Handmade Gift Guide 09: October Vibes

Is it still October? Good grief, I’m late posting this. Halloween is approaching and we’ve been super inspired by spooky witchy vibes over here so we had to put together this awesome handmade gift guide! Most of these items are awesome all year round, let’s be honest. I’m sitting here in the dark posting this. I love this vibe! P.S. shout out to my studio assistant Brenda of Rhodes Reserve for putting together these gift guides. Do you like her taste? You’ll love her modern vintage etsy shop! Our gift guides are meant to celebrate independent makers like us and inspire others to shop handmade. Each guide has an inspired theme by one of our products and is comprised of hand picked items from makers who we adore. See the bottom of the post for links to each item.

1. Worthwhile Halloween Card Halloween Card

2.  Witches Candle // Hauswitch (Salem, MA)
3.  Ghosts Potion // Sister Spinster (Mendocino Coast, CA)
4.   Cotton Scarf in Bourbon // Scarf Shop (Minneapolis, MN)
5.  A Witches Guide To Medicinal Teas // Spellbound Herbals (Denver, CO)     
6. Skull Earrings //  Upper Metal Class (Portland, OR)
7. Small Spells Tarot Deck  // Small Spells (Los Angeles, CA)
8. Bad Blood Bar Soap // Cellar Door Bath Supply Co (Plymouth, MI)

The Energy Of Summer

In the summer of 2011, I remember walking to work on a sunny hot morning in early August. I don’t have the journal I stopped walking to write in anymore, but I remember almost photographically what I stopped to reflect on as this realization came to me while observing myself and surroundings. The energy of summer is a thing. More specifically, a thing that sends my whole foundation of existence in way too many directions. I have been thinking about this a lot, and it made me remember that this isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way. I remember recording in detail my feelings about summer in my journal (or the summer-ness about my feelings). So much of it is about nature.

In summer, the sun is out for the longest time and it brings the life, so much life. Zillions of bees are pollenating native flowering plants. Squirrels and birds and chipmunks skitter through the uneven grass and up in the trees. Every garden and field and yard and plant and weed is this constant state of pushing and pulsing – pushing more flowers out, making more vegetables, climbing higher up the fences. Herbs are mass producing, invasive leafy bishop’s weed is taking over our entire perrenial garden. Everything is in this constant, chaotic, active go-state. Go, go, go, move forward, create more, happen, happen, happening. Hot. Sharp. Overload.

This is me in the summer. I am the overgrown garden. I say yes to everything, I take risks, I work more hours, my cheeks get hot, I get lightheaded in yoga even in cool early hours if I’m not careful. I make and think and go and grow. Thankfully, there are things in the summer that offer balance – swimming in cool natural waters, not going outside during the hot sun-blasting times, the prescription sunglasses I finally let myself justify buying, completely abstaining from coffee and caffeine and spicy things and hot water. Cardamom. Cool showers. Coconut. Longer exhales. However, year after year it’s impossible to not notice a pattern – that my default summer state forgets to prioritize self-care. I don’t rest as much, I don’t carve out extra time for myself unless I really REALLY schedule it. I’m the out-of-control garden in the summer that is hard to remember to maintain and tame. Maybe I will get more skilled at this in the future.

There is something about us and our human bodies that are so receptive to our environment and it fascinates me to no end. Today, with a tiny coffee in hand and cold toes buried in the backsides of my knees as I sit, I welcome autumn with a big, gentle, welcoming, grateful “sigh” of the happiest relief. Summer was filled with energy and growth and I am going to miss my newfound love for cool lake swims and the feeling of cold water in my hair and simultaneous sunshine on my face, but I thrive in autumn. I trim my overworked stems and leaves back so I can see a little more clearly.

Cheers to that. <3

P.S. It’s no wonder my work is sometimes inspired by the seasons 🙂 This print set is fresh off the press and will be available soon!



