I am a Christian, a mother of a two year old little boy who loves music, and a once upon a time writer and illustrator. I haven’t done art in a long time, but my creative pursuits include mixed media art, drawing, sewing, etc. Generally, my art tends towards an illustrational quality, often either whimsical, quaint, or somber. Currently, my focus is entirely upon my son, whom I plan to homeschool in coming years, so I am doing less art at the moment. I also participate in medieval re-enactment when I can (specifically an English archery company in the year 1450. I primarily demonstrate camp life and crafts, but I enjoy teaching all of it.)
I also have a special fondness for poetry, fantasy, and the works of Madeleine L'Engle. Other than that, I am generally shy. I wear long flowy skirts and braid my hair. I like autumn and dandelion puffs and overcast days. I love trees to a generally silly level.
I read a TON (some of which is alluded to above) but here are some favorites I can never pass up:
Also, I generally don't do T.V. but the screenwriting and filmography of Firefly are so amazing, I consider it one of my influences... if I ever write story again. Thus, I say it belongs. I watch more Netflix now as a break when my son naps, but there’s nothing I’m devoted to, aside from Jane Austen renditions.
I positively drool over the sounds of a cello. I'd love to learn to play one myself someday. I also really appreciate poetic lyrics. Most of my music consists of individual songs by varied artists, but a few artists I like across the board are Mumford & Sons, Oren Lavie, Owl City, Nickel Creek, Switchfoot (older stuff especially), and Avett Brothers.
I'm also a big fan of anything with a "folky" feel.
This pertains primarily to materials swaps for now (as I foresee this being my primary involvement) but it will give you a good idea of my tastes for other swaps too.
As far as colors, I love earthy, subtle tones and jewel colors, especially browns, muted purples, greens, teals, burgundies, etc. I also like soft colors like pale pinks, maybe, lavender, mint, and robins egg blue. I prefer anything multicolored to be harmonious (high contrast hurts my eyes.) Occasionally I like more playful colors, as long as it's tasteful and "pretty."
COLOR AMENDMENT: to my surprise, I recently discovered that solid bits of bright colors in interesting textures are useful, even if I wouldn't normally choose them consciously. Thank you to the swapper who included the orange gauzy paper-- you have enlightened me!
As far as texture, I don't mind unusual textures or fibers. Handmade papers are fine. I especially prefer thinner papers to the thicker cardstock (it integrates into my collage-work better). I'd prefer no glossy or glitter however.
My absolute favorite motif is TREES and LEAVES. I prefer more silhouettes and artistic renditions than photographic realism. I especially love autumn themes (for obvious reasons!) and floral motifs, as long as they are artistic and not "cutesy."
As far as patterns, I prefer subtlety. I really enjoy the distressed looking papers with polka-dot patterns in a handful of harmonious colors. I also like tasteful use of striping, fleur-de-lis, and "swirls." I don't know what it is called, but the intricate design work seen in Indian art and architecture I also really like.
Other themes/motifs include steampunk, Victorian motifs, storybook illustration, whimsical themes (such as the recently popular cute birds and owls, clouds and raindrops with faces, cute snails, things like that.) I also really have a fondness for moths, so if you just happen to find something with moths...
I also do very much like non-scrapbook papers. I use TISSUE PAPER often, and unusual/subtle colors or patterns would be appreciated. I also like text (especially foreign), ephemera, sheet music, maps, everyday papers (aka lined paper, graph paper, forms) and those lovely printed journaling blocks. Many swaps say not to include scraps of NOTE PAPER, but if you have some that fits my color/theme preferences, I don't mind getting individual sheets. I use it for collage.
Some non-paper items I'd appreciate (if you are feeling particularly angelic) are pressed flowers, postage stamps, lace bits, fabric scraps, and small relatively flat (1/8 inch or so) found objects (rusted washers, keys, zipper pulls, bottle caps, etc.) or relatively flat charms. They would need to close fairly easily in a book.
Note: Something I'm really looking for right now is french ruled paper. If you happen to have some I'd love as many sheets as you are willing to share!
reusable items I can use in the home. A handmade tote bag, fabric bags for produce or dry goods, a little pouch to organize small objects, or something like that. I avoid using disposable items as much as possible! If you happen to sew “mama cloth” I am in need of a few more too, and haven’t gotten around to making my own.
I consider it a treat when my swap arrives in a unique, handmade envelope, or has fancy lettering, or drawings, or Washi tape, or decoration of some kind! (In swaps that require a certain number of “things” I would totally count that as a “thing.”)
