Sometimes you just need to escape to Long Island Sound for a day and spend some quality time hanging out with eels and jellies and delicate pipefish and sea dragons, you know?
My “year of aquariums” (I’ve visited four so far!) continued this weekend with a trip to an institution in Connecticut that claims the title of the “best aquarium in New England”–and as I happen to have visited all the other aquariums in New England, I tend to agree. I appreciated the focus on the local ecosystems of Connecticut waters and the opportunity to take my best photograph of a moray eel yet! (You’ll have to click through to see him in all his glory: though if elongated, toothy fish don’t charm you as much as they do me, perhaps you should sit this one out…)
What an exhilarating return to the world of envelope art! I’m so delighted by these beachcombing-inspired designs, created from a combination of craft paper picked up in a Labor Day sale, my secret cache of mermaid-themed washi tape, and some sea life stickers with a lot of character.
It’s been a while since I decorated a pre-made envelope base rather than making my own, but I enjoyed discovering creative ways to make these envelopes my own! (In case you’re wondering, I’ll add on the address in the blank triangular space when each is ready to send.) What crafting experiments have you tried lately?
Two years ago today, I published my first cautious “outfit of the day” post, showing off what would become two classic staples of my personal aesthetic: Peter Pan collars and nods to marine biology. At the time, I possessed only that one vintage-style dress, and I wore it so often that I ended up buying its twin in another color. I’d never identified as someone who was Into Fashion, but there was just something about that dress–as soon as I zipped it up, I felt like a cheerful, quick-witted girl detective equipped to handle anything with anachronistic flair.
In the time since, acquiring pieces for my quirky wardrobe allowed me to feel more confident and more myself than I’d ever been in jeans and sweaters or Young Professional Workplace Wear. Now, if I so desire, I have the ability to wear colorful retro dresses literally every day. Even a skirt decorated with galactic, bioluminescent mermaids and sea creatures is at my fingertips! But — as my absence from this blog might have suggested — over the past few months, I’ve begun to lose confidence in my bold fashion. In some moments of confusion, I’ve almost wondered if I might have to abandon the style that I love and start showing up in slacks or skater skirts!
When I return home after some weeks of travel, I always do feel a bit like an explorer when I open my mailbox: never sure what treasures I might encounter within that long-abandoned chamber.
Such letters also ease the transition of the return journey, giving me the sense that someone is welcoming me back to my normal life. So thank you, pen pals, for some especially appreciated mermaid mail this month! I’d shower you all in sand dollars if I could.
With each passing day, my stationery choices make me even more of a parody of myself! Cactus cards? Soft pastel unicorn notepads-repurposed-for-letter-writing? Holographic mermaid folders? Thank you, popular culture, for supporting my unabashed childlike quirkiness with your school & pen pal supplies selections.
As we inch closer to grad school go-time, you can expect this blog to become a little bit more of a stationery oasis – as someone who takes any excuse to organize my life in a cute way, I am already neatly tucking away all of my registration paperwork into these ridiculous folders. Is it madness, or is it mermazing? Only time will tell.
Every time I think I’ve finally acquired the paragon of ocean-themed dresses, another fabric designer decides to add more nautiloids and seahorses to their novelty print!
I wore this for the first time on my last day of work, and it seems a fitting ensemble for new beginnings. The menagerie of sea creatures softly swirling* in these watercolored aquamarine polyester depths soothe me as I transition into life as a student again!**
*I don’t fully understand why those scallops and sea stars and conch shells are just suspended in what is presumably the middle of the water, but perhaps this skirt is more of a fabric tidepool!
**Plus, this is also the best match I’ve found for my turquoise-haired mermaid brooch so far!
Everything about this set of incoming letters fills me with childlike joy and whimsy. Winged horses and rainbow hearts? Flowers beyond belief? Beachbound seagulls and puddle-swimming ducks? Just what I needed to escape a week of very grown-up transitions and emotions!