First, let me thank those who came to visit in the past few days. If you didn't notice the Stamping Top 50 button further down on the right side, you folks took me from lowly 332 to 68 in 3 days!
Of course, this puts enormous pressure on me, you know (and it's all about me, let's just admit it!) How do I follow up such a successful post? But, I'm so nice (you knew that!) that I just have to try and do my best.
The swaps are done, done, done; in spite of swapitis, church obligations, having to take a bash at cleaning and cooking now and then and dealing with whining children ("Mom, I don't have any clean underwear!", "Mommy, I don't have any warm pajamas and I'm sooo cold!", "Mom, I need a Secret Santa gift for school tomorrow!!" (it's 6 PM on Sunday when I hear this, BTW), "Mommy, I need you to put the sheet back on my bed!" (ya know, if you didn't JUMP on your bed like Kevin in Home Alone, you wouldn't have to have me putting your sheet back on all the time!!!))
ANYWAY, here they are, ready to pop in the mail. Are you looking, Lisa? You don't need to worry about getting mine in time and you can call off the hit squad of stamping goons you were poised to send after me. You don't think Lisa has a squad of stamping goons? Well, you just try and send your swaps late and you'll find out! Lisa, I really, really like you...please don't hurt me!
Anyway, in the process of getting these wonderful swaps done, I've developed the following:
JanTink's Laws of Swapping (or other mass production of cards)
Law #1: You will choose at least one material for your swap that you are going to run out of before you finish, necessitating calls to stamping friends, upline, downline, anybody that might have some of what you need. Mine is always ribbon. I had to make a run to my upline's house last night to borrow more black gingham. I picked her because she always calls me when she runs short, plus I had some stuff that was hers I needed to deliver. The last time, I came very close to running out of pink gingham, but I switched the positioning of the caramel and pink gingham ribbon on the very last swap and squeaked by, but just barely.
Of course, you will not discover your shortfall in time to order more. And that item will be the one thing that makes your card absolutely perfect, so you can't substitute or leave it off altogether. And on occasion, you have to resort to finding the next best thing at that store we all try not to talk about too much...you know, the one with the [whispers] C-O-U-P-O-N. Shhh...
Law #2: You will have at least one step on your swap that you hate doing. Sometimes it's more. You will ask yourself many times, "Why, oh why did I decide to (cut out, do polished stone, watercolor the image, emboss...fill in the blank) when I could have just done something much simpler instead???" These steps are not hateful when you only have to do one, but when you have to make many, many, many of them, you grow to hate doing it.
Law #3: Something that usually works brilliantly will stop working in the process of doing your swaps. Glue dots that stuck wonderfully when you made your sample will stop sticking. Dimensional backings start refusing to come off. Embossing powder will not melt the way it did before. You may find your own hands, that normally are so skilled, will betray you. Tying knots becomes a challenge, you burn yourself embossing, you end up with ink on body parts you never thought you could get ink on, glitter gets up your nose (not that there's anything wrong with that!), in your eyes, in your hair.
Law #4: You will spend a lot of time asking yourself, "Why do I do this to myself!!!"
Law #5: You will get your answer when you get lots and lots of lovely swaps back.
Law #6: You will get the swaps back and never mind that they whole point of doing them is so you don't have to buy so many sets from the mini catalog, it will cause you to buy more sets from the mini catalog anyway. It's inevitable. At least that's true when you swap with the awesome ladies I swap with. You know what I think? [lowers voice and moves a little closer] I think that Shelli Gardner (may she live forever) has some of these people on her payroll. They make these objects of psychic resonance and send them to me and then I have to buy more sets. It's the only explanation I have for it...yes, these ladies are talented, but I think there is more to it than that! It's a conspiracy!
Law #7: Your stamping space, after you are done making your swaps, will look like hundreds of mischievous elves were partying all night in there when they were interrupted by a herd of stampeding rhinocerouses who were all running from the cyclone that came sweeping in immediately afterwards.
So now this swap is over with. It only remains to package them up, print my label off the USPS website, and give them to my carrier.
But you know what? [glances around, furtively] I haven't made my customer Christmas cards yet, so you can guess what I'll be doing for the next few days! I have a ton of cards already made that I can send to my family and friends, but nothing for the customers yet...I feel a bad case of Christmas-carditis coming on....send chocolate!