09/07/2016

The space I’m in where less is more

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I came across this quote online and it just keeps coming back to me so I lettered it out for my studio. Not only is it catchy and clever, but it’s so true to me right now and helpful and comforting. Before Worthwhile became my full time job, I had a lot of different things going on. I worked two part time art/design jobs, did freelance logo and lettering design work along with calligraphy, invites and signage for weddings while also making my own designs to sell. Uhhh.. whoa! These things all gave me loads of experience in different things, and wonderful opportunities to explore my creativity which I am so thankful for. However, it’s very hard and stressful to have too many things going on at once, especially when I became a new mama. I was fairly stressed and anxious all of the time, so I gradually disconnected from some things and focused on fewer things that were the most important to me because I had to accept that I only have so much time and energy, which lead me to moving forward with making my line of prints and paper goods, the thing that feels like it fulfills my creativity the most, my primary focus. Ever since I have decided to devote my work-self to one thing, I have felt much more on-track and balanced.

 

However, a creative mind still wants to go in all sorts of directions when untamed. I mean, come on! There are just soo many possibilities! We are lucky to live in a place where there are so many open doors to choose to go through with a creative career. Even now that I have my one true job-love, it’s only natural to get excited by the thought of starting new types of projects to branch off with. (A design blog! A new line of things that aren’t paper! A book! Textile design! Pick up custom design again for fun!) But I have been really mindful of always asking myself this: Hold on a sec, does it contribute to my main focus? And if not, is it worth it enough to take time and energy away from my main focus? Sometimes it is! Often it isn’t. Knowing is key. Saying no and stepping back form ideas that initially excite me is totally ok, especially when I’m even more excited about my main thing. If I have a very limited amount of work time, any amount of time I spend on something else is time taken away from being extra on top of my main focus. And that’s just a good thing to remember in prioritizing. I always say that I’d rather be extra badass at one thing, not mediocre at 10 things. Even though it was sad for me to disconnect from other avenues in favor for one, it has made everything feel much more balanced and focused for me.

 

Here’s the best part: Instead of feeling like I’m missing out on a million things, it feels more like a very strong and loving commitment to my work and intentions! Attitude is everything. I’ve found myself in a space where less is more.

 

Visualize this: a ball of energy with different streams pouring out of it like outlets for each “thing” you have going on, and you get to choose how many outlets. Divide that ball of energy into three things and there is way more energy flowing to and fulfilling those things than say dividing it by 10 things. Conclusion: my energy ball is happier and more focused with less streams. Exciting ideas sound a little less exciting when it means that would be me dividing my time amongst more things and thus spreading myself, and my energy ball (which btw in my imagination looks magical and glowy and fiery and yellow like the sun?) too thin.

 

Anyway, might I add that this is literally just me, right now, at the moment and maybe doesn’t resonate with everyone. This is NOT an advice post about me telling anyone else to do exactly what I’m doing because everyone’s journey in having a creative career / working for themselves / owning a small biz is totally unique. Maybe there are people out there who ARE badass at 10 things all at once and have bigger balls of energy than I do or whatever and this isn’t a problem (congrats!) But if this sounds like a good reminder to you as it does to me and you wanna keep it around, I made a downloadable print-off of the hand lettered quote on a white background that you, yes you, can print out directly from a home printer at 8.5 x 11  Download it here. (For personal use only, please).
XO
08/22/2016

2017 Lunar Calendar Presale

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Our 2017 Lunar Calendars are ready to print, and this year we wanted to do something a little special. For the remainder of August, you can pre order the 2017 calendar poster with your choice of three paper color options (black, gray or kraft) and enjoy free U.S. shipping! Calendars will ship the second week of October. Click here to order.

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The inspiration for the arc layout of the moon calendars are from the way the moon’s path arcs in the sky, and how time lapse lunar eclipse photographs of the moon look. I am so fascinated by the cycle of the moon and the role that the moon and cycles (both together and separately) play in our lives. It is both a fun and curious activity to observe the moon’s phases and how they might correspond with our own personal cycle as well.

These Calendars make perfect gifts for the holidays and new year! We have one hanging in our bedroom and I plan on replacing it every year in the frame.

 

08/04/2016

Madewell Popup!

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I had some fun today making hand stamped samples for my popup mini workshop at Madewell in a couple of weeks!

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Madewell @ Somerset Mall | Troy, MI | Thursday, August 18, 2016 | 6-8pm


During the event you will be able to shop our pop-up and enjoy sips & snacks. You can receive a 20% discount with every Madewell purchase of $125+ (and students with a valid school ID will be eligible for a 20% discount no matter what the purchase amount!)

AND last but not least, with each Madewell purchase, customers will have the opportunity to create their own pocket notebook with our DIY make-your-own pocket journal mini workshop. Oooh fun! We will have all of our decorative rubber stamps and also some basic black markers to make your very own pocket journal with recycled kraft and gray kraft cover options. This will be the debut of four new stamp designs, too! Our circular palm leaf, peace sign, big squiggle and winky eye will be joining our family of simple + cute hand-drawn rubber stamps and will be online soon as well.

