The International Card Deck Swap

Updates on the upcoming card swaps please!


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Hi there! My name is Jessica Brogan and I am a teacher + creative + mama and the facilitator of this project: The International, Inspirational Card Deck Swap.

On this page you *should find all of the information you need to know about the Card Deck Swap. *If you have any questions at the end, send me a note to jessica.brogan@gmail.com and I’ll reply shortly!

 The Card Deck Swap is my way of manifesting my belief that there is no such thing as a small act of art. Or love. Each handmade care is a pebble thrown into a pond that ripples out infinitely.

It does not matter the level of artist you are: It is open to artists of all types (newbies, professionals, young and old).

I run the swap twice a year on average. Dates vary according to my projects/babies/teaching. Scroll below for specific information about the current swaps/dates.

This art swap is consciously created to be low on rules,  and high on fun and possibility.

Participants hail from countries all over the world (Belize, New Zealand, Ireland, UK, USA,  South Africa, to name a few), and I think I can safely say, this is the coolest art swap you’ll find.

We have a Facebook group that is drama-free and full of inspiration and new friends.

Joining is as simple as registering with the paypal buttons for the swap you wish to participate in, and then joining hundreds of women around the world in the fun and excitement.   Scroll down for specifics and instructions! 

If you’re already a friend of the swap, and ready to sign up, your payment below counts as your official registration. If you are new, keep reading for details, tutorials and all the info you need to get ready to participate! I’m so glad you’re joining – this is the best art swap around!

CURRENT THEME: WORD OF THE YEAR:ALL FULL – Thanks for so much fun this fall ladies!  The next swap will be late Spring, 2018.

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Watch this short video I made for you, then  scroll down to see what previous participants say about the swap + find more detailed instructions and answers to your FAQs.

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“I received my package of inspiration cards yesterday. They are amazing. I love them so much. My girls were so excited to get home last night and go through them one by one talking about the messages, the art, the cool bits like the one who tucked her note in a pocket on the card! Thank you again for encouraging us all to participate! I have not stopped since this began. I am signed up for courses galore, buying myself art supplies, getting my hands dirty and laughing again! I am planning to write a blog post about the experience, encouraging others to have a go even if they think they are not “good enough” at something. Jump in, have fun, see where it leads!” – Megan Reneer

“From all over the world artists shared their hearts and talent with little old me!!! I’m feel deeply grateful to have all this inspiration in my hands tonight!!”– Denise Stensland

THEY ARRIVED AND WHAT A FUN AND VARIED COLLECTION!  I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW HAPPY I AM!  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS.  IT WAS MY FIRST EXPERIENCE OF TRADING WITH PEOPLE NOT IN MY LOCAL GROUP, AND IT WAS SO EXCITING.”

“ THE CARD DECK IS EVEN MORE INSPIRING AND BEAUTIFUL THAN I EVER IMAGINED!”

“ I’m still loving your inspiration cards.  I’m amazed at the impact they’re having on my life…I’m going to share the love at my next workshop by sharing some of the artworks on cards with an older (non-online) generation….”

This is one of the most loving and grateful bunch of girls that anyone could ask to accompany them in their journey to get their feet wet. No judgment, just joy when you complete them! And right after I mailed my cards, I prepped more cards to get ready for the next swap! Once you do it, you’re hooked! – Peggy Kasallis

“Jessica, thank you so much for organizing this. I can see this taking me places that I never dreamed of being! Like paper healthy courage right here in the palm of my hand. 1000 thank you’s. ~Fran Malone

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**INSTRUCTIONS**

I want to make this a beautiful experience as free from technology glitches and hiccups as possible so I, Jessica, mother of 2 children under 10, full time French teacher, and creative business runner, do it hands-on. There’s a low-tech sign-up process, I do the physical labor, and bring the post office peeps cookies when I stand there for two hours to send the packages off to their new homes! Therefore,  I so appreciate you following the Instructions so that you get your amazing deck back in the mail easy-peasy!

