Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Swap Update!

Hi to all and Happy Almost Thanksgiving! I have some really great news for all of our Artful Christmas Swap groups. The latest status report is that all the gifts that I was expecting have been received and accounted for!! That is huge because now I can truly start the swapping process for all the groups... Specifically Group 3. Group 2 already has been notified about shipping and many folks have gotten back to me with postage payments and some of Group 2's packages are already in the mail. Very exciting!

Group 1 has an angel in their midst... If you are a member of Group 1 you will be very pleased to know that a member of your group has generously paid for the entire group's shipping costs and most of your packages are already in the mail. That person has decided to remain anonymous and just take happiness in knowing that they have done something really nice for others... Might I say VERY NICE because the bill for the whole group's postage was not cheap. So a special MERRY CHRISTMAS to the members of Group 1... And to the rest of us too! Might I suggest that the members of Group 1 'pay it forward' and try to find something extra special to do this holiday season that will help someone out. Just a thought but it would be a nice tribute to your 'Postal Angel'.

Group 3 can expect to hear from me early next week about shipping costs to get your wonderful gifts back to you. So sorry about the delay but we were waiting for just a couple more gifts to trickle in. I wanted to give everyone a fair chance so the fault truly lies with me if you are a little upset with the wait. Rest assured I believe that even people over seas will get their gifts long before Dec 14th... The key is once I send you a shipping cost, get your payment in as quick as possible. Paypal is the quickest so especially if you are far from the USA it may be worth it to open an account if you don't already have one. Waiting for a check through 'snail mail' would take longer but the choice is up to individuals.

One other tidbit for Groups 1 and 2... We had a couple of hiccups with players late in the game for these groups and long story short, you will all (Groups 1 and 2) be getting two gifts from me. Rather than have it be 11 days of Christmas I just decided to step up and do 2 days... Don't worry, I didn't totally knock myself out. Day 9 was easy and a nice back up gift that I had thought you all would enjoy and appreciate. Hopefully you all will! As a result Groups 1 and 2 both will get back 2 of YOUR OWN gifts. Call it a little bonus. :)

Thanks for everything and I will be in touch! Let me know when you get you packages... hvlajinac@yahoo.com

Best Wishes, Holly :)

Rachael's Gifts

Rachael's gifts are wrapped in a beautiful pieces of sheet music and then tied up with sheer ribbons. The dear, little Christmas tags finish each gift off nicely! Lovely work Rachael!

Holly's Gifts Part 2

For these gifts I also had the benefit of knowing what number I was going to use... I got some cool rubberstamp sets this year that I really wanted to put to good use and this gave me just the occasion. Why two gifts from me in two groups you may ask? In two of the groups I had a couple of folks drop out and it was actually easier for me to pick up the slack than to try to find two other players that wanted to jump in at the last minute. Hopefully the groups that get my 'bonus' gift won't be disappointed as the orginal artwork is handmade but the gift itself is not... Hmmmmm... I guess that makes for a bit of mystery leading up to the 9th Day of Christmas!

Holly's Gifts

This feels strange to comment on my own gifts... Well... My gifts are wrapped in the traditional colors of red and green but in the non-traditional wrapper of a paperbag. I went ahead and tried to jazz them up a bit with a foam stamp, curly decoration and of course I had the benefit of working my number label into the design! Ahhhh the perks of being the swap hostess! ;)

Patrice's Gifts

Patrice's gifts look super sweet in their traditional Christmas wrapping... Lots of joyful, bright Christmas colors to brighten up even the grayest of days! Thanks Patrice!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Sarah's Gifts

Out of nowhere the other day I got Sarah's gifts. They are solid, compact little gifts that are wrapped in maps! Love that idea and I know I will be using that one in the future. The little red striped ribbon and candy cane finish the gift off nicely and give the look that holiday feel. Nice work Sarah!

Jen's Gifts

Jen was one of those folks that requested a number assignment for the gift opening days. She got the number '1' for her group and has created a wonderful package that incorporates yarn, some kind of textured paper (maybe wallpaper) and a vintage book page. I am always so impressed with what people come up with. Jen does not disappoint! Thank you Jen.

Mimi's Gifts

Miss Mimi has gone paper crazy by creating a little polka dot gift that is graced with a fun sticker and circular gift tag . Love the numbers/calendar nature of the Merry Christmas gift tag. Thanks Mimi.

