I have a pretty extensive profile, which I update often, (3/09/17 last update,) so grab a cup of coffee or tea and stay awhile...if you've been here before, you'll likely find a few new things...or if you prefer, just jump right to the most relevant information pertaining to the swap we are in! Above all, I hope that you find something that makes you smile while you are here!
I live in a rural area, and our post office isn't always as precise as it should be with placing postage on envelopes, or handling packages. If you ever receive a swap or tag from me with postage due, or simply do not receive a swap or tag, PLEASE let me know! I always send my stuff, and unless it's a simple card, I always take it to the post office. I will always reimburse you postage costs, and work to find or replace lost mail! Likewise, things do not always get postmarked when I drop them off, sometimes they are postmarked at the sorting facility which can be several days after I've dropped them at the local office. If you ever have any question as to when something was mailed, you can note the date it was marked sent. I do not mark things sent unless I have physically placed them in the mailbox, or dropped them at the post office.
I try always to rate the day I receive your swaps, but with a crazy busy life, occasionally things get missed. If you've sent your swap to me, and haven't received a rating, please let me know! Likewise, I almost always send my swaps out within 3 days of partners being assigned. If the swap date has closed and you haven't received something from me, please let me know because it has gotten lost in the mail. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS send out swaps of time. I don't sign up unless I can complete them!
I'm an extremely blessed, Christian mom of 5 beautiful children, aged 13, 12, 12, (twins) 6, and 5. My youngest two children we adopted from China, so international adoption and advocacy are a huge part of our lives! We love the Chinese culture, and hope to be able to go back one day to visit.
Adoption is a journey. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about adoption, please let me know and I will help you with some resources!
Four of our five children have special needs, so I always love connecting with other moms who have special kids! I'm married to my soulmate, and we just celebrated our 19th anniversary in January. We are 3 years into our homeschool journey and are having a blast teaching our kids in a real "hands on" way with lots of nature walks, and visiting new and interesting places. We also love pets, and currently have 4 cats, 4 hermit crabs, 4 budgies (parakeets,) and 25-30ish chickens. (I'm allergic to dogs, so we enjoy visiting my parents dogs who live next door.) We raise chickens for the eggs, and have some that lay white, blue, green, dark olive green, light brown, and chocolate brown eggs. I also love to cook (especially bake,) and I hoard recipes! I have about a dozen Pintrest boards devoted to recipes of all types from beverages to desserts to snacks to international. I adore good quality dark chocolate, reading, coffee, and anything art related! I'm an artist at heart, and I have taught mixed media classes, and classes on making ATC's and Inchies in the past. I love to alter almost anything, so you'll see me either participating or hosting lots of these type swaps ;-) If you're a mixed media artist, send me something you've made, and I'll adore it! I also love to sew, although I've not found time recently to do any. I've completed 3 bubble quilts, and a queen sized quilt top so far! I believe art takes many forms, and tattoos are one form I adore. Want to hear a funny story? Ask me how I got my first tattoo! I currently am working on a full sleeve on my left arm, and have the next piece in my head...I am getting it done in the spring of 2017! Eeeeeeee!!!!!!
My belief system is basically this...treat others the way you want to be treated. I believe all people, should have the same rights and privileges. I understand not all people, especially Christians agree with that. I only share this because it's a huge part of the person that I am. I believe God wants us to love one another, and I strive every day to do that through my actions, and to share what I can through the abilities He has given me. I do not tolerate people who are judgmental and I abhor intolerance.
I have always been a very open minded, and I like to think, open hearted person. Through my years, I have done loads of volunteer work, everything from working in a vets office as a child, to volunteering at homeless shelters serving meals, to a semi permanent volunteer job at an HIV/AIDS clinic in my college days. I have donated blood most of my adult life, and am part of the bone marrow donor registry, and I try to raise awareness about adoption. My latest volunteer job was to manage one of the local tornado relief centers when a rash of tornadoes swept through our state on April 28, 2014. I enjoy being able to help others in some small way, and feel the Lord has blessed me in the ability to help.
