I love swaps. They give me a great excuse to make things when I probably should be doing other things, like work for example, or cleaning the fridge. Why? Because I have a deadline. "Nope, sorry, can't do the laundry. I've got to get these ATC's in the mail pronto! I have a deadline. " You know it's serious. It has the word "dead" in it.So...I tend to do a fair number of swaps. Fiskateers, to no one's surprise who has read this blog previously, is the board that keeps me most regularly endebted, swap-wise. ATC's and product swaps are by far the most common ones I sign up for. I love the tiny canvas an ATC provides and it's always very cool to see the results of others' creativity, especially when we've all had a theme to think on. And product swaps are basically a nifty excuse to feel good about buying a big bunch of new embellishments because they're not for you. You're so very nice, you're buying them for other people, not spending the money on yourself. And how lovely! A few weeks later all these people send you something nice. Who would have guessed? All the goodies, none of the guilt. Ta-da!
Then there's Club Scrap, with ATC swaps, inchie swaps, birthday swaps, etc. They're fun and they give me lots of ideas for using my monthly kit. And as if that wasn't enough, you can see one of my ATC's in their print newsletter this month. I feel like a rock star! Sure, no one but me noticed, but who cares. I know I'm queen.
The rest of the swaps would fall into the miscellaneous category. There are ones I do with other Stampin' Up demos, mostly for cards and an excuse to pick up a new stamp set. Alpha Stamps has an amazing group of artists on their email list, so I do theirs when I'm feeling up for a challenge and think I might be able to run with the big dogs (even if I'm well aware that I'm just a little yip yip dog at best.) It's worth the huge amount of work and nervousness that everyone will hate what I made when that box comes in the mail with an assortment of incredible treasures by people who make my crafts look like mincemeat.
(Side and front view of the magnet I made for the Alpha Stamps swap. I used alchol ink on a dauber to color the tin green. Incidentally, the alcohol ink ate the glue that held the pad to the dauber, but I felt like it went far enough before expiring.) I glued the black dresden (LOVE dresden. Go to Alphastamps.com to get yours. So beautiful, so many uses.) with Stampin' Up Crystal Effects which held nicely and I didn't have to worry about any showing.)
(Then I stamped the glass using Stazon, punched a circle from some shiny green dotted paper from the Stamproom kit of the month, used colored wire to attach a shrink plastic eiffel tower (which I made by stamping an image onto shrink plastic w/ Stazon. That stuff is handy!) to a postcard charm I picked up somewhere. Then I poured in some green microbeads, chunky green glitter (both from Stampin' Up), and tiny watch parts into the tin to add movement. All done!)
There are also a few other message boards I check in on now and then that I pick up swaps on from time to time and once in a while, when I'm feeling really brave, I even host a swap. It's harder than it looks. There's a lot of sorting, a lot of reporting back to the other people swapping, and inevitably there will be some bumps along the way. Some people won't like the rules, some may not like being contacted too often while others want up-to-the-minute-late-breaking-news reports, like a manilla alert (vs. amber for kids or grey for seniors). And then there are people like me who for some reason can't hang onto the address to mail everything to, so we always end up asking to have it sent again at least once (sorry to all the hosts I've done this to and will probably do this to again. I really do try to hang onto the info. It's just that digital elves sneak into my email and they delete anything that will cause me particular embarassment to lose. Sigh.)
Back to work...it's midnight and I've got 2 more ATC's do finish before I sleep.