Date Joined: November 13, 2013
Last Online: October 31, 2016
Birthday: June 11, 1980
Country: United States
SUPER RECENT UPDATE (8/2016) : We just found out we are having a baby! I am due in March 2017. Between morning sickness and the fact that school is starting up again, I have been joining fewer swaps at a time, and it will likely remain that way for a while. I've begun to realize that the swaps I like best are the kind that take more time and effort to complete any way (journal/writing challenges, original artwork and such), and joining a bunch of fast turnaround swaps takes away from the time I can be devoting to making these swaps extra special. (That being said, I will still join the occasional post card or other fast turnaround swap, just not 20 at a time!)
RECENT UPDATE: I'm back after a 2-year hiatus. Before I left I received a 1 and a 3 for the last swaps I was in, and I'm going to try my best to resolve those. When I joined Swap-bot I was looking to escape from an unhappy situation, and writing letters and making art was a temporary reprieve from my daily reality. I completed many swaps in a short period of time, but when my living situation finally came to a head I found myself a single mother to an infant. I was working part-time at a bar and living off the kindness of my family. I was depressed and suddenly nothing mattered except for getting myself out of my slump and keeping it together for my daughter. A lot has changed in that time. I quit my job and went back to school (one semester left and I will be a science teacher!) and my best friend and I (whom I've known for over a decade) have fallen in love and plan to get married later in the year. I am very happy. And I'm glad to be back on Swap-bot. :)
Hi, I'm Tina. I am the mother to a little girl named Leoni (born in April '13).
My passions are learning about the world around me (nature & science, ESPECIALLY microbiology, astronomy, and marine biology), making art (collage mostly), and reading.
I love odd, kitschy and unusual things and am a very colorful person. I love animals and plants, the weirder the better. I moved to Arizona because I fell in love with the ever-changing desert landscape and the history of the people from this land. Last but not least I love art. I am trying to raise my daughter surrounded by art. I hope to collect things not only for myself but also for Leoni to enjoy now and when she is older: anything educational, beautiful, or thought-provoking, anything that can start a meaningful conversation...
I find myself transfixed by old photographs of beautiful women, mesmerized by them on celluloid... There is something about aging and the passage of time that frightens me, and when I see these women who I know are now very old or possibly dead... It's hard to explain, but I guess it comforts me, this reminder that we all experience it (those of us who are lucky enough!) Since I originally joined Swap-bot, I have had 2 gallery showings of my work. My pieces almost always feature old photographs of women and photos from old science & nature books. (check out my store link at the top if you would like to see a few examples).
I scour thrift stores for old nature books to cut up for my collages. I especially love it when the colors are off due to aging or because the photos were originally black & white and color was added later. I love notebooks, journals and diaries and will put them to good use. Clippings of photographs or artwork having to do with nature, science, culture, and art will also find a good home if you send them my way. And though I've already mentioned it, I cannot stress enough how obsessed I am by microbiology. The tiny invisible world that is the backbone of our own yet also separate from our own, the countless types of organisms and biological entities that live in us, on us, around us and in every place imaginable, that carry out their battles and life cycles unbeknownst to us or largely ignored by us.
I also LOVE: postcards (written and stamped OR completely blank, and handmade are great!), notecards & stationary, LION ANYTHING (my daughters name means lion), cowboy/Western theme, Native American art (especially kachinas!), clowns (an inside joke with my fiance), Moomins, mermaids, rainy days,cool stamps, toads (I even have one tattooed on my arm), SHARKS!!! octopus & jellyfish, birds, horses, insects & spiders, Barbie dolls & similar sized fashion dolls (I do not purchase them new but rather find them in thrift stores), interesting fabric, pretty paper.... I love costume jewelry (especially dangly earrings and pretty bracelets), beads, rhinestones & things that sparkle, little boxes & glass jars, frames of ALL SIZES for my artwork (I don't use the glass), magnets, cool keychains, kitchen littles, miniatures, washi tape...
My daughter is sort of obsessed with zebras and the color purple at the moment. She also loves horses, rainbows, glitter, and any little animal figurines. She loves books, I am constantly buying children's books at thrift stores and from library sales. She calls herself an artist, and loves crayons, glitter glue, paper scraps, etc.
I DO NOT LIKE: typical tourist cards (unless they are particularly beautiful, unusual or vintage), religious items (besides vintage postcards of old churches / statues / stained glass windows), holiday themed items... I used to say I didn't like Disney or kawaii stuff but I think my daughter would love it so I would be happy to receive it. If ever I send you something you are not in love with PLEASE pass it along, especially if it's a handmade item. I love the things I make and it's not so easy to say goodbye sometimes. It makes me feel much better knowing they are going to someone who loves them too!
My musical tastes range from old bluegrass and country to lo-fi indie rock, "shoegaze" and alternative, 50's & 60's R&B to 80's pop, with a dash of electro and hip-hop for good measure.
My favorite band in the entire world is Guided by Voices (I even have a tattoo of an overturned beer bottle with "GBV" on the label).