I love to share my passions through private swaps, so if you see something in my profile that entices you, shoot me a message and we can work one out! I'm not a stickler for rules, but if you are sending to me and know you will be late, communication is vital. In all my time on swap-bot, I have only been flaked on a few times, and I know life happens, but please know I will rate according to swap-bot policy in almost all cases. I live with fibromyalgia, so my crafting sometimes takes a back seat when my hands don't want to cooperate. It's yet another reason I almost always send my swaps quickly. I usually always have a start, especially on labor intensive swaps before I even sign up. I will never send you something that I think is of sub-par quality, and it will never be quickly thrown together, rather I know to allow myself a few extra days in a swap in case my body needs them ;-)
I swap for the joy of swapping. This is my happy place, and I try to embody the true spirit and joy of swapping without being too critical or nit picky! If you receive something from me, it's something I've put time, thought, and love into. If for any reason it fails to meet your expectations, let me know and I will do my best to make it right. If you take the time to send me something, I would appreciate it if you show me the same curtesy. I love opening my mailbox each day and seeing what treasures await. Some days it's quite literally what gets me out of bed lately with all we've been going through! I'm quick to rate a heart if I can see you've put your best foot forward, and any effort into the swap, and I don't rate a 1 or a 3 unless you force my hand. I'll always try to work with you before rating down.
About my swap name...I am called Barbara by basically everyone who knows me. I once had a dear friend who called me Babs and that's where I got that part of my ID. The "mom of 5" part is pretty self explainatory, lol! So few people explain their choice of swapper ID but I find it interesting to find out how people chose one, so I figured why not explain my own for anyone else who might be curious!
I am an avid reader and I've always got a few books going. Currently: Reading The Descent Series by S. M. Reine. Currently on book 6, Defying Fate. After I finish this series I will begin the Ascent series by the same author. While I am working on art projects, I am listening to the audiobook version of The Elementals by Michael McDowell While hubby and I are in the car or just having a quiet moment together, we are listening to the audiobook version of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. We have listened to it before, but are enjoying going back through it after many years, and we are on The Dark Tower. Next up for hubby and I will be Stephen King's The Talisman and Black House. I also listen to several podcasts including Lore, Serial, and Welcome To Nightvale. I also have subscriptions to Flow, and Daphne's Diary, and occasionally pick up art journalling or mixed media books and magazines....especially Somerset Studios and Paper Scissors Cloth. I will read just about anything other than regency romance type books, (honestly any romance, Outlander series none withstanding, lol!) and anything that makes you cry. My favorite genres/authors include: Stephen King, Ted Dekker or spooky or horror related things, vampire/witch/elves/magical such as The Paper Magician, The Night Circus, or The Weather Warden series by Rachael Caine. I also enjoy true crime, and biographies on occasion. Science fiction is not really my favorite genre either...but I'm open to suggestions of things you love! As you can see, I am almost always immersed in some sort of reading, lol!
I am really easy to please. If you put any time and thought into what you send, I am sure I will adore it, and I always appreciate anything that is sent my way. This list is is not me asking for you to send me things...Its simply for those looking for ideas, of things I like and can use, or for anyone wanting to know a bit more about my likes and loves. I never expect extras In a swap, and I always rate based on the effort you put into the swap itself!
My very favorite color ever is sea green. It's nearly impossible to find as most things are more teal or turquoise, or a softer sea foam or mint green color, but I'm feeling love for pretty much all greens and blues and purples...and rose gold and copper are my favorite metallics!
Postcards, handmade embellishments, handmade postcards, ATC's, art journal Round Robins, flip ooks, friendship books
Working on a children's story book art/ fairy tale themed art journal, so if you could share something with me to use in it, I'd be so grateful! I'll be looking for lots of soft and bright colors especially in fibers and embellishments to go along with the beautiful illustrations generally found in this theme as well as book pages, illustrations, or themed envelopes such as a Red Ridinghood theme with images of wolves, red items, etc. or maybe Hansel and Gretel with candy images, vintage pictures of a boy and girl with candy or walking in the woods, an ominous witch or two, Giants, elves, any storybook animals and any Golden storybook pages or images...really, anything at all! I would LOVE to have you tell me in a letter about a memory you have of reading a fairy tale or someone being read to as well! A few I am currently working on are Thumbelina and The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I would like to do The Elves and The Shoemaker next!
