Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Beaded Angel Swap Ornament Received!


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Yesterday, I showed you how I finished my goldwork and silk embroidered Christmas ornament for the swap that I joined a month or so ago. I’ve never actually joined an oline swap. Being a newbie, one of my readers was very nice to mention that there’s a list somewhere online that gives a bit of information on how to go about preparing items for a swap, but I can’t find the link! (If anyone knows where that article is, I’d love to see it again!)

There are apparently two exciting elements to a swap: 1. doing the embroidery and planning the “package” to send (I love planning packages!), and 2. anticipating, like a kid at Christmas, what the post will bring. I enjoyed the creating process best – I’m looking forward to wrapping up the ornament in pretty paper, preparing a few little embroidery trinkets to send along with it, picking out one of my embroidered cards and adding in a few blank ones for use – you know, just making up a Fun Package to Open! I love doing that! I’m going to use a plethora of curling ribbon!

I actually never found myself thinking about the other end of the swap or anticipating anything in the mail. But on Saturday, the mail arrived, and in it, there was a letter addressed to me from someone I didn’t know. I thought it a bit strange – the envelope was hand-written, from Australia, and had something kind of flat and bumpy in it. Weird. I wasn’t expecting anything from Australia…

So I opened it, not even remotely considering the ornament swap, because I had forgotten the “other end.” (I felt rather stupid, actually…) I fingered the little ziplock bag, trying to think what I had ordered that was feathery… who did I know?… what could this be??…. (I wasn’t alone at lunch, either, so I had an audience of witnesses to my air-headed reaction!)

I unzipped the ziplock carefully, trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid catching a bit of fluffy feather in it. Finally, I got it open, and …

Beaded Angel Christmas Ornament

And this is what I received: a little cross stitch and beaded angel, worked on perforated paper, with white feathers for the wings. The skirt is made out of clear bugle and seed beads, and gold beads, which are carefully hung to create a pattern. I hung her on the light there, to take the photo, to give it a kind of angelic effect. Actually, I thought the beads might sparkle a bit more!

The ornament is stitched on two pieces of perforated paper, so that the back of the angel is also the finished back of the head, halo, and top of the angel. Then the wrong sides of the finished pieces are stitched together, with the feathers for the wings secured between the two pieces of perforated paper.

Beaded Angel Christmas Ornament

Isn’t she cute? I have the perfect tree to hang her on, and I know the little kids will love looking at her.

Once my swap stuff is in the mail (I think I have to send it global priority at this point!), I’ll be finished with this year’s ornament swap. Though overall this was a positive experience for me, I’m still not quite sure of the whole swap thing. I suppose it’s a good way to reach out to others across the globe. Have you ever joined an online swap of any kind? If so, what kind? What did you like about it? Were there any drawbacks? If you’ve never done one, what makes you hesitate to join one? I’d love to hear about your swap experiences! Anyone??

And, finally, another reminder about this month’s embroidery stash give-away – two full spools of Gilt Sylke Twist, plus some other fun needlework stuff, are just waiting for you to win them! If you haven’t joined yet for this month and are interested, do take a look at the original post for details on joining!


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(6) Comments

  1. http://calamitykim.typepad.com/calamity_kim/2008/11/swap-etiquette.html?cid=137777272#comments

    This is a link to a “swap etiquette” article…rather lengthy, but has some good points.

    I have been in two swaps and both were excellent for giving and receiving. I have heard of a few “bad angels” out there who make it very disappointing for others. I guess you never know unless you try.

    I like the idea of the beaded angel skirt.


  2. Hi, MGM –

    Thanks for the link. Actually, that’s one article, but I saw another one online that was a little more practical, as a list. But I can’t find it now. I found it helpful when I first considered entering this swap.

    Yes, I like the beaded skirt – I think that’s very cleverly done! She’s going to look very sweet hanging on the tree!

  3. Lovely angel…I really love her beaded skirt.
    Re the swap question…I’ve only been in two and both were rousing successes in my mind. One was art techniques and the other had a theme of chocolate (which included recipies!!).

  4. She’s lovely! 🙂

    I’m always afraid to join a swap unless I have something that is already finished and done…so afraid I won’t get it done in time, or that the recipient will be disappointed that I have yet to get in on a swap of any kind.

    Glad you’re having fun!


  5. Mary, I’ve been swapping ATCs in an Australian online quilting group of some 85 members for nearly 12 months now, and only one of my cards has gone astray. We have a rule that we post thanks to our forum, and late cards need to be explained if they do happen. Saying that, it’s very easy to get overcommitted and Life can take some interesting twists that prevent crafting. We just communicate that and so far only one member has “retired, hurt” (that’s a cricket term, VBG)
    I’ve just started swapping some cloth dolls with an international online group. My swap to my partner has not yet been reciprocated due to her heart attack !! I understand and we have been emailing back and forth. The other swap was not one to one, I received from the person above me on a list and sent to the next person below me. Will be interesting to see what my partner thinks of my first efforts painting a moulded face, LOL. I sent an Australian photo postcard in the package as well, hope she likes it.

    Interesting that some people have had negative experiences with stashe swaps (your link), perhaps in this economic climate it’s a huge ask, but ATCs and Postcards and little dollies seem more achievable (apart from international postage, sheesh!) Perhaps you just have to pick smaller swaps in the beginning, and work up to larger ones. Try local ones, where postage is not so dear, and then when you are more confident try some international ones.

    Thanks for an interesting topic,

  6. The silks look lovely, though I haven`t ordered any (yet)

    I did an ornie exchange through the Needle And Thread bb a few years ago…I recieved a beautiful hand stitched ornie along with some sweets, chocolates, and other goodies. I had great fun putting together my package bound for Australia…spent weeks stitching and finishing an ornie and picking out some hand made chocolates and specialty coffee packs…mailed it off…….and it never arrived! I waited hoping for weeks it had just been delayed, but it was never seen again. So somewhere out there is a pretty hand stitched xmas ornie with sailing ships on it…I can only hope it didn`t get thrown in a trash bin somewhere.

    If you are mailing to Australia, my advice is don`t include any foods or organic goods at all…no lavender stuffing or scented flowers. Aussie has VERY strict rules on importation of food stuffs and plants, and I have a suspiscion it was the food in my parcel that was the problem, and it is languising in custome somewhere on a shelf…or has been burnt.

    Of course, if you live in Aussie, ignore above advice *big grin*

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