Swap-bot Time: February 26, 2021 12:57 pm


Original Member
Last Online: September 27, 2011
Birthday: June 20
Country: United States
craftgasm, my handmade business
My Flickr Photos
Etsy favorites
My fiance's urban planning blog

About Me

I live with my fiance Dan in a 19th century rowhouse apartment near Dupont Circle, in the middle of the action in Washington, DC. We are car-free and walk, bike, or Metro to everything and love life in the city. I work full-time running my crafty business, {craftgasm}, where I reclaim and upcycle lots and lots of paper. http://shopcraftgasm.com

I'm addicted to:
pretty things,
mail art,
thrift store shopping,
bargain hunting,
politics and political humor,
hoarding anything that might one day be useful (which is notsogreat for the smallish apartment),
my lovely step-through bicycle,
postal or mail-related items,
old books,
cute apples,
baker's twine,
graph and ledger paper in all forms,
paper with foreign words on it,
postcards (blank, to me, or written on years ago),
pumpkin-flavored foods and drinks (Pumpkin Spice Latte Season deserves to be capitalized, in my opinion)
green and pink and aqua,
thrift store fabric,
...and all things vintage.

Favorite Music

By no means an all-inclusive list: Jump, Little Children; Incubus; Army of Me; Suitcase; Maroon 5; Death Cab for Cutie; Rilo Kiley; anything from local artists or semi-obscure so I can attempt to feel hip and with-it while listening to it. :)

Favorite Television

The Daily Show!
The Colbert Report!
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson!
The Office!
Battlestar Galactica!
Star Trek: TNG! (the one with Patrick Stewart being all bald and grandpa-sexy [because I am a huge nerd])
Heroes! (though mostly prior to season 3, when it kind of jumped the shark)
most anything on BBC America

Favorite Books

I was an English major, so I can't possibly pick just a few. I do have a few different genres, though.

-- anything two to four centuries old and written by a British chick
-- classic British and American lit
-- classic children's literature (I'm a huge L. M. Montgomery fan)
-- contemporary children's lit (His Dark Materials, Harry Potter, Lois Lowry's The Giver trilogy, etc.)
-- modern & classic African-American lit (Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, Douglass, etc.)
-- non-gory apocalyptic books (like The City of Ember series)
-- modern judged-by-its-cover books that are all pretty on the outside (hey, it's how I discovered I love Melissa Banks and Sue Monk Kidd!)
-- anything by Carl Hiaasen
-- classic sci-fi (Asimov & Orson Scott Card, yes; Star Trek #5464, notsomuch)
-- non-fiction about crafting, flea market finds, cooking, urban planning, bicycling, politics, & women's issues
-- anything YOU have really loved if you tell me why

I have tried, but I really have no use for romance novels. Please save them for someone who will enjoy them.

I don't mind having multiple copies of books I've read, because then I have them to swap with or give to friends, so if it looks like something I'd like, but you're worried I have it already, it's OK; send it along!

I've been a member of BookCrossing.com for about 8 years now, so I'd love any books registered there. Even if they're not a subject I'm particularly interested in, I love being able to track where they go!

Favorite Crafts

Anything papercrafty (cardmaking, bookbinding, stationery-making, stamping, journal-assembling, etc.), and all manner of sewing projects with my too-good-for-me Bernina.

Things I'd love to receive

I'd be super-excited to open any packages or envelopes that contained:

-If you are sending from France, I'd lovelovelove to get an envelope with some of the new V-Day stamps on it - thank you so much!

-I'm currently making a quilt (eek!) with reds, blues, whites and off-whites, and grays for my awesome grandparents. If you had fabric scraps in any or all of those colors, especially plaids or striped patterns, I'd be thrilled to receive them. I'm not picky on the source of the fabric, and anything that's at least 50% cotton would be put to good use. (I'm using old shirts and sheets from my family, so definitely not picky on where it came from.)

