04/28/2017

35mm: From Fall to Spring

I got two rolls of film back from The Darkroom the other day and was so pleased with how they came out! One roll is primarily fall, and one was taken all through the start of Spring. Lots of magical foliage, and some cute Henry shots as well. Shot on my Pentax k1000 with Fuji Color film at 400 ISO. Below are some highlights from the Fall roll:

OMG! That little orange vest! With all of the leaves and the pumpkin! It was KILLING me! Ahh! It better fit him next fall…

If you haven’t noticed, I LOVE going to the conservatory, especially when it gets cold out. I’m always equipped with my camera, I think those few above were from winter. These film shots are so so nice compared to the phone camera pictures I usually take mass quantities of.. Also, up next, I can’t even contain my emotions about the squished face cuteness in the photo below. It’s OK, Henry.

Highlights from the Spring roll:

Lots of nature-magic happening above with some first blooms of spring. So refreshing. Some play-magic happening below – we made a little “Dinosaur Village” instead of a fairy garden, for the dinosaurs to play, keep lookout, eat moss out of acorn tops, and sleep in their stick tee pee on beds made out of pieces of bark, waiting for a baby dinosaur to hatch out of a walnut (I mean, dinosaur egg, obviously).

Henry begs me to go outside. He loves it, and I’m so happy about that. I’m also happy about this adorable mini Kanken backpack! He crams it full of “friends” (stuffed animals and action figures) and pretend food. I love that these last long, so he can use it for fun and for school until he grows out of it. This photo makes me smile.

Newest tat! My brother and I got matching herb tattoos (sage + lavender) before he left to go to Chicago and he came to visit and we snapped a picture of them all healed up! The last three tattoos I’ve gotten (the only ones since having Henry) have been meaningful and tied to another person.

 

04/25/2017

Handmade Gift Guide 06: Mindfulness + Self Care

I’m on a seasonal cleanse all this week so I am entirely in self care mode, trying to rest a bit more than usual and not over schedule myself. This gift guide was put together because of how important it is to care for and nurture ourselves. We thought our ‘mindfulness’ print would be a good fit in this theme and the rest of the items are by some love-conscious makers we admire and hopefully you will too! I hope you find something here that inspires self-care and self-love. 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 Mindfulness 8 x 10 Screen Print!

2. Large Crystal Necklace  // Hawk House (Gay Head, MA)

3. Copal Palo Santo Incense Kit  // Urb Apothecary  (Santa Cruz, CA)

4.  Blossom Facial Steam // Marble & Milkweed  (New York, NY)

5. Stress Ease Powder // Wooden Spoon Herbs (Chattanooga, TN) 

6. Your Illustrated Guide To Becoming One With The Universe //  Yumi Sakugawa (Los Angeles, CA)

7. Masala Loving Oil // Alchemy Henna (Ferndale, MI)

8. Spring Ritual Self Care Kit // Apoterra Skincare (New York, NY)

03/24/2017

5 Easy Modern Ways to Decorate Terra Cotta Pots

It’s almost plant potting & repotting season! Did you know it’s best to re-pot in the spring? In the spirit of potting, and also our new Spring and Summer collection (which is undoubtedly botanically inspired), I wanted to do a post on some fun ways to fancy up some plain terra cotta pots. A painted pot with a plant inside makes a great gift with a personal handmade touch! I’m going to be repotting quite a few pots this spring as some of my plants have gotten much bigger, so these ideas are easy and perfect to add a little variation and pops of contrast. My small team and I had such a fun time doing this! I love doing DIY projects together, it felt so fun to just sit around and paint things.

The pots used here are simple and super cheap, and can be found here from IKEA –  I love that they are flat and smooth – and all supplies are simple and were found at Michaels. Before we started going to town on all of these, I came up with some super quick concept sketches shown below. Aww.

All pots: Step 1 – Spray the outside AND inside with a clear acrylic matte spray (found mine at Michaels, any craft store is a good bet).

Pro Tip: You may want to do a few coats, as terra cotta is pretty porous. *Note, by sealing the clay you lose its porosity a bit, so water your plant as if it were in a plastic or glazed pot and don’t depend as much on terra cotta’s “breathability” if you are used to it!

