outgoing mail: all’s well that ends shell

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What an exhilarating return to the world of envelope art! I’m so delighted by these beachcombing-inspired designs, created from a combination of craft paper picked up in a Labor Day sale, my secret cache of mermaid-themed washi tape, and some sea life stickers with a lot of character.

It’s been a while since I decorated a pre-made envelope base rather than making my own, but I enjoyed discovering creative ways to make these envelopes my own! (In case you’re wondering, I’ll add on the address in the blank triangular space when each is ready to send.) What crafting experiments have you tried lately?

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outfit of the [yester]day: tidepool time

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Every time I think I’ve finally acquired the paragon of ocean-themed dresses, another fabric designer decides to add more nautiloids and seahorses to their novelty print!

I wore this for the first time on my last day of work, and it seems a fitting ensemble for new beginnings. The menagerie of sea creatures softly swirling* in these watercolored aquamarine polyester depths soothe me as I transition into life as a student again!**

*I don’t fully understand why those scallops and sea stars and conch shells are just suspended in what is presumably the middle of the water, but perhaps this skirt is more of a fabric tidepool!

**Plus, this is also the best match I’ve found for my turquoise-haired mermaid brooch so far!

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National museum (1 of 9)National museum (4 of 9)

Because I studied abroad in Scotland during my college days, folks keep asking me if I was going back to Edinburgh to reunite with some faculty members or friends I’d met in 2013. (They underestimate how much of an extreme hermit I was while on my semester exchange.)

The best buddies I made during my first time in Edinburgh all live in the same place, which makes visiting convenient! They also all happen to be either fossils, ancient Celtic art objects, or other curiosities on view at the National Museum of Scotland. Oh, the company I keep!

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Field Notes from Beachcombing


I come from a family of dedicated, competitive beachcombers. We’ve established a daily morning beach ritual during our trips to Kona, and have also encountered sea glass and shells on both U.S. coasts.

There’s not much in the way of wisdom that I can impart to aspiring beachcombers, since it’s a very personal, simple activity: all you need is a shoreline and the willingness to look closely. So take the notes that follow with a grain of salt (or, perhaps, sand) and go out there yourself, if you can! You never know what you might discover!

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Crafting Haul: SEA-son’s Greetings


It is, truly, the most wonderful time of the year: because in three weeks I’ll return to my family in the middle of the Pacific! I’ve been counting down to this trip since September and I could not be more excited to spend a warm Christmas in my childhood home, where the only snow around will be (maybe!) a light dusting way up on Mauna Kea.

Since I’m going away for nearly a month, I’ll keep up with my pen-palling while in Hawai’i (so those who write to me can expect letters with a postmark from the Volcano post office!). At the same time, I wanted to get a head start on my holiday snail mail packages before my trip, as craft stores aren’t exactly commonplace when you’re living 4,000 feet above sea level and an hour away from major retailers. I think this juxtaposition of wintry papers and tropical ocean stickers will perfectly capture that Christmas-in-the-Pacific feeling!

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how many wonders can one mailbox hold?


For someone with only moderate affection for The Little Mermaid (of all the Disney ocean movies out there, I’d pick Atlantis every time), I sure tend to reference it in my post titles quite frequently! There is something Ariel’s-grotto-ish about my growing snail mail collection, though–even if it’s slightly more curated than a collection of found objects from shipwrecks across the centuries.

Yesterday I spent a lovely day at the New England Aquarium, and I can’t think of a better time to show off my most recent haul of marine mail. Today’s envelopes are sailing in from Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands!

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What’s In My Mailbox? She Sells Seashells

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Hidden in my mailbox this week–among the seemingly endless supply of flyers for a certain store where one likes to stop and shop–were two beautiful letters from Ireland and Germany. Seaside treasures from Emma and this amazing “tiny quasi-Regency lords and ladies writing calligraphy” stationery from my friend Katha: what a pairing!  These are the last few pieces of mail I’ll be able to receive before I head off on my trip, but they’re certainly more than enough to keep me satisfied.

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