12/08/2016

DIY: 5 easy mason jar gifts

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The spirit of gift-giving is upon us, and one of my favorite types of gifts are those which you can make (with love) yourself! I adore the use of mason jars for small and fun gifts. When I designed our new gift sticker sets, I realized they fit perfectly on top of a wide-mouth mason jar lid! This sparked lots of inspiration for all sorts of mason jar ideas, so one day I surprised my asssistants Maxine and Brenda with a DIY marathon where the three of us spent the morning in the kitchen creating five lovely and easy mason jar gifts to share for the holidays. These gifts are perfect go-to’s for anyone in your life, and also great to make in bulk to give to everyone at a family gathering or as favors for a holiday party. In other words, we’ve got you covered. Let’s get started!

First thing’s first: The jars. We used 12 oz  jars with a wide mouth for each of these projects, except for the jam, where I used super short and wide jars. Meijer had a great selection of jars! Pro tip: do NOT buy these individual at a craft store – you can get a pack of 12 for almost the same price at Meijer or Target!

Second thing’s second: our die cut gift stickers!

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We have 5 designs to choose from on our online shop. These are obviously not required, but they do make your mason jar gifts look extra special! They are $6 for 10 stickers and make a perfect add-on to your card, print or notebook order. I’d recommend the ‘made with love’ set for the gifts in this post, but I think they’re all pretty cute – get creative! These sets are up for grabs here on our shop.

Let the making begin!

#1: Make your own soy candle

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This was my first time making my own candle – it was so much fun! Candles make great gifts for anyone and you can get creative with scents and even color.

Materials needed: note: I got all of these items on Amazon, and they were pretty inexpensive given the mount of candles you can make with the packs of items and one-time purchase of a $12 pouring pot. Just search for these items on Amazon and you will easily find them and other variations!

+ mason jars

+ hemp wicks

+ stickies for the bottom of the wicks

+ soy wax flakes

+ a candle pot with a pouring lip

+ candle scent or essential oils*

+ a pencil or utensil for each candle you plan on making, to hold up the wick.

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Instructions:

Stick the circle stickies on the bottom of the silver disc on the wick, and press it into the bottom of your jar.

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+ Boil a large pot of water. When the water is boiling, place the candle-pouring pot with the soy wax in it (measure the soy wax by filling a jar or two first!), and wait for it to melt.

+ When it melts all the way, add your fragrance and stir it up.

+ Pour the wax into the jars with the wicks. It helps if you wrap the wicks around a pencil first so they stay straight. (Note! It is important that you wrap the wicks FIRST and not after you’ve poured it – one of ours accidentally came un-stuck and was floating around in the wax and we had to make a new one!) No need to wrap them too tightly – just enough to keep them straight, as shown below:

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In an hour or two, your wax will go back to being a nice natural white color. Wait 24 hours before you light the candle to make sure the wax is totally set.

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*PRO TIP (just kidding, more like a newbie tip, but read on) I thought 100 drops of essential oil would totally do it, but it wasn’t the case. I put 50 lemon and 50 lavender but it really didn’t turn out very scented. I was weary to buy some of the synthetic candle fragrances so I reached out and I got a tip on my instagram from Detroit Rose Ritual (they make the best candles!) – she said to search for a phthalate free fragrance oil, which is one of the least toxic kinds.

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#2: Lavender Salt Scrub

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Ingredients: (enough for two 12 oz jars)

+ 3 cups  of coarse sea salt (or a mixture of coarse and fine). We bought a 24oz container of this from Whole Foods and had to obliterate the packaging with a knife to get it to pour (not recommended, maybe try to find a bag of this on Amazon or in bulk somewhere).

+ 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil

+ Lavender essential oil – amount depends on your preference.

+ A handful of dried lavender (Whole Foods stocks this at this time of year. Mmm.)

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Instructions:

+ Melt the coconut oil to it is easier to mix in.

+ Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and scoop into jars!

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I love how simple this recipe is, and salt scrubs are always so wonderful to make your skin soft in the winter.

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#3: Make your own hot cocoa mix

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Ingredients: (enough for one 12 oz jar)

+ 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

+ 1/2 cup coconut sugar (I love coconut sugar! It’s a heal alternative to regular refined sugar).

+ 3 tbsp powdered milk

+ 1/8 teaspoon salt

*** optional *** a pinch of cayenne, a pinch of cardamom, a pinch of dark chocolate chips, marshmallows, anything you think would jazz up your mix.

