If you've been around awhile, I'm sure you have either heard of or took part in a swap. If you haven't, I'll give you a brief overview...when you join a swap of say 20, you'll make 20 of the same project. 19 other folks will also join in and make 20. You'll then meet up at a given time and trade with everyone leaving you with 20 different projects! It's great for inspiration, ideas, and sharing. Even if you don't like someone's style, you might love their layout or color combo or technique.
Demonstrators are always swapping. We love to get tons of ideas to share with you! I know I love to participate in swaps when I have a huge event coming up - it provides me with the ability to get many more samples than I'd be able to create. It's far simpler to design and make 20 of a single card than it is to come up with 20 new ideas, right?
Recently a demonstrator posted on one of my Facebook groups to see if anyone would be willing to organize a "quick-turnaround", in-the-mail swap using sneak peek products. I volunteered to organize. Ha! This Facebook group is packed full of some of the world's top leaders in the Stampin' Up! universe. I participated in one swap last fall where over 4,000 cards were swapped! The organizer went NUTS (and had lots of help)! I figured due to the time restrictions, this one would be small - and it was...relatively speaking. There were still 1,000 cards that all arrived at my house this week, had to be sorted, and shipped back out. Many of the participating demonstrators had team meetings this upcoming weekend, so getting a stack of swaps was going to be a GREAT way to display new products.
(If you're unaware, only demonstrators who attended OnStage events in April were able to order sneak peek products until this week. All other demonstrators had to wait until this week.)
Silly me scheduled the dang thing the to be completed in a week and a half (that's just an INSANE turn-around time in terms of swapping), I was trying to manage sign-ups while my parents were visiting and all of the swaps were due to arrive while I was vacationing in California last weekend. Oh, and the swaps had to be mailed back out on the exact same day I was expecting to mail the new catalogs to customers. Did I mention I signed up to make 54 cards in that time, too? Oh, I have a full-time job on top? And I'm hosting a dinner party the same week? Yep!
My swap was divided up into 3 groups. The first two groups had 20 participants each. The third group only had 14. Many folks (like myself) participated in multiple groups. And the payoff at the end is FANTASTIC! I have over 54 cards (plus a few bonus ones) that I didn't have to make! I'm sure I'll be sharing them with you, casing some of them, incorporating some into classes, or I have a few other ideas up my sleeve!
The three cards I'm sharing today were all Thank You Cards I received from demonstrators in addition to their swaps. The first one was created by Kim Williams who used the Fresh Fruit Sneak Peek stamp set. She demonstrated with this stamp set at OnStage. And, to be honest, I don't remember if this was one of the cards she demoed or not - I may have to watch the video again to be sure! It also incorporates two, new in colors: Dapper Denim and Emerald Envy (my favorites). And, the strip of DSP is from the Playful Palette DSP Stack.
The second card was created by Bonnie O'Neill. If you follow my blog, you know I love incorporating a layer of vellum cardstock every now and then. So, the fact that she has a vellum pennant on her card is perfect for me! I also love her layering in general. I never would have thought to layer circles behind the butterflies.
The third card was UNSIGNED! UGH! I'm sure at one point I knew who it came from because it was in her swap envelope. But, there were no markings on the card and I didn't realize that when I set it aside! It's a gorgeous card. She's heat embossed the rose image on Watercolor Paper and then used an Aqua Painter and reinkers to color the flower. It's gorgeous. Note: I believe Black Embossing Powder is currently retiring and sold out. But, you can achieve the same look with Versamark, Basic Black Ink, and Clear Embossing Powder. Granted, next month you can order COPPER embossing powder and that would look sharp on this card, too!