A special thank you to Stephanie for agreeing to co-host this swap with me. It's been a fun experience, and one I'm sure we'll repeat in the future.
Thank you also, to all the swappers who participated in this swap to make it a success. A special thanks to those who kept in contact with both Stephanie and I throughout the swap. Keeping us up to date, on progress with your items being made, giving us little sneak peeks, mailing your packages and letting us know when you received your packages. These emails are an important part of having a well run swap. Thanks also to those of you who regularly made comments on both blogs on our "Merry Monday" posts.
It was a joy to see so many of you do an excited post about the items you received. It was also a pleasure to see that "most" of you followed the guidelines of the swap, and went above and beyond what was asked to be included in your parcels that you sent. A few unfortunately didn't, and left their partners more than disappointed. It's unfortunate but, Stephanie and I now have a bad swappers list.
Stephanie and I have enjoyed co-hosting this swap together, and we plan on bringing you more swaps in the future. We've decided that "invitation only" swaps are the way to go. It helps to control the numbers of swappers, and hopefully ensures a fun experience for all those involved and quality gifts being swapped. We've both learnt many things through this swap. Some that will remain, others that may change, that I'm sure you'll discover in future swaps that we host, either together or individually.
It's unfortunate, thoughtless and extremely selfish when a swapper doesn't follow through. I spent time (that I could have been creating in my sewing room) last weekend trying to get in contact with a swapper (Kelly) in Australia who felt she didn't need to send an item to her partner. We never want one of our swappers to miss out because someone else has been thoughtless. Whether it's the hostess or an angel who steps in all our swappers WILL receive a parcel.
Some things to think about before you say yes to the next swap.
- Our swaps are international, so that means added expense with postage. When you commit to an international swap, you commit to mailing without whinging about the cost involved.
- Guidelines are always included eg: items that need to be included in the parcel. If you are unable to follow through, or don't have the skills, please don't commit.
- Guidelines are included about contacting your hostess with emails. If you've never run a swap before you'd be surprised at how many hours go into making sure it runs smoothly. Contact is an important part of a smoothly run swap.
- Regularly updated blog, (yours). This helps your swap partner get to know your likes and dislikes, and also let's your hostess know that you're still alive and kicking.
- Make a point to read your hostess's swap posts. These posts take time to prepare, and give you information specifically about the swap you are involved in.
- Leave a comment on the swap post occasionally so your swap hostess knows your still involved.
- Read your partner's blog so you get to know what her tastes are.
- Be polite and don't delay in blogging about the gift you've received. Within a week of receiving your parcel. This is one thing that I've noticed with the Christmas in July swap the very unexcited posts and distant photo's of the gifts that have been received, by just a handful of swappers. Regardless of whether the gift/gifts are totally to your taste, someone has gone to the trouble to make something that they hope you will enjoy. Imagine their hurt if you don't show any enthusiasm.
- Be polite and send a thank you to your partner to let her know that you've received her parcel.
- If something unexpected happens that is going to delay your mailing, let your hostess know so she can work with you and let your partner know.
- Quality outweighs the number of swaps you're involved in. It's easy to commit to every swap that's going on, but it's much more difficult to send quality gifts if your mind is occupied with "How am I going to get all these swaps done on time" Learn to say no.
I know when reading all these things, it may seem like a lot of rules and regulations, and that's not the point that Stephanie and I want bring. More that, a smooth, fun swap needs everyone to be involved.I hope you'll join us on our next swap in 2010, until then.
P.S. Please hop on over to Stephanie's blog and read her final thoughts.