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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outgoing mail: the golden age

christmas mail (1 of 7)christmas mail (4 of 7)

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.

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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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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: birds of america

audubon mail (1 of 8)audubon mail (2 of 8)audubon mail (8 of 8)

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!

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