Thursday, July 26, 2012

Good Swaps, Bad Swaps

Swaps.  Most of us have participated in them.  Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad.  I haven't received a really bad swap package ...

... one that makes you wonder if your partner bothered to read your likes/dislikes list at all

 ... one where your partner digs through a bag of things she doesn't want anymore (a bag of coasters she was given back in 1978 for example) & uses the swap as an excuse to pass them on to you even though you never said anything about liking or wanting coasters

 ... one where your partner is supposed to make something for you & she makes it "just to get it done" without any thought of even seam allowances, grain of fabric, hiding threads, correct sizing, cleanliness, etc

... since last December I think it was, unless you count the swap package I was supposed to receive from someone in January but never did (unless you count all the excuses as to why it was late & then all the promises about when it would be sent).

Over the past 20 years or so I have participated in innumerable swaps & have hostessed many myself.  They are always fun if everyone follows the rules & your partner gives a care about what kind of things she sends you ... but if people don't play by the rules & if your partner couldn't care less what she sends you (assuming she sends anything at all) then it can be a sad experience.

I don't want to blow my own horn but I'm a wonderful swap partner.  My husband can't understand why I take such delight in putting a swap package together for someone I have never met ... sometimes for someone I have never had any interaction with at all.  I must admit that the bad swapping experiences have often made me think twice about ever swapping again but thankfully those experiences, although quite horrible at times, are not the norm of all swap experiences.

I've received some really great swap packages this year (with the exception of the one that was never sent to me of course). Without fail my swap partners have paid attention to my likes/dislikes list & they have gone out of their way to send me wonderful things!  I received a swap package earlier this week & once again I am absolutely floored at the contents inside.  This package came from my partner in the Tea Shop Swap on Ravelry.  I posted a photo the other day of the cross stitch cupboard tuck I made (Would You Like A Cup Of Tea?) to include with a few other things in her package. When I opened the package she sent to me I was overwhelmed!  She sent a lovely tea towel with a buffalo design woven into it (she lives near Buffalo, NY), a tin of green tea (yum!), a tea bag patterned tissue holder, a tea bag container filled with 6 tea bags which I can take along in my purse wherever I go, a bag of knitting stitch markers decorated with little silver teapots (they are the cutest things!), a knitted scarf kit, & she knitted a pair of lacy fingerless gloves for me "because every lady needs lacy gloves when enjoying a cup of tea!" When the shop where she purchased the knitting kit heard that she was buying it for someone in a swap, they gave her a 6" ruler to send along with it   : )

Thank you again Ann Marie!  I love everything   : )

I have one more swap package to mail to someone & then I can sit back & relax for a while.  Swapping can be fun but it can also take your time away from other things.  I need this little break   : ) 


Девушка с пяльцами said...

What a great parcel from Ann Marie! So many cute things. Congratulations with them, Shirlee! I have never participated in any international swaps yet, but I think I will one day.

Michelle said...

What a wonderful parcel to receive. Oh Shirlee I have been on the sad end of a couple of swops - one was so bad the seam wasn't even stitched closed and when I saw what it was stuffed with it made me feel sick but then I have received some wonderful ones and these certainly make up for any bad ones. I don't tend to take part in many now xx

cucki said...

very sweet goodies from Ann :)
enjoy them deary..
big hugs for you.
have a lovely day xx

Sally said...

Hello Shirlee

Your swap package from Ann looks lovely.
Hope you never get a bad one again.

TheCrankyCrow said...

What a sweet package from Ann Marie! Suits you to a tea! t! ;o I've only done one swap - it was a traveling swap and a great concept that started out well...Luckily, I was early in the stops....I understand by the end that it was filled with a bunch of stamp and scrapping leftovers (just is fine if you stamp or scrapbook, but was supposed to be a prim swap)....and the blog hostesses who started it dropped off the face of the earth. ???? Wish I were more prolific in my crafting, I'd really like to do it more often.....Now, I think you should sit down and enjoy some stitches and tea! Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

geeky Heather said...

What a fantastic package!! I must admit that I've only done one swap, and it went so poorly that I will probably never do one again.

bettyj said...

Well, I don't do swaps ever. I did one early on and got wonderful things. It just worried me if my partner liked what I sent her,as I did put a lot of thought into it. It stresses me too much, so I don't do them anymore. The fact that I don't make things has nothing to do with it!lol Sounds like you have fared well.

prims by olde lady morgan said...

What a fun package! I am with you there can be wonderful swaps and some that might leave you going HMMMM?? And yes, I to never received a swap from someone... I hope everytime she looks or uses what I sent her, she remembers... I never got a word back from her after the package was recieved....sigh.... enjoy! OLM

busyhands said...

what a wonderful gift! I agree about good swaps and bad swaps... I have never received a really bad one, but have been puzzled about my partners' choice a couple of times :D

Chris said...

Wonderful post! What a lovely package from Marie.
I wish I had time to do a couple of more swaps. I am just too busy to commit to the deadlines right now :(
Happy Friday!!

Sally said...

What a fantastic package from Ann Marie!

I don't tend to do swaps as I always worry that what I send won't be good enough and also when it's more than a stitched piece I just can't afford to do it anyway. I am doing a private one at the moment though and it's just a stitched piece which I hope will be well received :)

Rosa said...

If you want to start a little private stitching exchange I would be more than happy. Always nice to have another stitching friend!

renee said...

Hi Shirlee,
I have been following along on your blog, even though I don't always comment. You are too funny girl!
I think those of us that have swapped, have had those experiences. I guess it is the chance you take. I am like Marie, I hope when they see those things, they are reminded too. I know things can happen, it has happened to me, something comes up, and you have to wait. But, for the most part, swapping is fun and you make some great friends!
Glad you are doing alright and having a decent summer. I am busy as usual, but it's all fine.
Have a great weekend.
God bless,

vwestermeyer said...

I love swaps! My hubby also doesn't understand all the thought and shopping for someone I'll never meet face to face!

butterfly said...

Lovely swap Shirlee , It is sad when we some times get a bad swap, I have always been so lucky .
But I know there are just one or two that don't try and think about what they are sending , I feel sad when that happens for the other sender , but we are not all the same and that is also true in many other areas in life.
It makes us mad but there will always be the odd one.

Kaisievic said...

That is an awesome swap parcel - you are very lucky. I, myself find swaps a bit overwhelming. I always seem to run out of time at the end. I am doing the Santa Sack swap at the moment and that seems to be going well - fingers crossed. I admire you for being in so many.

hugs, Kaye

Peggy Lee said...

I have never participated in a swap because I am so afraid that for some reason I won't be able to live up to my end of the deal. I would really like to one day though.
The "tea" swap was a hit!
Lucky you!