Author Topic: An Important Message About Exchanges  (Read 681 times)

Offline Erica McPhee

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An Important Message About Exchanges
« on: January 06, 2024, 12:48:18 PM »
Iím sad to say the Love Letters Exchange will be the last formal exchange scheduled for Flourish. I wonít say itís the last one we will ever do but after 10 years, and dwindling participation, Iíve decided itís time to focus on other ways to exchange. This doesnít mean we wonít ever have another exchange, just nothing scheduled as we have in years past.

There are a few exchanges happening in the calligraphy community that have very large participation. I would suggest checking out the following. Please comment if you know of others that are open to anyone. I know Halloween is an absolute favorite and the one mentioned below looks like a lot of fun.

Halloween exchange:

Blackinkletters - hosted by @inkmothcreative @blacktulipcreativestudio & @letterbcalligraphy on Instagram.
RSVP by September 25th
Black Tulip Sign Ups

IAMPETH hosts an annual exchange for its members: IAMPETH

LearnCalligraphy hosts an exchange typically for those who take their classes (which are great) but last year they opened one up to everyone.

Art Cover Exchange hosts some art exchanges and promotes friendly snail mail.

Cyberscribes 2024 Annual Year Long Exchange

I will always treasure the hundreds of envelopes I have received over the years!  :-* And I am very grateful to all of you who participated and made each exchange such a success!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2024, 05:01:24 PM by Erica McPhee »
Warm Regards,
Erica
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2024, 04:34:49 PM »
Iím sad to say the Love Letters Exchange will be the last formal exchange scheduled for Flourish. I wonít say itís the last one we will ever do but after 10 years, and dwindling participation, Iíve decided itís time to focus on other ways to exchange. This doesnít mean we wonít ever have another exchange, just nothing scheduled as we have in years past.

I will always treasure the hundreds of envelopes I have received over the years!  :-* And I am very grateful to all of you who participated and made each exchange such a success!

I would like to encourage everyone who reads this post--the lurkers who are not members of FF, the members who have never posted here, those who have never participated in an exchange, those who haven't posted in a long time--to  participate in this letter exchange.

Over time, websites and activities they sponsor wax and wane in popularity, this site and activity no exception. There are more "efficient" ways to share your work with others with online sites like Instagram and such, but sending someone a physical piece of your work, to savor and save for as long as they want, is so much superior, made unique by the name you put on the envelope, a little piece of their time, their life, they gave just to you. Such a gift.

And don't believe that "I'm not good enough yet--I'll try this when I'm better at it." That thought occurred to me when I joined FF in May of 2014, but I participated in my first exchange (of more than 60 on FF since) anyway in June of 2014--the Independence Day exchange--despite misgivings it wasn't very good. I sent 36 letters, 16 of which were to outside the country, and received back a beautiful tranche of letters from around the world. Such fun. A few exchanges later was my first Valentines Day exchange in Feb, 2015, my favorite exchange year after year. And the replies came in--from here to Singapore, to The Phillippines, to Italy, to Canada, to Germany. And now, like Erica, nearly 10 years later, I have this amazing collection of letters from around the world to enjoy. For some, it was a one time thing, others I was able to see them progress from beginners to high level professionals, some of whom even teach. It's been wonderful to see.

So do join us on this exchange.

I'm attaching scans to show you don't have to be "good" to participate--one from my first exchange, one from my first Valentines Day exchange (I have scans of all I have sent as well as the original replies).

Mike



Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2024, 04:51:25 PM »
Such a great post @AnasaziWrites ! It's been a true joy to see your work and those of so many here on Flourish to well... flourish! over the years.  :-*
Warm Regards,
Erica
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Offline Despoina

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2024, 07:20:19 PM »
I wasn't initially planning to sign up for that exchange (I'm not that valentine person  ::)) but @AnasaziWrites is so so right. Nothing beats that physical envelope and card and the time someone puts into that, even if it took 5 minutes or 5 hours to make. Also, it's so precious to make someones day a bit better with something beautiful :-*
I am new to all that exchange thing (only 3 times with the FF and one more with another group), and I was hoping for more to come with all the lovely people here. (was expecting that "The road less traveled" exchange so much @Erica McPhee  :[). But the decision, is so accepted. I hope, Erica can still organize some exchanges here and then. All that, is so beautiful to let it get lost <3
Until we exchange again, I'll say <3

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2024, 07:21:47 PM »
Thank you @Despoina - donít forget, too - anyone here on Flourish can organize an exchange.  ;D
Warm Regards,
Erica
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Offline passionforwriting

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2024, 10:29:23 AM »
Well said Mike and I couldn't agree more! These exchanges have been such a joy and make the mail fun again. Thank you for hosting these amazing exchanges Erica!

