Art Trades, Giveaways, Swaps

Just one more post about my Artfest Rising experience… this one is about the art trades that many of us brought along. As soon as I heard about the idea of trades, I searched all over the internet for inspiration – here I’ll share some ideas for anyone needing help with what to trade, giveaway, or swap at events.

Tamdoll's Artfest Rising 2016 Art Trades

Ideas for Art Trades, Giveaways, Swaps:

  • Zines
  • Photos, Postcards
  • ATCs
  • Business cards, Business card holders
  • Stickers
  • Mini books – handmade in various sizes & shapes
  • Mini journals
  • Pens, pencils
  • Handmade 3D pieces – mini dolls & carvings
  • Mini 2D art – drawings, paintings, collages
  • Lollipops
  • Coloring pages
  • Supplies like washi tape, beads, yarn, punchinella
  • Handmade Pins, Buttons, Charms
  • Ephemera  – I received many envelopes filled with things like:
    • magazine cutouts
    • wrapping paper
    • ledger book papers
    • library cards
    • labels
    • paint chips
    • scrapbook papers
    • paper die-cuts
    • hand-painted papers
    • stamps
    • fabric
    • playing cards
    • old book pages
    • tissue paper
    • tags
    • maps
    • old photos

Don’t forget to label your item with your name, contact info and/or website.

What I brought along to swap/giveaway – recycled map business card wallets, along with a business card inside of each.

Video that also appeared on my Facebook Page:
Artfest Rising 2016 Trades

It was fun during the event to swap, an experience in itself as we all approached folks we’d never met before, offering our handmade items. At home, as I took the time to look over everything I’d unpacked, I really got to appreciate everyone’s generosity of talent, materials and time – each piece was special and unique.

I hope this gives you some good ideas about what you can put together for art trades.

Have any other ideas to share? Please leave a comment and link to your pictures if they’re online.


Artfest Rising 2016

After years of wanting to attend an Artfest event, I finally had the opportunity this past week to go to Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA for Artfest Rising. I spent the time learning, experimenting, and having a great time with amazing teachers, and meeting new friends. The things I’ve learned have inspired me and will be carried into the work I do in the coming year.

I didn’t finish everything that I started here, am definitely looking at these pages as lessons in a workbook – not finished art – but instead something that I’m learning from.

Class with Teesha Moore:Tamdoll at ArtFest Rising with Teesha Moore and classwork

Class with Orly Avineri:Tamdoll at ArtFest Rising with Orly Avineri and classwork

Class with Michael deMeng & Andrea Matus deMeng:

But I didn’t get a photo with them 🙁 Tamdoll at ArtFest Rising with art from classes with Michael deMeng and Andrea Matus deMeng

Class with Jesse Reno:tamdoll at ArtFest Rising with Jesse Reno and classwork

Class with Tracy Moore:Tamdoll at ArtFest Rising with Tracy Moore and classwork


The dining table ladies:Tamdoll at ArtFest Rising Dining Room Ladies


With more friends eating out in Port Townsend (sorry about the big head picture, it was the best I could do):

ArtFest Rising lunch excursion to Hanazono Asian Noodle in Port Townsend, WA


New supplies:

  • We all came across supplies that had been previously unfamiliar, or used in a new way – one was using white transfer paper in Orly’s class for mark-making on a black painted surface. That’s something I’d only used before on fabric when sewing. Here’s another link for a transfer paper sampler pack at
  • Another item I’d never thought to use was a smoother/spreader like the one used in Andrea’s class when gluing down collage. It especially helped get large pieces down firmly, push out air bubbles, and squeeze out excess adhesive.


What I Learned (a very short summary):

  • Play. Practice. Take a journal with you and use it.
  • Think, or don’t think. There are no rules, only the ones you make for yourself.
  • Layer. Keep going. Add depth and work till you get what you want.
  • Be engaged with your technique, forget about other decisions like color, paper or brush choice.
  • “Little ideas are bigger than you think.” – Jesse Reno
  • Work & rework. Start – knowing it will need to be fixed – that’s Jesse Reno again.
  • Don’t be so serious.
  • Get some power words to remind you of purpose and focus – from Tracy Moore.
  • You don’t need to create “art”. Just create.


Next blog post I’ll share the trades that I came home with – swapping the wallets I folded with all the creative folks who attended. I have yet to unpack it all, will be doing that soon.

Have you ever attended an art retreat or group art classes?


Recycled Paper Card Wallets DIY

Next week I’m going on a trip, cross-country to Washington state for Artfest Rising. Really excited, and slightly nervous at the same time… (have never done anything like this before) will post pictures online during the event when I can (probably Instagram or Facebook).

Wanted to bring something to swap, so I made these recycled paper card wallets. Since I’m passionate about recycling, I rescued an old atlas of Massachusetts as a craft supply. How-to comes from Monica at I cut my pages 9.5 x 10″ to make sure the finished wallets fit the MOO cards I just got.

recycled paper card wallets diy

These are super easy to turn into mini journals, simply stitching papers into the fold is all it takes. Of course, the covers themselves can also be altered and embellished – I think these will be cute to share and people can have fun with them.

recycled paper card wallet as mini journal DIY

It was nice one day, so I was able to go outside and take pictures:recycled paper card wallets DIY

Recycled Paper Card Wallets DIY

I have many reasons to be happy with these: they were easy to make, will be light to pack in my luggage, I got to creatively reuse materials, and created something that can be useful.

Have you ever been on an art retreat? Brought along swaps or trades?