stamps & sundries: last unicorns

cactus mail (1 of 4)

Though I’m usually not one to read too many analyses of the state of the internet, I seem to be prone, at the moment, to stumbling upon articles that bemoan the death of blogging. As I have seen more than a few of my favorite blogs from past years vanish into obscurity – often replaced by a robust Instagram account instead – I sense a degree of truth to this blogging-eschatology.

I don’t want to start singing an influencer-inspired version of “The Last Unicorn” yet, though, because I still find this medium the most compelling vehicle for sharing stories. So here I am, with my Instagram private (and honestly less appealing to me these days):  attempting to keep my own little virtual storybook alive instead!

Here ends this unnecessary set of musings: onward to envelopes! 

cactus mail (4 of 4)

The animated unicorn-and-bunny pair above arrived in mid-January in this beautiful conservatory of an envelope.

cactus mail (2 of 4)

As someone who finds winter to be the most challenging and dispiriting time of the year, I usually prefer colorful, summery stamps: but even I must admit that the “Winter Birds” have captured my heart, and I have a booklet of them awaiting me in my craft room.

cactus mail (3 of 4)

More than one elegantly decorated brown-craft-paper envelope appeared in my mailbox over the past few weeks – I adore them! – and they inspire me to reminisce about my snail-mail-crafting habits of about four years ago. For a while, I loved embellishing brown envelopes with a few artfully placed stickers or cut-outs: perhaps it’s time for me to resurrect that pretty style again? Something like that unicorn, I imagine, would look particularly enchanting on a neutral backdrop!

stamps & sundries: nautilus ahoy!

nautilus mail (4 of 5)

About a year ago, I halted my long-standing tradition of blogging about the mail I received. Somehow I’d turned the delightful pastime of documenting beautiful letters  into a responsibility, and I felt a great deal of self-imposed pressure to photograph mail before I’d even read what they contained (mostly due to the fact that limited winter light rarely allows for good picture-taking indoors!).

To be honest, though, I did so enjoy possessing a visual diary of the letters that traveled to me from various corners of the world. With that in mind, I’m resurrecting my old series with a slight twist: as the title suggests, I will mainly feature stamps and envelopes, with some (assorted) exceptions.

Continue reading

outgoing mail: my gallant star

celestial mail (5 of 8)celestial mail (7 of 8)celestial mail (6 of 8)

The almost-equitorial skies of my childhood dazzle me every time I return home. Thanks to the welcome lack of light pollution intervening between my eyes and the heavens, the sky sparkles with a clarity unmatched in any suburban setting.

I made these envelopes just before I left on my trip – during one fleeting moment of post-semester freedom! – and their stellar sensibility seemed to prefigure the celestial adventures awaiting me here…

Continue reading

what’s in my mailbox? mail marathon pt. 2

mail maraton II (1 of 10)mail maraton II (8 of 10)mail maraton II (5 of 10)

Both flowers and ghosts seem woefully out of season by this point, but far be it from me to let my irregular blogging schedule keep them out of the spotlight!

My new patented Grad School Mail Schedule™ (i.e., writing approximately one million letters at once during any break from courses) means that I receive letters in bulk too — I haven’t had much mailbox activity since I caught up on my mail over Thanksgiving. Fortunately, I still have some gorgeous September and October mail to show off: how time flies!

Continue reading

what’s in my mailbox? mail marathon, pt. I

art nouveau mail (3 of 10)art nouveau mail (9 of 10)art nouveau mail (2 of 10)

I might not have been the fastest at writing letters (or blogging) these past few months, but I’ve certainly enjoyed reading and enjoying all the mail that found its way to me! It might take me a few posts to explore all of these works of art in detail, but I’m up for the challenge!

Speaking of art (when am I not?), I’ll kick off this first half of my mail marathon with a few Art Nouveau/nineteenth-century inspired styles!

Continue reading

outgoing mail: birds of america

audubon mail (1 of 8)audubon mail (2 of 8)audubon mail (8 of 8)

It’s been a rather fraught fall, folks! The boundaries that once demarcated “work” and “free time” for me have been completely obliterated, and as a result, I’ve fallen woefully behind in the activities that I enjoy the most – including blogging, writing letters, and appreciating autumn leaves. (Seriously! A recent tempest blew them all away before I even had the opportunity to experience at least one of my annual leaf photography marathons.)

Now that the bleak post-Daylight Savings days are upon us, I have found myself even more listless and melancholy. Here’s hoping that a restorative dose of letter-crafting might help me feel more like myself again!

Continue reading

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

mail haul (5 of 9)mail haul (6 of 9)mail haul (2 of 9)

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!

Continue reading