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Old 01-16-2009, 08:52 PM   #1
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Default Swapper 101 - How to Swap

Swapping is a fun way to get a variety of cards and other projects. Whether you are new or old to swapping, here are some guidelines to help you have a great swap experience.

Swappers Guidelines:
Find a Swap
How to Join a Swap
Subscribe to a Thread
Swapping Terms
Making your Swap Project
Time Commitment
Mailing Swaps to the Hostess
Return Swaps from the Hostess
Helpful Links
The Four MOST Important Rules
Running into Problems
Questions

Please note: Although Splitcoaststampers allows members to be under the age of 18, users of the swap forums must be 18 years of age or older. Members under the age of 18 are not permitted to use the swap forums as a hostess and/or swapper.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 08-31-2009 at 09:52 PM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:52 PM   #2
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Find a Swap
There are several different kinds of swaps available. They are broken down into categories as follows:
Cards
3-D Items, Specialty Cards and Tags
Scrapbook Pages
Artist Trading Cards (ATC)
Recipes
Secret Sister Swaps
Everything Else

Last edited by vz5dzh; 01-25-2013 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:52 PM   #3
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How to Join a Swap
So you’ve looked over the swap forum threads and found a swap that you’d like to participate in. If the swap is open and still looking for swappers, simply post in the thread and indicate that you’d like to join. Do not send the hostess a private message (PM) to join. You must post in the thread.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-17-2009 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:52 PM   #4
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Subscribe to a Thread
Posting in the thread automatically subscribes you to that thread (if your settings are set that way). When you are subscribed to a thread, you will automatically receive all posts that are added to that thread. This is important because hostesses will update you on the swap by posting to the thread.

If you are not getting the thread updates, your subscribe settings might not be set. To manually subscribe to a thread, click on “Thread Tools” towards the top right of the very first post. In the pull down menu, click “Subscribe to this Thread”.

To see all of your subscribed threads, click on “Quick Links” (found just above Thread Tools). From the pull down menu click “Subscribed Threads”. A new screen with all your subscribed threads should appear. Notification should be set to “Instant”.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-17-2009 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:53 PM   #5
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Swapping Terms
  • NVR – No vendor requirement
  • SU Only – Only us Stampin Up products on your swaps
  • Layer – A piece of cardstock layer upon another
  • +1 – This is the card that you provide to the hostess. For example, if the swap is 10+1, you make and send in 11 cards. You will get 10 back and the hostess keeps the +1.
  • FULL Card – this is a card, it has a font and back and opens.
  • Cardfront – this is just the front of the card. It does not open.
  • Embellishment – This is something the pretties up the card. This includes but is not limited to brads, buttons, eyelets, glitter, ribbon. If you are unsure, ask your hostess.
  • Due IN Hand – This indicates the date that your swaps must be in the hostess’s hand
  • Postmark date – This is the date which the post office marks on your swap package when you mail it.
  • PM – Private message. Click on the envelope in the top right hand corner of your screen to send a private message.
  • Recipe - A listing of all the products used for your swap project (this is not to be confused with the Recipe forum where they swap cooking recipes).

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-17-2009 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:53 PM   #6
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Making your Swap Project
The swap thread will indicate the requirements for the card (card size, layers, embellishments, stamp images, etc). When doing a swap (unless otherwise noted), you produce the required number of the same project to be submitted. For example, if you are in a card swap and you are asked to do 10 cards, you make 10 exact same cards. The layout, colors, embellishments, stamped image, etc should be the same on every card.

How do you create quality cards?
Papers:
Use quality paper and cardstock. Typically copy paper doesn't cut it.

Layering:
  • When using words that are cut out and layered, it looks best if you add a splash of coordinating colored paper underneath or sponge the edge in the coordinating color.
  • Make sure your edges are cut straight and even all around when layering.
  • Make sure things are mounted straight, unless you want crooked!
  • If in doubt what colors look good together, use the color charts shown in catalogs and on blogs for inks and papers. Many times a fantastic stamped card is ruined by the colors used to back it. This is very important! Take advantage of coordinating colors: pads and papers. The colored paper you use should pick up colors used in the stamping of the card.

Embossing:
Make sure there are no 'powder dots' and that the image is completely melted-use the Embossing Buddy. When embossing fine lined images, like words, make sure you use detail embossing powder.

Stampin' and Colorin':
When stamping a line image type stamp, you will generally want to color it if it is stamped in black ink (unless its is a black and white themed card.) When coloring an image (with markers, pastels, etc.) generally the image needs to be first stamped in black or other dark color. You want those outlines to be dark and crisp after colored.

Clean and Crisp Images:
  • Edge marks are unacceptable. If you catch an edge - start over! Be proud of what you do - be picky and critical!
  • Make sure there are no smudges, fingerprints, blurred images, incomplete images, etc.
  • When stamping close to front edges, make sure it does not hit the underneath card. If you trim the front flap a little shorter than bottom, careful of speckling or using a background stamp after trimmed - you don't want to see little bits of it underneath on the inside.
  • When masking, make sure your mask is cut a little smaller than original image so that the second stamped image matches up closely with no gaps or halo effects.

Bows and Add-Ons:
When adding bows, make sure they are sized proportionally to the card - avoid big, chunky bows. Also, make sure colors match or coordinate - many times they clash!

