From the Vaults

Nostalgia was nipping at my heels today, so I pulled a listing of old swaps and slapped on a pivot table to see what was there. This is by no means all encompassing, but…

We love ALL THINGS Halloween, Christmas, and OWS. 4x6 art swap was monthly! a lot of Dishalicious Dishcloths were sent. endless Harry Potter type swaps. MANY one tiny things/little things. all the WWP (wiccan, witch, pagan). But Ongoing ATC was by far the most robust.

These were the ones I thought were unique:
Fabric art journal pages
3D bug swap
Black Cat swap
David Bowie Tribute
Fallen London?
Fukubukuro Lucky Bag
Gnomes and Mushrooms
Have a snarky, snarky christmas
Historical figures
I really need a friggin crown (or other lofty headwear)
I Vant 2 suck ur Blood
I work for an evil corporation
Illustrate my favorite story/book
Lexophiles Unite?
Life is Berry Sweet
Mad Science / She blinded me with science
Mini art quilts
Miyazaki swap?
My country doesn’t have that
Naughty words need love too
Pimp my craftster name
Scandinavian inspired
Sherlock Holmes / a LOT of mystery type swaps
Terribly Important SOB??
Things with Tentacles
Twisted Christmas (haha - I hosted this bad boy)
Two things combined
Vikings, pirates, and ninjas
Woodland Creatures
Wayward Victorian
Zine swap

I’m honestly not sure what some of them are (indicated by the ?? - do you know what these are?), but I’m willing to host any of them there is a taste for. And we’ll have to discuss what the parameters are, as well. Probably a small or medium, and I like a month crafting.

If any of them speak to you, please comment below. If there is a furor, I can post a poll? Otherwise, do any of them whet your whistle?


Swaps called out as potential interest:

  • 3D Bug
  • Pimp My Crafster/LC - ||
  • Matchbox swap - ||
  • MAQ / Mini quilt
  • Frankenteddy
  • Zine
  • Illustrate my favorite story/book

There are some neat ones on there. I think the 3-D bug and Pimp my Craftster (LC ) name would be hard to pass up. The Black Cat one would probably do better closer to Halloweeen.
I think @mel is going to be starting a Dishtowel swap soon. But we would need to verify that.

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Ohh, Terribly Important SOB. @Tanath, calling on your marvelous sleuthing skillz to see if you might be able to dredge up a gallery for that most excellent of swaps!

I also remember doing a bunch of matchbox swaps where you decorated matchboxes. Those were always neat.


Looks like @calluna already did the digging, last year:


Yay! You can’t look at that gallery enough times.

I participated in a couple Unconditional Swaps … you listed items you’d like to have made for you and others could pick to send something. The unconditional part meant there was no guarantee you’d get picked, even if you sent to others.


I was just thinking it’s time for another mini quilt swap. I see you listed Mini Art Quilt but my preference would be just mini quilt, where you list several themes and your partner crafts one, their pattern choice.

I also participated in the Frankenteddy swap in 2007 and thought it was fun. The organizer (Rosemary) picked a fairly simple, online sewn bear pattern, broke it up into sections, made groups of participants and the swapping began. Each person cut out all the bear sections from their chosen material … two upper legs, two lower legs, head and body. Then you sent one section to each group member. When you received all your envelopes, you’d sew it together and have a complete bear but each section was a different fabric. Might sound complicated but it wasn’t.


I love the matchbox swaps!

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Your question marks:
Miyazaki is a Japanese animated filmmaker.
Lexophiles are book lovers.
There is a single image on pinterest for the SOB thing; looks like a hand crafted frame for a photo of yourself.

Found this: "craftster’s Unconditional Swap, in which one chooses a person who has already joined the swap and posted 3 wishes for crafted items. One then selects one or two wishes from the person’s list to fulfill and does so within a two week period. One then posts one’s own wishlist, but is not guaranteed any wish fulfillment. "


Okay, so I used the second post of mine to keep track of those that are being specifically called out.

