Welcome to Swappermania!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Envelope Sale on Amazon!

I was looking to re-stock some envelopes, and found this great deal. Just thought I'd share it here with my readers!  If you're like me at all, you can never have too many envelopes!

Mead Press-It Seal-It 6X9 Envelopes, Office Pack 30 Count (76084)

Price:$8.52 Free Shipping for Prime Members
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
6 x 9/ 30 Count
  • Kraft Envelopes
  • Self-adhesive seal
  • Heavyweight
  • 30 per package
I just love these Mead envelopes, and hope you will too!

CLICK HERE to get started shopping for these envelopes (many more styles available, too!)
This post contains affiliate links. All support is appreciated, thank you!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall Colors and Happy Mail

I did a YouTube video showing my Fall Colors here and the mail I got today... take a look here: https://youtu.be/mioaKRHNIEs

And don't forget to LIKE, COMMENT & SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel!  There will be more happy mail videos to come!

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Really? Is it really September already? Am I the only one that thinks this summer really flew by too quickly? Fall comes a bit early to us up here in the northland. The trees are already starting to change colors and the nights are getting much cooler. I had to turn on the electric heater the other night... hubby says it's too early to start up the furnace...lol.(not for me!)

Last month I had a nasty fall, thanks in part to wet grass and a dog on the other end of my leash taking off after some small critter. I ended up in the ER and after Xrays, found out I have a compressed disc. It was very painful, and I might still need physical therapy to help relieve some of the pain, as I wanted to limit the prescription paid meds to very minimal (as I DO take care of 2 kids all day), and could really only take them at night.

This is our final weekend of summer vacation. My oldest son started football already (his first year playing), and only has 1 game left after today. Fine with me, I really don't want to sit out on a cold field if I don't have to!  I don't envy hockey parents at ALL... wouldn't want to sit in a cold arena. I get enough cold weather as it is.  My youngest son just turned 6 (Aug. 31) and has now lost BOTH front teeth, and one bottom front tooth. I told him we should paint him orange for Halloween this year and he can be a Jack-O-Lantern :)  We had a nice family visit from my mom (AKA SuperGrandma) a few weekends this summer (Dad can't stay due to asthma) and now are gearing up for back to school. This means lots of medical forms for me (due to allergies, asthma, and my youngest son's Diabetes Type 1). New teachers, new classrooms, new friends, new schedule. It will take a couple weeks for us probably to get into the swing of things. In that time, please pray for my sanity and that I will have good enough health to get back into my craft room and also get my new business up and going (more on that later).

I want to keep doing Happy Mail videos on YouTube, but didn't get much Happy Mail this summer. I have joined 2 new groups on Facebook where we do contests and have fun little giveaways, and got some fun mail from those. I am on a wish group on Facebook (Wishes Galore) where we wish for small things and grant other peoples' wishes. I am still trying to get caught up on sending stuff out for that group, and have received some nice things from people on there.
I also buy/sell on a fun site called Listia (kind of like eBay but you use credits instead of money).

As for swapping and palling... I have quit swapping friendship books, but still swap everything else (label/sticker/goodie/memo bags, slams, decos, exchange slips, postcards, stickers, etc.). No new pals for me at this time. I just can't keep up with writing, and feel bad when it takes me months to get back to people. It's just easier for me to keep up with people on Facebook.  (Not on Facebook? Well why not? lol) 

Want to exchange happy mail? Find my info here.

Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things again this Fall :)


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Swap Instructions and Contact Details

CONTACT ME: Send an email with the subject line "Swappermania" to swappermania@yahoo.com.

Google+ URL


Other Blogs:

Other Links:

My Auctions:



To sign up for swaps, check the individual swap pages. Each one has a link to a Sign Up Form. I will email you to let you know you are signed up.

Please send your swaps with the correct postage. Please make sure they are sent on or before the deadline.  Late swaps... please just communicate with the hostess or swap partner if you are going to be late.  Life does happen, I totally understand!  Just please keep in touch and let us know what's going on!