-anything relating to my above-mentioned obsessions

-vintage sew-on or iron-on patches,especially of states or scouting badges

-zakka-style items, either handmade or store-bought

-blank rubber blocks for me to make my own rubber stamps with

-something repurposed or reworked, either by you or someone else

-fun blank notecards or blank lettersets for me to use in my swapping and pen-palling

-books registered at BookCrossing.com

-vintage or interesting stamps, both cancelled and uncancelled (US) or any foreign stamps

-for that matter, actual stamps on my package as postage, if possible :)

-air mail envelopes, especially vintage, especially from foreign countries

-anything to do with maps (the actual kind, less so on the cartoony, stylized, or drawn sort)

-anything to make pen-palling more fun

-vintage mail-related things, like old airmail envelopes or rubber stamps or official stickers or forms that are free from your post office, especially non-US ones. Used or unused are both fine!

-new mail-related things from non-US post offices

-official-looking and bureaucratic-esque stamps and ephemera, authentic or not (I have a library-style date stamp and it's one of my favorite crafty purchases ever)

-weird papers like old accounting ledgers or architectural blueprints, either blank or written on

-things with polka dots

-things with bumblebees or honey on them (both because of my name's meaning and because honey is delicious)

-stuff from the supercute Japanese-style dollar stores (like Daiso on the Pacific coast of the US)

-secondhand things for a swap you found for supercheap at the thrift store or a yard sale (reuse, reuse, reuse!)

-pretty blank labels, new or vintage

-handmade anything, either from you or someone else (because, as Kelly Rand says, "handmade will save the world.")

-vintage bedsheets to use as fabric (in fat quarters or just random scraps of a few inches)

-fun tins or boxes or glass jars for me to store things in

-a real note from you!


I enjoy all postcards that have a real note on them to me. I don't collect postcards for the fronts, people! Instead, I love hearing about you, your day, a funny story -- whatever! Or if you think you have nothing to say, draw a fun picture on the back. :)

In postcards sent blank in an envelope to me, I especially love unusual designs, artwork, ad cards that were intended to be used as postcards (meaning they're mostly blank on one side), vintage, anything relating to my likes, food, animals, and causes. I don't generally enjoy blank scenery postcards that have the name of a place on them (like most touristy ones) because if I've never been there, I feel funny sending a postcard of the place. If that's all you have available, though, I can always find a home for it somewhere. :)

I prefer my received ad cards to have been intended for use as postcards, complete with a space to write an address and a note. If you need to use a two-sided ad card instead of being able to find a one-sided ad card, please cover over the more boring side with blank labels or paper-and-tape to write your message. It's a snoozefest to get an ad card that only has my address on it and your name squeezed in somewhere amongst the text.

Things I'd rather not receive

Some things that you should save for those who will appreciate them more:

Tchotchkes or knick-knacks other than anything related to my interests. (I'm sure it's lovely, but I have a hard enough time keeping the clutter contained as it is!)

Romance novels

Country decor (cows, Mary Englebreit, etc.)

Disney items (I don't regularly see enough small children to be able to pass them on, and I'm not one myself)

Religious anything other than for historical purposes (pictures of a pretty temple or church on a postcard or whatever are fine; a religious tract or passages from religious texts in a note to me is not). In fact, including such is usually a quick way to not be rated with a heart. I respect others' beliefs and request they do the same with me.

Anything homophobic.

Regarding swapping

I always, always, always send my swaps, so if you have not received something from me, please let me know so I can either try to track it or send another to replace it. The same goes for if you receive something from me that for whatever reason doesn't fit the requirements or that you're not happy with. I contact my partners before rating them anything lower than a 5, and would expect the same courtesy.

Please write your name and the name of the swap somewhere in your note to me or on the outside of the package itself. It's awfully time-consuming to track people down, and so easy to avoid the hassle. Thanks so much!

I rate for everything I receive when your name and the swap name are legible and easily found. If you think I owe you a rating, please let me know. I'll check to make sure it's not been put to the side because I didn't know who it was from, or if it just hasn't arrived yet. I won't be offended if you have to PM me for a rating -- we should both work to figure out where it is! Similarly, please rate me, as well. I keep track of all my swaps and it's frustrating to have to contact someone multiple times for a rating when I know the swap arrived.

