ETA April 8 2019: I've sent all my outstanding tags and resends and I'm taking an indefinite swap break until I'm in a good headspace for it where it feels fun again and I'm not struggling to deal with hobby deadlines on top of work deadlines. I got overwhelmed, some life stuff happened, and I am really sorry about taking so long to resolve a few things.
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 often get stuck in a box and not enjoyed as often. :-(
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 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’ve been cutting back on swaps lately and focusing more on regular penpals.
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 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) and b) challenging myself to make art and try new things.
*Go to the theatre - plays, musicals, operetta, occasionally opera
*Poke through secondhand shops, garage slaes, 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!
*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 collect nature-themed Australian, Canadian, Japanese, New Zealand, Icelandic, Finnish, and Swedish stamps), but I do use other stamps 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.
*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.
*I'm trying to get more into drinking tea besides masala chai, so I'm interested in trying fruity teas (black, white, green), 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.
*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. My current favorites to make are
Techniques I enjoy include
-Washi tape collage
I'm excited to receive art in any media!
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 most of Deep Space Nine).
*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.
*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. (generally forbidden by U.S. Customs).
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