November 2017 - currently in the process of updating everything here on swap-bot -- thank you for your patience and support.
Profile last updated April 2017
Hi! My name is Phillaine, and I'm 35 years old. I'm currently living with my sweetheart and our two incredible hypoallergenic Siberian cats (witchcraft!) in a city that's pretty great as far as cities go. My heart's home is forever in the forests and prairies of Northern Minnesota, and I aspire to build a tiny house to incorporate into our woodland adventures at the family homestead.
I have gone through many careers, and haven't found it prudent or interesting to limit myself to just one: some of these include waitress, chef's assistant, baker, candlestick maker (for real), lighting and sound technician, deli worker, pharmacy technician, bridal consultant (the most pure fun and drama-laden other than teaching), insurance agent, elementary school teacher (the most challenging, fun, trying, and interesting by far), nanny, and Blythe doll customizer and seamstress. I'm very happy with my current position; I also expect that I'll forever continue to be open to new opportunities.
I LOVE to be outside: my happiness is directly tied to the amount of time I spend outdoors. I am thrilled that I now have the opportunity to do work in the yard any and all times that the weather is fine, and I'll never come close to running out of things to do. Also, we live near an epic 750-acre park that I am always eager to explore.
Nighttime is another series of adventures as I am fortunate to have lucid dreams on a daily basis. They can be exhausting at times, but I'm always grateful for them.
I have a dairy-free diet due to a milk allergy, and would love to be vegan, but my warped brain wears me down with cravings and won't allow it. Dang salmon boosting my serotonin! I mean, thank you, delicious fishes.
My life is ever-evolving and transforming, which includes my current focus on discovery and renewal in my first-ever (rental) HOUSE which is charming and wonderful and crooked and a century old and in need of lots of love, which I supply with great enthusiasm. Thank you for joining me here and taking the time to peruse my thoughts :)
Things I Enjoy Doing (verbs!)
travelling, exploring, making things (so many things!), planning, being spontaneous (yes, both), making lists, solving problems, visiting with close friends and even total strangers--just people who "let me in" (not really into shallow small-talk or gossip), spending quality time with my nieces and nephew, being outdoors, reading, taking photos, gardening, baking, cooking, painting, crocheting, sewing, paper crafting (especially collage, stationery, envelopes, and pocket letters), customizing and photographing Blythe dolls, carving rubber stamps and wooden trinkets, preparing and sending happy mail by post, writing fairly brief letters and occasional journal entries, solving sudoku and jigsaw puzzles (though I never buy them), playing games like Scrabble, Boggle, Huggermugger, Taboo, Tetris, Alhambra, Arkham Horror, and Skyrim, practicing mindfulness and self-discovery with deliberate focus on presence and authenticity
I also sit on the couch and watch Netflix shows while cuddling with my kitties and working on and/or coming up with ideas for more projects. I am in absolutely no danger of running out of projects. ;)
Things which Interest me (nouns!)
Many sorts of art, literature, and music, folk tales, fairy tales, myths, and legends, thunderstorms, Autumn, Spring, cats of all kinds, forest-dwelling creatures, anything forest related: wildlife, trees, flowers, etc. (some favorites: rabbits, songbirds, raccoons, foxes, squirrels, turtles, and porcupines, oak, maple, birch, and willow trees, iris, poppies, pansies, lilies, morning glories, bachelor buttons, clover, honeysuckle, bluebells, and magnolias), botanical illustrations, rainbows, fairies (more mischievous than cutesy), phoenixes, cryptozoology, dinosaurs, TARDIS, adipose, Totoro and his umbrella, semi-precious stones (like spectrolite, moonstone, onyx, etc.) and fossils, sea glass, trains, bicycles, tricycles, and penny-farthings, clocks, gears, typewriters (actual typewriters and images of them), natural bird feathers, strawberries, raspberries, Blythe, many things that are considered "strange," "peculiar," or "dark," I find beautiful
I can't begin to describe all the amazing sights that bring me joy, so I'll only mention color in this "visual" section. I love all sorts of colors: I joke that my favorite color is rainbow, but it's not much of a joke. :) And I do love rainbows.
