Swap-bot Time: March 29, 2017 12:19 am


Date Joined: August 29, 2016
Last Online: March 28, 2017
Birthday: July 7, 1968
Country: Costa Rica
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03/21/22: Please BE AWARE/NOTIFIED:

I got a notification last week that I have packages coming home as they were rejected but will find out the reasons for each one as soon as they get reported in my mailbox to proceed with further ''corrections''.

This is disturbing because at first, I thought it was a mistake (or a terrible bad joke) but then, 3 days ago, I found the first rejection notification in my mailbox; a swap I sent 2 months ago to @LadySunshine and it was rejected due ''missing'' the receiver's address label in the package but I am wondering how they lost it?!!?? It went all the way to Israel and came back because the package has no label? How it went out of the country, in first instance, if it was missing the address label? BS!!!

I notified @simcoe54 (the host of the swap) and also @LadySunshine giving the corresponding evidence of the transit of the package.

So, here I am; hopeless with our Postal Services and wondering about which packages are coming back and one side of me is really, really mad, upset, frustrated, worried but, I do have to admit it; that is a better scenario (getting packages back for further redirection) than having them Missing in Action (MIA) while my receivers wonder about me as swapper.

I am really sorry friends, this is surreal but it is what it is and beyond my control but If you have any concerns, just PM me. I will be happy to reply back asap. Thank you for your understanding!! ♥

I am an Instagram user. If you do not want to spoil your swap, do not spy me ;-)

  • Always happy to make private swaps of any kind/theme. PM me if you would like to exchange with me *

Everyone is informed that we have a volcano with a heavy ongoing activity that is affecting Costa Rica big time in all the possible ways. So due to our postal crisis please be informed about the following points:

  • Currently, whether dropping my envies at the nearest postal office or using the blue mailbox, the packages are taking at least a week or more to be sorted out and to reflect its status in the tracking tool. I am sorry, I know this impacts you but please rest assure I am trying my best to drop the packages as soon as possible to prevent any more delays of what we are already experiencing

  • I send everything with tracking number except naked postcards

  • Most of my tags, raks, angels and swaps when allowed, will be shipped from online shops to avoid lost packages and especially to shorten the awaiting time but be aware that all that is shipped from Costa Rica, has ahead a waiting list in the queue before it gets sorted out plus an extended crossing to reach you.

  • I will resend if: Has passed 6 weeks since the day I marked the swap SENT and you have not received it yet. Please only PM me

I always will give you 'second endless' chances before rating you down. I am aware of how long can take a swap to reach me, so I will always contact you. Communication is the key, so please use it with me too ! :-) ♥

Maria Gallardo

Po Box 1891 San Pedro

Montes de Oca 02050

San Jose, Costa Rica

You can email me at mgallardo68@gmail.com


I am Maria, 48 years old, widower, born and living in Costa Rica, a member of a big half Italian family.

I have 3 grown children (Montserrat, Mariano and Luisa), first two have made me grandma already twice (each): Luca and Pietro (Montse) and Giacomo and Costanza (Mariano) and those babies enlightening me and are my prize for any good I have done in this life.

We are 11 living in the same home!! Scared? Lol... We are renting a big home and we all have our own space. We have lived as ''a communa'' all our life, not in the sort of 'hippy/naive'' way but from the solidarity perspective, sharing all and supporting each other, especially lately with such hard global economy.

Our seats at the restaurant are always 15... No need more people to have fun, we are already many... We share many common interests, like movies, music, sports, food/wine tasting, politics' view traveling, extended meals with so much talking and lots of food and much more...

My father Jorge Gallardo was an artist (member of the National Pinacoteca and with several pieces in private and public collections), passed away in 2001 and my mom Ruth was an artist and the finest sewist ever, she passed away 3 years ago, just 2 years after my husband did and this was a very hard period of our life but after the first grandbaby came, Luca; our lives got back to happiness and hope.

