Postcrossing uses cookies to help deliver its services. By using this website, you agree to its use of cookies. Learn more.

Postcrossing Blog

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

Posts tagged "spotlight"

Although we've never met Luzia (aka Luziaceleste) in person, we know she's a generous postcrosser. Sometimes, she'll send postcards in advance to participants in meetings across the world... just to say hi and share a bit of the joy of Postcrossing! How nice is that? 😊 To discover more about Luzia, we asked her our usual round of questions:

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

It happened in seconds. A work colleague, next table to mine, mentioned he intended to join the project. I checked it out and registered before him!

Reason is simple: I have been always fascinated by mailing postcards. Every travel in my life has these moments where I shop, write and go after nice stamps before mail them. It a sort of proof that I've been on the place, and besides, sharing the experience with dear people is wonderful.

Postcrossing took me a step forward: exchanging postcards is also the exchange of culture and individual points of view.

In the very beginning, I used to send one postcard at a time. After asking for the direction and reading the profile, I searched the best postcard and then sent it. Soon, I realised that storing postcards would be handy, and I slowly asked for more addresses. Now I have two collections: the received postcards and the blank postcards to send. I am constantly being hooked by Postcrossing. Frankly, this an endless world. The more you get into, the more possibilities you discover: decoration, swaps, collections. If you wonder how this is true, go to Postcrossing Forum! I made many virtual friends there, that are not that 'virtual' after all, as postcards are very physical stuff.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

I love the Tea Ceremony. Have been practicing for decades. It helps me to understand Japanese aesthetics and ethical views. It is very handy for postcards too: space for writing is minimal comparing to letters. Getting the most out of a few words is an art. And a goal.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
Postcrossing Spotlight: Luziaceleste from Brazil!

I store postcards in boxes — not in albums. I love the contact with them, having them on my hands. Periodically, I rearrange the classification. With the growing in my collection, I see sense in ordering them in more refined ways. For instance, the 'heart-themed' postcards are under sub-classification of 'Nature oriented'. Blank postcard are also stored in boxes according to the theme, to help me find the best postcard. I have no idea how many of each one I store... I don't mind the figure, I enjoy the fun and the possibilities.

Postcrossing Spotlight: Luziaceleste from Brazil! Postcrossing Spotlight: Luziaceleste from Brazil!
Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?

Some people are enthusiastic when they see my postcards arriving and also the joy I have in sending them. A cousin, a niece, a friend and some people felt motivated... but quit after a while. Attendants in the Post Office are very curious, but language in a barrier in Brazil.

I like to support newbies, to ease their steps, helping them to cope with the difficulties we face at the start. Unfortunately, Brazil is a country with a lack of production of decent postcards, picturing the local scenario.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

The matching point! I love sending a postcard that I know the person will be pleased to receive. It is surprising when we get something that took someone's time and effort... This is the magic!

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

What a difficult task. It is so unfair to all the other postcards... Let's say that a good sample of nice postcard I got are:

Postcrossing Spotlight: Luziaceleste from Brazil!

A tasty, fresh and inspiring heart

luzia A mailbox, on a very peculiar street. This postcard came from a swap with Japan via the forum's 'stamp related postcard tag'. Postcrossing Spotlight: Luziaceleste from Brazil!

A special eye chart!

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

The postcard I got from Tuvalu was a touching one for me. Thinking that the country is in danger talks deeply to my heart.

Of course, we also value the rare... but, I do value every postcard. From time to time, there is a huge number of postcrossers in one country and I send to and get from this country more than others. Still remember when Finland was a frequent country! This is a good opportunity to see personal differences. How people communicate, what they are able to express in their profiles or in the postcards. Every person is a single person, and even further, every postcard is unique.

Have you met any other members in real life?

I dream with meetups. And yes, there was a mini international meetup here some time ago. I was glad to join martinha, vbformig and andreaeiko for a nice chat. Now, we are doing efforts to do more local meetings with postcrossers. Let's see!

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I live in a crowded business city, so, every opportunity I have to escape, here I am, ready to get into Nature. Travelling is for me the best way to learn about others, through food, drinks and cultural production (in this order, please) and learn more about myself through relaxing and enjoying life. Travelling is also related to postcards... but this is no longer travel dependent, hahaha!

on

Tags: ,

Mark (aka maleko) hails from Hawaii (USA). He has been gracefully hosting the Random Acts of Smileness thread on the forum for the past few years, and has a special toy voyager of his own... Come meet them both on this spotlight interview! 😊