Belinda's Gifts

I absolutely LOVE Belinda's artful gifts! They appear to be wrapped in a white, handmade paper that is in a very interesting triangular shape. Next comes the fibers that I know everyone her her group with be reusing in their next mixed-media project. Fantastic! The blue gift tag also pulls the total package all together. Thank you Belinda.

Angela's Gifts

Angela has out done herself with her creations. Each of these large and lovely gifts are wrapped in a cardstock gift box... Each one different! They all have greens and little mirrored ornaments that finish the gift off for a complete festive look. Thanks Angela!

Jamie's Gifts

I love all the brown wrapping that's coming in! Jamie also has wrapped in brown paper but has embellished with a tiny ornament and a (what looks like) handprinted gift tag. They are beautiful!

Pat's Gifts

I have some inside info on Pat's gifts seeing as she is a local pal of mine... I guess all of her gifts are something different inside of the wrapping! Maybe we all should take pics of what she created so that we can compare notes seeing as we will all get different gifts from her. Talk about effort! The outside wrapping is yummy tissue paper candycanes but it's the tags that I find most impressive... Each tag is a little different, much like the gifts, and is detailed with little embellishments and some with real Santa photos. A very nice touch! Thanks Pat!

Sallianne's Gifts

Sallianne also decided to use takeout boxes in her gift wrapping but went with an earthy brown box. The Santa tags make for nice overall contrast for the gift. Very sweet with a little colorful bow too.

Liz's Gifts

Liz's creations are wrapped in a green plastic cello wrap for a wonderful translucent effect. The handmade tags compliment the gifts but make sure to not look too close... The see through nature has me wondering if I'm seeing that actual gift or another form of packaging. Hmmmm...

Lisa's Gifts

Lisa has sent in some super cute takeout boxes that are very colorful. Topped with a bow these little gifties are sweet as can be in bright pink and green. Thanks Lisa!

Nell's Gifts

Nell has sent in some lovely gifts that are creatively wrapped in wallpaper... All with a golfing theme I might add! Very fun and a nice twist on a traditional Christmas theme. :)

New Stats

Howdy All! Things have been very busy at the PO Box and I have nearly all the gifts in. There are a couple folks that I haven't heard a peep out of and I have e-mails out to them to see if they are still going to participate. If I do not hear from them by the end of the week I will assume that they are 'out' and move on with trying to fill with wait-listers or try to make other accommodations. This waiting stuff is kinda hard!

I do have new stats for gifts received and I think you will all be happy with the new numbers.

Group 1: 11 received
Group 2: 11 received
Group 3: 8 received but I have a promise that there are 3 more in the mail.

Not bad! As for photos of all the gifts I got from Friday until now, I will be doing a photo shoot later today so the slide shows should be here in the next couple of days if not sooner.
Thanks and please do contact me if you have any questions.
Best Wishes, Holly :)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Swap Update

Happy November to all of you! Just wanted to give you all a little update about the swap. Yesterday, I found these two lovely notices in my PO box... This is particularly great because I know that there packages that need to be collected, opened and posted here.
I have spoken with a handful of you and I'm sure for people that had packages in transit, these are probably them. As usual, even if I don't get straight to posting it here, I will contact you shortly after your package has arrived so you can breathe a little sigh of relief.
At this time I will also mention the group statistics to date:
Group 1 Packages: 9
Group 2 Packages: 6
Group 3 Packages: 5
I know these numbers may seem at tad low but I have lots of promises(and a possibly full PO box) from people that gifts are on the way... What can I say? Life gets in the way for all of us sometimes and we need to be flexible whenever possible. There are some people that I have not had ANY contact with and it is those people that I will be e-mailing to find out if they are still participating in the swap.
On the note of flexibility... At some point I am going to have to put on the mean, swap lady hat and close off the due date so that we can get on with figuring out shipping and get these items off to you all.
If anyone has not gotten their gifts in the mail yet, please do ONE: Contact me and then TWO: Get them in the mail ASAP so the swap can carry on and people will know what to expect.
Thank you so much for your support, enthusiasm and kind words. You guys all ROCK and we will be 'wrapping' up this due date business shortly.
Thanks and Best Wishes, Holly :)