Postage safety
You may like to send your swaps in a padded envelope for ultimate safety.  For ATCs, you could also send them in a piece of folded card or bubble wrap to protect them . As ATCs are the same size as a credit card, another suggestion would be to write "handmade card, handle with care" on the top left hand corner of your envelope - this does seem to deter them being "opened" or becoming lost.  Also, make sure to tape up your envelopes around the edges.  Sometimes those postal machines are rough and like to grab untaped corners and rip them open.

International Swappers
Please click HERE for a note just for you :)

General Notes - the boring bit!

For swaps that require return postage...
Please make sure to include the return envelope and postage.  If you don't include postage, I will email you and request for you to send the postage before I will send out my end.

If you wish to pay for your return postage via PayPal, that is fine too. Just let me know that when you sign up, or when you send your end.

Please ensure the return envelope is sufficient for the safe return of your swaps.

We cannot be held responsible for any swaps that are not delivered to us or yourself or any that are lost in the post. It is your responsibility to ensure adequate postage is paid for the sending and receiving of your swaps.

Apologies for all the boring bits above, hopefully if everyone can follow these few rules, we'll all have a hassle-free fun time swapping!!

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 4 - You Are An Original * Hello from sunny MN * Live from Periscope

No happy mail to share yet this week, so I uploaded one of my recent
Periscope videos.

I felt someone needed to hear this simple, but
powerful message...


Wednesday, May 4, 2016


OK so apparently KATCH (where all my past Periscope videos were located) is closing. Like... gone. Luckily I found out in time, and transferred all my videos over to YouTube. Now I'm in the process of posting the more current mail call scopes on my blog, since you can only view them if you have the link.  So if you're here, you can scroll down and see my past 'Scopes' (videos). I am in the process of loading them all here now... so check back. And please Comment, Like, Subscribe to my YouTube channel while you're there :)  Thanks, have a great day!  :)

Want to exchange happy mail with me?
Find all my social media links on my mail blog (look in the right hand column -->)
My art/creativity blog:

Friday, January 29, 2016

Do you #Periscope?

I have recently fallen in love with a new app, called Periscope. You can watch (and do your own) Live Feeds from around the world. They only stay live on the app for 24 hours, but there is a website that saves them to watch later. Today I did a "Scope" to say Hello to everyone, while I walked to my mailbox. Watch me get my mail LIVE (I do it almost every day) on Periscope... my screen name is @therealbarbi (same as my Twitter account) and you can catch my older Scopes (videos) here.... http://katch.me/therealbarbi

Do you #Periscope? Comment below with your screen name and I'll gladly follow you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year - No Resolutions




JAN 2016
New Year - No Resolutions

Hey there swappers and pals!  If you've been following my blog or YouTube channel, you're probably wondering where I've been. Still here, freezing in northern Minnesota. It's been a crazy ride for our family the last half of 2015.

My oldest son had a surgery which led to complications, which led to him being in the hospital (he's ok now, but is having trauma/anxiety issues which stems from this medical emergency).

We took a family trip to South Dakota (no, not Mount Rushmore, we went to Sioux Falls since that is where my husband's job sent him). We stayed in a beautiful hotel and while we were there, they experienced record rain/flash floods, the power went out in the hotel (no generator), and it was mass chaos. The hotel didn't flood luckily, but many cars out on the road were going everywhere. It's a trip that we will never forget.

My husband has had some multiple health issues going on, and then a pharmacy here gave him the wrong pills in his bottle, which he took for a week before realizing why he was feeling the way he was... and then ended up in the hospital with stroke symptoms, and his whole one side being back at 50% strength. He is still doing physical/occupational therapy. He currently isn't able to do his job (precision measurement), but they found other things for him to do there, so at least he didn't lose his job. He is having more hours away from work due to Dr. appts, etc. so that paycheck loss kind of stung us for awhile. 

Then in the end of October, our youngest son started feeling ill. One week after my husband was home from the hospital, on Nov. 2, our youngest ended up in the hospital for 5 days. He was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 1 (sometimes called Juvenile Diabetes) and also had a staph infection.  We are now living a "new normal" since Diabetes Type 1 is a lifelong disease (still praying for a cure.) 

The end of 2015 has been a HELL of a year, to put it mildly....

