Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Little Housework

As we near the end of November, we also near the end of this backtack. It's come up quickly! We wanted to remind you all to fill out the form in the last post when you've sent things off and received things, and to remind you also to upload images to the flickr group so we can all see what wonderful things have been produced. This is the most exciting part - seeing what interpretations you guys have given to the brief.

Earlier in the week I went through each and every blog to check in and see where people were at, and there's a few really interesting snippets being shown. Most people are getting ready to package and send off in the next few weeks, so I thought I'd take a moment to restress a few points.

Communication is an essential part of any swap. We make a big deal about it when you sign up, and we expect some fairly common manners be shown to both us, and your partner. Please send a little email when you've sent your package so they know it's coming. And please, we shouldn't have to ask for this, but please send a thankyou email to your partner when you have received your package.

Unfortunately we've spent the last few weeks dealing with a number of communication issues, and it is terribly dissapointing for us as organisers to have to chase people, and then to not receive any word from you if we do email. It is even more heartbreaking for a partner to have to contact us in the belief something has gone very wrong when they've tried communicating, especially if they've been desperate to participate. I'm really hoping we don't have more issues, but we cannot stress enough how seriously we take simple manners and respect being shown to other people. If you do need to communicate with us, please don't use our blog emails, please use this email - backtackATgmailDOTcom so we can keep all communication in one place.

Good luck everyone with getting the final push done, and both Nicole and I look forward to seeing all the end results very soon!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

received your back-tack?

Once you've received your back-tack please fill out this form so we can keep track of everyone. Thanks!!

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Monday, November 03, 2008


Hi back-tackers! A little late, but following is a list of inspiring links for you guys.

- Not Martha's "To Make" lots of goodies here, link.

- Kiddley:
  • last minute gift ideas, link.
  • gumdrop wreath, link
  • paper garlands, link.
  • dress-up paperdoll and ornament, link.
- The Flickr Christmas craft pool, link.

- Flickr, Holiday Ornament swap pool, link.

- Sew Mama Sew's Holiday series, link and 2008's Handmade Holiday's, link.

- Little Birds soft tree, link.

- Allsorts has an awesome Holiday category, link.

- Design*Sponge's modern ornaments, link.

- Wise Craft's tomorrowland trees, link.

- The Small Objects stacking fabric tree, link.

- The Purl Bee star ornaments, link.

- Poopscape's sequin mushroom, link.

- Not forgetting the Queen of Handmade, Martha Stewart, link.

Phew! There's some great stuff there, gave me some ideas for my partner!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

blog roll of sorts

Hi everyone! I'd been hoping to post a blog roll on the sidebar, but blogrolling is down at the moment. we have a random list for you.... Please do let me know if the name of your blog is incorrect, as I previously mentioned I did try to check them all but might have missed some. Go check everyone one out.

Hope you've all been in contact with each other? Please do let us know at if you've not heard anything. So here we go....

cupcake show
craft monkey
carmel turtle
celia knits
artsy crafty babe
mama sews quilts
natalie's sentiments
little lovelies
creative kismet
I knit I purl
melissa burford
what lies within us
wool and school
oh sew chic
bookish quilts
some of a kind
seespot design
cherry extract2
yarn therapy
flame hair
patchwork bumblebee
miss gioia
sasikirana handmade
the olive sparrow
scarlette & cinnamon
blooming heather
spool of thread
stripey pebble
stitching at stone
t does wool
skona life
michelle giacobello
the ravelld sleave
scarlet songbird
karma kitties
delly bean
runaway october
twitchy fingers
puggle logic
funny magic
auntie jan does stuff
all buttoned up
lime gardenias
the view on the hill
liquid paper
knit buddies
shades of grey
le blog de deedeen
bonza blue
pillar box red
esmerelda knits
being mimi
craft actually
the lovely emily
lou and her chicken
thistledowns wool design
fairbanks fancy goods
manda made
ann I am
house on hill road

firefly adventures
wonderland q
cut the cord
po mo golightly
a red room
ham bone and jenni cakes
moonshine and piffle
kim wachta
café crafty
ruby blue
flossie knits
my emily marie
adorkable crochet
jc handmade
mama urchin
old school acres
chest of drawers
kerries place
twig home and garden
monkey face crafts
en pente douce
martha winger
unfinished object
moments of perfect clarity
karalea karalea
little messes
elsewhere living
med 2 pinde
creat or perish
slate blu
fiddlesticks and nonsense
waiting in the capital
miscellany of me
pog and em

