Baby Shower!

I can’t believe I’m 5 weeks away from my due date! I can’t wait for this little one to get here (well, I guess I can – there are still so many things to do!!) Between getting a house and planning for a newborn bundle of awesomeness and working, I’m surprised I haven’t lost my mind. Maybe it’s good that I’m preparing myself for a non-stop responsibility roller coaster ride. I’m still so amazed that I’m growing a tiny human. It truely is amazing to me. I’m not sure it will fully hit me until I get to meet him. I think I will probably cry for days. Of joy and amazement, of course.

Anyway! I’ve been wanting to post about my baby shower for a while now and found myself a free moment this morning. Part 1: invitations! I was so excited to design and screen print my own invitations for the shower. Combining my favorite activities with such a joy-filled event felt really great. I wanted to make something cute & nature-inspired because I really feel like my approach to parenting will involve a lot of “let’s go outside” strategies. I want the little one to have a lot of fun outdoor times and we are so excited to take him on adventures already. Also – it’s springtime so it was perfect! Every step of the invitation process was ridiculously fun for me – from the hand lettering and illustration to addressing each envelope (it’s no wonder this is my job!) – and I’m really proud that I dedicated so much time and love into the project. “Labor of love” has never been more of a thing.

So, here they are! Each invitation is screen printed with yellow and green ink on french speckletone paper. We printed the invites and thank you notes at the same time. I got matching yellow envelopes and lined them with kraft paper for a cute added touch and then hand addressed each envelope in calligraphy.baby_shower_invites_1 baby_shower_invites_3 baby_shower_invites_4 baby_shower_thankyou


I didn’t stop at invitations! I really wanted to make some fun shower favors for the guests and decided on little succulent open jar terrariums.


First, I got to go to a huge magical greenhouse with Lisa from Pot & Box to pick out some succulents. They were all so pretty and I couldn’t choose, so I went with a variety! Next, all I needed to do was:

+ put rocks at the bottom of the glass jars (just your average mason jar!)

+ followed by cacti potting soil

+ add some decorative moss

+ and then dig a little hole in the soil to plant the adorable succulent right in the middle.


I have a ton of little left over terra cotta pots that the plants originally came in – I’m wondering what’s tiny enough to put in them?

Lastly, I wrapped each jar with twine and tied a yellow tag with each person’s name in calligraphy and little kraft labels with tiny care instructions on the back! (These were way easy – I bought some circle kraft labels and printed them off on my printer)

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Needless to say, it was pretty time consuming, but SO worth it. I really actually enjoyed putting lots of energy into this little time of celebration. The only downfall was that I’m pretty sure that playing around with all of the the soil and plants that day gave me a cold, which I was able to (for the most part) shake off for the day of the shower.

Speaking of the actual shower – it was so fun! I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better baby shower.  I can’t thank my mom and dad enough for putting it all together at their house. My mom really bent over backwards (and probably put way too much stress on her back) to host my shower – she is the best hostess with the most mostest. Overall, I’m feeling super SUPER grateful. Especially for the people who sat around for like, two hours while I opened gifts. Note to self – baby shower bingo was a good idea because otherwise it would have been EPIC SNOOZEFEST for everyone there.

My real favorite parts (aside from getting to hang out with some lovely ladies all day) were the lemon flavored Sweet Heather Anne macarons (they were seriously such a hit – I think I ate 20), GORGEOUS flower arrangements from Pot & Box and our favorite lunch food from Jerusalem Garden (even their day-old falafel tastes better than anyone else’s at it’s freshest – no joke). I guess Ann Arbor businesses had a lot to do with making my shower awesome too!


And I can’t end this post without some photos of Steve and I being Steve and I (thanks for snapping these really quick, Laura!) and a pretty picture of me and my mom :)

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Worthwhile Paper: The Logo

worthwhile_process copySay hello to my dream project! A stationery line. I’m finally at the point where I want to share parts one and two of ….lots to come. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while but the idea was so intimidating that I’ve really been thinking it all through, and not rushing into everything at once, and especially not talking about it too much until I knew for sure that I was totally IN.

