I have recently joined another swap site, Your Paper Pantry (YPP). There is a small yearly fee ($12) to join, but I think it will be totally worth it. Everything looks like it runs so smooth there. I like that the swaps are run on a very strict timeline. The crafters there are amazing! I love looking at all their swap goodies on YouTube and watched the videos for many months before deciding to join YPP.
At YPP they have a rule that all new members must complete 3 months of group swaps before they can do a partner swap. At first, I was a little disappointed, but then I realized that this is for the "safety" of everyone. If you prove that you can be responsible for sending in group swaps on time, then it makes it a little easier to trust you to do your best and follow the rules for partner swaps.
So, without further ado...here is my first group swap for YPP: March Lunch Bag Upcycle with the theme of Birthday.
These bags ended up very different than how I envisioned them when I started. I have this ribbon that has confetti and "happy birthday" in red, green, yellow, and blue. I really wanted to use that ribbon for this project. The problem~I couldn't find an image to match. One of the requirements of this swap is to use a digital image on the bag. Since I couldn't find anything I liked, I decided to pick some paper out of my stash and start there. I used this beautiful paper from Basic Grey, K&Co, and Recollections (for the plain cardstack). I went to one of my favorite vintage image sites, The Graphics Fairy, and just did a search for "birthday" and this digi was one of my choices. I loved it immediately! The colors are a perfect match to the paper that I chose.
I printed the image about 2.5"x4" and then placed it on a mat made with Bazzil cardstock. I inked the edges of all my paper and my image with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. The picture had green gems in the corners so I dug through my stash of gems until I found 4 matching gems to place over them. I don't have any Stickles, so I just used some Elmer's glitter glue on the white flowers in the middle. I originally put some gray/silver glitter around the "beaded" portion of the frame, but I didn't like it since the frame doesn't actually go all the way around the image. I kept that one for myself and did the rest of them without the glitter around the frame. I guess the recipient can add it on there if they choose. :)
I received this beautiful piece of wide lace in a swap from my new swap buddy, Julie, in Australia. Thanks, Julie! She also sent the other piece of lace that I used on this bag.
I can always use birthday gift bags and I can't wait to get my swaps back at the end of this month to see what great things I received!