outgoing mail: the golden age

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The most enjoyable aspect of studying eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art last semester was reveling in how downright nerdy many experimental European artists were–in one fascinating example, the German Romantic painters who called themselves the Brotherhood of St. Luke basically cosplayed as medieval monks, and would paint each other dressed up as romantic figures from a seemingly distant past. In Johann Friedrich Overbach’s Portrait of the Painter Franz Pforr, Overbach depicts his buddy in an anachronistic paradise–he even gives him a pious medieval babe for a wife in the background, though Pforr was unmarried!

Perhaps my own romanticized fixation with various aspects of the past — including as the nineteenth-century William Morris designs I transformed into my outgoing Christmas mail — becomes less strange when contextualized within each generation’s endless cycle of “golden age” nostalgia.

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what’s in my mailbox? mail marathon pt. 2

mail maraton II (1 of 10)mail maraton II (8 of 10)mail maraton II (5 of 10)

Both flowers and ghosts seem woefully out of season by this point, but far be it from me to let my irregular blogging schedule keep them out of the spotlight!

My new patented Grad School Mail Schedule™ (i.e., writing approximately one million letters at once during any break from courses) means that I receive letters in bulk too — I haven’t had much mailbox activity since I caught up on my mail over Thanksgiving. Fortunately, I still have some gorgeous September and October mail to show off: how time flies!

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National museum (1 of 9)National museum (4 of 9)

Because I studied abroad in Scotland during my college days, folks keep asking me if I was going back to Edinburgh to reunite with some faculty members or friends I’d met in 2013. (They underestimate how much of an extreme hermit I was while on my semester exchange.)

The best buddies I made during my first time in Edinburgh all live in the same place, which makes visiting convenient! They also all happen to be either fossils, ancient Celtic art objects, or other curiosities on view at the National Museum of Scotland. Oh, the company I keep!

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What’s In My Mailbox? Starry, Starry Night


It’s been a while since my last regular snail mail post – so here is an extra-resplendent pen pal roundup to compensate for lost time!

Over the past few weeks, a weird chronic pain issue has kept me from my usual bad-posture-requisite activities like blogging and making envelopes. You might have noticed that my posts are terser than usual: there’s only so much time I can spend typing until I get better!

Still, mail carries on, and I have some beautiful letters to which I can reply as soon as I become a little more limber again.

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Valentines from the Valley


To satisfy some creative impulses and a desire to envelop myself in a cocoon of happy, I’m-part-of-a-community emotions, I signed up for a handmade valentine swap this year–all with colleagues and neighbors! I received a list of ten local residents to whom to send a little bit of anonymous love, and waited for my own valentines to roll in.

Be forewarned: they’re almost too cute to handle!

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a very Pre-Raphaelite Halloween


What do you call a redhead without a Halloween costume? Instant Pre-Raphaelite. I didn’t have the chance to come up with a fancy ensemble this year (as much as I wanted to be, like, pin-up BB-8 or something), so I decided to emulate my favorite school of painting instead. Luckily for me, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was semi-obsessed with mystical gingers and I have a magical forest right at my fingertips!

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What’s In My Mailbox? Fathoms Below


Flippers and flipbooks! The perfect snail mail antidote to the most miserable Massachusetts day imaginable. (Yes, it snowed several inches yesterday. No, I’m not planning on running away to the Pacific; why would you ever think that?) 

Mail has been on the slower side over the past week or so–which might be the small consequence of sending off literally ten letters at a time, like I did earlier in the month. As you all know, though, there’s nothing like a empty-ish mailbox week to make you extra appreciative of the lovely letters you do receive! Good things (i.e. sparkly cards and chevron washi tape) comes to those who wait, I suppose.

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