1. Buy or make a deck of 54 cards (*unless otherwise noted **You send 54 and receive 52. The other 2 are for “just in case” scenarios where cards stick together etc). Most participants purchase a deck of playing cards, which can be purchased for under 1USD or less. If you’re ecologically minded, you can “make” your cards: cut your own cards from cardboard, watercolor paper, manila folders or even cereal boxes. Some of the tutorials further below showcase that method.

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2. To turn your cards into small works of art, follow any of the following tutorials or using your own creativity and ideas. Anything goes! People have made them very simple, and have made them very complex. Every piece of art, at every stage, is valued here.  To be clear, we alter only one side  of each card.

Here is a Photo Gallery of cards to get you inspired!

The best tip I can share is not to be intimidated by the NUMBER of cards you are making. The first time I did this, I hand painted 54 individual cards, and then melted into a pool of frustration. I figured out, there is a much better, faster and smarter way to create this many cards. I’ve got A TRICK! So let me get right to it. Watch this next video where I show you the secret to making 54 cards possible.

3. If you want to “seal” your cards (to avoid having the paint smear of if you used any type of ink or oil pastel that needs to be sealed) PLEASE DO NOT USE MOD PODGE. Every single year, someone does, and I have to throw their deck in the trash. For whatever reason, mod podge hates being mailed. It heats up, gets very sticky, then re-dries, and I CANNOT GET THE CARDS APART. It’s so sad. I know I’m going crazy with the all-caps, but don’t seal the cards unless you absolutely have to. I never do. If you do, try a spray sealant. Or gel medium of another brand. Just not mod podge.

4. Please tell us who made the card on the back of each card. You can write your name and location, and any contact info you want to add. Why? People BEG to know who made their cards! They LOVE to know. Don’t stop yourself because you think your cards aren’t going to be the “cool ones.” You never know how your cards touch someone.You can write with a ball point pen that won’t smear. You can print address labels and just slap them on the back! What you put is up to you but many people put the following:  NAME

WHERE YOU LIVE

DATE AND THEME OF SWAP

5Write your name and mailing address legibly/in print on a piece of paper, and put that inside your package when you mail it. That is what I will use for writing your address when I send you your package. This is important because often the post office puts a sticker over the return address, or I cannot read your writing on the outside package. I need the index card inside, or I have to do a lot of extra work to track you down and make sure you get a deck back.

6. Send me your deck of cards to my address given below, by the deadline of the swap.

Jessica Brogan

3226 N. 2nd Place

 Broken Arrow , Oklahoma

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**THE REWARD**

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Meanwhile, the other participants around the world are doing the same, making and creating and then sending me their decks.

Now you wait a little while. Patience creative butterfly! I’m hard at work sitting on the floor, mixing and mixing. Making magic happen for your mailbox. After I have hand mixd the decks, I will be sending you 52 Altered Playing Cards from around the world!

In a short time, you will receive one deck from 52 other women – kindred spirits who love art projects and positive quotes – together in one package.

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“This was very freeing and sparked so much inside of me!” – Deb Dane

“Jessica, you have no idea of how life-changing this process has been for me. Your work matters, you matter – so very much. THANK YOU.” – Tracy Dunn

“I have played twice. Love, love, love it. I am SO glad I participated.”- Pam Parker

“What you do for all of us is such an amazing gift Jessica. The idea of sharing the deck is super. I took my first deck and put it in my studio in a bowl and invited people to take one if they were moved by it….well, let’s just say the bowl is empty. I will do the same with this. I choose my favorite and keep it and share the rest. The women of Bali Studios love it. So thank you from everyone!” – Sheri Stewart

“I kept coming up with reasons why I couldn’t do this. I’m not creative, crafty, artistic, inspiring enough. This project pushed me way out of my comfort zone. But in the end, it was fun, and exciting and INSPIRING. I’m so glad I did it. Can’t wait for the next one.” – Greta Butler

“Thank you a hundred times over. This has been amazing for me. I tend to experience huge anxiety over things like this. Along the way I could feel the shimmering of creative juices and that was thrilling!” – Grace Moore

I seriously had more fun than I ever thought I could making those cards. – Sarah Treanor 

 

