Fran-Made: What Is Your Postcard Story?

What do you to when you encounter a postcard pal who plays in a New Orleans-style brass band? You love her instantly!

I “met” Fran a few months ago through an offer she posted for American Girl postcards.  I just “had to have” Addy! Since that first Addy postcard (hang on, I’ll be blogging about her soon), there’s been a steady stream of postcards from Fran in my mailbox. She finds postcards at antique shops and estate sales and generously sends to those who will appreciate them.I’m tempted to spend the next several posts showing off the postcards Fran sent.

Fran also makes her own postcards. The first “Fran-made” postcard I received was vibrant and intriguing and included an Artist Trading Card (ATC) and a note that detailed her “postcard story.”

Her postcard journey began with ATC’s seven years ago.  She enjoyed designing the “tiny art” cards in the style of the one pictured below–ink colored in with copic markers.

Circles, Lines, and Angles, ATC by Fran B.

ATC’s are about the size of a playing card–2.5 x 3.5 inches–and allow for tightly conceived art. Sometimes an artist needs a larger canvas, so eventually, Fran realized she could make her designs on larger card stock and began making postcards. Postcards became significant when she was challenged by her mother’s illness.

Angles and Lines, Postcard by Fran B.

She writes:

I had made a few cards when my mom learned she had breast cancer. She lived in Florida. . . I began to send her a postcard at least once a week, sometimes more.  I could pray for her while I made my lines and colored them in. I also did some collage style cards as well and by the time she was well enough again to come and spend a month or so with us in summers, she had quite a collection of postcards.

Fran’s meaningful and touching postcard story compelled me to think about my own. I can’t remember the moment I fell in love with sending and receiving postcards, but I’m sure it was around the same time I got into penpaling as a preteen. For years, my favorite postcards were those that told stories, shared some inspirational message or a bit of humor, and those that were artistically “different” or “bold.” I regularly exchanged postcards (and letters) with high school and college friends, but then “email” became a “thing” and snail mail communications almost vanished.

When I “discovered” swap-bot seven years ago, I found a whole community of individuals who loved sending and receiving postcards. My collections grew to hundreds in less than a year, and I welcomed them all–literary, children’s book illustrations, maps, state cards, history, cultural, purple, pink, floral, lighthouses, African American, art, quirky, funny, and so much more.

I started designing my own postcards on a regular basis because of the many creative swaps on swap-bot, but the Liberate Your Art swaps (hosted by Kat Sloma) emboldened me to share them with the world.

Photo postcards, in particular, provide the perfect way for me to share the beautiful things I encounter in my daily life. Crafting my own postcards and writing postcards also rescue me from life’s temporary madnesses. So, while I don’t remember quite where my story begins, I know why it continues.

Do you have a postcard story? If not, it’s time to begin… 😉

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8 Comments

  1. I used to have a postcard collection while a student. Your post motivates me to go back and expand on it. And pen-pals! Yeah, that’s how the postcard exchanges started.

    Reply
  2. I have so much American Girl nostalgia…well…American girl *catalog* nostalgia, actually. I didn’t have any of the dolls, but I sure loved pouring over those glossy pages full of doll-sized stuff! A Christmas catalog came in the mail after Phillip and I moved into our current place, and I wouldn’t let him toss it until I had gone over every page. 😀

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    • Yes, the dolls were (and are) pretty pricey. They came a “little after” my “playing with dolls” years, but I’ve always been fascinated with them. I miss Christmas catalogs and wishbooks. Some department stores try to revive them, but they don’t seem to offer the same experience for my son as they did for us. Maybe, it’s a generational thing.

      Reply
  3. My only postcard story is someone else’s art on a card. I just bought a postcard in a bookstore because the image made me think about myself and how I feel about the beach off-season. That second shape one is so cool.

    Reply
  4. My postcard story began with LYA in 2011. I was eager to be part of a group, and it was the first time I shared my art with the world. I have taken part in LYA each year since, and also other postcard groups. Always enjoy your cards and sharings 🙂

    Reply

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