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.