@Cindy - thanks for posting about the Unconditional. I saw it mentioned a lot, but couldn’t figure out what it was. I saw Frankenteddy, but thought it was more like cutting up plushes, and that breaks my heart (I know, it’s ridiculous). But a pattern is different!

Also, if you want to post for the Mini Quilt, please do so! I didn’t know if there would be ANY interest, and think some of the more …unique…could use a good dust off.

@steiconi - thanks for updating on the ?? ones.

Here is the SOB details:

Let’s face it, you’re pretty damned important. This swap is intended to help others see your greatness and avoid embarrassing situations that might arise when members of the general public might not fully appreciate how awesome and important you are.

Details of swap:
So what’s the deal? Send your fab partner a sweet package of goodies that will help announce to the world their fantasticalness (Yes, I made that word up. It’s a real word now. I’m THAT important). Make a banner, badge, tiara, crown, sceptre, sash… stuff that tells the world that the wearer is terribly important… or is just great fun to wear around the house. Easy peasy.

I’m not sure this one is for me. But if it’s of interest, I will host!

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Lots of these sound fun! Pimp my Username is especially appealing to me. Zine would be a good option for cheap international shipping. Same for Illustrate My Favorite Story/Book.

I think the cool, offbeat swap activity was one of the most engaging things about Craftster.

Maybe after we do a swap or two off the Craftster Vault list, we could also try to come up with some brand-new unusual swaps. Off the top of my head:

Craft my meme
Anthropomorphic animals
Fandom children’s book/primer
Light it up! (Swap lamps or light-up items)
Costume mask/headdress
Craft my pet
Beach boho jewelry
(Some of these may not be new, but I don’t remember seeing them in the past.)

Thanks for pulling those out of the vault, @JoyfulClover! It was nostalgic and inspiring to look at that list.

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Definitely! and since we’re not doing “rounds” for swapping any more, we don’t have to wait!

I’d be up for either Anthropomorphic Animals (tagging in @roler) or Craft my Pet!!


Well that was a trip down memory lane, I participated in quite a few of those.

What is a Fukubukuro Lucky Bag, sounds intriguing


If the “Illustrate my favorite story/book” swap was the one I hosted I will say it was a beast! And pain in the… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: …if anyone wants to venture there I think I have the swap info doc somewhere and if not I have a few pointers :wink: There was a bit of controversy concerning effort given from one swapper that soured some grapes and had me re-write the swap guidelines when we did round 2. I still have the pages I received though and the gallery was a ton of fun! :smile: I have no interest in hosting and of course anyone is welcome to do their own take on it if they want. I’m here if anyone is interested and wants my advice though :kissing_heart:

Waaaay way back when I first joined Craftster there was a found art/upcycle type swap that I wanted to join but I think I couldn’t because I was too new or in my first swap and wasn’t able to join (or maybe there was another reason…). I remember day dreaming about it and stalking the gallery. I don’t remember much but the idea was to use a found object (think litter, lost notebook, dropped paperclip, etc) to make something for your partner. I think there would be a high level of stress but it might also be a fun challenge?


What a cool topic and a great thread to read through. Even though I’m not a big swapper, I do really enjoy the creative ways makers have to follow a theme, use materials, etc. It’s so inspiring!

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I’m not sure the specific details, but I googled and here is what google U says:

Known in English as “lucky bags” or “mystery bags,” fukubukuro are literal bags filled with a random assortment of goods and sold at a substantial discount during special sales periods in Japan, the most notable of which is New Year’s Day. Each lucky bag is usually centered around a specific theme, such as beauty products or computer accessories. They are a long-standing tradition among the Japanese and are still beloved today as great opportunities to test your luck at nabbing a good deal.

It sounds like a themed bag of goodness? Definitely sounds like something we would make, right?

I really appreciate your honesty, @Reinikka

That freecycle object swap might be fun!


I do tend to overly complicate things :sweat_smile: So I think another organizer could make it work better :wink: We had multiple partners and each person could choose their page size and it was a little crazy. I think if someone hosted a simplified version it could be really great!


What if we limited it somehow… like maybe a set of 4 blank-inside notecards + envelopes?

Also, I love the upcycle-item idea.