Well let’s get started! Below are 5 fun and easy ways to decorate a terra cotta pot at home with simple materials.

1 /// Rubber Stamped Terra Cotta Pot

Materials: Decorative rubber stamps*, Black archival ink pad.

*The rubber stamps were used here are all from our shop! We have a lot of fun and decorative stamps. Leaves, moons, eyes, hearts, shapes. Check out this link to our our modern decorative rubber stamp collection.

Directions: Simply stamp the pot in a roll-on fashion. (Does this give you anxiety? Me too! But, no worries! Test it out by taping some paper around the pot to test and perfect your stamp-rolling skills. Note: My assistant declared that she had no formal stamping experience and she made the pot below beautifully!)  Pro Tip: Dip your stamp in ink evenly and multiple times to make sure it’s fully coated. I think a repeating pattern makes for a nice look.

2 /// Chalkboard Painted Terra Cotta Pot

Materials: Painters tape & Black chalk paint (we used Martha Stewart chalk paint, found at our local craft store and online for 2.29 here).

Directions: Focus on only one edge of the tape, as shown below. Due to the tapering of the pot, the tape won’t go around all flat, so focus on the edge you want to make with one edge of the tape, and let the other edge get crinkly. We wanted ours to look like it was dipped in paint. One side is straight diagonal, and the other side is wavy. Paint two coats waiting in-between coats to dry for an hour, and remove the tape once it dries. Wait 48 hours before attempting to use chalk or chalk marker on it (or just leave it black!)

3 /// Geometric taped-off shapes

Materials: Masking tape, Acrylic paint (we used white).

Directions: Simply start putting tape on your pot in strips at different angles, creating shapes in the negative space. Remember, the negative space shapes is what is going to be painted. Get wacky and have fun with it! Paint two coats, waiting an hour between each, and remove the tape once it dries.

4 /// Hand painted easy strokes

Materials: Flat paint brush, Acrylic paint.

Directions: The simpler the better. Come up with a simple stroke/mark and create a pattern out of it. I did short thick lines but would also recommend dots, lines in different directions, wiggly lines, stripes, whatever you want! It doesn’t have to be perfect, but trying to be consistent in your mark making will make the decoration look cohesive. It helps to turn the pot upside down, as shown below. I didn’t add a second coat on this because I liked the way the brush strokes looked textured. This finished pot paired with a Pothos plant shown above was gifted at a Galentine’s Day gift swap! Eek!

5 /// Nail Polish  Marbling

Materials: Tooth picks, a large bucket/pan, plastic storage bin or bowl that you don’t mind ruining, and ha, yep, you heard me correctly – nail polish. What the what? There are lots of videos online of nail polish marbling (watch this video to see it in action) and it seemed like the easiest way to marble on a pot, so we gave it a go (and by a go I mean like ten go’s) Tips and tricks below.

Directions: Prepare your bucket with cold water. Make sure your bucket is deep enough to both fit part of the pot in and also not spill over. Pour some nail polish in slowly, as to not make a whole clump come out and sink to the bottom. Warning! Nail polish will start to harden a bit quite quickly (I learned this the hard way) so once you pour the nail polish, IMMEDIATELY start swirling it with the tooth pick(s). More swirling will happen if you have multiple colors, we just used white because I like to keep things simple. Once it looks all wonderful and marbly, “roll” your pot along the surface of the water as if you were rolling it on hard surface. The nail polish will magically cling to the pot. It’s craaazy!

The pot above on the left was made by dipping it right-side-up into the water, giving it a streaky marble effect. The one on the right was made by rolling it. We weren’t 100% thrilled with the result, but I think it gets better with practice. This one honestly is mostly about having fun and not about achieving a perfectly dreamy pinterest-worthy marble. I am sure this is totally different each time!

I got a little water inside the pot, so I think next time I’ll try to roll it on the surface a little better and try to not let it dip in too much. I kind of can’t wait to try it again.

That’s all, folks!