If you're going to be late in sending your swap, that's totally fine -- I understand life crops up unexpectedly sometimes. But please just let me know as soon as you're able before the send-by date. Letting me know a package will be late a week after the send-by date or sending late without telling me ahead of time is a stupid reason to get a 3 when you could have gotten a 5 +

Note for swap coordinators

A quick note for anyone concerned with my "no sends" from 2007: I most definitely DID send them (and have pics of the swaps before they were sent, if you'd like proof!) and have never received the packages back in the three+ years since. I've also tried contacting those who rated me as not sending to see if the package had come a few months later (one was international and a fairly large box), but without any response. I follow through, I promise!


I'm sad that this even needs to be a section, but am including here so others, especially swap hosts, can be warned. :(

@sunflowerpast Christy Traylor No Spending Swap #2 (Angeled by @Merimax AND @memtree within a week of each other - what dears!)

@Fernweh87 Anita Dietzinger Design Your Own Letterset (Angeled by the excellent @mar1l1ze

@mykateyes77 Katrina Benitez and @BooksNBears Jackie Bell, New Year's Eve Postcard Extravaganza {Angeled by @pdxyogini -- thanks so much!}

@user993 LeeAnn Easterwood, Coolest Thrift Store Finds

@user634 Trish Smit., Scrapbooking Fever Swap


Mar1l1ze rated for ULTIMATE ~mAiLaRt~ Journal RR on Nov 3, 2011
Comment: This breaks my heart because we have had some great swaps in the past. I will rate up when I receive my journal.
luluvision rated for JUNE: Mail Art, Inside and Out #2 on Jun 15, 2011
Comment: Thank you for all the great stuff! I look forward to checking out the sites you mentioned in your zine! I love the placement of the vintage stamps on the envelope! I'm always too chicken to go against the standard way! Thanks again!
user5311 rated for JUNE: Mail Art, Inside and Out #2 on Jun 14, 2011
Comment: Great package. Thanks. Would you mind sharing where you got the postal tape used on the package front? Love it.
Comment: Thank you for the way cool envie and postcards.
Comment: I'm about to post to my blog to let people know the next few orders will receive one of your super-cool envelope seal sets! They really are a great promo item. :) Thanks also for the garland and the airmail letterset (& Churchill stamp!) - as always, great fun to swap with you!
Comment: hi, i got your parcel today, i read the back, and thoughts rushed to like "how could anyone", so i i'm looking forward to reading it. I've never been on bookcrossing website and i willl registar it as soon as i get off swap-bot tonight. you never know it maybe come my next big thing. thanks again. p.s i love all the beautiful stamps on your envelope i had to tip it to the side so i didn't rip any of them.
Response: I'm so glad you enjoyed receiving it and liked the outside -- I hope you like the inside when you read it, too! :) Thanks for the heart.
Comment: Thank you, my favorite is the Cala Lily notecard, as I had those in my wedding, and so did my great-grandmother. I also liked your homemade envelope. Thanks for the great swap, and so sorry for the late rating.
Response: No worries! I'm just glad it made it there. :) Glad you liked!
Comment: thank you for the wonderful envie AND handmade card! both were awesome :-)
Response: I'm happy you enjoyed receiving them! Thank you for the <3. :)
Comment: Great work of art! I love all the detailsl,with so many stamps-USA and foreign. I love the post card,and the vintage photo.I loved the fact that the boys picture showed through in the envelope window.Thanks so much for sending me a very creative envie!
Response: I was particularly proud of managing to line the window and the boy up. I'm glad you appreciated him! Thank you for the heart!
Comment: Thanks for the lovely card, Melissa! Sorry for the late rating, I'm just now getting back online. Always love getting stuff from you. :)
Response: Glad you liked and that you didn't mind its source. :) Thanks for the heart.
Aria rated for Children's Book Illustration Postcards on May 14, 2011
Comment: Thanks for sending me the cool card! Yes, we had the Baby Sitters Club books in our school library and I even owned a few. :D
Response: I'm glad they've influenced a whole generation! Thanks for the heart. :)
Comment: Thank you for the postcard & note! :-)
Response: I'm glad it arrived safely! Thanks for the <3, Sam!
Comment: Thank you sooo much for the LOVELY decorated envie, Melissa! I *love* it! I absolutely love decorated mail and you did such a terrific job! Very creative! And the goodies inside were so very cool...I love the foreign print flyer as well as the beautiful postcard of the storefront windows. Thank you for taking the time to read my profile and send goodies you know I would love! And please send a friendly hello to your cockatiel Roo...I chuckled when I saw the nibble & note on your letter! Too fun! :)
Response: I'm happy you liked everything! Roo chirped back when I told him you said hi; I think he was glad you got the message. :)
Comment: Wow! What a colorful art envie, thanks Melissa. And what luck that it didn't have to travel far. I love it that you reuse packaging, paper, etc. I wish more people would. There are so many reusable materials to craft with in the world. OH, and I've really been enjoying the CD you made too. Dozens of hearts for you! Take care ;)
Response: So glad you liked the envelope and the CD! Thanks for the heart, neighbor. :)
Comment: thanks!
Response: Thanks for the <3!
ilovetubby rated for FEB: A Mail Art Scavenger Hunt on Apr 21, 2011
Comment: I thought I had already rated you but maybe I imagined it lol!! Sorry for the way late rating! Thank you for all the really cool goodies. :)
Response: I'm so glad it reached you safely! I'm happy you like everything. Thank you for the heart!
Haole1 rated for St. Patrick's Day Postmark on Apr 13, 2011
Response: I'm glad it finally arrived! Thanks for the heart. :)
Comment: Thank you for the cards & envie :) (Heart for the profile specific pcs... sorry I didn't have your swap infront of me when I rated, so I had to go back and add the heart later when I could look what you sent.)
Response: So happy you like the PCs! Thank you for the <3. :)
Comment: Thank you so much for that awesome envie! It looked fabulous, and the content was just as nice! It was great to be your partner, thank you!
Response: I'm glad it made it over to your side of the world safely -- and so quickly, too! Thanks for the heart. :)
Comment: Thank you for the wonderful fishy envelope and shell pages! Love them!
Response: You're welcome! Thanks for the heart -- I'm glad you like them!

