Date Joined: April 11, 2017
Last Online: June 6, 2018
Birthday: March 12
Country: United Kingdom
My name is Michelle. I live in Northeast England with my husband and our menagerie. We have a bearded dragon (Falcor), a chameleon (Queenie), a rabbit (Hazel) and a cat (Kye), and we are receiving help to hopefully add a human baby to our household.
My hobbies are very much home-based, sedentary ones.
I love crafting and make lots of cards, I scrapbook, I cross stitch and I have even turned my hand to knitting. I have begun to crochet, I have made a couple of the Edward's Menagerie creatures.
I also read a lot; since getting a Kindle I download anything free and it's been a great way of trying new things. Physical books remain my favourite - there's nothing like the smell of printed paper! Unfortunately somewhat limited living space has meant that I have to be very selective with which books I can keep. I will read anything, but don't really enjoy romance novels or chick lit, in general fantasy, thrillers and crime dramas are my favourites.
Match three style games on my tablet. I have been playing Garden Scapes for a while now and enjoy it.
Seeking games on the computer.
Jigsaws. I love being able to switch off my brain, really focus on the thing I'm doing.
In addition, I enjoy cooking and baking. I'm vegetarian, and I really enjoy trying new foods, especially ones which help me get enough protein. I used to bake once a week because it made me limit my sweet treat intake, but shifts make it hard to have a set baking day so it's more as and when now.
My husband and I enjoy walking together, and we joined the Geocaching community as a way to encourage us to get out and about in new places.
I do love to travel and have been to a lot of cities, countries and continents. I have a list of places I want to see as tall as me (although at 5'2" that's not overly difficult)! Sadly financial constraints are limiting me at the minute, but we're really exploring home which is fun.
I have needed something to do with my hands when watching TV as long as I can remember.
When I was 5 I did a long stitch picture of Puffing Billy (it's still in a drawer upstairs) and this led to a long cross stitch habit. I enjoy stitching all sorts and am in the process of stitching a lovely image of birds on a feeding station at the minute. When I got married I stitched 52 gold butterflies -one per invite- which looked great but put me off cross stitch for a while.
I used to make jewellery, but I can't wear it at work and kind of got out of the habit of wearing it at other times, but I'd like to get back into it, and I still own my stash.
An impulse purchase got me into making beaded snowflake decorations. I love them, really fun and satisfying.
My main pastime is making cards. I have a Big Shot which I would probably save first if my house was on fire! His Lordship treated me to a Scan'N'Cut last year and as I have played around with it I've found it invaluable.
I enjoy stamping, and it was heat embossing which got me into papercrafts to begin with, it's magic! I am currently trying to build up my stamp stash and develop my skills and style, pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I would love the money to buy Stampin' Up, Lawn Fawn and Altenew but I make the most of my more limited budget and am really enjoying Hunkdory's For the Love of Stamps and magazine freebies.
Since joining Swapbot, I've discovered ATCs and Pocket letters. I'm really enjoying the new twist on old crafty favourites, I have found it really fun adapting my paper crafting to create mini pieces of decoration.
I was knitting a blanket when I was pregnant, my mum helped loads at first but once I got into it I was doing OK. When I lost the baby I put my knitting away, but I intend to finish it if we do conceive again.
Christmas is by far my favourite time of year and I make little felt stockings to hang on the tree, I put sweets in to sell them. I have a book of Christmas crochet projects and have every intention of trying some, and making air dry clay ornaments.
Many many years ago I used to make lace and although I was never great at it, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't have a clue how to get back into it, but it's a pipe dream.
Nightmare before Christmas- I can recite and sing it almost word perfect, and I love all related merchandise. I'd really love a Zero Christmas decoration, he's my absolute favourite.
Chocolate - not a fan of dark, but other than that have yet to find a bar I don't get on with, although I generally prefer simple bars, not peanut butter cups or that sort of thing.
Tea - I love most teas, black fruit or herbal, but only like green tea if it's weak and flavoured. I think chai tea is my favourite, apart from Earl Grey which is my day to day drink.
Film noir, Hitchcock films. I used to watch them with my dad, still love them now and they remind me of him.
Alice in Wonderland
Steampunk, Victorian and Gothic style - I made a scrapbook in this mix of styles and it is the crafty item I am most proud of. My newest and current can't live without crafty toy is a Dymo label maker which is perfect for these styles
Birds. I try to feed them and love to watch them, but Kye thinks it's snack time so they're wary of my garden. Robins are my favourite, so cute and inquisitive.
