Swap-bot Time: January 23, 2021 6:31 am


Date Joined: May 25, 2009
Last Online: January 22, 2021
Birthday: December 17
Country: United States
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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. :-(

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.

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 15 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).


Comment: Thank you so much for the wonderful package and envelope. I just adore the octopus stamp! The candy and tea will be fun to try. The crafty supplies will be used with love. Thank you for trading with me. A big ALOHA!
Response: You're very welcome! I'm really glad you like the octopus stamp - I bought that set on impulse and used it a couple times, but it wasn't getting enough use here. Happy crafting!
Comment: Your postcard of the trees is adorable!
J198928 rated for Coloring Collab 2020 #2 on Feb 22, 2020
Comment: Thank you. Love the extras :)
Comment: That PC is gorgeous!! Love it!! I actually propped it up here on my desk and I think I will keep it there. Spring!!
tampatha rated for Music ATC on Feb 17, 2020
Comment: thank you for the amazing ATCs and all the extra goodies! Love your marbled backgrounds!
Response: You're very welcome! Glad you like them. I am trying to actually use my stash more instead of just hoarding it for decades, haha.
MnB rated for Found/upcycled postcard #1 on Feb 8, 2020
Comment: Thank you for the very cool postcard. I liked the little stamp flourishes you added to it too.
Response: Glad you liked it!
lemooon rated for Watercolor hand made post card size on Feb 7, 2020
Comment: Thank you so so much for the great outdoors package! You are talented! I also like you chose stickers and extras. Thank you again! And I'm glad you like Nausicaa. Have a great weekend!
Response: You're welcome! I am glad you liked it.
DRMOM rated for SS: Stamped Letterset on Feb 5, 2020
Comment: Thank you for the lovely letter sets. The paper is dreamy. Thanks for sharing. Happy crafting!
Response: Glad you liked it! Vintage notepaper has such a special feel to it.
parakeetmails rated for Look this is my pet! on Feb 4, 2020
Comment: Thank you for sharing!!
Response: Thanks! Your pets sound delightful.
SatisHuman rated for Look this is my pet! on Feb 2, 2020
Comment: Cute cats! I love their nicknames.
Response: They have many nicknames, mostly ridiculous ones. :-)
euniceq rated for Look this is my pet! on Feb 1, 2020
Comment: Thank you for the adorable pictures! I have two cats, myself, and they're also both more interested in humans than each other. The breed names you used made me chuckle!
Response: The social structures are complex and ever-shifting, but I guess we are always the providers of food and laps!
chimerix rated for ATC Cleanout #34 (USA) on Jan 22, 2020
Comment: Thank you for the absolutely beautiful ATCs! I love the work you do. All of the different techniques are really lovely. Aloha
Response: Glad you liked them! Some of them were by other people (should be signed on the back) because I wanted to include a variety!
Joeanniee rated for A Note For You # 30 on Jan 20, 2020
Comment: Thank you so much for all the goodies! I really wish I had visited Australia. It is so sad what is happening over there. I also wish the fires die down soon. I actually love China Green Tips from Tazo since I use to work for Starbucks and they had it there.
Kokoxo rated for A Note For You # 30 on Jan 16, 2020
Comment: OMG! 😍 THANK YOU! ~ You have spoiled me!! You should have seen my face when I opened your swap, I love it ALL! Thank you so much for sharing these with me and for taking the time to read my profile. My dogs are both super lazy but also super cuddly, the youngest is extremely derpy and the oldest puts up with her nonsense. I will have to check out Frugal Crafter, thank you for the suggestion!
Response: You're very welcome! Your dogs sound adorable. :-)
Melonkne rated for A Note For You # 30 on Jan 13, 2020
Comment: Hi Melissa, Thanks for such a thoughtful swap! The card is so intricate, teas look soo good can't wait to enjoy a cuppa, and the crystal washis sooo pretty! I'll send out a response to you real soon! Best, Mels.
Response: Cheers, you are very welcome!
SeleneW rated for A Note For You # 30 on Jan 10, 2020
Comment: Thank you for the beautiful card and note. I have thought about pausing my sub to Stickii but it brings me too much joy. I store some of the Stickii folders in a compatible binder I found on Amazon and I use the small Avery binder with its matching sleeve pockets to put my favorite sheets in. Luckily have teacher mother in law who just loves that I give her tons of stickers. Have you seen the Stickii BAO yet? I love it for taking swap writing on the go! I saw your watercolors on your Instagram. You are quite good. Keep having fun with it!
Response: I have seen the Bao, but it's more than I can bring myself to spend on a stationery bag...neat, though! I ended up with four cheap Stickii-sized binders and I'm a little alarmed by how many stickers I have, haha! Thank you for your nice comments on my watercolor - I am still learning so much!
kleedawn rated for A Note For You # 30 on Jan 10, 2020
Comment: Thank you so much for the wonderful items and sweet note ❤️
Response: You're very welcome!
LadyCyr rated for New Technique Flat Art Swap on Mar 18, 2019
Comment: Thank you for such a beautiful card :) I love where you took this idea
Response: I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for being so patient about the resend.
Comment: Thank you <3 I love the notebook, it doesn't look like your first one! Very proffesional! I will take it to my future trip, I'll tell you more in the next letter :D
Response: Yay, I'm glad you like it!
Cariboocarol rated for Put birds on it! on Feb 14, 2019
Comment: Thank you so much for the wonderful envelope of birdy items! They are all so nice and I have never seen that wide washi before with the backing--such a good idea to use as stickers! I feel very lucky that you were my partner,😀
Response: You're very welcome! The washi with backing seems to have started showing up fairly recently - on AliExpress it's usually called "special ink" washi - I'm not sure what Etsy sellers call it. It is a lot easier to cut things out of than regular superwide washi!

Rating Overview

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5.0000 193 8 13
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173 201 0 0
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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:

alt text

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


Lillypooh12 on Nov 28, 2018:

Thank you for the Halloween RAK - Such great items! :) <3

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