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

In my twenties I moved around a lot, so I got into the habit of sending postcards to friends as a quick and casual way of keeping in touch. I’ve kept it up ever since. I’ve always been interested in snail mail and pens, paper, and office supplies in general. One day I read about Postcrossing on Missive Maven’s blog, and wandered over to this site and signed up. Over four years and 400 postcards later, I’m still very glad I came across that blog post. The great thing is, sometime after joining I actually drew Missive Maven’s name for an official card, and was able to thank her for turning me on to this wonderful community. She sent me a hurray message saying how tickled she was to find out that she had introduced me to Postcrossing. We both enjoyed that Postcrossing coincidence.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

Nothing terribly interesting. I like to read (mostly fiction and biographies) and write. For some reason the ordinary physical act of writing with pen and paper gives me a kind of pleasure no laptop keyboard can bring. I’ve also kept a diary since I was a child. It has become a form of self-help for me: often I don’t know what I am thinking until I’ve written it down. And once in a great while I’ll look over a few diary entries from decades ago and remember the person I was then.

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

This is my desk where I write postcards. The letterbox holds the cards I’ve recently received.

postcards

Here is the box where I keep my supply of postcards to send.

mailbox

This is the old green mailbox where I normally leave my cards for my mail carrier, Raymond, to pick up.

post office

This is my neighborhood post office.

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

Clearly it’s not possible to choose a favorite card. Recently, though, I learned about interactive postcards from one of Ana’s posts on this blog, and discovered that I really liked them. Here are two that have a special place on my bookshelf: a 3-D stereoscope-type card that I received as a gift from Vladyslav1998, and a construction project that was an official card from LittlePingui.

interactive cards

I also love the card below, from dallesandro, because it’s all about inclusiveness and honoring our differences. Incidentally, it’s the only card I’ve ever received that shows someone in a wheelchair, which means something to me because I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was a teenager.

10ac10f20426a42ba6034034f3216609
But what really makes a card special for me is the open friendliness, kindness, or courage that comes through the message on the back. In my profile, I ask people to tell me about the things that are good and true and authentic in their lives, and I cannot count the times I’ve been uplifted by the things they share.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

It’s always great to find a postcard or two lying there when I open the mailbox, but I think sending cards is my favorite part of this hobby. It feels creative, relaxing, and even meditative: to sit at my desk and search for the right card for the right person, choose some interesting stamps, and write a short, simple message to someone far away. Such a small act can redeem the toughest day for me, and hopefully it has a similar effect on the person who receives the card. It can be a quiet blessing for two lives.

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

About a year after joining Postcrossing, I received CU-1397, a postcard from a university professor in Cuba. This was very exciting for me, before the beginning of more normalized relations between Cuba and the U.S., and it was an eloquent reminder of what Postcrossing could be.

Have you met any other members in real life?

I’ve enjoyed such warm pen-friendships through Postcrossing that I almost feel as if I’ve met many other postcrossers in person. But in reality I only recently met a few at a meetup here in Honolulu organized by oneup92. It was a small gathering, but we had fun getting acquainted over a meal and signing a huge stack of cards.

honolulu meetup

A few years ago my wonderful Postcrossing friend mondkind sent me a traveling toy bear that she’d made for me. Kaipo the bear has met many more Postcrossers than I have, because he has dual citizenship, spending the autumn and winter months in Hamburg, Germany, and the spring and summer here in Hawaii.

3statekaipo

I think he might be the only bear who has attended both the huge Bielefeld International Postcrossing Meeting hosted by nordbaer and the Honolulu meetup!

What are you are passionate about?

Someone tried to tell me recently that emphasizing the need for education was outdated and “old-school,” that there are quicker and easier ways to “get ahead” in life these days. Yeah, right. I believe in both formal education and independent lifelong learning. I think we are put on this earth to learn something from, and contribute something to, each other, and disrespecting that process is somehow missing the point of the whole experience.

For the past seven years I’ve volunteered a few hours each week at a middle school, where I tutor students who are newly arrived from other countries and whose first language is not English. These kids are amazing: so motivated and filled with enthusiasm, so helpful toward each other, and so appreciative of the help they receive from others. I also admire their resilience, how gracefully they are able to adapt to the major changes in their lives. Honestly, I learn more from them than I am able to teach, and they inspire me with great hope for the future.

I also host the Random Acts of Smileness Round Robin on the Postcrossing Forum. I inherited this round robin a couple of years ago from lapoussine35. Forum members sign up there to nominate friends to receive cards from other group members, and to send cards to the other group members’ nominees. It’s not about receiving cards for yourself; instead, you’re spreading the good cheer to others. I’m constantly encouraged by the thoughtfulness and generosity of the “RAS agents” who participate. One of them once told me I have the best job on the internet, and there are moments when I think she may be right!

on

Tags: ,

As some of you can probably tell by his username, Eels (aka Qi) is a music fan. He also likes Wes Anderson's movies... and surprisingly, we share a favourite book from a Portuguese author, which he first learned about through Postcrossing! Come discover which, on his spotlight interview!