Then... we got a call from the school saying we were nominated to be a family to receive a Blessing Bag.  They wanted a wish list from us for gifts the kids would like (and us, too).  I also saw something in our church bulletin about the community collecting gifts for a family and it was a local organization called Best Christmas Ever (http://www.bcemovement.org/).
The family sounded a LOT like us... hmmmm.... so a lady from church asked if she could stop over one Sunday afternoon.  We said sure. Since she also works at the school, I thought she might be bringing over the Blessing Bag.  Well lo and behold, several cars pulled into the driveway, and our livingroom was full of people delivering presents and more presents, gift cards, etc.  It was the Best Christmas Ever!  Literally!  I was doing everything I could to hold it together, but yes those tears did fall.
(Here's a news clip of this wonderful organization, a month before they showed up at our door.)
 (Here's a video of another family that received gifts from BCE.)

The next day, I still had to go to the school to get our Blessing Bag... but it was not just ONE bag... it was several.  They gave us gifts, cleaning supplies, household goods (that stuff adds up you know), food, and a wreath.  The kindness of our community has just blown us away.  I don't even know how to begin to say thank you for it all!  Words can't even express it!

So... instead of being bitter and angry at all the BAD things that happened to us in 2015, I am choosing to be GRATEFUL that I still have my sons and my husband here. We still have our pets. We still have our house. We still have electricity and internet (we all know it's a necessity...lol). We still have food to eat. And we are stocked up on Toilet Paper for quite awhile!  LOL.
The people here have shown us how much God loves us, and have given us HOPE that we CAN survive through the suffering, with the help of His people.

So... now here we are in the new year. 2016. I am SO happy to move on to a new year and I have HOPE and DREAMS for myself and my family. I am doing something small each day for myself, and CREATING ART is one of those forms of therapy that I really need. (See my art blog HERE). I haven't done any art or crafting for a LONG time. My craft room misses me. It has become a dumping ground... I can't even SEE my desk right now. I just stack stuff and walk out. And say someday, I will get around to cleaning that desk off. I have all my mail organized for each month from Oct-Dec., and am still contemplating doing one mass Mail Call video to get caught up. 
I have decided to stop swapping FBs, and concentrate more on my art.  I am not quitting swapping anything else... only friendship books.  I will still swap Decos, slams, any bags, postcards, happy mail, exchange slips, etc.   Just not FBs.  If I get any in the mail, I have people that will take my excess, so don't worry, I'm not one of those people that tosses them in the circular file (trash).

  * RELATED POST: What is a Friendship Book? Deco? Etc.

 Now, let's talk GOALS, not resolutions.  Who really sticks to those silly RESOLUTIONS every year anyway?  Definitely not me. Lord knows I try. Maybe for a week or 2. And then we go back to our old habits, or life just gets in the way.  What are your goals/resolutions for 2016?  Would love to hear about them in the Comments section below.
Not necessarily in any specific order, here are a few of my goals for 2016:
* Read Bible App daily
* Get caught up on mail
* Organize craft room
* Sell more on Listiaebay this year
* Create more digital stationery and maybe even start selling labels again
* Walk more  (hoping to get a treadmill soon for these long winter days)

  I look forward to sharing my mail journey here with you on my blog on this new year. Thanks for commenting, watching my videos, and just being here for me. Cyberhugs to you all!


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Crafting, Swapping, Palling, and RAK Group Links

Links to other swap/craft related sites. 

(NOT your items for sale!) 

Swappermania Facebook Event Page  (no longer active)


Here are some groups on Facebook where you can apply to join, and once you are in, check the Rules and Standards for the group. Then you can post if you are looking for new pen pals, swappers, or both.

fb´s, fb´s, fb´s

Usa fbs (only for USA FB swappers)

LabelbagSwappers of the World


Friendbook Frenzy

Christian Pen Pals & Swaps


Pen Pal Friends Reunited
This is the group where we did an event called "Anything You'd Like" as seen in my 4/13/15 Monday Mail Call video.

Return to Sender - FBs, decos etc.
Group for checking addresses before returning full FBs home, or for looking for long-lost pen pals

LINKS TO "WISH GROUPS" - Read all rules closely before posting!

