Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New 2011 Year!

Yes, again, it's this time of year, when we wish each other lots of success, happiness, health and of course love! I would go on and wish you all a wonderful 2011 filled with many big envelopes and packages of FB's swaps coming your way. Treasure your friends and family. And make every moment count. Enjoy penpalling and swapping, but above all make regular visits to this blog! Hope I made you laugh! Ho-ho-ho! New 2011, what do you have in store for us?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Label Bag Templates

Label bags are another form of FB's. They are envelopes that contain labels of penpals. You only need to place your label address inside and make the label bags according to the instructions. Then sign at the back and you are ready to pass it to a friend. The rules of Label Bags make them more or less a chain game. Here are some Label Bag Templates from the Sandbook.Net Site. More templates are available on their website.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Other forms of Friendship books

Other forms of Friendship books


Friendship sheets are like friendship books - only difference is a sheet of paper is used, not a book.

Slams – They are a little like an interview. You have the first sign in page, where you get a number (and/or place a symbol for your entery) and then you place your address/label. Then you just answer the “slam” questions on the following pages against your own number. The questions vary but some of the common ones include "what's your favorite color?" while other Slams are more specific, based on TV series, animals, plants, and so on.

Crams – Their aim is to "cram" as many addresses on there as possible, which means that you place only your name and address inside them, so the information about you doesn’t take all that much space. Some crams are even that “space” saving that they require address labels only.

Label bags – They are little envelopes containing labels (see our templates) with some instructions so all together they are like a little game. You have to take out some labels for each person to make them either fbs or label bags and then add yours. Finally you sign off on the back of the label bag and pass it to your friends. Once there is no place to sign, the bag is returned to the owner.

Sticker bags - Just like Label bags, Sticker bags are small envelopes in which you take some stickers out of the bag (usually the number is specified on the front of the sticker bag as instructions) and then you put the same number of stickers inside the bag (small envelope) before you pass to your friends. The idea is that the stickers will constantly change during the travel of the sticker bag. Everyone sign on the back of the sticker/label bag. Once there is no place to sign, the bag is returned to the owner.

Craft bags - Just like Label and Sticker bags, Craft bags are small envelopes in which you place crafty materials (craft items - ribbons, papers, stickers, etc).

Decos – They are the Fbs ,where you can show your style and creativity. You have to decorate one page with whatever you like. There are some specific DECOs, that state a topic – like Christmas Deco, or Blue Deco, Jean Deco, Flower Deco - they are simply a thematic type of decoration that you should do. Just read the theme (if there is one) and start your page expressing your own decoration views. Note: DECOs might get too heavy so note that when you sign up for DECO exchanges.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Types of Friendship Books

While speaking about FriendshipBooks you will encounter discussions about different types of qualities. "What are those?",  you may ask. There are simple certain types (categories) of Friendship Books that you should be aware of, when swapping FB's. The FB's are mainly divided by the quality of the FB's themselves. In other words, the FB's are divided on the basis how how presentable they are.

Nice and Neat FB's (n&n FB's, also called High Quality of FB's): These FB's are the cutest ones that you can find: they are always in the booklet form, have plastic cover over the front of the FB and of course are decorated nicely. 

Normal quality of FB's: They might be in the form of booklet or as sheets stapled together. Unlike the n&n FB's, these do not have a protective layer on the front of the page and are not as decorated. They can be made out of really nice paper with already printed images on it and that only the addresses and subscription "FB made for/ made by" are included. They are generally the FB's that are the most popular to swap and the most hard to define as they are very diverse in their nature.

Low quality of FB's (referred often as sloppy FB's): They are FB's that are stapled together and not much thought is put into them. Either they are from reused materials that are not decorated at all or just cut together from magazine sheets, newspaper and written/printed and discarded paper sheets. They are the FB's that are passed around but some pen pals and swappers simply won't except them.

When swapping FB's, the rule of thumbs is to send out a swap that matches the quality and quantity (number) of the FB's. In that way the swaps are predictable and nobody will be left disappointed.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How to make a great FB entry?

Increase the chances of your FB entry getting noticed, by simply following these simple tips:

  1. Write your address very neatly so that it is readable for all. Another way is to use pre-printed address labels.  You can order them at any online store, but here's a link to my favorite one at VistaPrint. Note that the font should be readable/clear and also the size should allow it to be read. Nobody will write to you if they are having difficulties with reading your address.
  2. Write couple of things that you like, enjoy or are your hobbies. Don't be afraid to use any abriviations that will suit your needs.
  3. Besides writing - place a sticker or decorate a bit your entry in the FB, so it will be more appealing to other penpals. People like to receive nice and decorated letters.
  4. Leave your email address - it's easier for people to contact you this way.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How to make FB's?

