I hadn't been swapping much at all this year, until June I think. Then I had had a period of hard work and little money so I decided to let myself in to some swaps over at Swap-bot ;-) I love the challenge of having a theme and finding or making things for a person I know very little - or nothing - about. That's the pleasure about swapping. But it's also a pleasure to recieve things from someone unknown in another part of the world, things they have put together to ME. I'm always so excited when swap packages arrive since I have no idea of what will be in them. Most swap partners are so generous and send the most amazing and inspiring stuff and I try to do the same when I send out packages (although it's always hard to know whether you succeed or not).
When participating in a swap you're aware of that you might get nothing in return. Things do get lost in mail, although very seldom, and some people do not send anything. It's the way it is and there's not so much to do about it. However, I was disappointed that it was so common not to recieve anything at all. Recieving isn't the most important part of swapping, but it's not something unimportant either. I started a swap at swap-bot, but I never got anything myself. I didn't care. Then I started another swap and this time I so much loved the idea of the swap that I decided everyone would have two partners to ensure they'd get something. I got nothing. And when things like this are repeating all the time it doesn't feel so fun to put effort to make nice packages so I took a break in swapping.
I decided that if I should send gifts to people but not getting anything in return, then why not sending to my irl and internet friends instead? I don't expect anything in return from them, but since it's people I like I know they'd be happy if I send something and that's enough for me.
(And of course I'm always up to personal trades with known and unknown crafters, but for me that's just another thing than swapping.)
However I had signed up for a swap at swap-bot some months ago and I had almost forgotten about it. This week I recieved this great package from Martha, filled with stationary, cards, pen, candy, stickers ... and more! It really made my day and it also put me in the mood for writing letters. Maybe swapping isn't that bad at all ;-)
A while back I bought a book for a blogging friend somewhere in southern Europe (I wont tell who) ;-) I'll show photos and I'll send it to her as soon as possible. I should have sent it long ago, but then I had visitors and put it on the book shelf and completely forgot about it!!