Connecting Through Creativity: Postcard Memories

Connecting Through Creativity: Postcard Memories

By Barbara K. Stump, MA

Who is ready for Spring Break? I live in northern Michigan, and we may have one more round of snow coming. So, yes, please!!

In the spirit of traveling, and to practice mindfulness, I’m creating postcards each month to journal my 2024 experiences. What are some ways that you like to practice mindfulness? Best selling author, and podcaster, Mel Robbins, says one of her favorite ways to practice mindfulness is what researchers call “savoring,” or capturing the moment. It can take place in any setting, and is very easy to do. This can be done by describing the details you observe. For example, in terms of color, you may notice the vibrant blue sky. Or, seeing changes taking place in nature, such as the white snow clinging to the branches of a tree. The idea is to practice being more present, and to also create a moment of peace. Taking this practice of “savoring” a step further, why not think of your life as a journey, or an adventure? Create postcards to highlight your own moments this year. There is a sense of satisfaction to create something that reflects your life in a personal way, not just journaling in a book or using an online app. You could also include journaling about the experience on the back of your postcards. How fun will it be on New Year’s Eve to look back at where you traveled and what you saw in 2024?

Hopefully, I’ve stirred your interest and you might consider recording moments of your life this year in the format of postcards as well. If so, how should you get started? It’s really pretty simple. While creating my own postcards, I used photos I captured on my phone for references and inspiration. Items such as watercolor paints, magazines, and various other art materials were helpful in creating these literal, yet fictional, snapshots from different moments and memories. 

Here is a supply list for you to use:


  1. Using the painters tape, mask off a border and tape your paper down to your work surface. 
  2. Sketch your idea out lightly with a pencil. This is where you may use your phone for reference photos and inspiration to draw your images. 
  3. Using the painters tape, apply it to any areas you would like to remain unpainted.
  4. Apply watercolors as you would like to in designated areas. If you have not had a lot of experience with watercolors you may want to practice your ideas on scrap pieces of paper before staring on your postcards. 
  5. When you are finished painting, you could cut out images from magazines, newspapers, wrapping paper, clip art, etc..,  you would like to use to collage into your paintings. 
  6. Wait until your painting is completely dry before gluing your magazine images.
  7. Gently remove all masking tape around the edges of your postcard, and also within your postcard if you did not remove it before this time.

Below are a few of the postcards I created for the months of January, February, and March of 2024.

For my postcards, I included titles for each, and journaled a short description on the back. It’ll be fun to look back and reflect on at the end of the year. This is what I wrote for mine:

1. “Monkeying Around”-March 2024. Is about living in the moment and using ALL of the colors unapologetically and uncensored.

(far left image in the photo above)

2. “When the Ice is Breaking”-February 2024. Is about how we saw fewer people ice fishing this winter, because the lake took longer to freeze. It never seemed like a safe time for fishing.

(center image)

3. “Make Those Four Pieces of Key Lime Pie!”-January 2024. Is about a vacation we went on with friends to the Florida Keys. The four of us sampled, and rated, our favorite Key Lime Pies, Key Lime Colada’s, Key Lime Ice Cream, Key Lime-you name it, the entire week!

(far right image)

If you’re looking for ideas, nature offers so much beauty for us to witness every day. Taking a walk is a great way to practice “savoring” and gather photos. In addition to that suggestion, here are a few other options for the year to consider as prompts: 

  1. A place that heals you.
  2. A place that inspires you.
  3. A place you visited.
  4. A place you explored.
  5. A place where you learned a new skill or hobby.
  6. A place you enjoy getting coffee, or tea.
  7. A place where you had a fantastic meal.
  8. A place where you met someone special.
  9. A place where you felt challenged.
  10.  A place where you like to gather with friends.
  11. A place that is important to your family.
  12.  A place that best embodies who you are.

Ideally, choose to create what speaks to you. It doesn’t have to be limited to one per month, or prompts from the list above. Create as many as you have time to do. You might be surprised at how enjoyable these little pieces of artwork can become. The main idea is to practice “savoring” and to be mindful of the world around you. Have the time of your life! Thanks to Leap Day this year, we were given another day to use in 2024. Use them all wisely, be present, and look for those moments that stand out. Whether you chose to keep it up over the years is up to you, but picture the joy your future self will have looking back through your creations. What a gift it will be to see the moments you savored, and the imagination you put into coming up with each postcard.  “Life is short, the world is wide, make memories.” – Mama Mia.

Barb Stump is an art education consultant and a G3 contributing writer.