The Worthwhile Paper Planner

Our planners are now available! Featuring a spacious, minimal feel with just the right touch of playfulness, the Worthwhile Paper open-dated planner is sure to bring a little bit of happiness to your desktop (I’ve been using mine for a month or so now and I love it!) This planner was a labor of love – I have been working on it since last winter! I’m happy to share that this planner was ENTIRELY made locally. From the designing, to the printing, to the binding, every aspect of this planner was made with love in Michigan.

Here are some lovely details:

* 12 monthly spreads, 52 weekly spreads (a whole year of planning).

* It’s open-dated! That means you can start whenever you’d like, skip a week, and not waste paper.

* Due to popular demand, the week starts on Monday, yay!

* Dot grid is used thought for versatility and space.

* The layout is minimal with lots of room for you to get creative with your planning.

* A cute little half-moon shaped die cut flap on the front (my inner paper nerd is freeeeaking out).

* It’s an 8.5 x 8.5″ square shape.

* The weekly view features a “weekly intention” line that isn’t required, but so nice to use to weave in a little self-care to your week-planning. Jot down a little reminder. Mine this week is “steady pace”.

* The monthly few features little circles in the corner you can use to fill in the moon phases, or use as a daily goal-tracker checkbox.

* Wanna know a secret? Each planner comes with a secret moon phase bookmark! I haven’t even told anyone that until now! You are now a VIP knowledge holder just for reading this post!


Checkout the planner here on our shop. Oh, what was that? You also want to know about that cute gold foil pencil in that top image? Well… I made some pattered pencils too! Say what?! Yes! What a fun little joy seeing a pattern I drew printed in shiny gold on a pencil! My inner 3rd grader is freeeeeaking out! Check out pencils, books, and more in our back-to-school section.

P.S. if you are local, I am now offering appointment-based shopping and pickup. This means you can come hang out in our space and shop for printed delights if you just send me a message and we set up a time when I am here. Get in touch if that sounds like fun!


Motherhood didn’t “change my life”.

This is something that people say to new or expecting moms all of the time: “It will CHANGE your LIFE!” I remember the first time someone said that to me and the feelings of fear and uncertainty and curiosity filled my stomach and heart. Obviously becoming a parent is a huge deal. I often described it as your house being flipped upside down – you still have the same stuff, but now you just have to put it together again, in a different way!

However, becoming a mom didn’t change my life, it has taken me to a place in my life where I was always meant to be. This event didn’t alter the natural path of my life, it is simply a part of my journey, and most notably an inevitable part. This was supposed to happen, my life wasn’t supposed to go any other way. I am still the same person, the same soul, the same mind, the same body. Did it open my heart more? Yes. Did my schedule need to be re-evaluated? Yes. Am I a different person with a different identity and a different life? Nope.

Can we say something different to expecting moms? Something like: “your journey into motherhood is a beautiful and perfectly timed phase in your life.” or is that too long, too drawn out for average small talk from strangers in line at the co-op?

I think a lot of women my age (I’m 27) who want to have kids eventually are hesitant to have kids at a young-ish age for various good reasons, one of them being that we want to feel established in our career first, “discover ourselves” (as if you stop discovering yourself after a certain age or something…), live out our 20s with tasty sounding ideas like “freedom” and “adventure” until we are “ready” to “settle”. But here’s the thing, if you end up having kids earlier than you may have planned, you don’t have to give up all of those awesome things! And you most certainly don’t ever have to “settle” (well, unless settling is a positive thing for you).

When we found out we were having a baby, it became my my mission to create a reality for myself that included still having a dreamy job and still being able to go on plenty of adventures while also being a good mom (and I feel SO UNDESERVINGLY LUCKY to have these things as accessible opportunities). All things aside, my identity isn’t anchored to or defined by whether or not I have children. I have a choice to frame it how I want to. I can adopt the attitude formed by traditional ideals that impose pressure on women to not have jobs or have fun or leave behind their passions when they become moms, OR I can choose to have a different attitude. I don’t have to “do it all” or “hustle” 24/7, but I can still choose to live a full and happy life. If there are things in life I want or that I am passionate about, I will do the things to make them happen in the most balanced way I can to ensure that I am happy but also that I can show up for my family.

