Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I'm making ATCs

found this very interesting blog, and wanted to share:
Techniques Zone


OWOH 2011 is coming.

I would like to participate, because it's a HUGE rush, but I haven't posted the OWOH 2010 packages to the winners yet, and I really cannot allow myself to promise something to people THIS YEAR without keeping my promise from last year, can I?
No, I will not participate in OWOH 2011 unless I have posted the 2010 packages (I mean, come on, Ket! It's just two tiny crocheted hearts and a picture of a wonderful dog. Just do it!) AND I have a prepaid international post package ready for the 2011 OWOH that I only need to write the address on and send.
I know that's really hard for me too, because of my panic anxiety and social phobia, but it is manageable, and one MUST keep the promises, otherwise one is a louse, and I don't want to be a louse.

So, I think I will be able to get the packages in post within a month, so I will be able to participate in OWOH 2011.

Now, what to give? I would like to give an Easter Basket, because 2008 someone had an Easter Basket giveaway at the same time they had OWOH giveaway, and that basket was lovely :-)

BTW; I wonder if you could go here and answer the question: would these be good Easter Basket Swap baskets? I'm asking mainly, because I made them for an Easter basket swap, and two of them were outside the swap, and the real swap pal never said what she thought about the basket, so I'm a bit unsure if that's a good swap basket or not.

The problem I have with this is that I am reminded of nasty things. (And now, stop reading, if you don't want a glop of "negativity". That's all that coming from here on :-))
The person giving the Easter basket also held an Easter Basket Swap, and still today I cannot see her name, her blog, the name of her blog, the swap group or the baskets other participants received and send without spitting bitter poison.
Why? Because I didn't get an Easter basket filled with goodies, I got a nasty mail filled with complaints, whining and accusations. 

She told me among other things that:

a) she hasn't been able to contact me. I posted in the swap group, and she didn't respond, I posted in her blog and she didn't respond, I responded to the mail she sent me, and she didn't respond. Then after I went public with my complaints in my blog (so she couldn't delete my comments - she deleted them from her blog and the swap group), she miraculously managed to contact me, and send me not only one but two bitchy mails.

b) I didn't join the swap the proper way, because she couldn't find my comment in the correct blog post. Somehow she managed to invite me to the swap and send me all the necessary information. How did she do that, if she didn't know I was supposed to be participating?

c) I needed to give her slack, because she had a hard time in life, as she was moving, her child was being touched inappropriately at school and the school didn't do anything about it, so she had to homeschool her child, she was supposed to study herself, and her father got ill. And so on and so forth. So "she didn't need all this negativity".

Let's compare the misery a little, huh?

Those of you who have read my blog know I complain a lot about my health. I'm 3/4 of time too tired or too much in pain to do anything. I have a lot of ideas, I'm good at what I do, but I don't do that much.

I'm also living on disability, so there's not much money to work with. My husband and I get about 2000 dollars a month, and that must be enough to pay rent, food, medicine and all the household bills, like telephone and internet and what not. It does, we are not poor, but we are a "low-income family". I have to choose what I will use the extra pennies for. When I choose to do a swap, I choose to wait with new clothes, books, art and craft material, new things for our home and such entertainment as going to movies or a restaurant. 

To give you some understanding of the costs of swap for me - not to complain, because no-one forces me to participate in a swap. I do it by my own choice and being aware of this, but perhaps these things are not that clear to some USonians. 

1)  Postal fees are HORRIFYING. (US postal service, priority mail, and Swedish post take about the same. That is, a small package about the size of a book will cost about 15 dollars to send.)

2)  We don't have dollar stores. I don't think I could find anything that costs a dollar worth sending anyone. It would be fun to make some price comparisons... send swappers from different parts of the world to find the same items, a notepad, a pencil, a keyring, 10 yards of ribbon..-

3)  The crafting supplies, especially ribbons and buttons, costs an arm and a leg. 10 yards of ribbon would be all I could send in a swap with 25 dollars limit. (In USA you can get pretty ribbon for less than 5 dollars 10 yards.) Simple cotton for dishcloths costs about 6-7 dollars for 1 3/4 ounces. That's about three times more than in USA. Also, you can find Sugar&Cream in 1 pound cones for less than twice the prize 1/10 of that costs here in Sweden.(Yes, the mere material cost for a dishcloth is already 6 dollars for me... those they sell at 2 dollars at Etsy. 6 dollars. Think about it a bit.)

Also, as I have social phobia, it's really hard for me to go out and find things to send people.  I make most of the things I send myself.

