Joshua Tree Sketches, Postcards and Travel Plans- Frisco, TX



First up- Travel Plans!

I’ve been a bit hush-hush about this since the end of March when I bought my plane ticket, partly because I had no idea where I was going and partly because I didn’t want to utterly jinx anything. But with less than a month left before wheels up and an actual workable itinerary on hand, I think it’s probably time to share the plans.

So back at the end of the last roadtrip taken to have adventures in Colorado , while we were waiting for the snow to stop falling enough to be able to actually leave CO and head home, a price alert came up on flights to Paris. And I remember sitting there on the couch in the living room of the cozy cabin we were staying at and deciding after two minuets of solid thinking, yes, i’m buying it. Did I particularly want to go to Paris? Not really, but I have a good friend there and Paris is an excellent gateway to the rest of Europe so that settled it for me and the ticket was snapped up.

Fast forward a good few months later and it’s July and I still didn’t have a single clue where I was actually going to go, never mind the fact that I had yet to apply for my Passport (I did have an expired one …but it was from when I was a minor and not valid for renewal, though it was valid to use a second ID somehow). And so last month consisted of me getting that ever so important task taken care of- shout out to that lovely lady at the passport office who waived the fee for my photo and who I believe is responsible for the near miraculous turn around time (considering I didn’t pay for expedited service)- and also figuring out my itinerary.

Two weeks was the allotted time I had to work with, and while I know plenty of people would choose to pick just one country and spend the whole time there, i’m that kind of person that loves to just exhaust myself trying to see as much as possible. With that being said, I did hold myself back from going too country-hopping happy.

The itinerary, as it is now (and trust me I wish I could say i’m 100% sure it’s not going to change anymore) is as follows:  leaving Dallas —> literally almost a full day of traveling –> Edinburgh, Scotland–> Amsterdam, The Netherlands–> Salzburg, Austria–> Bavaria, Germany —> Paris, France –> home to Dallas

More as to my actual plans in these places next month when I actually sit down and think through that part more, but at least for now, i’m glad to actually see the full scale of my travel ambitions written out and so close to coming true. This will by first time in Europe and to say i’ve dreamed of doing this for almost 10 years is only just a slight exaggeration.

Apart from setting down those plans, I finished up the Joshua Tree sketches I had mentioned wanting to do and also sent a bunch of postcards to a new penpal in Poland, as well as a couple to one in Germany that i’d really love to fill with enough wanderlust as to make her visit the USA for a roadtrip one day. It’s been a good end to the month and hopefully September brings more creativity, less storms and maybe some more interesting people to send postcards/snailmail to.

~m

p.s If you’ve been to any of the cities/places I mentioned above, feel free to leave me suggestions of places I should see in the comments, i’m very much still at odds as to what exactly i’m going to try and see or visit so it’ll be appreciated :)

 

Love, Trilobites and Postcards- Snailmail Wednesday

What do Norway, Germany, England and France all have in common? Well obviously plenty of things but if you guessed their respective mail services having to deal with deciphering my atrocious handwriting, then well….you’d be correct and you would also have to be a mind reader I think.

I took the last month off from posting anything on here to devote effort to other things and also to just give myself a little time off- it might not look it but a good bit of time and effort goes into these, mainly cause I firmly believe if you’re gonna do something, do it well (or are well as you can). Part of the “other things” I was doing was catching up with friends and my snail mail, making sure I was still set on heading to Europe for two weeks at the end of September and surviving the onset of the devils season in Texas (aka Summer).

Snailmailing is something that has been a love of mine since I was 17 and actually the biggest reason I got into traveling and being more curious about the world around me. Only a few of the people I met during that first foray into penpalling are still around and while i’ve learned how easy and subsequently painful it can be to lose touch with people you’ve grown close to through letters, it’s still a thing I enjoy greatly. If anything, snailmailing and having penpals I can send postcards to and exchange travel stories with still remains a big motivator for those days when I’m so tired from work and trying to plan an epic trip and all I can think of is “gods, I wish I could just take two weeks off to be a couch potato“. These days especially with how stressful work can be, knowing I have a friend in Germany who will recommend me some amazing places to visit or another in Paris who’ll help me feel like less of a tourist in one of the most visited cities on earth, it helps to keep the wanderlust alive.

