Friday

Craft Exchange


Back in the early parts of this decade, or the late parts of the last decade (I can't remember which), something wonderful sprung up in the swing dance world. A group of dancers from Chicago decided to visit San Francisco and experience the scene over a long weekend. They were all housed with local folks, shown the town, and basically treated like foreign dignitaries for four days. The Lindy Exchange was born.

Soon after, a group from San Francisco made the trek to Chicago and, from there, the snowball started to roll. People from all over the U.S. wanted to get in on the fun and there was much fun to be had. Soon there was a website and you could choose any number of cities to visit, assured that there would be good music, good dancing, and new friends. Now the phenomenon is worldwide and the top exchanges featured on Lindy Exchange dot com include: Dublin, Edinburgh, San Francisco, Virginia Beach, Cambridge, and Albuquerque. Amazing.

The exchanges have gotten bigger and more elaborate over the years but, in the beginning, the idea was that all you had to pay for would be flight, food and any dance tickets you might need to buy. Housing was taken care of. Transport was taken care of. Sightseeing was taken care of. It was a beautiful act of community service. It didn't revolve around an industry show, there were no classes or workshops. It was just people who shared a passion, hanging out with each other and making new and lasting friendships.

I think the crafting world could definitely take a page from the dancer's playbook on this one. So, who's going to put me up on their couch?

22 comments:

  1. Dude. C'mon over to the Left Coast!

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  2. Portland does seem like the perfect town for this to start in. It's crazy how many of you weirdos are out there.:-)

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  3. Come to the Sonoma wine country! We'll drink and craft! But we really will put you on the couch.

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  4. Having been hosted by dear Sister Diane, I can assure that Portland needs to be at the tip top of your list!

    Ooooh, Cathe, wine country and crafting? Now *that* is the life!

    And, of course, Austin awaits!

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  5. See? We've got three awesome destinations already! Please chime in Hawaii and Barbados!

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  6. you're too tall for my couch. but my bamboo floor is sweet! :) (hey, it beats an outdoor box in herrang.)

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  7. Geraly- Bamboo sounds awesome. Anything to avoid the outdoor box!

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  8. Chime from Maui. But I don't even have a couch. Got a sleeping pad and 17 advocado trees.

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  9. hmm. what a great idea! The wheels are in motion.

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  10. That tears it! Maui Craft Exchange it is! Break out your flip flops and crochet hooks and get ready for da kine craft experience!

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  11. You should come to Nacogdoches (oldest town in Texas) for our blueberry festival. While you are here we can go fishing, ride four wheelers and maybe check out some haunted houses.

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  12. Awww, does that mean Maui's off? But I was so looking forward to 30 people on my lawn, furiously knitting sweaters, once they've realized how friggin' cold it gets up here on the mountain....

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  13. jmjelde - I said Texas sounds awesome, not Maui's cancelled. You live on the mountain? Sounds cool. Is it a long way from Lahaina? We used to go to Napili Kai when I was a kid.

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  14. I can do better than a couch ... no sunshine in the UK though I am afraid ... but who needs sunshine when they are crafting :0)

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  15. I have Toronto and Barbados covered! Technically I don't have a place of my own in Barbados, but my family's place is always open to visitors.
    And my Crafty Mecca is definitely Portland. A thrift craft store?!? I think that's worth the trip alone.
    Maybe there needs to be some sort of pilgrimage to Portland where a bunch of Portland crafty folks board us foreigners for a weekend. And then we return the favor - and the Portland peeps explore the planet and crash on our couches.

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  16. Yay plan! Uh, what is the plan? Is someone going to actually do a website?

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  17. Minneapolis/St. Paul - we have a Crafty Planet, a Craft 'Union,' Axe Man.... you have to see it to believe it.

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  18. Ohh... I am so in. Atlanta anyone? And i can do a website...

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  19. The problem with crafting is that you can do it alone. Not so much with swing dancing.

    What we really need are craft unconferences (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconference)! Why aren't we already organizing some?

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