weekending :: summer swap

On Saturday we hosted our third swap party (see swap one here and swap two here).  We did things a little differently this time around and I was free to hang out and enjoy the day instead of overseeing/organizing swapping.  And enjoy it I did.  Good food, good people, good stuff all around.  Mike made crab cakes and they went very well with my minty mojito and the summer sunshine.  A friend brought a great bubble setup and the kids had a blast chasing giant bubbles around the yard.

To the swap I contributed strawberry jam, maple peanut butter cups, and sets of photo cards.  I took away an amazing mix of goodies: two containers of lemon curd, goat milk, fresh raw mozzarella, eggs, freshly roasted coffee, chard, lavender-tapioca pudding, two jars of lavender-tangerine lotion, elderberry-echinacea syrup, two jars of kimchi, yogurt culture, and a knitted dishcloth.

For real folks, if you're into this kind of stuff (and honestly I have trouble imagining there are people out there who wouldn't appreciate this stuff!) I highly recommend you get in on a swap or consider hosting one yourself.  Having now hosted three since last October, I feel like we're working out the kinks and figuring out how best to streamline the process while still keeping up the variety and the fun factor.

::swap hosting nitty gritty::

While I used to have people come and bring however many items they wanted, (up to a limit) then draw numbers and go through everyone one at a time making a choice from the swap items (which were set out in all their glory on long tables) in order of numbers drawn (with each person falling out after the number of rounds equaled the number of items they brought, therefore making it a one for one swap), that can take a very long time (especially when you have, say, 17 swappers bringing up to 10 things a piece like at our winter swap!) and leaves the host tied to a clipboard the whole night.  This time I limited the number of swappers to 12 and asked everyone to bring that many items.  Only eight ended up actively swapping, so I had eight boxes (numbered 1-8) and everyone put one of their items in each box and then we drew numbers and got the corresponding box.  If folks wanted to swap out of their boxes, they were obviously free to do so.  Anyone who had extra items (many still brought 12) placed their extras on a smaller table and we swapped those out like we used to, one at a time, in order of the numbers we drew for boxes.  Doing it this way was fun, the swapping didn't take as long so there was more time for connecting, and I think folks were still quite pleased with their goods.  Plus we all still got to have the fun of choosing some of our items off a swap table.  The only change I'll make next time around will be to suggest everyone bring a small cooler with them so they can claim their goodies right away from the larger coolers (anything that couldn't sit out for hours in the June warmth was left in coolers and a slip of paper describing it held it's place in the boxes) so as not to have any mix-ups, of which there were a few.  Regardless, a wonderful time!

Also this weekend, I finished the quote wall in our dining room:

It was challenging for this libra to choose just a handful of quotes from the bazillions out there, but I narrowed it down to about 3 dozen and from those ended up featuring these ten on our wall:

*"Home is the nicest word there is" -Laura Ingalls Wilder
*"The cure for anything is salt water- sweat, tears, or the sea" -Isak Dinesen
*"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.  If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." -Albert Einstein
*"When I do good, I feel good.  When I do bad, I feel bad.  That is my religion." -Abraham Lincoln
*"Eating is an agricultural act." -Wendell Berry (there were about a thousand of his I wanted to include...)
*"Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life." -Rumi
*"Everything in moderation, including moderation." -Julia Child
*"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread." -Edward Abbey
*"Hello, sun in my face.  Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields....  good morning, good morning, good morning.  Watch now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness." (excerpt from) -Mary Oliver
*"talking is like playing on the harp; there is as much in laying the hands on the strings to stop their vibrations as in twanging them to bring out their music." -Oliver Wendell Holmes

Claire has been busy drawing people.  Lots of fingers, and many mustaches and bindis, such an interesting combination....

I picked a quart of raspberries from our bushes on Saturday morning(!).  That was after not picking on Friday, but still, I'm psyched.  raspberry jam will be happening.  also, I'm thinking raspberries and lemon curd would go together quite well in some capacity......

Now it is heading toward Sunday afternoon~  we slept in a bit this morning and I happily ate the lavender-tapioca pudding for breakfast this morning.  It was made with coconut milk and was really, really good.  I'll definitely be needing that recipe.  The plan for the rest of the day is to spend some time in the garden and maybe sneak in a movie later on.  And to eat lots of kimchi.

While weekends have lost a little of their significance for me now that I'm officially enjoying summer break, and they never mean much to the papa who follows a shift rotation schedule with the fire department, there is still a general idleness, a sense of slowing down, that I can feel.  Which makes me think perhaps it is the collective sigh of so many, rippling out for all to feel.

