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1   / ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Super Organizers of 2013's biggest swaps!! on: April 16, 2014 05:03:46 PM

Swaps are a big part of the Craftster experience for many of our members.  There are all kinds of themes and formats for eligible Craftsters to choose from!  This first quarter feature will highlight a few of the largest participant swaps from 2013 and the fabulous organizers who ran them.
 

IYP 23 Summer Do Si Do
   49 participants
luckdragon organizer 
Calabazza co-organizer

This was the 23rd round of the famous Invite Your Partner swap where you invite your own partner or accept someone's invitation.  Themes and package size are decided on between each partner pairing which results in a truly varied gallery of awesome!  Here is what luckdragon had to tell us about running a giant swap:

Any organizational tips on managing a large group of swappers? Communication, a big old spreadsheet, a separate swap folder for PMs and an amazing co-organizer! And for me, the co-organizer is the most important of these!  I have to say that I have had some awesome co-organizers that help keep track of send/receive status and feedback for up to half of the partner groups.   That helps keep the swap much more manageable and I can focus on any escalations if necessary (but with craftsters, it isn't necessary often).

What is your secret to matching partners when you have so many?  So, since this is an Invite Your Partner swap, that makes things super easy!  People partner themselves - which seems to make for much happier pairing all around.  But, in general, I find that swaps with more participants are easier to partner as there are more options for people who don't have conflicting allergies/allergens and shipping limitations.  And you are more likely to find partners with similar interests.

What is the largest number of swappers that you would feel comfortable hosting in a swap?  The more, the merrier!  I absolutely love the galleries for the bigger swaps!  I might just ask for additional co-org help Smiley


Ongoing Wish Swap round 100   40 participants
Averia  organizer
spikefan  co-organizer

The longest running swap on Craftster, the Ongoing Wish Swap (or OWS) started waaaay back in September 2005!!!  The OWS is a list/chain style of swap, where swappers choose what they want to send from the last posted member list, then post their own.  Throughout the past 8+ years there have been many organizers/co-organizers, here are Averia's answers to the questions we all want to know.  Check out the gallery and big congratulations on ROUND 100!!

Any organizational tips on managing a large group of swappers? Accept the help of a great Co-organizer. I couldn't do it without Spikefan! I am very grateful to her for her calm and constant help, especially when I start to get overwhelmed. A ways back Saintcady generously shared an excel spreadsheet with me for ongoing swaps. Homerof2 and I modified it to work with Google docs for the Ongoing Hoopla Swap. Using it allows both the organizer and co-organizer to update the same records so the load doesn't get too heavy on any one person. Updating the front page of the claims thread with who has sent, who has received and who has communicated that they will be late is a simple matter of cutting and pasting.


What is the largest number of swappers that you would feel comfortable hosting in a swap? I think the 40 we had is about the most I would ever want to organize. It was wonderfully fun, but by the end of the month we were feeling frazzled. I think I would try to get another co-organizer involved if we ever had that many interested again.


Back to Hogwarts Rd 4
  33 participants
pinkleo  organizer
luckdragon  co-organizer

Back to Hogwarts Rd 4 was one of the many Harry Potter themed swaps hosted on Craftster over the years and is the most traditional of our featured swaps, you can check out the gallery here.  There is a common theme, package size requirement and partners are assigned by the organizer(s).   Pinkleo has lots of experience running big swaps, here are her organizer tips!

Any organizational tips on managing a large group of swappers? First, plan beforehand.  Decide on how you are going to track and keep in touch with your participants.  Find a system that helps you be organized, be it paper lists or Google Docs; this will help you out tremendously!  Second, I find organizing my PMs very helpful.  (To organize your PMs, you create a label in your Personal Messages for your swap.)  Then, when you get a PM for your swap, send it into that label.  This will save you tons of time when you are trying to keep track of participants and issues. Third, update your sending and receiving regularly.  This will help you not get confused and keep everyone up-to-date.  Finally, find yourself a co-organizer and use them.  Split up a large group into smaller ones, and let each organizer attend to a smaller groups needs and feedback.

What is your secret to matching partners when you have so many? I like to print out the questionnaires.  Then, I color code important details like international and allergies with highlighters.  After that, I read through the questionnaires, and try to find something that connects people.  I'll look at what one crafts and what crafts one admires.  I also like to stalk participants posts and pinterests to get a sense of their crafts and likes.  When I'm finally ready to start officially pairing, I take care of special needs like international and allergen sensitive swappers first.  And I always try to remember that swaps are for having fun, meeting new people, and going on a crafty adventure.  This helps me not panic about pairing and enjoy the process.

What is the largest number of swappers that you would feel comfortable hosting in a swap? With a trusty co-organizer at my side, I feel I could handle quite a few.  But I would definitely make sure my schedule is free to handle it.  My largest swap so far was Back to Hogwarts Round 2 where Mistress Jennie and I had 73 swappers!   It was lots of work, but so much fun!  Everyone in the swap was very excited which lead to tons of discussions and communication, and the gallery produced amazing projects!  Yup, I would definitely be up to handling that many again.



I'd like to thank luckdragon, Averia and pinkleo for being such awesome, hard working  organizers and taking the time to share their big swap tips with us! 


For more information about joining swaps on Craftster, please check out our Swap Info Guide

Current swaps open for signups can be found on the Craft Swaps board





2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / OOAK glam-nut fantastic ring! on: April 01, 2014 08:38:33 AM


So the other night I was going to a fancy formal event and realized I needed a little something to compliment my swank gown.  With only a couple hours before I had to leave I decided to sit in my craft room and find some inspiration while noshing on some tasty pistachios. 



Inspiration!  I knew I could make something completely original that no one else would have out of the pistachio shells!!



No time to watch paint dry so I busted out the alcohol inks.  with gloves on of course Grin



I needed a bigger base to realize my idea so found a metal piece on my table (it came in a bag of junk) and glued it on with both a dab of E3000 and hot glue.  I then used the hot glue gun to attach the pistachio shells in a lovely pattern and viola!  Glam ring in under an hour!!

It was a hit at the party, I received so many compliments on my "organic" style Grin

3  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Shop the Swap Spring Market 2014 **Gallery** on: March 15, 2014 12:28:32 PM
Sold stuff goes here!

Shop Thread - http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=432211.0
Discussion thread - http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=431768.0
4  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / STS Spring Market 2014 !! (Shops Only!) on: March 15, 2014 12:12:11 PM
Have lots of crafty items to "sell"?  Want to "buy" fantastic crafts and supplies from a bunch of super cool crafters? Then this is the swap for you!

Swap name: Shop the Swap Spring Market 2014  
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: alteredmommy
Craftster members who are the backup organizers for this swap: loves2experiment
Sign-up date range: 03/15/2014 to 04/05/2014
Date to send item by: Once someone claims from you, you have ONE WEEK to mail the item. The swap runs through to May 10  (**Please note that the last week May 3 - 10 will be for over/under 3 point shops only)
Limited to a certain number of people? 50
Non-U.S. participants allowed? Yes! Be aware that by signing up for this swap you are agreeing to ship items internationally if they are claimed by someone outside of your country

Additional Age requirement? YES **This swap is open to crafters who are 18+**

Gallery!
Discussion Thread!


Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES


Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Has completed 2 swaps with positive feedback YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 18 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES



All swappers MUST be pre-approved for this swap!

GENERAL
The Shop the Swap (or STS) is a different kind of swap in that we start with finished items.  We use a point system in which you price items in points that you receive when you sell your shop item to another swapper.  Once you have sent your claim out , you can use those points to buy any available item from any open shop in the swap.   Like the real world, you cant spend points that you dont have (no overdraft here) and you cant hoard your points under your mattress (you must close and go shopping when you have +7 points).  
**Please note that the format for this round is a little different.  Signups will be 3 weeks until April 5/14 with the swap running to May 10/2014.    Unlike the past Shop the Swaps, you will not be able to leave before the end of the swap and you must be at 3 points upon the close of the swap.  If you are traveling or otherwise unable to keep your shop open, you can close for a short period of time (a week)

SHOPS
- Post a shop in this thread with at least 5 finished, handcrafted items for the other swappers to choose from.  You can also post a small amount of craft supply items at the bottom of your shop.  **Custom items can be offered, but must be finished and sent in a timely manner, so keep this in mind and only offer custom items that you can finish quickly.  Please let us know if you will be sending late.
-Handcrafted items from other people may be offered in your shop, BUT  be aware of the potential of hurt feelings when selling items made for you in other swaps.  This is a high profile swap that many people see.  Crafted items from others must be credited with the name of the creator or you will be requested to remove that item.
-Each item should have a SHORT identifiable title, description and picture.  Each item should be priced between 1 and 3 points.  Groups of items can be priced at a choice of 2 for 1 (or 3 for 1 etc).  Charge what you think is fair for your crafted item, considering time/supply cost/popularity.
-Check peoples wishlists and use the discussion thread for brainstorming any new items to offer in your shop.

PLEASE SEE THE NEXT POST FOR SHOP FORMATS

POINTS
-all persons new to the swap receive 3 points to spend.  This is a STS loan and you must leave with 3 points (in effect pay the loan back) for positive feedback.  
-Your shop must be open before you can spend your points in other shops.
-Remember there are no guarantees that claims will be made from your shop.  To make a sale you may need to adjust your prices or offer new crafted items/supplies.
-Everytime someone claims from you, you will get whatever point price you have listed for it.  List the claim at the bottom of your shop and add the points into pending and to your points total.  You cannot spend pending points.
-Once you have sent the claim, move the points into current.  All current points are spendable so go shopping!
-When you have +7 points (a TOTAL of current and pending) you must close your shop temporarily.  Edit your shop post to put CLOSED at the top in big bold letters that people will see.
-Once you go shopping (with your current points, you may have to ship first)and spend your points down to 5 or less, you can re-open your shop.
-Each round  claims to and from you should be listed with your point tally at the bottom of your shop.  See the next post for the proper shop format.


PLEASE SEE THE NEXT POST FOR CLAIM/SEND/RECEIVE PM FORMATS

FEEDBACK
Ongoing
-If any prior claims go missing you may be required to remake/refund the points/offer something else in your shop if you have no DC# or shipping receipt.  If you have a valid DC# or shipping receipt it is your decision whether you will replace the item or have me arrange an angel


Final
-Positive feedback will be given after the swap closing date of May 10 if you have 3 points and all your claims have been received.
-Negative feedback will be given for closing this swap with less than 3 points and/or not sending claims made to you.  If you need points, have a sale, let people know in the discussion thread, offer some supplies.  
-Spend your points down to 3 before the close of this round.  If you leave with more than 3 points, any points above 3 will go into the inflation fund.  Again, reminder pm's to join will not be sent out.  These points will not be returned to you should you join the STS in a future round.  So go shopping!

SHIPPING
-Remember that you have ONE WEEK to ship from the day you receive a claim.
-All items are to be shipped AFTER an official claim is received; please do not ship custom items before we receive an official STS claim for them.  Items shipped before they are claimed will not be covered under our angel policy should they go missing.
- DC# are required on all claims if eligible AS PER CRAFTSTER SWAP RULES; if sending internationally please keep your postal receipt until your item is received.   Thin items can be padded with a plastic grocery bag or something similiar to make them thick enough for a DC#.  If your item has not been received within a reasonable time (3-4 weeks domestic; 4-5 weeks international) an angel can be arranged if you have a DC# or postal receipt.  If not you will be required to remake or offer something else from your shop and resend.
-Also remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find out how to ship your item and other details about participating in a swap.


COMMUNICATION
-It is your responsibility to keep relevant people informed of your shop and claim status  
-all claim/send/receive pms must be sent to both organizers as well as to the person you are claiming from/sending to.  Please check you're outgoing pm's to ensure that everyone has received a copy!!!!!!
-Poor communication will be noted in your feedback.  This includes not informing the organizers/other swappers of claim status via the correct claim format; not posting in the discussion thread.
-Do join in the lively conversation on the discussion thread which can be found here:   http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=431768.0

PLEASE PM THE ORGANIZERS alteredmommy, loves2experiment WITH THE FOLLOWING
INFORMATION IF YOU WISH TO PARTICIPATE

(Make the title of your PM -  STS Spring Market 2014 SIGNUP)

Name of swap: Shop the Swap Spring Market 2014
Craftster username:
I am at least eighteen years old:
I have completed 2 swaps with positive feedback:
Email address:
Real name and mailing address (formatted for mailing):

Do you have at least 5 crafted items to start out with?
Have you read through the first 2 posts of guidelines/rules?
When will this swap be closed for claims?
What information needs to be kept current at the end of your shop?
What is your favourite thing about Spring?




Feel free to ask alteredmommy or loves2experiment if you have any questions!!

Shops from previous rounds:
Winter Market 2013   http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=427289.0

Spring Market 2013   http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=419802.0

Winter Market 2012   http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=414351.0

5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / STS Spring Market 2014 Discussion Thread!! on: February 24, 2014 08:59:34 AM
I hear spring is coming so it must be time for the Shop the Swap spring market!!

If you have not ever joined a Shop the Swap please take a look at our last Winter Market to get an idea of what was offered.  Feel free to ask any questions, the swap looks a little confusing at first but its very easy to get the hang of and so much fun!  Please note that you must have 2 completed swaps (any swap, with Positive feedback of course) in your profile and be 18+ to join this swap.  This swap is a little different in that you start with a "shop" of finished items that you buy and sell with points.  You'll find the full details/rules on previous threads but please feel free to ask any questions on here Smiley

Shop the Swap Spring Market 2014



Shop the Swap Winter Market 2013

Shop the Swap Spring Market 2013
6   / MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / Featured Projects for 2013 (April-December) on: February 10, 2014 03:32:15 PM
Featured Projects for the Remainder of 2013 (April-Dec)   

Thank you for your wonderful contributions to the More Art, Less Craft corner of the Craftster community!  Our Featured Projects were chosen by the Craftster community via the "this rocks" button and they do indeed rock!


Yellow Rose and more by Lettersalad


Prunesquallor, appreciating  by Ludi


The room quilled mosaic by littlecircles


Harry Potter doodle by patty_o_furniture



Harness - An Elephant Portrait by TheDaytimeHeroes


Mother/Daughter art by MamanTattoo


1st time making Homemade Xmas cards by faemystique

 
A Home for Alice by gozer
7  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Previous Featured Projects on: February 10, 2014 03:25:08 PM
Featured Projects for The First Quarter 2013 (Jan-March)
8  Calls for Swap Angels / Swap Angel Archive / Angel Needed for the STS Winter Market-FOUND on: December 31, 2013 10:24:43 AM
We need an angel for a lost custom claim in the Shop the Swap Winter Market.  The original claim was for a knitted cowl in black, here is the Pinterest inspiration (like this but smaller).  

The claim is for Grab a coffee who is located in Hungary so you must be willing to ship internationally and send me a scan of your receipt once you ship.   There will be a send out deadline of 2 weeks from the date I accept an angel, so please keep this in mind.

If you are interested please let me know via Pm with "STS Winter Market 2013- Angel" in the subject line.  thanks Smiley

Thank you to catrinau for angeling
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Refuge - A mixed media assemblage on: October 05, 2013 12:40:54 PM
This is a piece I made for the fabulous LimeRiot in the spring.  Started with a black gesso'ed wood board (about 8" x 10"), then layered all kinds of paper bits, ephemera, stamps on with gel medium.  I then glazed with nickel azo and antiqueing (brown) followed by some white gesso dry brushing.  Usually I antique all my text but wanted the random sentences/words to pop out this time so I left them white.  Then came the real fun stuff...RUSTY CRAP! 




detail-layered snuff can lid, rusty bottle cap from the Las Vegas desert, some kind of fishing lure doo dad, resin paper scrap and the most fabulous tangle of rusted wire that I found a few years ago outside my muffler guy's shop!  This is one of my favourite "found on the ground" items.  I drilled a couple of holes in the wood to hold the wire on.


left edge - I thought it needed a little pop of colour so I affixed some collage paper that I made to matt board and cut some strips.  and another rusty bit....more rust is always good in my book Grin


right edge - you can see the vintage blue buttons on the top, I love that colour and it paired with the random stamps on top.  followed through with the red by tying red thread through them first.

I really liked working on the wood board, so many more options than the usual canvas I use.  drilling!  piling crap on! 
10   / MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / Meet our New Featured Member TheDaytimeHeroes! on: September 30, 2013 07:40:06 AM
Meet our Featured Artist on the More Art, Less Craft board TheDaytimeHeroes!!

TheDaytimeHeroes has many projects posted on Craftster, here are some of our favourites!

 
Lap of Luxury  Best of Craftster 2012!

Silence

 
Graham's Ghost

Painted feathers  and many more within the post!



bio

Hello folks, my name is Dani and I am a 21 year old lady living in the prairies of central Canada. As a child I was "The Walking Encyclopedia", spewing random animal facts like it was going out of style so needless to say, I've been fascinated with the natural world since I was young. Since then I've started to develop a style when it comes to art, and have begun to twist my idea of reality to suit my artistic needs (one of my greatest compliments yet was paid to me by my aunt - "You have such talent, and you have some really weird stuff!"). Art aside, I'm a happiness-seeking concert junkie with a taste for quality green tea, sushi and the spice of life.

How long have you been creating art?

Like many artists I have been drawing since I could hold a crayon (I just recently found a drawing I did when I was between 2 and 3, I *think* it is a bird? Hehe), but I only started taking it seriously within the past 6 years.

What kind of classes and/or formal training have you had?

For the most part I am self-taught. As a child my parents enrolled me in various art classes, but that mostly contributed to "fun messy art time" rather than actually learning something. As for post-secondary education, I'm a science nerd so I have never attended any higher level art classes.

where do you find your inspiration?

Everywhere, I've even caught myself staring at the shadow that was cast by a paper taped to a wall and felt that spark of inspiration. But nature and other artists are at the top of the list for inspiration.
And smoke. Smoke's ability to morph and transform has inspired many pieces and continues to.

What mediums do you use and which is your favourite?

Over the years I've practiced with a huge variety of mediums, but currently my main ones are acrylic paints, ink and sculpey clay. And the reason why I use those is because they're all my favorites. Acrylics are used for my more "professional" pieces, I love playing with colour and texture. Ink speaks to my heart in a very primitive way, I find peace with ink. And only recently have I begun to explore the art of sculpting, there is something very exhilarating about bringing another dimension to your artwork!

Any tips for aspiring artists?

Something I have learned is that you should draw and paint what YOU like. Passion and the happiness of the artist tends to show in artwork, and you would be surprised to see how much more appealing as piece is (both to an audience and the artist themselves) when it has been made with love. Painting things that I love is so much more fulfilling then painting something popular.

Of everything you've posted on Craftster what is your personal favourite?

I find that I always have a hard time choose a favorite for my own work. Often times I feel a "pull" towards a certain piece, most of the time I cannot even explain why. Its not because its my best piece, a favorite subject, or even a piece that hit it off well with an audience.
Out of the pieces that I have posted to Craftster, this one has the strongest "pull".


Salvation Upon Us

This piece was an experimental one, I had just discovered the wonderful combo of dip pens and India Ink. Its rather messy in areas as I was just learning (so many unexpected splatters of ink!), but its easily one of my favorite pieces.

What is your favourite project posted by another Craftster member?

Right now this sculpted beauty has me drooling:
Tall Forest Beast by kelesaii
The detail and the concept and the colours and the EVERYTHING. Truly an amazing piece.

Thank you for taking the time to share with us TheDaytimeHeroes!  We look forward to seeing more of your work on Craftster Smiley
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