Swap-bot Time: June 19, 2024 2:09 pm


Date Joined: October 15, 2010
Last Online: June 18, 2024
Birthday: May 5, 1956
Country: United States

About Me

I'm recently back on Swap-Bot after a lengthy hiatus (about 6-7 years). I just needed to take a break after suddenly a number of my swaps went missing (even one that I had remade and sent again). But I've decided to come back and try again.

I'm a widow, a recipient of a master's degree in 19th century American history and also work for a university (from which I will retire on February 28, 2025). My favorite things are my grandchildren (six from ages 14 to 24), cats and dogs, history (of course), genealogy (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany, France and of course, America), writing, mid-century modern anything, and art. I also love anything from the mid-century before, and I love trying my hand at stitching up some of the lovely things they used every day back then.

Right now, I have three cats - a white and tabby male named The Artful Dodger (Dodger for short), a grey cat who walked in one day and is named Shadow, and an orange tiger named Shelby Foote (just Shelby most of the time). NOTE: Shadow developed pancreatic cancer and crossed the Rainbow Bridge in February 2023. He joins cats Esmeralda Moonstone, Curious George, Buffy, Boots, and Madison, and dogs Ralph, Echo, Ivy, and Jasper, all there ahead of him.

I was born in Indiana (Hoosier girl!), and have lived in Maryland, Massachusetts, California and Ohio as well. And I was fortunate to go to Europe with my young parents when I was eight. I have such fond and varied memories of all the places we visited, including being awakened in the mornings by the talking mynah bird who lived next door to my mom's life-long pen pal (where we stayed while in England).

Favorite Books

I absolutely love the Harry Potter books. I also like the Percy Jackson series, Inspector Morse and Inspector Lynley series, Twilight series, and anything narrative about the Civil War. Although I feel there are many other books that are written better than the Twilight series, I do love this twist on the vampire tale. I'm just incredibly fond of quite imaginative young adult and middle grade fantasy. Another favorite is mysteries - Agatha Christie tops the list. Right now, I'm reading (concurrently) Christie's "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" (again), Christopher Paolini's "Brisingr" (again), Elizabeth George's "Missing Joseph," Ted Widmer's "Martin Van Buren," John Seigenthaler's "James K. Polk," Stephen Ambrose's "Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West," J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (for the 842nd or so time), and James M. McPherson's "For Cause & Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War." It's no wonder I never get anything done!

I read - over one weekend (and it's been a long, long time since I read an entire book over one weekend!) - the most well-written, incredible book! Seth Grahame-Smith's "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter." I had been meaning to read it for some time, but it was just "on my list." I thought I'd better try to read it before I see the movie, so I started it Friday - and almost never put it down! For the most part, this is the period of history that I study, and I've always had a special fondness for Lincoln. But Grahame-Smith took every piece of history surrounding Lincoln and turned it completely upside down - and made it believable! Not to mention, it was well-written both within the text of the story and the journal entries - the writing style of the "possibly fake" journal entries blended perfectly with the real ones! I love this book! I guess at some point, I'll have to read his "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," especially since they've now made that one into a movie. I just never loved Jane Austen as much as some others.

An absolute favorite of mine is the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness - "A Discovery of Witches," "Shadow of Night," and "The Book of Life." They have to be 3 of the top 10!

I've read a rather fun book - and totally different from what I usually read. It's called "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Have to warn you, the main character swears a lot! But wouldn't you, if you were stuck on Mars, the rest of your crew leaving after thinking you're dead, and no hope of any rescue ships coming along for about 4 years? It's really good (and, at least for me, the movie is one of the best book-to-movie conversions I've ever seen)!

I also like the books of A. G. Slatter - All the Murmuring Bones, The Path of Thorns, etc.

I tend to love books about science. Currently (2024) reading The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean and Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik.

