Welcome to Swappermania!

Friday, July 5, 2019


Welcome to the Swappermania Blog!


I am a Christian married mom of 2 boys, living in northern Minnesota. We are both veterans (me- Army Reserves, Hubby- Air Force).  My husband has had multiple strokes and has a heart issue. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after the birth of my first child. My youngest son was diagnosed at age 5 with Diabetes Type 1

I am a work-at-home mom as a self-taught graphic designer. I make and sell computer labels, stationery, and planner stickers and filler pages.

Do you Periscope?  I like to participate in bible studies on the #jesusdidit scopes (http://www.jesusdidit.org/) and also occasionally get on Periscope or YouTube and do some crafting and encouraging chats. I do both bible-based scopes and just plain babbling chats and craft scopes (videos). Come and join me sometime!  https://www.periscope.tv/createdbybarbi and don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!  https://www.youtube.com/btvrdik

I enjoy all sorts of crafts, paper-crafting, beading, and my big hobby is sending and receiving fun snail maill!  I would love to exchange some happy mail with you!  I show it on my Mail Call Monday videos on YouTube (don't worry, I don't show addresses). I have met a lot of great swappers and happy mail senders all around the world.  Would love to see your name in my mailbox!

Send to:

Happy Mail/Swappermania
Barbi Tvrdik
PO Box 74
Barnum MN 55707


Check out more fun snail mail ideas on my Pinterest board!

My fave Bible verse:

Romans 8:28 (KJVAnd we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

Find Me On Social Media

Hi everybody, here's where to find me (buttons are also in the right hand column).

My Twitter/Periscope handles: @createdbybarbi  (was @therealbarbi)


Facebook page:



How you can de-stress with adult coloring books (and maybe a little wine)

Coloring is an activity that we tend to associate with children. As we grow older, we put aside our crayons and colored pencils in favor of more respectable writing utensils like pens and highlighters.

However, it turns out coloring can be beneficial for adults — namely for its de-stressing power. The practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity. In fact, publishers have lately been launching coloring books specifically for adults (including some "adult" words as well!). The trend is alive and well!

Do you know how HUGE this coloring thing has become? Have you tried coloring lately? Coloring can be SO relaxing. Just sit down and turn on your fave Kindle/Fire TV, grab your Game of Thrones: I Drink and I Know Things Wine Glass & California Pinot Noir or Ariel Chardonnay Non-alcoholic White Wine (or flavored water, hey, no judgment here), and check out this awesome set of adult coloring books!

Find more products I love here...

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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Living The Dream * HELLO 2019!

I'm so excited! I finally did it! I opened up an eBay store! Now it's time to get it looking pretty and get items listed! If you want to take a quick peek and see how it's progressing... here it is (remember, it's in the "baby" stages. Many more improvements will be made.)  Thanks for supporting this dream of mine ;)
Check back daily, items will continue to be listed @

My latest Instagram post....

Monday, July 1, 2019

GLOSSARY: What is a FB? LB? SB? Goodie Bag? Deco?

What is a FB?

FB is short for Friendship Book. FBs are small booklets that are passed along from one person to another via postal mail. Everybody puts their name, address and info in the FB and when it is full the last signer returns it to the person it was made for.

There are different qualities of FBs, such as N&N (Nice and Neat, which is explained more in detail below), HQ (High Quality), and not-so-neat ones such as friendship sheets and crams. 

When a 'friendship book' is only one page (no staples), it's called a 'friendship sheet.' If the page is small, like the size of a postcard, or smaller, it's called a 'cram.'

There are many different "codes" used in FBs, such as SNNP NSW SAHM (which means Sorry No New Pals, New Swappers Welcome/Wanted, Stay-at-home Mom).  Some people write their birthdays, hobbies, collections, interests, etc.  This is a great way to find new pen pals and swappers.

Want to start making and swapping Friendship Books?
Great! Here's some information to get you started:

The wikipedia also explains:




Want to see FBs I've made?

* See pics of friendship books I’ve made here.

I have been pen palling & swapping friendship books, decos, etc. for years and have met so many great people along the way.  Lately my favorites are N&N (nice and neat) FBs, label/goodie/memo/craft bags (no excess sticker bags at the moment plz.), and exchange slips.  I also swap mommy fbs, and am always looking for more people to do private swaps with... just drop me a note :)  (Comment below.) ~Barbi


Different types of FBs?


There are a few different "classifications" or types of FBs... this blog shows some pictures and describes the differences...

What is a N&N FB?  

N&N FB = Nice & Neat Friendship Book

Guidelines for N&N FB swaps on this blog:

1. There will be NO staples in the front cover.
2. The FB should be laminated with packing tape, shelf liner, or laminating sheets.
3. Lamination should be done neatly.
4. Embellishments should be added to the cover. Embellishments include glitter, stickers, foil borders, sequins, ribbon, a nice background, cloth flowers. You can also do something fancy with pictures. Basically just a picture covered with lamination isn't a N&N FB.
5. Addresses should be printed legibly or typed.
6. Make it nice AND neat. Ask yourself whether you are proud of your work or not. 
7. For established N&N FBs, please make sure your partner hasn't previously signed it.