Also feeling very "junky" in that I would love to receive a themed envie from you to create a page spread in my junk journal. Any theme at all! I work on this often, and I only have a few themed envies of goodies left in my junk journal stash, so if you feel so inclined, I'd love to get a random themed envie from you. I've done all types of things from fruit and veggie labels, to solid color page spread, to nautical, and textured. Truly anything at all you pull together as a theme, will be loved, and will definitely find a home in my JJ!
Angels, Cats, Chickens, Fairies, Gnomes, Mermaids, Woodland anything... Also anything Asian or Chinese themed such as hell notes and red envelopes or fortunes from fortune cookies or chopstick papers
Alice In Wonderland, Winnie The Pooh, Wizard of Oz...much more into the vintage book styles that the mainstream Disney, but would love really any at all
Also Fairy tales and Grimm Fairy tales..images, book pages, stickers, postcards, anything at all!
Cool, funky, artsy, whimsical anything...images, stamps, art you've created
Beautiful Mail...any and all, nothing makes me happier than opening the mailbox and finding something amazing waiting for me!
Articles or full magazines on tattoos, chickens, and any type of mixed media art or papercrafts. I currently have subscriptions to Flow and Daphne's Diary and would be happy to trade articles or goodies from these that I won't use!
pretty pieces of tissue paper (gift wrap type tissue) Tissue paper can even be used and folded! I use these for backgrounds in a lot of the art I create
Clean "grass" typically found in sushi takeout plates
Parking, movie, dry cleaning, public transportation ticket stubs, anything and everything.
Clean interesting food packaging
Box tops for education...we are able to turn these in through our homeschool organization and get cash back for them towards our school supplies and curriculum, everybody op literally equals .10 towards our yearly school budget so I appreciate any at all!
Playing cards...I love collecting different ones, as they are all so unique! I have quite a few vintage ones as well as lots of more current but still cool ones...send me one or two of any suit, I just like the backs ;-)
cigar boxes, or used tins that I can alter
Interesting or vintage high quality images to use in ATC, APC, PostCards, and art Journal pages I create
Tarot cards, singles or a full deck
Maps or pages from a map book
fibers, interesting ribbon, interesting yarn...for making tags and bookmarks, especially in shades of blue, teal, and yellow!
holiday shaped sequins which are also called table scatter, and micro beads in any color or theme
Sticker flakes... love using these on postcards, so any and all, but Especially Pusheen!
Unused Postage stamps, especially the lick and stick kind!
Pretty used postage stamps, especially from outside the USA
Unusual or pretty mailing labels I can use on packages and letters
Any empty packages from seeds you've used (I love to use these as envelopes in my art journals, or to include extras for swaps!)
dresden German scrap or trim, any style, any color
vintage or boho funky jewelry (can be broken) beads, metal pieces, charms, old typewriter keys, game pieces, etc... like this
I don't wear make up, but I do love Burt's bees lip products, with or without color...anything but powder puff pink...Walgreens has a great Burt's Bees generic lip balm too! Again, please consider our temps if you happen to send this!
Toys for our cats or chickens (would particularly love to get a baby mirror to go in our chicken coop...chickens love to look at themselves! Our newest rescue kitty loves to play and she's always losing her toys!
small wrapped gifts for My Christmas stocking(I collect gifts all year, and open one on days I really need a pick me up. I try to save as many as possible for Christmas!)
Dove dark chocolate plain or with pretty much anything except chili pepper. Trader Joe's speculoos cookies, or dark chocolate bars with speculoos butter ❤️ I've also recently discovered I enjoy Russell Stover milk chocolate boxes chewy with nuts! The only dark chocolate I dislike is Hershey's Special dark, and the only milk chocolate I like is Snicker's bars or the above mentioned RS. Please don't send me chocolate from mid April-mid November though as it will just become a puddle in our southern heat.
Fresh Made taffy (if you live near a place that makes it daily...we only get it when we go to the mountains every 3-4 years.)
