My name is Patricia and I live about 30 minutes away from the 2010 Winter Olympic city of Vancouver. I run an online store called Hound and Handbag Gift Company. I am married to a wonderful fellow with a great love for life. He stops me from getting dramatic.He's been extremely supportive as my businesses grow.
I will apply the same rules as I do for my store: I will ship promptly,pack securely and use the best carrier that I can.I will also rate fairly,and quickly. As I live in Canada, most items take at least two to three weeks to reach their destinations upon average.
The story about the '1' rating
This was just a plain case of bad luck. My poor recipient never got the parcel and it was sent twice. She has been patient, gracious and very understanding,but the '1' stays because technically nothing was received on the other end. I do agree with that because it is part of the rules and ratings system.
I am a Christian ( admittedly,not the best one....thank God He's patient).
Apart from my husband, I have quite a few loves...
Handbags(Coach,vintage,anything that catches my eye)
I'm a self-confessed purseaholic. I don't really pay attention to labels.If the bag is interesting (ahem...cute),reasonable, functions well, and holds what I need,I'll probably be taking it home.
I've been owned by two in my lifetime. Over the years I've collected a lot of print items,cards, children's books. All this happened over the last 16 years with our last dog, a little black and tan smooth haired named Kato. Because he had all these "wienerisms" that all dachshund owners know so well, I think I automatically gravitated towards anything that played upon the iconic and recognizable shape of the breed (as long as it wasn't tacky).
Japanese Stationery (notepaper,pencils,erasers,pencil boxes,clips magnets,other desktop items) small bags
Darn these San-X characters!And Curse You Swapbot!
I've had to update this...I got hooked on a couple of other San-X characters. So, I'm now an official kawaii addict (dammit):
Why these characters? Because they are round and cute.
Round Objects (cute,tasteful, and usually pretty) I've had a fascination with spherical objects for as long as I can remember. I could be out doing something completely unrelated, and pass by a shop,fruit stand or chocolate shop and see something round and cute, and buy it. My collection ,so far, is made up of:
I have an Etsy store and I have started to sew quite a bit as a result. Also I have been working in polymer clay. Still a beginner!
I draw whenever I can. Mostly it has to do with the characters I created for a story I'm working on.
Prismacolour Pencils (I can use duplicates)
anything with Mikan Bouya or Kogepan on it (good hunting!) or Food with Faces, Sabo Kappa or Mameshiba (Google it:you'll laugh).
My wonderful Kato left quite an impression on me and I still collect dachshund things (kid's books,postcards,jewelry,etc)
thread for sewing (Gutterman seems to work best for me)
A NOTE ABOUT KAWAII SWAPS:
I tend to lean to the more obscure kawaii (re:discontinued characters by San-X,like Mikan Bouya and Kogepan) . If you get me as a kawaii partner,Food with Faces (by anyone) or Sabo Kappa (since I think it's still in production) or Mameshiba (bean dogs) would probably be your best bet. Or even cute animals like hedgehogs.The other two characters are sometimes difficult to find.
For Loved Ones
Favourite Colours and Patterns
I'm quite allergic to anything highly scented;like incense or perfume. I am allergic to cigarette smoke as well. I know it is hard for some swappers to keep items away from it, but I do appreciate the efforts made. I have allergic reactions to most makeup and cosmetics.
The funny thing is that as much as I love dachshunds and handbags, I steer away from anything that is particularly garish or overly colorful. I also don't collect handbag related knicknacks. Weird,huh? For me, simplicity is more attractive. For dachshunds, I don't have anything that has them dressed up or made up as anything (Hot Diggity series) I also don't collect anything with sayings on them.
I'm not really into Sanrio licensed characters(Hello Kitty,etc) or into Disney or other animated characters.
I have very strong ideas about elves. Nothing cutesy or Santa-ish. I'm the same way with fairies/sprites/pixies. I guess it's from studying mythology, reading Elfquest and playing Dungeons and Dragons when I was a kid :) The story project, also has to do with it.(see below)
When I'm not making creative messes, I like to rollerblade, ice skate, go for long walks. I'm taking pilates, and hopefully I can convince my knees into getting back into jazz or an adult ballet class.
I like watching musicals, and story ballets (I've never watched an abstract or neo-classical performance...yet). We have a wonderful symphony orchestra in Vancouver, so I don't mind going to concerts.
Don't take me to a beach, because I'll beachcomb and probably bring back several pounds more of things that I "should not remove from the environment".
I'm also working on a seemingly never ending sword and sorcery story that has been going on since high school (that's a LONG time). It's gone through many drafts, three character changes and has gone from a novella to several chapters. I'm happy the way it's progressing now, and eventually it'll get done.If I stop changing things. I think by now, I have pointed ears.
If the music is good,I'll listen to the soundtracks from Movies (see below),
I also listen to Broadway musicals I've seen or haven't seen yet, such as Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Spamalot, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Starlight Express, Curtains (with David Hyde Pierce).
I also listen to Enya, Il Divo, Loreena McKennit, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and the Alan Parsons Project
This varies quite a bit... Classics such as High Society, Auntie Mame, How to Steal a Million, Charade,Hello Dolly,White Christmas.
I used to be a trekkie, so I love Galaxy Quest and Star Trek:TNG First Contact. I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I also like Pixar movies (not too keen on Cars though) The Incredibles, Finding Nemo. and Toy Story 2 (because of the dachshund) are my favourites. I loved the 20th century Fox animated movies;Anastasia and Titan AE. Great animation and wonderful characters. Too bad they cannot do them like that anymore.
Super hero movies as long as they are done well;Spiderman (the first three!), X-men, Iron Man,Transformers,Fantastic Four, Avengers
Comedies: I loved the Get Smart Movie. I grew up with the show, so I thought they did a wonderful job of carrying on. Monty Python and the Holy Grail! Killer Rabbits!
I don't watch TV too much,but I do like watching "The Big Bang Theory" on occassion.
How to books and craft books seem to fill my shelves.Especially home sewing or zakka. But I've got to actually start doing things before I get any more. Haven't read any fantasy books in awhile. Not into sci-fi much,..but I loved the Xwing:Rogue Squadron series by Michael Stackpole.
So where does one shop for a Canadian, dachshund loving pursaholic without breaking the bank?
For My American Neighbours...
Michael's Craft Stores: The items that are near the checkout,at $1.50 are a great buy, and there are so many neat things to choose from
Daiso We have a store here that is essentially a dollar store from Japan. You may have something similar in your area if you are living where there is a high density Asian population. This store is mentioned in the book "Zakka Sewing", so if you live in Seattle or San Francisco you may have one there.
Ebay If time allows.
Etsy This craft site has a lot of members that are already swapping! Let's support the handmade!
Shopping in the States is far more of an adventure sometimes with all the outlets and bigger department stores.You are so lucky! We only have two here now left in Canada. When we shopped in Portland, we loved the T.J. Maxx, and Barnes and Noble stores.Your Staples stores are also different than ours for some reason. I love the stationery aisle at Target too.
For My International Friends Have fun, and don't stress out over the long lists. Many of you are very talented, and I don't mind at all seeing the fruits of your craft. Also, you have some great stores in your countries that are probably similar to what I named above. I know Daiso is popular in Japan, and Asia. In Europe, Dawanda is a German based company similar to Etsy. But most of all, have fun in your quests! I love seeing what the other side of the world is like for shopping.