I am open minded, straight forward and almost not filter when speaking. I love silence but I have noise and talking around me always... Generous by choice, I do not expect anything in return. Minimalist with my possessions, I cannot take anything with me so why then, hoarding?

I am smart, well-educated and have a 'thing' for language, it is one of my favorite topics, therefore I respect the way I write in English and do my best to do it correctly but an apology in advance for any mistake!

Love traveling (going to Italy and Ireland in May/2017 and I cannot wait), reading, always seeking to learn something new. I love cooking, my favorite foods are Italian, Arabic and Asian food. I love antique maps and vintage items and I wish I could have real flea markets like there are in Europe or North America so I could go every weekend for hunting treasures. Love history, arts and well, throughout the time you will discover more about me!

The huge family relation I have has nurtured my life and my perspective in the world, it has given me a place on the planet and has taught me the meaning of endless love.

Our favorite quote that rules our family's life as the principle is:

I have hosted many people from around the world from Couchsurfing and many of them became great friends... So always know and be sure you are....

I like almost all types of music but Tropical (salsa, merengue and things like that are a NO for me thought Bachata is not bad). ''Classic'' (Vivaldi is my favorite but also love so many others like Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Manuel de Falla, Joaquin Rodrigo and more) Also love 80's music and New Age and Philip Glass. Oh, and I love soundtracks by M83, Sigur Rós, Hans Zimmer and the greatest Ennio Morricone, just to mention few :-)... Actually, I have younger children, so I also love a lot of 'their music' and favorite bands. I keep ''current'' ;-)

I grew up without TV, my father was very religious and he thought it was an ''evil instrument', but remember, he was an artist :-)... Learn to read very little and since then, I have been an eager reader... Love many authors and I read about everything, but my favorites are Fernando Pessoa with ''The book of disquiet'', Miguel de Cervantes with 'El Quijote, Victor Hugo with 'Les Miserables'. Milan Kundera is in the top 10. Also love Russian writers, filled my teenage days with Dumas and The three Musketeers and ''Le Comte de Monte-Cristo'' and many other books he wrote. Marguerite Yourcenar with ''Memoirs of Hadrian''. Pablo Neruda, García Lorca, Borges... List is endless :-)

I just love cinema, favorite actors and directors are endless as well, I dedicate every week at least 8 hours to see movies.... Love Nolan and Tarantino, Inception is one of my all times favorite movies and Interstellar made me cry... A really loving movie ... Oh, I also love Fight Club, Léon, Four Lions and more! Love European cinema, Independent movies, documentaries.... Again, endless count...

I do not watch much TV (I guess for the way I grew up), however, love Food shows, Audition shows (dancing and singing) The Sopranos is my most loved series ever and James Gandolfini was 1 of my imaginary boyfriends).... Love Euro-channel and British, Scottish, German and French shows.


I love quilting but I am still a newbie, have more than 5 years learning and doing small and big projects. Love scraps and put them in a random way to see the outcome, love modern and also traditional styles and I am a fabric addict, especially batiks and precuts. All QSQ as I ADORE cotton. Also, fan of all colors in Quilting and keep surfing Etsy to find good deals :-)

I also love fiber arts and mixed media, drawing, scrapbooking, mail art, upcycling, recycling, among many others, are universes I discovered a bit late but are now a big part of me. I have an artistic background so it is in my veins.

See my Instagram for more of my work!

We are atheists but we have profound respect for others. I celebrate important holidays at home and I decorate and you can feel free to share with me any religious items. They will not be wasted, I keep them. We are citizens of the world and will gladly participate in any ceremonies you or anybody will invite us to join. I love icons especially the ones from Easter Europe (byzantine art is wonderful) and my dad's wake with religious art was huge... He painted several important religious pieces (angels, nativities, Apocalypse and more), so I am used to it.

