Sometime last year, around Octoberish, I was watching a program on t.v about crafting and on one segment they spoke about artist trading cards. Needless to say they got my attention. Artist trading cards are a miniature artwork done on a small card and traded/swapped with other artists for theirs. There are only 2 rules about atc’s, they must be a certain size and can not be sold. The size rule is perfect for storing because they fit into regular trading card pockets.
I turned to my computer to see how to go about trading these cards and my search led me to swap-bot. This awesome site has been the object of my obsession for some while now. How it works is you sign up and fill in your profile, likes, dislikes and such. You then sign up for a swap which you fancy. (there is a list of swaps and you can search for themed ones.) Then you wait till the sign up date ends. In this time you can start on your craft to be swapped. You are then alerted via email that your partner has been assigned and you send off your swap. The partners are assigned randomly so you do not receive from the person you send to. You receive your swap from your partner and rate them using a pre-determined rating system which helps control some people from not sending their swaps. You, as the sender, get rated too and as your ratings improve, so does your reputation and this make swapping much easier.
What type of things do we swap for? Well, there are swaps tailored for all types of people from postcards to atc’s, pen pal letters to crocheted dolls. There is literally something for everybody, crafty or not. Sure the postage adds up but you do get something in return. Another question that might plague you is, what if the other person does not send their swap? This does happen (though not to me…yet, touch wood) but there are ‘angels’ on hand to send you something if your partner has ‘flaked’ on you. The flaker gets named and shamed and gets rated a 1. Three ones get you temporarily banned from the site till they send out the swaps. The swapping community is very well adapted to rooting out flakers and making sure everyone plays fair. Good communication between swap partners is highly recommended and helps a lot specially when real life gets in the way
|My favorite atc's that I have collected.|
There is so much more to the site like joining groups , hosting swaps and private one on one swaps but I cannot go into detail about that so let me just say that I have made tons of international friends, got some really nice things that I would never of had the opportunity of getting by myself, my atc collection has grown in a matter of a few months and I have been inspired to think out side the box and my crafting ability has been challenged to the extreme which pushes me to do better.
I hope some of you will be inspired enough to have a look at the swap-bot website and maybe create some mini masterpieces of your own so until next time…Chow!