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

I used to send postcards to my close friends and even myself during my travels, and I happened to know Postcrossing when I was browsing the website Douban many years ago. There's a Postcrossing group there and I was fascinated by the amazing project after I read its brief introduction, so I immediately opened an account to start my Postcrossing journey. :)

Since then, I've been active also in the forum and ‘met’ lots of nice friends these years. The most amazing thing is I have a penpal who used to be a postcrosser. Though she is no longer active in Postcrossing due to her busy work, we still keep in touch and send postcards and letters to each other from time to time. Without Postcrossing, I wouldn't have such a important far-away friend, even though I never saw her.

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

It's really hard to choose only one favorite card from my received cards...

I am a big fan of James Dean and I really love all his movies, so I started to collect postcards of him. Till now I have over 100 James Dean postcards.

Maybe my first James Dean card

I also love Japanese Gotochi cards and started to collect them... though collecting them all seems like an impossible task. A few weeks ago I received my favorite Gotochi featuring Momotaro — what a lovely card! My favorite Gotochi   Momotaro

And here's a card with Fernando Pessoa, a famous Portuguese poet. I got to know him through a Postcrossing friend's introduction, and I've enjoyed discovering his work. I have finished reading the Chinese version of 'The book of disquiet' and I'm reading the English version now.

Fernando Pessoa

Finally a postcard of the Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk, a UNESCO site in Czech Republic with beautiful architecture. I want to visit it if I have the chance!

Pilgrimage Church of St John of Nepomuk
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

To read each postcrossers' profile, choose the perfect card (at least I think), choose stamps, decorate and write on it. Also upload the picture before I send out the card. All these processes are interesting and I enjoy them.

I love receiving surprises as well, not just the postcard but also the message on the back side. The magic charm of Postcrossing is you never know what will arrive to you everyday, and I love sending and receiving surprises. :)

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

This is my local post office...

The post office in my living town

... and the postbox from which my cards are usually sent:

The mailbox I usually put postcards in

Here is my mailbox, where postcards arrive:

My Mailbox

After registering, they get put in a box, waiting to be sorted...

Postcards need to be sorted out

... and this is the shelf where they end up, after being sorted and stored.

Postcards(already sorted out)

Have you met any other members in real life?

Yes! I attended a small Postcrossing meetup in Shanghai two years ago:

Postcrossing meetup in Shanghai

That's me on the front right side, and my wife Yaya on the front left!

Had I joined Postcrossing earlier, I might have had the chance to see Paulo and Ana, as they were in a meetup in Shanghai in 2008.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

I really love listening music in my daily life, and started to collect vinyl records about a year ago. I am enthusiastic about watching movies — my favorite director is Wes Anderson. I also love jogging and want to finish a marathon one day in the future. Besides that, I started to learn yoga few months ago, a quite interesting exercise which makes me feel peaceful and relaxed.

Postcrossing widened my eyes, there are sooooo many wonderful places/countries I want to visit! My wife and I have visited several European countries: France, Italy, Switzerland, Netherlands or Spain. And Iceland is the place I most want to visit in the future.

on

Tags: ,

We've met Chrissy (aka teamug) on the yearly International Postcrossing meetup in Bielefeld a few times already and, true to her username, her tea mug is never far away... but neither are her letter writing materials! So we decided it was time we had her on the blog. Here is what she had to say to our interview questions:

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

I first heard about Postcrossing through a monthly magazine of the post office. There was a report about it and I loved the idea immediately. I always loved to write, especially to stay in contact when living abroad. It is so nice then to hear from people at home.

When emailing started, people always said it would be so much faster and of course would not cost postage - and that writing cards and letters was so old fashioned. So even after I finally had an email address, i still would not hear more of my friends. I noticed that people did not become more reliable keeping in contact with the cheaper and faster method. No matter how much I wrote - either by real mail or email, the replies were less and less.

So the concept of Postcrossing where people HAD to write to you the moment they receive your address - well, I just loved the idea. And I love to hear from people, no matter if known or unknown to me. Real mail is so much more valuable. Emails can never replace that.

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

I rarely see my mailman, since he comes when I am at work. And he's always in a rush when I do want to say hello to him on a Saturday. But I managed to take a picture of the bicycle he uses!

teamug Spotlight interview

I love the fact that in big cities in Germany, bicycles are still used as many people live close together, and it allows easier access than vans.

teamug Spotlight interview

My local post office and letter box is not too far away (just two minutes by bike). But I often use different ones, depending on where I am when I have cards ready. I might drop off the mail straight after work when driving through town, or on the weekend, when I am at home. The photo shows the nearby letter box with a small post office next to it. It even closes for two hours during lunch time, like in some small village. ;-)

teamug Spotlight interview

Because I received quite a number of cards, I have different storage systems. I started sorting by countries. Then I bought some collection folders where I started sorting different themes, like the US State cards, cities of the world, tea or birds. It is easier to look at the cards that way instead of digging them out of the box. Even though the folders are handy, I love nostalgic boxes which I get from my local Christmas cookie and ginger bread supplier, and I still use them as a filing system. It's also a great justification to keep ordering those lovely goodies!