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Instructions:

+ Combine all of the ingredients well in a big bowl and transfer to the jar.

+ That’s it!

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Hot cocoa tips!

* Since this mix contains dry milk powder, all the recipient needs to add is hot water.

* Add equal amounts of hot water and dry mix

* Adding mini chocolate chips will make this extra decadent

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The next two recipes are from the book Food Gift Love. I had the pleasure of doing the handmade lettering for this book and when it came out, I purchased one for myself! This book is full of over 100 recipes to make, wrap and share.

#4: Home made jam

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Ingredients: (makes two small jars shown above)

+ 1 1/2 cups of quartered strawberries, cleaned and hulled.

+ 3/4 cup of pure cane sugar

+ 2 tbsp lemon juice

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Instructions:

+ In a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. While the mixture cooks, mash up the fruit bit by bit. Once it begins boiling again, reduce to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. Skim off the foam on top, if desired.

+ Let the home made jam cool for 15-20 minutes. We noticed it was a bit watery, but then when it cooled and set it was much more jam-like.

Note * this is for jam that can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. I am not too familiar with proper canning, but this recipe can be used for that if that’s your jam. (pun intended!)

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#5: Make your own pistachio & arugula pesto:

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Ingredients: (makes enough for one 12oz jar)

+ 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, unsalted

+ 2 cups tightly packed arugula

+ 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic

+ 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp shredded parmesan

+ 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

+ 1/8 tsp fine sea salt

+ 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

+ 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

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Instructions:

+ Preheat your oven to 350 F and roast the pistachios on a baking sheet for 10 minutes

+ In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients including the roasted pistachios and blend until it looks like a good consistency to you

+Transfer into jar, and add an extra tbsp on top of it to preserve the color. Store in the fridge and use within 3 days.
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Enjoy!

XO

 

11/25/2016

Handmade Gift Guide 02: Black (and white) Friday

This collection of items for our second gift guide was inspired by a number of things. 1. It’s no secret we love timeles, graphic and simple combination of black and white over here! 2. It’s Black Friday weekend (but more importantly, small business Saturday) and puns are always good. 3. The recent turn of events have left us really appreciating anything with a sense of love, positive action or a motivating message. 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.

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1. The theme of this gift guide was inspired by our (new!) black & white positivity card bundle.
Read more at the bottom of the post about the new card in the mix.
2. Harvest Print // The Diggingest Girl
3. ‘The Craziest Thing’ Temporary  Tattoo // Tattly // Design by Sean Tulgetske
4.  Large Herringbone Ceramic Square Planter // Elizabeth Benotti Handmade Ceramics
5. Small Day Bag – Triangle // Bookhou
6.  Be Kind Banner // Secret Holiday Co.
8. Bamboo Charcoal Cleansing Bar Soap // Herbivore Botanicals

Be sure to check out these makers on social media to see if they are running any deals this weekend for small business saturday, etc.!

 

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You may have noticed a new card design in the bundle of ours in #1 – our LOVE WINS design. Each time we print a run of this specific card design, we are going to make a donation to charity for a good  cause – where love needs to win the most. The donation from the current run went to the Human Rights Campaign. I honestly can’t wait for these to sell so we can print more and donate more! Thank you for supporting me, and allowing me to feel fortunate enough to be able to donate to organizations like this.
11/22/2016

Freebie: thanksgiving printable notecards

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In the spirit of both thankfulness and of giving, I made this design as a free printable for anyone to use for personal notes of gratitude this thanksgiving. More than ever, it’s a great time to tell your friends and loved ones why you are thankful for them and how much they mean to you. I kicked myself for not making thanksgiving-specific cards this year and may offer these as a note set with envelopes next year but for now, they are here for you to test them out!

Instructions:

+ download the PDF here.

+ print out on as many 8.5 x 11 sheets as you’d like (with no scaling or adjustments)

+ there are 4 cards on one sheet and it is formatted so you can cut directly down the middle both ways!

Suggestion: if you don’t have a paper cutter that cuts straight lines, simply fold the paper perfectly in half and cut along the fold line.

Also a suggestion: try out different paper stocks for fun! I used white and kraft. Typical me..

Note: if you want to take it a step further and put them in envelopes, these are perfectly A2 size and you can easily find envelopes at a craft store or paper source etc.

Happy almost thanksgiving! Do you love this freebie? Share with your friends if you’d like, or tag us in a photo of your printed cards on instagram @worthwhilepaper

I’m thankful for you!

