Swap-bot Time: July 17, 2024 9:28 pm


Date Joined: May 25, 2009
Last Online: September 30, 2021
Birthday: December 17
Country: United States
My Postcrossing profile
My photography at 500px
My Instagram (may contain spoilers)

About Me

Update June 2021: I'm taking another break - lately I've been focusing on making miniatures and I still need to catch up on letters. Please let me know if you have not received a swap from me and I'll resend.

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. :-(

ATCs: I keep mine in protectors in a binder, so please feel free to send them in a paper sleeve or just tucked into something protective even if the swap days it require a plastic sleeve. I love them all - layered, not layered, stamped, hand-drawn/painted, collaged, stitched!

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. I do always appreciate a card or note, but again, I will rate based on 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 few decades 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).


christy102194 rated for 📚Book-Themed PC Swap USA #5 on Jul 30, 2021
Comment: Oh I LOVE reading on camping trips!
Comment: Thank you for your postcard. I received the re-send version. I've also been to New Zealand - beautiful country.
Comment: I struggled with this swap too! It sounded so easy until it was time to make it. I love how yours turned out though!
ScrapHappyGabi rated for Bee ATCs - Newbie Friendly on Jun 19, 2021
Comment: BEEYUTIFUL ATC!! Thank you!! I love it~ Your garden sounds lovely.. I'd love to see those pitcher plants~ We have some here in New Jersey and they are protected by law :) I live in the Sourlands - https://sourland.org/ No.. NJ Is not all cities-- its got 3 major cities and the rest is rather residential and A LOT of farms - IT's called the "Garden State" for a reason! Gets a bad rap coz of Newark (near NYC) LOL!!
Response: I posted a few pitcher photos to my Instagram (oreotalpa) recently, since they were blooming and I impulse-purchased a new baby recently! Mine are domestic hybrid Sarracenia - related to your wild ones, but I've never been lucky enough to see Sarracenia in the wild. Someday, perhaps...(with a lot of bug spray). They're really wonderful plants to keep, very easy and rewarding. The Sourlands look amazing - gotta add them to my bucket list!
Cellolady rated for Vintage tourist card #05 on Jun 19, 2021
Comment: Very cool pc. Thanks!
Comment: Thank you for my card! The Blue mountains have been on my wanderlust-list for years, but I had no idea there were such caves there. I like caves more than mountains, thank you for the inspiration to dust off my passport
Response: The Blue Mountains are not all that mountainy (at least by my standards), but they are absolutely gorgeous and there are lots of cool things to see in the area! Highly recommend.
Cellolady rated for Vintage tourist card #04 on Jun 15, 2021
Comment: Cool PC! Where have you found the Vintage PC's of Utah? They are awesome!
Response: I think I found a packet of them in a thrift store a few years ago and snapped them up because I love Utah's parks so much!
riftvegan rated for TGIF Weekend Notecard #249 on Jun 10, 2021
Comment: oh, wow, I love this card! Thank you so much, it's beautiful! And what a fun weekend, with all your drawing classes!! That's cool about your Cooper Hawk... a very healthy ecosystem you've got going there! :)
Response: It's pretty good, although I am aiming to replace some of the invasive plants (so much English ivy) with native plants, or at least plants that provide more wildlife food. But there is a lot of activity out there!
Comment: Thanks for the beautiful Japanese postcard!
wyrdfae rated for Rainbow postcard on Jun 8, 2021
Comment: thank you so much! I will check out that book you mentioned!
Comment: Thank you for the sweet note and examples of your wonderful carvings!! The Star Wars ones sound like an amazing idea!! Hope I get to see them! ❤️❤️ So ambitious! 😁
Comment: Hello again, for a 3rd time in swaps, hee! Thank you very much, for the Oregon PC. I didn't have this one before. I buy a lot of Lantern Press PC's and never came across ones of Oregon.
Comment: Thank you so much, for the beautiful butterfly PC ! I love those ! Dragonflies are my favorite too! We see them every year here. As the basically live close to creek & we live right beside one. I love watching them ! And, Like you, Love watching the birds. I have bird feeders up all over our backyard.
Comment: WOW Melissa!!! The ATC you made is so INCREDIBLE and so CREATIVE!! What an awesome idea! My jaw seriously dropped when I opened your letter and saw it, it is so crazy good!! I adore it with my whole entire heart! I can't wait to add it into my ATC collection! I really can't thank you enough for this beautiful ATC! Sending hugs to you! Addie<3
Response: So glad you like it! One of those ideas that grabbed me and wouldn't let go until I tried it.
vlhafer54 rated for AAA: Uno, Dos, Tres! #3 on Jun 6, 2021
Comment: I love them all - thank you - perfect choices!
Artstamper rated for OMAE: DIY Patterned Papers on Jun 5, 2021
Comment: Thanks for this great selection of papers! Love all the variety and colors.
HollyBear rated for 📚Book-Themed PC Swap USA #5 on Jun 2, 2021
Comment: Thank you for the PC and for sharing your favorite reads. I love the book stickers!
marclively rated for TGIF Weekend Notecard #245 on May 31, 2021
Comment: Thanks, Marc
Comment: Thanks for the postcard! I would also love to visit New Zealand someday.
Comment: Nice postcard and I love that it is about a french fort. So cool! Thank you so much!! Love the stamps you put on it with the real stamp. Thanks.
Response: You're very welcome! It was a really interesting place to visit.

Rating Overview

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5.0000 255 9 14
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RiverTopanga on Jun 24, 2021:

Welcome to the Artisan ATC group. I look forward to swapping ATCs with you 🙂 Stay creative!

user6937 on Apr 22, 2021:

Handmade PC tag - you beautiful gelli printed leaves have arrived! Mail is getting better b/w our counties (finally)! Thank you - I really need to get doing some gelli printing :)

user1664 on Feb 22, 2021:

Hi Melissa - I received your beautiful ATC from the ATC PIF. Thank you for this tiny piece of inspiring art as well as the extra floral napkin and reproduction scraps for me to play with!

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 ♥️

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