Married with three (older) kids. Born in California; grew up mostly in New Mexico; went to Rice University in Houston; spent a few years in Maryland; currently live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Hail to the Victors, and Hail to the Glow Cloud...)
(FYI: My swapbot mail/notifications go to a secondary email account which I don't necessarily check every day.)
Right now my favorite artist is Carrie Newcomer. I enjoy mellow, acoustic, female singer-songwriters. Other genres I like are folk, celtic, world music (especially instrumental), and acoustic.
Favorite podcasts: Welcome to Nightvale, Harry Potter as a Sacred Text, BBC Witness, A Way with Words, The Memory Palace, With Me Now, The World in Words, Very powerful but heartbreaking: Believed, from Michigan Radio (about Nassar abuse victims). No new episodes but enjoyed at the time: Death in Ice Valley, Order 9066.
I started with ATCs in summer 2008 and then branched into postcards - I'm not the first to say it, but the larger canvas of a postcard appeals to me! I like to make fabric / needlework PCs and ATCs, or collage-y style postcards.
I dabble in colored pencil drawings - I mostly draw botanical and entomological subjects (flowers and insects) from photos. I also like block printing (linocut, although usually not on actual linoleum).
I always appreciate your own drawing or painting on an ATC or postcard! And no matter how you make it, I appreciate a note about how you made your creation, what you were thinking of, etc. The creative process fascinates me.
I'm a blues and greens kind of gal! My least favorite colors to work with are 'muddy' colors, like drab browns and yellows and such. I admire people who can make them work!
I like botanicals and nature-inspired items, or abstract/geometric/swirly stuff.
unusual animals, such as zebras, okapi, pangolins, even intriguing arthropods (giraffe weevil, colorful beetles and bugs, sea life, etc). The less well known, the better. [granted, zebras are charismatic megafauna, but I make an exception for them!] Live snakes in my immediate proximity (such as pets) make me shudder a little bit, but I'm okay with them in art.
interestingly shaped leaves (like bloodroot - have you seen a bloodroot leaf? very cool! or gingko? also cool!),
maps and postage stamps
Also appreciate black-and-white (or limited color) illustrations from old science or other textbooks. I've collected quite a pile of them from the free shelf at my public library!
I enjoy mysteries and spy / intrigue books, either print or audio. I've just caught up on the Slough House series (Mick Herron). I was alternating listening to what's available in the Dublin Murder Squad series (Tana French), Inspector Gamache (Louise Penny), and the Shetland series (Ann Cleeves) and am at a lull there. I've also been listening to the Hamish MacBeth series and the BBC Radio 4 adaptations of Agatha Christie (esp Hercule Poirot series), but I've pretty much finished those. Our local library is part of a state-wide consortium for ebooks and e-audio, so I often listen to whatever is "available now."
Recommendations for spy/espionage series gladly accepted!
My favorite book is Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers. My favorite authors are Madeleine L'Engle and Dorothy Sayers. My favorite books are mysteries, especially when they incorporate an interest of mine (cooking, needlework, etc) without it being too forced - e.g. "cozy mysteries." Inspector Henry Tibbetts (by Patricia Moyes) and Maisie Dobbs (by Jacqueline Winspear) are two great series in this vein.
And I've been reading quite a bit of young adult fiction to keep ahead of my boys or find books they might enjoy. Recent favorites include The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins; Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool. Our whole family enjoyed The Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathan Rogers - great especially for boys! Others: Mysterious Benedict Society (I liked the first one the most), The Wednesday Wars, Madeleine L'Engle, J. K. Rowling, Blue Balliet.
This will probably never be relevant, since I mostly swap ATCs and postcards, but I'm allergic to avocados and shrimp. And naproxen (aka Aleve) - so don't send me any OTC non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs! :^)
For postcards: I ADORE handmade postcards!! But if you don't make your own, I also like maps, native plants or animals, quirky local sites, artsy stuff.
For tea swaps: my favorites are flavored white or green teas. Also like herbal or rooibos and chai mixes. Big fan of spicy hot chocolate. I'm slowly learning to appreciate loose oolongs and black teas blends. My husband is a big fan of Earl Grey/Gray and its variants. And this may sound a bit whiny, but I consider a bag of ordinary Lipton to be the tea-swap-equivalent of 'sticker slapping' (representing little time or effort).
For recipe swaps, I have recipe boxes for 3x5 and 4x6 cards, and a file folder for 8.5x11 paper. So I'm flexible on formats. I love to cook from fresh & seasonal ingredients, and I like ethnic recipes and "food with flavors" (interesting spices). And I'm a big fan of chocolate.
What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?
Be brave. Be truly brave. I mean, don't get carried away. Stay out of the Dog Park. And don't run with knives. And, for crying out loud, don't cry out loud. You'll upset the bears, which are emotionally fragile animals that are already very uncomfortable with themselves.
Today is street cleaning day. Please remain calm.
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