Bee's Hive

Monday, December 14, 2009

All I want for Christmas Swap 2009

I'm going to post this here because you can't post anything on HGTV that might be considered a dig, warning or and "ugly" in anyway. This will have some ugly things included.

Many of us have spoken about bad swappers and having black lists. That will come later in the year. Right now I want to talk about the swap I held for Christmas on HGTV.

I was surprised that so many ladies signed up for the swap after I warned them that this would not be a CHEAP swap. We had 44 ladies in the swap and a few that were gifted just because. I gave 20 themes for the ladies to fill for their Pollyanna from May 13th until November 20th.

They were suppose to include in the box or boxes: some handmade items, personal items, fabric & quilting items. Everyone filled out a wish list, likes and dislikes and we kept a thread running to add anything you thought of that you might like. As I purchased or made items I posted them so the ladies would have some idea of what they should be doing. I made them check in each month. It sounded like they were doing just fine with making and buying and that they all understood what was expected in this swap.

My name was passed around so I wouldn't know who had me. I posted my gifts on here and they were wonderful! I seemed to have lucked out in the person, Deb51, who kept my name.

For many they recieved nice boxes with all the items that should have been in the box. Some were too light on fabric, some on quilting items, but still exceptable.

Unfortunately their were some VERY bad swappers who chose to go the CHEAP route. Some barely said Thank you and many didn't post photo's of the gifts. Photo's were the only way for me to know what they got. One of our swappers does beautiful handwork, Ely, but her pollyanna barely said thank you and didn't post any photos, of course this was one of the late senders too. Some people should just NOT join swaps.

Three people chose to change my rules. They all had until November 20th to shop. From the 20th to the 30th of November they were suppose to be wrapping and packing and all boxes in the mail by the 30th. Today, December 14th, we still have one swapper who is "finishing up" the items she is making. Such LIES. What she is doing is just starting her shopping and sewing..who does she think she is kidding? Now she is flooding her polly with gifts. SORRY, this does not makeup for being very late.

This same swapper right from the start was a problem. She didn't like the person she was given and wanted another person. I had to give over my name to her just to keep the swap going right from the start, without any problems. I had already bought one gift for my pollyanna so I sent it off to her to include in the box...the gift has yet to make it to it's new owner.

One of the themes was "sticky". One swapper sent glue sticks for this gift. Glue sticks is NOT a gift, it's a stocking stuffer. Many filled the themes with ornaments, too many ornaments and not special $2. junk from walmart. These ornaments were also stocking stuffers, not gifts!

Some boxes lacked fabric, some had none and one box had almost one yard..which tells me it was a used piece of fabric from her stash, not a new purchased gift.

One theme was chocolate. One candy bar is not a gift. I expected something unusal or special for chocolate, maybe a candy bar and chocolate or brown fabric might have made up a gift.

Some filled the box with all handmade items while others didn't make anything in the 6 months they had to do it. Another theme was spoolie. A roll of ribbon is NOT a gift nor is 2 spools of thread.

One theme was read/write. One marking pen is not a gift, it's a stocking stuffer. I expected them to buy a quilting book or a stack of patterns or even special note cards from the quilting shop.

Those that did post photos of the bad boxes are getting gifts from me. I have tried to fill in the items they were missing, some boxes needing total replacement. This is expensive to say the least. Good thing I bought 2 or 3 of everything along the way. I did expect 2 or 3 to not do the job right. I didn't expect 12 total bad boxes and 7 not so good ones! I have the gifts, but the shipping is killing me!

We have finally come to the end of the swap, well almost, there are still boxes either in the mail or promised to be in the mail. I thought I had finally come to the end of seeing bad boxes and at least knowing who I needed to send too, but then I got a message that really put me over the edge in anger.

Regifting..I'm sure we all have done this at one time or another, but how tacky to do it in the same swap! It seems that a swapper waited for her gifts to arrive before she sent out her box. Used the incoming gifts, kept the ones she liked and replaced them with $2. items..sent the gifts off to HER pollyanna who posted a photo of them. Of course photo's tell it all. The original gifter saw her gifts in someone elses pile and got very hurt feelings that her Pollyanna would do this tacky thing. Maybe the reason this low down swapper has the word "trouble" in her screen name is because she is! I have never had anyone do something this low before.

