Thursday, August 2, 2007

Wanna Swap??

Have you been thinking about joining a swap online? Here is a swap I just finished (scanned in crooked-sorry) and some information for those of you thinking of joining a swap.
This is my contribution to a 6x6 scrapbook page swap for new stamp sets in the Fall/Winter catalog. The image and sentiment are from "Jolliest Time of the Year". The sentiment is tied to the photo corner with hemp twine. The striped paper at the bottom is from my favorite "Dashing" Designer Series Collection. I colored the tree in with markers. Cardstock, marker and pattern paper colors include Real Red, Old Olive, River Rock, Very Vanilla, and Basic Black. The ornaments on the tree are Summer Sun.

The first thing to know about swaps is that you make one project several times. You DO NOT make 10 different cards. You send all of your alike cards to the hostess and they send you back one from each person in the group. Sometimes you get one of your own back and sometimes you don't so check the rules.

If you have never joined a swap before I suggest starting small. Look for one with a 6-10 person limit. I made 45 of these and it took my the better part of three days to finish. The little steps add up time when you have to make so many. Once you have made one you are happy with, work in an assembly line format. Cut all your cardstock, then stamp and color all the images, finally assemble your swaps.

You can always ask for advice on your swaps. If you are worried that they are too simple ask someones opinion. The biggest things to watch is that the image is stamped clearly and not smudged. Be sure all of your layers are straight when you put them together.

Make sure they are protected when you mail them. Most swaps ask that you put them in ziplock bags when they are mailed in a box. I would also advise that you lightly rubber band them. The cards will shift in the box and the layers can be pulled off. Packing some extra paper in the box can help also. Be sure the label your bags with your name and address. It makes it easier for the person hosting the swap and helps if something happens to the box.

If you have joined a large swap consider adding something to the box for the postman. Imagine your postman bringing 30 boxes to your door over the course of a week or so. The swap above is part of a MEGA swap. 46 scrapbook pages and 112 cards. That is a lot of boxes for this postman to deliver to one house.

Read the rules and requirements very carefully before you join a swap. If you don't understand something contact the hostess. Swaps can be a lot of fun. You can get some great ideas. You can finish a scrapbook easily without having to design all the pages. You can stock up on cards for any occassion easily.

Be careful to not join too many at once. Time is precious and noone likes a flaker (person who signs up and then doesn't make their swaps) because they ran out of time. Make sure you have all the products you need or enough time to get them. If for some reason you cannot complete your swap obligation on time, notify the hostess as soon as possible. This gives them time to find an "angel" to replace you or work out a way for you to have more time.

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