April 22, 2014

blossomsBlossoms. I love when the tall trees on my block begin to blossom. They canopy the entire street in lovely little white flowers that smell like spring and it looks so beautiful. I always count down to the day in which they sprout their first blossom, but this winter was so harsh that they are only now beginning to bloom.

Blossoms. They give my street a whole new look. All winter long, the street looks so sad and desolate, the bare branches pointing up every which way, cold and naked. The cold atmosphere makes the chill in the air even more frigid. The sky reflects the grayness of the dark concrete you walk on  and it is simply unpleasant to be outside. It’s depressing. But once the trees begin to bloom, the sky softens to a subtle hue of blue. The trees no longer seem cold and naked. Everything seems full and alive. It’s an amazing thing to bare witness too. Mother Nature gracing us with her presence; Persephone rising up from the clutches of Hades to rejoin her mother, Demeter seeding the soils of the Earth.

Blossoms. What’s even more beautiful is when the white petals begin to fall, coating the gray concrete in white, to make way for the new thick green leaves. It looks like a fresh layer of snow has coated the ground, but it’s even better because you literally end up walking on soft flower petals. It saddens me a bit that the blossoms that are just beginning to sprout will soon be dust at our feet, but that eventually gives way to a great appreciation of the thick leaves they helped sprout. Those same leaves that will one day give you shelter during a hot summer shower.

Blossoms. It’s what I look forward to each spring. It makes me forget that I live in the middle of a busy, bustling New York City.

Happy Earth Day.

April 22, 2014

Outgoing mail:

mail6 mail4 mail2 flowers2flowers3

Incoming mail:


April 19, 2014


If there’s one thing that I think should should come back from the great beyond it’s the written letter. With email and text messages, no one ever seems to write letters anymore, not even the simple little note. It’s quite tragic really, because everything else just seems a bit impersonal. I find that there’s no better feeling that finding a nice handwritten letter in your mailbox amongst all of those bills, credit card solicitations and retail catalogues. For years, I’ve indulge in the idea of having a PenPal, and it’s only recently that I’ve done something to get me one (or two).

Last summer I took an art class where some of us students decided to participate in a mail art exchange. The woman who organized these exchanges had us use the site Swap-Bot, a swapping site that I have previously never even heard of. I did two swaps during that class and it was really fun. But since then I haven’t really participated in any sort of mail exchange until I stumbled upon The Love Parcel, a Tumblr blog, where the owner Miranda encourages people from all over the world to send her beautifully curated parcels in exchange for one of her personally curated parcels. I absolutely loved this idea and vowed to participate in it. Now, I haven’t sent Miranda my parcel yet (I’m still curating it and it’s getting quite large), but I will definitely post here when I do (then wait until she’s able to curate and send mine out)! Yet, her idea fueled something dormant inside of me and I was just itching for some mail.

So, I turned to Swap-bot. I found it a bit daunting to find swaps that interested me, but after a lot of shifting through the categories and clicking on random swaps, I finally found a few that looked appealing. So far, I’ve only completed one, a Crafty PenPal swap where I ended up with two different people to write to (and swap various craft supplies). I sent out my letter to my partner and already received a letter from the second partner who was assigned to send to me. I’ve already written up the response letter to my second partner and am planning to send it out along with two new swaps that I recently joined. Overall, I really like the act of sitting down and writing whatever happens to come to my mind. Granted, these are just introductory letters that I’m writing, but there’s something so calming in writing these correspondences. I also really like playing with stationery and decorating my envelopes with washi tape and stickers. I even covered one of my envelopes with a page from a magazine, because it looked really cool.

Swap-bot allows for user profiles and it’s encouraged to have one thoroughly filled out because most swap hosts encourage you to look at your partner’s profile to figure out what they would like in their letters and packages (if the swap is more than just sending a letter to each other). And that’s the thing that’s really cool about Swap-bot: you can swap anything! People host swaps for book exchanges, clothing exchanges, trading craft and scrapbooking supplies. There’s no limit to what can be swapped as long as there are other people to swap with. At the completion of each swap you rate your swap host and your partner and you hope they do the same for you. The greater your ratings, the more people will feel comfortable with swapping with you, cause really, no one likes a partner who flakes out and never sends you anything.

But so far so good. I can’t wait until I receive a response to the first letter I sent out and I’m excited to start writing and curating more little packages for the swaps that I just joined. I’m so grateful that there’s a group of people out there who appreciated the handwritten letter and have gone to such lengths to keeping snail mail alive. It’s very lovely and I can’t wait to immerse myself into this community and build up my correspondences!

April 10, 2014


Hey! So, in the past week or so, I’d been playing around with lots of ideas in my head for lots of different things. I still need to work on my Awesome Ladies Project and what I want to do for that (along with my various art journals like Play that Song and my Brave Girls series). But I’ve been taking some downtime and reading. Yeah, I know. I haven’t took the time to pick up a book, but as I looked at my pathetic heaps of books piled high that needed to be read, I remembered one of the goals I set for myself in the beginning of the year, and that was to read more and watch less TV. So far, I’ve sucked at keeping that goal. Yet, for the last three days, I’ve managed to finish three books and I’m currently half way through my forth. I’m rather proud of myself, especially since most of them are BookExpo books, and as BEA 2014 looms near, I need to finish most if not all of these books before then.

Anyway, after reading a Sarah Dessen book I had sitting there for a while unread, I sort of got a bit of inspiration. Now, I was in the process of cleaning out my server and deleting tons of spam comments on this magazine blog I started and was keeping with my friend called Papier Mache. Well, it’s safe to say we kind of let that slip and haven’t updated it in forever. I was planning on deleting it, but I wanted to back it up just in case I wanted those posts again. But the file was huge with all the spam, so I read my books as I let the computer work it’s magic and delete those nasty suckers. Anyway, once I finished the Sarah Dessen book, I got the idea of starting a new magazine blog and using some of the content my friend and I made for Papier Mache in it. Except this new blog will have a theme and a specific demographic: young women. I don’t know if it was all of Kara’s Babe Vibes or Kristin’s Awesome Ladies Project or my Brave Girls series, but the idea of creating a pretty blog for young women just appealed to me. And I didn’t want it to me a trash sort of blog, like Thought Catalogue is. I wanted it to be inspiring, just like the Sarah Dessen book I just finished reading. I wanted to be for teens and young 20-somethings. I wanted it to look pretty and feel inspiring. So, I took to Tumblr and started a new blog.

Colbie Magazine. Named after the small fictional beach town of Colby, North Carolina, where Sarah Dessen has some of her books take place. I wanted it to be similar to Frankie Magazine in look and feel, expect the content will be solely about women and/or for women…young women. So far, I’ve been writing one or two new posts for it and just reformatting old Papier Mache posts, and posting those to the blog. I decided to go with Tumblr as the platform because it’s easy to use the tags to gain exposure, plus I can make the blog look however I wanted without much hassle. I don’t know. It’s a work in progress. Now, I just have to find some lovely ladies to contribute to it!

If you’d like to check it out, head over to the magazine here. If you wish to contribute to it, please don’t hesitate to contact me through Tumblr’s messaging system or submit your post right there on the magazine’s site. Hopefully I can keep up with it along with ariestrash, because I think it could be something awesome.