I haven't participated in Swaps so I'm not sure how common that experience is. I'm going to play the devil's advocate here:
I wonder if the expectations you had might be very different from the expectations of the other swappers? If your swap guidelines indicated the number of embellishments and layers required for the cards and the other swappers didn't use them, then the hostess should have contacted the swappers who didn't play by the rules. However, if there were no such guidelines for what should be included, then perhaps the other swappers chose a CAS (Clean and Simple) style rather than the "detailed" style you used on your cards, or perhaps they were new to stamping or cardmaking.
I also think it's really hard to compare one person's creative work to another, and would like to think that whatever the other stampers sent out was something they considered acceptable to send to their own friends.
I can also imagine that when the other swappers got your beautiful cards, they were inspired and probably surprised to get something so polished and detailed. Maybe you have inspired them to put in extra effort next time!
As far as signing up for another swap, it might be advisable to contact the hostess before signing up and ask her to put you in a group of stampers with a similar style and experience similar to yours.
I am sure it must be frustrating to work so hard and get something that isn't what you were expecting, but if I enjoyed swapping I wouldn't let it stop me from continuing to participate.
Last edited by fairsinger; 09-22-2012 at 10:54 PM..
Reason: Fixed an editing error.