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.)
Never has a mail haul so inspired me to quote John Donne! I know I tend to describe basically everything stamped that’s sent my way as “magical,” but these letters are enchanting in the most unique of ways. Mythical creatures of all kinds have traveled to me from Argentina, Iceland, Norway, and the U.K. over the past few weeks!
I’m working at catching up on my post-wisdom-teeth-drama letter backlog, I promise! The first step is creating envelopes, which is always my favorite way to occupy idle hours: especially with a fresh stack of old calendars and magazines featuring Hawai’i’s native species from my parents back home.
I don’t know what silly mood inspired me to bestow speech bubbles upon these creatures that share my island birthplace–they include two nēnē (Hawaiian geese) and a wide-eyed humpback whale–but I’m rather fond of the goofy finished product!
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!)
You’d be forgiven if your first reaction upon reading this post was something along the lines of “Wow, Keely, was your trip to Scotland last week secretly a dragon egg acquisition mission?”
Well, no, on two counts — first of all, I think there are probably some serious customs restrictions on the importation of magical dragons-to-be, and, more importantly, these eggs were actually waiting for me upon my return! Their provenance is Irish, not Scottish: the beautiful work of my crafting-genius pen pal Emma.
Can you guess how she made them? It’s genius, but I’ll let you discover it on your own. In the meantime, enjoy the fruits of the silly fifteen minutes I spent photographing myself cradling these eggs as though they were my own draconic brood.
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.
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!