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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planning the spring sea-mester

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Though I cannot in any way profess to be one of those talented planner folks who create works of art in tiny week-by-week boxes, I do get a lot of mileage out of my own organizational tools: after all, I’m a grad student, a TA, and a snail mail-er who enjoys carefully cataloguing every letter I send and receive.

I use a bullet-journal style notebook for to-do lists and keeping track of assignments, but I’m happy to have this larger planner to maintain a sense of the bigger picture.

(I’m typing sentences like that last one in an attempt to convince you that there are many logical reasons supporting my ownership of this planner, but let’s be real — I’m mostly in it for the mermaids.)

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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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outgoing mail: birds of america

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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!

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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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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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