I’m a former wandering gypsy, now living in Florida where the primeval beauty of the Big Cypress swamp and the longest coastline of any state except Alaska satisfy certain of my inner needs. It’s also a great jumping off point for the Bahamas, the Caribbean & Latin America. I lived in India for several years working with a snake catcher; traveled with Ringling Brothers Circus (living on the train); lived on a sailboat in the Bahamas & Caribbean for 5 years… My numerous occupations have included newspaper staff writer, assembly-line worker in a cockroach trap factory, librarian, charter-boat cook, dog walker in NYC, proprietor of a shop selling beach paraphernalia in the Virgin Islands and, most consistently, free-lance travel writer. Travel, adventure & being easily distracted are all prime motivators in my life!
Writing & photography were always my creative outlets, but lately I’m exploring mixed media collage & miniature book making. I originally joined Swap-Bot for non-touristy postcard exchanges as I’m always on the lookout for quirky or whimsical imagery. But I’m a long-time fan of (and participant in) mail art, so I’ve become more involved in collage & handmade postcard & mail art swaps. I appreciate things created with wit, originality, a sense of humor – or just because they’re beautiful or intriguing. I like clever, off-beat, esoteric stuff. Cute & Sweet don’t cut it for me. (Maybe I’m still rebelling against a mother who tried too hard to make me pink and frilly.) But I do enjoy whimsy. I love getting postcards & envelopes decorated with art work, collage, etc. And lots & lots of cool stamps!
Though I caved to peer pressure & created a Flickr account, I’m really bad about keeping it updated with images of mail art I’ve sent. Social media in general eludes me. There are never enough hours in the day for all the other things I find far more interesting to do.
My musical taste is pretty eclectic, but I particularly like acoustic guitar, Reggae, Latin jazz, World Music in general. A few of my favorite musicians are Mose Allison, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell & Paco de Lucia.
My passport is my favorite book. I read a lot of nonfiction. When I get interested in a subject I read about it voraciously. I enjoy poetry & have been trying my hand at haiku and tanka. Theodore Roethke, ee cummings, & Shel Silverstein are often on my bedstand. Nick Bantock always inspires. Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain, & Kipling are among my long time favorites.
My top 5 favorite films are La Strada, L'Atalante, The Gods Must be Crazy, Walkabout, The Triplets of Belleville. My choices seem to reflect my penchant for living on boats; circuses; exotic locales & eccentric characters. I watch a lot of foreign films & indie films. Pedro Almodovar is a favorite filmmaker.
Mixed media collage, (mainly postcards) & occasionally miniature books. Because I've always been a writer and photographer I often incorporate words and photos into my crafts.
For store-bought postcard swaps I much PREFER RECEIVING POSTCARDS SENT BLANK, IN AN ENVIE, even if the swap calls for them to be sent naked. I understand if you can't do that, but that is my preference. I also love old or interesting postage.
NO tourist cards please! I do NOT like them.
NO Christian themes or Bible verses.
I don't care for color-it-yourself cards
POSTCARDS I ESPECIALLY LIKE
Ken Brown's cards (extra credit if you come up with one of these!)
Cards featuring HANDS or EYES
Black & white photography (anything from Fotofolio & Nouvelles Images e.g.)
Inge Löök's old ladies (If you have extras of these and want to do a direct swap let me know)
Cards with elephants or monkeys make me smile; camels too, especially if they're being ridden by nomads!
Eadweard Muybrige's animals or people in motion
Close ups of nature, like a gorgeous tree frog or a colorful beetle.
Art cards. I prefer contemporary & modern art & appreciate unusual art forms such as graffiti, street art, "outsider" art, & found object creations.
Some favorite artists: Dali, Magritte, Matisse, Escher, Gauguin, Charlie Harper, Joan Miro, Keith Haring
Winslow Homer's paintings of Florida and the Bahamas.
Hindu or Buddhist deities
Sailboats, waves, the sea, especially artsy interpretations of them.
Matchbox cover designs
Cigar Box Label art (love those old lithographs)
Rock & Roll & 1960's musicians
Kaj Stenvall cards
Popeye the Sailor Man
1950's & earlier vintage, especially linen cards & real photo cards.
Upside-down heads, sometimes called Topsy Turvys, in which the image changes when you flip it. Like this:
My Postcrossing favorites (link above) will give you an idea of the kinds of cards I like. 💚💜💛💙❤️
If you're inclined to include extras or it's a mail art envie swap, here are some of the things I enjoy receiving:
Postage stamps (new or used)
Faux postage (artistamps)
Old black & white photos
Comic book pages, any language
Match box labels.
Maps, especially old or foreign ones.
Fortune cookie fortunes
Handmade paper, particularly the very thin stuff, has a place in my heart as well as my collages.
Foreign paper money. You know, all that stuff that has no value because they're using euros now, or the leftovers you didn't get to spend on your last trip.
Vintage ephemera, preferably the real thing. I'm not keen on faux vintage stuff, I just don't get it.
I love bizarre, quirky rubber stamps.(Had a great collection in the 1980's but they melted in the tropics!)
I'm allergic to the smell of nail polish. I never thought to mention it here because I don't swap such things, but I recently received a mail art postcard made using nail polish as paint. My sinuses flared up as soon as I opened my mailbox. So please, even though the colors are stunning, don't add nail polish on swaps you send me. My respiratory tract thanks you!
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