  • See below more of my likes and dislikes:

Above ALL And this is my favorite season Christmas

And other stuff I like

  • All colors, especially red, yellow, orange, blue and gray; Art, African & Asian culture (my DIL is Chinese), antiques, aprons

  • Calendars, cherry trees blooming, chocolate all types, coffee, cotton fabrics (specially Repros and batiks), creams (hands/body), Cosmos

  • Chile (spicy, really spicy sauce, dry, etc)

  • Elephants, Embroidery all types (specially Sashiko, Boro, Khanta), ethereal meaning, ephemera

  • Handmade things (I love to see people's soul throughout their art)

  • the Internet, Ice

  • Mail-art, Matryoshkas/Babushkas, mountains, magic, mystery

  • Nautical stuff (especially lighthouses)

  • Ornaments (good quality), Outer space

  • Perfumes, postcards (not-touristy are better)

  • Quinoa and other ''rare'' and ethnic ingredients

  • Rain, roses

  • Silence, snow, spicy food, stars,

  • Tea all types, thread, tins,

  • Wine, wild animals (elephants are my favorite but also lions, tigers, bears, eagles, elks, moose, dolphins, whales, sharks, hawks, owls and such. NO PETS),

  • Pets (but I can take pet related items as I can use them in my swaps -Postcards, ATCs, stickers)

  • Pets or human hair in my envies

  • Smoke odor

  • Flakers

  • Heat

  • Lies

Diary of a (non)princess ;-)

First time doing this in my life, will record probably only trascendent feelings (naaaa)... Maybe not too serious but that is difficult because I am but well, also will talk about my Swap Bot experience when something relevant should be known....

03/22/2017: We had a business meeting today. My DIL and me! Wish us luck ;-)

03/13/2017: Wish and AliExpress applications are killing the Postal Office too. This and the Volcano situation have the services stuck and working horribly but the Communications office has announced a meassure to be implemented next month to relieve in some way, the intense job the local offices are experiencing, by centralizing the delivery of all Wish and AliExpress packages in only certain offices. Hopefully next month we can feel/see some improvement.

03/12/2017: I will be slowing down my swaps for the next 2 months: a) I want to catch up with all my tags before I travel & b) Our trip is in 2 months and I want to save a bit. But I AM STILL HERE :-)

03/09/2017: My beloved Luca is turning 6 years old today, we did a small party last Sunday and he is getting a cake and pizza at the kinder today. He was so happy because we all did cards for him and when he woke up this morning, he had over the bed all the envelopes (in yellow!! his favorite color) and it was a real happy kiddo ''reading'' them! I gave him a magnifier and he is now using it all over the house.

Also, today; my youngest daughter got an especial assignment that implies to travel 75% and she won over 8 men, that is big right?? Especially because it is in the IT Industry (virtualization) :-)

02/25/2017: Feeling upset. Do not understand why you need to chase people to find out if they received the tags/raks/angels we sent. It should be the way around :-/

And non-rating should be a capital fault and reason to ban a person from Swap-Bot!!!!!

02/23/2017: I am about to reach 100 ♥s. I do not want to get into considerations of, whether is good or bad to give them, I only want to celebrate that despite our awful postal situation, I have managed to be rated 105 times with 5 and I have 99 ♥s so far and for so... I will give a treat to the rater #99 @piratecaptainmo , the rater #100 @Juutskie and the rater #101 @bombardiette members. Thank you, everyone,, who has helped me achieving this and have taught me so many important lessons!

02/21/2017: Today is an important day... 29 years ago, I was giving birth to my first child... Montserrat... Since then, I have not found a better reason to feel fullfilled, only surpassed by the joy of having grandchildren from my own ''kiddos''...

02/14/2017: It has been a little bit difficult the last week and today, would have been my mom's birthday #73. We miss her dearly and is always a bitter-sweet feeling to celebrate Saint Valentine's when she is not longer around ... Now, she would want us to be happy so we're doing a 'dead cake' as my late husband said, to celebrate they are alive in our minds and hearts even if they are not in this dimension....

For everyone else....

