October 2015 will be Swap-bot’s 10-year anniversary. Woah. I am truly astounded. My husband, Travis, and I created this website a decade ago in an effort to make group swapping easier and more fun, and we have worked hard to keep it running ever since. (Check out our very first swap.)
Over the past 10 years Swap-bot has gained more than 65,000 accounts, facilitated more than 200,000 swaps, and received 280 MILLION pageviews! Wow!
To celebrate our 10-year milestone, I am hosting a Swap-bot-themed 10th Anniversary Mail Art Swap. I’d love for it to be a huge swap. Please join us in sending out fun mail art all over the globe!
The swap details: You will have just one partner to whom you will send one piece of Swap-bot-themed mail art. It can be a postcard, letter, or parcel, but it MUST be decorated externally with a Swap-bot theme. Think blue and orange, postal mail images, Ernie the Envie, swap terms, etc. Put some time into making something that will delight our mail carriers! It is not required, but it’d be fun to include a note or goodies with your mail art for your partner. I’ve made this a very easy and inclusive swap so that everyone will feel comfortable joining and celebrating Swap-bot. New swappers and experienced members with a 4.9 rating, or higher, are welcome to join this international swap. As always, I will check over participants and remove anyone questionable. Sign up HERE by October 1st!
Please take a photo of your mail art creation and email it (or a link to it) to me at rachel -at- swap-bot.com. I’d LOVE to share your artwork here on the Swap-bot blog. Also, check back here for some fun 10th anniversary giveaways very soon!
Swap-bot’s awesomeness comes from our amazing community of swappers. Thank you all for swapping with us and supporting us for the last ten years!!
The 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 four 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.
Meet our next Ambassador, dolcxvita! Dolcxvita is originally from India, but she now lives in Singapore. She has traveled all over Asia and has also lived in the UK. She is an avid snail mail lover and a designer who enjoys experimenting with all types of art and crafts.
Ambassador Region: India & Southeast Asia
How dolcxvita found Swap-bot: “A few years ago, I inherited a large collection of postcards addressed to my mother, written by various people who were on their journeys far and wide. To a lot of people, it would be a box of junk from the 60’s. They would be perfectly happy communicating via Skype, Whatsapp and other social networks. But to me, I was more than thrilled to open the box, inspect the contents and read each card which seemed to magically transport me not only to the date and place of its origin, but also to my mothers childhood – something I have always been curious about. So that is when my love for snail mail began, I wanted a box of my own, perhaps to pass on to my daughter or perhaps to one day, open it and read something from twenty years ago – it would sort of be a time capsule, where unlike in a photo or video, this would allow the viewer a creative license to use their imagination a little more! I was studying in the UK at that time and I convinced my family and friends to write to me – real mail, long letters, beautiful postcards, birthday cards etc. began filling up my mailbox.”
“Three years ago, I stumbled across swap-bot, while looking for postcards (I also stumbled upon an International Postcard Show in Nottingham UK – where I ended up exhibiting my work – must have been my lucky day!) Anyway, what a wonderful thing – this website! Here I could not only exchange postcards with people from all over the world, but take this whole creative correspondence thing to a new level. I still remember the rush of excitement when stepping into an art store after a very long time and buying basic supplies to make my first ATC and then making dozens more with the help of some amazing supplies I received from swaps.”
Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “I moved back to India and the little boxes of exciting goodies continued to fly in and out of my home, my puzzled family wondered what was going on. But when I shared with them, candy from London, vintage toys from Madrid, laughs from Melbourne, experiences from New York, travel tips from Moscow, art from Japan, Xmas ornaments from Finland — their amusement gave way to excitement – which now takes over every time I receive a parcel.”
“Swap-Bot combined my love for travel and art. It helped me see places I had never seen before, through the eyes of the people I had never met before and no matter what path I choose, I know that I have found a door into a creative space where I can write, make and learn and share all of it, whenever I want.”
Her favorite type of swap: “I love ATC and postcard swaps, but I feel like I hit a jackpot every time I learn something new about another country – be it in the from a physical souvenir or a book recommendation or random fact on a postcard or a piece of fabric showcasing traditional art.”
Fun Facts about dolcxvita:
- “I am 20-somehting, recently married, marketing consultant and graphic designer.”
- “On the weekends, I am also a yoga instructor.”
Two of dolcxvita’s swaps:
Visit dolcxvita’s links:
I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. We are so lucky to have so many awesome snail mail lovers from all over the world! If you are interested in items from India or Southeast Asia, or want to do an international postcard or art swap, dolcxvita is a great swapper to contact.
The 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 five 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.
Meet our next Ambassador, grimmlynn! Grimmlynn lives near Birmingham, Alabama, and has been swapping on Swap-bot for more than six years. She loves crafting and has a pet Uromastyx (a type of lizard) and four cats.
