Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Method to my madness

I love hosting these swaps.
I get wonderful mail almost every day.
I get to see and handle amazing art (without worrying about where I'm going to put it all)

and I get to keep lots and lots of spreadsheets.
I love spreadsheets.
I'm a spreadsheet geek.

but when it comes time to figure out who gets what, I ditch the computer and take over the living room floor.

First I line your cards up on top of your envelopes:
(Jake supervises)

 Then I write everybody's names on post-it notes.  If you mailed five cards, you get five post-it notes.
And here is where the fun begins.  I start putting your post-it note on the card you are going to receive.

There's lots of rearranging at this point as I make sure you get a variety of postcards, and you don't get one of your own in return.  And I even try to go back to my old swap lists and try to send you something from someone you haven't "met" before.
 Jake is especially helpful during this part.
 (He seems partial to Gina's postcards.)

Once all the post cards have been tagged, I rearrange them so that all the cards I am mailing you are in a single pile. 
 Then I dig through your envelopes and pull out the mailing labels and stamps you included, and make sure every postcard is properly addressed and stamped.
I then go back to my spread sheet and record two columns for each swap; "this person got a postcard from this person"
and I check and double check the addresses and postage and glue down anything that may have come loose in transit.
Finally, I'm off to see Hector and Ike at the post office so I can send these cards on their way to you!

I'm loving all the suggestions you've added to the Swap Ideas list (keep them coming!)
I'll be deciding on our next swap in the next few days to make sure I never have an empty mailbox.
In the meantime, check out the "other cool swaps" tab - I just added two new links.
(and send me a message if you know of other great swaps out there)

Thanks to everyone for participating.
this is so much fun!


Carol said...

Thanks for all your hard work - it does look like fun!

Jaime Haney said...

Wow look at all that great art on the floor! ha ha... But that looks like way too much work. Good thing you like to do stuff like that. You must be just a tiny bit ocd ;) or a control freak... take your pick.

haha you know I'm teasing. cool post!

Cameron said...

I'm like you....I don't see it as work....I'd have a blast doing it just that way, too....including the feline accessory :)

Cameron said...

Oh, and thanks so much for putting my Mermaid Swap in your "other swap" tab.

You're just cool like that ;)

Terrie said...

Fun Fun Fun! (isn't that a song?) I too love a good spreadsheet - who knew there was another oddball out there? I have a multi page one to track all my mail art too so I'm sure to stay on top of it and manage addresses, etc. I love the attention you give to sorting the cards - at some point it may get too big for that, but for now, we appreciate it. I actually noticed that the cards I received this time were all from new people - I LOVE that! Thanks for doing this - you're the best!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, thank goodness you have your kitty helper, that's lots and lots of work...xox

dori said...

thanks for answering the question that i always wanted to! you are such a sweetheart!

Nydiart said...

Wow! That's alot of hard work! I like your system and am not a spreadsheet person! So I am thrilled that you can figure it into your organized technique! Thank you so much for your swaps! I will try to join the next one as soon as I am done with this festival this weekend...Thanks again! For all you do!

GinaVisione said...

I'm in love... With Jake :). He knows a fellow cool cat when he smells one (best person purrrrrrer ever, if I may say so :D), and senses the importance of sending good cat vibes to me, since we are without right now....
I love your process Karen! I too like spreadsheets, but haven't let them into my MailArt world, yet. Too much like work. I should take a pic of my handwritten labor of love system (the kinda gal I am, I realize) that I now use. :). Thanks Karen, & Jake!

Katie said...

This looks so fun---how am I not doing your swaps already? :0)

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