And to add to all of that, I'm in four book groups - two online and two in-person at the local library. I read the books in the online Science Friday Book Club. I like a lot of them, but not all. Currently reading Stiff by Mary Roach. I'm also in the online Judy Bolton Book Group in Goodreads. Just about to start Seven Strange Clues by Margaret Sutton. At the library, I have belonged to the Classics Book Group for quite a number of years (since around 2015). We read old and newer classics (if the new ones have won some kind of award, like the Pulitzer or Booker). Currently reading My Antonia by Willa Cather. Not sure whether I like this one or not. The other library group is called Fiction to Film. It's only been in existence about a year and a half. We just finished The Devil Wears Prada - and the movie is so much better than the book (weird, right?) - and are starting A Man Called Ove. With most of these groups, I've often read books I never would have picked out but loved reading. For example, in this last group, books I loved, but would have probably passed by: Jurassic Park, Shutter Island, and The Perfect Storm.

Favorite Television

I love Castle, Bones, Monk, Psych, and Hawaii Five-O, NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I also love old shows like Ironside, the old Hawaii Five-O, I Spy, Columbo and McMillan & Wife. I absolutely love both British comedy, especially As Time Goes By, and some of the series that show up on Masterpiece Mystery, such as Inspector Lewis, Inspector Lynley, Miss Marple, and Hercule Poirot. I really like Unforgotten, Grantchester, Vera, and Father Brown. Thank goodness for BritBox! And for some reason, I have a fondness for The Vampire Diaries (television show, not the books). And a real favorite that I go back and watch about once a year is a series of really cool TV movies with Noah Wyle called "The Librarian." I love the movie trilogy, but I really think the television series is even better!

Other British shows I love are a lovely series called "Rosemary and Thyme." Unfortunately, it only lasted about three seasons, so I've seen all of them a couple times over, but it's wonderful! It's about two women - one is a botanist and one loves gardening - who meet and discover that they have a talent for solving mysteries. Another series is "Hetty Wainthropp Investigates" - a series about a woman reaching pension age who decides she can solve crimes - with the help of her young assistant Geoffrey, and her husband helps, too (usually more in the background). "Endeavor" is another fantastic show. It's the back-story of Inspector Morse when he just started out as a constable. It was great!

I love the show "Once Upon a Time!" Who would have thought there could be so many creative ways to intertwine fairy tales and give them different endings? I really have so many favorite characters on this show, but if I had to narrow it down to three (yes, three - because I find it impossible to narrow it down to one!), they would be Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold on the evil end, Jiminy Cricket/Archie Hopper on the good end, and The Mad Hatter/Jefferson just because. And now, since Jefferson left the show rather early, I waivered over to Hook/Killian as a favorite. I like his bad side, but he's so surprisingly good, too! But I truly don't think they could do without any single character - I love them all!

A note or two on Doctor Who: I love the Doctor! I've been lucky enough to take an online course through Syracuse University on the Doctor. During the course, we studied the first three doctors (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee). We have explored some of the early episodes that I didn't see the first time around, so it's been fun getting to know these three doctors. I haven't seen a lot of the next six doctors - just an occasional episode here and there. I love the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) and the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi). But my favorite doctor is the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith. He was Amy Pond's Raggedy Doctor, and I totally agree (although I'm not sure about the fish fingers and custard - I don't eat fish, but just can't wrap my head around what it must taste like - anyone had them?). I already knew that bowties are cool, but number 11 makes it real. And now that they are veering into the 15th Doctor, 11 is STILL my favorite. So, all of time and space; everywhere and anywhere; every star that ever was. Where do you want to start?

Favorite Crafts

I like to knit, although I do it in spurts because too much makes my hands hurt. I also like art journaling and "recycled" crafts and crafts from old things, such as old typewriter keys and bingo cards and other old game pieces, and I love to write. Writing is my favorite "craft," whether fiction or non. I love the history I write about for school, and I have a couple of fiction projects in the works.

I have also ventured into junk/smash journals. I realized they were sort of what I was already doing in my art journals, and I love the look of layers and layers of cool stuff to look at and ponder! I love ephemera - any kind - old receipts, tickets, letters, magazine and book pages, vintage photos, anything that would have accumulated in households 50-150 years ago!

