This weekend was swap weekend! I spent quite a bit of time over the last few days getting ready and then swapping postcards for the Liberate Your Art postcard swap. 192 participants this year! Yay! I met my goal of increasing over last year, thanks to the help of everyone who shared about the swap.
I thought it might be interesting to the swap participants to share about the swap weekend. It all started Friday night, when I sat down to “check in” envelopes. This entailed opening them, making sure there were the right number of postcards, stamps and labels, removing any extra items (like postcards and notes for me – thanks!) and correcting any problems. I only had to write a couple of labels, and for every stamp missing someone had sent an extra, so it all worked out well. I realized when I sat down to do this that I should have been doing this all along as I received the envelopes, but hey, live and learn. I normally don’t like to show my studio as messy but here it is, mess and all, as I was checking envelopes in.
After a last run to the mailbox on Saturday afternoon for the latest arrivals, I was ready to swap. Here are the envelopes, all stacked and ready to go!
Sunday morning I laid out the envelopes around the house to prep for swapping. About 25% of the participants were from outside of the US, so I made sure that every fourth envelope was an international participant. Everyone in the swap will receive at least one postcard from a participant in a different country, and at least one of your postcards will be traveling to a country other than your own. Maybe more than one! Isn’t that cool? Other than the mix of US and non-US, the sorting was completely random as I laid out envelopes. I love that part of it… Who knows who you will connect with? Who knows what those connections will bring? It’s all serendipity and delicious uncertainty.
Then it was time to swap! That’s one of the quickest parts of this whole process. (If you want to learn more on the mechanics of swapping, visit this post from last year.) The longest part of the process is sticking on stamps and labels after the swapping is done. I listened to music and watched a couple of movies on Netflix while I worked. I also recruited my husband later in the day, to help me finish up after he got back from a 40 mile bike ride. What a sport, huh? I did note to myself that I should do this swap in the winter, when the weather is bad. Summer is too short in Oregon to be working inside! Watch for 2013′s swap in the rainy months.
Finally, I ended with 6 stacks of postcards, all ready to go out in different mailings over the next 3 weeks. Here is today’s stack. Which one is going to you? You will find out soon, when it arrives in your letter box!
While it takes some work, this process is truly a labor of love for me. I love seeing the art that comes through my hands. I am so in awe of the diversity of art in a group like this. Each piece is so incredibly unique, just like each of you. I am inspired by all of the beautiful postcards you created and the words you all wrote to each other. There was so much positive energy that came to me as I worked on the swap, it was overwhelming at times.
Today one of your postcards is heading to it’s final destination. Art, liberated.