Yesterday, while I was drawing some new designs for the magazine, the postwoman came to our door with a package. I can’t say that it doesn’t excite me whenever I receive something through the mail. Whether I ordered it or not, it is always fun to have a package delivered and see what is inside.
I hadn’t ordered anything recently, but when I looked on the return address label and saw an address that I was unfamiliar with, the light bulb clicked on. “This was from my exchange partner!”
I love exchanges. I love getting things that people make themselves. It means so much to me to receive something that someone took the time and effort to create, and I try to participate any chance I get.
For the past couple of years, I decided to joined the ornament exchange from Steve Good’s site. Steve’s site is geared for scroll sawyers, and in the exchange we send off a few of our favorites and in turn we receive a some very nice hand made ornaments. It is all a lot of fun.
This time however, the exchange was from my favorite online painting place called Tole Town. Much like Lumberjocks.com is geared to woodworking, Tole Town is an online forum that is geared to decorative painting. While I don’t spend a lot of time there, I find the classes to be great and the girls to be helpful and fun.
A couple of months ago I saw that they also hold regular ‘exchanges’ and I thought I would participate. We filled out a ‘general information’ sheet to give our partners a bit of background on what type of stuff we like, and then when the names are passed out, we receive the same from the coordinator. The exchange was to include one painted item as well as a small surface to paint on and any other fun thing we chose.
I rather like Steampunk type of decorating (that mix of Victorian and technology reminiscent of Jules Verne) and I mentioned that on the form. As a result, I received this cool mixed-media painting from my partner:
I also got a pound of yummy coffee (dark roast – just how I like) and a pen and paper set, and a tin snowflake to paint on this winter. What a fun box of surprises!
I plan to participate in more exchanges in the future. I think exchanges are fun ways for people to share their own creativity and learn about other styles and types of art that they otherwise would not have experienced.
Besides – it is so much fun to receive a package in the mail ‘just because.’ It really makes the day special and in the process, you make a new friend.
I hope you enjoyed seeing my wonderful gift.
Have a great Tuesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"