Swap-bot Time: April 18, 2021 5:00 pm


Date Joined: May 25, 2009
Last Online: April 17, 2021
Birthday: December 17
Country: United States
My Postcrossing profile
My photography at 500px
My Instagram (may contain spoilers)

About Me

ETA January 2021: Easing back in with some ATC/handmade postcard swaps. This year I want to focus more on making art and writing letters and less on assembling packages. Also, I'm trying to organize/destash.

HANDMADE POSTCARDS: I love them! I keep them in a small album to flip through, so I prefer 4x6" if possible. Slightly smaller is ok, especially for altered vintage PCs (even if the swap says minimum 4x6). Larger ones often get stuck in a box and not enjoyed as often. :-(

ATCs: I keep mine in protectors in a binder, so please feel free to send them in a paper sleeve or just tucked into something protective even if the swap days it require a plastic sleeve. I love them all - layered, not layered, stamped, hand-drawn/painted, collaged, stitched!

EXTRAS: I rate based on the swap. Please don't feel you need to send extras - I am up to my ears in craft supplies and really don't need more, especially commercial supplies. Profile-based vintage or handmade supplies are lovely and I appreciate them, but it is 150% ok not to include anything but the swap. I do always appreciate a card or note, but again, I will rate based on the swap.

GLITTER: Moving this to the top since people keep sending me glittery things. Please, please avoid it if you can. If you're into shiny, I have no problem with metallic or shimmer - I just don't like how glitter gets everywhere, and it's not my favorite look, either.


I'm Melissa, and I live in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., where I grew up although I've spent most of the past few decades years in Colorado (~11 years) and Europe (2 years). My main hobbies are nature photography and mail art, although I also dabble in art that doesn’t get mailed. I’ve tried a lot of techniques, but my favorite media are probably pen and watercolor/watercolor pencils. I love collage, but it’s very challenging for me.

Since I’ve self-employed, my schedule is irregular and swings unpredictably on short notice between slow and overwhelming.

I'm absolutely obsessed with nature - most of my aesthetic tastes revolve around plants and animals, and I love learning about ecology and biology. I like almost all animals, including insects, sharks, and other unpopular critters, and honestly, if you want to tell me about leeches, that's cool (they freak me out, but they are objectively interesting).

I like doing profile-based swaps because I find parameters are a fun challenge for my creativity, whether it’s trying to make something to themes someone likes or using a particular technique or material. 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 unless I'm away from home, so if I haven't rated and you're concerned, drop me a message.

My favorite things about the mail art community are a) meeting different people around the world and learning about their lives and interests (I generally prefer low-postage flat international swaps), b) challenging myself to make art and try new things, and c) getting bits of other people's art and style in my mailbox!

Things I do...

*Nature photography



*Go to the theatre - plays, musicals, operetta, occasionally opera

*Poke through secondhand shops, garage sales, library sales, etc. for vintage craft supplies and old field guides. I especially love SCRAP PDX, my local secondhand craft/art supply shop.

*Make art, but not as much as I should.


*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 and science stuff is cool, too!

*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 love Marjolein Bastein's nature art, especially her lettersets. I'd love to learn about your favorite artists!

*I have waaaay too many stickers, but I do love those vintage gummed flower and bird labels, Dennison labels, and airmail stickers.etiquettes (unused, soaked off paper, or still on paper - I collect them and use them in crafts).

*I am also pretty much drowning in washi tape at this point, with one exception: I'm always on the lookout for insect-themed washi. If the swap does call for washi samples, solid colors/geometric patterns are another thing I don't have a lot of.

*Postage stamps. I both collect and craft with stamps and am badly behind on organizing. I always enjoy nice stamps on postcards and envelopes!

*Vintage and vintage-style travel ephemera (airmail etiquettes, luggage labels, bits of maps, etc.)

*Hand-decorated paper (stamped, block- or gelli-printed, cyanotype, etc.).

*Nature-themed rubber stamps and stamped images, particularly very small stamps, vintage-engraving-style, and hand-carved stamps.

*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 love making and collecting ATCs - it's exciting to see all the techniques everyone uses and try out new things. 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

*Vintage book pages in non-English languages; field guide pages, vintage dictionary/encyclopedia/textbook pages.

*Handmade/found craft supplies - I'm really into recycling/altered art these days. Cutout images, pages, tickets, vintage gummed labels, vintage greeting cards/postcards, handmade embellishments...etc.

