I'm terrible at swaps.
There's no point in hiding from the truth.
I'm never going to be a person who has 200 neatly packaged swaps ready a day, a week or a month before convention or Leadership.
I'm probably not even going to have one ready.
I thought I'd share the truth with you about this year's convention swap. Much of it has been leaked to the press already, so I'll just fill in the details.
I never intended to do general swaps. I honestly just don't have time. Work fills most of my waking hours, and when I have stamping time, I spend it on class prep or my favorite challenges. One of my favorite challenges is happening right now, as a matter of fact - Dare to Get Dirty on Splitcoast. But I digress.
I do, however, like small pre-planned swaps, and I signed up for two of them this year. Lyssa's CQ swap (20 people) and Rebecca's jewelry swap (7 people). For me these are not just manageable* but they are fun and stress free.
* = whatever. nothing is manageable.
So with the best of intentions, I designed and assembled the pieces for Lyssa's swap. Because I was procrastinating packing, laundry and a million other pre-trip details, I cut enough for 51 swaps. I sure was impressed with myself. "Self," I said to myself "you are going to do these on the plane and be very smirky upon your arrival in Utah."
Well my first flight - to Denver - was way too short for swap prep. Flight two, which I had to run for, was another story. I set out my swap pieces on a table that a Borrower would find small and got to work. Part of this swap involved watercoloring with white craft ink, and Coastal Cabana. I only dropped everything once, which I thought was stellar. Working studiously away, the time passed quickly. I think I only got 8 flowers done before it was time to put it all away. I packed it all up, we landed and I headed for the restroom before meeting my friend and downline, Christine, who was arriving shortly after me, for the first time.
Thank God I went to the bathroom. What greeted me in the mirror was me, in my black T-shirt, with one COMPLETELY WHITE BOOB. It was COVERED in craft ink! I must have been leaning over it coloring and totally wiped up all the ink on my tray. Nice. Classy. Good start to the trip! I cleaned it off and met Christine, who didn't hear the story until later.
Now mind you - the swap wasn't until Saturday and this was Monday. Every night I'd have a chance to assemble these swaps. The first night, I even had tons of help - Sue cutting out flowers, Mel coloring. You'd think we'd have finished ONE CARD, but no. Tuesday we are headed back to Kanab from the Grand Canyon, and I'm coloring in the back seat, and Christine is assembling and putting them in envelopes. Are they done? Absolutely not. I don't even have the 20 I need for my swap.
Well forget about Wednesday - that was our first day back in Salt Lake. No biggie, I still had Thursday - I mean, convention didn't even start until Thursday night.
Did I do them Thursday? Heck no.
So Friday night, at about 11:30 PM, poor Sue is sitting in my room cutting out more flowers (with HER scissors) and I'm putting them together. Do I get to 51? Heck no. We squeak out 20 and I show up at my swap on Saturday with no more, no less than I need.
It takes a village to make a swap.
And yes, I now have a box of 31 unassembled swap pieces, and a T-shirt with a white boob print on it.
Do you see why I don't swap?
It's for the best, really.
However, my swap, which I designed for the first Dare to Get Dirty challenge I'm hosting today, I'm really proud of. I used what I call "frosted watercolor" which I learned from Karen Barber. I'm having a class on this (with a free bonus class on stamping with your boob) at the end of August if you're interested.
The background is the new Dictionary background stamp. The print is so small and precise it really just looks like patterned paper.
The flower is Regarding Dahlias.
Stamps: Regarding Dahlias
Ink: Whisper White, Coastal Cabana, Baked Brown Sugar
Paper: Baked Brown Sugar, Coastal Cabana, Whisper White
Accessories: Rhinestones, Victorian Lace, Linen Thread, Sponge Daubers, Corner Rounder, White Embossing Powder
My challenge today is just one of six challenges today - we have a total of 42 this week for our Fan Club Members. It's SUCH a fun week and the challenges are a blast. Come play along with us! They are all sponsored by our Member Companies, so you could win prizes from My Favorite Things, The Cat's Pajamas, Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps, Stamp 'n Storage, Stamping Bella, Simon Says Stamp, Verve, Paper Smooches, Scor-Pal and Taylored Expressions!
Six more challenges go live every morning until Friday. Play one, some or all!
But whatever you do, don't do your swaps on the plane.
And if you're one of those 200 neatly packaged swap people - my hat is off to you.