Why am I still talking about Christmas in February?!? I’ll tell you why! It’s because I haven’t had time to sit down and blog so I’m so very late in featuring this one…BUT the things I’m sharing with you in this post deserve to be acknowledged and adored no matter the delay! And I’m talking about the lovely handmade letters and cards I received from the ladies who joined my Christmas mail swap last December.
I love organizing swaps because I’m interested in people and in people’s original ideas. In having craft swaps, participants are challenged to come up with something nice regardless of the theme. Personally, it’s an opportunity for me to share things I love to do the most as well as a chance to try new art methods. It’s a chance to explore other crafts and learn from each others’ works. Not only are we swapping words or pieces of paper, we’re also swapping creative ideas. It’s all really quite inspiring!
Last December’s Christmas Mail Swap was the biggest batch I’ve had so far (sixteen swappers!), except I divided them into four small groups so that nobody feels overburdened by the amount of mail they have to make and send out. Except, I decided to join every small group which meant I sent mail to all 16 of them! It was definitely a challenge but one I made a point to enjoy.
The theme was Christmas Traditions and each had to write and make art about at least one activity which they never fail to do during the season of Christmas, and share a little bit about why. Because I had o make 16, I decided to come up with four different traditions and spent an evening just making the art — four of each kind.
Tradition 1: Drinking Hot Cocoa + Holiday Treats
In making this entire batch of cards, I tried not to over think or plan too much. I decided to just go with the flow and let the moment take me (Something I picked up from Kuya Robert Alejandro!). I just made sure to use colors I like and ones that feel very Christmassy. For these, I used watercolor and my old Christmas stamps.
Tradition 2: The Mystery and Magic of Santa and Bursting Christmas Stockings!
These are the most traditional looking of them all. A friend of mine even mentioned they look like Hallmark cards! At first I thought they looked too cheesy but then realised I liked them because, admit it, the holidays make all of us a little bit more cheesy! Hehe.
Tradition 3: Holiday Movie Marathon
For these, I stuck with letterings and doodles. I wrote the titles of the movies I like to watch over the season, oftentimes while wrapping presents. Do you do that too?
Tradition 4: Opening of Gifts on Christmas Morning
Again, For these I played around mixing drawings, watercolor and stamp prints. Not over thinking. Going with the flow. Very simple but very fun!
A few days after, I started doing the more meticulous task of writing dedications, addressing each recipient, assembling the contents and labelling every envelope. It involved a lot of writing but knowing that each of these will travel miles and bring cheer to another is a pretty exciting thought! I do hope all these cards I sent accomplished the goals for which I sent them which, ultimately, is happiness!
Now let me share with you the beautiful mail I received which started arriving first week of December and all through out the season even up until January — each and every one of them a delight to find in my mail box! Every single one made me appreciate the beauty of the season…
LEFT: A very cute handstamped card with scrapbooking supplies from a fellow crafter; RIGHT: Thumbprint reindeers! All the way from Cebu!
An elegant package filled with charm and interesting trinkets.
These three arrived in the same day! (Lower Left) A card specifically put together for a crafty Mom — me; (Middle) A very meaningful and heartfelt reminder about the true Light of the season and (Lower Right) dried flowers accompanied by an insightful quote.
LEFT: (Top) It was like a party in a package! Pom poms and colourful cards! (Bottom) Pantone swatch trees — all the way from Pennsylvania! My first international mail swap! How exciting 🙂 RIGHT: A fun and vibrant collage filled with encouragement and love.
An entire letter written in Calligraphy. This was such a pleasure to read!
LEFT: A collection of little presents from a dear friend, someone who has joined my swaps from the very start! Her letter almost made me cry too! RIGHT: This is all YUM. Hand drawn food that make a classic Filipino Noche Buena complete!
Christmas trinkets and ingredients for a crafty Christmas project!
As you see, every package was different and yet all of them joy-filled. And because Christmas is a season of giving, the swap was such a perfect opportunity to give love and joy and well-wishes.
Thank you to all the ladies who joined this Christmas Mail Swap. I am sure that I’m not the only one who was delighted by what each of you had made and sent. I’m sure happiness travelled and spread all around! I hope you all keep making and use what you make to inspire and give joy.
I had mentioned to some people that I would put together a Valentine’s Mail Swap. Well, I’m sorry to say I didn’t have time to prepare and announce it 🙁 Doing so now would be too late, I think, so I will not be having one this month. However, I’ve decided to send VDay mail anyway to those who have joined my swaps in the past. So I guess…just be surprised! I’ve started working on them and really excited to send them out!
The next swap will most likely be over the summer. If you’re interested, simply drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to count yourself in! 🙂