Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Parcels and letters galore!

I love swapping!

              A whole batch of letters and parcels ready to pop into the post

I have very recently discovered Swap-bot and Postcrossings. I have always been a bit of a sucker for goody bags, so this was love at first sight for me. I have been writing letters to pen pals for a while and I enjoy making friend with strangers from all over the planet who live in countries it is unlikely I will ever travel to. It is always fun to get something in the mail other than accounts or junk mail. A brightly coloured postcard from a foreign country or a cheerful envelope covered in stamps and stickers just have a magical way of brightening up my day.
I love the way writing letters and sending parcels connects me with possible friends from all over the world. I am an armchair traveller and this way I get a small glimpse of lives and lifestyles very different from my own. I connect with other mom’s and crafters who share interests similar to my own or make friends with people that I would not normally meet in my own social circle.
 In the world of the five second sound bite, sms’s, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and all sorts of other social media, it takes dedication to put time aside to really connect with people and build relationships the old fashioned way, where letters take time to write and one has to wait days, weeks or even months for a reply.

    Look at all the lovely letters and parcels from all over the world that I received this week
So the extension of this fun hobby is getting postcards from randomly picked strangers through Postcrossing. The way it works is that you register on the website. Initially you are allowed to send 5 postcards to people whose addresses are randomly chosen for you. Once the postcard is sent and received, the person who receives the postcard then registers your postcard on the website, making you eligible to receive a postcard from someone else on the website and giving you the opportunity to send another card. So far I have received a card from Germany and one from the USA. Who knows where my next postcard will come from?

I have also joined a site called Swap-bot. This is where the goody bags come in. I love getting parcels and gifts but my family is not big on presents so this is a way for me to indulge in my love of giving and receiving presents. At least that is how I see this site. I joined in August 2014 and have participated in 10 swaps so far. You get to decide which swaps you want to participate in. You sign up and are assigend a swap partner or partners. You can then start swapping.  There are hundreds of swaps one can join and they cover a wide variety of interests. Some are regional swaps, open only to certain countries. Some swaps are open to users who are new to the site. Others are open to users who have participated in a specified number of swaps. Some are very interest specific, swapping teas, dotee dolls, ATC’s and postcards. Others are more general and while they may follow a theme, the person sending the package has a lot of leeway in what they send. 

A lovely parcel of postcards and pretty card from San Diego

There is also a rating system. Every user in the site has a profile and they are rated according to the number of swaps they have completed, whether or not the swap items sent match the rules laid out and whether if not the person who sent the swap went to extra trouble with the things they send.The rules for the swaps are clearly laid out and the site is very user friendly. I have received some lovely parcels so far.

A cute pair of socks from England

Tea from the Netherlands

A tea swap from Chile.

                                                A postcard from the USA

Here’s to next week and all the lovely goodies and letters that may end up in my post box (or someone else’s).
Happy swapping!

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