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Friday, June 26, 2009

Interview with Eleanor of A Bit of Pink Heaven

Let's meet Eleanor, a fantastic swapper/hostess with some absolutely wonderful advice for novice swappers. Just do it! Visit her blog, her shop and her flickr for great shots of her eclectic style!

SwapDex: Tell us a little bit about you.

Eleanor: I am a 47 year old city girl that has lived in the country for 26 years! I married my farmer/racher 27 years ago and embarked on a wonderful life that I had no idea existed. Living in the country allows me to nurture my love of gardening, animals, and wildlife. I enjoy the solitude of my surroundings as my head is always a whirl with existing and future projects. I live in the Central Midwest where I am able to experience the beauty of the four seasons.

I have three children. Two of them are in their 20's, and one is a teenager. I chose to be a stay at home mom. My children have provided me with beautiful memories of their childhood, and I have no regrets. I have always had an interest in art,
and as the years went on, arts and crafts time with my children, developed into my own arts and crafts time.

My husband and I moved an antique church building unto our property that has become my art studio. It is also a place where I hold shows/craft sales.

I am a mix of country and city and I believe this has been the source of evolution for my decorating and crafting style, which is very eclectic. At present my interest lies in the area of mixed paper media arts. I also enjoy sewing, and painting. I
work in many styles and love creations with a vintage feel. I love using vintage items such as ephemera, vintage embroidery, delicate seam binding, millinery flowers, and vintage jewelry. My concentration jumps from creating items in bright colors, pastels and more recently neutrals.

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

E: I have been swapping for about a year and a half. I started swapping on Swap-bot. This evolved to joining swaps hosted by fellow bloggers. I feel these blogs are more reliable as someone you know is actually the host. My favorite swaps are the collaborative swaps. This last Christmas, I hosted a Victorian Christmas book that was in this format. Each swapper made 10 similar pages, and mailed the pages to me. I then took the pages, made a cover for each, and put together 10 books. Each swapper received a beautiful book with art from every person involved in the swap! I find swaps a great way to collect art from other fellow crafters/artists. At present, I am hosting the Sweet Tweet Swap where participants trade items with a partner. One item has to be handmade and one has to be sweet!

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

E: Don't be afraid to join in a swap. Visit your partner's blog to find their style, and color preferences. Contact your partner immediately by e-mail. Ask them a lot of questions about their likes and dislikes. Get to know your partner so you can put together your swap specifically for your partner. If you don't want to make something, join a swap where handmade items are not necessary, or go to http://lollishops.com, or http://www.etsy.com to purchase an item. If you have the
slightest desire to create an item for a swap, dive right in! You will surprise yourself. I promise your partner will be thrilled. Let them know you are a novice, and chose to give it a try. You can start small, and fill the rest of your box with
items you purchase. Items don't have to be expensive, swappers who are artists love supplies. Vintage/Flea market lovers enjoy items purchased from second hand stores, rummage sales, and flea markets. Visit flickr.com for inspiration!

SD: What do you do to make your packages special?

E: I like to package my swap items in beautiful ribbons, tissue papers, and tags. I also include a note that includes my blog address and e-mail. I have learned to appreciate when my partner does the same as a hard copy is very convenient!

SD: Brilliant, I wish everyone would remember to do that. I know we all try not to join so many swaps that this happens, but sometimes I get a package with no note and I have to wrack my brain to figure out who it's from/what's it's for! Thanks for chatting with us, Eleanor! I'm off to browse you blog and shop!

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