02/05/2017: This week, our authorities gave us a very sad notice: 2 years more at least of heavy ashes. Also we were informed, they are expecting an eruption that will reach 5 miles up in the sky. The forest rangers that have been looking after the Volcano, were relocated to a safer work station because the Volcano is 'unstable'. It has been with intense internal activity, erupting, doing ''powerful rumbles'', as the pressure inside has increased considerably. Access to the Volcano is closed until further notice, alert keeps raised, public services slower working hours, all will be prioritized and they have been calling the population to help as much as they can to not expose themselves, using masks and avoiding hospitals unless 100% necessary.

This is how it looks everything around :-/

02/01/2017... I do not know but it seems, this year will fly too! Today was First day for Luca at school... He got back very happy, few classmates but that is what he likes about....

Feeling some relief, as I can see slowly my packages are arriving to their destinations but certainly the current PO condition is killing me...

I Am feeling a bit better.... How are you SB world?

01/29/2017: In shock... My dearest friend' son is dead killed in a car accident by an erratic driver (him and his 4 friends while they were doing biking)... I am really sad today!!

Good people never die, they only turn into angels of light ♥

01/27/2017: Friends, I will be away the weekend, celebrating Chinese New Year's with my DIL and her side's family and all of us.... My access to Internet may be affected because we are to the country side but I will be checking from time to time, just give me some time to reply you back. I will resume my SB activities on Monday 30th and note:

  • All packages that should have been sent are now at the Mailbox and awaiting for the whole sorting process but already began their jurney.

  • Any rating will be done by then if received any packages while I am away.

01/24/2017: Very ill today, not sure why (yet), got a shot and will see how it goes but resting...Now, really happy that finally it seems my packages are arriving (slowly but steady)... It can be very stressing to see the # of completed swaps versus # of rates :-O

01/19/2017: I have several tags that are still in process to be sent, some are already in transit. Please know, I am preparing these but as they are many, I am getting them done in ''batchs'' lol and some are taking from Etsy or Amazon, only bare with me and do not dismay, you will get the parcel soon :-) if the Volcano Turrialba and the CRPO helps too!

*** Thank you friends for your encouragement.. You know who you are :-) Made me feel much better!! ***

01/18/2017: Very upset.... Wondering if my English is so poor that makes so difficult to understand my words. I am really frustrated at the moment and I am seriously considering to quit public swapping. Finish all I have pending and leave.

01/17/2017: Volcano Turrialba continues in full activity. Some services are delayed but still working, including Postal one.

01/12/2017: Today Postal Service begun restoring functions and I am looking forward for everything to get back to normal... The volcano still is erupting and we are still breathing ashes. I also have packages waiting for being collected but less than yesterday.

01/09/2017 Update: It seems that postal services are back to normal schedules this comming Wednesday, just as FYI for all those who are expecting email from me that is trapped at the post sorting center.

Update 01/07/2017: All Postal services are delayed and placed on hold so all my mail dropped at the mailbox for the past week is going to be shipped until next week and only if all gets better in terms of weather.

Yesterday the eruption was one of the biggest ever, the Central Valley is all fully covered with ashes, the hospitals in the Central area are full of people sick with breathing/respiratory difficulties and in general, the orders are to keep inside the house and close everything, but this is causing us to be dying and melting.

Alert category has changed and we have also been informed about a cold front (which for me is fantastic), so average temperature is expected to drop to 3° which for majority of people can be troubling as they are not used to cold weather but in the other side with this condition, if ashes were flying so far away, now they will go further away and this is something to worry about.