Ambassador Region: Alabama, USA
How grimmlynn found Swap-bot: “I found Swap-bot while on Craftster.org. Someone wanted to swap with me and suggested we “make it official” on Swap-bot, so I was introduced to your site and instantly fell in love with swapping. ”
Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “I enjoy Swap-bot because it allows me to connect with other people, while at the same time expressing my creativity. In other words, I can make a new friend AND exchange something fun. It’s a wonderful way to inspire me to create, as well. I would not craft nearly as much if not for Swap-bot. It inspires me with new ideas, new techniques, and new materials.”
Her favorite type of swap: “My favorite type of swap would probably be Inchies. I love making them and have been collecting them for a really long time. They are super fun to make and don’t really take up a lot of space to collect and can be displayed in really neat ways. I am also really into making matchboxes,which, by the way, are the perfect size for including a few inchies. I also like challenge type swaps, where you have to find certain things for your partner, vintage/thrift store swaps and really all types of swaps. I’ve never met a swap I didn’t like.”
Fun Facts about grimmlynn:
- “I recently gave my first rally speech to a crowd of over 100 people. It was the single hardest type of speaking I have ever done, but I would definitely do it again.”
- “I decided that I would give making an ATC a serious try for a swap because I liked the theme so much, so I made two Macbeth ones and loved the way they turned out. I’m afraid it’s the start of a new addiction!”
Grimmlynn’s Macbeth ATCs:
Visit grimmlynn’s links:
I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in any type of craft swaps, like inchies or matchboxes, grimmlynn is a great swapper to contact.
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!
- These Freezer Paint Popsicles would be such a fun (outdoor) summer art project for kids!
- How to do a packaging tape image transfer, plus cute greeting card ideas on DIY Candy.
- For the crocheters: these superhero finger puppets are amazingly cute.
- I NEED to have a party so that I can make one of these awesome, beautiful, sparkly unicorn piñatas!
- Eight cute and easy DIY pencil pouches to welcome back-to-school season.
- A pretty blog: Flax & Twine.
- Woah. This awesome NYC-themed washi tape must be mine!!
- How far can a recipe stray from the original three-ingredient recipe and still be considered a S’more?? I am not sure, but I’d still try these Reese’s S’mores Chocolate Cookies and the S’mores Coffee Milkshake.
Happy weekend! Share more interesting links in the comments, please.
The 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.
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.
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:
“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.)”
“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.”</ul> ————
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.
The 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.
Meet 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:
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.”
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.
Happy Friday! I hope you’re in the mood for some crafty summer links… because here they are!!
- This Cactus Pincushion DIY is extremely cute.
- Make cool Nautical Knot Bracelets with this Etsy How Tuesday Tutorial.
- In the mood for an adult summer treat? I’d love to try these Blueberry Cabernet Cheesecake Cocktail Popsicles. Yum! (These Funfetti Cake Batter Popsicles also look delish.)
- And speaking of popsicles, these Pool Noodle 3-D Postcard Party Invites are a cool mail project in a fun summer theme!
- I love this mail art using transparent vellum envelopes.
- Twenty-one Things You’d Be Surprised You Can Actually Mail.
- I haven’t actually tried it yet, but the Shyp app sounds quite handy for snail mailers like us. Shyp “picks up your items, packs, and sends them anywhere in the world using the lowest cost, most reliable option.”
- Your S’more of the week: S’mores Popcorn.
Any other fun projects, pins, or promotions out there on the World Wide that I missed??
While visiting the tiny island town of Stonington, Maine, last week, I spied their picturesque Post Office and had to share the photos.
The lobster fishing town has about 1,000 residents, a beautiful view of the sea, and a cute main street. Even more remote is the nearby island of Isle au Haut, that is only reachable twice a day by mail boat from Stonington!
The 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.
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:
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.”
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.
Hello fun Friday friends! Take a peek at these cool links…
- I’ve never actually made soap, but this DIY Stained Glass Soap is so pretty it tempts me to try.
- It is maybe a wacky craft project, but this Flip Flop Summer Pool Noodle Wreath would be fun summer decor.
- Have you seen these Toilet Paper Roll Mini Scrapbook Albums?! What a great use of repurposing! See also Toilet Paper Mini Album video tutorial. (There are lots of different tutorial videos for these on YouTube. They would be fun to swap!)
- An easy, fun, fairly nutritious treat for summer: Kool Aid Yogurt Pops.
- I absolutely love these simple, but fun USPS “From Me to You” stamps!
- This is slightly off-topic, but if you enjoy history, this is my all-time favorite podcast: Bowery Boys. (I listen while crafting and running!)
- S’mores of the week: S’mores Skillet Cookie & S’mores Lasagna. (I’m currently in the middle of a no-sugar food challenge, so S’mores research is painful this week!!)
What else are you loving on the vast world wide web this week??