what’s in my mailbox? mail marathon, pt. I

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I might not have been the fastest at writing letters (or blogging) these past few months, but I’ve certainly enjoyed reading and enjoying all the mail that found its way to me! It might take me a few posts to explore all of these works of art in detail, but I’m up for the challenge!

Speaking of art (when am I not?), I’ll kick off this first half of my mail marathon with a few Art Nouveau/nineteenth-century inspired styles!

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Lake District, Part I: Arts & Crafts

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The Lake District is the place where many (non-British) forest girls’ dreams were born–exploring the land of Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth felt like returning to a childhood home that I’d never visited before. I imagined all the romanticized visions of idyllic woods-and-country life from children’s stories playing out before me as we drove by the lakes and trees and mountains and stone cottages…

The first stop, though, was a place entirely unlike a simple “cottage”: Blackwell, a great Arts & Crafts manor decorated in the most beautiful Art Nouveau-esque style. Every grand, sweeping room included tiny windowside reading nooks, tucked-away places for contemplation and creation.

(So who wants to contribute to the “let me live in an Arts & Crafts house in the Lake District” fund? I promise it will be a good investment [for me, at least]!)

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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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