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!)


friday link love: May 1st, 2015

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It has been way longer than I would have liked since I last posted a Friday Link Love (1/3 of a year!!) but I am happy to share a few fun, crafty, pretty links with you once again. Enjoy!

Any other cool links that you’d like to share?? Please add them in the comments section. Thanks!


Meet the Newest Member of the Swap-bot Team!

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You may have already heard the exciting news… but the Swap-bot team has grown by one member! Travis and I welcomed our baby boy, Kenneth Gunner Johnson, on January 8th, 2015.

Ken is an awesome baby and we have had a wonderful time getting to know him over the last three months. He hasn’t quite gotten the hang of answering Swap-bot help email yet, but hopefully we will get him going on that soon!

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Thanks for all of your kind words and support during this time as we adjust to being a family of three. Swap-bot has always been a family-run website, maintained by just me (Rachel Johnson), my husband, Travis, and of course, Crusher, our sweet pup and loyal site mascot. As long as you all love swapping, we plan to continue running and improving the site to the best of our abilities. Someday, maybe Ken will truly be able to help out!

You can read more about Ken on my personal blog and see LOTS more of photos of him in his Flickr album.


Free Worldwide Postal Packaging eBook

Ever wonder what postal packaging looks like around the world??

Now you can easily find out with this handy Worldwide Postal Packaging eBook created by Swap-bot Ambassador to Portugal, mariadastrouxas! This visual PDF eBook is 3 MB and includes images of the shipping envelopes and boxes from 52 different postal services around the world.

DOWNLOAD THE WORLDWIDE POSTAL PACKAGING eBOOK HERE!

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Thank you, mariadastrouxas, for such a fun and informative guide!


Ambassador Introduction: queenelisheba

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program is going strong and I am excited to introduce each of the participants individually over the next few months. They are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities.

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Meet our next Ambassador, queenelisheba! Queenelisheba lives outside of Los Angeles, near Big Bear Lake. She has been swapping on Swap-bot for more than four years! She is a yoga instructor and vegetarian who loves many types of crafts, including drawing, journaling, and card making.

queenelishebaAmbassador Region: Southern California, USA

How queenelisheba found Swap-bot: “I found Swap-Bot on OnePrettyThing.com.”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “I love the community of like minded individuals whom support the love of creating to share with fellow artist. I feel supported, encouraged, and inspired.”

Her favorite type of swap: “My favorite swaps are Type 3, Journals, ATC, Canvas, Zentangle, I’m addicted. ”

Check out a few of queenelisheba’s art swaps:

queenelishebaswap2

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Visit queenelisheba’s links:

An interesting fact about queenelisheba:

“Back in 2005 I incurred an injury, a herniated disc in my back and that accident, accidentally made me a yoga teacher. Which led me to Reiki, and that led to more healing modalities. In essence that injury turned me into a healer. I am grateful for that injury, that occurrence, every day of my life. It changed me for the better. I love my life.”

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in art and craft-centered Type 3 swaps, queenelisheba is a great swapper to contact.


friday link love: December 19th, 2014

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Hello and happy holidays!! I’ve got quite a few holiday and winter-themed links for you this week… add any more fun projects or recipes you’ve found in the comments.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwanzaa, and Warmest Winter Wishes to you all! xoxo


Ambassador Introduction: LauraAust

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program is going strong and I am excited to introduce each of the participants individually over the next few months. They are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities.

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Meet our next Ambassador, LauraAust! LauraAust lives near Des Moines, Iowa, and she has been swapping on Swap-bot for more than four years. She is nearing one thousand 5 ratings and she loves rainbows and bubbles!

Ambassador Region: Iowa, USA

LauraAust

How LauraAust found Swap-bot: “I was wanting to swap inchies and found Swap-Bot while looking for a way to do just that.”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “I enjoy ‘meeting’ all of the people and interacting with them. Some of them are so nice! I have met a couple in real life – that was very exciting. I can say that I have found couple of my NEW best friends on Swap-Bot. I am co-founder of REACH FOR SUCCESS and it’s great to see how supportive members can be! Swap-Bot has encouraged me to try a few new things. And, it always seems I can find a swap in which I wish to participate – if not, I just create one myself!”

“Before Swap-Bot I had never heard of Kawaii – now I have a pretty impressive collection. I also learned about Zentangles here!”

“I enjoy trying to help out others when they are looking for items, products, or needing help / input / advice on a project. I really like turning people on to new crafts – I recently got my Swap-Bot friend addicted to paper / foundation piecing (quilting)! Yay!! I like to consider myself a ‘helper’ although others call me an ‘enabler’.”

“I also love that we can help each other out in daily life issues like depression, death of a family member, child raising issues, etc.”

