Outgoing Mail: Rainbows and Ruins


Ever since I started my grand penpaling journey, I’ve found that I spend most of my trips and adventures getting excited to recount my travels through letters upon my return. When I came back from DC, this excitement was increased twofold–I was eager both to share some of the little souvenirs I picked up and to just get back into writing letters again for the first time in weeks. (Thanks, carpal tunnel.)

These two envelope designs capture two strong aspects of my personality (that many of my pen pals share): my love for all things cheerful and rainbow-hued, and a more sober, scholarly affection for archaeological history and Pre-Columbian art.


I love the look of soft watercolors, but as a person who struggles with most things painterly, I don’t exactly have the skills to decorate my envelopes in that way. Enter this amazing free print I found online: the design reminds me of dragon scales!

It’s a perfect match for this ridiculous rainbow washi tape–even my Cecily Mary Barker fairy bookmark (itself a gift from a pen pal!) seems to think so!


One of my favorite memories from my trip to DC is a morning spent at Dumbarton Oaks’ incredible Pre-Columbian collection. I used images from extra gallery guides I acquired there–such as this 19th century sketch of a Maya site by Frederick Catherwood–to create some adventurous envelopes.

Of course, the letter wouldn’t be complete without one of the postcards from Dumbarton tucked inside!


This notebook, printed with beautiful vintage botanical illustrations, came from the Dumbarton Oaks gift shop–a steal at $5!–and might make its way into a little package of gifts soon…though that’s only if I can bear to part with it!

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