outgoing mail: “the whole world is a garden”

outgoing mail: “the whole world is a garden”

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Three weeks ago, I did the unthinkable and purchased a wedding magazine, drawn to its glossy promises of fairy-tale nuptials while in a weakened shopping-for-groceries state. When you’re planning an elopement with only a handful of close family witnesses in attendance and your idea of “fairy-tale” is more in line with hobbit homes and Arthur Rackham illustrations than elaborate hotel ballrooms, though, mainstream wedding publications – while lovely to look at! – can only help so much.

The pictures inside, however, remained absolutely gorgeous, so I made the best of my $6.99 expenditure and transformed them into wordlessly verdant garden envelopes!

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I considered writing a proper tutorial for my magazine envelopes, but I’ll reveal this arcane secret instead: there’s really no method to my madness. My typical recycled-envelope process goes something like this…

  • I select full-width photo pages – usually intro spreads to an article or advertisements – and literally tear them from the magazine. (I warned you!)
  • Once my desired pages are from their publication untimely ripp’d, I fold over neatly any jagged edges that may have resulted from this violent beginning.
  • I fold the adjusted page roughly in thirds – with the top third slightly smaller – to form a basic envelope shape, and tape the sides shut.

It’s not exactly alchemy, but I can’t think of any other way to do it, as magazine pages aren’t wide enough to accommodate an envelope template (like I use on 12 x 12 craft paper squares).
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The most delightful part, of course, comes when you can match stamps and washi tape to the illustrations! I’m enamored with these “Flowers from the Garden” Forever stamps that I somehow missed last year – but their time with me is only temporary, as the new Bioluminescent Life set came out at the end of February and I might just use only those for the rest of my snail mail days.

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I’m happy that my ill-informed wedding planning purchase did serve a purpose beautifully in its new form, but even with these envelopes complete, we still have a ceremony to plan! If anyone reading this happened to enjoy a very intimate-sized wedding, I’d love to hear about it.

outgoing mail: pure imagination

outgoing mail: pure imagination

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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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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? 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

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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.

Continue reading “What’s In My Mailbox? Starry, Starry Night”