I also love the art of collage. Perhaps that is why I love junk journals, too. The idea of putting together some awesome images and colors and making them look even more awesome is food for my brain!

I like painting sometimes, especially really modern (but with a 1960s look) painting with a palette knife.

Oh, and by the way, my favorite color ever is yellow, and has been since I knew what yellow was. Close behind would be pale/mint green, orange, and turquoise.

Favorite Teas

Well, I want to preface by saying I haven't yet had a tea that I did not like. But my favorites are black and red teas. I love breakfast teas (favorite is Scottish), Earl Grey and Lady Grey, and Constant Comment by Bigelow. And I have a fondness for Welsh tea. I also like fruit teas, especially black teas with fruit. My favorite fruits are the berries, but I also like peach and mango. Surprise me!


I love postcards - blank and used - I think it's fun to see the old stamps and shorter addresses, as well as what someone was thinking about when they wrote on the card. My favorites are old ones depicting buildings, city and town scenes, advertising, children and animals. I have a fondness for old hotel/motel postcards from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s - particularly the kind that was in your room for you to use in corresponding with "those back home." I also like postcards that have a work of art on them, anything to do with books and clocks. Postcards that are from your area are nice, especially if they have the name of your town, state or country on them.

A Note to My Swap Partners

I will always, always send something out, and I will always rate what comes to me (and I usually add a heart if it's all there). Please, if you do not receive something expected from me, let me know. I will always try to make it right!


