May 5, 2011

The Process of Swapping

I love doing beaded charm swaps with my Marie Antoinette group.  We have done soldered silver with yellow, pink with silver, celery green with silver, red with vintage brass, and blue with vintage brass.  I think that's all of them. Now we are going to do a crystal, white and pearl with silver beaded charm swap. Everyone creates 25 beaded charms and gets the same in return (plus a few little extras from me).

I am blessed to work with some amazing artists.  And they always let me know how much they appreciate my job as hostess.  I love doing it though for selfish reasons.  Naturally I love getting all of those gorgeous chrams.  But I really love it at the end when everyone receives their returns with joy.  I love knowing that they have a smile on their face and had a good experience.

Many have asked me how I go about sorting the charms all out.  It seems kind of complicated, but I have created a system and I promised the group I would show them how it's done.  So here it is... feel free to laugh if you like.  There is probably a much easier way to do it but this "system" works for me. And once I begin, I CAN'T stop because it will mess my system up.  Everyone knows that when Mama is sorting out the swap charms, she CANNOT be disturbed! LOL

Everyone has a paper plate with their name on it as well as a large zip lock bag.

All of those wonderful packages of charms are gathered together and kept in their original packaging.

First batch to sort.  That person's plate is removed so that they don't have any of their own charms put onto their plate.

Next, the charms are added to each participants plate as evenly as possible and I keep a tally of how many charms are on their plate.  A person can receive two to four charms from the same person and I try to give them as many different charms as possible. Even when sorting the next participants charms, I try to mix it up as much as possible if there are similar charms or beads.

Next batch to sort (and yes I was in my pj's).  Remove that participants plate and sort their beads to give into piles of "similar". Next, distribute those beauties out!

Keep a running tally so everyone gets their 25!

Hello Ohm, my beautiful and devoted dog.  I'm sorry, you can't help.  But if you lay still, you can keep me company.  Just DON'T distract me.  And that is why Killer the one year old wiener pup is NOT aloud to join us.  He zooms around all crazy, oh my gosh!

Next batch to sort......

Keep that running tally......

Until I am all done!

Then, I put each plate into a large zip lock bag.  That way I can look through each participants beads, make sure they have the correct number and none of their own charms (which can get a tad confusing when I have participants with the same first name) and make sure they have a good variety and few that are the same. Variety is the spice of life you know!

Once that is done, I can put them in a pretty bag, tie then with a ribbon and send them on their way.

Then I put all of the plates and zip locks away for the next swap.  And then the REAL fun begins.....

Drooling over the returns that I received and deciding how to use them.  It's such a fun swap and I look forward to many more.  Thank you so much to all of those who have joined in, their hard work and for the joy they brought to our faces!



Rella said...

Oh my!!! Your process works so beautifully, but I will confess, halfway through I was mentally exhausted!!! Clearly an ADD issue!

You are the best, Miss Rhonda...and we are so lucky to have you at MAMA...and I am really, really, lucky and blessed, for sure. Thank you for all you do for our darling group.

It's so nice to see you blogging. Big hugs.

Big love xox Rella

Terri Gordon said...

Hello Rhonda, I hope this finds you well. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I would do it the same way, but the plates are a fabulous idea. Thank you so much for hosting these wonderful swaps, it is one of my favorite swaps. Hugs, Terri

Dawn said...

Wow, Rhonda, I did wonder how you managed to sort the charms out. I'd have a breakdown before finishing ! Well done!

debi said...

Rhonda, this was so fun seeing how you do the charm swap. That is such a lot of work, and we all sure do appreciate you! Hugs!

Mary Brockway said...

Rhonda~If there's a better way, I'm not sure what it is! This is a fab idea and I SOOOO appreciate the work you do for us :-) There truly is nothing better than getting a lovely bag of charms---all wrapped-up and pretty-fied!!! Thanks again!

Seahorse Ranch Girl said...

I have never hosted a swap, but have participated in a few. I am all about process, so this is interesting to me; to learn how you organized gals get it done.

Home and Heart said...

I think it's a GREAT idea!! Hard work too! I want you to know how much I appreciate it. Hugs, Jody :-)

Kris Dickinson said...

You are just amazing my friend. Thanks for sharing the process....I always wondered HOW you managed to keep it all straight.

xox Kris