I have decided that me living my fullest life can only be good for my relationship with my son. I want to do things that make me happy because being happy influences my child to be happy. It’s contagious. If I was sad and angry and stressed and resentful all of the time about not “being able” to do things I want to do, that’s going to pass on to my child too.  So, I guess in one way I am changed, by the way I direct my energy and actions (and for whom I do so). I’m not just pursuing happiness for myself, but I am doing it for my son and for my husband and for everyone I have relationships with, for that matter. It’s a new meaning of love for me, and I feel it everywhere.

Sure, there’s always going to be guilt, anxiety, anger, stress, fear, etc. in parenting, but there is also joy, comfort, release, surrender, happiness, contentment, spontaneity, laughter, one million cheek kisses, and absurd amounts of love. Becoming a mom has lead to so much self-discovery and adventure. I am letting things go that needed to be let go of, I am learning a lot about myself, I’ve found more meanings in love than I can count.

The bottom line though, is that I am not a different person because I had a kid, I am the person I was meant to be, and I strive to be a better person every day.


Studio chronicles: The beginning!

An exciting change happened around here lately… we got our first studio space! After a short period of time moving everything over and starting to decorate, we are fully functioning in our new studio, which contains our inventory and shipping area, my office & design space, a lovely shaded area out front, and a large room in the middle for popup events and lots of creative workshops. Oh, the potential! It already feels like home to work here. We are at 306 W Cross street just west of Depot Town in Ypsilanti, Michigan (it’s across from Cross Street Coffee ish) and we LOVE it!

Prior to this shift, we had been working out of our home (or to accurately phrase it, we were taking over our home). Although we screen print out of VGKids, all of my growing inventory was taking up a lot of space, packed and stacked tetris-style in a 10 x 10 ft room in our basement, and my workspace was a guest room in our house. It was quite lovely and efficient for a while, but as I kept adding things to my line in larger quantities, the idea of looking for a space was definitely on the horizon. I loved my cozy plant-filled home studio, but our house was filling up quick with boxes and supplies and space was scarce! A separation of work and home was definitely something that sounded lovely to me (and I could always fill another space with plants, too).

Renting a studio space is a pretty big jump. I had been holding off and telling myself “the right thing will pop up at the right time”.  Not so shockingly, that exact thing happened, and in a force of nature type way. One morning after my yoga practice, I pulled in the driveway and had the immediate random inclination to put Henry in the stroller and walk from our house to Depot Town (about a 40 minute walk) with no particular plan in mind. It was such a random idea but I was SURE it was what I felt like doing. It’s not like we do that all of the time. This is one of those examples of when you have a random feeling or intuition, even if you don’t know what it’s about, roll with it.

It was a sunny early summer day, breezy and just the right balance of sun + cool air. As we were walking I passed a building I’d seen and admired before on Cross Street… but this time with a rent sign out front! I gave it a double-take and kept walking. Henry and I ate ice cream and played by the river and I couldn’t stop thinking about the space. Normally I would dismiss it and tell myself I couldn’t/shouldn’t.. but I was curious. I took a photo of the sign with the idea that I would call later, and instead of shutting my phone off, I switched form the photo app to my keypad and immediately dialed the number. I ended up scheduling a viewing!

As soon as I stepped into the building I knew it felt right. The windows were big, the room sizes were perfect. The walls were white. I could hardly contain my excitement. I was surprised to learn that a super cool couple bought the building in December (one of them who works out of the larger back warehouse space) and finding a local creative to occupy the front space and turn it into something awesome was on the top of their list of ideal tenant situations. We all agreed that the stars were aligned and it was meant to be! And just like that I signed the lease.

