Monday, August 31, 2009
Just so you know — the database is taking a little longer to build than expected, so our September address mailing to members is being done manually by me. I've sent out addresses to half of our 257 members as of yesterday, and will have the rest done by this evening. Thanks for your patience — needless to say it's a bit slow doing it this way!
Update: I've just finished sending off the last name on the list — whew! If you haven't yet received your address for mailing your postcard, please let me know. Thanks!
(lovely photograph by the wonderful Alexandra Grablewski, via we heart it)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
A quick update on the progress of the first BPS mailing! Right now we're busily putting together an app that will take care of managing the 250+ member addresses and emails, so that the random member selection and the emailed notification process each month can be an automated and smoothly running process. The addresses for our first mailing on September 1 are scheduled to go out this weekend — but if there's a hitch I'll post a note here to let you all know what's going on.
Thanks so much to my fab brother Greg for his hard work on this, and thanks to you all for your patience — rest assured that I'm as eager as you are to get started, too!
(lovely photograph by letteria on flickr, via weheartit)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The World's Smallest Postal Service (WSPS) is a teeny tiny transcription service and roaming post office based in the San Francisco Bay Area and also available online. Lea Redmond is the Postmaster, setting up her tiny mobile office in cafes and shops where passers-by can write a letter and have it turned into a "world's smallest letter." The letter is transcribed on a miniature desk in the tiniest of script, sealed with a miniscule wax seal with the sender's initial pressed into it, packaged up with a magnifying glass in a glassine envelope, and finished off with a large wax seal. (from the official site)
I would have adored this as a child — and I'm still finding this seriously cute now.
(Via puglyfeet on English Muse)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Last month France's postal service La Poste released a limited edition chocolate-themed — and chocolate-scented! — set of ten postage stamps to celebrate the 400th anniversary of chocolate's arrival in France in 1609. Getting mail with these would not only be fun, but delicious. From Serious Eats, via A Cup of Jo.
Monday, August 24, 2009
One of the fascinating things about putting together the database for the Benevolent Postcard Society has been seeing not only how diverse we are in terms of where we live, but what we do, too. I thought it might be interesting for other members to have a sense of what we each do to make a living, too — feel free to share in the comments below. And me? I'm a collage illustrator.
(inspiring work space via my archive of Domino Deco Files)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Wondering where other members of the BPS are from? I'm still compiling the database (and adding a few latecomers), but here's a quick list of the countries our 250-odd members call home:
(lovely photograph by lobster and swan, via weheartit)
Friday, August 21, 2009
I've just about finished setting up the database for the Benevolent Postcard Society, but before I do I have a special bonus for BPS members! If you have a friend who hoped to join but missed the deadline, today's a special day — all they have to do is send an email (to me directly at email@example.com) with the heading "BPS" and their address by midnight tonight (Friday August 21, EST) and they're in! I'm only announcing this on the blog, so consider this my little thanks to you for being so supportive of the new home of the BPS.
Update: Thanks so much and a big hello to the new members! The database is now closed and we're busy getting ready for the first mailing on September 1. More on that soon ...
(beautiful postcard from Geninne's Art Blog, via weheartit)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Welcome to the official blog of The Benevolent Postcard Society — thanks so much for being a part of the project! This is the place for members to find out what's new, post comments, ask questions and share info. And now — here's the detailed info (in a question and answer format) on the project as promised! Leave a comment if you have any questions and I'll respond as soon as I can (or someone else might be able to help you out, too).
Q. How exactly does this work?
A. Send a happy postcard. Get a happy postcard. That's pretty much it. Each month you'll send a postcard to a different person — and each month a different person will send a postcard to you. At the end of the year, you'll have 12 postcards from 12 different people.
Q. How do I get a mailing address to send my postcard to each month?
A. Towards the end of each month for the next 12 months, I'll email you the randomly selected address of the person you'll be sending your next postcard to for the coming month. For example, towards the very end of this month (August) I'll email you an address for the September 1 mailing.
Q. When do I send my postcard?
A. The postcards should go out on the first of each month, starting September 1 2009. If for some reason you can't make it to the mailbox until the next day, that's fine — just remember that some postcards have quite a distance to travel, and the sooner they go the faster someone else will get your amazing postcard!
Q. Should I write something on the back of the postcard besides the address?
A. Sure! But keep it short and sweet, and of course positive. The point is to bring a smile to the face of whoever is lucky enough to find your postcard in their mailbox. So, it could be a simple "Hello!" or "Have a great day!" or a friendly short poem or haiku, or a cheerful quote that you'd like to share. Add your name and you're done! If you're still uncertain about what to write, you can even do a little drawing or a smiley face, which would be nice to get, too! The one thing I would ask you to bear in mind is that we are a diverse group from all over the world, so there should be nothing overtly religious or political in your message. But you know that already.
Q. When will I get my own postcard that month?
A. It depends on where your postcard is traveling from! Our members are scattered all over the world, so if you're in, say, Canada and your postcard is traveling from Estonia, you may need to give it an extra week or so. If you don't receive anything by the end of the month, though, let me know and I'll look into it. Sadly the mail system isn't perfect, so there may be the occasional postcard that goes astray. If that should happen (and I certainly hope it won't), I'll make it up to you and ensure that a replacement is sent.
Q: Any dos and don'ts about the actual postcards?
A. If you're making your own postcards (or are embellishing found ones) and are gluing things on — such as adding collaged photos, wax seals, or even sparkles — I highly recommend sending it in an envelope. The automated sorters that the post office uses are really good at tearing off anything like this, as they're designed to process plain flat envelopes and not anything with interesting contours.
Also, be sure to check with the post office if you're sending a postcard that isn't the usual size or weight — either of which will mean you'll need to add extra postage. It would be so disappointing to have a postcard returned to you just because you're a few cents short!
The subject matter of the postcards is entirely up to you. I know some people are doing beautiful handmade postcards, others plan on sending antique postcards, some are busy collecting postcards from museums and art galleries, while others have gathered together quirky or amusing postcards that they've found at flea markets and souvenir shops. Again, bear in mind that it shouldn't be something that could easily be taken the wrong way (i.e. something rather risqué) unless you know well the person you're mailing it to. I don't want to act as a censor, so again use your own excellent judgment.
Q. What happens after we've sent and received our postcards for one year?
A. The original plan was to have a gallery show locally of the postcards after the project wraps up in September 2010, which is still something I plan to do for those members who live here in town. But because this has become such a large and diverse group (thank you all!) I'll also be doing a book that will feature all the postcards that were sent and received throughout the 12 months of the project. To that end, I'll ask that you hang on to all the postcards you receive, as I'll need you to mail them all to me once we're done for inclusion in the book. You will of course be both credited in the book AND will have your postcards returned to you once I've photographed them for publication. Please note that all personal info such as mailing addresses on the postcards will be electronically removed by me from the final photographs to preserve the privacy of our members.
I hope that's been helpful — leave a comment if you'd like a little more detail on anything, and thanks so much again!