I love ALL of these colors:
Some favorites are autumnal tones, black/greys, All kinds of blues, turquoise, reds, greens, purples-- I do tend to be drawn to more deep, earthy, or rich colors and don't like many pastels or neon/day-glo colors.
I especially like the combination of red and aqua/teal, and the combination of bright leaf green and tangerine
Some favorite sounds are rain on a metal rooftop, a crackling wood-burning fire, the sound of lighting a wooden match and the sound the flame makes when it's extinguished, the songs of crickets and coquis, and the indescribable calm experienced while parasailing.
Some of my favorite flavors/scents are: genuine maple syrup and vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, honeysuckle, and pumpkin spice; I adore the flavors and don't at all mind the aroma of garlic and curry. I'm crazy about the smell of coffee beans, but can't drink coffee. My favorite scents that are definitely NOT for eating are probably the smell of a campfire, a forest after rain, and certain cats (the smell reminds me of my grandma's house and our visits there). No eating fire, forests, or kitties.
The cool stone faces of cliffs and canyons, the experience of my hands working through soil or sorting through big bins of buttons, seeds, grain, or other smooth things, cozy homemade quilts of cotton, and the feeling of modal fabrics are all extremely soothing and comforting to me.
Too many to mention! Like I said, I collect myths, folk tales, fairy tales, and legends. Those are my favorites. I have a great fascination with and passion for children's literature. I especially LOVE Le Petit Prince and The Neverending Story, and reread Heidi and the Little House books every so often when nostalgia attacks ♥. Some favorite fairy tales (off the top of my head) include The White Cat, Puss in Boots, The Elves and the Shoemaker, Blockhead Hans, and Hansel and Gretel; I'm always in search of stories where the girls and women are clever and play active roles rather than being basically powerless victims who are "saved" by a man. I'd love to hear your recommendations!
As for "grown-up" books, I like interesting fiction that features unique characters and storytelling (my favorite I can think of off-hand is Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut), quirky old books on things like etiquette and education, vintage, unusual, and vegan cookbooks (I'm not vegan, but am allergic to milk, so this helps). I also enjoy modern nonfiction, especially cultural anthropology and self-help/psychology books (e.g. Blink by Malcom Gladwell and The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker) as well as books on mindfulness and meditation (e.g. Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh).
Here are the first dozen books I've read this year, beginning with the most recent:
Johnny Cash, Regina Spektor, Madeleine Peyroux, Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle, Elvis, Tom Waits, The Ramones, Buddy Holly, Hank Williams, The Beatles, Joan Jett, Mika, Mumford and Sons, Trampled by Turtles, Flight of the Conchords, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Patsy Cline, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Led Zeppelin, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Sting, U2, Cher (mostly in person--she's a delightful entertainer), Lady Gaga...I enjoy a wide variety of music. I get nostalgic and a little homesick (in a good way) when I listen to the old Grand Ole Opry Country Classics and Blues and Bluegrass and Folk music. ♥
Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, Amélie, The Apartment, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Heathers, The Nomi Song, Batman Returns, The Dark Knight, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, The Amazing Screw-on Head, My Neighbor Totoro, Juno, The Skeleton Key, Best in Show, Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Producers (original version), Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Triplets of Belleville, Dallas Buyers Club, Blast From the Past, Sweeny Todd, The Wedding Singer, Despicable Me, Wreck it Ralph, The Good, The Bad, and Huckleberry Hound
Dr. Who, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Arrested Development, Hannibal, Grace & Frankie, The Blacklist, Leverage, Breakout Kings, Orange is the New Black, Wentworth, House, Pushing Daisies, Once Upon a Time, The Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, Modern Family, Community, The Mindy Project, The New Girl, Bones, RuPaul's Drag Race, Peg + Cat, Charmed, Chopped, House Hunters, Deserving Design, Fixer-Upper, all sorts of HGTV shows. I also enjoy documentaries. Lately, I've been really into watching The Great British Baking Show. BAKE!
