No. Cards is not the new word of the month.
The new word is coming later this month.
Cards is a project. A year-end project in the good old SiP tradition you can join in. Cards are the new book exchange.
Easier, simpler and back to the roots.

What is it all about?

We started a few years back here with a little book exchange. Looking back at your own work, select and curate the best of twelve. Print and then engage. Share with friends and strangers alike. The gift of giving.

A project that was successful and became a tradition. A tradition that became hard to manage. The cost of printing a little booklet, the administrative burden of getting the books ready long for Xmas and then the reshipping.
An awesome idea, yet it drifted away from the original intent.

And this year we go back to basics.
High creative value, low cost and (hopefully) deeper human interaction.
A handwritten card exchange between old and new friends alike.

Tell me more.

Eight easy steps.

  1. First, you decide to join the SiP card exchange by signing up here. The final sign-up date is December 2nd, but the earlier we know who is all in, the easier it is for us to keep you posted (*).
  2. Second, you create your own toy photography card (much easier to manage and print than a whole book). We will be sharing a post on some of the different ways you can make your own creative postcard (local drugstore, RedBubble, Moo, …) and the actual cost, quality and delivery times.
  3. You (the creative photographer) give us your address and the address of a friend or a faraway family member you want to give the gift of receiving a whole set of toy photography cards from all over the world (yes, you can think who you want to give the gift of giving – final deadline is December 2nd).
  4. We raffle this whole exchange up so that there are no more than twelve creative photographers in a group. This means that you don’t have to worry about how many cards you have to send. No more than 23 postcards and guaranteed no less than 11 (full math details below*)
  5. On to December 4th and we send you all the list of your creative cluster photographers and their friend’s address list. By now you are well underway to get your fresh set of cards delivered to your doorstep.
  6. You handwrite your cards and post them in the mail between December 11 and Friday 22nd December, making sure your cards arrive at their final destinations before 2018 kicks off.
  7. You start to receive individual handwritten cards from all over the world and hopefully a bear hug from your friend, colleague or family member you bestowed the gift of getting beautifully hand-signed pieces of art in their mailbox.
  8. Last but not least. You have now a beautiful book of cards from all over the world and you add your card to set. A book of twelve(*) or so awesome images. A tradition reborn.

Not sure if you have the time or the money?

Let us do a quick roleplay for you.
You are really interested in joining this little creative adventure, but you are not sure if you have the time or the money to join.


You do not always need to shoot a new image. It is a common misunderstanding that everything needs to be new. Have a look at your own archive, there may be some beautiful images that you have not yet used and are perfect for this. Or maybe you have used them. But they are still perfect. As they are timeless. A gift to give. Reflect back on your work, and select one of your best works of 2017 to celebrate the coming of 2018. Or maybe you want to make twelve unique cards. You choose. Yet you do not need a lot of time.

Time Two.

Hey, I do want to shoot a new image. What are my deadlines to get this to the printer? It is hard to tell, your local drugstore may print within the hour, but when we look at the more exclusive card printing boutique like Moo (some of us here on SiP will be using Moo) their cheapest delivery timeline is 6€ in 9 business days for most countries in Europe. So that gives most of us at least two full weeks to get a photoshoot arranged and be in time for sending out the postcards.

Doing the model interviews for the annual SiP postcard exchange is not an easy task …

What does it cost?

Again, if we stick with Moo (which is not a cheap solution, but they do make great products), 25 postcards cost about 21€ (shipping not included), let’s add the 6€ shipping, and you end up with a unit price of 1.2 € per card. You can easily go more DeLuxe or push the price a little further down (but remember it is your artwork you are giving away). Putting “Precious” in an envelop and having it hand-delivered by the postmen around the world adds another 2€.

Total investment: Seventy Three Euro (21€+6€+46€ = 73€)

Is it worth it? We cannot judge, we can only say what is in the package. The gift to give twelve cards from different artists to an unaware friend or faraway relative, share your work with other creatives and receive eleven works of arts from old and new creative friends alike, all handwritten, giving you an exclusive book of cards to cherish for the future.