I love old black & white films (especially foreign), cerebral art films, dramas, and classic horror movies. I also watch a TON of documentaries.
My friends actually make fun of me because I am such a critic. I would rather watch two people sitting on a couch talking for two hours if the dialogue and acting is great than I would some Hollywood blockbuster with explosions and dazzling visuals where the acting and the script suck. When it comes to contemporary films, I am out of the loop, and that's totally fine by me.
I love modern classic horror films like the Exorcist, the Shining, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre... Contemporary horror films make me nauseous. It seems we have traded in atmosphere and suspense for torture and gore (not my thing at all...) There are some exceptions of course... In general I would rather watch horror films about the supernatural than realistic slasher films. And I love shark movies. But no sharks inside of tornadoes, ok?
Here are some of my absolute favorite movies (that I haven't already mentioned) off the top of my head: La Strada, Sawdust & Tinsel, Brokeback Mountain, Donnie Darko, Hedwig & the Angry inch, Gummo, the King of Kong, My Flesh and Blood, Three Women, Farenheit 911, Reel Injun, To Kill a Mockingbird, Antichrist, The Hours, Careful, A Nightmare on Elm Street...
The first novel I ever read from cover to cover as a child was "Moominpappa's Memoirs" (aka "The Exploits of Moominpappa"), which I accredit with being the book that sparked my love of reading. Before the invention of the internet, I looked everywhere for that book and no one seemed to have heard of it. Eventually I found out that moomins are huge in the Netherlands (where Tove Jansson, the author, was from), and in Japan (where they adore all things cute, of course). There are so many moomin books (and comic books, and toys, and a show...) and I can't wait until my daughter is old enough that I can share them with her.
If I had to name one favorite novel for adults it would be "Stones From the River" by Ursula Hegi, about a dwarf growing up in Nazi Germany. It is truly the best novel I have ever read (I've read so many). I keep saying that I am going to buy up a bunch of used copies on Amazon (where I've seen them for a penny before shipping) so I can give away copies every time I make a new friend who loves to read.
Other books I really enjoy are medical mysteries and just about anything related to microbiology (of course). - Carl Zimmer, he is like the rock star of the microbiology world. I love his books!
I love REAL history books that tackle uncomfortable truths about our society (think "Lies My Teacher Told Me", or anything by Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn)
And finally, I just love some good fiction. I tend toward the morbid sometimes (although I am not into vampires or werewolves, nor anything "gothic" unless we are talking about Victorian gothic!) When I was a kid I was OBSESSED with ghost stories and the paranormal... as an adult I tend to be much more skeptical, but I still like reading this kind of stuff... Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, etc. But I will devour a good novel of any kind, it doesn't have to be "scary" :)
I don't watch a whole lot of television, but my (not so) guilty pleasure is reality tv. It has to be a competition series though, I'm really not interested in watching rich people or super religious people or midgets go about their daily lives (no offense...) The ones I really like are: Survivor, Big Brother, Ink Masters... There are others I've enjoyed that aren't so famous and have only existed for a couple of seasons (artists, special effects make-up artists, surfers, whatever)
I also absolutely adore the original Twilight Zone, Gumby, and the Wonder Years. Oh, and any liberal news commentary show like the Colbert report, the Daily Show, and Last Night Tonight.
I wrote this when I first joined and it still stands:
A FINAL NOTE: Here is the disclaimer about how I always intend to send out my swaps, if I am late for any reason I will contact my partner, if you don't receive an item from me please get in touch and I will resend... Simple enough and should go without saying, right? I understand why "flakers" should not be allowed to participate in swaps until they send the items they owe. That being said, I must also say that I really don't understand when I read someone's profile and they've added a list of everyone who has ever flaked on them. Why not just rate them a 1 and be done with it? I've even read comments in the comments section of a swap calling people out for a bad rating in their past. If you are that concerned about it why not send a personal message to the coordinator? It seems mean-spirited and petty. I have enjoyed my short time on this site very much, have participated in many swaps already and I have to say if there is one thing I really dislike about the site, it's that. I'll take a flake or 2 any day over all of that negativity. Let's love one another and be more understanding, people! ;)
A NOTE ABOUT RATING: I intend to rate every swap I receive. But I have to be honest, I am sort of an unorganized/scattered/messy person... I am also busy taking care of a toddler and trying to keep up with housework and my studies. Often I open my mail then put it to the side to rate when I have a few minutes to myself (nap time or late at night, or when my daughter is at her father's house for the day). Sometimes it takes a few days and then I rate a few swaps at once because it is just easier that way. It is possible that somewhere in the shuffle I may have forgotten to rate something. (It doesn't happen often). If some time has passed since you sent me a swap, feel free to send me a reminder so I can rectify the situation. Every few weeks I go through my "sent" swaps in order to archive the ones that are 100% complete on both ends. If I notice that I haven't rated a received swap or gotten a rating for a swap I sent I will rate or send a message to my partner asking for a rating. I do not automatically assume that people are "flakers" or non-raters :)
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