And if sometimes I end up sending people a weird art piece, a pizza pin or a t-shirt with a Texas state outline on it in addition to something I picked up for them on my travels? Well, i’ve gotten no complaints so far.

not drowning in my coffee cups yet,
~m

SnailMail Wednesday- Glass Jars and Postcards

I try and get out there, travel as much as I can when I can and if you combine that with the type of personality that loves to hoard things of little to no value, you end up with a person who’s got a stash of postcards and travel trinkets that could rival a gift shop.

Thankfully though, for both my house storage capacity and my friendships, I love sending and sharing all the travel ephemera i’ve picked up. So sometimes when i’m writing to a friend who suffers from the occasional bout of wanderlust that I do, I might stuff 1 or 2 (or 10)  postcards into the box and send it on it’s merry way. And then add a magnet or keychain, maybe a cool rock or leaf. I like to think of myself as an intelligent, mature near-adult but when i’m sitting on my office floor surrounded by postcards and bits of tape stuck on my pjs, trying to decide what sea shell to send on the basis of which one seems prettier, I gotta admit I’ve probably still got years to go.

Its definitely worth it though, both when I’m reliving the memories of trips past and when I hear back from a friend who got inspired to visit somewhere I sent them a postcard from. 

(Fun fact- the place I have the least postcards from is actually my current home state, Texas.)

~m 

An Embossed Seal and A Gold Response- Snailmail Wednesday

I’ve been snailmailing for about oh….8 years now? Its something I used to do with fervent frequency, dashing out letters almost everyday to friends far and wide, some just a couple of counties away from mine back in California. These days though, i’m lucky if I get the time to write out one a month.

Thats not necessarily a bad thing though. Before I might have had more time to devote to spilling out words on page after page and flinging them thoughtlessly halfway across the globe to anyone friendly enough, but these days my time is constrained to the point where I only devote the effort on people who mean enough for me to craft responses with more care and deliberation. Theres something about putting pen to paper that slows down your thoughts, presses them onto the pages with care and finding people who enjoy doing that as much as you do and getting to know them through this medium can be one of the loveliest experiences.

This particular letter was actually crafted and sent on it’s way months ago but I hadn’t had a chance to share it till now, given all the travel posts I’d been doing. A good friend from the UK had mailed his first letter to me after months of sharing words online and it was eloquent and very lovely. For my response, I decided to shove eloquence to the side and burst forth with paper and what ended up being almost it’s own kind of art piece. While the years might have taught me restraint with words, apparently I still have no chill when it comes to paper and all you can do with it. But considering i’m just finishing up another letter to send out to him this week, thats probably not such a bad thing, all things considered.

~m

A Time Quiet and Warm – Textile Art Sunday

mixed media textile art

It’s been a quiet two or so weeks since I posted the last of the Big Bend road trip, though my own life has been anything but calm. Schedule changes at work as new people come and go, planning and researching for the next upcoming trip (at the end of this month, and how did it get here so quickly??), dealing with unruly AC units at home that prompt a 5 day stay at a hotel and in between it all trying to find time to do art, write up the stories piling up 4 cars deep in my head and of course, keeping up with friends both old and new.

It’s been…a challenge to say the least but, while I was putting together some parcels to send off to friends who i’ve just started snail mailing with, I managed to find this odd little project I had worked on last year. Messing around with fabric and textiles, creating weird things out of felt and buttons, it’s a thing I come back to eventually, even when I set it aside for what feels like ages. I have no idea if the friend I ended up sending this to just quietly set it aside to figure out at a later point, but revisiting the quiet hours spent sewing it up while the sun set over the upstairs balcony windows was calming in a way the end of summer rarely is here in Texas.

~m