These are great places to find names of people who are looking for RAKS or Happy Mail,
and once you get the hang of things (and agree to the group's rules), jump on in and
post your wishlist too!

Wishes Galore


Make A Tiny Wish... Keep Wishing

6 Wishes A Day

Wishes Do Come True

Card Exchange For All Holidays
"Card Exchange For All Holidays and Birthdays Too"

Craft-related Happy Mail groups (art journal junkies, etc.)

Happy Mail Swappers

Happy Mail Swaps

Happy Mail and Swap Pals USA  (USA only group)

Simply Happy Mail Swaps

This is a crafty mail art group, but also a Happy Mail group...

Lets Swap Mail Art

Links to Facebook Craft-related Groups

Art Journal Junkies

Hide His Word in my HeART  (Christian art journal group)

Journaling By 5s

Krazy Island Family

Junk & Art Journals

Digital Art Journal Stuffage

    Place your links for swap groups/blogs or craft sites in the Comments below.


    Links to Flickr/photos of your craft/swap items? CLICK HERE.

    Links to Etsy or other craft/swap items for sale websites? CLICK HERE.

    Links to Etsy or other craft swap item websites


    Add your link in the Comments for your Etsy site, or other site where you have swap or craft-related items for sale.  Links will be checked, so please NO SPAM!

    (post more in Comments)

    Links to Photos

    Links to Flickr/photos of your craft/swap items
    (post in Comments)

    Saturday, January 2, 2016

    ATC Basics / What Are ATCs?

    ATC Basics for Swappermania

    ATC = Artist Trading Card

    The one rule that makes an ATC
    derives from their origins: the dimensions of
    the ATC must be 2.5"x3.5", or 64x89mm.

    Some other "rules" for ATCs...

    First, an ATC mustn't be sold, only exchanged,
    as the whole essence of these tiny works of
    art is about artists meeting (by correspondence
    or online if need be) and exchanging their works,
    thus meeting many artists and getting exposed to
    many personal styles.

    Second, on the back of each handcrafted (not copied)
    ATC the artist writes part or all of the following
    information: name, contact information, title of
    the ATC and number (1/8, 2/8...) if it's part of
    an edition. By definition ATCs are made in limited
    numbers, often no more than one of a kind. Unique
    ATCs are called originals; sets of identical ATCs
    are called editions and are numbered; sets of
    ATCs that are based on one theme but that are
    different are called series. Copied ATC's do
    not fall into editions or series.  Copied ATC's
    should include the title & contact information on the
    back of the ATC.

    Your cards should be made on sturdy cardstock
    or many are using playing cards.  The playing
    cards can be bought at the dollar stores,
    2 decks for a dollar.  Please be sure to
    measure them, as not all playing cards are
    the standard ATC size of 2 1/2 x 3 1/2. 

    Art traded and/or posted on this blog of a political,
    racial or otherwise controversial nature is not
    acceptable.  This group is not about politics or
    other controversial issues. The group is about
    sharing our art and growing/learning as artists.

    For the purposes of this blog, original, copy, and
    digital ATC's are defined as the following:
    ORIGINAL: An original ATC in the broadest sense refers
    to a handcrafted ATC.  Generally when a swap host requests
    "original art" they are referring to handcrafted ATC's.
    If any swap participant needs clarification from a
    swap host, the swap host should be contacted directly.
    Please see the Swap Guidelines.
    A COPY is defined as a photocopy or other mechanical
    reproduction of an "original" or handcrafted ATC.
    A DIGITAL ATC is one that is produced in a graphics
    editing software program and printed.
    If a swapper has an ATC that does not easily
    fit into any of the above categories, please contact
    your ATC trading partner or swap host.  Communicate
    to the other person how you made the ATC before trading,
    if the ATC does not fit into one of the above categories.

    Here is an example of a "Vintage: Letter B" ATC I made:

    Feel free to share pictures of your ATCs or videos of you
    making ATCs in the Comments below :)

    Here are some great videos I found about making ATCs:

    That's all, happy swapping!

