Forget the rowboat, son.

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Today marks two very special occurrences for me–it’s my birthday, for one (I’m writing to you as a slightly older and wiser person, I guess!) and, more importantly, it’s also the fifteen-year anniversary of the first time I saw Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Back then in 2001, it was my eighth birthday, and I lived and breathed lost cities: so, naturally, I was incredibly excited to see a Disney film that explored that very subject!

And it did not disappoint. 

People always look at me strangely when I say that my favorite Disney movie is Atlantis, but seriously–what’s not to love? Its main character is an awkward cartographer/linguist (a total heartthrob to a young nerd like me), it’s set in a vaguely steampunk 1914, it has one of the most wonderfully diverse casts in animated movie history, and Leonard Nimoy plays the King of Atlantis. I was never really interested in the ubiquitous Disney Princess franchise as a child, but dang, if they had included the Atlantean queen Kida in their lineup, I would have been all over it.

But this post isn’t really about Atlantis, per se, though I could certainly go on about it for ages. It’s about the world’s most phenomenal Atlantean-themed gift that my boyfriend made for me by hand. 

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This model star-sailer might look like a ready-made collectible, but it actually started its life as various scraps of wood and paper. As someone who lacks any kind of fine motor skills, I lost my mind when my boyfriend presented it to me. Can you imagine how hard it would be to paint on all those little windows and gold accents?

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The ship is an original design, inspired by some Treasure Planet concept art and influenced by a largely Atlantean/Art Nouveau theme (two of my favorite things). Its color scheme is certainly the most Atlantean thing ever!

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I still can’t get over the fact that this was all hand-built! I feel incredibly lucky to have received such an amazing gift to ring in my 23rd year, and can’t wait to display it with my own maps and curiosities. Thank you, Michael! ❤

What’s one of the loveliest homemade gifts you’ve ever received? (And who are my fellow Atlantis-fans out there?)


  1. First of all, happy birthday!
    Do you feel wiser? As a 23 year old, closer to being a 24 year old than a 22 year old, I’m still waiting for the wisdom to come xD
    Secondly, that is such a lovely present, and for it to be hand made, so cool!

    • Haha, considering that I’ve now been 23 for two days and still end up accidentally pushing every door labeled “pull” that I encounter, I must’ve missed on the wisdom too ;D You’ll have to let me know if 24 brings any great knowledge with it. Thanks for the birthday wishes!

  2. Happy Birthday!!! I hope you had a fantastic day (I’m sure it was after it started with such a fantastic gift) 🙂 Your boyfriend is seriously talented, I can’t believe he made that himself. It looks amazing!!!
    I can’t remember a lot of homemade gifts but the one that I still love is a blanket my mum made for me when I first moved to Australia (My sisters also got similar ones when they first moved out from home). Even though I didn’t really have room in my luggage I took it with me 🙂 Otherwise it’s usually me that gives away handmade things 🙂

    • Oh, my mom is very much the same! I have a quilt she made for me (like a massively bed-sized one) that I will treasure forever ❤ It's nice to have something to remind you of family when you first move away from home. Anyway, thank you for the birthday wishes! It was a fantastic day indeed!

  3. Happy Birthday!! I hope you had an amazing day & got to spend it with the people you love! Your boyfriends so sweet, that is one of the most perfect gifts I’ve seen. I love when people give homemade gifts makes it all the more special!
    I’ve never watched Atlantis before I’ll have to check it out this weekend 🙂

    • Thank you!! 🙂 Homemade gifts are the best! I try to make them for other people often but it’s rare I get one of my own, so I feel very lucky ❤

  4. Happiest of birthdays! What an amazing gift, it’s lovely! I sure hope you’ll take a picture of your curiosity collection with the model ship once you’ve arranged its display, I love things like these.
    My favourite self- (if not hand-) made gift are the recorded readings of the Winnie-the-Pooh books my boyfriend gave to me. He reads them to me when I can’t fall asleep or when I’m not well so this way I can even listen to him reading out to me when he’s somewhere else.

    • That is the most enchanting thing I have ever heard! The Winnie-the-Pooh books are the ultimate comfort read-aloud, I think. What a very sweet gift! And thank you for your birthday wishes! I’m excited to rearrange my maritime curiosities sometime soon 😀

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