Swap News Part Deux

25 May 2008
Today I want to talk about some minor changes we are making to the swaps. We have decided that we want the swaps to better reflect our simple lives. We want each swap to use a skill that we now need and can enjoy learning or practising, such as sewing, knitting, stitchery and quilting, for example. We want to emphasize the reuse, re-purposing, and the recycling of items we have in our homes, as we did with the shopping tote swap. We also know all of us are being hit hard with the rise in prices for the basics that we all use and need, such as food and petrol (gasoline). We think that swapping 4 times a year-every 3 months- will allow us to have more time in the crafting of the swap and also allow us to use the cheapest means of shipping possible. We are going to try to match swap buddies within their own countries when possible, unless the swapper specifically asks to swap overseas or is the only swapper in that country. This will help us keep costs down, while still creating and "growing" a community or, rather, a large family. I would also ask everyone to take a photo of their project since there have been some broken cameras and other problems this time so that we will always have a photo available. I want everyone to feel free to "put their two cents" in with ideas for swaps-we have gotten so many great ones so far! We are thinking about our next swap already, so please leave a comment with an idea and I will add to the list!


  1. Hi Sharon, I'm thinking Water Bottle Holder/Bag. Every bottle of water that get bought, costs somthing like driving 1km, so to consume less, we should also carry our own water, and not buy it. Water is becoming one of the worlds consumer fashion items. In some places you can pay more for it, than a bottle of Bolly, crazy.
    Bags could be knit, crochet, sewn, basket woven, recycled, anything, and made to fit your countries, standard, toss away plastic bottle.
    The water bottle i like to use most, is a 750ml glass wine bottle with a screw cap - so i could really use a good quilted bag for it.
    Thank you for being so wonderful for doing this. Love Jacky

  2. That is a great idea-and perhaps it would encourage everyone to not use toss-away plastic bottles, but to use and re-use a metal or refillable plastic water bottle.

  3. Im wondering how you get involved in these swaps they seem to be lots of fun? Can anyone tell me?

  4. Hi Sharon,
    Have been reading Rhondas blog since you did the tote swap,what a great idea it is.I will be in the next one,Aprons would be good todo we all use them and they could be made or I have found some great second hand ones from the op shops.Have fun trying to come up with the next one.

  5. A similar idea to Jacket's but how about a Hot water bottle cover? Or a table centre piece/mat. Or reusable sandwich bags? Can't wait to see what else we come up with.


  6. Hi Sharon, firstly, to echo some comments in the last post, thank you so much for all the work you and Lorraine put into the swaps, I really appreciate it, and so enjoyed the tote swap - both participating, and looking at all the photos of everyone else's contribution. As for new ideas, it's not sewing or knotting or anything, but how about a card swap? We all send birthday cards etc, and these are so expensive to buy, so maybe a set of cards. But hey, I'm up for most things! Warm wishes, Diana

  7. Hi Rhonda

    I have been following your blog for a couple of months now and absolutely love it. I am in the UK and would love to participate in the swap. How about swapping hand-knitted socks, beanie hats or mittens?

    Best wishes
    Lisa K

  8. Hi Sharon
    I haven't joined in your swaps before but would love to. I love all the ideas for swaps put forward by others and I like the idea of trying new skills or re-connecting with one we used to do.


  9. I love the idea of a table runner, placemats, or napkins. Something for our tables that we will use everyday. But....the other suggestions are wonderful too!

  10. Hello from Sunny Dorset, England,
    I'm so inspired by this blog, so much so I would love to join a swap. I was wondering about hotwater bottle covers and or slippers. They could be sewn or knitted. However that doesn't account for those who don't sew or knit so I'll have to think again....... Maybe the swap could be themed and called cosy time, that would cover lots of things that we regard as a comfort. Please count me in for a swap though and Rhonda, please keep inspiring us all. I'm off to finish knitting anothe dishcloth before I start on my first stitchery.

  11. I so, so enjoyed the tote bag swap!

    I'd love a pin cushion swap as that is on my projects-to-do list right now!

    Placemats or a table runner would also be good.

