Saturday, February 4, 2012


I love swaps because I love surprises, especially if they come to me in the mail. Not knowing what's inside a package or an envelope is terribly thrilling. I have been swapping since I was in junior high and discovered that there was such a thing as penpals. I managed to amass a huge collection of postcards courtesy of penpals from all over the world. There are boxes of them at my mom's house. Through the years I have exchanged music tapes, books and seeds. These days I focus on creative swaps, and right now I am participating in two: Aunt Peaches has organized a wonderful Valentine swap. All participants are to mail three handmade valentine cards, and expect the same number in return. I made these:

I had been wanting to try sewing on paper, after seeing this type of project online many times. Well, I need a lot of practice. It is harder than I thought. I was nonetheless encouraged by Peaches' words:

If you are saying "But I can't make anything nice!" then you are *exactly* the sort of person who should participate.

So there you have it, world, my imperfect, amateurish cards are on their way to countries far and near. I hope that my choice of non-traditional Valentine colors earns me some points.

My second swap is organized by the Eco Etsy team. This is a great group of environmentally conscious artisans. I love this team, and have learned much about managing my microscopic Etsy business thanks to them. Last year we swapped gifts post Christmas. We called it "The Regift", and it was so fun. This year I believe we're exchanging our handmade goodies, and I was thinking about offering one of these. What do you think?

I am looking forward to seeing what I get from both swaps, and I promise to share the loot with you.


Update: 2/5/12

Yesterday I received the first Valentine! It was so exciting to find a chubby envelope in the mailbox. It was chubby because of this:

Jill from Smalltropolis was one of my secret Valentine pals, and I am so glad! She has a great tutorial for this adorable frayed heart. Jill, thank you so much!


Update: 2/10/12

Valentine #2 is here!

It was made by Claudia in San Francisco (virtually in my backyard). I love the paper, mottled with little bits of color, and the doily-like, hand-drawn border around the heart.

When you open the card, you find hearts cut from the pages of a book.

I don't know if serendipity was at play, or if Claudia chose to cut one of the hearts this way, but I found this really funny

Claudia, I loooooove this card! Thank you so much!