13 March 2018: I''m still keeping things dialed down, but am available for private swaps. I'd also love to find someone to exchange mostly-nature-themed happy mail/small-scale art with on a regular basis, so please PM me if that sounds fun to you!
I'm Melissa, and I live in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., although I've spent most of the past 15 years in other places.
I work a lot (self-employed, so my schedule is irregular and swings unpredictably between overwhelming and slow) and play with craft supplies, write postcards, and look for wildlife when I'm not working.
Although I made my Swap-Bot account in 2009, all my activity has been since 2017 (I apparently forgot about my account the moment I made it). I've done some swapping and exchanges on other websites over the years.
I always try to put together something that fits my recipient's profile as much as possible unless the swap is specifically random. I mark sent after dropping mail in the postbox. Of course I also love receiving mail, but that's less under my control than what I put together, so I'm here to send mail and have fun. If you don't receive a swap from me, please message me so I can try to figure out what happened and resolve it. I rate as soon as I receive, so if I haven't rated and you're concerned, drop me a message (mail from Malaysia in particular seems to take a long time to reach me). If you receive an envelope with postage due, let me know and I will reimburse you - I do weigh my envelopes and tend to put on extra postage if I'm not sure, but the USPS has complicated rules.
I'd love to make some regular penpals outside of swapping as well! I have one already, and it's nice to just send postcards/letters back and forth when we feel like it and have something to say. I'd particularly love a penpal from a German-speaking country I could practice with (my German is pretty basic at this point).
*Irish dance (currently on an indefinite break)
*Hoard stationery (I'm trying to actually send it more)
*Go to the theatre - plays, musicals, operetta, occasionally opera
*Hit snooze too many times (I identify a lot with Pusheen)
*Window-shop craft supply stores (and shop shop, although I hate paying full price) - I especially love SCRAP PDX, my local secondhand craft/art supply shop.
*Study too many languages (currently Hungarian and German - feel free to write me a postcard in either if you want, since I need the practice)
*Postcards, notecards, or letters with something about the subject or your day or where you live or an interest of yours. I love thoughtful notes and letters! Please don't worry about your English. You can also write to me in German or Hungarian if you want, and I can probably get through Russian and Spanish still with a dictionary. For postcards, I strongly prefer naked, written (or doodled/stamp collaged, if you like doing that), and stamped, unless you don't trust your postal system with naked cards or the swap calls for unused postcards. I like all types of postcards.
*Vintage natural history/science ephemera, including book/magazine cutouts and pages. I love old illustrated (not photo) field guides and like the info along with the drawing. Modern nature & science stuff is cool, too!
*Digital files of 18th-19th century natural history engravings (or links to websites with good free vintage book image libraries).
*Nature in general! Some favorites: botanical illustration of wildflowers and carnivorous plants, insects/spiders (especially dragonflies, damselflies, and beetles), marine invertebrates (nudibranchs, anemones, octopuses, anything you'd find in a tidepool), sharks and rays, wombats, birds (especially crows/ravens and herons), salamanders and newts. But honestly, I like almost everything, and have friends who like the rest, so you really can't go wrong.
*Historical things, especially ancient world/medieval/Renaissance (any country).
*Anything with art by 16th/17th century artist Joris Hoefnagel - I have some notecards and a temporary tattoo (!), but I'm always on the lookout for other things.
*Other artists I like: Ernst Haeckel, Maria Sibylla Merian, other scientific illustration, Mucha and Art Nouveau in general. I'm not really into abstract art, but otherwise I'd love to learn about your favorite artists!
*Stickers (not super kawaii or kids' stickers, unless they're dinosaurs or sea turtles - I collect those for a friend of mine)
*Washi tape samples, especially vintage travel, nature, INSECTS!!, nighttime cityscapes, galaxies, and ocean themes. I especially love watercolor-style washi.
*Postage stamps (unused U.S. commemoratives from pre self-adhesive era - I use these for mail; used stamps from anywhere, especially with a nature theme - I also always need small denominations, like 1-10c. I LOVE the old 1c kestrel stamps and 2c woodpeckers and I used up all of mine). I don't really collect stamps anymore, but I do use them in crafts. I also enjoy nice stamps on postcards and envelopes!