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*THE COMMUNITY*

We have a vibrant community on Facebook, in a private group. This community aspect is optional. You can participate in the Inspirational Card Swap without belonging to Facebook, and without joining the group. I offer it as a safe and super inspiring place where we can meet one another – kindred spirits who love to make a good art project, share and connect with others. If you DO join, it’s a fantastic place to share photos of your process. You can ask questions, talk art supply tips, look for new ideas, make art friends and find yourself inspired by all the other photos and art within.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE FACEBOOK TRIBE 

 

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**TUTORIALS**

My VERY FIRST TUTORIAL EVER FOR ANYTHING. Headless. I also have a black eye (I was boxing in a real boxing gym back then…ahh, past lives.). I’m pretty proud of this tutorial, and so let this be a lesson that your first attempts at something have a special magic to them. Just start where you are.

Laura Rumble shares how to make scrapbook inspired “movers and shakers” cards.

Amy Cavaness teaches us how to make quilted Fabric Cards

D. Loren’s Mixed Media Tutorial

Shannon Ganshorn’s Tutorial

Natasha White’s Tutorial

Art Love and Joy’s mixed media tutorial 

(If you want to create a tutorial for your blog, and have it featured here, please send me the link at jessica.brogan@gmail.com)


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MORE PRAISE FOR THIS AMAZING SWAP

“MY 9 1/2 YEAR OLD WHO IS AN AMAZING ARTIST CAME ALONG ON THIS CARD DECK JOURNEY AND IS ALREADY ON HER SECOND SET OF CARDS (SHE USED JUMBO ONES)! SHE BROUGHT HER FIRST SET INTO SCHOOL TO SHOW HER (VERY CREATIVE AND FREE THINKING) TEACHER. SHE IS CURRENTLY MAKING A SMALL SET TO GIFT TO HER TEACHER! WE SET UP ON THE DINING TABLE AND SINCE SHE FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS SO DEEPLY I HAVE YET TO RECLAIM THE TABLE AS IT IS COVERED WITH PAPERS, STAMPS, PAINT AND CARDS!”

“I received my cards last week. I punched holes and added them to a binder ring. Each night, I look at a few and plot my next art journal page! Thanks so much, Jessica. I hope to find inspiration all year long.”

“I LOVE HOW AMAZINGLY DIFFERENT EACH CARD IS. I COULDN’T HAVE IMAGINED THEM ALL IF I TRIED!”

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

DO I HAVE TO BE A SEASONED ARTIST

Nope, nope and nope. You can be a professional artist and you’ll still get something great out of this swap, because it’s about the sharing and swapping. But, I also secretly target people who are new to their creative yearnings, and just looking for a fun project to flex their creative muscle, because this is so important! You must follow your creativity; this is just one place to do it. So to repeat: all levels are welcome.

CAN CHILDREN PARTICIPATE?

By all means! We always have a handful of children participate and I personally wish that more would!! However, if your child wishes to send and receive a separate deck, that is a separate registration. Each deck costs 30$.

DO I HAVE TO PAY WITH PAYPAL?

No, you do not. It’s easiest for me but I do not require it. You can send a check or cash along in the mail to the same address, obviously at your own risk. I am not responsible for mail theft, so if your package arrives opened and missing the check, you’ll still need to pay the registration which is why I recommend Paypal.

WHAT FORM OF POST/MAIL DO YOU USE?

I use the United States Postal Service.However, I do not have control over the packages COMING to me. I recommend you get tracking and follow your package. I have had one or two packages go missing coming to me, and unfortunately, this is out of my control. This group is so wonderful that whenever someone’s package HAS gone missing, people rallied and sent that individual cards!  But it’s best to get tracking to start with! Very rarely, I have a package go missing in the mail that I have sent back, in which case I use the extras (*another reason to please submit 54 cards) to remake the deck.

WILL I GET ONE OF MY OWN CARDS BACK? 

No. I recommend that you make one of your own to keep (or more!) if you like your cards.

IF I PAY BUT DO NOT END UP NOT PARTICIPATING, WILL I GET A REFUND? CAN I TRANSFER MY PAYMENT TO A FUTURE SWAP?

No, I do not currently give refunds or allow transfers. To counter the inevitable life happenings that can come up, I give 8 weeks for creation + mailing and highly encourage you to begin creating right away.

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