Hope to see you there! Bring a friend or 2!

07/28/2016

Summer show schedule

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Festival tents, music, sunny vibes, adult beverages of choice, local makers. What do these things have in common? Some of the greatness that is summer craft fair season! We are honored + excited to be participating in 3 summer craft fairs around the area. Our schedule is below listing where you can find us in the wild this summer. The first one is this weekend!

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Maker Faire Detroit: July 30-31 | 9:30am – 6:30pm | Dearborn MI | The Henry Ford

Curated by Handmade Toledo, the craft section of the Maker Faire will host local makers of hand made goods. Our first time at this one!

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DIYpsi Indie Art Fair: August 27-28  | ABC Microbrewery, Ypsilanti MI

Sat August 27: 11am-8pm (bands til 11), Sun August 28: 12pm-6pm

Our hometown show! An outdoor and indoor fest with local bands, some of the most amazing and friendly local makers I’ve ever met. This show is my all-time favorite! I may be a bit biased though. #ypsireal

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DIY Street Fair: September 16-18 | Ferndale, MI | on the East Side of Woodward Avenue between East 9 Mile Rd and East Troy Street.  Behind Woodward Avenue Brewers and The Emory.  

Fri Sept 16: 6pm – Midnight,   Sat Sept 17: 11am – Midnight,   Sun Sept 18: 11am – 11pm

This show rules! I have never exhibited at it, so this is our first time as well, but I have walked around and bought things from artists in the past. I am really excited for this one!

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Did you know we have special prices on some items for craft fairs? That’s right! Notebooks are $15 instead of $16, Sketchbooks are $20 instead of $22, Pocket Journal Sets are $10 instead of $12 and cards are $5 each, or 4 for $15 (which is the same deal you would get with a custom bundle on our online shop!)

Find these events on Facebook and RSVP! Hope to see you there!

Photos above of some lovely Ypsi attendees browsing our booth courtesy of DIYpsi.

07/21/2016

Fresh Foliage + Free Wallpaper

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Hola! It’s been 10 weeks since I started intentionally taking time in my work week to create for the sake of creating by making patterns. I have been uploading them and tagging them #wpweeklypattern to track my progress. This week I was especially happy with the result and how the repeat came out, and wanted to celebrate by making a downloadable jpg to use as a desktop background! Need a refreshing vibe while sitting at your computer? Download the image here and set your preferences to “tile”. I would love this as an actual wallpaper in my house in this sage green or a light gray… Thanks for following along! XO

06/20/2016

Magic of the Strawberry Moon + Summer Solstice

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Today is a special full moon day because it is also the summer solstice, the first day of summer where there is the most daylight. This is a special time for me personally in general, because Henry’s birthday immediately follows the solstice and the words “strawberry moon” remind me of how there was a big super strawberry moon the month he was born.

In addition to that, there is a certain significance about strawberries that I realized after he was born. Firstly, when I was pregnant with him, one of the only cravings I had were strawberries – I literally HAD to eat them every day, even in the winter months. I didn’t really think anything of it (other than, “strawberries are good”). After he was born, strawberries reminded me of being pregnant, and I got a tattoo of a strawberry plant on my thigh to remember that special time.

I didn’t know it at the time but we know now that Henry SERIOUSLY LOVES strawberries,  fruit in general is is favorite food, and it makes me wonder what the source of my cravings was…! Now we have strawberries growing in our back yard (here’s a picture below of them flowering. Sadly, the local adorable rodents got to take them home to make summer strawberry rhubarb pie for their families. Good for them).

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When I pieced together that strawberry season is in June (thus, the name for June’s full moon) and that’s when he was born, and that’s what I craved, I got all cosmic with feelings of nature being all connected and became in awe that my pregnancy craving was something that would be in season when I gave birth. Whoaaaaaaa. Is there a connection there? I want to believe.

Making those connections made me so excited. I felt for a moment like a lunar goddess of seasonal fruit with a special connection to plants and moon cycles and still feel the magic to this day. Ha!

No joke though. We are connected to nature so deeply and the moon plays a huge role in our lives. Feel it. Life is pretty cool. Happy full moon!

06/16/2016

This Saturday in Lansing: River City Mrkt

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We are excited to be a vendor at this year’s River City Mrkt Summer Popup! Ran by Debbie Carlos and Amalia Boukos, River City MRKT is a series of design-focused pop-up retail events in Mid-Michigan, celebrating art, DIY culture and beautifully designed objects. We were in their pop up shop last summer and were excited to hear that they were having a market with the vendors set up this year.

It’s our first market in the Lansing area and I am looking forward to meeting some new friends and sharing our creations with a new crowd!


The vendor lineup is looking hot – filled with makers and artists that produce modern, hand made and conscious goods. They are all so lovely and I would list them all but… that’s not my job – just head over the the vendor page to check it out if you’re interested!  BUT I couldn’t resist posting about a few things that caught my eye below:

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Debbie Carlos makes gorgeous and giant black and white photographic posters like this stunning floral print.


