Our theme for the fall 2019 postcard swap is “books and authors”. Who is your favorite author or book title? Is there imagery or a feeling you particularly like? Maybe you don’t have a favorite but you love books in general. What kinds of ideas could inspire you to make a collage?
The theme was inspired by this amazing postcard created by Patricia Martin.
Here’s a general rundown of the swap details:
- Your collages must be originals that you made and not copies, even if it’s your own work.
- When you make your collages, use papers only, no bumpy embellishments
- At least a third of your paper elements should be vintage or vintage-inspired
- You may send in as many as four cards. (You will get back the same number you send, each from a different artist)
- Your cards will be mailed to your host in an envelope, and your host will mail them “naked” to other swappers. International swappers will have swapped postcards all mailed back in one envelope
- If you’re sending more than one postcard, please make sure they don’t stick together
- LEAVE THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE POSTCARD BLANK (THE PART WHERE THE ADDRESS “TO” GOES)
- Include a mailing label with your name and address for each card you create (Your host will attach them to the cards she mails back to you)
- Enclose your cards into an envelope that includes loose postage and your loose address labels.
- Mail your envelope to:
P.O Box 3115
Saratoga, CA 95070
- The deadline is October 31. Please mail in your submissions by that time. I will wait a few weeks for any last letters arriving from overseas
- Postcards will be mailed out November 15
Interested in being part of an art exhibit?
One of our members of the Vintage Gluebooks and Pages Facebook group is Ann McGinley, a librarian at Esther Bone Library in New Mexico. She is organizing an art exhibit based on collaged postcards done in the “Books and Authors” theme. If you are interested in being part of their library’s exhibit, create an individual collaged postcard that you will mail directly to her at her library. Include the following information on the back of your postcard:
- Your name
- City and state, or city and country
- The title of your favorite book, and author
Mail your collaged postcard to:
Esther Bone Library
950 Pinetree Road SE
Rio Rancho, NM 87144
General advice for creating postcard-sized paper collages
This might be a good time for me to go over some good practices for creating postcard collages that will be going through the postal system.
- Start with a good substrate. Image you are holding a postcard in your hand. What does it feel like? How heavy/sturdy is it? Decide what you could use that can be mailed. A cereal box or other food packaging box should be sufficient, depending on what you glue on top of it. Hopefully it’s just paper you are adding.
- Don’t use anything bumpy — no buttons, lace, fabric, fibers, etc. Even chipboard can be problematic if it is not sufficiently anchored to your substrate. Flat paper is the best and safest choice.
- If you are printing images off the internet to use in your collages (totally fine!), use good quality images rather than images that are blurry or pixelated. Using a poor-quality vintage image is distracting to your overall work, and is worse than using nothing at all.
- Don’t use gluestick to attach papers to a slick surface such as a playing card. Use double-sided tape or a heavier gel-medium to attach something slick or plastic. Gluestick is fine for gluing paper to paper.
- Wait at least 24 hours after you complete your card(s) and then go back and check that all your paper elements are sufficiently affixed. If they aren’t, glue them down again and don’t be skimpy on the glue. Wait some hours and check again.
- A top coat or varnish is entirely personal choice. I prefer not to use a top coat, but this is just a matter of taste. Typically I don’t like anything shiny/glossy over my collages. If you feel more confident using a varnish over the top of a collage to keep everything secured, then do so.
- If you will be participating in a postcard swap and need to include return address labels, make sure they are still sticky. Some labels I have received are so old they no longer have any tackiness once I remove them from the backing, which means I have to attach them with gluestick. Also regarding labels, do not print or send labels on chip board.
- Don’t forget to write a note on the “message” portion of your postcard. So many times I see beautiful postcards that are completely blank on the other side. Again, I often will write the name of the artist if the card is blank, but sometimes it’s too much work. It’s disappointing for a recipient to receive a card and not know who it came from or from what part of the world. It’s lovely if you could write a little note, but the bare minimum should be your name and city.