Swap-bot Time: September 20, 2019 1:50 pm


Date Joined: May 25, 2009
Last Online: August 22, 2019
Birthday: December 17
Country: United States
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About Me

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.

Things I do...

*Nature photography



*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.

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

-Decorated envies


-Handmade postcards


Techniques I enjoy include

-Watercolor/watercolor pencil

-Leaf printing

-Ink sketching

-Collage/mixed media

-Washi tape collage


I'm excited to receive art in any media!

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 most of 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. (generally forbidden by U.S. Customs).


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!
turkucpodjadek rated for Penpal private swap :D on Feb 1, 2019
Comment: Thank you for the letter and the postcard! I love it all! I was so happy when I found those white and red labels, i've seen them in instagram and I always wanted to use them, but I can't find them anywhere, thank you <3
Response: Vintage Dennison labels have become kind of a hot commodity! I have only found a few that weren't overpriced - they're so expensive on Etsy and Ebay. I think the company (now Avery) could make some money by producing some nostalgic gummed labels! I'm kind of surprised it's not easier to find modern versions. I'm working on a surprise for your next letter! :-)
marchy rated for THEMED washi swap - vintage on Jan 25, 2019
Comment: Love your vintage style always!
Response: You're so welcome! <3
marchy rated for THEMED washi swap - floral on Jan 25, 2019
Comment: Thanks so much, i love swapping with you.
Response: Would love to swap again when I actually have time to swap!
willowh rated for HDoP: mushroom postcard on Jan 12, 2019
Comment: Beautifully done! I love, love, love it! Thanks so much for the info too... I’m in awe of Mushrooms.
Response: Yay, I'm glad! It was fun trying out a different style.
kssunlover1947 rated for THEMED washi swap - floral on Jan 11, 2019
Comment: Thank you for the washi and postcards.
Response: You're very welcome.
PrettyAlice rated for THEMED washi swap - vintage on Jan 3, 2019
Comment: Thanks so much I love these washis! I’m jealous you got to see the bats.
Response: Glad you like the washi. The bats are amazing - hope you can see some someday! I'm sure there are fruit bats closer than Australia.
Poohtat rated for THEMED washi swap - floral on Jan 3, 2019
Comment: Thank you for the lovely samples. Wow, you fussy cut those? They look perfect. I love all of them, thank you.
Response: Tiny tiny scissors. :-) It's kind of mentally soothing.
January rated for THEMED washi swap - vintage on Jan 2, 2019
Comment: Thanks for the washi - and for the vintage items - appreciated!
January rated for THEMED washi swap - floral on Jan 2, 2019
Comment: Thanks for the washi - and for the vintage items - appreciated!
Response: Glad you liked them!
Comment: Thank you for the tags and the extra tapes.
Response: You're very welcome!
crochetjunkie rated for Surprise Ephemera 5 on Dec 18, 2018
Comment: Thank you for some fun stuff! I love the vintage dog...stickers? Lol Great envelope of goodies!!
Response: Gummed seals, I guess? Before pressure-sensitive ones were invented. I thought they were fun!
IbeBecca rated for Washi ATC on Dec 10, 2018
Comment: Thank you so very much! love love love the ATC's & extras. Have a great holiday & New Year.
Response: You're very welcome!
Comment: Thank you so much Melissa!! I loved the extras and hearing about your favorite part of LGBT history!! Warm wishes, Ashley
Response: You're very welcome!
Comment: Thanks so much Melissa Love the washis and carefully selected extras you added. Appreciate it so much Mwoahs M
Response: You're very welcome!
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.

Rating Overview

Overall Hearts Stars Hosted
5.0000 176 6 11
Completed Fives Threes Ones
162 184 0 0
Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Uncategorized
4 96 62 0
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Currently In

  • the user is not currently in any swaps :(

Currently Hosting

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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

OrigamiGrace on Nov 22, 2018:

From Cheap Postage Group!


supersquirrel on Nov 17, 2018:

Yahoo - Your Halloween RAK arrived today. So nice, kind and generous of you! I still have Halloween out - I can't let go of it yet. Thank you so much for everything!! :)

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!

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