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I’m loving Darci Towns’ new tropical block printed work. I had Darci make a custom duvet cover for my son’s toddler bed after I bought one of her pillows and love it dearly. This palm pillow is on my favorites list. It must be tough to print a block print that large! I’m impressed.


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This modern and minimal bag by Sarah Wert with 100% cotton fabric hand spun in India. I am SO into natural linen, copper and wood. This could be my bag version of a spirit animal..


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Hand made stacking rings by my friend Libby of Goldeluxe! I wear 4 of these on my middle finger every day. They are so magical and perfect and I can’t stop stacking.


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THIS BERNIE BEANIE by A Wool Story. Meghan makes hand knit goods with 100% recycled wool from reclaimed sweaters.


I often feel like since my business deals with selling material items that I live through and/or broadcast a materialistic attitude, but really what sharing these things is about is the loving energy, dedication and spirit that makers like myself have in their craft and finding purpose in the world. Seeing the ways people are using their creative energy to create meaningful and consciously made objects makes me feel like there is an appropriate space for material things.

If you’re in Lansing or near by, I hope to see you at the market! You can RSVP on the Facebook event page here.

06/08/2016

Tea fun facts: inspiration behind the print

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I am a tea lover. Tea has become an ever-growing love of mine as a warm cozy beverage I enjoy routinely. I was inspired to make our botanical tea plant print when I was learning about tea brewing and trying different kinds. A lot of ideas for my art prints come from my enjoyment in learning more about the things I love and think provide happiness. The tea plant in particular has provided joy and comfort for history knows how long and I wanted to share some fun facts that I didn’t know before that I learned while making the print:

+ All tea is made from the same plant! That means black tea, green tea, oolong, white, and pu-erh, and darjeeling all come from the same leaves of Camellia sinensis plant. This was the main inspiration behind the art print – to glorify the one plant that every tea variety comes from!

+ The difference is in their harvesting and post-harvesting procedures, mainly the oxidation. Black tea undergoes the longest process of oxidation. White tea undergoes the shortest.

+ All tea from the tea plant has some caffeine. Here are the breakdowns for 1 serving in an 8oz cup:

White tea: 30-55 mg // Green tea: 35-70 mg // Oolong Tea: 50-75 mg // Black Tea: 60-90 (Coffee contains 150-200 mg)

+ Herbal teas are sometimes referred to as “tisanes” to distinguish them apart from tea, as they are made from other herbs and plants beyond the actual tea plant. Examples include chamomile, rooibos and mint tea – a few of my favorites.

+ However, there is an herbal tea that does contain caffeine – Yerba Mate.

+ Attention houseplant lovers! This one I just learned. If you add green tea to your plant watering water, the antioxidants are known to boost the health of the plants. (!!!)

+ Next to water, tea is the second most consumed drink in the whole world. Coffee is still more popular in the U.S. (which is not surprising). This is where our coffee plant print comes in!

+ It is best to brew your tea leaves loose. I have one of these simple brew glass brewers and I love it. Sometimes I even cut open tea bags so I can brew it loose in this. It looks like a french press but the filter stays on top, allowing the tea to brew int he open water and it strains when you pour.

+ For those of us who have gotten used to just leaving the tea bag in the water forever – different teas have different steep times and ideal temperatures! Oversteeping is what makes your tea bitter. Example, green tea calls for only about 2 minutes with a temperature around 175-180 degrees so it’s best to let your boiling water cool off a little before popping that tea bag in, and don’t leave it in for long.

05/25/2016

Hand lettering a quote from a genius

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This may be my favorite quote I’ve ever heard. I hand lettered this for fun, but am thinking of putting it out as a print, possibly soon. I just need to think of a good paper & ink combination! Black on white would look nice, BUT it doesn’t really go with the quote. I almost think it would be cool to print this on something photographic – like big vintage book pages of illustrated scenery and have it be a limited print edition. The possibilities are endless.

05/25/2016

Mystery Film

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Here’s a thing that’s worthwhile: shooting film! I love it when so much time has passed and I forget what was on the roll of film. It’s so exciting! This roll was laying around for almost 2 years before I found it and sent it in.

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It was a true black & white roll of expired film I took to Mackinac City on our way to Pictured Rocks when we got engaged – how exciting! Henry was only 3ish months old, and it was his first trip and first hike! I still remember the little handmade felt green hat he was wearing – I think we lost it on this trip.

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When Steve and I looked through these last night we couldn’t believe Henry’s little face. How his eyes are the same but his face is so much different now. I remember once we were in Munising he made his first smile. I really love taking him outdoors. He has no idea about how much adventure we have planned ahead for him.

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One by one, local photo shops have closed around us, and even recently the drug stores stopped doing in-house film processing. I knew you could send your film out, but I didn’t know where. I finally found a place called The Darkroom and sent in these two black & white rolls along with the 4 disposable cameras that we had at our wedding reception! (Don’t worry, those will end up on Facebook sometime soon I believe).

I’m already almost through a color roll that I can’t wait to send in.