Red squirrels. I am lucky enough to live in one of the few places they're still in the wild, and they are the most adorable creatures.
Ribbons for crafting - I enjoy trying new ways to use them.
Winnie the Pooh. Eeyore is my absolute favourite, but I love the imagery, traditional and modern, the stories and the poems. An illustrated postcard with a poem would be oh so welcome.
Reading - I used to speak and read good French and try to keep my skills current by finding books in French, but they're pricey here which is prohibitive.
Candles - although I do like decorative ones, I really love to burn candles, so scented tea lights or pillar candles which I can put in my existing holders are my favourite
Paper puzzles, especially logic puzzles
The Snowman, and Snowdog. It's just so cute, and I love the innocence.
Knitting and crochet - more the idea and done projects than working through on my own at the minute.
Disney in general - it's happy escapism
Shoes - I love quirky ones, Iron Fist, Irregular Choice and Ruby Shoo are my favourites
Fantasy - reading fantasy, imagery, especially faeries, unicorns, pegasus, dragons, witches...
My favourite colour is British Racing green (bottle green), but I mainly wear black and dark and/or dusky reds
Santoro Gorjuss range, it's so sweet but with an edge. I love crafting with these images, but also the treats from shops.
Owls. I love all owls, they're gorgeous birds, but snowy owls hold a special place in my heart.
Beatrix Potter - my nursery was to be bunny themed and I have several gorgeous Peter Rabbit items. I'm keeping them in the trust that they will be used.
Quirky earrings - handmade are best but I like funky ones in general. I've got three holes in my right ear, one in the left, so I wear odd (in both meanings) earrings in the top two on the right.
Art deco style
Rainbows - I defy anyone to see a rainbow and not smile! They help me feel cheerful even if I'm in a huge grump.
Tulips. My absolute favourite flower, they're so innocent and unassuming
Vintage cartoons, especially slightly tongue in cheek ones.
Holly Pond Hill by Susan Wheeler. It's just adorable.
Polka dots. Best pattern ever apart from tartan.
Tartan (plaid). Especially ones with a dark green and blue base.
The bizarre phrases and sayings which develop in families, friendship groups, geographical areas... I find wordplay fascinating, and I love idioms etc.
Charles RenÃ©e Mackintosh style. I have been to his art house in Glasgow, it's amazing!
Coffee. I hate the smell, and i dislike the taste enough that I won't eat Revels just in case it's a coffee one pretending to be orange!
Marshmallows. The texture makes me squirm.
Turkish Delight. It's got a taste, smell and texture I can't abide.
Anime. It freaks me out a bit, not really sure why.
Religious paraphernalia and people who feel like they're pushing their beliefs on me. I respect everybody's right to believe in what they wish, but that includes not believing.
Cutesy pastel colours, especially yellow and pink, they're just really not me.
Meat - I've been vegetarian for more than 28 years now, nothing ethical in it, I just don't like the taste, smell or texture of meat. I do eat a little bit of fish, but it's got to be very flavoured and not have a meaty texture.
Mess. I actually enjoy housework most of the time, and one of my best de-stressers is cleaning out a cupboard!
Favourite books and authors:
Pride and Prejudice - this was one of the first 'grown up' books I remember reading, I love how the story is genuinely gripping and I want to keep reading to find out what happens. I've read it at least 6 times, and read P&P with zombies and other related books.
All the Harry Potters, including the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts screenplay. I love fantasy, and this is a brilliant gateway world, they're actually funny and despite reading them at least once a great since I was about 13 I thoroughly enjoy them and find the plots clever and engaging.
The Hobbit. This is another book I read as a child and reread periodically, it's such a well thought out, credible world with characters I care about.
PG Wodehouse. I especially like his Bertie Wooster books. These are lighthearted and funny, great escapism.
The Agatha Raisin books. I enjoy crime writing, and I love cozy mysteries. This series combines these with a tongue in cheek sense of humour and an enjoyable writing style.
Stephen King. Again, escapism and gripping plots, I like books which you struggle to put down and King is so good at that.
Colin Bateman. He writes very funny, tongue in cheek books which are hard to describe but worth looking up.
Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series and Nursery Crime. Fforde has created a very credible, well defined world which is engrossing and pulls the reader in. He's so lighthearted in his writing style, but writes well.
