Friday, April 16, 2010

Giving & receiving.

Today on the last official day of the Great Pin Cushion Swaperama I can't stop thinking about giving and receiving in blogland.

What type of giver are you?
Do you love to send little packages to perfect strangers?
Do you send exactly what is expected or do you like to add in some special little extras like packets of pins, bars of chocolates and other little goodies?
If you were in an op shop and saw something you know your blog friend would love, would you buy it and send it to them?

...I wonder.

And then how are you with receiving?

There are so many giveaways and swaps and competitions and pay it forwards in blogland, how does it make you feel to receive a package in the mail from someone you are never likely to meet in person?

I won the package above full of stunning goodies all adorned with Luisa's fabulous little people in a giveaway at her fashionfuscia blog. What a fantastic and generous prize! Thanks Luisa, I LOVE it all!

I feel happy about winning giveaways because I feel like I give as well as receive in blogland, but I do like to play by the tradition of mentioning it on my blog.

And then there are the random gifts, the just becauses.

The lovely Deb was at a garage sale recently when she spotted the yellow pot holder and knew that it had to come across the ocean to live with my pot holder collection. Before she sent it, she gathered all the amazing goodies in the above photo to keep it company.

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you I was overwhelmed and even a bit teary when I opened this package. What an wonderful and kind and generous thing to do. Thanks Deb.

One of the most amazing side effects of recording my crafty creations on my blog, has been the incredible friendships I have made. But one of the most unexpected lessons I am learning is how to say 'thank you' without feeling like I am always obliged to give something in return.

I got a gift in the mail from someone today who asked me not to mention it on my blog (hope this doesn't count) and not to give her anything in return.

That's a hard one.

Its fascinating isn't it?!

So where do you sit in this whole bloggy give and get adventure?

And before I leave you let me just say a HUGE THANK YOU to all of you swappers out there for your kindness and thoughtfulness and generosity. Its been fun!

I hope you have a great weekend. XX


  1. Great post Kate. I guess I'm a giver, I have always loved to share with others and it makes me feel good, good, good. But I also like to receive and one of the best things I have had come my way over the last couple of years is your friendship! It's great to visit you in blogland and even better to bump into your smiling face at childcare or up the street or catching up over coffee. Thanks for the ace swap, I can happily say my pincushion is in the mail! xo

  2. There are so many very caring people out there that think of others before themselves. If I had more time I'd give more and add little extras, but just getting to those shops to buy the little extras is a big mission with small people. One day I'll have oodles of time to look and shop.

    For now I give what I can, when I can, and I really enjoy it. I don't expect anyone to blog about it or return with a gift. I'm more than happy just receiving a thank you email.

    I never knew you had a pot holder collection! It's amazing, you have so many. I don't have a single one. I use teatowels!

  3. Love love LOVE the giving part and am always chuffed but perhaps slightly embarrassed when people give stuff to me (like, perhaps I think I don't deserve it or something?). I like to mention stuff on my blog but then again some people say not to worry about it. I really don't mind if stuff i've sent doesn't get a blog mention. It's definitely not why I send it!

    Lovely loot sweets and all very deserved!

  4. I LOVE the giving bit too. And I would be mortified if anyone thought that a gift from me came along with an expectation of a blog mention or a return 'something'. That is absolutely not the spirit in which I would ever put a 'just because' pressie in the post. I put 'just becauses' in the post because I like to think that maybe I put an unexpected smile on someone's dial.

  5. I love the giving but I have to admit finding a special parcel every now and then in the mail is exciting too.

    I have become a little wary of who I give to now, I like to keep it to bloggers I sort of know as I have been a little miffed with people I sent gifts to either not acknowledging them or worse still indiscreetly re-gifting on their own blog!

    Thanks for your fabulous swap Kate. You seem to have a lovely group of followers and participants and its turned out a super swap.

  6. Better clarify what I just said. When I said I was miffed people didn't acknowledge my gift, I don't expect them to put it on their blog, just a thankyou e-mail that it was received is more than enough. Its nice to know the gifts make it to their destinations especially when sending overseas.

  7. Hi Kate!

    I LOVE giving and always send above and beyond what is expected. I do it because I like creating for a fellow crafter, they generally appreciate the time and energy spent.

    On posting..I'm probably in the minority here but I don't always post every time I win a giveaway or do a swap. I participate in quite a few swaps and if I posted about each one my blog would turn into a swapping blog - which is not what I want.

    I certainly don't expect any of my giveaway winners or swappers to post what I make for them. it's just not why I do it.

    But..different strokes for different folks xx

  8. Ah Kate, great post hon.

    I looooooooove to give gifts, find presents, shop for others... I love reactions to what I've given, I love knowing that what I've given is appreciated and/or loved... it really is so much better to give than to receive, and I'm not just talking about in blogland BUT,

    ...when you get something in the mail, something totally unexpected & unnecessary & heartwarming & special... well, you can't help but feel like a million bucks, and yes, cry like a girl into the bargain.