*I'm trying to get more into drinking tea besides masala chai, so I'm interested in trying fruity teas (black, white, green, some herbal), green teas, or oolong/"Chinese restaurant teas". I love hibiscus, but I also require caffeine...plain black tea doesn't seem to be my thing, and I'm not a fan of mint or chamomile. My current favorite is Twinings Mango Lychee Green Tea, which has only those ingredients and tastes really fruity and not artificial.

*Colors: jewel tones, dark or muted colors, pastels, gold and silver, fall color palettes...anything but neon or glitter. I especially like blue, green, and dark red/maroon/burgundy. Not a huge fan of pink.

Favorite Crafts

I'm trying to direct my crafting impulses into flat things I can mail to people, so in general, flat crafts. My current favorites to make are


-Handmade postcards

-Traveler's notebook inserts

Techniques I enjoy most include

-Watercolor/watercolor pencil

-Leaf printing

-Pen and ink

-Collage/mixed media

-Stamp carving

I am currently obsessed with die cutting.

I'm excited to receive art in any medium!

Favorite Books

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. I'm reading Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series right now and love it.

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). The Mandalorian has been catering pretty hard to my Star Wars interests (worldbuilding and cable-knit sweaters!).

Holidays I celebrate

*Winter Solstice

*New Year's (Gregorian 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

*My favorite season is fall! Colorful leaves, mist, moody weather, really nice waterfalls, wrapping up all cozy...mmm.

Please don't send me...

*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 Santa, 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). Please, please don't send me glitter if you can avoid it.

*Religious or political-themed mail or craft supplies (exception: architectural postcards of churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc. are fine! I also don't object to hearing about your holidays or celebrations, I'm just not comfortable discussing religious topics with people I don't know well).


*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).

*Seeds or plant materials from Hawai'i or outside the U.S. (generally forbidden by U.S. Customs).


Sendingkindness rated for EATC: Into the Forest ATC on Apr 16, 2021
Comment: Thank you for the beautifully creative ATC you sent! I absolutely adore the technique you you used. I’m so happy to add it to my collection. I also appreciate the extra goodies you sent. They are exactly my style <3
Response: Glad you liked it! It is such a cool technique...I went a little nuts making tree trunks when I learned it.
Comment: Thank you so much!
Response: Glad it made it!
Comment: We are neighbors! Thank you so much for my awesome gifts. Seriously going online to USPS and order the Darth Vader stamps--I've never seen these before. Enjoyed reading your note. I love my authentic vintage postcards (especially the scalloped edges). My washi samples and stickers are pretty cool as well.
Response: Indeed! I'm sorry to say that the Vader stamp is from a 2007 Star Wars set I still have a couple partial sheets of, but if one keeps an eye out it's possible to get older stamps for face value or less (I'll send you a message about some local possibilities). They're only 41c so you have to add another 14c to get to an oz. It looks like we have another Star Wars issue (droids!!) coming out in May, though!
Comment: Thank you! :-)
Response: You're welcome!
MiRdLHWY43 rated for EATC: Sticker Slapped ATC on Apr 10, 2021
Comment: Wow these atcs are amazing! I'd never think of them as sticker slapped at all, they're beautiful little works of art. Very creative use of address labels and all the stickers you used. I love them both, thank you.
Response: Glad you liked them! I admit, every time I see the phrase "sticker slapping" I take it as a personal dare, haha. It's just collage with the glue already built in. 😂
riftvegan rated for TGIF Weekend Notecard #239 on Apr 3, 2021
Comment: Aw, I love Towhees! And that's really cool about the class you finished up... Learning good stuff since you're not invested in the results because you don't like that particular medium. Ha, that's brilliant! Thanks for sharing your weekend with me!
Response: I was originally disappointed the color theory class was in colored pencil, but I was definitely pleasantly shocked how much I learned drawing random boring household objects and shaded spheres in a medium I don't love. It really changes the mindset! Now I just have to figure out how to actually apply what I learned to subjects I AM invested in...
MiRdLHWY43 rated for EATC: Celestial Outer Space ATC on Mar 24, 2021
Comment: Wow this is really beautiful! I love the colors you used and the extra sticker and fun envelope too. Thank you so much!
Response: Glad you liked it!
Teddybear rated for SHOW US YOUR rubber STAMPS! (2) on Mar 23, 2021
Comment: What a gorgeous ATC. You put lots of work and creativity into this. Distress inks are one of my favourites as are butterflies. Thank you. Sandy (Teddybear)
Response: Yay, I'm glad it arrived safely!
Inez rated for Postcard from a Place I Don't Live #4 on Mar 19, 2021
Comment: Sorry! No idea why my rating went to your name... Once I receive your postcard, I’ll let you know!
Response: I think you may have mixed up who you were rating - I'm Melissa. Hope my postcard did make it, though!
Bikinina rated for ATC - Travel Themed - International on Mar 18, 2021
Comment: Thank you, Melissa. I like your ATC very much and also enjoy your card. The view from your window sounds so great. I have bird feeders as well. Pigeons, sparrows, doves are my frequent visitors. :)
Response: Glad you liked it! Bird feeders are especially nice to have right now...
ayahsantos rated for TGIF Weekend Notecard #234 on Mar 16, 2021
Comment: TT&E: Send 3 Note cards - International
Response: Did you copy/paste something here by mistake? I don't recognize that other swap...
Dasha rated for HMPC: Bird love - January on Mar 15, 2021
Comment: I love your bird card. Ink blending seems like lfun. Your cats are cute too. ;)
Response: It's a nice quick way to do moody landscapes! (They know they are, haha.)
YooperHill rated for AAA: SC USA/CAN #311849 on Mar 15, 2021
Comment: Amazing! Thank you!
Response: Very welcome!
Risna rated for Postcard from a Place I Don't Live #8 on Mar 12, 2021
Comment: What an amazing card! Thank you so much for brighten up this cloudy day... hope we'll be able to travel again soon! Take care.
Response: Fingers crossed!
user6937 rated for MAS: A Colour Each Month - February on Mar 10, 2021
Comment: This is a beautiful ATC - thanks also for the postcards, and I love the die-cuts!
Response: Glad you liked it!
mchesser12 rated for Coloring Collab 2021 #2 on Mar 8, 2021
Comment: Wow... I'm a little intimidated by what has already been done. I hope I can do as well. Thanks for the owl notecard.
Response: Everyone has a different style! I'm sure the original sender will love all of it.
Comment: Awesome card! Thankyou.
Response: You're welcome!
Comment: I hit the jackpot ! Love the envelope ! Thanks so much for all the shells and seaside bits! Thank you for the beautifully written and informative note ... loved the “trade”. A collages homage to Escher! And especially the gorgeous piece of art you created... you spent so much effort to create such an amazing swap thank you so much..
Response: Yay, I'm so glad you liked everything!
Comment: Thank you.
valentina22 rated for SHOW US YOUR rubber STAMPS! (1) on Feb 8, 2021
Comment: Thanks for 2 lovely atc's. I love the the pretty blue and purple atc and the lovely layering with the yellow daises and foliage!
Response: Glad you liked them!

