Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday -Swaps

Teeny Tiny Stuffie swap (I made the green squirrel)

Swapping is a great way to stir up your creative juices or get out of a slump. Most of my artwork is painted paper collage and most of my swaps are small stuffies or plush. Working on something creative but different from your norm is a nice change. Participating in swaps also enables you to amass a nice collection of original pieces of art or craft. I've made new friends and contacts in the creative and business world from the swaps.

Swaps can come in all variations: art, craft, supplies, recipes, letter writing, photos, postcards, poetry, books, patterns, even email swaps. By participating in a "100 recommended books swap", I found a bunch of new authors and books to try out.

If you are open to swaps of all types, try Swap-bot. On the right side is a list of new and popular swaps. You do need to register, but it is easy and free. Try the search option too. Swap-bot has a rating system. This is not critiquing ability but rather did you follow the guidelines of the swap and did you meet the deadline. Some swaps have rating minimums, but there are plenty of swaps for newbies to get their feet wet and a get ratings history. In Swap-bot, the person to send to is not the same you receive from. Other places pair people up for the swap. It is a good idea to fill out your profile of likes and dislikes. Most swappers will look at your profile and make something they think you will like. It is fun to include extra goodies, but not required. Don't add goodies to make up for a poorly make swap item either. It won't win you any hearts.

You can also find swaps on Yahoo groups and on Flickr. There are also swaps hosted by bloggers. Please add a comment if you know of other places that host creative swaps.

OK there is a downside...once in a while I get something that is not well made at all. No effort was put into it. It happens, but most people want to do their best. I personally have never been flaked on in a swap, but it does happen. Especially on a website or group swap where you probably don't know your swap partner. It is too bad that it happens. Thankfully there are sometimes swap "angels" that will make you something when your assigned partner bails out on you :-)

Now is the time to jump in!!!!!
I thought it would be fun to have another Handmade Christmas Ornament Swap.
Jenniffer (minefull) hosted one on the WIST blog two years ago and it was fun. Go here to check it out.

Details for this swap:
-To join the swap, convo me on Etsy or email me via my blog. Please include your snail mail address so I can give it to your swap partner. Please put "Swap" as the subject.
-Sign up deadline is September 22nd. I will partner everyone up on September 23rd.
-Make a nice non religious ornament using whatever materials you choose. Just make something you are proud of and would like to receive.
-Mail the ornament to your partner by October 31st. This way everyone will be able to display it on their tree!

!!!This swap is open to non WIST member also, but we need to keep it a USA only swap to reduce shipping costs. If you can, please take photos and add them to our flickr group (if you are not a WIST member, send them to me and I'll add them)!!!
The more the merrier, so spread it around!

To wrap up...make a kick'n ornament, mail it to your partner, and have fun! *grins*
Please no flaking out!!!! It's just plain rude

These are an example of past swap items I've received and sent out.
The ones I've made are on the right

another Teeny Tiny Stuffie swap

Edward Gorey Gashley Crumb Tinies dotee doll swap

Anti-Valentines Day dotee doll swap

Owl stuffie swap - I sent one owl out. My swap partner sending to me wanted to have a private swap too. So I sent her a small collage and she sent me an additional owl.

Private swap -spring themed dotee doll

Coraline movie stuffie swap

Summer theme tiny book swap --only 3x3 inches


MineFull said...

Awesome! Thanks for organizing this Xanthe! Can't wait to get started :)

Mary said...

I have signed up for swap-bot but have yet to join a swap. Maybe I'll start here first :)