Monday, February 12, 2007

Part 1: Ohhhhh for the love of a card swap…

Where to start...?!

Joining a swap is like taking a new adventure, each journey you embark on is different. I love swaps because I learn so much from others. You have to admit, we all have something to learn so even if you are the most veteran stamper something new can pop up. I also like swaps because you get to see how others use various stamp sets. In fact, SU! demos have “sold” sets to me just from a card front. You know how it is…just when you think you can live without a certain stamp set you see the most beautiful card and in an instant you are filling in a demonstrator order (*sigh*teehee*).

Whenever I have a swap to complete I always read over the swap details. You don’t want to submit a swap that doesn’t live up to the standard set by the hostess. Once the rules are clear as day I play around with a few designs. I usually pick the trendy colours and accessories. Something new is always exciting. Next, I prep all the materials I need and begin my assembly line. The nicest thing about the assembly line method is I can bring each “step” to any room in the house or any place I visit. I break the steps down because working on a large swap for 8 hours is MORE than TEDIOUS. For instance, one step might be to stamp all the images on the paper another might be adding the ribbon to the card stock etc. The step method is the best…!!! You can find me assembling cards in the car, at my daughter’s ballet class, at my son’s swimming lesson, while MSNing…you name it.

Swap Tips (Do’s and Don’ts):

  • Always FOLLOW the rules. If the swap says ONLY SU! materials…don’t add your favourite ribbon from another company etc.
  • Ask the hostess for clarification if need be. Sometimes the rules don’t make sense.
  • Keep in touch with the hostess and ask for updates.
  • ALWAYS put your card recipe and your name on the back of your swap cards. It is nice to include your e-mail and even the name of the swap “Alli’s Spring Swap 2007”
  • Start early because you never know WHAT might cause a delay in your productive stamping plan.
  • Include a card/project you recently made as a thank you to the hostess who has to sort and organize your swaps and then take them to the post office and send them. It is a small gestures but it speaks loudly.
  • Hostess a card swap to learn about the time and effort it takes to put together a swap—the initial write up, the reminder posts, the participant e-mails, the updates, the sorting/collecting/packaging, driving to and from the post office, dealing with the postal staff…it can be tough work!
  • Send your swap early so that it has plenty of time to arrive. There is nothing worse than having 80% of the swaps on time and 20% late.
  • When you get your swaps back REMEMBER this: You too were a new swapper at one time! Even if the card doesn’t live up to your personal standard, it may appeal to the new stamper who attends your workshop/club.
  • Be polite. Never single out a swap participant to tell them their card was less than satisfactory. I have seen this happen and it can get ugly!
  • If you are swapping in person, show excitment and support. Swapping is fun.

If you have any more tips, please feel free to share in the comments below. I know there are lots but I feel those are some of the more important tips to address.

Now…back to Marie Kirkwood’s accessory swap…and my progress…I started with my prep...

Creative Thought...what to do??? what to do???

Stamping Background 1

Stamping Background 2

Stamping and Punching

My accessory challenge was the crimper. Love that little machine, love the sound it makes when the paper runs through it...but I will admit, I hardly use the darn thing. Hey...Cutty would be jealous! But in order to sell product you should be the products in the IB&C in your demos. Alas, I picked up that little do-ma-hicky and had fun creating a waffle pattern by rolling it through from side to side and from end to end. WHAT????? Good thing I took some photos to show you what I mean.

Side to Side Crimping

End to End Crimping

Voila!!! Waffle Pattern

Time to get punchy!!!!

Next I started to play with my watercolour crayons. I actually like to scribble in the stamped image first and draw the colour in the picture.

Watercolour is easy and fun to do with an aquapainter. As I mentioned before mastery can be difficult for some...but I just go for it. If it looks like a kid did the colouring...oh well I guess I am a big kid!

Well I think you can see where this is going. I have provided a window into the life of a swapper. I hope you enjoyed this mini tutorial. I have a few more steps and tips to show you in tomorrow's blog, not to mention the BIG reveal of my final swap card. The cards go in the mail tomorrow morning so it is only fair to delay posting my cards one more day. I promise to share all the materials I used to make this card. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to post so that I can address them in Part 2: Ohhhhh for the love of a card swap…

Have a wonderful day stamping and don't forget to smile.

Because I love to stamp and you do too!

1 comment:

Missy said...

Well, since you asked for questions...Do you have any recommendations for using background stamps. I have two and just can't quite figure them out. Any advice would be appreciated. I have the big paisley background stamp and I'm just dieing to use it...but it just never comes out right. Thanks for your help. I really do love your blog. It's really great. I hope that you are loving it, too. I'm always excited because you update it daily. Thanks for being so great and sharing your greatness with me!