Offline Mark T

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2024, 01:40:00 PM »
Hi,

Sorry for being the doughnut here, but exchanges,.... what is it exactly?
Say for instance I signed up - what do I do?
Do I buy nice envelopes and a nice card (or make a card), put the address of A. N. Other (in posh writting), and send it off, or do I write a letter using calligraphy, or just the envelope.
Sorry for the simpleton question. All new to me.

Mark
Laughter is definitely the best medicine, but Wolves destroying WBA runs laughter close, and the Yankees winning the World Series is ................ laughter is the best medicine, remember?

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2024, 03:50:33 PM »
Hi Mark,
The great thing about exchanges is there is a wide range of experience levels and what you receive. For some, itís just to focus on the envelope and getting the calligraphy done (with a small note tucked inside telling us who it is from). For others, we go all out and design something around the theme to go in the envelope.
The most important thing is that calligraphy is used for the envelope. Donít be shy - join in! The more the merrier!
Warm Regards,
Erica
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Offline Starlee

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2024, 07:03:35 PM »
Oh my heart breaks reading this while my head nods in understanding. I struggle similarly with garnering enthusiasm for exchanges within my local guild. I shake my head as I just do not understand. Are people that busy? Cost, confidenceÖwhat other reasons might people not want to participate? I have met many wonderful people through these exchanges!
Star

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2024, 11:56:36 PM »
Thank you @Starlee - Itís strange but I think for many there is an intimidation factor - they are afraid to share their work with others until itís ďbetter.Ē But the opposite is more true - you get such great experience in so many ways doing exchanges. And who doesnít LOVE getting happy mail?!

In regard to Flourish, I think it is the nature of forums that people move on to the next one. There are so many Facebook groups, forums, discords, etc. now focused on calligraphy, our members have dispersed. I think we were lucky we got started when we did before Instagram really took off because it gave us an opportunity to form a strong bond in the community. I made the decision to step back and let the community do its thing rather than make the forum about me or my tutorials, etc. That was good in that it gave everyone a chance to flourish. But also bad in that many folks are looking for free tutorials or learning tools. I no longer have the time to deliver on that and that meant not keeping a robust, active membership.

My hope is that we can find and share other exchanges throughout the calligraphic community. And hopefully do ďpop upĒ exchanges when time permits.  :-*

Oh my heart breaks reading this while my head nods in understanding. I struggle similarly with garnering enthusiasm for exchanges within my local guild. I shake my head as I just do not understand. Are people that busy? Cost, confidenceÖwhat other reasons might people not want to participate? I have met many wonderful people through these exchanges!
Warm Regards,
Erica
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Offline Starlee

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2024, 07:16:45 AM »
Sounds good to me @Erica McPhee. I will always treasure this forum no matter how many new ones pop up. Maybe you can keep the annual holiday exchangea and then have pops up as inspiration and time allow?
Star

Offline Sally Ellington

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2024, 10:51:08 PM »
I have really enjoyed the exchanges over the years. Thank you for organizing them for our wonderful community.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2024, 10:54:33 PM »
Thank you for participating @Sally Ellington:-*
Warm Regards,
Erica
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Offline Scarlet Blue

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2024, 10:05:56 AM »
I tend to pop into the forum when I fancy doing an exchange, but my timing has been off over the last few years, so I apologise for that.
Doing exchanges is a wonderful way to improve calligraphic skills, and I take part in the Copperplate Special Interest Group exchange, which means sending one exchange card a month, and it's generally UK, and Europe, though there can be letters to Canada and Australia. I find it very gentle, and all levels are welcome.
Anyhow - Thank you, Erica, for all the exchanges via this forum. I liked that one where we sent one decorative letter each to members of our group and all the letters together made a word - that was fun!

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: An Important Message About Exchanges
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2024, 02:57:18 PM »
Thank you @Scarlet Blue ! Yes, that was a fun one. There were so many good ones. Hopefully we will do more in the future. Thanks for letting us know about the other ones.  :-*
Warm Regards,
Erica
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