  • What is a HQ FB?  (HQ = High Quality)
You always use thicker paper like cardboard or similar. Don't use any staples to put the fb together, use something like ribbons or brads instead. Be sure to cover fbs with plastic/foil neatly. Decorate the cover with nice layers, for example different kind of papers, ribbons, confetti, paper flowers, brads, stickers, nice pics, etc.
Always write the theme of the FB, date, to whom its made for and by whom its made -Its preferred to use labels to write the info on the inside of the cover. But if you write by hand, please do it neatly.
2-4 pages is a good amount (just one page means hardly any signers, but too many means it might take forever to get back...) Use blank sheets inside the FB, to leave address labels on.

  • What are Mom-fbs?
 These are the same as traditional FBs, but are swapped between women who are mothers, and only seek contact with other women who are mothers. 

  • What is a Deco?
Decos are similar to FBs, but are often larger in size. The cover is often decorated with interesting materials like magazine pictures, rubber stamps, decorative papers, and other embellishments. Each person who signs decorates a full page in the book. Sometimes the book has a theme, for example cats. Then, each person decorates their page following the theme. As with FBs, when these are full, they are sent home to the person for whom the book was made.

  • What is an Art Deco?
This is somewards similar to High Quality FB's. But are often larger in size, just as the common Deco. When making an Art Deco you don't use any staples to put the Deco together, use something like ribbons or brads instead. Decorate the cover with nice things, for example different kind of papers, ribbons, confetti, paper flowers, brads, stickers, nice pics, etc. Be sure NOT to cover the Art Deco with plastic/foil. But you can put the whole Art Deco in a transparent bag that suits the Art Deco for protection. 
Each person who signs decorates a full page in the book. Sometimes the book has a theme, for example cats. Then, each person decorates their page following the theme. As with FBs, when these are full, they are sent home to the person for whom the book was made.

  • What is a Sticker Book?
These are the books, NOT bags. You would decorate one entire page with stickers, add your label, and pass along to someone else.

  • What is an ATC?
An ATC is an Artist Trading Card. It's the size of a baseball card (2-1/2" x 3-1/2"). The person who makes the card uses any medium (collage, drawing, paint, etc) to create the card. Anything goes unless there is a theme for a swap. ATCs are meant to be traded, not to be sold.
(ACEOs are the ones that are sold. Wiki it if you need more info.)

  • What is a slam?
These are swapped in the same manner as FBs, but instead of filling the entire book with penpal messages, participants add thier labels to a "sign in" page, and then proceed through the book which has been designed like a questionairre or game. 

  • What is a Friendship sheet?
It's a sheet of paper, maybe stationary or note paper. Where maker writes his/her address on top , and then pass it on till its' full, and the last to sign, is asked to return the sheet to the owner.

  • What is a Lyrics?
Similar to decos, but each participant adds some favourite song lyrics to thier entry. 

What are X-slips/ exchange slips?
 Loved by some, hated by others, these are similar to small chain letters, "send 10fbs to #1, delete thier address, add yours at the bottom of the list, copy 20 times and send to pals". 

  • What is a LB?  (Label Bag)
Label bags are small envelopes filled with address labels, and made for and by somebody, just like a Friendship Book. The idea is that each person puts a number of their own labels in and takes a number of labels out and makes FB's or label bags with them. Then it's passed on to another person and the last signer sends it back to the person it was made for.

  • What is a Sticker Bag?
It is the same principle as for Labelbags. You put in a number of Stickers, and perhaps write on a following note, what stickers you added and took. Then you sign the bag, and then send it on to the next person.

  • What is a Goodie bag?
As far as I know what it is a bag where to put all kinds of deco things in. Things can be brads, ribbon, paper flowers, stickers, sequins and other creative things.

  • What is a Memo Bag?
Is a bag where to put in memo sheets. When you make them, advise the signer on taking 4 sheets out and put 10 sheets back in and sign your name.

  • Commonly used abbreviations
  • A/A = Answers All
  • A/O = Answers Only
  • A/S = Answers Some
  • A/M - Answers Most
  • AVF = Answers Very Few
  • ICR = I Can Return (meaning this person can return the friendship book back to the owner)
  • LLP = Long Letter Pal (meaning this person is looking for pals that will send lengthy letters)
  • N&N FBS = Nice and Neat Friendship Books
  • NSW = New Swappers Wanted
  • NPW = New Pen Pals Wanted
  • SNNP = Sorry No New Pen Pals
  • Addy - Address
  • BD - Birthday
  • DOB - Date of Birth
  • Envie - Envelope
  • SAHM - Stay at home mom
  • SASE - Self addressed stamped envelope
  • WAHM - Work at home mom
  • WA - Wedding Anniversary
  • Take excess -  It means the person is not asking to swap but will take whatever extra there is, of fb's and Deco's

Swap Instructions and Contact Details

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

Pinterest: btvrdik

My Auctions:

* ebay: http://www.ebay.com/usr/createdbybarbi

* Listia: CreatedByBarbi



There are currently no posted swaps going on... however, I'd love to hear from you if you'd like to do a personal swap!  Just send me an email: swappermania@yahoo.com and mention what items you like to swap, and that you'd like to do a personal swap with me :)  If I have never swapped with you before, I ask that you send the first swap, and I will send a return swap. Also, if you have a swap-bot ID, that helps too, so I can get to know you better, and see your ratings ;)


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!!


Dec. Swaps Facebook Event Page:


Monday, December 31, 2018




I received a beautiful package of reciprocal happy mail from Teri S. THANK YOU!!!
 Visit her group here:

 Make sure to LIKE the video and SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel!

 Check out my ABOUT ME section to get my address for sending happy mail :)