a very nineteenth-century stationery haul

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These past December days, I’ve felt most frustratingly filled with the holiday spirit – and completely unable to act upon my gift-giving urges!

A cloud of end-of-the-semester papers and grading looms over me, and, meteorologists suggest, will likely stick around for the next few weeks. As Christmas creeps closer, I’d love to devote my evenings to putting together my festive outgoing mail: perhaps some study breaks are in the distant future?

In any case, for convenience’s sake, I happen to work at a historic house museum with an extraordinary gift shop that’s proven a perfect place to finish my holiday shopping. I might not be able to make any envelopes out of that incredible William Morris paper yet – but at least I have it on hand!

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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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snail mail favorites: blast from the pastel

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With each passing day, my stationery choices make me even more of a parody of myself! Cactus cards? Soft pastel unicorn notepads-repurposed-for-letter-writing? Holographic mermaid folders? Thank you, popular culture, for supporting my unabashed childlike quirkiness with your school & pen pal supplies selections.

As we inch closer to grad school go-time, you can expect this blog to become a little bit more of a stationery oasis – as someone who takes any excuse to organize my life in a cute way, I am already neatly tucking away all of my registration paperwork into these ridiculous folders. Is it madness, or is it mermazing? Only time will tell.

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what’s in my mailbox? pegasus & puddle-jumping

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Everything about this set of incoming letters fills me with childlike joy and whimsy. Winged horses and rainbow hearts? Flowers beyond belief? Beachbound seagulls and puddle-swimming ducks? Just what I needed to escape a week of very grown-up transitions and emotions!

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outgoing mail: desert dreaming

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It’s been a while since I created envelopes from a good ol’ pad of craft paper, right?

Apparently such pads are decreasing in popularity, as I purchased this summery set at about 25% of its original price. It’s certainly nothing compared to the thrift of magazine envelopes, but I suppose I can splurge $5 if the end result is this charmingly tropical!

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what’s in my mailbox? “I hide myself within my flower”

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As my life has quickly become a wonderfully ceaseless cycle of Emily Dickinson research,  I anticipate that all posts for the foreseeable future may include references to her verse or letters. In any case, I’m happy to hide myself within these flowers (and trees, and sea creatures)–all kindly sent to me in recent pen pal letters!

In praise of her beloved conservatory, Dickinson wrote “My flowers are near and foreign, and I have but to cross the floor to stand in the Spice Isles.” The letters I receive from my pen pals fulfill the same lovely function: I have but to cross the road to my mailbox to stand in Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, and Nevada, in this case!

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extreme enveloping: woodland wrapping paper

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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.)

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