These were all super fun and easy, and I hope you’re inspired to try one sometime! This activity makes for a perfect ladies night, or solo project for little plant gifts (um, can you say mini decorated terra cotta shower or wedding plant gifts?! I know I can!)

As if this post couldn’t get any longer, I can’t leave out the fact that this idea was brought to you by our ever-growing collection of potted-plant themed designs. I love drawing plants and drawing in general, so it’s no surprise that the two come together in my work. In the potted plant print & card designs below you can see how much fun I have thinking of patterns and designs for pots. Can somebody please make me a real life version of the eye one?! All of these items and more from our brand new spring and summer collection can be found on the Worthwhile Paper Shop.

03/21/2017

Handmade Gift Guide 05: Cat Lovers

The theme of this gift guide was inspired by our love of cats! Oh, and also our new print entitled “Cat in plant pyramid”. The cat in this print says she is safe in her triangle of tropical plants and will not be emerging until further notice. I like her attitude. 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 own Cat in a Plant Pyramid 8 x 10 Screen Print (Framing optional)

2.  Siamese Cat Tea Towel   // Gingiber (Springdale, AR)

3. The Future is Feline Lapel Pin // Yellow Owl Workshop (San Francisco, CA)

4.  No. 1 Cat Babe Card // Party of One Paper  (Ann Arbor, MI)

5. 16″ Cat Hammock Shelf   // Catastrophic Creations (Grand Rapids, MI)

6. Crazy Cat Lady Sticker Set //  Paper Pony Co. (Oakland, CA)

7. White Persian Cat Embroidery  // Stitching Sabbatical (Cincinnati, OH)

8. Black Acro Cats Tank //  The Feline Boutique (Jacksonville, FL)

03/14/2017

Our Spring + Summer 2017 Collection

I’m so excited to share my newest collection of designs! Our new spring + summer collection is my favorite of all so far, partially because I had an excuse to play with bright colors and draw plants all winter (a highly recommended winter therapy). The process of this collection was a little more intentional and themed than usual, and so fun to create. Read on for a little bit about it!

A COLOR LOVE STORY: The peachy pearl pink and a deep orange combination used throughout the collection is a color love story inspired by sunrises and pink skies, floral tones, and comforting warnth. To compliment, a cucumber mint with a dark leafy green is a refreshingly calm contrast. Together these inspired colors bring summer dreams into full swing. Colors are used in unexpected ways to reflect the dreamlike feelings even more.

BOTANICAL & MODERN Almost every new item is botanically inspired. A freshly sliced strawberry, green and golden succulents, lively new card designs, energetic patterns mixed in with some minimal and geometric neutral designs.

Below is a little mood shot of the inspiration behind the new collection. I can’t get enough of the blush & orange colors – they are so comforting. And, as always, these new items definitely showcase my love of plants.

Take a look at the entire collection here! I’ll be doing more posts periodically featuring new items. We have 3 new notebook designs, new flat note sets, lots of new birthday & thank you cards and some new art prints that I am really excited about!

Sneak peak: this Succulents & Cacti print:

 

 

02/23/2017

Tour De Plants: Matthaei Desert Room Edition

I took a couple of my lovely studio ladies on a Super Official Worthwhile Paper Field Trip to one of my favorite paces – the Matthaei Botanical Gardens conservatory. We had a work-related mission though, and it was to take some product shots of my new Succulents & Cacti screen print, which will be out so soon (& I’ll share more about it and the “money shot” I was able to get on here soon in a follow-up post!). When we walked into the desert biome room, there were no other people, just us and lots of cacti and soo much magic light. It was just before golden hour and the most vibrant and quiet sunlight was pouring in. I couldn’t help but take some photos to capture the stoic vibe (with my new Canon 6D!):



Plants make me so happy! I love learning about them, caring for them, looking at them and having them around to breathe their oxygen. My first Tour De Plants post was on a whim as a tour around my sunroom because I got excited about a new plant friend, but I think I want to continue to post some photo-based entries on here to further spread my love of plants, so you will now see a new “Tour De Plants” category on the top menu. Yay for that!

Cheers!