I have a right to post about this. I was swap mama. This should not have cost me an extra $500. to send out gifts to swappers who did a good job and got junk back. I still have one very special person who will be gifted in January when I have time to put a nice box together for her. She has spent the year filling in for those who did a bad job, sending her own gifts to someone who needed cheering up. This gift will have to wait because my own swappers have broken the bank!

I have been asked if I'll do this next year. Maybe after I weed out the bad, or maybe not.

Good box of gifts

Bad box of gifts

Swap update

I guess someone thought it was their bussiness to alert one swapper that her name was on my naughty list..for some reason she must think I was the bad guy in this swap. I just opened my email to this find this message. The name of the sender has been removed to protect her (and me from her)

[How dare you call me a liar. I sent all 20 items plus two or three more. I spent approximately $200 on this swap plus $90 for shipping. The gifts she got were expensive. And yes I said I live near a Lenox factory but they don’t give the stuff away for free as you tried to make it. And I am not still shopping! How dare you say that! And yes there are two things more I wanted to make for her but didn’t get to so I thought I would make them and send them to her, not because I had to but because I wanted to. So I am not flooding her with gifts! You also said in one post that if they got their packages by the 15th that would be okay. So I guess I wasn’t very late. One box was missent by the post office, not my fault. For some reason your on my case, why I don’t know but I don’t appreciate it. I am not your child nor am I irresponsible, you know nothing about me. Some of the gifts I’ve seen posted are a disgrace so go pick on those people. Why haven’t you put everyone’s name on your blog? Someone sends a packet of nail files and you don’t put their name out? Another person makes a felt snowman that a five year old can make and you don’t put their name out? What have I ever done to you?
If you didn’t want to give me a different name why didn’t you just say so instead of bringing it up now? Make a decision and stick with it, don’t wine about it after the fact.
Some of us don’t sit home all day to sew and play on the computer; we have responsibilities for other people and take it very seriously. My Power of Attorney for my husband’s 92 year old aunt is very real. Would you like me to send you the paperwork? And she is a problem child.
Put me on your naughty list, who cares, but to defame my name, that is where I draw the line. I would appreciate you taking my name off of your blog and Facebook, I consider this slander and I am not taking it lightly! ]

I responded to her with this reply;

[ALL boxes were suppose to be mailed by the 30th of November. If they were sent by federal express or UPS they might take 10 days. I never said it was "alright to send by the 15th of December". I said by sending on November 30th, no matter how you sent the boxes, they would all arrive before December 15th. It was not alright to send anything AFTER the 30th of November. How dare you change my rules. Had you packed up your FINISHED gifts by November 30th, you would have had them mailed on time.

YOU are the one who posted on November 30th that you would be in NY taking a class and wouldn't be able to mail until after the November 30th dead line. I couldn't understand why you didn't just mail them on the way to NY. Then your story changed to your Aunt. The swap sign up was in April. Names were given out on May 13th, 2009. You had 6 months to make anything you wanted to. What makes you think you should be the only one to get an extra month?

You are the one who whined that you didn't want the name you got. You are the one who are late, very late. When you join a swap you are expected to follow the rules. If you were my child, you would not have been late.

I am not defaming your name. Everyone knows you are the LAST person to mail. YOU are the one who is posting that you will finish the last few things and put them in the mail. It's way past November 30th. You did have a responsibility when you signed up to follow the swap rules. Instead you made your own rules.

I will take your "name" off of my blog, but that won't stop everyone from knowing you are last. You keep posting about when you are sending the last items all by yourself. I don't know who alerted you to my facebook and blog, but they are not doing any favors to swappers by making me out as the bad guy. Do us all a favor, don't join swaps because you are not special and you don't get special rules all for yourself.

Since I am the one who is replacing the poor swap items, I don't think it's your job to decide what gifts are bad. Many boxes had wonderful gifts and a few fill in items. Those boxes I considered to be fine. On the other hand, I haven't been able to match your gifts up with the 20 themes I gave out. It seems to me you bought what you saw and didn't even consider that this was a themed swap. I didn't even see any labels for your items like I saw for the other boxes. That also was one of the swap rules to label each item according to the theme.

