what’s in my mailbox? sunken treasure

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When I return home after some weeks of travel, I always do feel a bit like an explorer when I open my mailbox: never sure what treasures I might encounter within that long-abandoned chamber.

Such letters also ease the transition of the return journey, giving me the sense that someone is welcoming me back to my normal life. So thank you, pen pals, for some especially appreciated mermaid mail this month! I’d shower you all in sand dollars if I could.

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what’s in my mailbox? go and catch a falling star

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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!

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pin review: “courage, dear heart” by the clever clove

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What incredible luck I’ve had with “seconds” pins of late! My newly beloved mousemoth pin (about which I apparently cannot stop talking) is practically perfect in every way, even though I bought it at a wonderful discount, and, in a similar vein, I am nothing but impressed by this seconds-sale enamel pin with a courageous theme from The Clever Clove on Etsy. (Watch me refer to it not-so-sneakily in every one of next week’s updates!)

As I’ve alluded in previous posts (to put it lightly), exactly a week ago I faced a surgical fear that has haunted me for nearly a decade. I know that wisdom teeth extractions are pretty commonplace here in the states, but as someone with incredible needle anxiety, I have dreaded this day since I first turned sixteen and learned that I did indeed have a quartet of those unwanted beasts. I had to get it done–and I was remarkably brave in the days leading up to it!–so when I randomly stumbled upon* this beautifully designed pin quoting my favorite inspirational lion, I figured it had to be a good totem to carry with me before this bleak venture!

*I really need to stop searching “seconds sale pins” on Etsy and wantonly coveting whatever pretty things catch my attention–but it’s just such fun, and I love to support small businesses and artists!

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What’s In My Mailbox? Starry, Starry Night


It’s been a while since my last regular snail mail post – so here is an extra-resplendent pen pal roundup to compensate for lost time!

Over the past few weeks, a weird chronic pain issue has kept me from my usual bad-posture-requisite activities like blogging and making envelopes. You might have noticed that my posts are terser than usual: there’s only so much time I can spend typing until I get better!

Still, mail carries on, and I have some beautiful letters to which I can reply as soon as I become a little more limber again.

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outgoing mail: all that is gold does not glitter


Goodbye, “Standing Stones and Sacred Places of the British Isles: 2016 Calendar” and hello, brand-new envelopes for 2017! I have to admit that I spent a good portion of last year eagerly waiting for January 1 to roll around and give me an excuse to transform these pretty pages into something worth sending.

Now that time has come. From the ashes a fire shall be woken/new mail from old paper shall spring!

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“Can We Get Back to Snail Mail, Please?”


One of my favorite mini-moments* in Hamilton takes place in “The Election of 1800,” a song that directly follows one of the most heart-rending numbers in the show. Tired by this preceding emotional journey, Thomas Jefferson starts by sassily saying “Can we get back to politics?”–and a clearly tearful Madison desperately adds “Please?”

Actually, I’m basically doing my best to avoid getting back to politics at the moment, but I think these lines apply equally well to my snail mail hiatus! I received a postal bin full of letters (seriously, there were too many to fit in my mailbox!) when I came home from my trip, which normally would delight me: except extenuating circumstances made me so morose and not-quite-in-the-letter-writing-mindset that I let many gorgeous envelopes remain unopened for weeks.

No longer, though: this snail mail blogger is back in action! And I’m so glad to have returned, because the mail that awaited me warmed my sad heart as much as the Hamilton soundtrack does.

*insert obligatory “this is not a [mini-]moment, it’s the [mini-]movement” here!

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The Perils of Pen Pal-ing: Missing Letters and More!


At its core, snail mail is a hobby that requires a lot of faith in the universe–and by “the universe” I mean “the intricate postal network that somehow allows me to send letters across continents and oceans for $1.15 or less.” Most of the time, all goes according to plan: letters arrive, gifts are exchanged, and friendships are forged between eccentric strangers who share a fondness for writing and washi tape.

But what happens when it doesn’t?

I’m coming up on my two-year anniversary of actively partaking in the snail mail/pen pal community. I’ve easily sent and received over a hundred pretty envelopes since January ’15, and I’m no stranger to the quirks and pitfalls of letter-based communication.

Read on for some thrilling tales of the most common challenges I’ve encountered in the pen pal world: though I’ll say up front that the occasional hiccup by no means outweighs the joys of receiving mail!

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