If you're anything like me and have a fetish for postcards, then you'll know all about postcrossing. I however only found out about it yesterday. Where have I been?
If you haven't heard of it before it's this neat postcard exchange program whereby you send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person somewhere in the world.
If the sound of sending random people postcards freaks you out, you can stress less because there is no obligation to include a return address. When you register your details on the website they are kept private. You choose how much you wish to disclose to the people you're sending postcards to.
For each address you receive, you also receive a tracking number. When the person on the receiving end, well... receives it, they log onto the website and enter the tracking number. It then logs your postcard as being received and you know that it arrived safe and sound.
Also, you can request specific types of postcards. Some people ask for places of interest from where you live, others want specific animals and some leave it completely up to you.
So being the postcard freak that I am I created my account yesterday and requested my first four addresses. I took great delight in handmaking each card to the owner's requests for personal likes (you don't have to hand-make the postcards, you can buy them instead if that pleases you). I found a postcard back template on Martha Stewart's website.
You just download, print and trim the backs and then create your masterpiece on the front. You can use a clear sealer to finish your postcards and make them more durable so they'll hold up through international post, or you can do what I did and laminate them just to be extra sure.
Today I posted a postcard each to Taiwan, China, USA and Finland.
Taiwan - made from sumo cat printed fabric that's been laminated
China - made using stamps from around the world (Australia is circled) and laminated
USA - she likes lighthouses, so I printed a photo of a lighthouse I took a couple of years ago onto hand-written background paper. Laminated of course
Finland - was all about local sights, so Luna Park in Melbourne was my choice. I scanned a sketch of Luna Park then printed it out onto a page from an old Woman's Weekly magazine.
If you like the idea of receiving lots of postcards from around the world, then make sure you register yourself an account at postcrossing. It's free. Well, except for the postage... and supplies of course.
There's nothing like receiving good old fashioned mail.