friday link love: August 21st, 2015

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Gah. Summer is almost over??! I know it is said all too often, but man, time flies!! I’ve barely had time to gather up these fun and funky links for you… but I did. Enjoy!

Happy weekend! Share more interesting links in the comments, please.


Ambassador Introduction: hollycm6

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program has been going strong for a year!! And I regret that I still have not introduced all of the awesome participants yet… but I will rectify that over the next few weeks with six more intro blog posts. The Ambassadors are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities. If you are interested in representing Swap-bot in your area and sending out Swap-bot swag, stay tuned for info about our upcoming second round of Ambassador applications.

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Meet our next Ambassador, hollycm6! Hollycm6 is from Chesapeake, Virginia, and she is an enthusiastic Swap-bot lover. She has been married to her husband, Mark (seen below), for thirty years, and has four children. She is an avid, positive, and friendly swapper who loves trying all types of art swaps.

hollycm6

Ambassador Region: Virginia, USA

How hollycm6 found Swap-bot: “A few summers ago I participated in a summer art camp that my children’s art teacher was offering. We were to learn how to make an altered book, which was a totally new idea to me. I’ve always done a bit of painting or drawing and loved crafty things, but most of my crafting centered around things my kids or other people needed. This was just for me, and was so much fun! The teacher introduced us to ATCs the first day… When he saw they interested me he suggested I look at a site called Swap-bot, where he traded them with people from around the world. I set up my account thinking as soon as the class was over I’d never look at it again (hence the very boring moniker) but within a short time i was completely addicted.”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “Through Swap-bot I have been exposed to so many different ideas, and have tried art techniques and crafts I’d never even have thought of on my own, let alone been courageous enough to attempt with no instruction. It has really opened up a whole world to me, and I discovered and developed my inner artist here, as well as forging some really deep bonds with people all around the world. I’ve been intrigued and excited meeting so many different types of people… Learning how different cultures are but how similar even very different people can be. I’ve loved learning about the way people live, what they think is important, their religion, their daily lives… I even discovered ways to help other people find a smile or two through other organizations that people here suggested, sending cards and letters to chemo patients, soldiers, and elderly people who just need to know someone cares.”

“I always knew I loved mail, but i never knew mail ART. It has amazed me how much I love sending pretty or unusual mail to people. It is lovely to receive a really special, well thought out, handcrafted package from someone… It’s great to open the mailbox and see happy mail staring back at me… But it’s nothing like the feeling of creating and sending such a parcel out into the world!! I have even been told by people around the world that their postal workers have commented on how it brightens their day to pass some of these packages on, and by my postal workers here, so I think about all the people along the way that might be touched or inspired by the right package. We can never know what the slightest small gesture will mean to someone, whether it is the recipient of the gesture or a witness to it, so we should make as many small gestures of love as possible. It isn’t always possible to do large, great things, but a small thing is always something we can do.”

“My experiences on Swap-bot ARE what have helped me see that I am an artist, and that I have something to offer. Daily I develop skill and confidence in myself and my art. (Which in the end will make me a better wife and mother, too.)”

Her favorite type of swap: “My favorite swaps involve mail art, fun postage, drawing or painting, literature related things, interpreting a theme, or some type of challenge. I have loved developing proficiency in areas where I am comfortable, but also have surprised myself attempting things I never thought I’d try on my own. We even have some swaps that simply try to stretch us individually. Not just as an artist, which so many of them do, but personally… We do things that help us to be grateful, to see the good in life, to enjoy a quiet moment, to practice self control or self discipline, to stop complaining and start speaking encouragement, to lose weight or eat better or clean up our homes when we don’t feel we have time for any if it. The idea of a swap site sounds so trivial, so small, until you really contemplate what can be accomplished when several ladies join together (virtually) working towards goals, or how a single word or smile can change the course of someone’s day.”

Check out a few of hollycm6’s beautiful art swaps:

hollycm6TextARt

“My very first attempt at Altered Text Art for an Art On the Written Page swap. (This gave me the confidence to try the following journal swap.) And a Postcard for an Excellent Endings swap (had to include the last line of a book.)”

hollycm6ATCjournal

“A little painted ATC and an altered text journal swap page.”

Check out more of hollycm6’s awesome art on her Flickr.

Fun Facts about hollycm6:

  • “My sister and I are married to brothers. (I think that’s interesting!) our kids spent every holiday together when they were growing up. It was great.”
  • “I was born in England and have always wanted to go back. We left when I was only two, so I had no memories of it, and I’ve lived in Hampton Roads [Virginia] since I was four. Recently my husband took me to England — It was literally the best 12 days ever. SO exciting, yet quiet, too. We had so much fun together. So beautiful, and it felt like home to me. And what did I want to do first? In each city I wanted to visit the post office (just to know what it felt like), examine the doors and windows and mail boxes of the city… Then I bought stamps, and mailed things… All swap-bot folks understand that feeling.”
  • “I think London is my favorite city ever… But St. Ives is the most beautiful of places, and so sweet. My brother-in-law is an artist there, and seeing his studio was amazing. But nothing could top my bare feet in the cold sand, hugging my coat around me, standing beneath another perfect rainbow and listening to the ocean. London has my heart but St. Ives might have my spirit.
  • “I like fortune cookie fortunes, pets, children, puddles, and ferris wheels.I’m much more enamored of a dandelion than a rose (though roses are sweet, too.) I’d like to ride an elephant and to illustrate a children’s book. I hope when I leave this earth that people might say ‘she made me smile’ and be happy that I’d lived.”

