Swap-bot Time: November 16, 2018 6:43 pm


Date Joined: May 25, 2009
Last Online: November 16, 2018
Birthday: December 17
Country: United States
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About Me

I will be on an Exciting Vacation from about November 13 to November 28, 2018. During this time I won't be able to check my mail, but I am not waiting on very many swaps, so hopefully that won't delay ratings for many people! If you need me to resend something, please let me know and I'll do it ASAP when I return. I'll be cleaning up loose ends and following up on swaps I've hosted when I get back.

Quick note about handmade postcards: I love them! I keep them in an album, so I prefer 4x6" if possible. Slightly smaller is ok, especially for altered vintage PCs (even if the swap says minimum 4x6). Larger ones get stuck in a box and not enjoyed as often. :-(

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 Colorado (~11 years) and Europe (2 years).

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.

I've been actively using Swap-Bot since 2017, although I created my account in 2009 (and promptly forgot about it).

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 or send you something extra - I do weigh my envelopes and tend to put on extra postage if I'm not sure, but the USPS has complicated rules.

I'm open to making some regular penpals outside of swapping as well! It's nice to just send postcards/letters back and forth when we feel like it and have something to say. I am studying German and Hungarian, although I've found that writing whole letters in either really slows me down (postcards are more doable).

Things I do...

*Nature photography



*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. Also thrift stores and used bookstores - I'm really into book crafts.

*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!

*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!

*Stickers, especially vintage-style or nature themed (not super kawaii or kids' stickers, unless they're dinosaurs - I collect those for a friend of mine). Vintage gummed flower and bird labels. Dennison labels. Airmail stickers.

*Washi tape samples, especially vintage travel, nature, INSECTS!!, nighttime cityscapes, galaxies, and ocean themes. I especially love watercolor-style washi. Patterned washi is also great, and I don't have much of it.

*Postage stamps. I use 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 also like cancelled stamps from any country - I mostly don't collect stamps anymore, but I do use them in crafts. I also enjoy nice stamps on postcards and envelopes! Also, if anyone has the Australian dragonfly set from a year or so ago gummed + mint, I'd love to do a private swap for it.

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

*Graphic 45, Tim Coffey, and Tim Holtz generally hit my aesthetic fairly often, although I never can figure out what to do with commercial die-cuts.

*I will use stickers, book/magazine 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 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

*Book pages I can use in crafting, especially in non-English languages, vintage, nature/science, history, dictionary/encyclopedia/grammar, textbook, field guide...I prefer nonfiction and non-religious themes.

*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.

*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.

Favorite Crafts

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 (decorated envies, flipbooks, handmade postcards), ATCs, art/nature journaling, stamping, collage, nature printing (leaves), 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, printing, collage. I always appreciate cut-outs of animals and plants from vintage books, magazines, tourist brochures, etc.

I love making ATCs, handmade postcards, and decorated/handmade envelopes.

Journal/Planner Stuff

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 started in 2018.

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).

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 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! 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).

*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 Hawai'i or outside the U.S. (forbidden by U.S. Customs).


