourful and noisy. I don’t know exactly how that translates into my work, but, I guess… people there aren’t afraid of color and vibrancy in their lives. I now live in Canada and when I first came here, I couldn’t believe how gray and dull the weather is. I think people maybe, as a result, are sort of scared of color and of standing out in that way. That translates into architecture too—they’re scared to paint the house blue or pink. In hot countries, however, it’s different. And so that’s how I grew up – with lots of color and pattern everywhere and a lot of nature around me. I was outside most of the time, immersed in it. It became a part of me. Now, when I go to a new country, it always inspires something new. When I’m here in my studio in Canada, I’m creative, I work, but it’s a bit more forced. When I am away, I might be more inspired. But of course that changes all the time. Tomorrow, I might feel very inspired.

A vase of flowers with multicolored birds in front of it, art piece: blue bicycle with flowers in the basket, art piece: cottage surrounded by tall, wild garden plants
Your work can be very intricate, especially with botanical forms. What does research look like for you?

I don’t really call it research. But if I am looking at something that needs more information, I probably go find it. You know, just on the Internet.

With the wood in Belize, I asked them, what kind of wood is it? (It’s Emery wood.) Where does it come from? What do they use it for? So I’m not just painting on a simple piece of wood. I like to know the background of something, especially if it’s found or discarded by someone.

How do you know when a piece is finished?

That is a difficult question, especially when you’re doing abstract. You can go on forever. That is something I’m learning along the way. I can’t stop learning about how to paint. It never ends!

When it’s finished is when I guess I just feel that sense of, Stop! You’re going to overdo it! And then you step back. When you come back the next day, you may add a little line here, a little bit of color there, but that’s basically when it’s done for me.

Since we’re talking to an audience who loves paper mail and especially postcards, can you tell us about your relationship to paper? And to snail-mail?

I love paper. I mean, every kind of paper. I love thick, textured paper, and Japanese paper, and handmade paper. I go to a mill in Montreal sometimes in the summer, and I pick up the most amazing handmade papers, all from 100% rag recycled from t-shirts. It’s the only mill I know of that still does this kind of stuff on a very artisanal basis.

I don’t ever write a letter anymore to anybody. But I used to, and I used to love getting mail in return, so I do love the whole notion. It’s a beautiful thing.

What’s a type of media that you’d love to learn?

I’ve been trying to work bigger, but that of course depends on the space that I have at the moment. I want to do monoprints, and cyanotypes. And work with big oil pastels.

You teach a lot of workshops and retreats. What’s your teaching philosophy?

screenshot of information about a May 20 art workshop, via Windowsill Workshops I love to impart my energy and some of my experience to other people and give them joy, and to teach them how to make their own joy. I think art is so meditative and therapeutic. When I’m painting, I kind of lose myself in the painting and go somewhere else. And that is very joyful.

Art is a very creative process that gives people a way to cope with stress in their life. Musicians do it – everybody in the arts world does it. It’s not a new thing. But if I can help others do it in my own small way, I think that’s important.

What are you working on now?

A Joni Mitchell quote: “Love must be the birds in spring. Only lovers hear them sing.” It’s from one of her songs; she is a poet!

I love type and words, and I love to illustrate around them. This is where my graphic design background comes into play. I can put elements together on a page and they work. Well, not always! But, anyway, here’s another one. This is from a book: “The birds are singing.” I painted the type first and then the birds and flowers around it. It all works together in terms of shapes and balance.

Screenshot of Carolyn Gavin during the interview, holding up a piece of art that says 'The Birds Are Singing' with flowers and hearts around them

To learn more about Carolyn, check out her website and Instagram page. There’s also a studio tour and a fun art demo to paint along!

And now, for the traditional giveaway: Clarisse is planning to send 4 postcards from the Flower Box set to 4 randomly picked postcrossers! 🎉 To participate, leave a comment below sharing a flower that is special to you, and come back this time next week to check out the winners!

And the winners of this giveaway, as chosen by Paulo’s random number generator are… duck2006, martha66, KimberKS and nisnoopy3! Congratulations, and thank you all for participating!


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!

Board games and card games can be a great way to spend some time with family and friends, and perhaps even get away from screens for a while (though some can be played remotely using software like Tabletop Simulator!). A lot of my fondest memories as a child are of playing Snap tournaments with my grandad—though we started playing Rummy when I was a bit older—and playing board games with my paternal grandmother. I’ve got back into playing this sort of game lately with my wife and my sister, and we’re starting to amass a little collection of games.

In September, write about the card games and board games you like to play!

When it’s just me and my wife, we usually reach for Virus. It’s a simple and quick game, and we had a long-running tournament running into hundreds of games… until we lost track of who’d won how many times.

Someone holding Uno cards

When we’re hanging out with my sister as well, we tend to go for Unstable Unicorns. The art on the cards is ridiculously cute, we got all the expansions, and both of them take far too much delight in beating me just as I’m about to fill up my “stable”. We’ve also got Uno when we want something more traditional; I’ve even played a tournament or two of Uno with my wife’s grandparents.

What about you? What card games or board games do you remember from your childhood? What games do your play now? We’d love to hear about that in the comments here, or on your postcards this month, and there’s even a board games topic in the forums!