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
5.0000 213 9 14
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201 223 0 0
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
5 111 85 0
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user1664 on Feb 22, 2021:

Hi Melissa - I received your beautiful ATC from the ATC PIF. Thank you for this tiny piece of inspiring art as well as the extra floral napkin and reproduction scraps for me to play with!

meeltje57 on Jan 7, 2020:

O yes, how I love the stickers you sent for the Botanical PVC stickers RAK. They are exactly the ones I dream of. Thank you so much for this fantastic RAK and picking me as a winner.

daydreamer47 on Jan 3, 2020:

Melissa, thank you so much for the beautiful botanical stickers! I didnt have any of the clear ones, so they'll be awesome in my journal

Ellen101 on Jan 2, 2020:

I received your botanical sticker RAK today. They are awesome! I am looking forward to using them! Thank you for your generosity

user6937 on Dec 12, 2019:

I forgot to mention the die-cuts you sent - just beautiful! I can't wait to use them on a card or a Skinny :)

user6937 on Dec 11, 2019:

Hi Melissa - I've rec'd the postcards you've sent - thank you! I love dinosaurs (even bones) and I do like Lantern Press and, of course, the map cards AND maxi-card! Also, your nice letter :)

suzwa on Dec 8, 2019:

OMG! OMG! This is the most amazing ATC. You really did a beautiful job with the watercolors. Thank you're sharing your artwork with me...you made me feel very special !!

LilysMama on Dec 6, 2019:

Thank you for the Oregon Shaped Postcard RAK, I love this postcard....I have been to the Oregon Coast and it is so beautiful. Thank you for all the little extras too, they were a pleasant surprise ☺️ I also noticed the frog stamp in the corner ♥️

stephiedee on Apr 11, 2019:

Thank you for the PIF ATC tag - I appreciate the extra. 😊 Take care.

smadronia on Jan 1, 2019:

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May your 2019 be better than 2018, and your best year yet!


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