Wednesday 27 August 2014

Pondering about postcards: the 'Pile of Postcards Exchange'

Hi there.

Following on from my post earlier in the week, about misspelling addresses, I thought it was a good time to share the outcome of my participation in the Pile of Postcards Exchange. 

It was the lovely idea of Sian at From High in the Sky to get people writing, by hand, real, papery, postcards sharing a moment from their summer ... then posting them out to 6 others form around the world. And the whole nostalgic activity gave me plenty of food for thought from the very start ...

Where do you find postcards these days?
As I was going to be posting to people from different countries / counties I wanted to send a card that closely represented where I live; so they'd get a true feel for the location.

Now, if you're someone who lives in a little tourist town or big city then you'll probably take for granted postcards with familiar scenes on them but - everyone else - play along with this little experiment ...

If you had to send someone a card depicting where you live ... where would you go to buy one? It's not so easy to answer is it?  The small town where I live isn't a tourist destination and I can't ever recall seeing any postcards of it in the shops I pop into for bread, milk and the Radio Times.

So, next time I was in the city centre I went to the main WHSmith and asked for local postcards ... which they didn't have. So I was directed to the Tourist Information Office [not somewhere you tend to visit when you already know an area is it?!] and there they were.

The cards I sent:
For some reason ... 3 of the designs were freebies, so I took those thankyouverymuch,  and then bought several others featuring arty shots of the Transporter Bridge [a local iconic landmark]:
And then, once I had a set that represented where I live ... I took them away with me and - as is tradition - I wrote and posted the postcards from my holiday!

Ruth, Maria, Serena, Heather, Jen and Jessie - I do hope you all received your bi-location card from me. It's fun to think that a little piece of Teesside made it's way safely through the postal system to cities across Britain as well as all the way to Australia and the USA.

The cards I received:
A big THANK YOU to Karen, Sinead, Cheri, Jane, Jacky, Cate ... and Sian, for these lovelies which dropped through my door this summer:
And then there's this one [at the bottom of this photo] which fits into both the above categories; because ... I both sent it and received it!
 My Dad, who looked after our house while we were away, texted me after finding it on my doormat to tell me I really ought to get out more seeing as how I was resorting to sending myself postcards!

Clearly he was forgetting that I was out ... which is precisely why I needed to send myself a postcard; to document it! ;-)

And here's where I'm storing all mine, in the back of my summertime Junk Journal [more details here].

Further postcard-themed projects:
If, like me, you like the idea of writing postcards to yourself  - to preserve memories - then you might want to hop back to this series of posts last year:
In my '30 Postcards to Myself' project I created, and wrote out, a card for each day of September 2013 ... not that I posted them to myself that time round.

Posting a card to yourself once while away on holiday is fun. Posting one 30 times is ... well, it's close to £19!!

So I just hand delivered them to myself instead ...


Before I go, I'd like to thank Sian for hosting the 'Pile of Postcards Exchange' and for getting us all to slow down and share a few 'wish you were here' moments with like-minded happy-mail fans from across the globe!


p.s: for a whole host of additional postal-themed links visit my Going Postal Pinterest board here.


  1. I love that you went out your way to find postcards of your locality, Julie, that is a lovely idea but I share your difficulty in knowing where to find them! I struggled with finding a postcard rack for the scavenger hunt but well done you - as resourceful as ever you tracked them down!
    I love transported bridges and all things quirky. I discovered one in Newport (south Wales) and I am taking Brian and friends in a few weeks as I know they will love to see it too. I may even send myself a post card now you have reminded me of the idea :)
    I wonder what you will do with your postcards now? I have a pile received in swaps or happy mail and have thought to make bunting or a mini book. They are too nice just to tuck away.
    A great post from you, as always ;)

  2. Great post - I tend to take the area for granted definitely not post card pretty - but when you look at it with fresh eyes there are some outstanding features xx

  3. I do live in a tourist town and could easily have sent a 'touristy' postcards to people.....but I quite enjoyed looking in 'antique' and charity shops to find more apt ones. Hope you liked the knitting one....maybe you could use it on a layout or card.

    1. I *loved* your card - thank you Jacky - especially as, at the time you sent it, I'd been reading a book on the social history of clothing during WW1 which included a chapter on knitting for soldiers! Perfect coincidence. :-D

  4. Great post x
    I loved being part of this great swap x

  5. Yep, I think we'll have to do this one again :)

    I was really blown away by the variety of cards everyone took the trouble to choose for me: vintagey ones, wordy ones, history's kind of nice to know that you all know what I'd love. Finding cards? I went to our big new Visitor Centre in town (still a novelty here!) and bought out the stock of the ones I chose. I went back the following week to get more and they hadn't restocked, so I tracked the card maker down to our local Craft market and bought more there. Funny, the "local flavour" cards I looked at here haven't changed at all really from the ones my grandpa used to send me in the 70's and which I still have in that old album of mine.

  6. As a member of Postcrossing I send a lot of postcards and usually pick up a few cards wherever I go. I do prefer to send cards from the area where I live though and have started to make my own. I take photos when I'm out and about and have found some great postcard stickers on Etsy (the part of the postcard you write on) so all I have to do is print my photo, put it on the sticker and hey presto - one unique postcard!

  7. Hand delivering was definitely the better option - it also has the merit of ensuring 100% delivery :). I do like your map pocket ...

  8. Glad mine arrived safely - it was a great swap and prompted me when I did go on holiday to send 8 postcards - better bookmark that number LOL!!


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