Friday, October 10, 2008

match-ups emailed and a group to join

Howdy! Match-ups were emailed out today so check your email. We'll be posting a blogroll in the next couple of days so come and check it out. We also have a facebook group, link.

Al and I'll also find some inspiration links and let you know when we've uploaded a list.

So get creating!

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Sign ups for BT4 are now closed! Thankyou to all who have signed up - we'll be working hard behind the scenes now to get your matchups done and out to you, and then the fun really begins!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

back-tack 4 signups

Well, here we go everyone! Sign-up for back-tack 4. They'll be open until 4 October 2008 or when we reach 250 participants, whichever happens first!

Please refer to this post for the full rules here, we are pretty hardcore when it comes to the rules. No-one likes to sign-up for swaps and then be disappointed, it sucks.

CLOSED. Thanks!

Monday, September 29, 2008

back-tack 4 signups - HOW-TO

Eeek I've just had a realisation that we might not have made it clear exactly how to sign-up this time.

To sign-up for this back-tack there will be a post here on the 30th which has a form embedded in it. If you'd like to participate come and fill out the form. Once we've received 250 sign-ups close or on 4th October, whichever comes first.

Thanks and good luck!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

pssst, guess what?

Yep! Back-tack 4 is about to launch. Calm down! BEFORE you rush off to send us an email :) please keep reading and hopefully we'll answer all of your questions. If after reading you want to ask us something email backtackATgmailDOTcom.

The theme - Gold Frankincense and Myrrh
This one I LOVE. Alison came up with it and it's just gorgeous. Think the scent of pine needles, cinnamon, spices and baked goods. Think sparkles, sequins, linen, ribbon tied boxes and baubles hanging on trees. Just in time for Christmas, a little back-tack to send Christmas cheer around the world.

You will need to send a minimum of three things. As with all our back-tacks, there are strict rules for what is included - we like to get you to think! At least one item must be handmade, preferably all three items are handmade. You may use whatever mediums you choose - sewn, printed, knitted, sculpted. This time there are no colour, size, or material restrictions, all we ask is that you take the theme and run with it, and make 3 items according to the individual outlines below.

The first item is something that sparkles [the Gold part]- cards, decorations, calenders.....see where your imagination will take you. [It doesn't need to be gold]

The second item is something which has some sort of sensory aspect to it [the Frankincense part] - either smell or taste. Baked goods? Shortbread? Chocolate, soaps, the mind can run free here, but be mindful of customs regulations in different countries. Sealed food stuffs are generally ok, but check with your partner before sending anything.

The third item is a small gift for your partner for Christmas [the Myrrh part] Perhaps a small item for the tree, or mantlepiece. Quiz your partner to see what their theming is for this Christmas, and tie in your gift! or make them something they might like to use through the year - a calender, a purse, a scarf.

Interested? Great! We think it will be fun, and we know you will come up with amazing things. We're opening it up to a lot more people this time, and we're very excited to see what comes out of it! Now here's the big part - read through the rules and information below, and if you're still keen, come and sign up on the dates outlined. By signing up you agree to all the rules and information we've laid out below.

The rules
1. You need to be posting on your blog regularly. What's regularly? At least once a week.

2. You need to be contactable via email. To respond to us or your partner.

3. You need to spend a minimum of USD$50 excluding postage. You need to be prepared to send airmail if you agree to international partners - it is heartbreaking for people to receive things months after the project has finished.

4. You must adhere to the schedule outlined below, we'll also post it on the sidebar. We will check up, we will email you, we will be running a Black List again.

5. This swap is not anonymous, you need to get in contact with your partner once you receive their details.

6.Once you have received your parcel come back to the back-tack site where we will have a "received" form for your to you to complete, please don’t email, please use this form - this is important for later on. We need to know who has received/sent and who hasn't, and why.

