Friday, January 18, 2013

The anatomy of a swap

Now that you have completed your items and mailed them off - what happens?  I have bee asked how I do this and such many times, so I decided to take some pictures.

First - I keep swaps in their packaging and into different sets of totes.  This swap happened to be the deer one (aka 52 week round 5).  Usually two bags per swap.  I seldom hostess ones with more than 8-12 people anymore.

Get the packages laid out and make sure everyone's are there.  It has been checked as they come in, but I always check at this point too.  Sometimes, I have been known to put the swap into the wrong bag.

Do a count of items.  Basically, I am checking to be sure that the correct number of items have been sent.  I usually just check the quality (aka - were rules followed) when they arrive as well as if return postage is included.  Well, the postage I don't always check right off if you have been in swaps with me for a long time. I check at the end and will let you know if it is short.  I do hold packages for new swappers until postage is received.  Only once has it been an issue - and since I won't lie on forms regarding contents, that is just how things go.  In 7 years of swapping, I only kept one set of swaps.  I donated them after a year of waiting.
 Next step - the swap begins.  This is a photo of the swap in process.

 Finally - the swap is complete, but I am double checking to be sure the right number of baggies and no duplicates are in each package.

Hurray - the swap is complete and things are back into their original packaging.  Now for the time consuming part - weigh, label and get the right postage on each one.  It isn't hard, just making sure that labels are right.  Flat rate makes this step go a lot quicker, but I don't mind checking for other rates.  One thing I have learned -- if it is over one pound, priority and parcel post only seem to differ by about ten cents.
Well - that is how I complete the swaps.  I will be posting pictures of the items for this swap later tonight.

52 Week Round 5 -
Week One - person shaped.  It is amazing how different 4" cuts come out!

 below is the 8th in the group - I love how we all do a different take on person shaped.

Next up - Orange - I love all these wonderful pieces!

 Week Three - DCWV paper - any kind.  All the baggies tell which one if you find one you just have to have more of
 Week Four - Outdoor theme - I guess this one was a hectic week.  Three embellishment baggies are heading your way.  Nope, no pics - not giving any hints there!
 Week Five - Choice.  WOW - I sure wish my photos did more justice to these items!  A hidden journaling photo mat, an interactive mini-album page, a flower created with doilies and twinkling H20's, some stick pins, a domino mini, a ticket strip, a book mark, and a purse mini.  Love how we all have different takes.  Each baggies items were just a bit different.
 Clearly Seen!  This was a challenge, but look at the phenomenal results!
 Next up - King Tut!  Wow did everyone rise to the occasion here - look at the wonderful items we get to use!  Plus, one embellishment baggie!

Finally - last week of the round - time for a breather, but even with a breather, the journal items are outstanding!

Congratulations to all who participated.  I wish my photos were better, but they had to be pretty quick.  If I missed mentioning - anytime there aren't 8 items, there was an embellishment baggie and I don't include those in photos so you are surprised!  This swap originated over at, but has grown to include Cricut board members as well.  Great job everyone!