500 Stamps & a Bottle of Tums: Sent to Canada, U.K., & the U.S.

Right now, I’ve got those swap-bot nerves like you wouldn’t believe.  Why don’t I just quit & take off the pressure?  Today, it’s 2 swaps off to 3 people; I’ll save the bigger deal for last.

First off, it’s a trade of 5 free bookmarks.  “Free bookmarks” are the kind of book marks you get for free.  I decided to make my own envelopes; let’s look at those now.

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The top package is going to Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the bottom one goes to Auburndale, Novia Scotia, Canada.  Since the swap rules called for 5 book marks, I put in 7.  And some other stuff.

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I know I’d give myself the “extra special” heart for this, but I always put in the effort, and always give the people sending me swaps the benefit of the doubt unless they take it away from themselves forcefully.

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Now, the OTHER swap, oh, the nerves!  This one is a “profile-based small package swap.” We were to use our partner’s profile as a guide, and send at least 4 items, at a value of at least 8 dollars.   I printed out this person’s profile–oh, she’s in Crowthorne, Berkshire, United Kingdom–and read it, and re-read it, and made a couple of notes.  And then I spent more time shopping than I ever, ever do.  Got 4 different things, at 3 different stores, and then ended up shopping online for a 5th thing!  She likes bunnies & owls, and green tea, and wide tape…

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And then I shipped it off.  That’s $23ish, right there!  THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!

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The postal clerk always says she likes my packing tape.

So I hope everyone loves everything, and that they love me, too, and give me a good grade, The End.

 

Fun, To-Go: Sent to Canada

I’ve got those swap-bot nerves again!  I usually only use the site for an occasional postcard, but this week I sent out a little packet-o-goods!  Well, a little packet-o-goods that ended up costing more than $15 in (international) postage!

 

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It sure looks nice, though!  Tubby seems excited to be crossing the border.

This is all for a swap-bot “full envelope” trade, and I was assigned a recipient in Auburndale, Nova Scotia, Canada.  The envelope was to include at least three items–weighing in at no less than 100 grams– from a list of possibilites that included stickers, stationery, things from our partner’s profile, and things we would like to receive.

My assigned partner’s list of likes includes reading, Dr. Who, Star Wars, comics, and all things postal-related.  With all that in mind, I set out shopping!  Here is what I ended up with:

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185 grams.  I weighed it.

The “drama queen,” “bee happy,” etc., are little note cards with envelopes.  We’ve also got a set of Dr. Who cards, cute Star Wars stickers, a book mark, a small notebook printed with comic panels, and–from my goodie stash–a pair of trading cards: Roger Rabbit, and Wacky Packages.

I commenced to wrapping it all, nesting-doll style: the stickers got a cardboard backing & then some tissue paper; that went with the next gift in more tissue paper; that & the next gift into a layer of gift wrap, et cetera, until we were left with this:

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If I had known I was going to get shanked on postage, I would have never gotten so delightfully fancy.

The comics envelop all the other layers.  THAT went into the Cookie Monster bag, which went into the mailing envelope, along with my tiny Kliban cat note card bearing a greeting & swap i.d.  I took that to the post office, hoping to get off easy in the mailing department, but, nope, the thing was too big to avoid a customs form, and though I planned on slapping stamps on it, it was too small for all the stamps I would have needed.

I have a friend overseas to whom I frequently send fun parcels, and that often runs around $50, and that is, as they say, what it is. This, though, makes me really nervous.  I went shopping with the partner’s likes in mind (in a swap that didn’t require it); I exceeded the parameters of the swap; and I tried in every other way, too, to make it “extra special,” as the “this was an extra special package. Give a heart!” line from the swap rating page states it.  All that aside, though, you just never know what you will see when that rating comes in.  I ALWAYS make an effort to make my swap-bot sends extra special, but many of the swap partners do not bother to click that heart.  When I rate, I choose to start from a point of generosity, but… yeah.  I would hate to have spent this time, effort, and money, to have this be not appreciated.

The fact is, I have fun assembling little (and big) packets of fun & goofiness to send to friends, and choosing to participate in this swap was precisely because I like doing it.  I shouldn’t be getting ahead of myself on the nerves.  The swap-bot nerves.