There are these three things, however, that make things feel like I’m off to a good start. 1. I picked a name! (super hard) 2. I’ve finished a logo (super fun) and 3. I finalized a mission statement. (super meticulous!)

For a little while now (after discovering how much fun it is to make smaller art prints & greeting cards) it has been a dream to create my very own stationery line as a sister brand to Warpaint. Since Warpaint functions great as a poster based shop, I wanted to create an entire separate brand name for my stationery & paper goods. I have big hopes and dreams for it. I’ve definitely gotten my toes wet with printing and selling products over the last few years, but I really want to take things up a notch. Although there’s a long road ahead for something like this, I’m really excited to start putting it out in the open as it grows. It makes it feel more real.

About the name: The name “Worthwhile” really comes from my general attitude towards life and not just work.  When trying to think of a name for this, it actually came to me in a dream – and at first I thought it was cheesy but then I thought about it more and it really stuck. I always find myself valuing time & experiences and emphasizing the importance of whatever I am doing being worthwhile. Life goes by so fast. I like to stop and think – is whatever I’m doing right now meaningful? Being true to myself and maintaining that attitude is a good way to live. The name also speaks a lot to how I view the process of creating. Some of the best things take a little extra work and a lot more time, but it all ends up being worth it. The time and effort that goes into screen printing is something I am just plain in love with.

The logo process has been long and drawn out but, non-coincidentally (you guessed it) worth it. (Okay I’ll stop with the ‘worth it’ stuff, I think you get it). The type is hand painted (and edited to great heights in illustrator) and I overcame my main struggle, which was coming up with a little bit of imagery. I knew I wanted to incorporate nature and trees somehow and it actually took me a little bit of drawing and thinking to get to the branch. After showing my genius boyfriend he suggested that the logo could be seasonal! At first it was just with the color scheme, but then I realized that little details of the branch could change according to the season (light bulb moment!). The seasonal logos will change on the website, social media, and possible printed promo (yay!). The concept of the changing branch is not only that I feel like my entire life (what’s up, Michigan?!) is effected by the seasons, but the way stationery and greeting cards are typically released are almost entirely based off of what time of year it is. Or at least that’s how I want it to be for Worthwhile. Below are the finished logo designs for each season.

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The mission statement below pretty much sums up how I feel and what my intentions are. I got the inspiration to take a mission statement seriously in the process of starting a business/new journey from this book by Kari Chapin. The main goals of Worthwhile Paper are to give paper a worthwhile life through designing things that are visually happy, and spending the additional loving hours in the screen printing process. I also really want to emphasize the use of recycled and earth friendly processes. It all ties together and makes me feel really happy inside when I think about it.

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This is only the beginning! I don’t expect to launch right away, but getting the logo design and mission statement complete have been huge milestones in the process. I’m happy to be able to start sharing. Starting a new journey is scary but so much fun. If you want, go ahead and follow @worthwhilepaper on instagram for new updates!

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Calligraphy Samples (Finally!)

Now that I’m actually getting some jobs (yay!), I’ve really been motivated to improve my envelope addressing skills, and to have good samples to show clients.

As I’m sure we all do, I have a hard time sometimes  being too much of a perfectionist and not thinking I’m ready or amazing enough when starting something new, but sometimes we need to just stay positive & dive in! So, I’ve been making lots of samples lately.

I originally wanted to plan a glamourous photo shoot and come up with official names for each lettering style, with the end result being a little look book of gorgeous photos. Doesn’t that sound so fun and wonderful? It totally does,  But I realized it takes a lot more time and planning than I thought, so I decided to start simple so I can have things to show.  And now I’m not rushing through what should be a bigger, better, more beautiful photo shoot!

So, cheers to starting a new skill and sharing it with the world! Below are a few photos from my mini-simple-white-background shoot today, (Including some addresses from your favorite Breaking Bad characters). See the rest on my calligraphy page!




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New Shimmery Cards

I’ve been trying to grow my etsy shop with new cards & products and am loving how everything is coming out lately. My dream is to start a stationery line of screen printed cards & paper goods (I’ve already named it! Stay tuned!) But for now, I’m selling my things just under my name on etsy.