teamug Spotlight interview teamug Spotlight interview

There is a large wooden ginger bread box in which I collect the blank cards yet to be written, sorted by subject. Well, I have several of those and it seems I have even more new cards than received ones, because once one is an addict there is no getting away from buying cards. After all, we postcrossers know: for every subject or theme there's a postcrosser happy to receive it.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

Of course choosing as well as receiving is both fun. The first because you read the profile closely and try to get it just right, the other, because of its element of surprise. But after three years of postcrossing I especially like the long term side effects.

First: The Hurray messages especially if they are really long ones. The fact that someone on the other side of the world or even the neighbouring town was totally delighted with what I came up with and expresses it in so many words.

Second: How much I learn about the world. Often people tell something about their country that I never knew before. I also google places, check out details of a city, village, landscape. I have learned so much even though I thought I was quite good in geography.

Third: I always loved English and read loads in the language and mainly watch films in English. But the fact that I write on a daily basis now, also long letters, as I have gained many penfriends, has really improved my knowledge of the language and I am very grateful for that.

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

I have not one special card. It is hard to chose one as I have received so many. Lately I notice I especially like those where the postcrosser states that this is his/her first card. In my reply I always tell them how much fun they are going to have and wish them lots of cards. These first cards are very special to me. I clearly remember my first five sent ones and the major lack of patience I had waiting to receive my first card. And I was lucky because I received two first ones at the same time! RU-4364096

I also love to get a card in an envelope, with lovely handwriting, tea, beautiful stamps - where the whole thing is a work of art.

CZ-737931

Here are some other favourites: IL-22300, US-2142367, GB-395703, BY-1016437, CA-417611, RU-2783644, TR-257683.

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

Oh yes. Some countries gained independency since I learned geography at school, even though some are close and one is more aware. But for example I was not aware of Moldova. I also sent cards to Azerbaijan, Rwanda and for me surprisingly Åland Islands. I didn't know that these islands have a flag of their own and are autonomous.

The most unexpected one was received by my son though, who got a card from Iraq. How great that someone there has actually internet access, this rather surprised me. I can imagine lots of this is being controlled. I think the secret to world peace is the communication and getting to know other cultures.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

I have little spare time, but I spend a lot of it reading, or watching films (90% of them in English). I love paper as a material (cards, letters etc...) so I also do calligraphy (the art of beautiful writing), drawing, painting and also took classes in bookbinding. Also, I can't get past a book or stationery shop without browsing.

I enjoy photography a lot and hope to produce postcards myself. So far I did that only once.

And then there is also working in the garden which I find very recreational.

on

Tags: ,

Remember the cute kids who serenaded Postcrossing last year with a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday, both in English and Maori?

Awwww... 😍

The little ones come from Koputaroa, a rural area in the North Island of New Zealand. Their Postcrossing account, Kererū, is both the name of their learning centre and the name of a bird native to the islands. The class has been on Postcrossing for 2 years now, and sent over 400 postcards... they're very enthusiastic! :) We talked to their teachers about their class and Postcrossing.

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

We came across Postcrossing after making connections with kindergartens and other childhood centres around the world. While many who responded to us were in USA, we wanted to communicate with more centres around the world. A Google search turned up Postcrossing and so our exciting journey began. The children's delight in receiving postcards of different peoples and places around the world kept us hooked.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

We have 3 teachers who have different hobbies. Helen is keen to travel the world and later this year is heading over to Europe with her family for a holiday. Sharee loves listening to music and adores One Direction and Ed Sheeran. I (Faye) personally like to read science fiction books and also enjoy being on my computer.

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

This is the mailbox in Foxton where all our cards are sent from. My husband considers it a personal job for him to actually put the cards in the box each time!

Foxton mailbox
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

The children love visiting the mailbox at the end of the drive to see if the mail van has left anything for them. They also love choosing the cards that gets sent to the receiving participant. A lot of thought goes into choosing just the right one.

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

Where's Wally This is the prize we won for our video contribution to Postcrossing's 10th birthday. The children absolutely love it and gather around it at reading time each day to see where Wally is. They consider it a challenge to see how fast they can find Wally!

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

We are absolutely thrilled to receive our two cards from the African continent, and hope for many more. The children have loved the many Finnish postcards that we received before Christmas that had Santa on them.

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

We work with children aged between 2-5 years so anything that interests them on a daily basis is what we are passionate about. With Postcrossing, they love receiving cards which show different foods, dress, cultures, buildings and animals.

on

Tags: , ,