Why The Additional Friend?

We believe the real connections we make are important. Very important. And so it is more than the artificial flick of a like and the corresponding dopamine kick. It is all about being acoustic. Make the time to make those human connections. Write with a pen. Leave a breadcrumb of happiness. Reach out. And connect.

We hope you join us for this year card exchange.

The SiP Crew


(*) Here is the math behind the 23 postcards and the cluster of twelve. If we have a cluster of twelve, you have eleven other creative toy photographers and eleven nominees that will get a card, plus your own nominee = 11+11+1= 23 cards. Let’s say we are with 10, we all need to send 19 cards. Fourteen? Two groups of seven it is. Each sending 13 cards (with 6 people being the mathematical minimum). A great success and we end up with 30 or more? No worries, three groups of ten, so 19 cards each, but no more than 23 cards. We like clusters of twelve, and so if we end up with a round number of 12, 24, 36 on the end of the month, we reserve the right to close the sign up early on the first of December. Just saying, don’t wait until the very last moment as you may end up in the standby queue.


A Review of the LEGO Elves Dragons

As soon as the winter started to reach its end, I began to think I should focus on a project during the summer. When Boris announced his plan of making us work on a summer project, not only I already had a few ideas, but I had already started to work on some of them.

Up to now, I’ve been quiet about these summer project ideas. I wanted to take the time to let my ideas mature before releasing anything publicly. The only persons who have seen the result of my summer photography are the old and new friends I met last month in Edinburgh.

But I think it’s about time to give a glimpse of what I’ve been doing for the past four months through a review of 3 LEGO Elves sets. Set 41172 The Water Dragon Adventure, 41175 Fire Dragon’s Lava Cave and 41179 Queen Dragon’s Rescue. (Moreover, last month’s word was LEGO after all!) Continue reading “A Review of the LEGO Elves Dragons”

A visit to the LEGO House

A long time ago, in a faraway land …

A good three years ago, I traveled to Billund to visit the factory as part of the release of the original LEGO Movie and a little building contest we won. The center of Billund was turned into one gigantic building site and a vision of what was about to come was revealed. However, it is fair to say that the epic building wharf was what left the impression. A whole city center being redesigned. Fast forward to the latest RLFM days this spring, and we saw the inside of what is now known as the Home of the Brick.

The wharf, three years ago. September 2014 when we visited Billund.

When we visited earlier this year, we got an epic preview of the LEGO tree, and have shared some images before. Not all was ready.  The Master Gallery was still waiting for its guests to arrive. The activity rooms were still very much WIP (read Work In Progress). A lot of work was still ahead for the LEGO House Crew to make it all come together just a few months later.

A good hour before the doors would open this Friday.

And then there was last Friday. The avant-premiere of the official opening of the LEGO House with 600 AFOLs gathering in Billund to explore the House first hand. The real fire drill before the house will officially be opened next Thursday for the world to explore. And what an opening it was. Continue reading “A visit to the LEGO House”

Story book (a summer project) – Status report

Summer holidays.

What a great moment of the year. I really hope you are enjoying yours.

Like every year, the summer season is one of the busiest time of the year at work, for me. This June/July did not fail to be so.

And since I don’t have any child, I tend to take my summer holidays in June or September. What a delight to be on vacation when everyone is back at the office. :-)

This time, in September, there is the Edinburgh toy safari planned followed by a trip to Denmark (but more on that later on the blog).

Don’t get me wrong, I will have a short break this August during which I will drive to the South of France, to visit my parents.  Continue reading “Story book (a summer project) – Status report”

The Arctic Road Trip

As soon as I decided to move to Northern Finland last year, my plan for the summer holidays was to go on an Adventure in Northern Norway. After two recent short road trips to the Lofoten Islands and to Tromsø and the Island of Senja at the end of the winter, I had a better idea of what my summer plan would look like. I wanted to visit new locations, but also go back to the ones I saw in the winter so I could see how different they are in the summer. Continue reading “The Arctic Road Trip”