Lots of new things lately! Last week, I added some rubber stamps for DIY stationery. The week before that I added some foxy cards & note sets. This week, I’ve added some crystals notecards to match this stamp, and I’ve re-done my Lovely Lady & Solid Dude award cards. I LOVE making new things!

Here are some photos!

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Working From Home: Part 01


Long time no blog! I’ve been a busy gal and have put off blogging until I felt like I was in a good flow of things. I’ve been wanting to make this post for a while! If you follow me socially, or know me personally, you may also know that I just started my own creative adventure in taking my freelance & design path to a new level.

*Back story* Back in December, I left my job at VGKids to give myself more time to take on my own creative projects & client jobs. I loved my time at VG and learned SO much about print design and if I could do everything at once I’d still be there. (We’re still best friends though, and I still print everything there!) A few months before I left VG, I got a new part time design job at Rock Paper Scissors doing custom invitation design (LOVE) and anything from hand lettering to miscellaneous fun projects.

Okay, so I’m not COMPLETELY a home-dweller since I still have a wonderful part time gig. But having that extra three-to-five days a week to be my own boss, make my own schedule, work on projects, manage & figure out the business side of things, get carried away, practice my skills, ship orders, and more has been SO nice! And much needed. It has its ups & downs though, and that is what this post is about. I want to be able to look back on this post and see what has changed.

What I’ve realized so far, is that the ups are also the downs! There are positive AND detrimental things about everything about working from home. Haha! So at the end of each up/down listed below, I am going to set an intention to combat the downs.


The ups: Being able to make my own schedule and break free from the 9-5 nonstop mentality is nice. I can spend an entire day working on a project to get it done, or I can pace myself depending on what else I have going on. I have the freedom to wake up early or sleep in. I can make my own hours and work on anything I need to. I can leave the house to go buy supplies or have lunch with a friend.

The downs: Having the freedom to wake up early or sleep in can be  a bad thing. Spending too much time getting lunch with a friend can mean missing an email or getting out of the work flow. There’s something good to be said about having a routine and designating work time from play time, and I can see on certain days that having freedom doesn’t need to mean losing control. Intention: get better at FREEDOM MANAGEMENT. Know when to be free, and when to be in control.


The ups: I don’t have to leave my apartment! Well isn’t that convenient. I love being able to wake up, pour myself a cup of tea, stretch and begin my day at my cute little desk area. If I want lunch, I can go downstairs and make myself something. If I’m cold, I can crank up the heat because I’m the one paying for it. If I want to wear day-glo leggings and a polka dot sports bra, I can do that. Also important, everything I need to do my job is right in front of me. Every pen, pencil, gadget, ink color, cutting board, scanner, light table – it’s all right there. And that’s really nice.

The downs: They say you should dress for the part. Working out of my home means I can work in my underwear and do whatever I want. That’s not dressing for the part! It’s confusing to the body.  Also, separating work from home is a little bit of a challenge in two ways. 1. Doing home things when I’m at work. 2. Doing work things when I’m at home. Ahh what?!  Intention: be mindful and strategic in separating work and home.


The ups: Multitasking is AMAZING! In a few short months I have gotten really good at it. It’s different because it’s not something you can do at a 9-5 job. When I’m working for someone else, It’s not okay in any way to just stop what I am doing to place an order for new envelopes, or respond to a client’s email right away, or make a quick change on a project with a tight deadline, or to pack up an order. There is something nice about being able to respond to tasks immediately, and as they come up.

The downs: Multitasking also means that it’s not as easy to stay on a one-track-mindset.When I’m working for someone else, I am able to just set my personal business aside and focus on what I’m doing at that job, and it’s nice to be able to turn off that switch. Maybe I could take a similar approach to working for myself! Intention: don’t let the greatness of being good at multitasking turn into being vulnerable to distractions; break up time and stay on track.