The time line
Signups start - 30 September at 9:00am AEST. A clock has been added to the site reflecting AEST - please refer to it. Yes, it is correct.

Signups close once we've received 250 participants, or Saturday 4 October

Partners distributed - 11 October

Contact your partner, say hi, introduce yourself etc - by 18 October

Send by 29 November - onus is on sender to check their Christmas postal cutoff dates.
To arrive in the first couple of weeks of December.

Don't forget to take some pictures of what you send before you post it. Then once your partner has received it post a maximum of 3 pictures to the back-tack 4 flickr group.

The questions you may have
1. I'm going on holidays during sign-ups can I sign-up early? Sorry no, but you can get someone to sign-up for you, make sure they sign-up using your details.

2. What if I have some life changing experience during back-tack and I have to pull out? Well, please just drop as an email, you don't have to give us the details, but please, communicate. Even if it says "I have to pull out for personal reasons". We can find someone else for your partner so they don't miss out. The more warning we have, the easier it is to keep things running smoothly for everyone.

Similarly, if you know you're likely to have major upheavals during back-tack, please think seriously about whether you should contribute.

3. Something seems to have gone very wrong....what can I/We do? The majority of people who sign up to participate in back-tack have a wonderful experience and make some great friends, and meet new bloggers. There are, however, the odd few who for whatever reason, don't communicate, don't send anything, and cause a lot of people a lot of hurt. Most people take this very seriously, and the expectation is that everyone else takes it seriously too. We cannot, and will not, be responsible for other people playing unfairly. We cannot be held responsible for mail going missing. We cannot make someone write to you. While we would love to say otherwise, we cannot make 100% of people play the game properly. What we can do - and what we have always done - is make every effort to resolve the situation by whatever means we feel are appropriate. In the past we have run a Black List, and we will run it again this time too. We've found this to be the fairest and most accountable way of minimising risk. We also run angels in extenuating circumstances.

4. A Black List? A Black List is our own list of people who have not played fairly. That list is public, and anyone can see it. After the November 29 deadline for sending, we will allow two weeks grace, and then a list will go up on the backtack site with all the names of outstanding packages. That list will probably be quite long to begin with, and will be edited down very quickly as we receive notification parcels have been received, or if we receive notification from both parties that alternative arrangements have been made and everyone is happy. This is our way of minimising risk, and if you're not happy with that outcome, please don't sign up. Simple.

5. I don't want to send internationally, is that ok? Sure it is, but hopefully most of you will want to play internationally. You can let us know on the sign-up form.

6. How do match-ups happen? We stick your details into an excel sheet and are as random as we can be.

7. You guys sound hard ass, why all the rules etc. Nah, we just have found that from past experience we need to be clear about the expectations. We're repeating ourselves here, but it's not fair to sign-up for a swap and have your partner not deliver, especially when you've done your part. We also want to keep it fair for everyone and as much as we love doing back-tack it does require our time, which is precious to us. Spending time sorting out squelchers is not fun, and often takes weeks to resolve.

8. Why can't I comment here on the blog. It's also easier for us to not need to monitor comments here. Say it to us directly via the email link in the right hand column, see over there.

9. Is the swap anonymous? No it's not. Get to know your partner, have a chat via email, take the time to look through their blog if they're not familiar to you. Ask them about themselves in the context of this swap. A list of 10 questions which can be fun and quirky and revealing is always a good ice breaker.

10. I expected to do a bag or a stuffed toy because that's what you did last time...what's all this Christmas stuff? We have never run two back-tacks the same, we never said we would, and we don't intend to in the future. The challenge for us is coming up with something new and interesting which will keep you guys interested. If this theme doesn't suit, perhaps the next one will. And we promise it won't be 2 years between back-tacks...

11. Finally, who is back-tack? back-tack is Alison and Nicole. We met via our blogs over 4 years ago and between us came up with back-tack as a way to share the creative love amongst like beings! And yes, we will be participating.

You still here? Good! We'll see you on the 30th