Please note: all swap-bot pictures are on my Flickr account in separate folders for each group.
Also, due to worsening of and treatment for my chronic pain, I am taking a (hopefully short) break from swaps just now. I have completed all my outstanding swaps but can't take on any new ones. I hope to be back in full swing soon! Please send all good wishes and prayers you can spare! XOXO
I was born in Maryland but have lived in Northern California since I was 2 months old. I had a business career long ago, but for the last several years I've made art on and off. Off, because I broke my back in 2007 and have had a dffficult recovery with chronic pain. Still, I always come back to art and it often saves my day.
The personal details: I'm married to my best friend, Chris, and have a son, Andrew, with my first husband. We all live in Santa Rosa (in different houses!).. Andrew married his wife, Daniela, in 2009 and they just had their first (and only, Daniela says) son in March 2011. His name is Sam, and we all love him. (That seems obvious, but I honestly wasn't expecting to take to the "grandmother thing". I'm not fond of other people's kids, and neither is anyone else in the family. So we've all been surprised, like dolts, at how much love we feel for this little person. I'm unfortunately limited in the amount and kind of time I can spend with him because of my back pain, so I'm suddenly on Facebook a lot, for the photos.)
Chris and I also have an adorable dog, Arbella (I'm a fan of the 17th century, and Lady Arbella Stuart was in the running to follow Elizabeth I as Queen of England, plus 'Arbella' sounds a little like 'our ballerina', which she is), and an easily miffable cat named Minnie. Both animals are pitch black with touches of white -- to the point where if you are looking out of the corner of your eye you can't tell which you are looking at, until they display typical cat or dog behavior. (Arbella is actually in my profile picture, but she sort of disappears into the shadows between us.)
I understand it's very important to fill out a detailed profile, so people will be able to glean ideas of what I'd like when a swap isn't Sender's Choice. Well, I like paper, especially vintage paper -- I've been making ATCs for a long time, and remember when most of us were artists from another sphere and were not familiar with crafts stores or scrapbooking supplies. There weren't many sources specifically for ATC supplies, so paper was treasured. It's all different now, and I'm having to ration myself as I see all the beautiful papers available online, as well as all the other products newly available. I am strangely fond of embellishments (like a bird attracted to shiny, dangly objects) but not used to using them, so I'm spending a lot of time on YouTube and Flickr to see how other people are imcorporating beads, charms, and such into their cards.
I love vintage, and have for most of my life. I collect vintage accessories, paper, prints (when I used to travel, I'd always buy old prints of the places I visited as souvenirs), fabric (I don't sew; I just like to look at it), books, and other things. I even like the reproduction vintage products available for ATCs -- I like the way manufacturers are bringing out vintage collage sheets with images resized, as I also like miniatures. I'm in several Yahoo groups for arts and crafts swapping, and one of them is mini-books. I'm also in Lenna Young Andrews' "Little Books" creative swap (I'll hold off on the URL for that one until I see how the first one works UPDATE: It didn't work, and neither did an image from the group. I'll have to review that page on markup language here.). 60 international participants are creating 2, 3, or 4 books 5x5 inches or less and will get the same number back. I've already learned a lot about making little books just from Lenna's tutorial. The books can be left plain or decorated, but I'm decorating mine, and I'm loving being able to include tiny but complete images of old postcards and so forth.
I also participated in the Arthouse Sketchbook 2011 Project (URL above), which is what really got me back to art after my accident (yes, it's been a long recovery and I still may have to have surgery if my intensive physical therapy doesn't help). We were supposedly sent Moleskine notebooks, but the paper was awful and i gutted mine, replacing it with a flag book. The theme I chose was "Lines and Grids", so in a sense I made the book a structure of lines and grids, as well as incorporating collage and found objects with elements of lines and grids. I'm hoping I'll be able to see my sketchbook when it comes to San Francisco, but there will be a lot of standing and I may not be up to that.