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in any type of art swaps, or just have questions about Swap-bot and our community, hollycm6 is a great swapper to contact.


Ambassador Introduction: grandmaroro

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program has been going strong for a year!! And I regret that I still have not introduced all of the awesome participants yet… but I will rectify that over the next few weeks with seven more intro blog posts. The Ambassadors are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities. If you are interested in representing Swap-bot in your area and sending out Swap-bot swag, stay tuned for info about our upcoming second round of Ambassador applications.

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grandmaroroMeet our next Ambassador, grandmaroro! Grandmaroro is a native Kentuckian who now lives in Texas. She is a grandma of four, great-grandma of two, and has been married to her husband for over 50 years! Wow. She loves antiquing, upcycling, and collage.

Ambassador Region: Central Texas, USA

How grandmaroro found Swap-bot: ” I found Swap-bot through swapping with Lisa Vollrath on Gluebots.”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “Because of the wonderful people on this site, and their feedback has encouraged me to try new and more challenging swaps.”

Her favorite type of swap: “Journals and Christmas.”

Check out one of grandmaroro’s traveling journal swaps:

grandmarorojournal

Fun Fact about grandmaroro:

“This photo is of my “Whatzit Garden” inspired by one I saw in Temple, Texas. The idea is to add only found items from our property, donated items from my children, and marked-down items from Goodwill or garage sales, preferably items not costing more than $2.00 for any one item.”

grandmarorogarden

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in swapping journals, grandmaroro is a great swapper to contact.


friday link love: July 17th, 2015

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Happy Friday! I hope you’re in the mood for some crafty summer links… because here they are!!

Any other fun projects, pins, or promotions out there on the World Wide that I missed??



Ambassador Introduction: dyp

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program has been going strong for a year!! And I regret that I still have not introduced all of the awesome participants yet… but I will rectify that over the next few weeks with eight more intro blog posts. The Ambassadors are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities. If you are interested in representing Swap-bot in your area and sending out Swap-bot swag, stay tuned for info about our upcoming second round of Ambassador applications.

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Meet our next Ambassador, dyp! Dyp lives lives in a place close to my heart: Kansas City, Missouri. (I grew up there!) She is a henna artist who has been a member of Swap-bot since 2008. She loves swapping ATCs.

Ambassador Region: Missouri, USA

How dyp found Swap-bot: “I joined a craft bag swap that went through Swap-bot in 2008. After several years I rediscovered Swap-bot to trade ATCs on.”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “The ease of use. Joining swaps, sending swaps and rating users is intuitive and seemless. I have joined other groups for swapping ATCs and the rating system is deplorable, tracking swaps is non existent. Swap-bot by far is the easiest to use.”

Her favorite type of swap: “Hand drawn ATCs”

Check out a few of dyp’s ATCs:

dypatcs2

dypatcs

Visit dyp’s links:

Fun Fact about dyp:

“I draw to keep my sanity. Swap-bot rewards my work by allowing me to create for others and recieve goodies in the mail, all for the cost of a stamp.”

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in swapping hand drawn ATCs, dyp is a great swapper to contact.


friday link love: June 26th, 2015

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Hello fun Friday friends! Take a peek at these cool links…

What else are you loving on the vast world wide web this week??

(ps. Did you hear the good news? Who wants to host a Love-themed ATC swap?? I’m already working on mine!)


Ambassador Introduction: thebragal

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program has been going strong for a year!! And I regret that I still have not introduced all of the awesome participants yet… but I will rectify that over the next few weeks with ten more intro blog posts. The Ambassadors are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities. If you are interested in representing Swap-bot in your area and sending out Swap-bot swag, stay tuned for info about our upcoming second round of Ambassador applications.

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Meet our next Ambassador, thebragal! Thebragal lives near Toronto in Ontario, Canada. She is the mother of three boys and loves paper crafting.

thebragalAmbassador Region: Ontario, Canada

How thebragal found Swap-bot: “I don’t remember exactly where but I remember reading on a crafting blog that someone had made their creation for a swap and I was intrigued. I also saw Swap-Bot featured in a magazine.”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “Swap-Bot gives me exciting ideas that help me create. I have so many stamps and papers now that it can be overwhelming to focus and pick what to work on. Joining swaps stretches my creativity and helps me focus by giving me ideas of what to make. I’d never made a zine, matchbox ,or mixed media journal before Swap-Bot. A lot of the time I am way more excited by creating the project than I am about what I will receive. But when I get fun mail several times a week, it really makes my day. I am at home a lot as a SAHM and because of several disabilities I don’t get out much and can’t work. So, Swap-Bot gives me so much in just an envelope!”

