Friday, January 2, 2009

Getting Ready for a Lampwork Bead Exchange

When I looked at my list, I went, "Oh, my." The due dates are coming up, and it's time to get the exchanges ready to go. Hopefully, tomorrow, or the next day 3 of my 5 exchanges will be in the mail. What is a bead exchange? There are two forums to which I belong where a lampworker can sign up to participate in an exchange. The rules vary slightly, but they are all about the same. Make "X" number of beads, mail then in along with a SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) and you will receive the same number in return. There is always a due date. Of the 5, what was I thinking, that are due at the end of January, 3 are ready to go.

Here's a photo. You can probably guess the names of, at least, two to the exchanges: The cat bead exchange, The Heart Bead Exchange, and, last but not least, Love is in the Air Exchange. I made a conscious decision last year to begin sending in only the minimum number of beads. I love the beads I receive in return. I don't think there's been a dud in the multitude of exchanges in which I have participated. However, this year, one of my goals, is to get all of my "things" under control. Now, the minimum number of beads to be sent in for the exchanges is 3. The extra beads are a small thank you for the hostesses with the mostesses who take care of the work of sorting, repackaging, and resending all the beads that come to their house. Thank you, dear hostesses.

So, what do I need to do to get ready for an exchange?
1) Make the beads. All right, I've done that. Now what?
2) Next I need evelopes. I need to have two evelopes, usually, two different sizes of padded envelopes. The bigger one is to mail everything in. The smaller one is for my return beads.

3) Next, I need some small plastic bags in which to place my beads before I get them ready to mail.

4) You'll notice that one of the bags has a label on it. That is the next step in the process. I label all my plastic bags so that the hostess will be able to identify my beads. I guess I need to make some labels.
I put a different label on each side of the plastic bag. One has my user name, the other is a copy of my business card. We all have to advertise, right?

5) Now, I need something in which to ship my beads so that they will arrive safely at the home of the hostess. She also then uses the same box for my return beads. I use these sturdy, little, white jewelry boxes to protect my beads.

6) Lastly, I write a short note to the hostess on my postcards.

Well, as much as I would like to stay and chat. I have my evening's work cut out for me! I need to get to work! I still have to make the beads for two more exchanges. I know I'll be glad that I did, in the end, but right now, what was I thinking?


Louise said...

It looks like you've got your work cut out for you Mallory! Won't it be fun when all you start receiving all your exchange beads!

angelinabeadalina said...

Mallory, those are some pretty beads for the exchanges, and I have to tell you how much I like your postcards.

P.S. I love it when you show the steps in how to do something-- I always learn something, and anyone could use your step-by-steps to get through a new task :)

5erg said...

Very cute kitties :D And it is so, deadlines come so fast these days:P

Right Turn ArtWerks said...

Hi Mallory, It looks like you've been really busy at the torch. I agree with Angelina...I love following your steps and I learn a lot too!

Deb said...

Good girl Ms M! That is what I decided to do earlier on last year - restrict myself. Darn difficult when there is the prospect of all the pretties in return though ;o)

Your step by step guide is amazing. I really do envy all of you stateside at how reasonably you can get the resources that allow you to provide nice packaging.

Maggie said...

Mallory, I love the idea of putting your info on an address label. Can't wait to see those choc cherries in person and In the Dead of Winter beads were sent your way today.