To me every swap and giveaway is a real challenge. 

We live in a horrible dump. This house was build in the 70's to provide housing for cheap work power. It was built quickly and they have cheated in some things, like the isolation isn't very good. It's cold inside when it's cold outside, and hot inside when it's hot outside. Also, the bathroom was not wet-isolated :-D So there's mold in the airing channels. Nice, huh?
This apartment has not been renovated ever, the plastic carpeting is the same they put in when the house was built. Plastic carpets don't take age too well... the seams are open in every room, there are slashes and holes in the floors, and these carpets are so lovely colors... puke beige and dirty grey. :-> I dream of wooden floors in livingroom and bedroom, and tiles in kitchen, hallway and bathroom.
The walls are painted wallpaper. We had the original wallpaper on the walls from 70's, you know, the brown-beige medallion... and I mean, some of the 70's medallion "baroque" wallpapers are really nice, and it could have been worse, but this was like... washed out dirty beige with stripes. The image on the left gives you an idea, but that looks GOOD compared to what we had. Now the walls are painted cream white, but as the wallpapers weren't put on well in the first place, and we have had cats who loved to rip the wallpaper, it doesn't look too good. Yuk. We try to cover the walls with bookshelves and art, and manage acceptably, but...
The bathroom walls are some sort of disgusting weave painted nasty, dirty aqua. I wish we had simple, common, normal white tiles. The floor is covered with strong teal plastic carpet, which is full of holes...
We have only one working lock in the front door, there's something wrong with kitchen light fixtures; our kitchen "eats" light bulbs. The kitchen is also designed by some idiot, as half of the cabinets cannot be used for different reasons, or used effectively.

There's mold by the windows, and when they changed all the other windows to this building, they refused to change our windows, because we had cats. We tried to negotiate a way on how the workmen could get an access to every room in the apartment with keeping the door wide open without the cats sneaking out. We asked them if they could do the apartment half and half - so that we could keep the cats in the living room while they were doing the kitchen and the bedroom, and in the bedroom, when that was done (or vice versa), but that was unacceptable, and they weren't interested in discussing the matter, so they just moved on to the next apartment and jumped over ours.

On top of that, since I fell ill in late 90's, I haven't had the energy to clean as much as we would need to. I mean, it's not dirty, but there's dust and dog hair all over the place, and therefore moths and carpet beetles... It's messy and cluttered, and I hate this place.
It's not made easier by the fact that the majority of our neighbors are antisemites and my husband is Jewish, and that we live about 40 miles from my sisters. It takes about 2 hours travel to just go and visit them. With my social phobia it's not easy, and I am very isolated and lonely. And I hate this place.
I hate this place so much that I don't even bother trying to improve anything.

We don't have children, so I don't need to worry about my child getting hurt at school, but I probably would homeschool my children if I had them, and if it was possible to do in Sweden. I was ruthlessly bullied at school and still fight with the damage done. Nevertheless, if you have children, children are part of your life, and they do things and things happen to them. It's life.

On top of that, my parents are getting old, my father is dying of skeleton cancer and is in constant pain, my mother has problems with her neck and head, so she cannot use her hands much, and has been forced to give up a lot of her hobbies. People in my life has had their problems, that touch my life, some bigger, some smaller. People get sick, people have accidents, people die. People have to move, people lose their job, people have problems. That too is life.

Anything else? Do you think I'd win the whine war? :-D

I'm not complaining, just saying that EVERYBODY has difficulties and troubles in life, so that doesn't work as an excuse for being a bloody bitch.

Life happens. Deal with it. Don't use it as an excuse to not to keep your commitments. If you feel you can't keep the commitments, because life happens, take responsibility and apologize.

I told her to consider whether her life is too messy at the moment for her to take upon herself commitments she cannot keep.
She told me that I have no business on telling her how to live her life, and that swaps are a joy in her life.
Of course the swaps are a joy in HER life, because HER swap partners keep their promises. Also, when her actions cause ripples in MY life, I think I DO have the right to tell her what I think about that.

Also, she announced another swap. She's giving me all these excuses to explain why she was a lousy swap organizer, but she's not smart enough to understand that she perhaps needs to come out of the situation before putting herself in a new situation where she's probably going to f- it up...  I do hope she didn't do the same stunt to her next swap partner.

BTW, she has made her blog private, so I cannot see whether she commented on my swap basket or not. :-D I suppose too many people "giving her negativity she doesn't need nor want" :-D

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