I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here before or not but I hosted a swap over at ATCsforAll.com recently with the theme of Fairy Tale Fun. It's not the first time I've hosted, but it has been quite a while since the last one. Being a uni student and then unemployed tends to cut into your available postage funds. :( I spent this morning swapping out the returns and thought I'd share some photos of it.
I had 20 people sign up for the swap and ended up with 12 sending their cards in. A few told me they were withdrawing nice and early which I din't have a problem with, but a few just dropped away with no contact. That gets a bit frustrating as they're taking up spots that someone else might have signed up for. Anyway, the photo above shows everyone's cards and their return envelopes (addresses have been blurred out). Believe it or not, it actually took me 3o minutes to get to this stage, as you have to remove the sticky tape from each card and write my return address on each envelope.
Over at ATCsforAll.com there is a convention to send the swap host an extra card to thank theme for running the swap, meaning that while most swaps only require 3 cards some people will send in 4. When I used to host about 50% of people would send a extra. I was super lucky with this swap in that EVERYONE sent in a extra card, so I now have an extra 12 fairytale cards to add to my collection. :) The photo above shows everyone's cards after I picked my favourites. I was really happy with the variety of fairy tales people chose to depict.
The next stage is the most stressfull - actually swapping out all the cards. I try to swap on a like-for-like basis so people get returns which are similar to the standard of the cards they sent it. I generally don't worry to much about medium as I'd prefer to get a good card in a different medium to what I sent in than an average card in the same medium. I struggled a bit getting the balance right with this swap, but I hope everyone is happy with their returns. Once every card is swapped out you then need to double-check them all to make sure that no one is getting their own card back or getting two from the same artist. In this case I also made sure that everyone got three different fairytales back. Finally, pop them all into the envelopes, add stamps and they're ready to mail!