Ratings are an essential part of a swap : they confirm that a swap was well received and how it is appreciated. As I like to know the appreciation of my efforts, I assume others do too. Therefore I rate my partners as soon as I have received their swaps. If you haven't been rated on a swap you sent to me, it's simply because I haven't received it yet.
I saw a note on @spinjenny 's profile that also reflects my view on swapping and rating, so I'll copy the text she wrote :
I give lots of hearts but not just because of extras, as I believe the swap item is what is important. I will appreciate anything extra you choose to send because you think I will like it, but it will not automatically earn you a heart. When I send extras myself, I do it in the hope of making my partner smile, regardless of possible hearts.
Also, in the spirit of "treat others like you'd like to be treated", I am not into plummeting someone's rating for a late send (I have more interesting things to do than checking dates on stamps). I consider myself a rather patient and comprehensive person. There is a life outside of swap-bot (luckily enough) and sometimes that life can have the better of you. So if you have a problem and cannot send by the due date, just PM me and we'll work it out. :o) Communication is the key and is common courtesy!
I ALWAYS sent out my swaps and 90% of the time, ahead of the deadline. If I have marked it "sent" and you haven't received it yet, please contact me before giving a bad rating but keep in mind that postal services can be a bit slow when they have to cross the big pond between Europe and the US (or any other continent for that matter). Should something get lost in the mail (I hope not !), I am willing to re-send when possible. Btw, I take pics of every swap I send out, so feel free to check it out on my flickr, if you're having doubts :o)
As swappers seem to be very sensitive about allergies, I just want to inform you that I live with a smoker and I have two cats who roam freely about the house. I never had any complaints about the swaps I sent out (nor smells nor cat hair), but if you are concerned by having me as your partner, feel free to send me a PM and we can try to work out a solution.
Always difficult to summarize in a few words, who I am but here it comes.
Besides taking Japanese lessons (which take up a lot of my free time), I love reading novels, mangas and magazines (rel. to news, travel, crafts, cooking, animals and chick lit); writing letters to all my penpals; going out to the movies, a concert, the theatre or a exotic restaurant; listening to a wide range of music; cooking (traditional and exotic dishes), baking (cookies and pastries) and taking courses in those areas; watching TV and doing some cross stitching on a cold winter's evening.
I love travelling and if I'm no travelling, I'm already planning the next trip. I have been to most countries in Western Europe and as far as the other continents are concerned I went to Florida, Brazil and Morocco. I'd like to return to Southern America to visit more of Brazil and the other countries and a trip to Japan is also scheduled, but that will be in a few years when I will have mastered enough of that language to venture out there. If you want to have a look at my travelmap, you can find it here
I am at the back and call of Lancelot & Lisa Lynn, two 3 years old silver tabby sibling cats (the type of cat famous from the Whiskas TV commercials) and I love animals in general, provided they are furry and four-legged. Bugs and spiders make my hair stand on ends.
I used to collect perfume minatures but once my display was full I stopped buying new ones. I still buy the large models for personal use of course :o). Nowadays the only collection I have going, are Swarovski crystal figurines, only animals. UPDATE : On October 18, 2010 my home was broken into and my whole swarovski collection was stolen. :o(
In general, I prefer movies with a message or based on a true story like "Hotel Ruanda","Va, vis et deviens" or "Trade", but any drama, comedy or thriller will do, as long as it isn't too scary or bloody (ok, I'll admit I'm chicken :o)). I also have some Bollywood movies on the shelves (a.o. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham and Kal Ho Naa Ho). I just love their dances and the high voices of the female characters :o) You will however never see me in the audience of a horror/sci-fi/war movie.
My favourite directors are David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino and Pedro Almodovar with a special mention for "Mulholland Drive","Kill Bill" and "Hable con ella".
Most TV shows shown in Belgium are US formats and in that category my preference goes to (in random order) : CSI (all 3 of them), Without a trace, Cold Case, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Prison Break, Rome, Grey's anatomy, Ghost Whisperer, TrueBlood (thanks to Internet), Supernatural (I'm a Dean-girl! :o) ), L word, Queer as folk, the Eleventh Hour and Criminal Minds. From Down Under, the series McLeod's Daughters, is definitely worth watching.