02/07/2017

Opening eyes + confronting guilt.

It is so easy to feel like what I am doing is not enough, especially right now, a time when there is a lot of healing and change and action needed in the world. It is natural to feel so small and useless when the scale of the problems and suffering seem so large. Enter downward spiral of the mind: How can I help make the world a better place? What am I EVEN DOING? How is what I am doing even meaningful or useful at all? I spend a lot of my time working, but is my work serving anyone else but myself and my own enjoyment? Entering the dark side is a slippery slope these days if you’re not careful. This time, I hit a point where I seemed to convince myself that enjoying what I do for work is somehow bad (?!). Guilt is a powerful force.

The problem? A negative voice tries to make me believe that I am not a good enough person because my work isn’t directly healing people or helping anything that matters or saving the planet from ultimate destruction single-handedly. Trying to figure out where my guilt and confusion were coming from, I sat down and tried to transform my feelings into an overall negative statement – something written down so I could understand it better. This is what I came up with (warning, it’s ugly):

“Making design and paper goods is not of service to others, it is a self-serving form of pleasure to use my skills to do nothing but have fun and prove my worth to myself for the sake of my own self-acceptance and enjoyment. It is a way for my ego to thrive and nobody else benefits.”

Ouch! Do I actually feel this way? NO! What a terrible way to feel! You know how the mind just wants to make us suffer? It tells us “Hey you, yeah you, YOU are not good enough” as if it’s an automatic function of the mind. Actually, it is. Studies have shown that the ‘default state’ of the human mind, the state that is active when we are not intentionally directing our intention toward something, is powered by the parts of your brain that 1. think about the self, and 2. look for problems. It is no wonder we are so self-critical all of the time. I took an online course/lecture series on this topic called The Neuroscience of Self-Compassion (recommended to my yoga community by our amazingly supportive teacher), and it was eye-opening.

Anyway, through this process of journaling and unravelling, I realized that this super negative statement isn’t actually how I feel, but it is what sums up my FEARS in relation to my work and purpose. As in, I would hate it if that statement were actually true. It’s the same kind of fear as not being a good mom, a good person, a good anything. There is something to learn form this and I started paying attention. When I am self-critical, it is almost always fear-based. But the good news is this: the fact that I am feeling this unveils a deep truth, and that truth is “This is what I care about”. I wouldn’t feel this way if I didn’t care. Our fears reveal what we care about the most.

So, I did an exercise. I tried to transform my statement into a positive one, to realign and discover what it feels like my purpose is.  Writing is a magical thing, it causes your mind to slow down and get things out that you may not be able to discover by just thinking about it since thoughts can be so racy when untamed. Through this negative-to-positive phrase transformation, I actually learned a few things about myself.

Here is my transformed positive affirmation I came up with:

“Creating thoughtfully made goods and artwork is something that does benefit others. I can help make the world a better place even on a small scale, which matters too. While my work is fulfilling for myself, my intention is the driving force behind it – to use my creativity to spread joy and simple beauty to other people. It is a way for my true self to connect with the world and it is a practice worth engaging in”.

I know now that my Negative Voice must just have high standards and was giving no credit to small gestures of kindness, acts of sharing, inspiring small personal – human – raw – loving connections when we need them the most, making things that encourage compassion and an appreciation of the Earth. Negative Voice forgot to examine my intention. Negative Voice says “You are no hero”. Positive voice says “You are doing enough, and small victories are special too”. I love my negative voice because it teaches me things, but it isn’t actually what makes up actual ME. Whatever that is, it’s far beyond my limited human comprehension, but I think I am grazing the surface just enough to feel comfortable.

I am happy I stepped out of the dark side and got productive doing some inner work. What is the purpose of being an artist here and now? Artists can make the world a better place on a big or small scale. Artists can be introverted in other areas, but visual art is a way of communicating and connecting with the world around us. Art makes the world a more beautiful experience. Art is expressive, personal, healing, natural, influential and necessary. Art can spread ideas. Art can bring people together. I can’t single handedly save the planet, but I CAN use my creative gifts to make things that will bring some kind of good to the world even on a really personal level, such as a meaningful, loving connection between people, or a human connection to nature.

