From the archives: A little nail polish, a bit of Coraline and an email from Neil Gaiman

There are no words...(yes, I was and still am fairly dramatic)

We just watched Coraline with the little ones and, quite simply, I had forgotten how much I love that movie.  Not because I drool over anything Neil Gaiman has to offer and not because I was one of the luckiest of the lucky way back in 2008 when it was released (see below).

I love the whole feel of the movie.  The color, the music, the “oddness” of it is perfect.  And Coraline is an amazing little character.

So I dug through some pictures, went back to the archives, and managed to pull together the history of why, exactly, I felt so lucky 3 years ago (almost to the day).  Have you ever heard of the Coraline boxes? Well, check out box #2 and then read on.

Originally published 11.24.2008:
The most amazing thing happened to me.

I got a comment on the blog by someone with a question asking me to email them.  I was to send an email to “”.  This comment was on my post about the Buffy quote on Neil Gaiman’s blog.  “” I asked.  Hmmm…what on earth?

So I sent the email and here was the response:

Dear Sara,

We are a group of artists, puppet-makers and animators who, for the past three years, have been working on our new film, Coraline. We are great admirers of your work online and therefore want to send you something special. Something handcrafted. We only made 50 of these something specials, and we think yours will be right up your alley. We’d love to send it to you soon, so please email us back with your mailing address at your earliest convenience.


The Coraline Team
Portland, Oregon

Intriging…but I have to admit I was skeptical. I wanted to instantly believe that it was true – it sounded amazing and they had singled meout for 1 in 50 of something. Something that was never for sale, something that was hand-selected. Of course I wanted to shout my address from the rooftops (figuratively speaking)! But I can be naive and it felt a little strange. So what did I do – I emailed Neil Gaiman.

Yep. I’ve read his blog long enough to know that from time to time things such as these come to him through his FAQ line and since he is the most awesome of them all he actually responds.

And that’s how I got an email from Neil Gaiman. In my mailbox. He pointed me to another site who seemed to have received the same invitation. The next day the link showed up on his blog. And I had it in my mailbox before anyone else saw it.

I raced to my email to respond to the original.  It had been about a week and I was afraid I missed my opportunity.  But I got a response and today I found this on my doorstep:

My Own Mystery Box

My Own Mystery Box

On top of the box was a letter, sealed with black wax and a black button.

On top of the box was a letter, sealed with black wax and a black button.

There have only been three times when I have been close to being as geeked out as I was when I opened this box:  1) when I got a Buffy prop for Christmas (I can’t believe I’ve never posted that here before!  It must have been pre-blog days), 2) when I got a Strangers in Paradise panel for Christmas last year and 3) When I met James Marsters.  I can’t quite describe what I was feeling.  I was actually speechless when I lifted the lid and looked inside.

Whoa...are you serious?!

Whoa...are you serious?!



All I can say at this point, and keep in mind I’m on geek overload, is that I have learned to be grateful for my little idiosyncrasies and quirks – I am passionate for a lot of things and each one makes me who I am.  It’s okay to embrace that – good things come to those who are authentic.  You never know when you might find your own mystery box of sorts on your doorstep.”

Since then the box has gotten even cooler.  How’s that you might ask?

Neil Gaiman with a Coraline Box

"You've got a Coraline box. Which website was yours?"

Neil Gaiman Signing Coraline Box

Why, yes, that's a Sharpie in his hand.

Keep in mind, it was originally signed by Henry Selick who not only directed Coraline but was responsible for Nightmare Before Christmas.

Now, it’s signed by Neil himself as well.


About Mama's a Mess

Who am I and what am I doing here? Well, at the end of the day I'm a mother and a wife, a lover of classic monster movies and comic books, of music, TV and movies. I'm a sucker for pop culture. I'm a fangirl. I'm an artist. As my husband always puts it, "Baby, you're a mess!" I have a penchant for creating and collecting. I feed my brain with a mix of anything from hot rods and pin-ups to handmade and natural. I like to dig in the dirt and grow things but sometimes picture myself doing it like Donna Reed. I will always, always choose to wear a dress first. I am head over heels in love with my husband and have a fantastically crazy life with him. Follow all our adventures and musings on our blog at Twitter: @mamasamess Pinterest & Polyvore: mamasamess
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24 Responses to From the archives: A little nail polish, a bit of Coraline and an email from Neil Gaiman

  1. Suzi says:

    Thanks for leaving that note so I could find you! I love the boxes that have the nail polish in them, it’s such a cool little ‘accessory’ from the movie! Was your letter attached to the box or loose?

  2. kissthelibrarian says:

    My letter was attached to the top of the box. I slit the top of the envelope so I wouldn’t disturb the seal. It’s really cool for me to see all the different ones that are out there – what a unique idea!

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  4. Wendy says:

    Thanks for the trackback to my blog — it was great to find your entry about your Coraline box!

  5. Pingback: Cowl Progress | Wendy Knits

  6. Alison says:

    I found this:

    But they haven’t posted what’s in the box yet.

  7. Pingback: Samurai in New York » Blog Archive » More On Our Coraline Suitcase…

  8. craftastrophe says:

    That is wicked cool. I came over from my friend Susan at Marketing Roadmaps – so smart!

  9. kim says:

    This guy is keeping tabs on the boxes as well: Do Something Constructive: Mysteries

  10. Carl V. says:

    Your box is wonderful! I’m very thrilled for you and know just how excited you are about having this as I got box #3! You can see a link here to my post about it:

  11. Ian says:

    I just was walking outside today and found a black key. Can anyone tell me about this??

    Thanks! Ian

  12. Anonymous says:

    hope you return it! this smacks of payola.

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  14. yola says:

    i am so happy that you got a box. this is soo neat!!

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