seasalt rated for Color Call BLACK&WHITE Mail Swap on Mar 28, 2017
Comment: maria, thanks so much for your envelope. i love it and it made me really happy today :)
Response: So happy it found your way and you're happy with it!! Thank you for the rating and the ♥
JINANNE rated for P-NS: Quotes postcard on Mar 28, 2017
Comment: Amazingly your BEAUTIFUL PC arrived...without stamps or cancellation, etc. ...and grateful--your work is lovely! And your quote is truly worth remembering every day. Hugs and hearts for your creativity and talent, swap friend....jinanne
Response: That is amazing considering as well the time it took to arrive, I thought it was lost!! Now, I have no explanations for that... Just when I thought nothing else will surprise me about our PO, something new come up lol!! So glad it made it to you and that you liked it! Many hugs and thank you for your rating and ♥
Comment: Thank you for the postcard :)
Response: You're most welcome! Thank you for your rating and ♥!!
piglet59645 rated for Anything Goes~25~International on Mar 27, 2017
Comment: Thank you very much! Fun selection.
Response: You're welcome! Thank you for your rating and ♥
Tessssssa rated for PBS: smash book/junk journal kit on Mar 27, 2017
Comment: Thank you for your package. I love the alice in wonderland items. And also you picked 2 themes instead of 1! Thanks
Response: Oh Tessa, I am really glad the parcel arrived!! Now, I honestly think I will be resending because, I do not know why but the word ''kit'' vanished when I was doing the packages and instead included what I have most and trying to give variety (as much as I could)... Are you really happy with what I sent? Thank you so much for the rating and the ♥
Comment: Thank you for the LF stickers x
Response: So glad they arrived!! Thank you for the rating and the ♥. I sent you a PM!
Comment: Thank you for the LF stickers x
Response: So glad they arrived!! Thank you for the rating and the ♥. I sent you a PM!
Wanda rated for Postcard Scavenger Hunt - March 2017 on Mar 27, 2017
Comment: Oh, Maria! What treasures you sent!!!! The postcards are wonderful, and you even sent extras. Your artwork is beautiful! Thank you for the bookmark and note cards. Such a beautifully decorated envelope too - with gorgeous stamps that I can save for my journal. Thank you for everything!!!!💖💖💖💖💖
Response: Oh!!! An impressive new record for delivery time... Cannot believe it you got it already but so happy you did and that you liked the bookmark especially, I am pretty new to all those crafts. Thank you for your lovely comment and the rating & ♥.
courtmm11 rated for Anything Goes~25~International on Mar 25, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the awesome package... wonderful how you put it together...thank you so much
Response: Oh so glad it found your home and that you liked!! Thank you so much for your rating and ♥!
LadySunshine rated for 5 Postcards to 2 Partners #125 on Mar 24, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the PCs!
Response: You're welcome.
gigigigi rated for junk journal supplies - woodland on Mar 24, 2017
Comment: I got excited before I even opened the envelope! The outside was covered with beautiful postage stamps. My excitement was over the top when I finally opened the package. Thank you for sending such beautiful things. I wish I could tell you which item was my favorite, but I cannot--I loved them all! Especially the block printed envelope and the buttons! Thank you for sending such an amazingly thoughtful package! I hope I have the chance to send you a great package in the near future.
Response: Oh thank you so much for a great comment!! I am super glad you liked everything! Lovely rating too, thank you ♥♥
JeanetteC rated for CC: Sender's Choice January 2017 on Mar 23, 2017
Comment: Thank you for the wonderful communication!
Response: Thank you so much Jeanette!! ♥♥
Comment: Big thank you for amazing cards! I like it all!
Response: So glad you liked them!!! Thank you for a lovely rating!
ladyaries7 rated for M swap (International) on Mar 23, 2017
Comment: One of my favorites!! I love it! thank you so much :)
Response: So glad you liked!!! Hugs! Thank you for the rating and the ♥
Ryleighsmom rated for Anything goes~30 International on Mar 22, 2017
Comment: Wish I could give you more than one ❤❤❤ Thank you so much!!
Response: Oh thank you so much but knowing you liked the stickers is enough!!! Hugs and thank you for the rating and the ♥
Comment: Absolutely love the quality cards you sent! The pretty Italy art card with the map on it, that bright, striking rooster card, the sweet hummingbird and fun North Dakota license plate card, plus the extra, very lovely card of drawings of Costa Rica life. ( I smiled at the brand name for that card: holalola) Thanks, too, for the pretty postage and the creative way you used borders of the postage sheet to add more artwork to the envelope!
Response: Oh Shirley, soooo happy you liked my swap and my surprise flat envie! Thank you so much for your rating and the heart but espcially for dedicating time to know more about me and my loved ones! Hugs, ♥♥
Comment: Always a pleasure being partnered with you! Thanks for the lovely postcards! Loved them! Have a great day!
Response: Oh thank you for your compliment!! So glad you liked my swap!!! Thank you for the rating and the ♥!!
Comment: Thanks so much!!
Response: You're more than welcome!! ♥ Thank you for the rating and the heart!
Liiskah rated for 5 Postcards to 2 Partners #125 on Mar 20, 2017
Comment: Thankyou for the great variety of postcards 😊
Response: Glad you liked them!! Thank you for the rating and the ♥
Comment: Thanks for the postcard - have a great March!
Response: You too Lou!!! Thank you for your rating and ♥

