oh my. every time, every single time- I come away from these thinking it can't possibly get any better and that no way can these incredible people keep coming up with more variety and more fabulous goodies (and that they don't get bored but keep coming back to my swap parties!). but it does, and they do. and do you see how beautifully everyone packages their stuff? my goodness!
this afternoon 14 swappers convened in our backyard and we ate and drank and connected and then finally, we swapped. this time around I contributed sets of photo cards, some plant starts, a couple dozen eggs, a bottle of maple syrup, and some salve. Mike made the two pollinator boxes pictured above. I came away with Irish Cream, rosemary-infused honey, loads of lip balm, a digestion support tincture that was combined with a stick of first aid salve, body butter, strawberry-rhubarb jam, blueberry relish, and two awesome (and functional!) wall hangings made by a friend by transferring photos to wood. Mike chose some orange/tea tree cleaner and another one of the wall hangings (it's possible I swayed his first choice and urged him to grab that little blue wall hanging for me after he drew #1 from the jar and I, after absent-mindedly forgetting someone when we drew numbers, traded my own #3 for her #14, because what kind of host would I be if I didn't).
I am honored to have a core group of swappers (and so loving the new faces joining in) who keep coming back and help keep this thing going. each time I learn a little something about how to pull it off more smoothly (though often I forget those things until after subsequent swaps) and I think we're getting to a place where (even though swapping close to 150 items takes a good chunk of time- between 2 and 2 1/2 hours) it is feeling efficient and fun for all involved. if only I could remember to go around at the beginning and have everyone tell a bit about what they brought instead of briefly going over the logistics and then diving in. I suppose I get a bit amped up once everyone has finally arrived, set up their things, and numbers have been drawn. I start feeling a bit of that jazzy hostess-energy and like I need to get things started so we can get down to business. if you happen to be at the next swap, please do gently remind me to chill out and take the five minutes to go around the beautiful circle of ladies (and gentleman) to allow everyone to talk a bit about what they brought.
in the mean time, I can't wait to dive into this box of beauty.
friends, that is a whole lot of goodness right there.