Postcrossing Blog

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

Posts tagged "russia"

It was Pauline (aka PauliB) from Germany who first brought SunnyRat's unusual wall of postcards to my attention, some time ago. I confess I gasped in delight upon discovering it… have a look:

SunnyRat's postcard wall

Each postcard is accompanied by a little rat, with a curious spark in his eyes! :)

There seemed to be quite a few of them, so I was curious and talked to Julia (aka SunnyRat) about her quirky wall. Julia is from Russia and works on a software company… but as it turns out, she’s also mommy to a large family of pet rats, and does some wonderful art as well! It was a pleasure to learn more about her and her pets, so I hope you enjoy this mini-interview as much as I did.

Could you introduce your rats to us? What are their names, how old are they… what do they like to do all day?

At this moment I have eight wonderful little rats. They all are male and their names are: April, Baikal, El, Sky, Krosh, January, Cheshire and Fort Erie. They have different ages, from a few months to almost 3 years old. The youngest is April, and this April he will be one year old :)

I must say that I like to give names, which are ordinary words or geographical names, because when I hear these words accidentally it always becomes sunny in my heart and I’m smiling.

Baikal and April

Every rat is a little person with its own character traits. For example, Baikal (on the right), a rat with Siamese “point” on the nose, is a calm, tender, plush teddy bear who loves to be cuddled and stroked and is a perfect shoulder companion. April (on the left) is curious, cheerful, restless bundle of energy who adores people. He is always ready to be with you and that is why he appears on photos most often. He has curly whiskers and white unsymmetrical stripe on the face. They are best friends, and together with their brothers, we are a big united family!

A big family

They have an organized part of the room, where they live. Here it is:

Rat room

This is where they play, jump, climb, runn, groom each other, do housekeeping, generate and solve problems, have dinner and communicate… I’ve made some videos with our rat’s everyday life, you can watch it if you would like, if you’re curious and have some time: video #1, video #2.

And all rats love to sleep and usually they do it in hammocks! :)

Rat hammocks Round and round they go

Also, they are intelligent animals and love to learn new things. So we do some trainings together and they can easily perform simple tricks. For example, here we are leaning how to do a rotation:

Sometimes we take part in rat shows, where events like tightrope walking and rat agility take place. So they do sports too.

Walking the tightrope
Where did you get the idea to include them in your postcard photos?

I was inspired by SeanPatrick’s wall! I found it so uplifting, lively and enjoyable that I decided to make something personal too. And, of course, I thought about rats at once, because they usually make me smile.

Are they cooperative in the photo sessions?
Photography sessions

It may depend on the temper of each specific rat… some cooperate very well and some are difficult to take pictures of. But they love to explore new things and love to do something together with human beings, so we simply have fun. And the more often it happens, the better we understand each other.

Something yummy doesn’t hurt too! :)

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” Charles M. Schulz
What kind of reactions do you receive from other members who notice your wall?

The reactions I usually get are warm words and well wishes to the rats. Some people talk about their own pet rats. Compliments and energetic emotions! And, if I may take this opportunity to say thank you so much for such kind of reactions! I appreciate it very much and this is a happiness for me to know that someone somewhere on the planet is smiling too, looking at these photos.

What about you, what do you do for a living, and for fun? And do you have other pets?

I work as an analyst at a company that develops solutions for computer protection. And, by the way, sometimes my rats are used for this company advertising items, such as wall and pocket calendars.

Work projects

Also I enjoy almost all kinds of creative activity. Especially I love to draw. And thanks to postcrossing I can do it much more often, because to draw for somebody is always more enjoyable for me, than to do it for no particular reason. So most of my sent cards usually have little drawings.

Backsides of postcards Backsides of postcards Backsides of postcards

Rats are my only pets. I am with them about ten years and have to say that since the discovery of pet rats there is always laughing at home. And the more I learn about them, the more I like them!

Happy new year

Thank you Julia, that was wonderful! :)

PS – Do you know of any other quirky postcard walls? Please share them in the comments!

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Raisa (aka Asato) from Russia loved drawing ever since she was a child… but it’s only in the past few years that she decided to take it more seriously. To practice, she started drawing small characters on the postcards she sends…

Raisa's hand-drawn chibi characters Raisa's hand-drawn chibi characters Raisa's hand-drawn chibi characters

… and they turned out great, really brightening up the postcards! :) We were in awe of Raisa’s talent so we decided to ask her some questions about her little drawings.

Your style seems Japanese-inspired… is it so? Are you a fan of anime/manga or Japanese things?

Yes! I read my first manga when I was 22, and it was like a bomb! Since that day I’m a big fan of japanese manga and anime. Moreover, Japanese “chibi” (which means “little”) style is very handful for postcards, and there are a few other reasons. First, there is actually not much space on the postcard for the drawing, especially if you plan to write something beside, so it’s better to draw something really small. A “chibi” is a character with oversized proportions and its big head is a very convenient way to express characters emotions as, literally, there is more space to draw them comparing to a realistic-like character. That makes your character look a bit childish, funny, and really lovely. And this style is not too serious or too complicated and easy to draw.