    So What Do Those Numbers Mean?

    So what do those numbers mean in regards to swaps?

    The first number is the number of ATCs or items that are sent to the swap hostess.

    The second number is the number of ATCs or items that are returned to the swap participant.

    1/1: send one, get one back
    3/3: send three, get three back
    5/4: send five, get four back; the hostess keeps one.

    Friday, January 1, 2016


    Welcome to the Swappermania Blog!

    Swaps on this blog are intended for ages 18 and above.

    PLEASE read thru this entire post...

    We are a fun loving group of crafters & artists, from all walks
    of life and various backgrounds.

    Our goal is to have a place to swap with others and
    just have a lot of fun in general. 

    We encourage discussions regarding the swaps and the different
    techniques associated with them.

    If you are looking for a venue to sell ATC's or ACEO's, this
    group is NOT a venue for sales.  We are a trading group only.

    ATC related information and other fun websites can be found in our LINKS section.
    If you have a favorite site that is arts & crafts or swap related please post it to our links.

    If you post a link to your photos, or post a photo on our Facebook page,
    it is agreed that you do not object to us showcasing your art on our homepage.

    Interested in hosting a swap?
    ALL swaps MUST be pre-approved and registered by the moderator at:
    Phone numbers are needed to confirm that
    we have a way to contact you, other then by computer, in
    case of emergency. Your privacy will be respected and the
    owner of this blog will be the only one to see your
    infomation. This is to provide the safest possible
    environment for all swaps hosted on this blog.

    Swaps *must* stay within this blog. No cross posting of
    swaps to other groups/blogs is allowed.

    Upon joining swaps here, you agree that the owners of
    this blog are not responsible for the conduct
    of any member who hosts a swap. In the event that a
    swap is mishandled by another member other than the
    blog owners, it is agreed that the blog owners will
    be held harmless for any and all claims, including,
    but not limited to lost or damaged artwork and any
    possible copyright violations. The blog owners
    assume no repsonsibility for how a swap host handles
    the items received for a swap, and will be held
    harmless for any and all claims resulting from
    handling or reproduction of swap items.

    Thank you for joining our swap family, and we look
    forward to seeing your art!

    Happy swapping!

    Barbi T. & the Swappermania family

    International Swappers

    ATTN: International Swappers

    Many of our swaps are open to everyone in the world!  Please remember if your swap partner lives in another country, sometimes it can take weeks, sometimes even up to a month for mail to arrive overseas.

    We try to announce themes in advance to allow plenty of time for you make your swap items, but please try to ensure that you allow plenty of time for your swaps to reach your partner.

    If a swap asks to include return postage, we ask that instead of sending stamps from your country, to please donate via PayPal or send US$ cash in your envelope to cover postage.

    Also, if there is something you don't understand, PLEASE ASK.  Thanks!

    Happy swapping!

    Swap Etiquette and Guidelines

    Participant Guidelines  (Updated Mar. 9, 2012)

    1. Read the swap information.  Make sure you understand the specifics of the swap.  Contact the host directly to sign up or with any questions or concerns. If the swap host doesn't reply within 2-3 days, send another email.  Email problems happen! Don't sign up unless you plan to complete the swap.  If a participant has to withdraw from the swap, inform the host as soon as possible.

    2. Make a reminder of the due date.

    3.  Start early if at all possible.

    4.  Notify the host (or post in Comments) when you have sent and received the swap item(s).  Contact the host directly with any questions or concerns.  The host email address is listed with each swap description. 

    5.  Respect the due date.  Make every effort to get the swap items completed in a timely manner.

    6.  If a question or concern is not being addressed by the swap host, contact the blog moderator.  If a swap participant perceives that t/*here is a problem with the swap, please forward all email communication regarding the problem to the moderator. If you keep us in the loop, we will do all we can to help.

    7.  For handmade swaps... remember to only send handmade items that you are proud of, don't send junk!
        Always put forth your best effort!  Do not send flimsy, plain paper weight ATCs.  ATC's are trading cards.  They must be sturdy.  Please refer to the ATC basics files for any general questions about ATCs.  Follow the swap specifics in terms of what type of ATC is accepted for each swap.  If the host asks for originals only, do not send copies.