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
5.0000 160 3 3
Completed Fives Threes Ones
248 168 0 0
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
0 114 134 0
View all


tiffanyjoy on Mar 27, 2017:

Thank you for the stickers tag you sent. Such a fun Kawaii selection with so many cute extras. I adore it all.

slamophile on Mar 27, 2017:

Thank you So very much for the amazing assortment of coffees for the Grabbie Tag game.
I'm at a loss for words - It was such a delightful surprise to receive - All different colored foil bags, too - So pretty. I can't wait to try all the different flavors. What a wonderful treat. A million thanks and a million hearts. Again - Thank you So much. Oh - and - Thank you so much, too - For the packet of goodies you enclosed - The hand-made star is delightful - as are all the other items. Again, Thank you - Thank you. Wishing you a magical swap day. :-)

sweetpea22 on Mar 23, 2017:

Thank you so much for the book ~~I've been wanting to read that one!!! ~~7 wishes a day! :o)) Hugs!!

shirleyinCA on Mar 23, 2017:

Thank you so much for the PBS Naked PC Roulette extra partner treat! As usual, you sent wonderful treats so thoughtfully matched to my interests. Lovely French cards and, oh that delicate watercolor card of the baby in stroller with butterflies by Iwasaki -- a new artist to me and now a new favorite! But best of all you sent me the catalog of your father's art exhibit: what a treasure to get to meet him through his remarkable work! I love his use of color, the fluid lines, all the children he painted so beautifully! And the many flowers he puts in his art are like the bright, pretty flowers you painted and sent me! I am going to take the catalog to work so a coworker who speaks Spanish can read some of it to me. How good to have his art always with you and on display throughout your country! Thank you for sharing him with me.

tcornell on Mar 23, 2017:


susieq11 on Mar 21, 2017:

I got a beautiful owl postcard from you for PTG: naked PC tag!!! Thank you!!!!! xxxx

shirleyinCA on Mar 21, 2017:

Oh, I have to add specifically how much I love the First Day Issue maxi card of the lighthouse with lighthouse postage stamp and the very cute Bambi art postcard from Cotton Candy Chronicles (Is that a fun name or what??!!) I had already added those 2 cards to my display shelf so they weren't in front of me when I was typing my thank you comment. You always send so much wonderfulness!

shirleyinCA on Mar 21, 2017:

Thank you for the ISS Surprise Flat Envie Tag. You sent such a wonderful assortment! I especially love the Flow magazine postcard and sparkly Capellini Paris postcard! Then there's the adorable hello kitty in the rain card and the great hand painting you did --love the vivid colors and what a classy name stamp you used on the back! The Paris stickers and faux postage are terrific -- and really everything you sent is lovely! You create great swaps, dear Maria!

pianoheart on Mar 10, 2017:

The box of tags arrived today. Thank you for all that you sent to me.

Lonestarchild on Mar 8, 2017:

Today's fun envie also included funny monkey stickers and PCs. These are great -- please don't feel like you need to send anything else. You said this is "partial with more to come" but that is really not necessary! Thank you so much!!

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