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Postcrossing Blog

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

Posts tagged "stationery-shop"

Every few years, we make a new roundup of postcard sets that have shown up online. The offer is usually interesting, good quality, affordable and perfect to introduce a bit more variety to anyone's stash. The last time we did this was in 2014, so let's see what is new since then!

We've narrowed our picks to sets of 100 postcards below $20 — and there's a good amount of them to showcase. Here are our favourites, in no particular order:

Postcard boxes Postcard boxes Postcard boxes

Personally, we have the Cookery postcard box and I can't wait to check out the Curious Feast... I bet you can spot the pattern there! :) But there's something for everyone — from biking to design, animals or flags, so do check them out when you need some extra cards.

And if you have any tips of postcard boxes you think postcrossers would enjoy, let everyone know in the comments!

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Living in a touristic area can be a bit challenging. While postcards are easy enough to find, they're usually über-touristy, featuring the beaches and little else. It gets boring after a while... which is why I was delighted to discover Rosa's postcards on our way back from a trip to the market in Olhão. Turns out, her mom has a little store by the waterfront that showcases local art and products — including Rosa's gorgeous postcards and art.

We thought it was time we had another post on our stationery makers' series, and reached out to Rosa and ask her a few questions. Turns out, she's been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil, and makes more than just postcards! :)

Joana Rosa Bragança
Could you introduce yourself briefly?

I'm Joana Rosa Bragança (but you can call me just Rosa!) and I'm an artist & illustrator based in Olhão, a fishing town in the Algarve region. I love living near the sea! Besides drawing and painting, I also like to spend my time photographing with film cameras, walking in nature, reading, sewing and trying cake recipes. I love mornings, cats, artisanal ice creams, fresh figs and old books.

What inspires you?

I get a lot of inspiration from the people I see, not only the people of my hometown, with their strong characters and looks, but also the foreigners who pass by, who are a lot these days. One of my favorite themes is the beach and bathers, and here I have plenty of "models" to observe! Still, not all my characters are inspired by real people, some of them happen to be really bizarre and come directly from my imagination. I also love to draw all sorts of animals and plants.

Joana Rosa Bragança
Are you a postcard or letter writer yourself?

I used to be, I even had pen friends when I was a teenager... then the internet appeared and made me forget it a little. Nevertheless, I love sending the orders of my online shop inside envelopes full of doodles and postage stamps. Postage stamps are awesome! My favorites are the ones with illustrations or photos of fauna and flora.

If you could define your style in 3 words, what would they be?

Dreamy, joyful, ironic.

And could you show us your workspace, the place where magic happens?
Joana Rosa Bragança Joana Rosa Bragança

Thank you so much, Rosa! You can check these and other postcards and art on her online shop. And if you know of other stationery makers we should check out, let us know in the comments!

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Remember the World's Smallest Postal Service (and their fantastic DIY activity kit) which we mentioned here on the blog some years ago?

Lea Redmond and her company have been busy creating lovely new things in the meantime, and we're here to tell you all about one of their more recent ventures — a book of letters which you write to yourself, to read in the future! 😍

Letters to my Future Self

The "Letters to My..." are a series of themed books, each containing 12 paper time capsules (which are a set of 12 aerogrammes bound together in a hard cover). There are several themes to choose from, from letters to your "older and wiser" self, to your baby, mom or dad, grandchild, the bride...

On the Letters to My Future Self for instance, each letter features a prompt such as "things you never want to forget" or "promises you made to yourself". As inspiration strikes, you write down these memories or pieces of advice on a letter, which you then seal with a special sticker and save for when the right time comes. We'll let Lea show you how it works:

Each aerogramme is beautifully designed and the thoughtful prompts encourage us to sit down with our thoughts and plans for a little while, inviting reflection and appreciation.

We're truly enamoured with this simple yet genius idea. Wouldn't they make perfect gifts for snail mail lovers? We think so too, which is why we're super excited that Lea's company Leafcutter Designs shared some of these with us — so we can share them with you guys!

We have 2 copies of Letters to My Future Self to give to two lucky postcrossers who answer the following question in the comments: If you could write one short piece of advice to your future self right now, what would you tell yourself?

Letters to my Future Self

Good luck everyone — remember to check back on this post around this time next week, to know whether your name was picked by Paulo's random number generator. And a big thank you to our generous friends at Leafcutter Designs, for sponsoring this giveaway! 😊

And the winners, as chosen by Paulo's random number generator are... otegami and ravioli22! Hurray! Thank you everyone for all your interesting comments and precious words of advice!

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It's been a while since we've had a giveaway here on the blog, so we thought it was time to bring them back! Partnering with us this month is Kaartfanaat, a lovely Dutch postcard shop we've featured here on the blog some years ago.

They're still going strong and have since expanded their range to feature not just great postcards, but also boxed sets, books and other gifts. Lots of series will be familiar to postcrossers, from Fotofolio's black and white cards featuring famous people to Inkognito's humourous ones... there's something for everyone!

fullKaartfanaat

On this month's giveaway, they have generously offered to equip 5 lucky postcrossers with sets of 15 postcards of their choice. As a bonus, one of the winners will also be able to pick one item from the Book & Gifts section of their site! :)

To win one of these fantastic prizes, browse Kaartfanaat's website and leave a comment below, telling us which postcard, series or gift item you have your eye on!

Good luck, everyone! Check back on this post around this time next week for the winners, which will be randomly picked by Paulo's number generator, as usual.

PS - For the duration of this giveaway, Kaartfanaat is also offering a 10% discount on all orders from €10 (excl. shipping). Use the code postcard during checkout!