turkucpodjadek rated for Penpal private swap :D on Nov 9, 2018
Comment: Thank you :D I loved everything in your letter :D I'll reply soon
Response: Yay, looking forward to it!
MartaSoares rated for IWTS: Half & Half Swap #2 on Nov 4, 2018
Comment: Thank you for the great washi samples! They will be very usefull😊
Response: You're very welcome!
Comment: I see why this is one of your favorite PCs! I too am envious of artist who can create sketchbooks like this. Thank you for sending such a lovely PC for this swap!
Response: You're very welcome! I guess it's practice - just so hard to squeeze out the time to sketch.
Paperlifedreams rated for TGIF Weekend Notecard #119 on Oct 16, 2018
Comment: Thanks for sharing your weekend with me - it sounded beautiful. Enjoy Australia when you come down (Sydney is my favourite place here that I have been too.) Thanks for the wash samples as well - loved them, and did not have any of them. :)
Response: I'm so excited for the Blue Mountains and wombats - you have no idea! I have been told they are very loud at the campground and we won't get much sleep, but I don't care. I'm sure the whole trip will be awesome.
Tamawi rated for TNW - ATC Series - Leaves on Oct 1, 2018
Comment: Your embossing turned out fantastic. I love the ATC you made! Thanks you for the special stickers, too. I look forward to using them...it's not every day I get pitcher plant stickers.πŸ’—
Response: You're very welcome! I hope you can get them off the backing. :-) I made them because I couldn't find any carnivorous plant stickers I liked - I guess it's a niche market.
Comment: Thank you Melissa for the lovely ATC...the first one I have received with embossing, you did it beautifully. And thank you for the German reader pages. These will make great ATCs πŸ˜€
Response: You're welcome! It was interesting to try embossing - I definitely want to experiment with it more!
shinyserra rated for A Stamped Up Letter on Sep 24, 2018
Comment: I was so pleasantly surprised to receive such a BEAUTIFUL letter and stamped images! The calligraphy, the colored in images, the nature stamps, everything was gorgeous. And I thoroughly enjoyed reading your letter! I love how you did the watercolored effect on the goddies you included. So cool. If you ever want a stamped letter pen pal, let me know!
Response: I'm so glad you liked it! I'm pretty swamped right now, but if things get less busy in the future I will drop you a message. :-)
ginny19590 rated for Stamped Images Swap #2 on Sep 18, 2018
Comment: I loved all the stamped images. Thank you so very much. It did arrive with the wax stamp had crumbled up. But I loved it all.....=)
Response: Aww, bummer - thanks for letting me know! Hope it didn't mess up any of the stamps!
Comment: Thanks a lot for the stamps!!!
Response: You're very welcome! Of course I found the peony postcard right after I sent...
blueseabliss rated for MAP MAIL ART AND ATC on Sep 15, 2018
Comment: Good heavens, this is the most beautiful Mail Art and most delightful ATC I have ever received! Thank you! Many hearts....
Response: I'm really glad you liked them! Thanks again for hosting. :-)
judee0624 rated for Ocean Life PC Swap #1-USA on Sep 6, 2018
Comment: Thanks for the interesting card.
Response: You're welcome!
SunTradeToo rated for Handmade Autumn Postcard #1 on Sep 5, 2018
Comment: I cannot believe is your first time painting, because is beautiful! Thank you πŸ“¬ β™ͺβ™«*Β¨*β€’.¸¸❀
Response: Oh, I have painted before (although I'm not great) - the leaf printing was the new technique! I'm glad you liked it. It's really fun to play with.
goosey rated for Vintage Postcard Swap - US on Sep 5, 2018
Comment: thanks for the yellowstone pc!
Response: You're very welcome!
turkucpodjadek rated for Vintage-Themed Washi Samples on Aug 31, 2018
Comment: OMG I've been looking for those flower washi stickers for so long! Thank you! I love everything you sent me and I will cherish all those things :D
Response: Yay, glad you liked it! I got the washI stickers/tape sticker roll from a seller on AliExpress.
squince rated for Botanical Postcard Swap USA #14 on Aug 30, 2018
Comment: Love it!
Response: Thanks!
Vickyen rated for WIYM: WATERFALL POSTCARD SWAP on Aug 28, 2018
Comment: Hi Melissa! Thank you for the beautiful waterfall pc! So sorry the fire last year messed up the trail - fire is so scary! Your printing is amazing - so readable! Hugs and Happy Swapping! ;)
Response: Glad you liked it! All things considered, the fire damage wasn't as bad as people feared and it will probably be good for the ecology long-term, but...it's hard to take that much change on an immediate human scale. At least there are still many other nice hiking areas open.
bjansen rated for Botanical Postcard Swap USA #14 on Aug 28, 2018
Lantana149 rated for EJ: Trash and Scrap Postcard on Aug 27, 2018
Comment: Thank you for the beautiful postcard, nicely done. 😍🌸
Response: Thanks, glad you liked it!
MMark rated for TGIF Weekend Notecard #114 on Aug 25, 2018
Comment: Thank you for the excellent notecard! Loved it. We recently moved and now see beautiful red dragonflies in our yard. So cool! Thanks again. Take care!
Response: Cheers! Wish I had dragonflies in my yard. :-)
rjdolphin rated for Butterfly Themed Flat Gifts - USA on Aug 18, 2018
Comment: Thank you for a great swap. So many little surprises! I especially like the postage stamps and stickers.
Response: You're very welcome! It was super fun to put together.

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
5.0000 160 4 9
Completed Fives Threes Ones
153 167 0 0
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
4 92 57 0
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Mimi7 on Oct 22, 2018:

loved the stamps on the envelope too, will be saving those for crafts thanks again

Mimi7 on Oct 22, 2018:

Thank you for the lovely hymnal pages and the washi tape. Now to get creating!!

ChrisAnne on Oct 16, 2018:

Thank you for the hymnal pages. I can't wait to put them to use in my craftiness!

LivingInSong on Oct 15, 2018:

Thank you so much for the lovely hymnal pages RAK! You packaged them up so beautifully and I was so excited to open up the envelope. :) I can't wait to start using them in my crafting - thank you again!

MyRetroSoul on Oct 15, 2018:

I just saw the link you left on my thread about International postage and i wanted to thank you. Not only was it perfectly informative but it made me laugh so hard. Thank you soooo much!

RooBaRoo on Oct 5, 2018:

Hello wombatlady! Thank you for your kind words of understanding. Thanks for taking notice & for caring! I was indeed so mad at that time. I would love to be in a swap with you! ❀ Good vibes your way ! & see you around πŸ’

TereDiane1954 on Oct 4, 2018:

I got your lovely package of hymnal pages and goodies today. Thank you so much for your generosity β™₯

supersquirrel on Oct 3, 2018:

Received the Vintage Hymnal Pages RAK today in the cool music envelope! The pages are such the perfect size print. Thank you so much and thanks for the 3 of hearts too :)

djcamp04 on Apr 2, 2018:

The envelopes are beautiful! Love the vintage one so much. Ehhhh, don’t worry about not decorating envie you sent in, it was pretty as is! 😁

pinklilly on Mar 17, 2018:

Thank you so much Melissa for the beautiful washi samples win, I just received today!! I love them!! You are so generous and so kind!! Much appreciated!

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