outgoing mail: diving into the wreck

coral reef mail art FIXED 2 (1 of 1)coral reef mail art (1 of 3)coral reef mail (6 of 7)

Over the past week, I’ve written and mailed upwards of eight letters: far surpassing the unimpressive number I sent within the past few months. Isn’t summer break grand?

In fact, I worked through my inventory of available envelopes with such great speed that I soon found myself in need of more — and equally in need of an excuse to take advantage of sales on ocean-themed crafting supplies at a particular local vendor. Glimpsing the gem-like radiance of these colors — like the brightness of a coral reef seen when you first dip your eyes below the waterline — fills me with an energy I’ve not felt since I last left the Pacific an August ago.

coral reef mail (3 of 7)coral reef mail (2 of 7)

As I approach an upcoming anniversary of my college graduation, I’ve found myself both strangely nostalgic and bewildered at how quickly the time has passed. I’ve been living in this town for almost four years, writing letters for three and a half, and blogging here for about the same amount of time. To satisfy my curious yearning for the past, I’ve plumbed the abyssopelagic depths of my old journals, planners, and letters, searching for some distant meaning like a diver on the hunt for algae-covered treasure.

coral reef mail art (3 of 3)coral reef mail (1 of 7)coral reef mail art (2 of 3)coral reef mail (4 of 7)

Perhaps the style of these envelopes reflects my sentimental mood: back in the days before I knew how to make my own, I often decorated envelopes with various taped layers of patterned papers! I hope to see these real-life version of these oceanic spectrums of blue in person very soon – even if only on the shores of the Atlantic.

no place like Orme

best o' wales (117 of 208)best o' wales (113 of 208)best o' wales (147 of 208)

Chasing down the exact etymological history of the Great Orme in Llandudno is akin to pursuing an elusive dragon across the high seas. The most widely disseminated information suggests that it derives from the Old Norse ormr for “serpent” (think wyrm/worm in the Old English/Anglo-Saxon/Tolkienesque sense, depending on your personal preference). Whether that’s fanciful or fact,  I would love to believe that this great cliff rising from the shimmering water reminded someone, Viking or Victorian, of a massive beast standing sentinel at the coast.

Continue reading

social morays

aquarium (2 of 5)aquarium (5 of 5)

Sometimes you just need to escape to Long Island Sound for a day and spend some quality time hanging out with eels and jellies and delicate pipefish and sea dragons, you know?

My “year of aquariums” (I’ve visited four so far!) continued this weekend with a trip to an institution in Connecticut that claims the title of the “best aquarium in New England”–and as I happen to have visited all the other aquariums in New England, I tend to agree. I appreciated the focus on the local ecosystems of Connecticut waters and the opportunity to take my best photograph of a moray eel yet! (You’ll have to click through to see him in all his glory: though if elongated, toothy fish don’t charm you as much as they do me, perhaps you should sit this one out…)

Continue reading

snail mail favorites: sirens & sand dollars

mermaid mail supplies (1 of 8)mermaid mail supplies (6 of 8)

Even though I spent my idle teen years as an insufferable hipster–loath to like anything vaguely popular– today I’m utterly delighted that all of pop culture at large appears to share my fascination with mermaids. The way I see it, the mermaid trend is just another opportunity for the amazing mythology and folklore that surrounds these alluring sirens to be appreciated by a wider audience!

A bonus? It’s really easy to find stationery supplies that fit within a similarly enchanting theme – even if said supplies are almost too beautiful for me to dare use. (I’m looking at you, glimmering sand dollar washi tape!)

Continue reading

north berwick beachcombing & bones

North Berwick blog (5 of 10)North Berwick blog (8 of 10)North Berwick blog (9 of 10)

Whenever I spend idle minutes organizing the hierarchy of my “Favorite Places on Earth” list (a frequent habit), the tiny Scottish seaside town of North Berwick always maintains its permanent place in the top three.

A week ago, I returned from a wonderful trip to Edinburgh, a brief six-day venture filled with unprecedentedly perfect weather, moderately tolerable air travel shenanigans, and exceedingly lovely company.  It was such a quick getaway that I sometimes am overcome with the sad sense that it was all a dream–but perhaps sharing some photographic evidence will convince me otherwise!

Continue reading

let’s cuttle: Oh Plesiosaur pin review

cuttlefish-7-of-7cuttlefish-1-of-7

Feast your eyes on this sparkly cephalopod! I may have spent a good amount of last week gushing about my love for ocean sunfish, but the mola mola’s biggest competition for my favorite sea creature has to be the cuttlefish.

Oh Plesiosaur released this shiny enamel pin just days after I returned from our trip to Monterey. It was destiny! Now I can wear it to work, hoping it will catch some wayward museum employee’s eye and make them wonder which alien-of-the-sea is hanging out on my lapel!

Continue reading

What’s In My Mailbox? Teal is a Christmas Color Now

incoming-christmas-mail-5-of-12incoming-christmas-mail-10-of-12

Receiving while at home over the holidays was such a special treat! I felt like a kid bringing someone to sleep over for the first time and marveling at the strange juxtaposition of two worlds: home and friends. I’m at home, and yet I’m still getting letters from my pen pals who usually write to me when I’m not here? So cool!

“Cool” seems to be the operative adjective here, as the lovely letters & parcels that came my way during the past few weeks have all featured beautiful hues of teal, aqua, and turquoise. A mere coincidence, or simply a reflection of the fact that my obsession with such jewel tones is common knowledge? Who can say?

Continue reading