Penpals, Stickers and Crafting Crazy

Hello everyone! Hope you are all doing well this wonderful weekend. I’m about to go check my mailbox — I’m always smiling large after that! Especially after I started swapping and penpalling again. 😉 Wee! Just checked it and have about 4 packages and 5 envelopes — I hope I find some cute ATCs to put in my collection! I love to wait to open my mail until after I’m done with work. I like to take it all in my bedroom, on my bed, and open them one by one often with Ben by my side. He likes to see what I get. I’ve recently gotten him liking hot tea so he’s interested to see if I get any teas in the mail from other countries. If you’d like to swap tea please let me know because I’m always up to trying new ones! We stock tons of tea in our house from all over so you’ll be sure to get a tasty mix in return.

I’ve also joined this Blythe Swap Flickr Group recently and I’m joining up in my first swap this holiday. My partner is new as well so we’ve both been excitedly chatting about it a lot. I’ve already been spoiling her and purchasing REALLY CUTE winter gifts for her dolls. I want to blab all about it but I’m being polite and keeping it a surprise. 😉 I’ll be sure to update with photos after we swap.

Remember in the surprise ball post how I offered to swap them with anyone interested? Well I’ve already crafted 7 surprise balls since (including Christmas balls for Ben and Jamie!)! Whahaha! I think I’m finally becoming a pro at tucking those presents in and keeping it ball-shaped. LOL, what a valuable skill!

So since I got asked from a few of you about swapping and what kind of things I send and receive I thought I’d do a post on it. I use my Flickr as a blog sort-of, if you’re interested, I update it almost daily and often add photos of the swaps I send and receive.

matryoshka dotee doll

Recently I was in a Matryoshka Dotee Doll Swap and I sent these but I haven’t received mine yet. I’m really excited because my partner messaged me and said they were really detailed. I love matryoshka dolls. I only have one but she’s sweet, holding a cat that looks like Hobbes. If you don’t know what a dotee doll is welcome to the club. I was completely confused as to what they were so I read up on it before joining and creating a Kawaii Dotee Doll Swap.

childhood toy ATC
digital ATC
deer ATC swap
easy hearts ATC swap
three cat ATCs
deericorn the mad
my collection

I’ve also been in a ton of ATC swaps so I’m posting some that I’ve sent as well as the small collection I’ve built of ATCs and swap cards found/received and kept. ATCs are fun — I draw shaky these days and I love using textured paper so they’re not perfect but they’re fun. They’re getting me to draw and paint a lot again which is great. I’ll do a complete post on making ATCs soon.

Let’s Make & Receive Surprise Balls!

Remember my post about surprise balls? How I promised to post a tutorial soon and a feature on the ball I recieved? Well this is that tutorial and feature! I even got the chance to host the surprise ball swap this time around which has made me so inspired and excited! I just love swapping these things! If you’d like to buy one I also have them in my shop! I told you I was surprise ball crazy!

surprise ball

You’ll Need

  • crepe paper streamers (in a couple of colors!)
  • 10-20 candy and small gifts
  • a plastic capsule or small box
  • a sticker or label
surprise ball prizes
surprise ball prizes

Collecting the gifts is almost as much fun as making the ball! If you’re making it for someone be sure to include things they like. Some ideas of what to include: candy, small toys, jewelry, stickers, memo pads, erasers, rubber stamps, ink pads, glitter, craft supplies, tea, keychains, beads, charms, small tubes of glitter glue, etc.

surprise ball

Start with your plastic capsule or small box and fill it with one of the gifts. Then wrap the crepe paper around it until it’s covered.

surprise ball

Next add another surprise and wrap it up. Make sure you keep wrapping a bit after each gift so that they don’t fall out too fast!

surprise ball
surprise ball
surprise ball
surprise balls

Continue adding surprises and wrapping them up until the ball is finished then tape the end down and top with a cute sticker or label.

Now.. as if it wasn’t enough fun to *make* these I actually received one as well (from the original swap). I was so excited about opening this rainbow-covered ball that I giggled the whole time as candy and kawaii gifts fell into my lap. This ball was extremely large and took quite a long time to unwrap! My partner is a surprise ball pro! Thank you so much!

surprise ball received
surprise ball received
surprise ball received
surprise ball received

I Love Swaps

Don’t you love to swap gifts with friends? What could be better than receiving a surprise picked out especially for you in person or by snail mail?

With Swap Bot you can swap just about anything you can imagine! If it exists, there’s probably a swap for it. The most popular swaps include artist trading cards (ATCs) and postcards but there is no limit to what you may find!

The Magic of Creating and Sending Packages

packagessm

What makes you happier than a kitten at a sushi carnival? Is it a super special gift in the mail especially for you? Handcrafted and prepared with love?

It’s almost like a holiday everyday that a package comes in the mail, packages from friends stuffed with glitter, tissue paper and sweet smelling fragrance.

Shake it and it almost sounds like candies are inside.. small trinkets rolling around under larger, sweetly wrapped gifts stored in cupcakes and hearts. When you open the package the smell of perfume and a cloud of glitter dust fills the air. When you look inside you see bags, paper and stickers decorating the precious gifts inside.

Packages, and even envelopes stuffed with surprises, are a favorite past time of many friends who have ever experienced a long distance relationship or taken a trip from home. There was nothing I loved more than stuffing packages with gifts of cuteness when in Japan, so excited when my best friends would recieve the silly gifts and laugh.

sm

Give it a Try

They’re as fun to send as they are to recieve. Try it.

Package decorating and stuffing is a bit of a crazy obsession in cute land. I know many girls use character tape (myself included), markers and more to make a statement before the box is even opened. If you’re sending a package, why not make it really special miseducated style?

You can make package contents as well as buying them. I have friends whom I swap kitschy antiques with and friends whom I share all of my ‘oldskool’ saved stationary with.. (I might as well use it before I die, right? What point is there in hoarding all of this cuteness??)

It’s easy to try. Start by sending your best friend a letter stuffed with some cute trinkets next time you go on a trip — chances are you’ll inspire her as well! Send a letter filled with stickers and stationary, it doesn’t have to be quite so taxing in these crazy economic times.

Who said you have to grow up and leave penpals behind? Slipping in a letter is sweet too, in the world of emails we all appreciate to see a little handwritten note every now and again!