Crafts, Holiday, Swap

Swapping Goodness

I posted a super short blog post on November 3rd about the fact I was going to be making a fun craft item and to watch for an update. Well, I’ve not only completed it but the person I sent it to has already received it and said she was just delighted with it. When you put your heart into making something for someone, and a lot of time as well, it’s immensely gratifying when you find out it’s so appreciated.

Before I continue allow me to add some swap advice.

  • Whether it’s via Swap-bot or elsewhere, you take a chance with swaps because you don’t know if the person you’re receiving from will put forth as much effort or care as you do. Sort of like me making what I did (6-8 hours at least in terms of time) and in return I receive something that took perhaps a half hour to make and looks like it.
  • For instance, a stick ornament with beads glued on that still has the hot glue strings hanging down and cat hair stuck to it, or a quilt patch that couldn’t possibly be square in a million years which renders it absolutely useless.
  • Making swap items in a super hasty fashion will look more like you forgot about the swap and needed to do something fast to get it mailed on time. Guess what, we’ve all been late one time or another and the best thing you can do when that happens is send a message to your partner and explain honestly what’s going on. I’ve never been rated down ever for being late because I notified my partner and let them know right away.
  • As for the ornament I made I concede that not everyone will want to put in the time or have the time I did to make a swap item, but I feel the key to making my partner is happy is putting time, effort and a lot of care into making my swap items and they can see that. Bottom line, if you wouldn’t want what you’re sending put on display in your own house, then the person you’re sending to likely won’t either.

I found the idea for making my ornament at Knitty Gritty Thoughts (ironically, one of the fabrics she pictures in her tutorial is the exact fabric I had chosen to use for H.’s ornament, it was meant to be!). I changed things up ever so slightly from her instructions in that after I cut my 2″ wide strips, I folded and ironed the strips in half and then I cut them into 2″ lengths. That way they were already folded in half once and I only had to fold them once more when making the ornament (this will make sense when you go to her blog).

Then between Sugar and I we realized that since I’m not perfect and many of my pin heads were showing (unlike the ones you’ll see at Knitty Gritty, she’s amazing!), we should color them gold. Yay! Out came the permanent gold marker, done! The nice thing was that H. had noted on her profile that she liked vintage fabric but she wasn’t big on country themed items. So when I saw this craft and I knew I could add just the right final decorations so it wasn’t country, I had to make it. I should also mention that I used a 4″ ball and 186 – 2″x 2″ squares for the project, and two types of ribbon.

Below is a collage of the photos I took and it’s a combination of both the test ornament and final ornament, along with some of the steps I went through. One last thing you should know is that a leather thimble works much better than a metal one to push the pins into the ball. Trust me on that! And so long as you’re willing to devote a good amount of time making this, you’ll find the finished product worth every minute. I know I did!

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