XO – Kristen

11/15/2016

Upcoming markets & events

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It’s Holiday craft fair season! One of the coziest and craziest times of years for makers. I am excited to share that we have the honor of participating at the following local events, listed in chronological order:

+ HLDYMRKT: Friday night, Nov. 25 // Hamtramck // 6-10pm

+ Detroit Urban Craft Fair: Dec. 2-4 // Detroit // see hours and more info on their website.

+ DIYpsi: Dec. 10-11 // Ypsilanti // see hours and more info on their website.

+ Thistle & Bess Holiday Happy Hour: Two James + Worthwhile Paper. I will be there with pre-made and make-your-own hand stamped gift wrap and gift tag stickers joining our friends Andy and Maura for  a sampling of spirits from Detroit-based distillery, Two James.

11/14/2016

Handmade Gift Guide 01: Moon Love

Happy full moon! This handmade gift guide is all about our love for La Luna. 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.

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1. This guide’s theme was inspired by our 2017 Lunar Calendar Poster.
2. Ceramic Moon Phases Necklace // Shayna Stevenson
3. Moon Phases Enamel Pin // OHNORachio // UK
4. Lunar Hair Pin // Moon and Arrow
5. Lunar Lemonade Scrub // Moon Body Soul
6. Ascend Ring // Hess and Co
7. Harvest Moon Red Chai Tea // Flying Bird Botanicals
8. Large Zipper Pouch, Crescent // FlowieStyle
11/13/2016

Free download: Angela Davis Quote

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I almost have no words for what is going on in our country right now. These words of Angela Davis feel more powerful than ever. “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept”. Yes.

For others who feel more passionate than ever and ready to stand up for what is right, this mantra seems like the best affirmation we could ask for. I saw this in all caps in black marker on a protest sign in a recent post and my hand lettering alarm went off.

Please download this for free and print it off – it’s an 8.5 x 11 PDF with black text and a white background. Feel free to post where you hang it up on instagram and tag us @worthwhilepaper so your friends and followers can download one too if they would like. Download here.

I am also going to leave a link to donate to the American Civil Liberties Union here too.

<3  Thank you.

11/10/2016

DIY: glass ornaments filled with dried foliage

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One person looks in their autumn backyard and sees a mess of dying foliage, another sees a harvest of beautiful details (and a creative opportunity)! This DIY is the kind that will push you to appreciate the small things you might not even know are there. The first year in our house I saw these little empty glass ornaments at the store and they reminded me of little terrariums. I instantly thought of this idea as a fun way to keep the magic alive after summer is gone, and a way to easily and cheaply make some unique and natural ornaments for our Christmas tree. This DIY is for all levels. Use your creativity!

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 MATERIALS NEEDED 

+ Clear glass ornaments. I got both of the styles shown from Target. Here is a link to a 9 count pack of glass ornaments I just bought for this season. Plastic will work too.

+ Boots – you may be walking around through some bushes!

+ A basket, bowl or container (to keep your pretty plant bits in)

+ An attitude of wonder and magic, and an ego check. Worried about people thinking you’re weird for walking around and picking little things off of plants? Oh well, who cares! You’re not weird. You’re creative and awesome and you’re having fun.

+ Tweezers (in case you’d like to poke around and place things in the bulbs once you get them in, or remove them if it didn’t turn out the way you want. It happens).

+ Twine, string, whatever you have that you like. I used natural white twine and would encourage you to let your heart run wild with the twine selection over at Knot & Bow.

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INSTRUCTIONS

+ Simply find an area that has a lot of plants and dead flowers, etc. This could be your back yard, or if you don’t have a crazy overgrown back yard like I do, check out a local park or the woods.

+ Walk up to things to get a glimpse at the details. You seriously never know what you might find! Pick anything that looks interesting and put it in your collection vessel. Some of my favorite types of finds: seed pods, the leftovers from little blooming flowers, herbs, little dried up bits of who knows what that look so pretty.

+ Go back inside and have fun stuffing your findings! The little tops come off of ornaments like these quite easily, and you just need to squeeze the two prongs to fit them back on.

+ Make little loops of string and tie them to the ornament caps to hang them on your tree.

TIPS

+ Think about what will fit in the hole of the bulb, don’t get anything too big unless you think you can stuff it in!

+ Involve your friends and/or family! For me, this is going to become a family tradition.