Little Hints:
  • When stamping words, think about purposely stamping them tilted. On many cards this looks good if you can't get them straight. Purposely tilted looks much better than a little tilted because you were trying to get them straight
  • When using rainbow pads - make sure your colors are blended and there are no straight lines between colors.
  • If you are stuck on what to do with your project, the gallery has thousands of samples to use as inspiration!

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-17-2009 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:53 PM   #7
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Time Commitment
Give yourself enough time. If it’s a mini catalog or a catalog swap, make sure you have ample time to order the stamp sets and get the swap to the hostess.

Avoid over-committing. Only commit to swaps you know you can finish and get in on time. A card usually takes an average of 20 minutes to make. Depending on the card. 10+ 1 cards x 20 mins. = Just over 3 1/2 hours of stamping time. Don’t sign up for a swap with the thought you can drop.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-17-2009 at 10:21 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:53 PM   #8
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Mailing Swaps to the Hostess
Most hostesses will post mailing instructions. Here are some things to remember:
  • Mail your swaps in a sturdy envelope. There is nothing worse than spending time and effort on beautiful swaps only to have your envelope rip open and spill the contents.
  • Put your swaps in a plastic ziplock-type bag along with your address somewhere on the bag. Place that into your sturdy envelope. Postal machines have been known to rip open or tear the outer envelope. If your envelope rips and the plastic bag comes out with your address on it, the post office will sometimes mail your plastic bag and its contents back to you. Also, once delivered, envelopes have been known to be left exposed to the elements. They will be protected in a plastic ziplock-type bag.
  • Make sure you have the correct postage. Your swaps may be returned by the post office if you do not have enough postage on it. It may also cause your swaps to be late. Hostesses have the right to refuse a package if the postal carrier asks them for any postage due.
  • Delivery Confirmation is highly suggested. It makes it easier to track packages that never made it to their destination.
  • If you are mailing internationally, please mail your swaps to your hostess EARLY. International mail can take much longer than domestic mail.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-17-2009 at 10:22 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:54 PM   #9
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Return Swaps from the Hostess
  • Unless your hostess states otherwise, you are responsible for providing an envelope, box, etc. for your return swaps.
  • Make sure you have at least the same amount of postage on the return package and add some loose stamps in case the return package weighs more.
  • Put your extra return postage in a baggy or small envelope clearly marked with your name and SCS ID. Loose stamps thrown in with your swaps can easily be misplaced.
  • Pre-address your return envelope. Put your address in the "To:" section of the return envelope and the hostess's address in the "From:" section.
  • If you are mailing internationally, make arrangements with your hostess regarding postage. Most international swappers send cash or use PayPal so the hostess can buy stamps. Do not assume this is what your hostess wants. Please contact your hostess regarding postage.

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Old 01-16-2009, 08:54 PM   #10
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Helpful Links
Need to contact a moderator? Check out this thread here.

If you sign up for multiple swaps, it can get confusing. Here is a link to a thread with a great swap organizer spreadsheet.

Did you have a great hostess/swap experience? Let everyone know how wonderful your hostess was! Give her props in the Hostess Appreciation thread.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 01-17-2009 at 10:22 AM..
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:54 PM   #11
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The Four Most Important Rules
  • Follow the rules and guidelines for the swap – Carefully read all the directions that the hostess posts for the swap. Make sure you understand what is expected of you to fulfill the swap.
  • Follow through with your swap commitment – If you sign up for a swap, you are expected to complete the swap. Other players in the swap are counting on you to submit your artwork. If you can not complete the swap, contact the hostess immediately. Allow enough time for the hostess to find someone to take your spot. Swappers that fail to complete three (3) swaps without first attempting to inform the hostess will be removed from the swap forums.
  • Be on time – Send your swaps to the hostess by the due date. Pay close attention to when the swaps are due at the hostess’s address as opposed to the postmark date. Making your fellow swappers wait for late swaps is not fair to those who turned theirs in on time. Hostesses reserve the right to return late swaps unswapped.
  • Respond to communications promptly - If hostess contacts you, please reply within 72 hrs. Monitor your email or PMs at SCS and the thread at least twice a week when you join a swap.

Last edited by SDiegoGal; 08-29-2009 at 01:27 PM.. Reason: Clarifying rule set forth May 2009
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:55 PM   #12
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Running into Problems
  • Swappers who do not respond to contact from a hostess and/or moderator within 30 days may be asked to stop swapping. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • The swapper should try to contact the hostess and resolve any issues before reporting to a moderator. Please allow the hostess up to a week to respond before contacting a moderator.
  • Swappers must contact us within 30 days of a swap not being returned to participants. Any longer than that and we may not be able to get results.
  • Contact a moderator by PM rather than posting new threads if you are having a problem with a hostess. We will do everything we can to resolve an issue. You can find a list of moderators here.

Last edited by vz5dzh; 02-28-2009 at 03:46 PM.. Reason: was missing the link to list of mods
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:55 PM   #13
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Questions
If you have any questions feel free to contact a moderator or post your question in this thread: click here.
__________________
Michelle P. Fischer
{The Stamp Workshop}
| {Shop for SU!}

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