Saturday, September 5, 2015

Bird postcards, hosted by Jan - Due September 21st

Jan Hardt is back as our guest host, and this time her chosen theme is BIRDS.

 Since she is the guest host you will be mailing all your items to her.  Cards must be sent by September 21stHer mailing address is:

Jan Hardt
1320 57th Place
Des Moines, IA  50311

Your challenge:

Create up to four bird-related postcards. Interpret the theme any way you wish, creating in any style you want, using any media you want. Postcards will be mailed to partners "naked" (without an envelope) so don't put anything too crazy/lumpy on them.


Don’t forget the new postage rate for postcards is $.35, and your card has to be no larger than 4"x6" to use a postcard stamp.  Please measure your cards.  Postcards may not be delivered if they don't have enough postage.  If your card is bigger than 4"x6" you'll need a "forever" stamp.

Have fun, and let me (Karen) know if you're interested in hosting a future swap.

Swap details:
  • You may submit as many as four cards (you will get back the same number you send, each from a different artist) 
  • Include a mailing label with your name and address for each card you create
    (I will attach them to the cards I mail back to you)
  • Please attach the proper postage to your postcard (see below for postal guidelines).  If you don’t have any stamps and it’s difficult for you to get some, go ahead and send money instead.  You can stick cash in the envelope. (sorry, can't take paypal payments this time)
  • if you're sending more than one, please make sure you insert waxed paper or parchment in between the cards so they don't get stuck together in the envelope
  • Write “MMSA Birds” on the back of your card to remind your recipient why they are receiving this wonderful work of art in the mail
  • I highly suggest you write your return address on the back of the postcard (in case of postal delivery problems) and your email address so the recipient can thank you.   
  • A note for your partner on the left side of the postcard is a nice touch.
  • Leave the right side of the postcard blank (the part where the address goes)
Postage and Card Size
You are welcome to make any size postcard you want, but please pay attention to the following postal guidelines
  • In order to use the postcard rate ($.35) your card cannot be bigger than 4 x 6 inches, and it must be thin and flexible.  A 4x6 card that is thick, lumpy or doesn't bend, needs more postage.  Keep in mind, if you have the old hummingbird, or apple or aloha stamps, you will need to add either a $.01 or $.02 or $.03 stamp to equal the current postcard rate.  

  • If your card is a rectangle bigger than a postcard, but still flat and flexible, a regular "forever" ($.49 ) stamp is what you need. 
  • If your card is an unusual shape (square, round, house shaped) or is flexible but has some lumpy embellishments it will probably cost you the "non machinable" rate of $.71
  • If your card doesn't bend at all, the post office considers it a package and you should go get it weighed to figure out the proper postage.
You can find all the postal specifications (and a handy postage calculator) here:

Mail your cards no later than September 21st to: 
Jan Hardt
1320 57th Place
Des Moines, IA  50311


  1. This sounds fun! I may try to get it together and make the deadline

  2. Hi!
    I'm working on a few bird postcards. You don't mention international swapping for this open swap. Is that still possible, and if I prefer to swap w/ people abroad, I just put the $1.00 international stamp on, right? Hope to hear from you before Monday!
    Debra Mulnick Boise, ID

    1. HI Debra. I'm not sure if Jan is accepting international swappers for this one, but if she is, the international postage rate gets paid by the international artist. The way I did it when I was hosting was this: the person from outside the US sent me $ via paypal for postage and I would attach additional stamps to the outgoing mail created by a US artist. (The international rate is $1.20, so I'd add $.85 of postage to a card with a US postcard stamp on it. The artist living outside the US would send me an unstamped postcard and I'd adhere a $.35 postcard stamp to mail it to someone stateside, thereby using the entire $1.20 sent to me via paypal) Where cards get sent is completely at the discretion of the host, and since a US artist has no way of knowing where her art will be sent, and most of our artists live within the US, the US artists are only expected to pay US rates. All that being said, you can always email Jan directly to see how she's handling it. Her email is in the post above. - Karen

  3. Mailed off 3 cards yesterday! (to Jan)