Nature photos or samples (feathers, leaves, etc) for my son to look at and examine.
photos or images of instruments or people playing instruments. My son loves music and finds the pictures interesting too.
anything applicable to Waldorf or Montessori education. Carved wooden animal figures and handmade peg dolls or fabric dolls come to mind, but we would greatly appreciate any little token that applies.
hats, masks, jewelry, or other dress up materials for my son.
kid appropriate books and magazines. Even catalogues with pictures of children, or people engaged in kid friendly activities (like an outdoor wear catalogue might show people hiking, for example.) For books, realistic or softer illustrations are preferred to very cartoony styles, as I am the one who has to read them over and over. 😂
hand me down boys clothes in sizes 3T to 5T, especially blues, greys, and greens. We shop primarily second hand to avoid adding to the waste stream, and will gladly take second hand clothing if you care to send them. We would especially love solid colored shirts, or simple/subtle prints (instead of pictures on the front. We rarely wear those.) Also, jeans and khakis!
Anything with LEAVES or LEAF designs-- even real leaves, if you can find a way to get them here in one piece.
materials for future swaps, such as blank stationary, blank post cards, unique envelopes, Washi tape samples, and unused US postage stamps (because as a swapper, we can always use more!)
Fine tipped pens and mechanical pencils. I prefer 0.5 lead pencils, and pens in a similar or smaller point. The RSVP pens work great for me, as do the “Sharpie pens” and the staedtler fineliner pens. Muted colors are preferred to brighter colors (as the bright colors hurt my eyes to read) but I can use colors occasionally for short notes to others or signing cards.
Scraps of fancy or interestingly textured fabrics, even the little samples in the home decor fabric sections of stores.
Recipes, in your own handwriting. Especially awesome if written on pretty paper or decorated, but even on notebook paper is fine. If you are worried your handwriting is illegible, include a typed copy as well, but I REALLY love seeing it in your own handwriting. I have discovered I can’t cook, but I still enjoy receiving them.
Favorite poems, in your own handwriting. Especially awesome if written on pretty paper or decorated, but even on notebook paper is fine. If you are worried your handwriting is illegible, include a typed copy as well, but I REALLY love seeing it in your own handwriting.
Magnetic poetry (if you just happen to have some laying around)
Colored masking tape, paper tape, or washi tape.
Larger stamped letters or numbers in interesting styles. Teeny tiny ones are fun to use, but hard to cut out.
Clear stamps. I'd prefer decorative swirls and floral designs, and other such things. (Please no scrapbook "themes" such as wedding, graduation, baby, etc. I simply do not use them, and it would be a shame to waste on me.)
ATCs, illustrations, or something else handmade.
Blank postcards for use in postcrossing, preferably ambiguous in location-- I don't want to confuse the recipients with postcards claiming to be somewhere I'm not, haha. Artistic or character based would probably be ideal, but pretty scenery is good too, as are botanical prints, or photos of animals. Even cards I don’t normally like may be to a recipient’s taste, however, so they are still welcome.
a letter about your faith, or something that happened in your life if you are not religious. I enjoy seeing what makes other people “tick” and what matters to other people. Your biggest regret. Some of your personal quirks. Something you learned the hard way. A hard experience that helped you grow. The best person you’ve ever known. Your fondest memory. A way you’ve changed as you grew up. Anything like that.
a letter about your home. What are some normal things in your region? What are some quirks or customs unique to your area? What do you love or hate about it? (As a writer, this sort of thing is fascinating to me.)
Not sure that this will apply, but just in case...
I primarily wear browns, greens, teals, dusty rose, cornflower blue, ivory, plum, and other such muted colors. I like feminine things, such as flowers, leaves, and lace. I prefer subtle patterns or solid colors as opposed to bold and bright. I'm fair skinned, blue eyed, and have long curly red hair so use your judgment as to what will look best.
I prefer natural cottons, linens, or in accessories, wood or leather, as opposed to vinyl or obvious synthetic materials. I like things to be just a little bit rustic/old fashioned.
Please note that modesty is important to me, so nothing in bad taste, please! (Nothing short, low cut, or offensive). My normal attire consists of long (knee length or floor length) skirts and blouses with sleeves, or else camisoles and shawls shrugs or sweaters to cover my shoulders.
Sizes: tops are always medium (US size 6-8) bottoms usually are best at a medium or large (US size 8-10) as loose is better than tight!
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