Life is a gift exchange, and this is my gift. This is what I have to offer. It it is a small but beautiful thing, and I am thankful for every opportunity I have to share it.

XO + thank you for reading.

02/06/2017

Handmade Gift Guide 04: Valentine’s Day

Treat your Valentine to something handmade by an independent maker! We have some ideas below. We believe Valentine’s Day can help you celebrate love for not only a partner but toward friends and yourself too. However, I’m not going to lie, this gift guide is the for the real-deal sweethearts out there, inspired by my sappiest card to date “You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me”. It also includes a blush and green color love story while still maintaining a gender-neutral collection overall. 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. The color theme for this gift guide is brought to you by our Best Thing Card. Shop the rest of our Love & Friendship collection here.

2. Copper Tricon Necklace  // Molly M Designs (San Francisco, CA

3.  Woodblock Chicory Napkins Set of 4  // June and December (Michigan)

4. Perpetual Calendar //  Tait Design Co. (Detroit, MI)

5. Canyon Series: Denali Hand Painted Porcelain Espresso Mug  // Red Raven Studios (Berkeley, CA)

6.  Mixed Macaron Boxes  // Sweet Heather Anne (Ann Arbor, MI)

7.  Hyperion Coffee Beans // Hyperion Coffee Co.  (Ypsilanti, MI)

8.  Tobacco + Bay Leaf Candle // Detroit Rose Ritual (Detroit, MI)

01/26/2017

Tour De Plants: Sunroom Edition

“That’s a big plant, Mama!” I got a new plant yesterday, a split-leaf-philodendron (pictured in the forefront above). I wonder what my 2.5 year old son thinks as I stick yet another huge plant in my cart because: $15 at IKEA, giant lush leaves, dead of winter. My husband knows that if I say I’m going to IKEA, he can expect a new plant friend or two in the house, no question. How do you pass up the plant section there!? You don’t.

Anyway, I have always wanted a split leaf philodendron like this but could never find one. They are so interesting and tropical. I wanted to take a pretty picture of it and it turned into a full on sunroom photoshoot! What better do to with a bunch of photos of plants than a gallery post as a tour around my favorite room in the house. This room is honestly one of a few reasons we bought this house. It’s an addition on a previous owner put on the back of our ranch home, lined with windows, I couldn’t ask for more. Without further ado, Tour De Plants: Sunroom Edition!

We have a shelf with lots of crystals and nature-made treasures in this room, they are so nice to have around and look so magical when it’s sunny and the morning light pours in the east-facing side of the room.

I just love these closeup moments. This poor air plant is hanging on for dear life, though. It’s a bit more difficult to keep them alive in the winter. The room stays warm because it’s a four seasons and has vents, but it’s not as humid as the plants would probably like. I often place a warm mist humidifier in there and a space heater when it gets too dry.

Here is a broader view of the opposite corners of the room. I should have busted out my wide-angle lens, I was using a 50mm so I couldn’t capture the whole room in one shot:

A sunroom is not complete without a macrame plant hanger!

I hope you enjoyed the views! Back to work for me, now 🙂 I’m actually off to the sun room right now because it’s the perfect spot to take photos of my work with natural light on a bright overcast day.

XO

 

01/10/2017

Handmade Gift Guide 03: White and Gold

It’s a fresh new year and we are really feeling the brighteness of white + gold. The theme of this gift guide is somewhat geometric as well and very much inspired by my love for our metallic gold ink that we use on a lot of our cards and prints against bright white paper. 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 new crystal friendship card in our new Valentine’s Day collection.

2. White & Gold Triangle Tray // The Object Enthusiast

3. The Original Gold Glitter Twine – 750 Yards // Knot & Bow

4. Geo Stand Set // YIELD

5. 14K Gold Filled Arc Stacking Ring // Goldeluxe

6. Mini Brass Wall Hanging // Sonadora In Love

7. Set of 3 Modern Ornament Collection // HRUskaa

8.  Artemis Earrings // White Owl Jewelry