    8. Please ensure your envelopes are suitable to protect your swap items in the postal system.  It's always advisable to enclose them in some sort of a plastic bag.  If the items are fragile, use some sort of a padded envelope.

    9.  Art of a political nature is not acceptable on this blog. This blog is not about politics! 

    10. Please include contact information on the back of each ATC submitted for a swap, or on a separate slip for other swaps. This contact information should at least include an email address!!

     General Swap Guidelines (Mainly for Hosts)

    1.  All swaps must be approved by a moderator.  Contact the moderator
    at swappermania @ yahoo.com(take spaces out) to request swap approval. 
    Please do not be alarmed if the moderators do not
    immediately respond to your swap request. 
    It may takes us a day or two at times to get back to you.

    2.  Before one may be approved to host a
    swap, the moderators must have contact information including NAME,

    3.  Swap hosts are limited to TWO SWAPS at a one time. This means
    if a swap host has two swaps posted in the swap database,
    additional swaps will not be approved.  New or first-time swap
    hosts on the Swappermania blog are limited to one
    swap.  After the first swap closes with no problems, the formerly
    new swap hosts may host two swaps at the same time. 

    4.  There are certain exceptions to the two swap limit.
    These include situations in which a host is running a related
    series of swaps OR when a swap host has proven her/himself to
    be of standard that the moderators feel this host is capable
    of handling a greater swap load.  The series exception does not
    mean that a swap host may post two other swaps in addition
    to the series.  This means that a swap host may, for example,
    have the swap descriptions for a series of related swaps
    for the months of June, July and August posted.
    These decisions are solely at the discretion of the moderator.

    5.  Swappers may be swap hosts after participating in at
    least 2 swaps from start to finish; in other words complete two
    organized swaps on the blog.

    6.  All swaps are posted in the left hand column.  The swap host
    must send the moderator the swap details.  The moderator
    will enter the swap information on the blog.

    7.  Cross-posted swaps are *not allowed*.  Swaps may only be posted
    on the Swappermania blog and nowhere else.  (This is on the honor system.)
    Any crossposted swaps or swaps posted without approval will be deleted.

    8.  We have these guidelines to ensure a safe trading environment.

    9.  Art of a political nature is not acceptable on this blog. This blog is not about politics! 

     Host Guidelines:  (Updated Mar. 9, 2012)

    1. Provide specific swap details to include:
     a.  Theme - Be specific. 
     b.  Number and Type of items - 1 for 1 swap, 3 for 3 swap, or 5 for 4 swap,
     for example for numbers. Please state clearly what type of items/ATC's are accepted. 
     For example, originals only, copies, embellished copies, digital, photographs, fabric and so on. 
     For FBs, specify regular, n&n (nice & neat), or HQ (high quality).
     c.  Email address for contact - Provide the host email address
     so that participants may contact the host with any concerns
     or questions.
     d.  Sign up date - This is the cut-off date for
            participation in the swap.
     e.   Date you will post partners.
     f.  Due date - This is a mailing cut off date.
     g.  Flakers - Please make it clear what the host will do about flakers/missing swaps (will you "angel" or make them up?)

    2.  As each participant emails or comments to sign up, the swap host should acknowledge that the participant is included in the swap with a return email.

    3. Each host should keep a list of the swap participants name and email addresses. Use the list of participants for swap updates.  If there is a problem with a swap participant, contact this person directly.

    4. Send periodic swap updates to your swap participants. Include whose items have been sent/received, a reminder of the swap deadline, along with a link to this blog in each email you send out.

    6. For ease of contacting the group of swap participants, swap hosts may want to consider creating a mailing or distribution list in their email client.  Each email client is different.  Please consult your email client for instructions.

    9. It is the responsibility of the swap host to ensure that all swappers items conform to the swap rules.   If a swap host needs guidance, a moderator should be contacted.

    10. If there is a problem with the swap, all email communication regarding the problems should be forwarded to the moderators.  Keep us in the loop, so that we can help if at all possible.

    11. Communication is the key to a successful swap!