I've written before about the wonder of vintage postcards, and making fabric postcards from my own artwork. I just read a great book on mail art called Good Mail Day that had a list of sites to swap mail art. One really struck my fancy, called Postcrossing, where after you sign up you send postcards and then receive postcards back from random people around the world.
In your Postcrossing profile you tell a bit about yourself and can say what kind of cards you'd like to get. I have a huge collection of postcard books, and it's really fun paging through them to find the perfect one for each person. A girl in Belarus said she liked "cars of your country," so I chose a really cool card for her, see the one of the country western singer standing in front of his famous Pontiac.
It takes a while to receive your first postcard, because your name only gets sent out after one of your cards reaches its destination. You can send out 5 cards at first, so hopefully at least one will get to the person quickly. They do increase the number you can send out at once; I'm up to 7.
You can see one of my favorites, sent by a woman in Germany, with a ladybug poised on some white flowers. She said on the card that when she read my profile she thought it would have been better to get a card from me, so I sent her a message (you can contact people through their profiles if they agree to that) saying that I'd love to send her a card. I just mailed her my own ladybug greeting card, that's the one with the ladybug stretching to reach between flowers.
At first I sent commercial cards, but a girl in the Ukraine wrote that she liked handmade cards, nature, and animals, so I decided to print one of my hummingbird photos for her. I had read that postcards to Europe shouldn't be too flimsy or they might crumple on their long trip, so I printed the back and front on one sheet of paper, folded it over, and pasted them together to make it double-strength. Printing the back let me include a fun "Postcard" graphic I scanned from one of my vintage cards, which I also use to print on my fabric postcard backs.
I just sent my photo of a monarch butterfly on a sunflower to a woman in the Netherlands who likes postcards with flowers and animals. I printed it on Epson Velvet Fine Art paper, which is thicker than most other inkjet paper.
It's so fun both to send and receive cards. If you sign up for Postcrossing and want to exchange cards let me know - you can do direct swaps along with the random selection of addresses that the site generates for each normal swap. Happy Postcrossing!
Here are my other blog posts about postcards: