I love swaps. I join things I think I will enjoy doing. Men don't really get swaps, some women don't either.
How often have you opened a swap package and heard "You spent all that time creating (blank) and that's what you got in return?" They just don't get it...No one makes a promise that your swap partner is going to make the same effort you do...You are going to give it everything you have. You are going to rework it over and over in your head until it's perfect and then you will make it, you will be proud to send it and your partner will be thrilled (you hope). That's what a swap is all about. I am sure there are people out there that just join for the heck of it, make something real quick and send it on it's way...Not really giving much thought to making it special. For them, that's what swapping is...Just making something that meets the spec's and it's done. I bet they are far less stressed then those of us who ponder it forever and worry about every little detail. In the end we all have fun, we enjoy the surprise, getting happy mail and seeing how other people viewed the same challenge we did. Swaps definitely show us that we are all very different in our thought processes...
Every once in a while you get a swap partner that truly gives it everything they have. One that obviously cares not only about the quality of her own work, but about the pleasure she bestows on her partner. She wants everything to be perfect and then some. I have had several such partners along the way and consider myself very Blessed...a few of those partners have gone on to become treasured friends.
Recently I was lucky enough to have just that kind of partner. I was in a swap at firstname.lastname@example.org If you love dolls, check it out..
We had to make a Valentine pin or doll. When I wrote to my partner we decided to do both (neither one of us wanted to make a choice LOL
I pondered this Valentine doll for a few weeks...had her all made in my head. She was a cone doll, done in a full silk skirt of red sparkle with a velvet over skirt..The top was a heart pattern that matched the velvet...In my head she was beautiful, but after making the body it just didn't look balanced, something was missing...So I did what every "artist" does...I started over with a whole new design..One that when finished I was pretty happy with. I certainly gave it 100% of myself... and prayed my partner would see how much love and thought went into both the doll and the pin. I knew nothing about Trudi, my partner. I certainly didn't know she was an accomplished doll maker. When I found out I was beyond scared ..but I had done the very best I could so off she flew.
Yesterday I opened the box from Trudi and was completely blown away by what I saw. This was one of those partners we all hope to get. The kind that gives it everything she has....I need to share...Understand, it isn't so much that the doll is gorgeous or that the pin is adorable or that she included an angel trinket box and candy (although all that was noted and appreciated) It was the fact that she cared, the thought showed, the pride showed, she went out of her way to make her partner happy, and that's exactly what she did...