*weekending with amanda


  1. Looks fab. Definitely would love to host one once (if) we move into our new place which has more space.
    Most of my friends aren't "makers" though, although some are. Did you put a notice up or are they are friends and friends of friends?

    Love the quotes, would find it hard to choose too. especially love the "moderation" one, so true! The ups and downs are all part of the balance!

    1. oh it is SO much fun! lots of 'makers' in my group of friends, but I really think just about anyone can come up with something to contribute.... baked goods and such are popular as well and most anyone can come up with some cookies or the like. I talked about it with friends for a bit, to kind of put out feelers as to who was interested. I also reached out to some people who were more like acquaintances that I thought may be interested. and it grew from there. several people have come to all three swaps so far, so there is kind of a core group.

      thanks~ it took some time to weed through all the wonderful quotes, and because of space constraints, I had to leave out some favorites, but I'm quite happy with it!

  2. i would love to do a swap like that but of all the people i know here, i'm the maker. and yes, sometimes i feel a bit like an island ;-)

    love your quote wall!

    1. hmmmmmm....... that's tricky. it'd be cool if there was a way you could put the word out in your community and find some other makers to swap with. it's hard making steps like that though- very intimidating.


  3. That quote wall is fabulous! Now I have to copy my favorites in a journal :) The swap sounds like a fun time-I would love to visit and participate!!

    1. thank you, Karen! I really love it. There were about 20 runners up that I'm keeping in a journal myself.

      oh it is SO much fun to do these swaps. so much goodness and connecting, recipes shared, new friendships made...... love, love, LOVE them. and hosting them. I'll host another in the fall- come on down! ;)

  4. OMG LOVE this post!!!

    LOVE the swap idea and plan to do it!! For sure. My mind is churning already.

    I cried a few little happy tears reading your board. I know and LOVE ALL those quotes!!! I really do!!! Well, I did not know that quote was from Lincoln and I never thought of Laura's little statment being a quote, but OH I just love them all soooo much and now want to do that too!! That Einstein quote always makes me tingle and I believe it is so true.

    I would inhale raspberry and lemon curd anything!

    Do the cords of the fairy lights bug you? Like seeing the long part hanging down on the wall? I need to find a way for that not to bug me as I love them so.

    How many loves can I put in one comment?!

    1. I appreciate your enthusiasm! ;) you really should do it- they are SO MUCH FUN. I've been enjoying my goodies for the last couple days and many of them will just keep on giving! My mind is already churning on what to make for the one I'll host this fall. I'd love to hear about it when/if you do one.

      oh how sweet~ yes, I really like the wall. started out thinking I'd just write on the wall with black sharpie and that morphed into painting the chalkboard wall and using the chalk marker. it was hard narrowing them down but it was fun, and I picked ones that I knew I needed.

      the cords don't really bug me. well, maybe a little now that you mention it. (just kidding) the long part hanging down goes down to an outlet where they are plugged in, so for some reason that helps a little.


  5. I love that laura ingalls wilder quote.
    I am reading that series to my girls right now.
    it is so fabulous.
    have a fab week, my dear friend!

    1. I am such a homebody, and very much appreciate that quote as well~ Claire and I have been reading them together for the last several months at bedtime... we are on By the Shores of Silver Lake now.

      you too!

  6. wow - this weekend just looks SO joyful :) the swap hosting sounds a great idea - will bear in mind for future. it is always good to build community and share goodies and gratitude :)

    i LOVE the quotes on your wall, and the raspberries too :)

    sorry i have been a bit awol. freelance work has been coming in (they seem to come all at once). i am grateful for it, though. this means i have been very behind in blogging and checking in on my favourite blogs and bloggers. enjoy your week and catch you soon :)

    ps - love the new header too

    1. oh gosh, life gets busy... no apologies! it was a pretty sweet weekend, really. I always have the best times with the swaps and the quote wall (and raspberries) just keep on making me smile~

      what kind of freelance work do you do, Renee? hope it all goes smoothly~

    2. hi amanda! always happy to hear from you - i very much enjoy your blog. i am so grateful for my blog friends :)

      i do freelance editorial and publishing work - i started taking on projects properly around a few months ago and they seem to be coming in a bit more steadily...fingers crossed! i used to work in a publishing house, but have decided to freelance and not return to work after bea was born - wanted to keep family and home the priority. it's more flexible, but still learning to ride the home/work balance...

      take care and 'speak'/'see' you soon :)


thanks for taking the time to read and comment~