+ Be aware that some things may not last – colorful leaves are amazing but the ones we did ended up turning brown, which are beautiful in their own way, but still, just something to be mindful of. I’ve found the best luck with things that already look dried up!

+ Another thing I want to do is use some leftovers from my wedding bouquet that I dried! The possibilities are endless.

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Bonus idea: tie longer strings to your ornaments and pick up a branch on your plant-finding adventure to make a simple holiday-meets-nature wall hanging.

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11/07/2016

35mm film: El Yunque Rain Forest

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This is the first of a few posts I’m going to make with some of my favorite film photos from our vacation to Puerto Rico. I took 5 rolls of film! I’m going to break it down into themes. This one is all about the El Yunque Rain Forest. Get ready for lots of green! I’m including some of my favorites, shot with my Pentax k1000 and 35mm Fuji Color film.

My absolute favorite part of our hiking trip in the rainforest were the endless waterfalls and pools flowing down the mountain. The waterfall in the photos below is the La Mina falls – and it was so refreshing to swim in! Yep, you can just jump right in. Very rewarding after almost a mile of hiking. I didn’t want to leave! It was so much happiness I couldn’t handle it. We got there super early so there were no people yet and we jumped in moments after I snapped these photos and basked in cool water and unfathomable joy.

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As always, I loved scoping out the local leaf specimens.

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The trails were so awesome on this hike, sometimes with narrow paved areas and windy stairways.

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Observing close ups and interesting things, like the roots on some of the trees that I kept calling “carrot roots” because they totally looked like carrots. Also look at all of that mossy goodness! There was so much moss and it all smelled so good.

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By the way, Henry loved the rainforest too! I hiked a couple of miles or so with him in on my back in our beco toddler carrier (taking breaks for swimming and lunch) and he fell asleep some of the way back too. (Steve took the photos below).

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We even met a few forest kitties and this one let me snap a photo!

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Thats it for now! I think my next film post will be very beachy. Before that though, I’ll be posting our first gift guide and DIY project soon! XO

10/20/2016

Good changes to come

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Is it just me or does autumn bring feelings of new beginnings? I just love the crisp fresh feeling of fall after a humid summer, and the foliage is to die for in Michigan. Leaves aren’t the only thing getting prettier around here though – our little blog is also gearing up for some fun changes!

I have had the ultimate pleasure of hiring some helping hands around the studio (more on my team soon!) and one of the things I want to accomplish is a more active blog that really serves its purpose to not only bring some hopeful traffic to my shop (obviously) but to also be a creative outlet and a space to inspire others with ideas (and free fun things). I am excited to have this space for creative sharing, but also to offer readers the following new (and awesome) things. Stay tuned for:

+ More free downloads and printables. yay!

+ DIY projects that relate to not only my brand but the things I/we are super into over here. Crafts? Plants? Paper? Decor? Happiness? All of the above. I promise these will be great and not pinterest-fail recipes.

+ Handmade Gift Guides – exploring local artists and independent artists on platforms like Etsy, (including one product of ours as the theme inspiration!) this will be very fun.

+ Creative styled shoots showcasing our work, possibly in collaboration with other makers if I can get that to happen somehow.

+ Random hand lettering for fun. woo!

+ MOTHERHOOD. work/life balance. thoughts. experiences. unsolicited tips(?). haha.

+ As always, shop news and 35mm film adventures.

You will now see a ‘categories’ tab at the top of the blog, allowing you to filter through different types of posts, too. Check in on instagram or subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to hear about new posts!

-Kristen

09/29/2016

Positive Reminders

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These are things I think everyone needs to way hear more of. It is amazing to realize how big of an impact a small mantra or positive affirmation can have. Some sentiments need to be heard more often (or in this case, in an everlasting form of a card!). I was inspired to make these cards with epic amounts of love put into them and their designs as an effort to promote positivity, encouragement and extra meaningful connections with others (or even ourselves).

For a lot of us, card-giving is reserved for Birthdays and Holidays, but my goal is to put more things in the world that are intended for something more unexpected. An act of kindness toward another can be an encouraging card in the mail they didn’t expect. An act of kindness toward ourselves can be a mantra hanging on our wall to remind us something we want to be continually reminded of.

My goal has always been to make cards that people want to keep, not throw away. My hope with this little collection is that these designs have a dual purpose, and can be experienced as meaningful enough to keep around after they are sent + received.

These are on our shop now in our “new” section available individually for $5 or as a bundle for $15.