*Vintage and vintage-style travel ephemera (airmail stickers, luggage labels, bits of maps, etc.)
*Interesting art papers, and scrapbook papers that fit the vintage/travel/nature aesthetic (I don't scrapbook, though).
*Nature-themed rubber stamps, particularly very small stamps and vintage-engraving-style.
*Graphic 45, Tim Coffey, and Tim Holtz generally hit my aesthetic fairly often.
*I will use stickers, cutouts, or paper with words in ANY language. I love languages.
*A little something from your city or town is always fun - a postcard, a used transit ticket, a transit map, other bits of ephemera.
*I love handmade cards and mail art! Handmade supplies like cutouts, stamped images (colored or uncolored), and homemade stickers are also cool. I'm just about to start venturing into ATCs, so ATCs or ATC bases would be cool - it's exciting to see all the techniques everyone uses. While I mostly go for vintage aesthetics and nature themes in my own crafting, I love seeing other people's styles.
*Shakespeare (my favorite plays are Julius Caesar, Richard III, Twelfth Night, and Romeo and Juliet). I love theatre in general, especially musical theatre and operetta.
*Architecture of any country, especially historical and environmental design
*Book pages I can use in crafting, especially in non-English languages, vintage, nature/science, history, dictionary/encyclopedia/grammar, textbook...I prefer nonfiction and non-religious themes.
*Hot chocolate (I don't drink tea much, but I'll either try it or pass it on - the smell of coffee kind of bothers me, though)
*Colors: jewel tones, dark or muted colors, pastels, gold and silver...anything but neon or glitter. I especially like blue, green, and dark red/maroon/burgundy.
I'm trying to direct my crafting impulses into flat things I can mail to people, so in general, flat crafts.
Currently I'm doing cardmaking, mail art, art/nature journaling, stamping, collage, botanical illustration (watercolor pencil, watercolor/gouache, colored pencil), coloring (marker and colored pencil), and cyanotype printing.
My main projects are sending pretty mail and dabbling with watercolor and collage. I always appreciate cut-outs of animals and plants from vintage books, magazines, tourist brochures, etc., particularly Pacific Northwest nature but also anywhere else I've been (particularly Iceland, Sweden, Hungary, the rest of the U.S.) or where you're from (maybe I'll go there next!).
I'm just starting to play with ATCs and handmade postcards.
I have a Traveller's Notebook knockoff (original size) that I use for a planner with a weekly insert and some grid inserts for bullet journal collections and project planning. I do some basic decoration, mostly with stickers and washi tape, and I'm more of a decorative sticker than a functional sticker person. But it's always evolving, so I'm open to trying new things!
I don't use journalling cards, but I do use fancy page flags/stickies, occasional stencils, rubber stamps, pens, stickers, washi, and magnetic bookmarks.
I also have a "Some lines a day" 5-year journal from Leuchtturm that I just started in 2018.
Mostly SF/fantasy/historical fiction.
Imperial Radch trilogy (Ann Leckie), Familias Regnant series (Elizabeth Moon), Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett), Discworld series (Pratchett), Les Miserables (Victor Hugo). Almost everything by Rosemary Sutcliff.
Currently in a science fiction mood (for TV/movies as well - original trilogy Star Wars is one of my all-time favorites, and I also love Deep Space Nine).
*New Year's (calendar version, but totally cool with other New Year traditions as well)
*U.S. Thanksgiving as a food and friends day
*Generic winter holiday greetings are also fine
*I'm really not into Christmas or other holiday aesthetics - I'm fine with seasonal nature/weather stuff, like snow, cardinals, pumpkins, etc., but not really into Santas, Valentine's hearts, holiday ornaments, cornucopias, etc., or anything symbolizing religious aspects of holidays. I'm not offended by it, I just have zero use for it, so it's probably better to make someone else's day. :-)
*Glittery items (it gets EVERYWHERE)
*Religious or political-themed mail or craft supplies (exception: architectural postcards of churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc. are fine!).
*Coffee (I am very sensitive to the smell and it tends to permeate everything).
*Flags and patriotic-themed stuff - I don't have any use for it (I do like fireworks, but don't mail them to me, haha).
*Origami paper except for chiyogami/yuzen washi, which I can always use.
*Seeds or plant materials from outside the U.S. (forbidden by Customs).
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