Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Swap-bot Part 1

What is Swap-bot?
This is taken directly from their homepage (and I couldn't describe it any better than they did):
Do you like sending and receiving snail mail? Do you like writing letters, making crafts, or putting together fun packages? You should try swapping! Swap-bot is a online service that organizes group swaps and a community of creative individuals. Swap-bot takes the hassle out of participating in group swaps by organizing all of the participant information and doing all of the partner assignments. On Swap-bot, you can host swaps, join swaps, and chat with other swappers from all over the world. Give it a try!
I've been a member for for about a year and a half now and I have to say that it is so much fun!  I go through spells where I'm not swapping but then I find a new hobby and check Swap-bot to see if there are any swaps pertaining to my latest art endeavor.  There is always some kind of swap going on that I am interested in.  That's why I've labeled this post part one because I know I won't be able to cover everything I've swapped in one post.

So I had to dig into my archives (yes swap-bot keeps track of everything you've ever swapped) and my first one was very easy.  It was entitled "Quick Swap - Just Because Card Swap".  I signed up for a few others like this just to get my feet wet.  I signed up for a few postcard swaps and button swaps.  Then I discovered ATC's.

ATC - Artist Trading Card.  It's usually made on heavy card stock and measures 2 1/2" x 3 1/2".    They measure the size of a baseball card and are usually but in sleeves of that size to ship.  I made and traded these for quite some time because it's like your own mini canvas.  You can paint, draw and doodle on them.  You can "scrapbook" on them.  You can make them out of other things such as fabric or felt.  I got the idea to "carve" out foam board and make a frame around mine and I loved the result.  (Those are real sea shells)
I have also made ATC's out of fabric, paint and flat marbles:

And aluminum foil, duck tape and paint:

For these I covered a piece of foam board with fabric then carved out the holes where I wanted the flat marbles to go, glued them in there and the put duck tape around the boarder.  Then used puffy paint to outline and decorate a little more.

When I was quilting I found swaps for fabric.  There were ones for fat quarters, charms, strips, scraps... you name it there is a swap for it.  There are even quilt swaps where you make a block and swap that.  I've done a lot of half-square triangle swaps, this way I can get a lot of styles of fabrics that I might not find in my area.  To date I haven't received any duplicate fabrics.

When you sign up for Swap-bot you fill out a profile, your likes and dislikes.  This way your partner gets to know a little bit about you.  Such as "I don't like anything with skulls on it" and "I love chocolate and black cats".  You can check out my user profile at 
 http://www.swap-bot.com/user:KimberlyJDC  where I'm known as KimberlyJDC

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I have not forgotten you

... but we all know how crazy summer can get!  Every year I take a vacation my myself.  My husband and I call it "Mommy's Getaway" to get away from everything and everybody.  I will definitely have an entire blog post dedicated to this fantastic trip but I'll just let you know now that for the past 4 years I've been going to Lancaster, PA.  I am simply fascinated with the Amish lifestyle.  Some people may choose to go to an exotic island or overseas but not me.  Every year I look forward to being among the Amish.  More later.

I have also taken up another hobby: writing.  Not just journalling (or blog posting) but honest to goodness short story fiction writing.  In another blog post I'll have to go into detail what Swap-Bot is but it's basically an online artist trading community.  One signs up for certain swaps (and they have swaps for everything) and one is assigned a partner then there is a set deadline as to when your stuff should be sent.  One swap I just completed was a short story swap.  I am thrilled with the way mine turned out and that has encouraged me to do more writing.

Anyway, that's about it for now.  Traveling and writing, writing and traveling.  I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!