    Maybe something like a make-up bag or pencil case would also be nice. I liked the pencil case Rhonda made and thought it could be a good multi-purpose item for a swap. :)

  12. whoops! - I don't mean to be anonymous in the above comment. Best wishes,
    Elizabeth From Dorset, England UK

  13. What about cloth napkins???


  14. Hi Girls

    For those who haven't been reading Rhonda's blog since the beginning - we have already done aprons, cloth napkins, tea cosys and shopping totes. Did I miss anything? I like the idea of card making as I always give hand made cards that are made using the pieces leftover from scrapbooking. I also like the idea of a water bottle carrier.
    Keep up the great ideas!
    I love the new swap procedures as I too agree that the postage o/seas is geting rather costly - mind you I have loved making friends with my two o/s swap buddies.
    Thanks again for organising them :)


  15. A card swap sounds wonderful as well as a table runner/center piece placemat thingy. But I'm up for anything.

  16. I would love to join in - but live in US - so not sure if you will have any US residents.
    I can make some cards - learning to knit - but like th dishcloth idea.

  17. Wow, everyone has some really great ideas. As Lis said, we have done quite a few hand-made items already, some of which we might do again. I have also had ladies suggest pincushions, and needle books, dish cloths, embroidered pillow cases,oven mitts and recipe cards, and wheat sack heat pads. There are so many creative ladies out there that we have ideas that will keep us going for many swaps. Colette, we have many swappers in the US. Welcome to the swaps Colette, Francine, Pippa, Lisa, Mandy and anonymous!

  18. We could even swap things like different types of recipes - Main dishes, side dishes, deserts, beverages, etc. (We could even email our documents and save postage!)

    Slippers can be knitted, crochet or sewn.

    I've taught myself - from internet photos and videos, how to knit socks. I finished the first one! There are a lot of easy patterns available on the internet. It would take about 3 months for most of us to get a pair of socks done.

    Hair scrunchies would be good. (Those are the decorative elastic/cloth/knit/crochet/woven thingies you use to hold your hair up in a ponytail.)

    Large scarves/head coverings would be fun too.

    Skirts are very simple to make, especially if you use an elastic waist. You don't even need a store-bought pattern for that. All it takes is the measurements for the waist and the length the person would like it. If you're not making a slightly gathered skirt, you'd also need the hip measurement.

    Have a "reuse it" swap where you can't purchase anything for your chosen item. It has to be something you've repurposed, recycled or are reusing. Mittens from a felted thrift store sweater, a towel set or napkin/placemat set from an old sheet, etc. Make it sender's choice of item. (We don't find too many wool sweaters in Georgia! Thrift store or otherwise.)

    Pin cushions- standard or wrist type.

    Some type of organizer - sewing, crafts, etc. (The kind you hang on the wall to keep thread, scissors, etc in place.)

  19. Hi Sharon,

    How about a peg bag? always usefull, and could be made from anything around the house, sheets, shade cloth, jeans, baby clothes to name just a few.

    Jacket"s idea is great too, quilted water bottle holder to keep your water bottle cool in summer YEAAAAA.

    Thanks again Sharon for all your work in the swap
    Takw care

  20. Maybe pin cushions, needle book, stitchery or a surprise using a skill which the swapper is good at.

  21. Hi Sharon,
    Thanks for asking for input on the next swap. There have been some great suggestions. I like the idea of making placemats. I also would like to make fabric coasters. I've seen a few cute patterns that would be fairly easy to make.

    I think the recipe swap idea is great. I envision something where everyone submits their own frugal cooking recipe online and it gets compiled somehow (maybe by internet fairies) and is available as a download for each person to print.

    Anyhow, whatever gets picked I'll be happy to join. Thanks again for all your hard work keeping these going.


  22. I don't know how many people do canning at home, but what about handcrafted (that even means from our home printer) labels? These could be used for canning, other food storage labels, gift tags/mailing labels... Or something more coherent lol.

    Another idea, soap socks for bars of soap.

  23. I have never heard of soap socks-but it sounds interesting!!

  24. The recipe swap and making a little e-cook book would certainly be a lot of fun for all of us and give us all a great resource, too!

  25. I was going to suggest pegbags, but I see someone has already done so. I would also echo simple mittens, hat, hotwater bottle cover etc for us in the UK :)

    KJ (UK)

  26. Hello, what a great find! I love the ethos of this blog adn these wonderful swaps. I would love to be involved. How do I... ?
    Greetings to you all,
    from Oxford, England

  27. I understand that I'm lucky living in Norway, where evey plastic bottle is recycled by that you get money back as you return it to recycling. Good idea with the bottle holder/bag!


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