Monday, August 3, 2009

Swapping…the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

For those of you that read my blog, you know that I love to participate in swaps.  Since I started blogging in January of this year, I have had the extreme pleasure of becoming friends with people from around the globe, all of whom I would never have had the occasion to ‘meet’ had it not been for swapping.

I was invited to participate in the Christmas in July swap hosted by Stephanie and Linda which is now in it’s final stage.  I would like take this opportunity to thank them both for hosting such an organized, fun and most professionally run swap.  Thank you both so much for your time, dedication and perseverance.  I just can’t imagine the work that must be involved, especially when dealing with women from all around the world.

However, there comes a time when the ‘human factor’ sometimes does get in the way.  Kelly, the gal who was assigned to me as a swap partner, stopped blogging immediately after joining the swap.

Everyone understands that life sometimes does have the nasty habit of rearing it’s ugly head and we all understand that.  As far as swapping is concerned, all it would take is one email to let the swap hostess know that your commitment cannot be met, to allow her to make alternate arrangements.  Dropping off the face of the earth and not responding to emails or to numerous messages left on a telephone answering machine just doesn’t cut it to my way of thinking.

I am a giving person and those who know me know that I give from my heart and in the true spirit of friendship.  I have no way of knowing if what I made and sent to Kelly ever reached her as no one has heard from her.  Because of this, Stephanie has asked me to show the gifts that I sent to Kelly in Australia.

DSCN0717This is the main gift, a santa sack measuring approximately 16” x 14” done in the pieced, crazy quilt style.

DSCN0722I also included a hand painted notions box, a biscornu pincushion, scissor fob, Jeana Kimball specialty needles, decorative pins, some rick rack and a Canadian magnet…

DSCN0719as well as a Mary Englebreit journal and note cards, a Christmas tea towel and cookie cutter and a purple (Kelly’s favorite color) ribbon embroidered draw string sack.

DSCN0723And finally, I included a pair of purple socks that I knit especially for Kelly and one of Tom’s incredible hand carved santas that I painted.

Am I disappointed?  Yes.

Will I give up swapping?  Absolutely not!

Life is full of disappointments but thankfully, the good outweighs the bad by leaps and bounds.

Stephanie and Linda have also made sure that Kelly’s partner will receive the swap gifts that she is waiting for as well.

Happy stitching!

Kaaren ♥ 



Susannah said...

Hi Kaaren, Like Mom always used to say _ "It only takes ONE to upset the apple cart!"


Anonymous said...

Hi Kaaren...I'm glad that this one bad apple doesn't spoil your fun in swaps. You just never know what has happened....I hate to think poorly of this I said...we don't know what could have happened to her or her family. It is a reminder to all bloggers to leave information for spouses or family members that if something does happen....(heaven forbid) others can access your blog if need be to alert your blog friends!

Abby and Stephanie said...

Very lovely and thoughtful gifts! I think your generosity needed to be shared. I do love your attitude about swapping. You have a giving and wonderful spirit.

zigzago said...

Hi Kaaren, Wonderfull gifts you made for Kelly. It's so awful not to know if she received or not. Neither I don't understand some people, ... to send an e-mail doesn't take so long!
I'm glad you won't give up swapping, maybe we'll be partners once more in the future. Hugs, Renata.

Unknown said...

I totally agree with Stephanie, it's so nice to have swappers like you and the rest of our "good" swappers who go above and beyond what is asked of them. Your reward will come.

maria said...

Your gifts look lovely. It is very sad that you have not been thanked for your parcel. I am the other part of the "partnership" and have been disapointed to not recieved a parcel, consequently the lovely Stephanie has had to step in and send me an Angel package. Although all involved are disapointed that Kelly has not upheld her part of the swap I do hope that there are not dreadful circumstances which have prevented her doing so.

Darlene said...

Lovely gifts sent to Kelly and a lovely post, Kaaren!

Maybe one day we'll know what has happened to Kelly and why she simply disappeared!

I have decided to stop swapping but I'm glad this situation will not spoil your fun!

Cathi said...

Oh, Kaaren -- what a lovely package you sent! I'm so glad you showed photos!

Karen said...

I'm glad that this hasn't stopped you from participating in upcoming swaps. Life does throw people curve balls, but a simple email would have cleared up everything. What you sent her was lovely and very generous. I'm thinking of joining up on a swap but haven't made the total commitment :).

Hugs - karen

dotti white said...

I hope Kelly is o.k. and I am so happy that you are not only o.k. but that you have a wonderful attitude. You are a great example to others!

Linda - Behind My Red Door said...

What wonderful gifts you made for Kelly. I hope she is enjoyng them and sending a not off to you to let you know they arrived.

As long as you are enjoying what you are doing, then all is good!! Your have such a good heart Kaaren! I am so glad we 'met' in blogland!!

many hugs, Linda

~Marica~ said...

You have made lovely gift to your swappartner and it´s sad that you dont have heard from her..I know how you feel it happens for me to that I dont heard anything from my swappartner in the last swap I was in...

Take care!

GerryART said...

