Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Learning by doing and a little serendipity

.It still amazes me when serendipity steps in and blesses your life in unexpected ways.  I have been wanting to try my hand at Artist Trading Cards (ATC) and had been looking for a good trading site when I found Swapbot.  It turned out that Swapbot not only helps facilitate ATC trades. but other types of arts and crafts trades, also.  They also facilitate pen-paling.  Not only am I learning about ATC's and thoroughly enjoying it but in seeing how others do their art I am learning new methods and styles.  Some of the sponsored swaps even come with tutorials so you can learn and swap of equal value.  Some of what I have learned is new and different ways of using my art and sharing the joy it brings me.  One of my discovers was in Mail art; in seeing how others did their mail art I took it a step sideways and started using stickers (see photo).  I tried different methods and papers but now I use address labels to make my envelope stickers.  The 2x4 size Avery (48363) address label  is great and so is using the Avery (25395) self adhesive name badges.
. However one of the greatest things I've learned is the art of writing a good letter.  There is a knack to it; to make it enjoyable to both you and your reader.  In todays world of text messaging and short e-mails, this artform has been largely lost.  From recieving and writing letters from those I trade with I am developing that skill.  Just like in doing a blog I have learned to express myself better (still learning) by doing and seeing others blogs ( I go back and read my early posts and wow what a difference) With pen paling, writing is on a different level.  I am now learning to more effectively communicate with others and especially my grandchildren,  Since my grandchildren are growing up, living far away and most are in school, writing can now be a way to establish ties with them.  What a potential blessing this is; all because I joined Swapbot .  You just never know what blessings can come from seemingly little events in your life. SERENDIPITY at work.
On top of the things I am learning I am also gaining in friendships, double blessings. 
The photos are what I have sent on recent swaps.  The top one is 3 different swaps with 7 different people.  The bottom photo is a swap, Stuff an 6x9 envelope.  One of the nice things about this kind of swap in I can thin down my art supplies of excess and know it will be appreciated.  A new way of the old trading system.
Fun, fun


Debra She Who Seeks said...

It's great to learn new things, isn't it? Enjoy!

Coleen said...

Hi Johnina,

It was fun to read your article about S-B. I've really enjoyed it myself. I've been swapping for a couple years now or maybe longer. I'm also a grandmother and I've learned things on here that I can share with my grandkids. S-B is just so much fun. I'm now following on all your blogs. You do some great photography. I do some too, but it's just the artist's eye and not any photography ability that I sometimes get good shots.

Coleen, an American in Ukraine

Mayje said...

Hi! I enjoyed reading your posts. I have been in swap-bot for a year and a half and I am enjoying it so much because I think I found the right place where I can share and express my love for crafting, penpalling and swapping. Happy swapping!


Marlene said...

I really enjoyed this post I to have found the wonderful world of swapping. It is so much fun. Ihope we are in a swap together sometime.

Angies Place said...

Hi I'm amdewitt from swap bot. I've learned lots of new things there too! (Promote your blog)

Ingrid Glaw said...

Swap-bot is an amazing site isn't it. Great for inspiration and making new friends.

It's a pleasure to meet you Johnina

-iggygirl (checkout my blog #2 swap)

Cassie - Veganfox said...

Hi Johnina! I just recently started with swap-bot too and love all of the opportunities it provides :) I came to it interested in trying my hand at mail art and wasn't familiar with ATCs and some of the other things. I'm excited to try my hand at many new things! (Vegfox, Promoting Your Blog!)