sarafey rated for Blind Envie 2024 Spring 2 of 4 on Jun 13, 2024
Comment: Thanks for lovely things
Response: So very glad you like them! Thanks for the heart!
Comment: Thanks for the great chunk and the book recomendations!
Response: So glad you like it! Thanks so much for the heart!
ultracinematik rated for CR: Ocean Inspired Mail Art on Jun 4, 2024
Comment: Thank you for the little painted atc, goodies to create with, postage to use, and I LOVE the card you sent it all in. 👻💌
Response: I'm so glad you liked everything - thanks so much for the heart! It was a joy to make this atc!
Jaymmers rated for Junk Journal #4 on Jun 3, 2024
Comment: Thank you for the extras! I really love the vintage vibes of them. Thank you.
Response: I'm so glad you liked everything! Thanks so much for the heart!
KoalaMuffin rated for Traveling PC's US only #17 on Jun 3, 2024
Comment: Thank you for passing the card along. Also, thank you for all the adorable pcs you included for me. I love them.
Response: I'm so glad you liked everything! It was really fun picking out postcards I thought you would like. Thanks so much for the heart!
samsstuff rated for Zine-Go-Round #38 on May 29, 2024
Comment: Thank you for passing along the zine and the little extras!
Response: And thanks for the heart! Glad you liked the extras.
LindaW rated for Self Care Notecard on May 21, 2024
Comment: Thank you for sharing your self-care methods. Thank you for sharing the information about deep breathing, stress management, and for the word searches. It’s all very helpful.
Response: I'm so glad it will help! And thanks so much for the heart!
Christine6035 rated for Chunk-O-Cardboard - May 2024 on May 21, 2024
Comment: Thank you, Jan! Have a great day!
Response: And thanks for the heart! Take care!
cookies37 rated for Chunk-O-Cardboard - May 2024 on May 20, 2024
Comment: Hi Jan! Love the little elf, my favorite fudge stripes too. I’m just wondering, when did the elf get gray hair? Or has it always been gray? I’m an original Buckeye, lived in Missouri and Florida but always come back to beautiful Ohio! Thanks so much, Judy
Response: Hi Judy - thanks for the heart! I love that elf, and what a great question - I don't know if he's always had gray hair. Funny!
MiaEllington rated for Fun Fact PC Swap #3 on May 19, 2024
Comment: Love the vintage bear postcard, super cool and will be adding to my collage journal. Thanks!
Response: Glad you liked it! Thanks for the 5!
captainschlumpy rated for Junk Journal #3 on May 16, 2024
Comment: Thanks for the stickers! It came in the mail today! :)
Response: I'm so glad it got there - I was getting worried. :-) I'm glad you like the stickers - and thanks so much for the heart!
MarHelene rated for Traveling PC's US only #16 on May 6, 2024
Comment: It's rumored he painted himself in, does look like him!
Response: Thanks so much for the heart! I thought you might like that - Rembrandt was also one of my dad's favorites, and he exposed us to his work as often as he could. Thanks again - take care!
Vorkat rated for Chunk-O-Cardboard - April 2024 on Apr 28, 2024
Comment: Thank you for the chunk of cardboard. I agree the traffics are nice.
Response: Thanks so much for the heart!
kittyhahahotbot rated for Zine-Go-Round, round 37 on Apr 28, 2024
Comment: Thank you, Jan!!!
Response: Yay - so glad it made it! Thanks for the heart!
ensigncelery rated for Chunk-O-Cardboard - April 2024 on Apr 27, 2024
Comment: It's so hard to find grape drinks at the store, though, isn't it? 🐾 And what are cats if not springier, moodier dogs? Teehee~ 💜 Thank you for this lovely chunk!
Response: :-) Thanks so much for the heart! And you're right about both grape drinks and cats!
NRGordon rated for Chunk-O-Cardboard - April 2024 on Apr 26, 2024
Comment: Thanks for the yummy looking chunk. I'de look for them but I think they are probably seasonal.
Response: Try Amazon - I think that may be where they came from. :-) Thanks so much for the heart!
Lovelykarina rated for Blind Envie 2024 Spring 2 of 4 on Apr 18, 2024
Comment: thank you
Response: Thanks for the rating!
samsstuff rated for 3 Things In An Envelope INTL #24 on Apr 13, 2024
Comment: Thank you for the lovely items!
Response: I'm so glad you liked them! Thanks for the heart!
Comment: Your bird and nature themed folder is really pretty and special. I like the items you included as well. Thank you for a terrific swap.
Response: I'm sooooo glad you liked it! It was fun to make. Thanks so much for the heart!
kasa rated for National Poetry Month: April on Apr 9, 2024
Comment: Thank you Jan for the poems. I am pleased that you choose Christina Rosetti as I like her poems as well. She wrote a lot of poems about death, grief etc, Thank you for sharing your favorite poem since childhood. Blessings.
Response: Thanks for the heart! And thanks for the extra poem you emailed!

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
4.9893 1743 10 13
Completed Fives Threes Ones
1537 2226 6 3
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
194 424 919 0
View all

Currently Hosting

  • the user is not hosting any current swaps


CurlyTea on May 6, 2019:

Happy Birthday!

A123987 on Oct 6, 2017:

I am glad that you got your postcard back so quickly :-) - I hope to see you in another one of my swaps.

CraftyMommaonaBUDGET on Oct 2, 2017:

12 days day 7 have not been recieved by your partner please contact her.

judee0624 on Aug 29, 2017:

Thanks for returning the Return to Me card. It is nice to see what my card looks like with postal markings.

lou on May 10, 2017:

Happy Birthday Month from WIYM group!

KateKintail on May 1, 2017:

Star Wars

Star Wars in a Bag profile check. May the force be with you!

btbeth on Apr 3, 2017:

Pinterest Pen-Pal Ideas swap
Here is the link to my Pinterest board, in case the Swap-Bot messaging system is still on the fritz. Enjoy!

KateKintail on Apr 1, 2017:

Doctor Who

Doctor Who in a bag profile check. Vworp, vworp!

KateKintail on Apr 1, 2017:

Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter's world in a mini bag profile check! Watch out for farmers!

KateKintail on Mar 5, 2017:


Winnie-the-Pooh in a Bag profile check. Time for a small smackerel of something!

Login to leave a comment now!