Yes, not all swaps are equal.
One swap in particular that I participated in set my teeth on edge. This was a 'secret sister' sort of exchange.
We are a small group and exchanged gifts at Christmas. When the gal sitting next to me opened her gift she whispered to me "What am I suppose to do with this?"
I was too taken back to reply as I had taken time to make a lovely, complex Kumiko Sudo pattern and really thought it would be appreciated. And I made it with my heart.
I have to think her remark did nothing to improve her karma.
Just know, Kaaren, there are lots of us here know and love your generous spirit.

Julie said...

hi kaaren,

while it's probably the 'more polite' option to think that this woman had a good reason for doing the wrong thing, it's the more logical option to just accept that she is a bad swapper. yes, circumstances do get in the way at times. but to ignore emails and even phone calls tells another story altogether. cynical? perhaps, but these things happen way too often in swaps and generally the excuses are pretty poor. just speaking from my own experience as a swap hostess.
kaaren, you truly are a giving person, and i'm glad this hasn't soured your feelings re swaps.

karma is a wonderful thing, and it works both ways!!

big hugs,
julie xx

RG said...

You are a gorgeous girl and very generous... we who have the privelege of knowing you, know this :D

I truly hope that nothing bad has happened to this lady and that you will eventually hear from her.

I too have shared your experience (my first ever blog swap with a very well known blogger and never heard a word or recieved 'boo'.. yes it's disapppointing, but 'ah well'...
Life goes on and I'd rather not dwell on these things. Life's too short.

Keep being you Kaaren, you're the best!!

Candace said...

Oh Kaaren, my heart goes out to your because I know you poured yours into beautiful and thoughtful gifts for Kelly. There always seems to be one - and I'm so sorry you were on the other end of it. Big hugs from Mr. Squash and I because we know you deserve better! (Kelly, are you reading this??)

arlette said...

Hello Kaaren!, you have a wonderful attitude, really kind and artistic person, your reward is coming soon

Kimberly said...

Oh Kaaren, you my friend are far too good to deserve any of the bad and the ugly! Maybe something serious happened and that's why she hasn't responded...? I know (from experience) how fabulous your work is. Have fun with your swaps! Hugs, Kimberly

Sew Useful Designs said...

Hello lovely lady! :-)

What a shame you have been let down sweetie, let's hope your generous gifts will be a valuable reminder to the recipient, that kindness is abundant in the world... and there are people (like you) who do not let others down even when they have been let down themselves.

I think you will always be on Santa's "nice" list! {{hugs}}

Vikki xoxo

Heidi said...

Oh Kaaren, I am sorry you had this experience. I will not swap any longer except the block swaps in my quilt group. I have really been disappointed how people do not acknowledge the swap. It has left me feeling really down about people. DH says the expectations are too high online now. People never seem satisfied. I am glad that your experience has not left you feeling the same way as me. It makes me look selfish and I am anything but although I am ultra sensitive about thanking someone who makes something for you. In this fast paced world, we have to remember that being gracious has become more important than ever. Sorry...I got on my soapbox.

The Santa sack is fabulous! I love it. And then to have it filled with all those goodies is a real treat.

Hugs ~

P.S. ~ Have not had time to email yet but wanted to ask how your Prairie Schooler stitching is coming along???

Deb said...

Kaaren.. I have read your blog for awhile and know you give plenty from the heart. When I swap I only send what is required and not as many little gifts but feel I don't want to intimidate the person getting it.
The last swap I was in the person didn't have a blog and I had no email so there was no comment and like you I was not deterred. I am in another one. I try my best and thatis what is most important

Rumi said...

You made so many wonderful gifts! So sorry you got the short end of the stick! You have a wonderful attitude about it all. Here's hoping this is your one and only bad swap experience.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that your BEAUTIFUL swap gifts didn't make their way to a thankful and appreciative recipient. And hand knit socks too!!! x

Jocelyn said...

It is so true that there are so many out there who sign up for swaps and then either do not follow through, or do less then the given requirements. Very sad for all those who participate in swaps.

Linda said...

Kaaren I hope that this little bump in the road does not discourage you to stop swaps. You know that Kelly may be going through a tough time in her life and is without a computer. Some have a hard time expressing themselves. I always feel that things happen for a reason.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad swap. I hope that everything is o.k. with Kelly, but I hope she will leave a message some day. We had a great swap, didin't we? I love the gifts you send to Kelly

Nanette Merrill said...

You've got the good attitude Karen. Having hosted a swap I know the pain of people dropping out of site without a note. It is frustrating. Your idea that one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch is a good one. I always say I am doing a swap to give and not expecting much getting out of it. Just because I know that this can happen or a sloppy swap can happen too. But those are really in the minority. Chalk it up to the "oh well" category in life. It is too bad.

Karen said...

Too bad your swap partner is not responding to your most generous gifting of items. You certainly went all out. Such an experience would put many off from participating in a swap again. Good that you can still be happy to participate in another exchange.

Leanne said...

Hello Kaaren
The gifts you made are lovely, what a shame your swap was spolied. Was that the person you wanted the Australian fabrics for, did you end up using them?
I posted some more patterns to you today, please let me know whent hey arrive,

Love Leanne