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!
I journeyed through my childhood and youth as an eager believer, resolute in my conviction that the sort of magic I encountered in any number of obscure juvenile fantasy novels would manifest in my ordinary life one day.
Now, I wouldn’t say that a glimmering portal to another realm awaited me on Mt. Pollux one iridescent October morning – but three weeks ago, I came as close to real-life enchantment as a decidedly, disappointingly non-magical girl could hope.
My menagerie of pins continues to grow, broadening into a bestiary of the most fantastic creatures! The newest member of my merry band of enamel revelers is this gorgeous leafy creature–a mousemoth by Minnow & Moss.
It’s been many a year since I darkened the door of a certain extremely popular microblogging site, but in the days that I did, I used that platform exclusively to discover enchanting artists. Among those lovely illustrators kindly introduced to me through Tumblr was Olivia Chin Mueller: now you too can spend hours poring over her magical portfolio!
Anyway, Minnow & Moss is the combined efforts of Olivia and her mother Tracye, and they have a variety of beautiful pins for sale. I bought this mousemoth as a seconds-sale item, which usually means the pin has some kind of minor flaw (hence the discounted price)–though I can’t for the life of me figure out what it might be! This mousemoth is perfect just the way she is.
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!
I’ve never mastered the art of sending pressed flowers or herbs through the mail – dried blossoms always seem to crumble the second I tuck them in an envelope, and as I’m not quite living my dream life of “being a child living in the country in an idealized Victorian-inspired fairy world,” I don’t own a home flower press. Yet.
If I can’t send actual blooms, though, handmade pressed flower and leaf envelopes are the next best thing! An old how-to brochure about immortalizing these ephemeral pieces of plant life has now been reincarnated into outgoing mail.
Most of my earliest childhood memories of the Mainland relate to the many trips we took from Hawai’i to Connecticut to visit my grandparents on the coast of Long Island Sound. Perhaps the oddest of these–one that I suspected I might have just invented–was a faint recollection of riding in a carriage towards the ruins of a great stone castle. As you might imagine, we don’t exactly get a lot of thirteenth-century European architecture here in the States.
It turns out, though, that Gillette Castle State Park is all too real: even if it was built in 1914 rather than 1214. The former mansion of eccentric and actor William Gillette, this architectural-folly-slash ruin is basically my Romantic heart’s wildest dream. And, to be honest, if I were a millionaire actor with cash to burn and land to buy, I’d also choose the forests of Connecticut as the ideal spot in which to live out my Arthurian fantasies.
If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.
Anne of Green Gables
When I shared a preview of this outfit on Instagram over the weekend, I mentioned that it reminded me of my favorite literary heroine, Anne Shirley–and although I still can’t figure out why, I’m happy for any excuse to reread some passages from those wonderful novels of my youth.
I’ve always identified with Anne’s wild imagination, flair for the dramatic, and initially complicated relationship with Gilbert Blythe (though nobody, luckily, ever teased me for my red hair!). More generally, we also share a deep appreciation for the inherent magic found in nature, and the feelings of awe, peace, and humility that spending time in contemplation of a forest, field, or coastline can inspire. So I wore this dress out on my first photo-walk in several hot weeks: fortunately, there were no nearby rivers to tempt me to play-act the final voyage of the Lady of Shalott.