outgoing mail: odontocetes and others

whale mail part 2 (1 of 6)whale mail part 2 (2 of 6)

I spent the past weekend investigating the interior design of 18th century American sea captains’ homes (tangentially for a final paper, but mostly just for the thrill of maritime history) — so I suppose that’s a good thematic excuse to show off some nautical envelopes I made a month ago! My unofficial “academic year blogging hiatus” will continue apace until I finish classes at the beginning of May, I’m afraid, though I do plan on blogging with some regularity in the summer: and in the meantime, I hope these whales and scales will suffice!

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outgoing mail: “the whole world is a garden”

recycled mail (3 of 7)recycled mail (4 of 7)recycled mail (2 of 7)recycled mail (6 of 7)

Three weeks ago, I did the unthinkable and purchased a wedding magazine, drawn to its glossy promises of fairy-tale nuptials while in a weakened shopping-for-groceries state. When you’re planning an elopement with only a handful of close family witnesses in attendance and your idea of “fairy-tale” is more in line with hobbit homes and Arthur Rackham illustrations than elaborate hotel ballrooms, though, mainstream wedding publications – while lovely to look at! – can only help so much.

The pictures inside, however, remained absolutely gorgeous, so I made the best of my $6.99 expenditure and transformed them into wordlessly verdant garden envelopes!

recycled mail (1 of 7)

I considered writing a proper tutorial for my magazine envelopes, but I’ll reveal this arcane secret instead: there’s really no method to my madness. My typical recycled-envelope process goes something like this…

  • I select full-width photo pages – usually intro spreads to an article or advertisements – and literally tear them from the magazine. (I warned you!)
  • Once my desired pages are from their publication untimely ripp’d, I fold over neatly any jagged edges that may have resulted from this violent beginning.
  • I fold the adjusted page roughly in thirds – with the top third slightly smaller – to form a basic envelope shape, and tape the sides shut.

It’s not exactly alchemy, but I can’t think of any other way to do it, as magazine pages aren’t wide enough to accommodate an envelope template (like I use on 12 x 12 craft paper squares).
recycled mail (5 of 7)

The most delightful part, of course, comes when you can match stamps and washi tape to the illustrations! I’m enamored with these “Flowers from the Garden” Forever stamps that I somehow missed last year – but their time with me is only temporary, as the new Bioluminescent Life set came out at the end of February and I might just use only those for the rest of my snail mail days.

recycled mail (7 of 7)

I’m happy that my ill-informed wedding planning purchase did serve a purpose beautifully in its new form, but even with these envelopes complete, we still have a ceremony to plan! If anyone reading this happened to enjoy a very intimate-sized wedding, I’d love to hear about it.

outgoing mail: pure imagination

sparkling snail mail (7 of 9)sparkling snail mail (4 of 9)sparkling snail mail (3 of 9)sparkling snail mail (9 of 9)

Somewhere, lost amid the super-markdown bins of a beloved nearby craft store, the perfect craft paper pad summoned me, singing of its pastel, magical-themed glory. Because I suppose mermaids, unicorns, and tiny sparkling stars are “seasonal,” this collection cost me a mere $5 – a quarter of the original price.

The even more miraculous twist in this tale, though, occurred when I discovered that these papers perfectly matched some of my favorite washi tapes and embellishments, including this beautiful mint bird-patterned tape and Rifle Paper Co. labels – very kind gifts from my future sister-in-law! In fact, I’m so pleased by this absolutely superlative pairing of colors that I almost feel I’ve reached the zenith of my envelope design abilities. However will I best this next time?

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stitches & squid: an illusion knit scarf

knit squid scarf (3 of 6)knit squid scarf (4 of 6)

It seems that I only turn to knitting exactly once a year: something I hope to change in 2018! My single project for 2017, though, was typical fiber fare for me. I’ve been dazzled by illusion knits since I was in high school, and I have crafted a number of such scarves as holiday presents over the years (my personal favorite was the miniature helix scarf I attempted as a secret Santa present for a friend in college). This time, I decided to design my own pattern, inspired by Generic Squid Characters In No Way Associated With A Game My Fiancé Enjoys.

By the time you read this, he will have already opened this weird and whimsical gift at our belated second-Christmas celebration in January, so it can be safely revealed to the world. I, however, am writing this in the past, and at this moment in time all I can say is that I truly hope he likes it!

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snail mail successes of 2017

all that is gold does not glitter ♡ parsley, sage, rosemary, & thyme 

billions & billions of stars species speaking  woodland wrapping paper

desert dreaming ♡  birds of america  all’s well that ends shell

I boast no particular pride of the speed at which I replied to letters this year (particularly after I began my master’s degree–so it goes!), but I am quite fond of the mail art designs I sent around the world whenever I had a moment to spare. It’s quality over quantity, I hope!

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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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outgoing mail: all’s well that ends shell

shellmail (5 of 6)shellmail (1 of 6)shellmail (2 of 6)

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?

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