My dining room table is covered in all sorts of paper and crafting supplies, and I’ve been trying my hand at making postcards again. I saw some lovely ones done by Dumpsterdiversanonymous and wanted to play around, but I’m not entirely happy with the results so far.

Here’s the first one, a combination of an old Family Circle magazine from the 60s, as well as a bit of an ad from a Japanese booklet of local businesses. I wish I’d done the circle stickers vertically instead, but so it goes.

Pizza Hash Postcard (by Valerie.)

I let that sit for a bit, and then came up with an idea to make postcards for New Year’s, as a little project to keep me busy. I don’t celebrate any holidays during December, but I’m all for ringing in the New Year when it comes. And I know that in Japan, it’s common to send a postcard to friends and family so it arrives on New Year’s Day, so I thought I would do something similar. (The postcards are called nengajo, and you can read more about them and other holiday traditions on Wikipedia’s Japanese New Year page.)

I’d like to make a batch of these postcards, to send to friends, so I thought it would help to have a template or pattern of some sort. I had a rough idea in my head of what I wanted, and put together a mockup in Illustrator, just to see if it would make sense. I found some Japanese-style patterns to use, and here’s what I came up with:

New Year's Postcard Concept

This is just a sample, but my intent is to use different colors, patterns, and images but stick with the same overall design. I have plenty of papers, clippings, and whatever else to work with, so this way I can focus on the selection and combination of those materials. I can even customize them for particular people if I want.

I put together my first card tonight, to make sure it worked all right in paper form, and here’s what I came up with:

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #1 (by Valerie.)

I’m not feeling entirely enamored with it at the moment, but I think it’s actually ok and will work with other combinations as well. What do you think?

Meanwhile, I’ve also been looking for new swaps on Swap-bot, and tonight I happened across one that sounds perfect for me: 2010 Nengajo (Japanese New Year Postcards). I think I can manage to make 3 cards by the deadline, but we’ll see how the ones for friends go first.

Separately, I’m also running a notebook swap, inspired by one that was already running for European swappers only. This one’s for the US only, but you just send $8 of notebooks and get the same in return.

Leave a Comment