a peek inside the fishbowl

05 Dec, 2007

Pay it forward (with handmade gifts!)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Memes/blog awards etc|Swaps

[ETA: three participants have been found. Yay!]


Don’t you love getting mail? I do. I reeeally love getting mail. There’s no better feeling than seeing something poking out of my mailbox and knowing it’s a surprise for ME. :)

I’ve been scripting a post in my head about a new pay-it forward** project. And then I read a post over at BeachMama’s about the very thing I was thinking about doing. Was this was destined to happen or what?

So allow me to cut to the chase:

I will send a handmade gift to the first three people who leave a comment and tell me they are interested in playing along.

In order to qualify:

1) You must have a blog.
2) You must write a post and offer to send your own handmade items to three of your readers.
3) There’s no restriction on what this handmade gift can be.

(Please don’t be intimidated by the whole handmade thing. No one is expecting you to make a quilt, knit a sweater, or fold 1000 origami cranes. How about some handmade soap, or marble magnets, or a pretty ornament?)

As far as the gifts go, I’m in the same camp as BeachMama. I don’t exactly know yet what they will be, nor do I know when I’ll be sending them out. But I will. My deadline is end of January.

So who’s in? I’d love it if this could continue to move ahead.

**(Via wikipedia):

” The expression “pay it forward” is used by a creditor who offers the debtor the option of paying the debt forward to a third person instead of paying it back. Debt and payments can be monetary or by good deeds. In sociology, this concept is called “serial reciprocity”. A related transaction, which starts with a gift instead of a loan, is alternative giving.”

I hadn’t realized that the concept has been traced back to Benjamin Franklin, who referred to it in a letter written in 1784:

“I do not pretend to give such a Sum; I only lend it to you. When you […] meet with another honest Man in similar Distress, you must pay me by lending this Sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the Debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands, before it meets with a Knave that will stop its Progress. This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.”

10 Responses to "Pay it forward (with handmade gifts!)"

1 | grrl with a blog

December 5th, 2007 at 11:14 am


This is a great idea, and I think this is something I’d have a lot of fun doing as well! I’ve been making loads of handmade gifts this year and I’d love to share them with some of my fellow bloggers!

2 | April

December 5th, 2007 at 11:17 am


Such a FUN idea! I would love to participate!!

3 | zhenia

December 5th, 2007 at 11:20 am


Dude! I have been wanting to get in on this PIF chain for ages now but I always seem to be the fourth commenter. Foo!

I’d like to play, please.

4 | J.

December 5th, 2007 at 12:43 pm


I’m not ready to participate in something like this, maybe I’ll be ready for it next year.

I can’t wait to see what you get. :)

5 | porter

December 5th, 2007 at 12:44 pm


so does this mean i can still do a pay it forward? i guess i just start one on my own? i’m so obsessed with your blog i check it far too often…and somehow i missed out! ah well, win some lose some!

6 | BeachMama

December 5th, 2007 at 2:45 pm


Andrea! I love your illo and how you did extra research. I just wanted the chance to pass something along.

I still have one spot open porter if you would like to join in on my blog.

I just love sharing and a little something to do after all the holidays are finished.

7 | christmas crafty weekend « a grrl’s wrrld

December 8th, 2007 at 9:02 am


[…] Just a note: these craft projects will be part of a pay it forward gift exchange that I am a part of.  I will be posting about the exchange project on Monday. […]

8 | Crafty McCrafterson « a grrl’s wrrld

December 12th, 2007 at 2:55 pm


[…] December 12, 2007 by a grrl with a blog As you know, I spent the weekend making gifts for my friends and family. They turned out wonderfully!  I brought some into the office and sold them to coworkers, made gift boxes for family, and I have set some aside for the Christmas Pay It Forward Project. […]

9 | paying it forward « a grrl’s wrrld

December 16th, 2007 at 10:56 pm


[…] Andrea over at the Fish Bowl wrote about a pay it forward project that she was thinking about.  The premise is simple, we spread the cheer of the season, and a little good will, via the blogosphere. I thought it was brilliant! […]

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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