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
4.9613 305 11 12
Completed Fives Threes Ones
195 358 1 3
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
2 103 69 21
View all

Currently Hosting

  • the user is not hosting any current swaps


FiWebster on Dec 31, 2012:

Happy New Year Melissa! Here's a little end-of-year treat for your eyeballs... =smile=

Mar1l1ze on Oct 20, 2011:

Melissa, I have tried contacting you about my journal for the RR swap. In my last RL email (sent 6 Oct) I asked you to send my journal back to me by end Oct or I will rate a 1 for the swap. I am yet to hear anything from you.

Please get in contact with me ASAP.

starrgazer on Sep 12, 2011:

Hey Melissa, I have contacted you in every way imaginable in regards to trying to get my round robin journal back. I really treasure some of the contents (and the book itself) so I would love it if you could return my book directly to me. Thanks so much!

MeganMar on May 1, 2011:

Thanks Melissa for an awesome start to the NTG Group WTA! The notecard is lovely, and the postcard is by far the best one I've recv'd in a long time! And I have to mention the great envie made out of a take-out menu! :) LOVED EVERY BIT OF THIS SEND!!!

id0be1ieve on Apr 22, 2011:

Thank you so much for the super awesome surprise envie (for the 'Creative Correspondence > TAG game - I got something that'll make you smile')..everything did most definitely make me smile; thank you! :-D

nermalski on Apr 14, 2011:

Thankyou for the CC March WTA envie. It was so pretty I hated to open it, but I did. I love the envelopes and flowers. Thankyou for including the addy labels, too.

Can't wait to use them in happy mailings.

naturenerd3 on Apr 12, 2011:

I went back and added a heart to your rating. Sorry I forgot to before... I was in a bit of a rush and didn't have everything infront of me. :)

thehappyhoneybee on Apr 12, 2011:

Hah hah, my evil plan is succeeding! :) I'm so glad you've gotten engrossed in Hunger Games...can't wait to hear what you think. Lots of heated discussion already in our forum thread.

thehappyhoneybee on Apr 4, 2011:

Welcome to District 13! Please stop by the forum and introduce yourself (to the others, obviously) + chat when you get the chance. So glad you joined!


Crazipurplelady on Mar 31, 2011:

I'm so glad you like the postcard! I have a Purple Cow cold laminator (sp) and it worked great for that !!! Enjoy!

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