I rarely see them when they are transmitted on TV, but I usually buy the complete season DVD boxes. The advantage is also that I can watch all the episodes one after the other without having to wait for a whole week to know what happens next - I'm not too fond of clifhangers really, I'd like to know everything right away. That's why I am also the type of person who will read the last chapter of a "whodunit" halfway through the novel. Way too curious, just cannot help myself :o)
I prefer mystery, detective and historic novels although I do not shy away from the occasional non-fiction work. I try to read all novels in their original language, as the writer intended them to be read. Of course this only goes for the languages I speak :o) (unfortunately not as many as I would like to).
As I am always reading several books at the same time, you will find at the moment the following books on my nightstand/desk/handbag :
My musical taste is quite large : from world music (fado, flamenco, rai, latin) over jazz, R&B, country, soul, blues, pop and rock to classical and opera. If you hit shuffle on my ipod, you might be surprised at what you'll hear.
To give you an idea, my latest downloads from itunes included: Corneille, Buika, Susan Boyle, Marc Lavoine, Matchbox 20 & Black Eyed Peas.
My interest for Japan goes beyond the Japanese language and manga. I recently rediscovered "kawaii" and realised I never really forgot the cuteness of the wide-eyed anime characters of my childhood. I'm not really a collector though : I buy things to use, not to lock away (although some items have no usefullness, besides being pretty to look at :o) ). I love cute foods and animals but am not too fond of any human-like or scary/gross characters (Domo kun, skulls, poo). I like Sanrio Designs and Charmmy Kitty & Chococat in particular. Although San-x's Nyan nyanko and Kutusitanyanko are very cute also.
Hmmm, I think you'll start to see a pattern in here :o). Basically if it purrs and has whiskers, you cannot be wrong.
Nevertheless, these are just my favourites. As long as it isn't a human-like or realistic character (like real puppies, kitties,...) or scary, anything is welcome, really! And although Kawaii means cute, and some Disney or Diddl characters can be "cute", I'd rather not receive those (there are loads of diddl and diddlina stuff around here). I am really looking for the Japanese/Asian brands.
Ever since I tapped into Swap-bot, my "crafts" have been evolving, so I thought that I should update this section on my profile.
I like cross-stitching counted designs, which I find easier than following a pre-coloured canvas. I find inspiration in cross stitching magazines and buy all the separate flosses, or I just buy a complete kit containing pattern, canvas and all the necessary threads. Most of my "works" are animal themed or a bit Asian inspired. If I had to choose a favourite in the "all in one kits" category, it would undoubtedly be Lanarte (check out their website for their gorgeous designs).
Through SB I discovered loads of new crafting possibilities o.a. ATCs, Matchboxes, Bottlecaps, Dotees, altered journals and Stuffies. As you have to try everything at least once in your life, I joined beginners' swaps to see how they worked out. ATCs have by far exceeded my expectations and these little cards are quite addictive. So it comes to no surprise that I find myself joining more and more ATC swaps. I love making digital ATCs as well, although not everyone considers them to be of equal "artistic value", which is a pity. In the same "papercrafting" spirit, I am also looking a bit closer at scrapbooking courses they are giving near my home. I have already tried digital scrapbooking, which is fun, but I miss the textured feeling of real cardboard, ribbons and other embellishments.
I recently got into jewelry making as well, but I am just barely making my first steps in this craft so my "creations" don't have a very elaborated design (yet :oP). Now that I am looking more closely at beads and crystals, I'd love to create my own beads using polymer clay/fimo but I think this is still a bit too farfetched for my skills at the moment.
Some examples of things I made or am working on :
I am editing this list every time I think of something, so this tends to get a bit long (sorry !). A list of things I like in general (random order) and which will always be appreciated :
My all-time favourite colours are the paler shades of purple and yellow, but I love most colours with the exception of orange. As the perception of colours seems to be different from one person to another, my favourites look like these (with a special mention for the 2nd from the left in both colours) :
Being a "Japanese" student, I like most things from that country : bento boxes and accessories, fabrics, maneki neko (aka beckoning or lucky cats), candy, manga, craft books and magazines, ... I'm not able to read them yet, but I grasp the essentials (like a pattern :o)) I also like the traditional Japanese prints, especially those by Hokusai, Hiroshige and Utamaro.In a more modern version (traditional Japanese & urban graffiti), I'd love to visit a exhibition of Gajin Fujita, if one is ever held closer to home.
Things I dislike :
I owe :
I am looking forward to receiving :
I am still waiting for the following swaps to be rated :o(
I have sent out swaps that will never receive a rating, some because the recipient decided to delete her account without bothering to rate and some were sent to what are now identified as serial flakers :o(
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