And the winners, as chosen by Paulo's random number generator are... Psull (15 postcards + gift), guvina (15 postcards) and notmuchcompany (15 postcards)! Congratulations, and thanks everyone for your enthusiastic participation! 😊

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We know lots of postcrosses are big fans of Lali's riddle cards — we are too! The charming colourful illustrations, the puzzle to solve and scratch on the back... what's not to love?

So we're stoked that Lali herself agreed to reply to a few questions about her art, tell us all about her famous postcards, and even decided to offer some postcards to a few lucky postcrossers! YAY! Read on to learn the story behind these lovely postcards... and to win some! :)

When did you first start designing your style of riddle cards? Which one was your first one, and what is the story behind it?

After I graduated from “Les Beaux Arts” in Annecy in 1999, I worked for a while for Pylones, a famous brand of decoration and gadgets items. There, I designed touristic t-shirts with animals on them. At the time, I was already thinking about drawing child’s games, but it’s not easy to do that on a t-shirt and furthermore, the editor was not really interested in the idea.

In 2001, I found a job as a cashier in a famous stationary in Annecy. A bit dreamy, I was scanning child’s books but also illustrator’s postcards that were more and more playful. One day, my colleague, who was also responsible of the postcard section, encouraged me to try my luck at showing my sketches to an editor’s representative who would soon be visiting the store. So, I took the bull by the horns and I drew a few riddle games, amongst them were hearts, cats and clovers.

Lali riddle cards

Afterwards, I went and defended my idea, my own concept to the editor in chief. He was seduced at once by my riddle postcards, it was a totally new idea at the moment. He gave me one month to send him about fifteen new drawings. Shaking my hand at the end of the interview, he said: “I think we’re going to work together.”

I was 26, I was a cashier, and I was about to be edited for my artistic skills. Tears of joy!

In November 2002, as I was sitting at my cash-desk, I started scanning the barcode of MY VERY OWN postcards. When I scanned the one with the clovers on it, with a sentence saying ‘TRY YOUR LUCK’ I must admit I beamed.

What inspires you?

First of all, I like paper, the soft touch of it, and the smell. I like going to stationery shops, where I can smell the ink and the school scent. I also like old books smell… I had always dreamt of becoming a librarian.

I also like postcards, the small size, and the purpose. It is like a little travelling bird, carrying good news.

For my riddle postcards collection, I get my inspiration absolutely everywhere, depending on my desires and on what’s happening in my life.

I rarely work because of a special demand from my editor. Even if I keep the idea of a collection in mind, I am a bit of a chameleon; I love playing with different themes, colours and even sometimes playing with different graphic styles.

I always try to be curious, to follow the new trends. Animals, my favourite theme, are also fashion victims! (indeed, cows in the 2000s were soon to be replaced by bugs, owls and swallows). Therefore I have to adapt to the tendency. Bugs, monsters and food are still my favourite since they can be easily adjustable, and I can really let my imagination work.

What techniques/means you use to draw your postcards? For instance, do you draw by hand first, or perhaps using the computer only?

Thanks to the progress of technologies, my technics have improved tremendously. Since the beginnings I’ve drawn by hand, I scan and then I re-draw the contours in Photoshop, then I colour the entire piece. But today with the introduction of the graphics tablet, the contours are way neater. It is such a gain in time, a great tool to use.

Lali riddle cards
Do you know how many you've done so far? Do you have a favourite one?

I think I have drawn about 200 postcards, lots of which are not printed anymore... Right now, there are about 80 different types on the market.

My favourite postcards are not the most successful ones. Some are timeless, but others are more fashionable, and thus last less.

It is more pleasant to draw the ones that tell a story, with a setting which incudes many scenes. For instance “le potager” (the vegetable patch), “le grand huit” (the roller coaster) or the last one “le colibri” (the hummingbird) are some of them.

Lali riddle cards

I’d say that two cards are like turning points in the collection:

  • The monsters: at that time, most of the background I was drawing were white. I mistakenly clicked and coloured the background in black. The result was great and so obvious. Today, this card is one of the best one of the collection that is composed of many black background cards.
  • The library: it is part of my second new collection, signed ‘Lali & MG’. For its really long and tedious realisation, I asked the fans of my Facebook page to give me names of famous couples. That was so much fun!

Lali riddle cards
Are you a letter/postcard writer yourself?

I’m not going to lie, I use to write many more letters and cards before the invention of mails and text messages, which are my worst enemies…

But for a little while now, I’ve been using Postcrossing and I’ve just received my three first postcards. And it’s so nice and pleasing!

Thank you Lali, what a great interview! :) You can check Lali's designs on her website, www.lali.fr, and you can also interact with her and follow the evolution of her collection on her Facebook page, facebook.com/lali.officiel.

Lali herself!

And now for the best part: Lali kindly offered 3 packs of her wonderful postcards and other goodies to give away to 3 lucky postcrossers! For a chance to win a pack, check out her postcard designs, and leave a comment on this blog post, telling us which one was your favourite. We'll randomly pick 3 winners this time next Wednesday and announce them on this post. Good luck! :)

And the lucky postcrossers, as chosen by Paulo's random number generator are... isabetta, serenityuy and Sreisaat! Congratulations to the winners and thank you everyone for participating! :)

A parting message from Lali:

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the warm comments you posted on the blog. I am more than ever motivated to find new riddle postcards and bring a little joy and fantasy in your letterboxes :-) Good news: Gradually, all the riddles will be translated into English at the back of the postcards. If you want to try your luck again, join me on my Facebook page, I often organize contests. Happy summer and happy postcrossing!"
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