My hubby collects foreign currency (both paper and coin,) so any and all foreign currency is welcome. (We do however have plenty of Chinese currency.)
One of my twins plays Magic the card game, and would be thrilled to receive any Magic cards your kids may not want, or any that happened to have come into your collection of ephemera. He plays "The Gathering" mainly, but he and his friends mix and match other campaigns too!
Decorative Wooden pencils. This may seem strange, but since we homeschool, we go through pencils like water, and so my 4 oldest all love having fun new pencils because mean ole Mom only buys the boring old Ticeronga brand yellow ones, lol
Here are a few artists whose work inspires me in different ways. Click the artist's name to go directly to their website.
Click each artists name to see their website!
Aren't these artists amazing?!?!
And here are a few of my favorite websites for art supplies:
I love the beautiful image sheets and fun ATC kits found here at Your ATC Store.
The blog Artfully Musing found here is just breathtaking...seriously! They have extremely beautifully detailed projects, that they show you how to create yourself using products forums mostly on the website Alphastamps
I also adore shopping on ETSY where some of my favorite shops include:
The Sticker Attic Shop which sells a huge selection of planner and happy mail stickers. If she doesn't have what you want, simply send her a message and she will create it for you, and quickly! The customer service is top notch, as is the shipping speed...and don't get me started on the extras! Tell her I sent you and you may just get a deluxe sampler sheet for free with your order!
Another ETSY fave is 32 North Supplies which has a huge selection of vintage and dresden trim for a great price.
I also love the Etsy shop Vera Lane Studio and think they have the BEST digi stamp selection anywhere online.
And for those who love to color, at The Chubby Mermaid you are sure to find something you can't live without! She sells a variety of mail order coloring books, as well as a huge selection of instant download pages in subjects varying from Bible verses to zombies and everything in between!
And last but not least, if you are a stamper, my two favorite stamp supply websites can be found at:
Deep Red Stamps where every order always nets a free stamp and excellent customer service...
and Red Lead Paper Works which has a beautiful variety of stamps, stencils, and collage sheets.
I hope you'll check these out and find some inspiration of your own! If you've got a favorite site, I would love for you to share it with me!
I am currently on a bit of a postcard kick, and am really enjoying sending and receiving lots of different postcards. If you're sending me extras, I Would love to receive blank Mississippi map ones (as I have nowhere to purchase these myself,) or any that feature any type of animals. If you are sending to me in a PC swap, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the shaped Gotochi postcards, and other die cut shaped postcards, and otherwise really have no real preference towards touristy or non-touristy... I truly tend to enjoy most things. If you're sending to me from overseas, and your country has a postcrossing stamp, or one that features cats or chickens, I would love for you to use it on your postcard to me. The only postcards I simply can not use, (and frankly do not like,) are super flimsy ones as they get torn up in the sorting machines and greeting card fronts torn off and repurposed as postcards. If you love postcards too, and would like to do a swap either for unused ones, or just swap a written and stamped one through the mail, let me know!
I'm generally easy to please, and appreciate anything you take the time and money to send. I definitely have one steadfast rule...
I'm terrified of clowns...please don't send me mail with clown stamps, or stickers, or images.
Other things I prefer not to receive, but will work with you on include:
Please don't send me items with a strong smoke smell. My son has asthma that is triggered by smoke, and I have severe allergies affected by smoky packages, so this isn't merely a request of preference, but for health reasons. If you're a smoker, contact me privately and we can work something out, or at least I know to air the package/letter out before bringing it in.
Please don't send me anything with foul language or that's overtly sexual in nature...I often open mail in front of my kids. However, if you do feel like something in this category would be appropriate to a swap we are in, please mark the outside of the envelope "for your eyes only" and I'll be sure to open it away from my kids.
Again, please do not send me anything at all with clowns. I have a legitimate phobia and even the smallest image can induce weeks of nightmares and night terrors, and general panic. Thanks for understanding!
~disclaimer...none of the artwork featured on my profile is my own. It is of art I've found inspiring in some way. You may view my art by clicking the link to my Flickr page above!
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