FriendshipBooks can be made in many different ways since they come in different sizes, shapes and designs. The easiest way will be to get a free printout - a pre-designed FB that you can download from the web. There are many sites that offer such model FB's that are easy to do. Among my favorite free downloadable FB templates are the ones from the SandbookNet Team. You can print them and fold them and you will have a little booklet that's opening horizontally or vertically. Nevertheless, you will see the space left for made for and made by. You should fill in the address for the person for whom you have made the FB and of course under the made by - place a label address of yourself.

Another thing that I wanted to stress out is: use label addresses - they make the FB's appear way more elegant. Note that the fond should be readable. Nobody wants to wander about the addresses. Having said that, if your handwriting is cute and neat - don't be afraid to pick a pen and write the addresses. 

So once you have gotten the basic idea of what FB's are and what they should look like in their classic way, you are free to start making your own designs. Remember you don't have to follow the "booklet" form presented here. You can craft your own size and shape - just remember to keep it light so that the posting costs aren't going to break the bank once your FB is passed. You want to keep it to a proper size too, so that it will fit in a regular envelope as either way people might fold it along its way - and you don't want that to happen, do you?

Don't forget that you can always write to me and show me your own designs, share tips on how to make FB's and anything that you might think that will fit within our blog!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

FriendshipBooks: Abbreviations in FB's

There are a lot of abbreviations that you can encounter while swapping FB's. There are used in order to save the space and of course the time (you will know what I am talking about when you sign in and pass many FB's on regular basis). So here is a list of abbreviations and their meaning:
NPW – new pals wanted
NSW – new swappers wanted
SWA swaps with all
A/a – answers all (letters)
A/M answers most
A/s – answer some
A/o – answer only
A/Fanswer few
AVF – answers very few
LLP – long letter pals
LLO long letters only
LL long letter
SAHM – stay at home mom
SNNP – sorry, no new pals
W/W – worldwide
SAHM – stay at home mom
WAHM – work at home mom
DOB – date of birth
BDbirth date
W/A wedding anniversary
W/D wedding date
PC post card
VP view card (another name for post card)
SS swap soon (it meeans that the swap is on)
ICR – I can Return (means that the person is a pen pal to the owner of the FB)
ICHR – I can help return (that means that the person knows someone who is a pen pal of the owner)
EMS e-mail soon
LSASE long self addressed stamped envelope
SASE self addressed stamped envelope
T/C take care
W/B write back
W/S write soon
TTYL talk to you later
BBfn bye bye for now
I can surely bet that there are more abbreviations that hadn't come to my mind while I was doing this blog entry. So feel free to leave a comment with abbreviations and their meaning that have been left out from this list. This way we are going to be able to make a really well maintained and updated list here. Waiting for your comments.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How does Friendship Book work?

Friendship Books are passed between friends. That means that once you receive them from a friend, you need to place your address (I suggest once again to use address labels) and then share a bit of information about yourself - such as likes or hobbies. For example, I like to write down after my address that I love myths, legends, chocolate and ice-cream! Once you are done with that "filling the FB" part, you can flip through its pages and see if there is an address that you might be interested to write to. If not, then you are ready to pass the FB to another penpal of yours.
Things that you should know: 
1) Never pass FB's to a person whose address is already inside. There is no point of repeating the addresses, right?
2) When the FB is full (there is no place for anyone else to sign) please be honest and send it home to the owner of the FB or to any ICR (I can return).
3) Pass the FB's as quickly as you can - usually they take years to get filled, so don't leave them hanging around for too long.
4) Don't ad pages to FBs so you don't have to send the FB home. Don't remove pages either!

Monday, December 6, 2010

What are FriendshipBooks (FB's)?

FriendshipBooks or FriendshipBooklets are usually abbreviated as FB's. They are small booklets of addresses of penpals with some general information about each one of them. They are passed from one penfriend to another getting filled with useful addresses along their journey from a country to a country. Many penpals swap them as they present valuable information about future penpals and swappers. For me, it's always amazing to find out where the FB's have traveled and who had signed them. 

FriendshipBooks come in different sizes, shapes and forms. What stays constant is the organization of the first page/sheet. They are always made for someone and by someone (whether that be one and the same person or two different people). Also sometimes there are notes of why this FB was made, such as "via label bag", "via FB game" or even "sorry FB" (when the maker of the FB can't be penpals with the owner). 

An interesting fact is that the words "FriendshipBooks" can be also used in regards to making books (notebooks) filled with neatly decorated pages about the friendship you have with a specific friend or sheets of decorated short intros of your friends (in such a way, it closely aligns with the word "AddressBook").

This blog will only focus its attention on the PenPal meaning of the words Friendship Book, that is as in FB's.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Friendship Books

Welcome to FriendshipBooks! 

The Blog that will tell you everything that you will need to know about FB's (FriendshipBooks or FriendshipBooklets) from general information about how FB's work to ways to make gorgeous FB's! It will be all here - just a click away from you. Over the next posts, I intend to guide you through the wonders of the world of Friendship Books. You are always welcome to share ideas, or even become involved with this project as a guest-writer.

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