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

art nouveau mail (3 of 10)art nouveau mail (9 of 10)art nouveau mail (2 of 10)

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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outgoing mail: desert dreaming

cactus mail (1 of 6)cactus mail (5 of 6)

It’s been a while since I created envelopes from a good ol’ pad of craft paper, right?

Apparently such pads are decreasing in popularity, as I purchased this summery set at about 25% of its original price. It’s certainly nothing compared to the thrift of magazine envelopes, but I suppose I can splurge $5 if the end result is this charmingly tropical!

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Penguin Post: How to Get Mail from Antarctica!

letters (1 of 6)letters (5 of 6)

So, folks, in my attempt to take a moderate hiatus from frequent blogging, I’ve been holding out on you: I’ve been sitting on the best incoming mail post of all time for the past few weeks. Before 2017, I had received mail from only three of the world’s continents – Europe, North America, and South America.

And now I can add Antartica to that thrilling list!

If you’re gazing at these adorable penguin postmarks and wishing you too could be so lucky to see them in your mailbox, fear not! Any citizen of the world can request up to two philatelic postal covers per year from the U.S. research station, McMurdo, down south. The entire experience has been utterly magical from start to finish – maybe you’ll join me and try it out yourself?

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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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What’s In My Mailbox? Advent-ageous


It’s December, 50% of my applications are complete, and I’m a week away from going home: so let the merry holiday mailing begin! I received my first festive parcel this week from Germany (thank you, Stephanie!) and am busily sending my own little envelopes of winter fun out into this wide world.

Of course, it’s been a little while since I last posted a mail haul, and I have a bit of a backlog of cute letters to show off. It was such a challenge to resist the urge to reply to these lovely mailings from England and the U.S. for so long, but after last week’s anarchy, I’m enjoying some restful letter-writing time at last. (And, in fact, I’ve now responded to all three of the letters featured here!) Joy to the world, truly.

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Extreme Enveloping: Jewels & Jungles


Sometimes I dream of starring in the mail art equivalent of Chopped, where contestants try to best each other at creating envelopes out of the most unexpected things imaginable: opening their supply baskets to find, like, take-out menus and that strange pliable glue that kids would pull off magazines in the 90s. (Guilty as charged.)

I’m far from the most masterful crafter out there, but I’m very pleased with my latest accomplishment. With nothing more than a roll of wallpaper, some stickers, and tape, I’ve put together these very cool rainforest envelopes that are surprisingly strong and roomy. To really add an elegant touch to my outgoing mail, I’ve also mined (ha!) a damaged geology textbook for cool photographs of gems and crystalline structures.

If you, like me, have come into the possession of a wallpaper treasure trove from the Goodwill, read on to discover the challenges of working with this bizarre material. (Or you could just, you know, put it on your wall like normal people do.)

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