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.

05/20/2016

Creative process + cultivating brand meaning

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“Lively screen printed paper goods” is Worthwhile Paper’s tagline and I really like this little definition of “lively”. I feel like I’m in an everlasting state of personal growth with my business and at this moment I think it’s useful to remember my original intention about my creative process, and also to be open about the meaning behind my brand, so I wanted to write a bit about it!

When I began the process of starting my own design/product-based business I got stumped by a question I saw somewhere: “What makes your products unique”.  I didn’t have a definite answer for that question on the spot, and that was a huge problem for me! I quickly started thinking about what makes my products unique. They are screen printed, but that isn’t the only thing I have that makes them totally unique. We use recycled paper, but so do a lot of people. My designs are hand made and hand lettered, but I’m not the only one making hand made designs. I decided that while the combination of those things make my products special, what really makes them special is the intention behind the design, alongside my personal aesthetic style.

I wrote a mission statement and set this as my intention: To make paper goods that spread happiness with modern, energy-filled designs inspired by nature and feel-good experiences.

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I always keep in mind the following question when designing: “Does this fit in with my overall intentional look & feel?” Another question I ask myself a lot (that I think all creatives should all check in with) is: “Is this idea coming from inspiration rooted in my true self and my own experience, or is this coming from some other subconscious motive inspired by something else, or someone else’s work completely?”

I always think back to this post by Emily McDowell about defining your brand that I happened to read during the beginning stages of starting my little biz (perfect timing). It actually started a foundation for the way I think about designing and coming up with ideas. In the post, Emily talks about creating adjectives that you base your brand or style off of and using them as guide rails when coming up with ideas (Basically, everyone starting a creative product or design-based business needs to read her post!).

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I think coming up with adjectives for your style is a great exercise. The adjectives I would use to describe my brand are Lively, Modern & Thoughtful. I used Lively in my tagline because I think it is the most important and has the deepest meaning of the three. While the visual aspect of design is something I love and think is important, “Lively” is particularly special to me because it’s based on feeling and emotions and not just the way something looks.

I want someone holding one of our cards or prints to feel happy some way or another and to know that the person who designed it really meant it!

Another good source of inspiration on brand development is Aeolidia’s post on having a unique selling proposition. Arianne says “It’s what makes you different from every other company out there. You should be able to immediately tell someone what makes you different from even your closest competitors.” This is a really good read and very on point.

Anyway, I just had these thoughts on my own creative process and identity that I wanted to put out there, and a desire to write a little bit about what “lively” means to me. Thank you for reading!

05/12/2016

Intentions

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I’ve been wanting to create a blog for Worthwhile Paper for a while now that wasn’t just a shop news page. I used to write in a personal blog and really enjoyed having a blog as a creative canvas, but, I let that fizzle out (semi)accidentally. My dorky domain name expired (whoops) and it just vanished. Plus, the last post I did was a re-cap of my baby shower and said baby is now almost two! I think you can do the math – obviously writing in a blog wasn’t my top focus while having a newborn when I had just started a brand new paper goods line to run. Thus, out the window it went. But now I’m feeling really motivated to share more of my self again. So hello, Something Worthwhile – A hybrid of a studio blog and personal space. This is a thing that creates joy for me but hopefully, maybe, a small chance, something I post in here will bring joy to some others along the way as well.

Also, did I not score the perfect domain name?!

Here’s the main thing, I’ve come to realize that sharing things is something that makes me feel both spirited and useful, so this is my outlet to do just that. Along with Worthwhile Paper shop news & updates, the focus of this journal will explore the following topics, hopefully featuring the stories of others along with my own:

+ being an independent maker / small business.
+ adventures & travel – everyday adventures and bigger trips alike.
+ healthy eating / recipes to cherish.
+ art, design, creativity + inspiration.
+ motherhood.
+ personal growth and peaceful practices.

Thanks for checking it out – see ya soon.

-Kristen