Places I hope to visit (updated regularly):
♥= current top 10
Direct via Delta Airlines, since my partner works for the company:
* Athens ♥ (seasonal)
* Copenhagen (seasonal)
* Madrid ♥
* Rome ♥
* Shannon (seasonal)
* Stockholm (seasonal)
I'll also find some way to get to:
* Cairo-Giza ♥
* Cape Town ♥
* Edinburgh ♥
* Galápagos Islands
* Kuai ♥
* Marrakesh ♥
* Melbourne ♥
* Salzburg (again, almost 20 years later: it has remained my favorite city so far) ♥
Things to Try
I have heard many good things which sparked interest in the following practices and products, and would very much like to try them and/or hear about your personal experiences with them. Also, I'd love your "do not miss this!" recommendations; I'm always wanting to connect and try new things.
(section in progress)
* canning and preserving (freezing as well): I would LOVE tried-and-true recipes and methods for canning fruits and vegetables and prepared "meal starters," and ways to freeze them without incurring the ice-crystal/freezer burn problem. I have only ever made and canned apple butter, and my pickle recipes are for refrigerator pickles, so I have very limited experience but really really want to get into this as a regular yearly harvest practice.
* hand-sewing felt creatures (I have a pattern, but need a recommendation for good quality felt that is NOT made of wool as I'm allergic to it)
* crocheting amigurumi (I love crocheting, but haven't ever made anything larger or more complicated than scarves or several granny squares)
* freehand embroidery (I have no supplies other than needles and a hoop and some ideas for projects)
* good quality yarns made of bamboo, cotton, or other plant fibers (wool allergy) and any advice on using them
* bath bombs or salts: I love taking baths (we don't have a shower) and would like to try these in fairly mild non-floral scents, but I don't know where to begin.
* please recommend your favorite all-natural personal care (soap, shampoo/conditioner, lotion, makeup, etc.) brands or products for highly sensitive skin. I'm particularly looking for a light face lotion which features a SPF
* supplies I'd love to try: Any new-to-me colored pencils (I have Artist's Loft and Crayolas), a Sharpie pen, glue roller/runner/pen (I've only used glue sticks and double-sided tape and hear great things about these), anything for learning different types of lettering or calligraphy
Yes Please! (also refer to interests and favorites):
Please don't send me anything involving violence or gore, religious things (spiritual/inspirational=fine, just not religious), or any food or beverage items, band-aids, makeup, or other personal care items (unless it's something specifically on my Etsy or Amazon wishlist). Thank you.
As for the following things, I simply don't care for them and so will pass them on to someone who has a use for them:
touristy postcards, small fabric scraps, fake or dyed feathers, kids' craft supplies, foam, puffy, or "3D" stickers, glitter, bling, items that are frilly, over-the-top cutesy, "country," Americana,"glam/fashionista," sports, wedding, or baby-themed
Most importantly, please don't send me anything smelling of smoke, mildew, or strong perfumes (I have allergies). Thanks!
Needed for current projects, top priority for private swaps:
• JOKERS from playing card decks. Do you collect a specific playing card? Or also collect jokers? I have several different decks of cards and some duplicate jokers to trade with you.
• my swap-bot friend @piratecaptainmo just recently introduced me to sticker mandalas. To make these, I need multiples of 8 or 4 of the same sticker (or 2 or 4 pairs of reflected images, like in many of Mrs. Grossman's stickers). Any sticker bundles you send my way for this will be put to very good use, as I plan to make some for gifts for my little ones back home (and eventually a larger nature-themed one for my studio)! They can be from anywhere; some good brands that are fairly easy to find include Mrs. Grossman's, Violette, Sticko, and Paper House (non-scrapbook kind). Especially desirable are any that are die-cut around the image or have clear backgrounds. Any cute multiples from planner stickers would work, too.