Raisa's hand-drawn chibi characters Raisa's hand-drawn chibi characters
How do you decide what to draw on each postcard? Do you adapt the theme to the recipient, or focus on what you’re enjoying at the moment?

Of course, it depends mostly on the recipient. Every time I get an address, I start thinking about what to send and what to write… I wish I could send to the receiver some good emotions with my postcard or make it interesting. Drawing helps me a lot, as it’s the way you can easily express your thoughts and emotions or tell something. For example, you can describe in details the national costume, but isn’t it easier to picture it and write few notes? :)

Sometimes people write about their favourite films or books in the profiles, and if I don’t have a postcard that would match them, I can draw a character they really like on the card! It’s also a nice chance for me to share my own favourites, such as “Harry Potter” or “Star Wars” which are so famous. Honestly, I dream to receive a postcard with my favorite characters, but so far, no luck!

Raisa's hand-drawn chibi characters Raisa's hand-drawn chibi characters
What are the member’s reactions when they receive your postcards? Do they appreciate the extra effort?

Thanks to the special Postcrossing’s friendly and kind atmosphere most members write at least “thank you” like for any other postcard :) Some people send long messages where they write how they were glad and excited to see my drawing, some people do not pay special attention to it, some offer to send a card back or to exchange letters. But, any reaction is OK for me, as I don’t want to claim something special back. So long as I enjoy drawing, it’s a pleasure for me! Seriously, I hope just to put a smile on someone’s face.

Raisa's hand-drawn chibi characters

Thank you Raisa, for sharing your lovely drawings with us! If you’re curious, you can see other drawings on her postcard gallery.

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It’s out! We’re happy to confirm that the Russian Postcrossing-themed stamp is now a reality!

Launching ceremonies were held in different cities throughout Russia, and groups of postcrossers came together to send their postcards with the special first day cancellation mark. Olga (aka Kelpie) attended a couple of these, and sent us some photos from the ceremony in Tomsk, where local postcrosser Anna (aka december_anne) did the honors and stamped the first postcard!

Russian Postcrossing stamp Russian Postcrossing stamp Russian Postcrossing stamp

Despite the freezing –20°C, there were so many people in attendance that the post office ran out of stamps in one hour! :) Can’t blame the postcrossers though — it’s a really cute stamp, and we can’t wait to see one in real life!

Russian Postcrossing stamp

Keep an eye on your mailbox… your next postcard from Russia might feature this special stamp!

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Good news, everyone! We’re happy to announce that Russia, the country with the largest number of Postcrossing members, is releasing a themed stamp to commemorate the project on January 27th!

The 23 ruble stamp was designed by O. Shushlebina, measures 37×37 mm and comes in sheets of 9 stamps. Here’s what it will look like:

I <3 Postcrossing!

Quite nice, isn’t it? I think you can guess what it says, even if you don’t know much Russian! :)

To celebrate the occasion, three postcrossers in Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Moscow decided to hold a lottery to offer 60 lucky members the chance to receive a postcard with this stamp and the first day cancellation mark! If you’d like to participate on this giveaway, just leave a comment below saying you’d like to receive one. We’ll draw 60 names by the end of the week, and send your addresses to the members who are going to write you a postcard.

You might find a surprise postcard on your mailbox in a few weeks! :)

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Julia (aka mad_madchen) hails from Moscow. She has several drawers full of postcards ready to be sent, and really enjoys choosing the perfect card that she knows will make someone happy! We asked her a few questions:

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

About 5 years ago my friend Olga told me about Postcrossing. I’ve decided to join as I like postcards since my childhood. And here I am! :)

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

I love Blythe dolls. I have 12 dolls in my collection:

blythe dolls

Also I collect Alice in Wonderland books in different language and Starbucks gift-cards. And I love cross-stitching.

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

This is my P.O.Box 1:

mad madchen's pobox

Over the years, I’ve received a lot of questions about it: please confirm your address, it’s too short, are you sure, how do you get it…? I really don’t know how it has happened that I got P.O.Box 1. I think it was a miracle, or luck, or position of the stars, something like that! :)

I have lots of postcards. It was always hard to say the numbers and once I’ve decided to weigh them. I discovered that I have 12 kg of postcards to be sent… yeah, I am mad, I know that! I store most of them in the drawers of my desk:

mad maedchen's boxes
Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

In fact it’s a difficult question because I’ve received a lot of beautiful postcards… I like Atelier Nouvelles Images, Nicoletta Сeccoli, Absolut Vodka, and many others. But my most favourite postcard ever… It’s hard to pick. I think perhaps this one:

CN-166642

In it, I see hope, loneliness, dream, search, aspirations, incompleteness, past and future. Absolutely great!

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

All parts are great for me. Most of all I like to receive a new addresses and try to find the perfect postcard for the receiver — especially for “difficult” wishes. And I like to receive nice postcards, with interesting messages and beautiful stamps. I also like to read senders profiles after I register their postcards.

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

I’ve been surprised over travel days. Just amazing example: this postcard from Russia to Greece (1,779 km) was traveling for 346 days! And that was the real traveling period!

Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing, or met any other postcrossers?

Yes! My friend Eugene saw a post on my Livejournal and signed up to Postcrossing, and my son is a postcrosser as well. Sometimes we both go to meetups here in Moscow.

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