I will be posting, without your name, this very important email you sent to me and my response to you. I think this should be read by all. ]

Swaps are suppose to be fun. If everyone followed the rules they would be fun. I had to remove my naughty list because of this threat. If anyone ever needs to know who the bad swappers are, just ask!


shawkl said...

Thanks so much Bea for all you do. I appreciate your candor and have an even better feel for next year from your post. I think I did a good job this year; but am ready to really knock it out the park next year!!

Hugs, Kathy

Sherry said...

Regifting within the same swap?! I am amazed at that one!

I'm ready to start for next year!


Bea ain't this a sorry state of affairs? When I saw the pic of the bad swap I knew it was a bad one. That is why I didn't get in on this wonderful swqp. It was just too much for me to do. Some people have no couth but they shopuld be ashamed.

quiltbea said...

I wasn't in this swap, and I'm glad of that. I don't know what the rules were, but from the pictures it would have sent me to the poor house.
Evidently others didn't realize the size of the boxes and the cost considerations when they signed up.
If you ever do this again, you've got to make sure the players know how to play the game properly. Clearer rules may be needed.
Good luck!

Holee said...

The rules were very clear..THIS IS NOT A CHEAP SWAP, don't sign up if you can't afford it! It's not my fault. It's the fault of the swappers.

expatquilter said...

I thought the requirements were made very clear in the original post. I remember reading it, thinking it sounded like fun, and that the commitment in terms of money, shopping, and sewing were more than I could manage (even without my postage issues).

I'm sorry that you're having to make up for some of the swappers.

Tom H said...

Holee, Thank goodness, the good experiences out weight the bad ones. I still think that one good experience out weights many bad ones. Especially when the good experience was "meeting" you.

Holee said...

I think I'm going to be getting ugly posts on here. Just removed one. Someone just joined blogger so they could post here. Gee, I wonder who that could be..:)

I am hard nosed when it comes to swaps. Especially when there are over 40 in the swap & I have to do the replacing for bad swappers. We have seen a lot of bad swappers in blog land so I know there are some swap momma's who know what I mean.

Swap rules are for ALL swappers. Those who want to make their own rules should run their own swaps. It's not an easy job to get everyone working in the same direction and down a fair swap for swap road. I did the best I could with this swap. Some had a ball and want to do it again, while others felt cheated.

talia said...

Bea, i just love you :) You can take a girl out of the city.... ;) ;) <3 always, a city girl ;)

Holee said...

Someone needs to grow up and find another place to post. It's clear who is leaving these posts. You are not making yourself look better, you are showing how childish you can be.

Anonymous said...

Miss Bea,

I am sorry you are having to endure this. Your experience made me realize how precious our swap hostesses are and the work they go through to keep the swap interesting and alive is enormous. The rest is up to the swappers.

Like others, I put time, thought and expense trying to match numbers with gifts that my pollyanna would enjoy. I did my best, but you wouldn't know it by the lack of pictures.

It looks like I hardly did anything for my person. I am embarrassed because I am sure others are thinking the same thing.

If this swap goes in 2010, please ladies, post more pictures and show your swapper and the swap hostess that you appreciate all the hard work.

The swap was still fun and I love what Tom said, "one good experience out weighs many bad ones."

I need to remember that, cuz I let the bad things get in the way too much.

Kim (Amiyoko)

Sorry, I could not log in and had to sign in as Anonymous

Tom H said...

Wouldn't it be neat to have a swap where the "bad swappers" were paired up to exchange among themselves? Do you think they would get it?????Oh well just a thought.

Holee said...

Hey Tom, we think alike. Now that I have a big list of swappers and photos of what they swapped, it would be pretty easy to match up "light" swappers with "light" swappers, late swappers with late swappers, I have my own rules swappers, oh gee, is this a quilting swap, swapper & my favorite, I only had 6 months to make something (I'm a real quilter) swapper. I have a feeling I'd get a lot of complaints! LOL

One Craft at a Time said...

I don't know why people can't follow the rules. The rules in my crazy quilt ornament exchange was to include a few of the stitches we learned. The ornament I received had absolutely none!! (I posted a photo on my blog) I don't know why I stressed myself when I was making mine. It sure does leave a bad taste doesn't it.