Her favorite type of swap: “It varies on the day! I used to do a lot of ATCs, inchies and twinchies, rolos – mostly paper crafts. Then I was doing some crocheting swaps. I love to swap fabric! Lately I have been doing monthly weight loss journals. I also really like to do private swaps when I see something on someone’s profile or Flickr that is incredible – usually I can find something to swap with them to get it! For example, I once crocheted a “naked” doll for my partner to accessorize – in trade she made watercolor paintings of my four cats. I’ve also sent a large crocheted afghan in exchange for a Blythe doll (I named her Meredith and she sits on our TV stand).”

Check out LauraAust’s crocheted Dotee doll goddess made for a profile based swap:

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See more of LauraAust’s craft and swap photos on her Flickr.

Interesting facts about LauraAust:

  • “I was a finalist in a Better Homes and Gardens Patchwork and Quilting design contest in 2001 – the theme was “State Fair”. My quilt toured the country for a year and I got my name in the magazine and a photo of my quilt on their website. I also got a really nice box of prizes valued at $250+.”
  • “I own enough quilting fabric to open my own shop (but continue to add to it).” (See photo below!)

lauraaustfabric

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in quality, time intensive quilting, paper craft, or crochet swaps, LauraAust is definitely the member to contact.


Holiday Postal Deadlines

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As if you didn’t already know, Christmas and New Years are approaching very quickly!!

The USPS published their deadlines for mailing DOMESTIC items to arrive by Christmas Eve on December 24th:

December 15th (today!) – Standard Post®
December 20th – First-Class Mail® & Priority Mail®
December 23rd – Priority Mail Express®

Many of the deadlines for international Christmas mail have already passed. Although, you could still try their pricey Global Express Guaranteed service.

The postal services of most other countries offer similar deadlines, but check with your service’s website for their official dates.

Happy holiday mailing!


Ambassador Introduction: TheWhiteSquirrel

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program is going strong and I am excited to introduce each of the participants individually over the next few months. They are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities.

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Meet our next Ambassador, TheWhiteSquirrel! TheWhiteSquirrel lives in “The Deep Freeze” aka Fargo, North Dakota. She loves mail art, stationery, and all things Air Mail-themed… and squirrels, of course! She has been swapping on the ‘bot for well over a year and has nearly five hundred 5 ratings!

Ambassador Region: North Dakota, USA

TheWhiteSquirrel

How TheWhiteSquirrel found Swap-bot: “I truly just stumbled upon it while searching online for some sort of pen pal site one day (and SO happy I did).”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “I adore Swap-bot….Mail gives me a chance to travel and open my world to learn new things from the comfort of my own home. I get to meet such wonderful people who, despite our differences, all share a common interest — Post! It’s such an inspiration and an outlet for creativity that gives us all a chance to lift ones spirits. Each new swap I sign up for is a new challenge that keeps me going. There are days when I simply don’t know what I would do without these connections — I just love it so.”

Her favorite type of swap: “Type 3! Thought, care & a little effort goes a long way with me. I really enjoy swapping Mail Art — it’s my favorite. I love to see other people’s creations and read their stories. (I imagine what their life is like and step into their world for a brief moment.) I also trade tea often, chocolate from time to time, coins/currency, and am thrilled with anything Air Mail related or anything covered in postage stamps!”

Check out TheWhiteSquirrel’s owl-themed mail art:

TheWhiteSquirrelmailart

Interesting facts about TheWhiteSquirrel:

  • “I’ve been to 3 continents and 5 countries.”
  • “I like to eat pickles out of tea cups and drink just about everything out of a stein.”
  • “Oh! — and did I mention I <3 Squirrels?"

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in snail mail swaps for things like postcards, mail art, old books, silverware, books, or coins, TheWhiteSquirrel is definitely the member to contact.


2014 Holiday Gift Donation Drive UPDATE

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I have an awesome announcement… 2014 was our BIGGEST YEAR EVER for our annual Holiday Gift Donation Drive for The Partnership for the Homeless!!! We collected even more than during our epic 2012 Donation Drive for Hurricane Sandy relief! Wow.

Together we collected:

  • $1250 in Paypal and other cash donations. (Half of this money was used to purchase H&M and Old Navy gift cards to give to teens at the Children’s Holiday Party, as requested by The Partnership. The other half was given directly to The Partnership to offset the party costs and to generally support their programs.)
  • $485 in varius other gift cards to places like Target and Barnes & Noble.
  • Many hats, gloves, scarves, books, and toys.
  • 115 Swap-bot members participated in the Donation Drive and our grand total was more than $1735!

I am so impressed with this community’s generosity year after year! Thank you all so much for your support and participation!

donationdrivepickup

Our lovely Partnership contact, Wanda, came and picked up our box of donations today. Our gifts will make a huge impact at the Children’s Holiday Party this Saturday, December 6th. The holiday season will be a little brighter for many of NYC’s homeless youth thanks to you!

Happy, happy holidays! xoxo