Saturday, February 16, 2008

Those Were The Days?

When I first started scrapping I was really involved in Swapping. Oh, how I loved them. You'd sign up for a category or a theme and then what you wanted to make that fit that theme... tags, a topper, a journaling box etc. etc. Then you'd make one for everyone else in your group. Mail them all to a hostess - who would then sort everything and send you back one of everyone else's creations. How exciting it was to get those big fat brown packages in the mail full of unknown scrapping goodies! I was like a kid on halloween with all my goodies sorted and spread out on the floor in front of me!

I am sure that SWAP groups still exist out there somewhere. I currently don't belong to any. Sure they were filled with drama. This person didn't send their things in on time (or sometimes not at all), this person's work just wasn't up to snuff or that person cheaped out on what they were to buy. But, there is something about it that I miss. The exhange of ideas. Once I was signed up for a "slot" in a swap I would begin obsessing about it. (I was partial to doing tags) I would plot and plan and shop for the perfect papers and embellishments to create something I would be proud to share.

Afterall this little piece of me, being sent to Scrappers nationwide might become a piece of a treasured family heirloom. I put countless hours into making and creating unique, can't be bought, original embellishments. Handmade bugs on real sticks with googly eyes, Teeny tiny hand cut and chalked McDonald's french fries, Handwoven minature baskets. These things can't be bought!
Like everything else we've all become caught up in the what's new in the stores mentality. That "got to have it" latest product craze. But, at what price? As
crafters we treasure what we've made and hope that others will too. If even "we" those who craft have foresaken that handmade for that mass produced... who will
cherish our work?

Through swapping I've made friends I hold dear today. Through swapping, I learned to push the creative envelope and try new things. Through swapping I grew a large collection of wonderful things made by women I've never met that I cherish. I look at them and still marvel at home differently we all think and create. Without swapping are we loosing that exchange of ideas? Pictured in the post are some of the things I made for swaps over the years. I would never have made any of them if it hadn't been for a swap and can't help to wonder- what would swapping be like today?
With so many new technique and products available - I think the creations would be amazing. I don't know about you- but, I could sure use a big fat brown envelope in my mailbox full of handmade scrapping goodness. How fun.


TammyB said...

I love your watermelon tags and the bug tags. I haven't joined in a swap lately - and it's getting expensive to mail them as well. But they really are alot of fun =)

Amy McCarty said...

Good Point! I forgot to mention how the high price of shipping has really put a dent into swapping.
Personally I've always like the swaps where the items fit into a regular sized envelope and you send directly to each person. But, that's just me.

Brenda said...

Amy, while surfing the net came across your site. Girl, must say, love your work, but agree with you whole heartedly about swapping. I used to be in so so many swaps. Started out on Twopeasinabucket and ventured to other boards as well swapping. Sure received alot of cool stuff and some 'what was she thinking stuff' as well as I'm sure you have in the past.
I did grow tired of the 'flakers' and finally put together my own handpicked swap group.......(10 talented ladies) and did swaps privately within our group. Over time and 'life' the group disbanded and now I find myself truly missing those much anticipated envies that were indeed like Christmas! If ever you'd like to try to swap again sometime, maybe we can get some talented ladies together and make it happen the meantime thanks for sharing your talent and sentiments on the subject.
Brenda (Bunnee)

Mrs Dude said...

I would have absolutely been overjoyed to receive any of those tages, especially the bugs, in the mail!! I would love to participate in a swap.. the problem is that my family is really financially disgruntled; so any swap I participated in would have to be fairly thrifty. I've never made a tag like the one's you posted, they look fab! Maybe we should try to do a blogger scrapbooker swap with tags or something else small that we could fit in smaller envelopes and send directly to everyone??