Some of my custom Postcrossing postcards.

It’s been almost a month since I first joined Postcrossing. So far I’ve sent seven cards (two are still in transit to their destinations). The two cards I’ve received to date have come from Germany and Ireland:

My first received cards: from Germany (left) and Ireland.

My first received cards: from Germany (left) and Ireland.

I’m actually having a lot of fun! The card from Germany arrived first and was in my mailbox on a day when I’d come home from work feeling lousy. It was a great pick-me-up! There was a lovely note on the back which made me smile. But what really got me grinning today was receiving my shipment of custom postcards from MOO!

I admit I’d become a little nervous about using my own photos for Postcrossing after I ordered them. Some users have things like “No handmade cards” in their profiles, and having read the forum it seems like some people can actually be really snobby about the cards they want to receive. I guess these folks value the card itself more than the gesture of communication and friendship from another human being. At the same time, it’s a community guideline on Postcrossing that members aren’t allowed to make demands in their profiles, just wishes, and that ultimately it’s up to each member to choose what to send—so long as it’s a postcard.

My cards aren’t “handmade” in the sense that I didn’t print them at home, so I have that going for me. When the package came I couldn’t help but be excited. My own photos, tangibly printed (and not from a kiosk at WalMart either)! It’s the first time I’ve done something like this, and other than my Photostreams, also the first time I’ll really be sharing my photography with anyone beyond friends and family.

Something else I was nervous about was how the quality might turn out. I got an electronic proof of the cards of course, but seeing something on the screen and having the finished product in your hand is never really the same. The Postcrossing forum had some complaints from other users who had used other printers (not MOO) to have their cards done, where they said that the cropping was bad, color quality was poor, the cardstock was flimsier than they expected, and so on. I didn’t want that to be my experience!

I ordered three sets of postcards.

I ordered three sets of postcards.

When I opened the bubble mailer I found my cards wrapped up in these really cute green-dotted packs. I felt like I had received a gift!

It is a bit like magic, seeing something you made come to life...

It is a bit like magic, seeing something you made come to life…

The packs will be handy for storing the cards in and keeping them protected while I gradually send them out. Each pack also had a card insert with it for the specific order, and those cards have nice motivational phrases on them. :D This is like magic! I took all those photos but they’ve just been sitting around as bytes and pixels on my computer all this time… Now they will hopefully delight the people they go to and maybe become a part of some treasured collections. (A girl can dream!)

Not gonna lie, I squealed out loud!

Not gonna lie, I squealed out loud!

Actually opening the first pack of cards was a WOW moment. The postcards are phenomenal (if I do say so myself!) and they look so professional! They’re all glossy on the picture side, the colors are vibrant, the cardstock is very nice, the cropping is perfect! The reverse side is printed clearly and has proper areas for the stamp, address, and message. Honestly… There’s nothing quite like seeing my name as the photo credit. MOO did such a great job with these cards that the recipients might think they came from that nebulous place where all “official” postcards come from! Worth every penny!

(The cards are so nice I might actually have trouble sending them away… I’d like to keep them all for myself!)