    It really is amazing how our blogs allow us to connect, really connect, to people in other countries, people we've never met, people we may never even speak to on the phone... and I think a physical manifestation of that connection, be it a little gift, a card or a letter, makes this connection even stronger, and can do nothing but delight.

    I blog about things I receive not because I feel I have to, or as a reward to whoever has sent me something, but because my blog is about me & my life & getting such treasure is a pretty damn exciting part of it, if I'm honest, and I want to share!

  9. i definitely agree with Tania & Kate.
    I sometimes feel a bit odd posting every single thing I receive as a seperate post so i do tend to gather them all up & post a big thank you. I don't want my blog to be all about things I receive but I do want to thank people for their generosity. and definitely do not care whether or not someone posts about something i have sent, this blog journey is so not about that for me.

    I love the friendships that I have made through blogland & people know I appreciate things because I do respond by emailing.

    it's harder for me to send things in the mail, if it was easy you would have definitely received your cupcakes in the mail by now :)

  10. i'm so with you! i love giving, probably more than receiving!

    I have always loved gifting, and get such a buzz from doing it! I also love throwing giveaways and love entering giveaways too! It makes me feel that life is good and that people are good! You know? With so much negativity in the world, it is nice to be part of such a positive community!


  11. I'll be honest. I think I like giving as much as receiving!! The only thing that beats opening your mail box to find some unexpected treasure (whether you bought it on ebay/etsy or won it online or someone's surprised you) and the delight that comes from racing in the door and opening it up is the thought of someone else somewhere experiencing the same feeling, because of you!

    Actually now that i think about it - giving is better. I'd send people stuff everyday if I could afford it. Spread the love I say!!
    But I certainly don't expect people to 'advertise' whatever i sent them though. In fact, i always worry they won't live up to what some other crafty person has posted someone...but I agree that acknowledgement is necessary - an email or text is nice.

    This certainly has prompted me to think about what sort of receiver I am though. Thank you.

    But anyway - how AMAZING is your pot holder collection? The latest addition is very sweet indeed.

  12. You know I'm fairly new to blogging, and what has been most amazing to me is how very friendly & generous all these total stangers are..people genuinely interested in each other, offering helpful words of wisdom, some kind & encouraging words & the odd gift just because! It's mind blowing & I feel so lucky to be a part of it.

  13. I have tears in my eyes because I pot holder I touched is on the wall of the fabulous Kate who I love and respect! Thanks so much for posting a picture, I'm so happy. thanks for being an inspiration Kate xxx

  14. This is such a thought inspiring blog, thanks Kate. I dont know what to say as im relatively new to the blog world and your pin-cushion swap was the first thing I have participated in.
    But I MUST divulge that the closeness I now feel to my two swap partners is warm and fuzzy, and to have my precious pin-cushion to hold and admire and greet me when I enter my studio, well... simply precious. I now understand what all the fuss (so I once misguidedly thought) is about!

  15. I'm definitely a giver in real life but with swaps tend to be quite frugal because as a pensioner the postage costs are prohibitive. In fact that is why I don't go in for most things. I do like to acknowledge, and have acknowledged what I sent, but I have also had a request to not blog about what I have received. I think that allows one to give to just one person without insulting any others. Cherrie

  16. I would have to say I am a giver. I have received some lovely giveaway pressies and pressies from bloggy friends just because, and I feel so humbled by it. But I do like to give becasue I feel I have way too much in my stash and if I share it with crafty bloggy peeps I know it will be used and appreciated and that feels so good to share it around. My pincushion left for it's new home today and I received mine today too which is gorgeous, I will share it soon. ps in case this comment says "zoe Jane" just letting you know I am on my daughter's laptop and it keeps automatically signing me into her Blogger account. from Linda @ 2 pink possum Lane xx thanks so much for the swap kate it's been fun

  17. I joined as a blogger because I wanted to support a friend and be updated when she made something new. I then got hooked, set up my own blog and started blogging like a crazy woman. I am so inspired by the creativity of others that I am looking at ways to release my own inner craftiness. I have never come across such a supportive and encouraging group as I have with craft bloggers and up until a few months ago I didn't even know what blogging was. I love the swaps because it reminds me of the old traditional markets where you'd swap your vegies with others. I love hearing about the trials and tribulations of parenting because it makes me feel normal. I love the give aways but more importantly I love the spirit in which they are given. It's a special place blogging land.

  18. I definitely love giving much more than receiving. I've been amazed at the complete generousity of crafty bloggers since I started this crazy journey.
    I often pick up things at the oppy for others who I know will love them, and I've been the receiver of gorgeous oppy things from other too. It's just like one big crafty family!

  19. thank you for sharing and reminding me that there are lots of lovely, generous, friendly, beautiful people in the world! xo

  20. Thank YOU so much for organizing the whole thing!! It was so much fun! xo m.

  21. Hmm, what can I say that hasn't already been said. I love giving and I love receiving, who doesn't, come on own up to it girls.
    Being a fairly new blogger this was my first swap and I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my swap partner eco-possum. It was so much fun, thanks Kate for all the work organising it. I will blog about what I received as I would like to share that generosity with you all. I love reading about what others have reeived as giveaways, swaps or 'just because' gifts. I can then enjoy their
    excitement, albeit second hand.
    Giving can be as simple and thoughtful as leaving a comment.

