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?