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.
It’s been a rather fraught fall, folks! The boundaries that once demarcated “work” and “free time” for me have been completely obliterated, and as a result, I’ve fallen woefully behind in the activities that I enjoy the most – including blogging, writing letters, and appreciating autumn leaves. (Seriously! A recent tempest blew them all away before I even had the opportunity to experience at least one of my annual leaf photography marathons.)
Now that the bleak post-Daylight Savings days are upon us, I have found myself even more listless and melancholy. Here’s hoping that a restorative dose of letter-crafting might help me feel more like myself again!
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!
Hey, remember back in the days of yore when I wanted to make “creating envelopes out of unusual materials” a thing?
In November, I showed you, gleefully, the envelopes I’d crafted from a recycled roll of wallpaper, hoping to kick off a glorious new age of extensively eccentric envelope fabrication–and then I proceeded to spend the next eight months making envelopes out of nothing but magazine pages.
There’s no time like the present, though, and I’m happy to say that in my continued quest to catch up on all the pen pal letters I owe (if you’re still waiting on me, you should have yours soon!), I decided to turn my manufacturer’s eye to a new substance: wrapping paper. (Specifically, ridiculously cutesy forest creature wrapping paper probably designed for literal babies but I don’t particularly care.)
Space may be the place, but the sold-individually decorative paper section at a certain major craft store (that will remain anonymous as I still refuse to provide free marketing for chain retailers on my little-read, niche blog) is currently also “the place.” I don’t know when their paper design department upgraded from stripes and polka dots to sky-maps and painted galaxies, but I am not complaining. And neither, I hope, will my pen pals when they receive these envelopes!
(If you want to know how to sing the title of this blog post, check out my #1 jam as a highschooler: one of Symphony of Science’s quality musical remixes of quotes from various “great minds of science.” I think Bill Nye was responsible for this title-worthy phrase!)
Surprise: I’m traveling abroad today (and am posting this from the past in my usual time-hopping manner)!
Do you know what else travels? Postcards! (I kind of hope that I could get overseas faster than a postcard, but who knows?) By sheer coincidence, it seems like pen pals (and parents) have been sending me a plethora of postcards lately. I’ll let them take the lead today while I jet off to parts unknown!
Two blog posts in one week after my extended hiatus? It’s no April Fool’s joke, don’t worry! (My Polish-American heritage means my childhood springtime holiday of choice is “Dyngus Day,” anyway.)
This flow magazine postcard from my German pen pal quite aptly sums up my lifestyle lately. I’m trying to strike the balance between spending offline and continuing to pursue my digital hobbies (which includes blogging!). Thanks for your patience with me as I enjoy this luxurious existence!
Speaking of the joys of offline communication: let’s take a look at some springtime letters!