When I kid I was an Olympian- then the organization was sued by the actual Olympics, and I became a member of Odyssey of the Mind. Did you do this? It's a creative problem solving club for nerdy kids. I loved it- and one of my favorite parts every year was the trading floor. We brought pins with our team's name, but some kids brought t-shirts, bags, bumper stickers, key chains, and other small trinkets. One year a team from a nearby town brought red tool boxes. There were only eight or so, and with two hundred kids screaming their heads off for them, they were red hot and awesome. Oh lordy did I want one of those boxes. Like the Stock Exchange, this culminating event was a total madhouse of yelling screaming negotiators trying to get as much of the coolest swag that we could by trading. It was SO MUCH FUN.
Blarter is a place for bloggers to post something they want to get rid of and suggest what they might like in return. It sounds like a more civilized, less stinky version of the OM trading floor, which, although the frenzy of a BO filled gymnasium does have its appeal, this trading can be done in your pajamas with a glass of wine in your hand. From the looks of it, Japanese craft books are the red tool boxes of the blarter arena. If you've got one that you're ready to unload, you can pretty much get anything you want.
Anyhow, I already added this awesome new site to my favorites list off to the right, and you can bet that just as soon as I'm not chained to my sewing machine I'll be listing some stuff to get rid of. Check it out!