Initially I thought the space may be bigger than the bare minimum of what we needed at the time. There is a big room in the middle and several rooms that we didn’t *need* to use *all* of. However, I immediately envisioned the idea of how fun it would be to host popup shopping events and workshops. (!!!) Additionally, there is another windowlit office room in the front I have rented out to another lady creative, Brittany of Just Curious Co. The potential of the space to be a little bit more than our studio home had my gears turning. The opportunity to engage with the local community really sparks interest in me and I am excited to see where this goes. This whole thing just seemed like the perfect next step for us and it all feels like a new adventure (but also something so necessary for my growing little biz). I am feeling so grateful for this change in my life. There is so much more to share, but I’m going to leave that for the next post!

Save the date! We are having our studio opening party on Friday, August 4th from 6 – 10pm – there will be crafts, plants, paper and snacks. View the Facebook event here and RSVP!

Below are some first peeks at some corners of the space:



Introducing: Visible Vinyl

The makers of the hand made wooden framing kits we sell with our art prints have launched an awesome new thing, and it’s best friends with your vinyl records. It’s called Visible Vinyl, and it’s a ledge especially made for displaying your favorite records (or the one you have playing) on the wall! If you’re like me, you are a sucker for good album art. This ledge makes it easy to switch out your favorite records to be able to see and enjoy the record covers.

They sent me samples (!!!) and I wanted to share, and also do a giveaway because I want to help spread the word! (The giveaway will be appearing on my instagram this Monday, stay tuned). If you just don’t want to risk not winning the giveaway, check out their kickstarter campaign! They come in multiple finishes and sizes and I think they have special deals for kickstarter backers.

I really love supporting hand made, and this is a really cool idea. I love the idea of having one by the record player for a “now playing” type feel. Right now, when I play a record, I just lay the cover on top of the record player top. This looks much more lovely (and keeps the record jacket and possible second record safe while the music plays).

BTW: The symmetrical folky forest animal print is by fellow awesome artist print lady The Diggingest Girl, if you’re wondering. A personal favorite 🙂


Handmade Gift Guide 08: Dad’s Day

Father’s Day is June 18th! Father’s Day for me has become not only celebrating my dad, but my husband too! This gift guide is inspired by a modern selection of classsic dad-likes that dudes of all ages can appreciate. Get those good guys in your life something handmade and unique this year! Our gift guides are meant to celebrate independent makers like us and inspire others to shop handmade. Each guide has an inspired theme by one of our products and is comprised of hand picked items from makers who we adore. See the bottom of the post for links to each item.


1. Worthwhile Paper Father’s Day Pocket Knife Card

2. Slate Coffe Mug // Grayling Ceramics (Kalamazoo, MI)

3.  Father & Child Matching Pizza Shirts // Xenotees (Philadelphia, PA

4. Haute Sauce Gift Pack // Marshall’s Haute Sauce (Portland, OR

5. Facets Geometric Wood Catchall Desk Organizer // Tramake (Chicago, IL)

6.  Coffee Toffee  // Dave’s Sweet Tooth (Detroit, MI)

7.  Flavored Toothpicks – 6 Pack Every Blend // Daneson (Canada)

8. THG Dopp Kit + Beard Care Essentials // The Hairy Gentleman (Smyrna, GA )


DIY: Envelopes! With free printable templates

This easy and fun DIY is for the true paper lover! Making your own envelopes is loads of fun – especially when you use fun and interesting paper. I used to collect vintage nature books for collage when I was in art school. For the samples we’ve made here I dug around in my boxes from moving to find some true gems to use. You can use any kind of paper you’d like! From magazines, to old books, to different colored paper you may have around – the list is endless! Let’s get started.

Materials needed:

+ Printable envelope templates I’ve made! (see below)

+ A good pair of Scissors

+ Glue stick

+ Fun paper

Step 1Download your free printable envelope templates here!