I have a few, but good friends -- since I've returned to Santa Rosa after spending time in Minnesota and the East Bay Area for my husband's job, I've been able to reconnect with my old high school group, and it's like I was never away. Old friends are like that -- time somehow doesn't matter.
I'm a reader and have been since I taught myself to read at 3. I read "Jane Eyre" and "Wuthering Heights" at 7 because my family had an edition of both books with woodcut illustrations. There was a lot I didn't understand, but I've re-read those books at least 25 times by now, and know them almost by heart. (Re-reading is another thing I like -- especially since I tend to forget things these days.) I'll always prefer a physical book, and I believe that "Books Do Furnish a Room" (title of one of Anthony Powell's novels in his 12-volume autobiographical series "A Dance to the Music of Time", which i've also re-read a dozen times, and owned 3 editions of). But my husband recently gave me a Kindle, and it certainly does help when you are reading in bed, which I have do to a lot of these days (on my side). You'll see a wall of bookshelves behind us in my profile picture -- that's our library, a little space under the stairs going up to the bedroom, behind the sofa, with a sheepskin rug and a hassock for sitting on. And those aren't the only bookshelves in our house -- not the mention the equal number in the garage. But then I grew up in a house with a library -- a room just for books -- and I also still have a huge collection there.
I look forward to being a member of swap-bot. I'm already a member of several art-related Yahoo groups, and have started 3 Meetups devoted to altered art over the last few years (two of them still going strong, one as a Yahoo group and another sponsored by a local art supply store). I've also got a call for mail art at mail-art.de, put up April 5, 2011. I've received several pieces which can be seen in my Flickr group Gridded Squares, and I hope to exhibit them when (if) I receive enough pieces of make it worthwhile. I think swap-bot will offer an opportunity to exchange even more kinds of art and make more friends, and I hope to get the requisite ratings soon.
Wishlist is going to draw from the above --
--I need embellishments, and instructions in how to use them!
--I love paper, and will happily accept any kind, but especially vintage.
--Vintage anything is always welcome. Even repro vintage, especially miniaturized.
--Favorite colors: any shade of pink -- did you know that pink is the only color which has a name of its own? Change (add white to, for instance) blue, red, orange, and all the rest and they are still blue, red, orange. (Not counting fancy paint names like azure or cranberry.) But add white to red and you get pink, the only color for which this is true. Fun fact!
--On the other hand, except for my bedroom, I decorate my house mainly in red, yellow, black, and white and love those colors in anything else too. But I'm open to new color combinations and recently had my socks knocked off by a black and white harlequin-pattern mini book tied with an olive green ribbon. I'm finding purple more and more attractive, and shades of beige come under white as far as I'm concerned.
--I don't like "cute". Kawaii, Hello Kitty, pointy hats and wings on old images of people -- they all leave me cold.
--I like to alter postcards, so a naked postcard will be messed with. Don't send something precious from your collection as I WILL turn it into "mail art".
--I love tiny things. Nothing makes my day like getting a mini book or other mini item in the mail. JJ, you know who you are and that I'm eternally grateful for the pocket book.
--I like vintage fabric, although I don't, or haven't yet done anything with it. I have grand projects in mind, and have even had seamstresses make curtains and slipcovers when I've run across great deals on eBay, but a little scrap of old feedsack is appreciated too. If I had another life to live, I'd be a fabric designer.
--I like geometric shapes -- squares, circles, rectangles. You may get an ATC from me that is just artfully (I hope) arranged shapes in the theme. I love getting the same in return.
--I really need some up-to-date elements for jazzing up my ATCs. K Collection has a lot of stick-ons and the like.
--I'm just not that wild about envelopes, lettersets, and so forth. I send ATCs in a plain CD mailer and feel that just getting it to the mailbox on time, maybe with a few detashed goodies included, is the best I can manage. My pain does have a lot to do with this.
--Ironically, of course I love to GET decorated envies. Since I spend a lot of time, especially in the morning, resting in bed, it absolutely makes my day when DH brings up a lovely envie which contains a decent swap of almost any kind.
--I'll add more as I think of stuff...