“I also get a chance to meet amazing people from all over the world and have cultivated many friendships. It’s an opportunity to stretch myself as a leader and teacher when I host, creating innovative swaps using new techniques and ideas. I did a whole series on different techniques for my group, Spoiled Swappers. SS is just one of several groups I’ve been founder or officer for, contributing by hosting swaps, checking ratings and more. I am always eager to try new things and think up new ideas when hosting swaps with a goal of helping others think outside the box when they create. Swap-Bot gives me a place to do that!”

Her favorite type of swap: “I love to make and swap greeting cards, matchboxes and tags and I have a fondness in my heart for Q&A email swaps. I can’t resist them! I hosted 100 Crafty Questions and drafted every question myself. I was super excited that it hit #1 in the Top Swaps!”

Check out thebragal’s Teddy Bear Angel matchbox:

thebragalmatchbox

Visit thebragal’s links:

Fun Fact about thebragal:

“When I started out by rubber stamping and making cards I PROMISED hubby I would never get into scrapbooking because there were way too many supplies to buy and those ladies were a bit crazy! This is back when my supplies would fit into a medium-sized box! I had no idea how much I could spend on stamps and card making or how many products are the same or cross-over. I now scrapbook and have most of a room plus an overflow storage room in the basement dedicated to crafting. Oops! Now I am 100%, and quite happily I might add, THAT crazy lady!”

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in paper crafting, card-making, or other crafty, Type 3 swaps, thebragal is a great swapper to contact.


Ambassador Introduction: BeeMGee

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program has been going strong for a year!! And I regret that I still have not introduced all of the awesome participants yet… but I will rectify that over the next few weeks with ten more intro blog posts. The Ambassadors are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities. If you are interested in representing Swap-bot in your area and sending out Swap-bot swag, stay tuned for info about our upcoming second round of Ambassador applications.

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Meet our next Ambassador, BeeMGee! BeeMGee lives in Victor Harbor in South Australia, and is a mother and school teacher. She has been swapping on Swap-bot for more than two years and loves paper crafting.

BeeMGeeSmallAmbassador Region: Australia

How BeeMGee found Swap-bot: “I found Swap bot when a Facebook swap for a valentine card became too big and the organizers asked to join swap-bot.”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “I belong to many groups on Swap-bot and host a regional group here in Australia (Vintage Cards and Crafts – Australia). I participate in several group forums and have made lifelong friends who, sadly, I shall probably never meet in person. I log in to swap-bot several times a day.”

“I consider Swap-bot to be a fantastic site to swap on particularly because of the rating system and inbuilt controls. I belong to several facebook sites where there is no accountability and people are left disappointed with being unable to have some guarantee they will receive a swap.”

Her favorite type of swap: “I mainly swap Type 3 swaps – ATCs, cards, tags, rolos.”

Her motivation for crafting: “I find crafting incredibly therapeutic… I love creating, but designing and producing for myself would be pointless. I love the thought of bringing joy to others. That thrill of receiving an addressed envelope and wondering what treasures are enclosed. I know this may sound trite but I am more interested in giving to others than receiving. Of course, I love what I am sent, but hope I am able to bring a little happiness into others’ lives. The benefit of receiving from others has been the wonderful techniques I have learned from them, and of course, their work is inspirational in future swaps.”

Check out a few of BeeMGee’s ATC swaps:
Images borrowed from her Flickr. Check it out, she has some amazing creations posted!

beeMGeeATCs

And one of her beautiful Pocket Letters:

BeeMGeePocketLetter

Visit BeeMGee’s links:

Fun Facts about BeeMGee:

  • “I am a dedicated crafter and teach cardmaking and papercraft classes at a craft shop.”
  • “In my real life… yes, I have one… I am a Primary school teacher. I teach 10 year old students.”
  • “I am a mother to 2 adult children who are still at home. Happily married to the love of my life for 25 years.”

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in paper crafting, card-making, or ATC Type 3 swaps, BeeMGee is a great swapper to contact.


featured swap: The 200,000th Swap!!

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Come one, come all to Swap-bot’s 200,000th swap!!

Wow. Can you believe so many swaps have been hosted on the ‘bot?! Swap-bot has been running for nearly 10 years, but the number still blows me away. (It feels like just yesterday that I hosted the 100,000th swap.)

In honor of our very first swap, the 200,000th Swap is an easy, international, Type 2 postcard swap. Nearly everyone — new and experienced users alike — are welcome to join this fun and inclusive snail mail exchange. That being said, there is a 4.8 rating requirement and I will remove questionable participants with any recent 1s or problematic behavior.

For the swap, you simply send one postcard to each of your two partners. The postcards are sender’s choice, and can be store bought or handmade. They can be in a Swap-bot theme (and I would LOVE to see photos of you creations!) but they do not have to be. However, you MUST include a note on your cards describing one of your favorite swap experiences.

Sign up by May 29th, and send by June 19th. Easy peasy.

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If you are reading this, THANK YOU for making Swap-bot what it is! We are so thankful to all of our members for hosting so many awesome swaps and making it such a fun and creative community. Here’s to a million more swaps!!! (Hey, it could happen!)