Alice in Wonderland. There's nothing to say, this is just genius! I am lucky enough to own a copy of the Salvador Dali illustrated edition which is so unusual, and I also have a copy in French.
Neil Gaiman. He's so versatile, I got into him back when I was a student and have ended up reading his children's/YA book later in life, but his Hansel and Gretel and Sleeper and the Spindle are two of the most amazing and beautiful books I own.
The Night Before Christmas
I collect old books; anything 1960 or before. I have been collecting for around 20 years and have around 120 books. My oldest is a bible from 1820.
Duck products. This was an accidental collection. I love ducks, they're such cheerful, happy creatures, and I remember being on a picnic and giving some bread to a duck who then sat on my knee for ages! I bought a duck doorstop when we first had the offer accepted on our house, and I've ended up slowly collecting small duck ornaments etc. I would love love love a duck necklace or earrings.
Harry Potter merchandise. His Lordship bought me a wonderful book on crafting the world of Harry Potter and I've enjoyed making a couple of the projects and have a long to-do list. I've got a replica of Luna's wand which I love, and a range of Harry Potter jewellery, I've got all the books in English and most in French (I need Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows).
Vintage Christmas pin badges. I think my favourite is an art deco Christmas tree, but I've got several and I love displaying them at Christmas.
General crafting toys and goodies. I love patterned papers, ribbons, Washi tape, stamps... My current wish list is for stencils, masks and distress inks, I really want to build on my blending skills.
Things which make me laugh. Sounds strange as a collection, but I have a 'laughter diary' which I stick funnies into and write in jokes, quotes etc that amused me. I'd love to receive things which you found funny, even (or especially) as a random message.
Why I joined Swap Bot
I blog on WordPress, and one of the blogs I follow often talks about her penpals, the swaps she has taken part in and the things she is doing for swaps. She signposted me here when I asked how she got involved in these things.
I had a penpal in Austria for years and used to really enjoy getting letters and occasional surprises, and I was disappointed when we lost touch. My best friend lives around 100miles away, so we see each other infrequently, and because we both work shifts it can be hard to find time to talk on the phone, so we send snail mail.
My crafty habits tend to result in a build up of under loved items. I love the idea of sharing my makes, and hope that they may find appreciation with a new home.
I have anxiety issues and am agoraphobic, so I find it extremely difficult to meet new people and make friends. As well as a way of having contact with others, I am really looking forward to having the impetus to leave the house - the post box and post office in the local shop are less than 10 minutes walk away, but there are days it could be 10 000 miles, having a reason to go means I have to.
I hope to meet people from across the globe, especially other crafters with whom I can share tips and techniques and places to get a bargain, and people with other interests in common.
If I am involved in email swaps, I will send from my Hotmail address if I can't figure out something on Swapbot messaging, I am useless with my other account and can't add any attachments. I do use BCC if I send a general email, and put my own email address as the main one.
If you've got my name for two swaps I'm very happy for you to put them in one package, no need to waste your money on extra postage! Just please make it obvious which is which, I get confused so easily.
When I swap with you, I will mark my item as sent when I get home from the post office. I won't usually get a tracking number four international swaps, it's just too expensive.
Things I'd love to receive
I love feeling thought of, so anything profile related is very much appreciated. I love handmade things, crafty fairs and antique markets are Michelle happy places. The following are quick ideas for easy swapping:
White gel pen
Winnie the Pooh items
Nightmare Before Christmas items
Lace - homemade, bought, vintage, new... Love it
Disney items in general. I love love love Beauty and the Beast, and there are very few I don't like.
Dies and die cuts
French language items
Harry Potter items
Geocaching trackables - we've sent Darth Vader on his travels, but more would be fun
Bird ephemera, especially silhouettes
Teabags (not plain green tea, please). Yum.
Steampunk, Goth and Victoriana style items
Tealights, especially scented ones
Those plastic trading card display things so I can join in pocket letter swaps
Incense cones. My stick holder broke, so no incense sticks at the minute, please, unless you fancy sending a holder too...
Dark nail varnishes. My whole collection is 10+ years old and desperately needs replacing.
Lip balms, but not tinted
Writing paper, envelopes would be welcome, too
Gold sparkly embellishments
No thank you
Magnets - my fridge is in a cupboard and I've got nowhere else to display them
Plain green tea
Monogrammed items or things with my name on
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