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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Interview with Bev of Country Frog Creations

Bev is one ACTIVE swapper! You can see some of her wonderful swap packages (both sent and received) on her blog and on her flickr. And see her awesome paper crafts and scrapbooking in her Picasa album. Active all around the web, she a member of too many groups to name! Let's see what we can learn from Bev.

SwapDex: Tell us a bit about you.

Bev: I'm 42 (shhhh) and live in Pittsburgh PA. I've been married 18 years and have two boys 17 & 13. I do just about every craft imaginable - or at least have tried it! Currently, it's paper crafts, scrapbooking, and altered items.

SD: How long have you been swapping?

B: I've been swapping about 2 years.

SD: How did you learn about swapping, and what made you decide to do your first one? Do you remember your first one?

B: I found the site Splitcoast Stampers, then I found the Stamping Bella web site and ordered a few rubber stamps. Then I joined their Yahoo group and participated in my first swap of images - I wanted a variety of images without breaking the piggy bank. Easy Peasy!

SD: Do you swap with any groups?

B: I've swapped with the Bellaholics Yahoo group (images/cards); Swapnmore MSN Group (mostly scrapbook page items/die cuts); RedLead Yahoo group (still stalking here - ATCs, Mixed Media, Charms); And I've done a few blog hosted special swaps - some I've found through Swapdex! I like the exclusive swaps because you know the theme and that whomever signed up just about likes the same theme of the swap. I think if a swap is too big, there is a bigger chance of "Flakers" and getting away from the theme.

I prefer the partnered swaps instead of sending items to a hostess and them distribute. It's too hard trying to figure out postage and the right size envelope/box that your stuff will be sent back in. Sometimes the hostesses get overwhelmed too!

SD: What's your favorite type of swap or favorite swap you've ever been
in or hosted?

B: I have always loved vintage things, but not until recently have found my niche. I just love swapping with people who enjoy vintage or create vintage looking items and I think "vintage" swaps are my favorite (this month anyway!)

SD: Do you have a signature style for your swaps? Do you decorate
your envelopes/packages? Send a card with a personal note?

B: I try to incorporate a little of everything, if allowed, in my package - handmade item, store bought item, food, etc. I do try to do some creative wrapping (time permitting) and I always like to create a little card to include.

SD: What's you favorite type of package to get in the mail?

B: Any box addressed to me - it doesn't matter what the outside looks like - just what's inside that counts!! LOL!!

SD: Do you sign up for multiple swaps at one time? If so, what is your maximum number of swaps you will join before telling yourself absolutely NO MORE?

B: My personal limit is 2 swaps at a time for now - especially if they are due close together. I'm a bit of a procrastinator. If more spread out - like over a couple months - I might consider more. I do this because I want to stay focused and I know I'm one busy person, so I don't want the swap to suffer if I get in a pinch with time.

SD: Do you have a good story about hosting or participating in a swap?

B: So far, knock on wood, the swaps I've participated in have been "Fab"! No "Flakers" and a lot of cool items. None that stuck out as bad or disappointing.

SD: What do you think is the most challenging part of participating in a swap?

B: Knowing what the other person's style is and if they will like what you give them (I'm a little self-conscience about this-LOL!). ESPECIALLY those people without a blog, website, photo gallery, etc. This is the hardest part to try to figure out in an email what they like or like to do.

SD: Any advice for someone who is a swapping virgin?

B: Get a blog or picture gallery and COMMUNICATE! We (I) like to become friends with those I swap with and one email doesn't cut it! Something to look at, what you have created, or just a little bit more about you/your life through blog is a great help!

Also, we all get busy and time flies by, so if you are having problems - Communicate with your partner - we DO understand! Don't get labeled a "Flaker" - 'cause they actually have a website for you!

SD: Excellent advice, Bev! Communication is key, we all need to be reminded of this. And it's good to know even long-time swappers experience swap anxiety. Thanks for a great interview!

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