  22. I love the giving and the receiving :-) Who doesn't like getting a parcel in the mail? I have always been someone who spends a lot of time thinking about what other people like and seeing things and thinking 'that is just the thing for "so&so' I like to think that whatever I give will be liked by the receiver and not just put away in the cupboard. A small thank you is all that is asked for in return especially if it was something posted, I just like to know that the parcel actually arrived. What better way to touch someones heart than by a simple act of Kindness that comes from your heart?

  23. Such a great post topic Kate!! I would be happy to share my experiences.
    I love to give but it has to be from the heart.
    I don't give things lightly at all. I love sending packages to complete strangers.
    I am the type of person who would give up a bag full of money just to see someone else happy.
    The little added extras are the icing on the cake if you ask me.
    I have been to garage sales, op shops fetes and bought things for my blog friends and just sent them randomly!!
    I have also sent parcels requesting my bloggy friend not to blog the gift because I want it to stay special from one heart to another.
    Nor would I get upset if I sent a parcel and it wasn't blogged. Because once again that's not why I would send the parcel in the first place... I like to make people smile... a real smile!! A happiness smile!! It warms me from the inside out!!

    On the other hand I love a surprise but they are few and far between... which is why it was super great to do a swap which was tailored just for me! made from one heart and given to another who will truly understand the love and thought that went into it!!

    Lalala ok I am done it's 1am time for bed... Good Night Sleep Tight!!

    xo Steph

  24. I love to give (but it is nice to receive too!!)

  25. Um I definetly love giving, finding things for people and sending them to people, and when I send a bear off I always love to add a little something extra to the person. But there are also many ways of giving and sometimes a lovely email, comment or message or a friendship is as much as of a gift and an actual something.
    I too have been overwhelmed by the amazing generosity and kindness of people in blogland. I feel really slightly uncomfortable but totally overwhelmed by it at times, thinking what have I done to deserve it, but one of the biggest lessons I've come to learn is it isn't always the right thing to do to immediately send something back, in a way it can take away from the person's orginal gift. I feel bad, I realise I haven't been great a mentioning some of my gifts on my blog, but always take great care to email the person. I've also come to realise it's really important to be able to recieve things and kindness from people, that kindness or generosity isn't all about the giving.
    OOPS sorry this is long. xo

  26. Hi kATE, funny you should mention swaps and giving, Im a big giver and I like to, it makes me happy. I just sent an opshop purchase to a blogger casue I saw them and I know she loves that item, just beacuase. I awlays blog my gifts too. Thanks for organising a great swap. Your a sweety.

  27. I have tagged you for a Kreativ blogger award/meme. i hope you don't mind.
    Sal. X

  28. Great post Kate. I agree with Tania, I give and receive but not because I want a mention on a blog at all just becasue if i find something I think someone will love - I have to give it to them. I think all of us crafty bloggers are so similar in lots of ways, we all like to give stuff and share- I think the generosoity in this community is so fantastic and its what i love about being part of this community... loads of people like me- who like to give to give for no other reason. Sometimes I blog anout it, sometimes i don't, i never felt like i get things in the mail so they person thinks i will promote there blog and I would be mortified if anyone ever thought i had sent them something so they mentioned my blog. I give for the love of hearing someone get excited because tehy got something you made/ found and you thought of them... what amazes me is how often people i have NEVER met in real life, get it so right, it blows me away.
    great post Kate! x

  29. what a lovely inspiring blog. I love to receive mysteries from afar and to put together a little package of something I've made.

    Such great swaps here!


  30. Hi Kate
    oh Julie (comment above), I am laughing but cringing about someone regifting what you sent on their own blog.
    I enjoyed reading this, thanks Kate. I have been part of a couple of swaps and won a couple of giveaways, and the way some of the things have been packaged has been really beautiful, and there have been extra treats, really thoughtful. It is lovely and generous of people. It is kind of hard to recieve, and I have consciously had to go 'just recieve with gratitude', it's an interesting experience. Also, I think generosity breeds generostiy. If I send someone something, it's nice to know they recieve it, but an email is fine and I would not expect them to blog about it. I am pretty vague and am much more likely to email thanks than blog. because that would involve finding my camera, which isn't always easy. I think of sending stuff much more than happens in practice, maybe I will get better at that as I hang out in blog land longer.

  31. can i maybe say that i love those crocheted circles on one of the photos of this post? great patchwork!

  32. it's funny isn't it that the people who give credit to the generosity of others are always the most generous of people themselves. not looking at anyone
    thank you for organizing the pincushion swap. it was ace fun.
    and btw this is a really terrific post, sums the whole thing up beautifully.
    and btbtw i adore your potholder wall


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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