This is a dropbox link to a zip folder which contains three separate PDF files for different size and shaped envelopes (and also a multi-page PDF if you prefer to print them all at once). One is a tiny one, perfect for little notes, gift cards, giving money to someone, keeping postage stamps, coins, tiny treasures. So cute! The other two are both standard A2 size (the size of our greeting cards) one is a fun rounded-flap design I made myself, and the other is modeled off of a vellum envelope I had laying around.

Step 2: Print off the templates on your home computer on 8.5 x 11 standard printer paper. Note: when printing, keep it at scale – do not alter the scale at all if you want the envelopes to be the correct size! Some of the template may not print – mine did fine, but every printer is different! If it cuts off, it’s not the biggest deal – you can connect the lines – it’s pretty intuitive.

Step 3: Cut out your templates along the outside solid black line. The dotted lines are visual guides to show you where to fold! Trace on the back side of the paper (the side you want to be on the inside of the envelope) with pencil. No need to erase really, unless you want to. Then, simply cut along the lines and fold into envelopes! Secure all flaps besides the top one together with glue. Take care not to glue the flaps to the inside!

Wahoo! You made your first one. It’s so cute! It’s so fun! You’re jumping with joy! These little mini ones are my favorite. They happen to be the same size as our mini note sets, and also business cards. I love having them around to put tiny things in because it makes my tiny heart feel a tiny bit more happy.

Check out some more examples we made below:


Spring Events

Hooray Spring! The weather is getting warmer and the mood is getting lighter. There are a couple of fun local events going on this May for us that I’m excited to share. See below and I hope to see you at one!

Snail Mail Social // Thistle & Bess // Ann Arbor, MI // May 11, 6-8pm

Real mail is always better than a text! Join me at Thistle & Bess on Thursday, May 11 (the Thursday before Mother’s Day) to sit together and write + send some fun snail mail! Snacks and drinks (tea, wine, goodies) from Tea Haus will be provided.
• • • • •
Each guest will receive 6 Worthwhile Paper cards of their choosing with matching envelopes. Postage stamps for each card will be provided (!!!) and at the end of the night I will walk your fun mail over to the nearest post box to send it out into the world! Additional fun supplies will be provided and guests are welcome to bring their own too for extra snail mailing. It’s going to be an evening of paper and fun!

Register for the snail mail social here!

Handmade Toledo Maker’s Mart // Toledo, OH // May 13, 10am – 8pm

So excited to be back to Handmade Toledo this year! I accidentally forgot to apply for the Holiday one last winter and almost cried when I thought I didn’t get in but then laughed when I saw that I didn’t even apply. Ahh! This will be fun because it will be a whole year since I’ve been, so lots of new stuff people there may not have seen there yet! If you haven’t been to this one, GO. It’s so amazing and fun, and the vendors are all top notch. Not one to be missed. Yay, spring!

View vendors & details here and check out their Facebook event to RSVP.


Handmade Gift Guide 07: Mother’s Day 2017

Mother’s Day is May 14th! Treat the mom(s) in your life to something extra special and consciously hand made this year like these picks below! This theme is generally neutral and includes gifts for the home, for wearing and also for eating (That chocolate is my favorite! Vegan and fair trade). Our gift guides are meant to celebrate independent makers like us and inspire others to shop handmade. Each guide has an inspired theme by one of our products and is comprised of hand picked items from makers who we adore. See the bottom of the post for links to each item.

1. Our very own “I’d still pick you” Mother’s Day Card

2.  Reclaimed Wood Serving Trays – Set of 2 // Infinite Abyss (Evanston, WY)

3.  Tuck Sew Bag // Douglas & Co. (Detroit, MI)

4. Welcome Sign  // All Things Grow (Ypsilanti, MI)

5.  Salted Milk Chocolate Almond Bar // Lagustas Luscious (New Paltz, NY)

6.  Color Play Necklace // Sarah Safavi Jewelry (Salt Lake City, UT)

7.  Little House Terrarium // Lead Head Glass (Detroit, MI)

8.   Macrame Plant Hanger // Botanica Detroit (Detroit, MI)