I am enjoying the privilege of moderating this mail art group.
The talent and creativity of so many participants amazes and humbles me.
Let me assure you that I take my responsibilities as blog site administrator seriously.
Recently there seems to be an increase in group swap pieces
being made on a cardboard base, especially with the active Packaging Materials Group Swap.
By "cardboard" I mean anything thicker
than two or three layers of card stock/index card paper.
I am not ready to ban cardboard at this time, although
each swap host has the option to prohibit cardboard
from use in a particular mail art swap.
(Check each group swap description for details.)
Automated postal sorting machines will bend your piece at a
45-degree angle through lightning-fast equipment,
unless it is designated as "unmachineable"
by affixing unmachineable/extra postage.
Pieces with insufficient postage require someone to make up the difference, and that usually turns out to be the swap host who pays out of his or her own pocket. This shortage can become burdensome to those who volunteer to facilitate group swaps. Fortunately there are a few swappers who include extra postage stamps in their mailings, and this helps.
Post cards larger than 4+1/4" x 6", round or square pieces, or heavily embellished (thick/chunky/bulky) pieces also require extra postage. I recommend that you take your individual pieces to the post office to have them weighed for proper postage before putting them into an envelope for a group swap. If you can't get to the post office ahead of mailing, it would be helpful if you included non-machinable rate stamps and extra postage to help cover the costs the swap host will face when preparing your mail for redistribution.
This might be a good opportunity to remind everyone that inadequate glue adhesion or sealing of collaged pieces will make damage
or loss in the mail a very distinct possibility. (You may request that your pieces be mailed to their new home in an envelope which you would provide, along with any necessary padding and adequate postage.)
Every now and then a host receives group swap pieces
with no postage included at all.
Kindly double check to be sure that you have enclosed