Update 10/7/2017 - After a 6 week battle with significant health problems (abdominal pain, pulmonary embolisms and some form of cellulitis in my right arm), I think I am finally on the mend. I still don't have my usual energy, but I am so, so much better than I have been for the last few months. I will work on all of my late swaps this weekend and my goal is to have everything in the mail no later than 10/14. Special thanks to everyone for their understanding and for all the messages of concern and support. I truly appreciate all the good vibes that were sent my way!
Update 9/12/2017 - I am having some serious complications from my surgery in July, causing me to be in and out of the hospital and on some pretty heavy duty pain meds. I had an abdominal wall reconstruction to repair a 17cm hernia. I was doing great for about two weeks after I returned to Okinawa, but then I began to have problems. It is difficult for me to sit up for long periods of time and I am easily exhausted. This has been very unexpected and has caused me to be behind in my swaps. I will send notes to all the swap hosts and partners, but in case I miss someone or this update is read before I can get the note out, please be patient with me as I recover. I promise I will send out my swaps, but it may take me a while since sitting up is painful and I have very little stamina. Thank you for your understanding.
Update 8/15/2017 - I'm back home in Okinawa after a 6 week adventure in the States. My surgery went very well and I enjoyed spending time with family and making new friends. Even so, I am super happy to be back home! Thanks to everyone who sent me happy mail and RAKs while I was recovering. You all rock!
Hi! I am an avid paper crafter that lives in Okinawa Japan. I teach science to American students who are dependents of US military members stationed overseas. I have an awesome husband who teaches art to elementary students and is an amazing artist himself. I also have a beautiful daughter who is in high school. She is also very artistic and currently wants to have a career as a tattoo artist. We have lived in Okinawa for 11 years and absolutely love it. It is a gorgeous island that is considered to be the Hawaii of Japan. We hope to live here for many more years.
I love to do paper crafting. I generally make cards and books, but will do other crafts as well. I also sew and crochet. Currently, I am very into coloring as I find it very relaxing. My favorite coloring media is glitter gel pens. I love the sparkle when the picture is finished, even if it is a bit gaudy!
I have a huge craft room that I am fixing to open up to other crafters in the next few weeks. Many military dependents aren't able to bring their craft supplies with them overseas, so they will be able to come to my craft room and use my stuff (stamps, inks, die cut machines, etc) for a small hourly fee. I am super excited for "Marla's Craft Room" to become a reality. This is something I have wanted to do for years!
Marla's Craft Room Update 8/15/2017: I'm back in Okinawa and can't wait to get this project up and going. While I was in the States, I found a craft store in Livonia Michigan (Scrappy Chic). The store had 2 craft rooms and held a variety of classes. I spent a great deal of time there and learned a lot so I am totally re-inspired to make Marla's Craft Room a reality (again). I'm still amining for for a mid-September opening. Fingers crossed!
Marla's Craft Room Update: 7/2/2017: Sadly, Marla's craft room is on hold for the summer since I am traveling to the States for surgery...believe me, I would much rather be crafting! I am aiming for a September opening...fingers crossed!
I love action/adventure movies, particularly anything that has sword fights in it, like Highlander. I am a huge Vin Diesel fan and one of my favorite movies is Chronicles of Riddick, which combines action/adventure with my other favorite genre, Science Fiction.
I also love movies that have anything about time travel in it. I will pretty much watch anything about time travel, even if it is really bad.
As for TV shows, I have quite a few. I love crime dramas, like Criminal Minds. Currently, I am watching Bull and Ransom.
For reality shows, I am a fan of Australian cooking shows, like My Kitchen Rules and Master Chef. Once I started watching the Australian shows, I found that the American versions were painful to watch. I think the people in the Australian shows are much nicer and I also like that they have a lot more episodes in each season so you learn a lot more about cooking and the contestants.
I also like period dramas, like The Tudors, The Collection, and The Halcyon.
I love paper crafting and especially love washi tape, cardstock, patterned papers, die cuts, stamps, inks, and pens.
I also love, love, love anything that sparkles, like bling and glitter pens. My favorite color is purple so if it is purple and sparkles, I will love it!
I also love 3D crafts like custom books, altered items like books made from playing cards or random found items. I also like making cards sets and boxes or portfolios for the cards to go into.
Anything handmade - cards especially, but I love anything that is out of the ordinary
Paper crafting supplies - paper, washi, fibers, unique stickers, tags
Coffee - not flavored, but regular good full-bodied roasts. I have a grinder so I usually get whole beans. I even roast my own from green beans using a high powered heat gun when I have time
Chocolate - all kinds, but white and dark are my favorites. I like it when there are crunchies in it like nuts, puffed rice or corn flakes. I'm not a fan of raisins in anything...they are just grapes gone bad.
Reading - I mostly read YA fiction. I particularly like dystopian stories about the future. I also love to read anything about time travel, like Outlander. I'd love to get recommendations of books that you have read and enjoyed.
Coloring - I'm really into coloring at this time. I find it really relaxing in the evenings. Currently, I am coloring in glitter gel pens, which always makes me happy since the colors are vibrant and sparkly! I like coloring pages that are designs, rather than pages that have people or scenes, since designs (like mandalas, kaleidoscope, or paisleys) let me use more colors!
Other crafts - I sew and crochet. I don't sew on a regular basis but when I do sew, I really enjoy it. I think I will do more over the summer when I have more time. I love to crochet, mostly baby blankets and dish cloths. I want to learn how to make baskets. My grandmother taught me when I was 8. She recently passed, but I am grateful that she passed this skill on to me. I always think of her when I pick up a hook.
Cooking - I enjoy cooking and especially love it when I find a recipe that is easy and healthy. My daughter is pescatarian (no meat, only seafood), so I am always on the lookout for recipes that are vegetarian or have seafood in them.
Wine - I love a good dry red wine. I like going to wine tastings and touring vineyards. I absolutely love natural pictures of grapes, particularly when they are still on the vine. I like to learn about wines and how they are made. I volunteer at two major wine festivals each year as a pourer and always have a blast!
New things - I love to learn and discover, so if you do anything unique, please tell me about it! Particularly if it is an art technique (like dÃ©collage) or handicraft (like tatting). I really want to learn how to do ATCs, so that is on my list. Any tips or links to tutorials would really be appreciated!
I also love butterflies, dragonflies, peacocks, and anything with rich, beautiful colors!
Religion - I am agnostic, so sending me religious pamphlets or trying to convert me is a waste of your time and resources. I don't mind getting holiday cards that have religious themes when those holidays come around, but in general, I would rather get something else if you have a choice.
Reward Stickers - Even though I am a teacher, I teach teenagers and I don't use those types of stickers.
I live on a US military base in Japan, so even though I am physically in Japan, I have a US mailing address. It costs the same to mail to me as to mail to California. The only difference is that if it is a package, you will need to complete a customs form which is available at the post office. I think that there is even a discount for mailing priority mail boxes to military addresses (at least there used to be).
I always mail out my swaps, but since I am reliant upon the military mail system and also on the other side of the International Date Line, the postage date might be off a day or two. Also, I have limited access to actual postage stamps and often my mail is sent with metered postage. This is because the military post office doesn't carry a variety of stamps and often runs out.
Please be understanding when rating me if either of these situations occur, particularly the stamp issue. I order stamps from USPS.com, but it takes them a while to get to me.
I am very generous in my swaps and often include several profile based items above what the swap requires. I hope this will make up for the limitations that I face with postage dates and stamps.
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