Why are we having advanced swaps?
by Erin Kleider

It is not to leave anyone out; on the contrary, people are not
participating because they feel that they have, too many times in the
past, spent a lot of time, money and effort creating a swap that was
truly special and unique to receive in return something that was
thrown together within a few minutes at the party store.

There is a place for both kinds of swaps but to ensure that people can
participate in swaps that will be fun for them and challenge them we
are creating two levels of swaps. No one should feel slighted or left
out because they can't perform at the level of the advanced swap as
there are only a handful of people in each category that really qualify.

In fact, for those who don't qualify for the advanced level
swaps and don't want the pressure of being partnered with someone who
is producing professional quality work, having two levels of swaps
frees them to be able to swap at their level and just have fun rather
than feeling pressure to produce something for a professional-level
craftsperson. We have swaps because we think they are fun, but the
advanced level crafter does not think it is fun to work hard on a swap
to receive something store-bought or not well made in return just as
the beginner to medium level crafter/swapper does not think it is fun
to feel the pressure to create something out of their comfort zone for
a swap partner that has high-level expectations.

Sometimes we want to pull out all the stops and make something really intricate and
amazing, and sometimes we just want to throw something together so
that we can participate in the fellowship of the swap. There should be
room for both of these types of swappers.



How do I know I am an Advanced swapper?
1. If I saw my item in a miniature's store, would I think it belonged there?

2. If I bought my item from an ebay seller, would I be thrilled? Would
it become one of my Hitty's favorite treasures? *Would I buy again?*

3. Would I pay money for my item?
4. Are my trims in scale with Hitty?

5. Did I make sure no glue is showing?

6. Did I use appropriately-sized lace? (Never use 1/2" lace!)

7. Are my seams finished, fray-checked, or concealed?

8. Did I use small, neat stitches?

9. Have I clipped threads?

10. Is it well finished appropriately?

11. Are all parts in proportion to each other and to Hitty?

12. If I am working with polymer clay, does it look true to life, not 'crafty' in coloring, scale and workmanship?

13. If I have painted my swap, are the drips cleaned up, and has the paint covered evenly?

Do you have a question about advanced swaps? Click here.

The Q&A Section

Q. Can I participate in every advanced swap?
A. It's not likely any one swapper will have the materials and skills
necessary for EVERY advanced swap. Advanced swaps are designed to
showcase the creations of artists who have worked hard to develop their
talents in a certain area, and to give them a chance to challenge
themselves by participating in a special activity with others who have
worked hard and developed advanced skills in that particular niche. None
of our moderators are experienced in EVERY type of art or craft, and we
don't THINK we've run into anyone else who is, either. :)

Q. But if I sign up, I can play anyway, right?
A. If the swap hostess thinks your talents lie in another direction, she may ask you to sit this one out.
There will always be other swaps available, and many swaps are repeat swaps.

Q. What is the criteria for being an advanced swapper?
A. if you participate in an advanced swap, you
should be willing and prepared to be paired with the very best crafter
in that category and able to make something that you would be
proud to send them. If you don't think you can
pull that off, then maybe you will want to play in the regular swaps a little longer
to gain experience and expertise, as again the emphasis is on giving the
highest level crafters in any given area the chance to challenge themselves.

Q. I've been swapping for a long time--doesn't that make me an advanced swapper?
A. Length of time is not a criteria. I have seen swappers produce items I would
love to have on their first try. And I know from personal experience that
I could carve and carve and carve and still not be considered an
advanced carver. So, it really depends on the swap and your strengths in that area.

Here are some lovely examples of advanced swapper's items!