• authentic wooden Scrabble tiles, any age or condition (Christmas gift projects for my sister's and brother's families)
• sculpey, fimo, or similar oven-bake clay for my first year of making homemade tree ornaments for family and friends
• colored (not painted-on, but colored all the way through) glass pony beads and strong waxed cord in black or any color-- I use these to make "fidgets" for folks to help alleviate anxiety and improve concentration, focus, and ability to be present
• an odd request, but I'm working on a project that requires a LOT of Crayola colored pencils in cerulean, yellow green, and orchid, if you happen to come across any of these three colors at yard sales or thrift shops or destashes or anywhere else (partially used is absolutely welcome)
• double-sided removable sticky dots, for sharing handmade embellishments (I've really been enjoying making these lately)
I am always happy to set up private swaps for:
• Unused USPS postage stamps of any denomination- I have a special adoration for any featuring botanicals, wildlife (conservation or other), love stamps, all quirky and delightful vintage stamps, and I'd love to get some of the new soda shop and pet stamps, as I haven't seen them in person yet. All-time favorite forever stamps include botanicals, cut paper heart, bonsai, vintage seed packets, butterfly non-machinable rate. Always looking for the blue hummingbird stamps (34¢), the pretty apple stamps (33¢), and would LOVE to get my hands on some of the current pears (10¢), grapes (5¢) and apples (1¢) stamps which I can only find sold in massive quantities which I can't afford. I love variety packs and surprises as well!
• items on my online wishlists (I do keep these up-to-date)
• sizzix (original red) and compatible dies, especially for envelopes, tags, and labels
• any good quality felt not made of wool (I'm allergic) for hand-sewing projects
• all types of stationery and more with botanical or wildlife illustrations
• grippy socks (women's size 8)-- I have had a few bad falls down my slick hardwood staircase, despite being careful. :( I will use any of these I can get.
• spray adhesive, super-strong glue sticks (for making envelopes), and scor-tape
• le pen or .005 & .01 micron pens in dark colors ( I LOVE these and use them every day)
• good quality colored pencils, even singles (I'm especially always running out of olive green, yellow green, chrome blue, dark blue, and violet as I use them in my bullet journal daily)
• protective mailers (bubble envelopes, tyvek, poly mailers, etc.)
• decorative or colorful blank adhesive labels
• unique and colorful envelopes
Work in Progress: The Great Destash of 2017
This year, I am going through all of my art supplies and making LOTS of things to swap (as well as swapping lots of "extra" art and craft supplies).
I will be compiling a flickr album with photos of available items, so if you see something you'd love to have or give as a gift, I'd be happy to set up a private swap. I make homemade envelopes, personalized return address labels and swap cards as well.
I'll update this section with the album link as soon as items are photographed and online
I'm especially looking to swap for US postage of any denomination (so I can send out more wishes and RAKs), wishlist items, and/or supplies I'd like for my studio and current projects (see above or try me).
Thank you for taking the time to read my profile and learn a little bit about me and what I like. It really makes all the difference in the world to me to know you put such thought into your care packages; it makes them personal and meaningful rather than just fun but anonymous trades. It's the difference that can totally make someone's day. I always read the profiles of my partners for this reason; it's one of my favorite things about swap-bot. So, thanks again! ♥
p.s. If you too LOVE profile-based swapping, please consider joining my group, Profile-Based Swaps
This section is for my personal notes on outstanding swaps/tags/wishes/RAKs/WTAs to make sure everything arrives safely; I always send my swaps on time and try to rate as soon as I can after receiving from my partners.
PLEASE contact me before rating if you haven't received from me or the envelope is damaged; I'm happy to re-send if something gets inexplicably lost or torn up in the post.
August Wishes Sent
All About the Wishes
July: Leave of Absence
June Wishes Sent
I did not post a list this month
A Wish Granted USA
May Wishes Sent
April Wishes Sent
All About the Wishes
@anrtist rec'd 4/14
March Wishes Sent
Swaps and Wishes
@mariamichelle rec'd in March
February Wishes Sent
A Wish Granted USA
@AZmom875 rec'd 2/11
Swaps and Wishes
@mousepoo rec'd 2/18
@anicka22 : card rec'd 2/7, package rec'd 2/11
RAKs and surprises Sent
birthday surprise sent to @shirleyinCA on 5/3
surprises sent to @piratecaptainmo rec'd 4/12
little birthday surprises sent to @BasketWorks15 , rec'd throughout April
RAK sent to @jjean rec'd 3/6
RAK sent to @BasketWorks15 rec'd 2/6
Sent a message today to my partner for Mini Wishlist Swap #2 (she had sent me a message she did receive it, just hasn't yet rated me)
I've not been rated for PBS: Profile-Based Address Labels #2--the person I sent to has been partially suspended and is no longer active on swap-bot
IFM September WTA
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