*** Note - If you are looking for the Sew Stitchy Jelly Roll Giveaway you will find it here :)
The Tetris Color Charm Swap is complete!!! The packages have all been mailed. I had so much fun checking the mail each day to see what fun fabrics arrived. Sorting was actually pretty enjoyable. And I really didn't mind the organizing and so forth. In fact . . . I loved just about every minute of this swap . . . That is up until the last 120 minutes.
And in the attempt to show the bad along with the good . . . here's the story . . . (Which could be subtitled What Happens When Melissa Doesn't Think.)
I arrived back in town on Sunday night. I had a huge pile of packages that I sorted on Monday. I was expecting the last 4 packages Monday evening. The mail arrived and 3 packages were there. Okay, slight panic. But there is still a day to work with. I packaged everything so that all I have to do is add the last 8 charms as soon as they arrive. I wrote the last package owner and she assured me it was on it's way. So no worries, everything will still be fine. Still having fun at this point.
So today I go to check the mail . . . and you guessed it, no package!! (Start the last 120 minutes)
I figure 2 things are against me now. 1 - The quilt-a-long starts on Tuesday (that's in 1 week) and 2 - I am going camping tomorrow. (so I can't really send packages) So basically. . . I am out of time now. So, I decide to resort to my stash. There was no way I was going to hold up the entire quilt-a-long on one package. I have some yard cut's in my stash so I iron them and lay them out on the cutting mat. And I am in such a hurry that I cut the first row wrong!!!! Grrr!!!
So . . . after totally kicking myself, I get some more stash and continue cutting. I finish cutting the charms, admire my completed stack for about 1 minute, bag the remaining charms, and put them in their designated envelopes, and then seal and tape all of the packages. First lesson learned . . . The next swap, leave more time. Set the deadline and then leave a good week of wiggle room. (Down to about 90 minutes now)
I box up the packages and call my husband. He will be home in 5 minutes, which is awesome as I don't have to take the kids to the post office!!! The second my husband gets home I tell him I'm headed to the post office and I will be back in about 10 minutes. I just have to run in and drop off all of these packages.
So I get to the post office and gladly there is no line. I place my packages on the counter and tell them they need to be posted today if at all possible. The clerk looks at the first package and informs me that I will need more postage. I am confused as I know it is a flat rate envelope and there is enough postage on it. She then informs me that the postage on it is VOID because it has been taped over. HORROR!!!
In my haste to make sure none of your packages opened in transit, I taped them up super good. I was super generous with the tape as some of the packages that came to my house were pretty hammered. Here I am trying to make sure everything is just perfect, that they won't have to take time adding tape at the Post Office, and wham, it slaps me in the face. (Please don't tell me that most people know this already :)
I was about to just start crying at the counter. I wasn't up to forking out all that shipping and it made me sick to think they had already been paid for and I totally messed them up. So after a few panic moments, I asked if I could try and peel off the tape. The clerk said I could try but they closed in 45 minutes. (45 minutes left now.)
So there I was . . . over on a side counter trying to gently get the tape off of the stamps without ripping the stamps. You can imagine some of the looks I was getting from other patrons. The whole time I am just dangling somewhere between furious and devastated. After 40 minuites (of what felt like 4 hours) I headed back up to the counter with my packages. I managed to get all of the tape off on the packages but one. (It decided not to cooperate and just rip off all together.) I ran back up to the counter with 5 minutes to spare.
I watched them date stamp each one to make sure it was good to go!!! A few they were a little hesitant on as a corner of the stamp had ripped or a little tiny piece of tape was still on it, but I think they took pity on me and let those ones slide. After they said they were good to go I climbed in my car and started crying. I think the stress was just needing to come out.
Major Lesson Learned - So . . . For any of you out there that want to do a swap of your own some day . . . Remember, Never, ever, ever tape over the stamps!!! (And yes, I am probably the only one that needed to learn that at the Post Office but just consider it a reminder :)
So that's the story. And even with the crazy end . . . I am still so incredibly happy I hosted this swap. It was a lot of fun. And yup, I am starting to bat around the idea of another fabric swap. (but not for a month or so.) What kind would you like to see???