outgoing mail: pastel imperfections

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Perhaps the reason why the stereotypical fairy tale/ fantasy romance closes with the wedding scene is because the alternative–“and then after the marriage, they proceeded to live a quiet and wonderful life together as the princess spent her days reading primary source texts from the nineteenth century, studying the history of ceramics, and otherwise navigating her second year of graduate school”–while delightful to me, lacks the charm of the more celebratory happy ending.

Which is all to say: hello! In the two months since I vanished from this blog, I’ve enjoyed the wedding of my dreams, spent a two-day maritime mini-moon by the coast in Salem, and subsequently found myself very reluctant to return to real life. Living with my husband/best friend/former pen pal for the first time has been absolutely incredible, but it’s also coincided with a very busy fall semester. Needless to say, I’ve not only fallen behind on my letters once more, but have also barely had the chance to experience mail-related post-wedding activities – like sending out thank-you cards and announcements!

Because we “eloped” (which is to say we had 10 people in attendance at our enchanted Hobbiton-esque venue), there are many friends and relatives around the globe who were not able to share in the festivities, and we planned on sending out some photos and cards to spread the word in a way that’s a little more personal than a Facebook post. Combining my husband’s illustrations with some Tolkien-friendly typefaces quickly resulted in the ultimate elopement postcard! To keep them safe, though, we will nevertheless send them in envelopes – which I took upon myself to create this past long weekend.

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I’ve included a for-scale Calico Critter to give you a sense of these envelopes’ massive size! When we picked up the postcards from our local print shop, we realized they would be much too large to fit in a standard-size envelope – so I started making some, before realizing that we did in fact have larger envelopes buried deep in the heart of the craft room. What a merry mixup! Since most of the cards will be sent internationally, I will probably reserve the heavier handmade ones for U.S. recipients.

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It has been at least a month since I’ve made any envelopes, and I have to admit that I struggled to put these together. I had to freehand the template–a challenge given my nonexistent drawing skills–and my innate ability to recognize when an envelope edge looks crooked seems to have disappeared without a trace. It did make me want to throw the entire lot into the recycling bin (a few did indeed meet that grim fate), so consider this post an attempt to exorcise my inner mail art self-critic! I need a creative outlet more than ever these days, and I want to designate my crafting life as a space in which I allow myself to make mistakes.

Here’s hoping that once these whimsically imperfect envelopes head out on their way, I will be moving on to more pen pal letters once again!

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