I think I’ll just start with those three for now. Overall, it’s been a great new experience and I’m excited to see where it all goes and how I grow through it. Any freelancers / workers from homers out there? Have you learned anything valuable from it? Let’s talk about it on twitter!




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Work Mix Volume Six


It’s been a while since a new mix. I’ve been working my butt off! DIYpsi is just around the corner and I’ve used it as a huge motivation to make some new things. I’ve been wanting to launch my own shop in addition to selling my prints on the Warpaint shop and I’ve even started thinking about making a somewhat consistent line of stationery & cards.  Ever since I’ve focused a little more on lettering I’ve had SO much fun making designs for cards.  It’s basically all I want to do ever (and then some).

I’ve also been printing a lot of my own things at VGKids lately!

This work mix starts off with, well, let’s admit it, the best song ever.  It will surely pump you up and prepare you for all of the other amazing jams on this mix. I went through like 1000 versions of it because it has been so long since a new mix and I kept sifting out the songs I wasn’t quite feeling and adding better ones along the way. I think I’ll spend more time on mixes now.

I’ve embedded it below & you can listen to it on spotify here.

Speaking of spotify: I’ve heard a lot of mixed opinions about it as far as compensating musicians go. I enjoy spotify for discovering new music (not sitting around and listening to albums on days end without giving anything in return to the artist). I guess I still have mixed feelings but I can’t deny that discovering new music is really easy with things like spotify. If I’m listening to something consistently, I’ll probably end up buying the record one way or another. (If Steve doesn’t beat me to it like he usually does).

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CMY crystal print & a tiny how to

I’ve always wanted to make a print of some of my crystal & stone collection and I’ve also always wanted to make a CMYK screen print with fluorescent inks. The time is now! (CMYK process screen prints mimic full color printing a little bit as they can be made of four screens with process ink colors printed in overlapping halftones to create a photo realistic & full color appearance).

I want mine to be a little wild though, so I designed this with super bright inks and no black. The fun part is when you only look at a couple of colors overlapping. I wanted to post them because to show some of the really cool things you can achieve by manipulating the CMYK process a little. If I printed these, it would be on French Speckletone paper in ‘Sand’.

Below is the original photo (with some of the levels & shadows edited in photoshop to make the background white):
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Below are the color separations I made out of different halftones by using the channels menu in photoshop. But first, let’s do a

Quick how to:

1. Make sure your file is in CMYK at 600 DPI and a copy is saved. 

2. Go to the channels menu (the tab by the layers).

3. In the left hand corner, locate the little drop down button and select “split channels” This will create different files for each layer.

4. In each file, create a bitmap halftone.  (image > bitmap > halftone screen). At work, we use angles that are all 30 degrees apart from one another with a 40 LPI. The angles I used here were 15, 75 and 105 (the black would have been 45).

5. Combine layers and color each layer with it’s appropriate color and set the blending mode to multiply.

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Playing around with the layers is ultra-fun. I want to print sweet variations with just two of the three colors visible.

This is only pink & yellow

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Just blue and yellow

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Just pink and blue

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I almost went overboard and deleted areas out of only one of the layers in different parts. It looks crazy sweet, but I think I won’t print it this way:

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& here it is with all three colors visible!

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Catching up!

WHOA! It’s been way too long since I’ve posted on here. I’ve been so busy and intentionally put my blog on the back burner so I wouldn’t burn myself out!

I thought I’d make a catch up post about my new adventures using (none other than instagram)  photos.

+ First thing’s first: CALLIGRAPHY! I’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy and I’m definitely a hands-on learner so it was hard for me to look it up online or read about it in books, etc.. I really need to watch someone do something in order to really learn it. So, I attended a lettering workshop taught by the lovely & talented Molly Jacques . She is such a huge inspiration and OVERFLOWING with talent! I’m so happy she teaches these workshops. It was so much fun (there she is in right down there showing me a demo! Photo by Michelle of Proper Studio) I’m so excited about this! I don’t think I’ve really learned something I’d call new in a while, and the feeling of learning something new is one of the most energizing things ever. I really want to start incorporating more hand lettering & calligraphy into my skill set in my prints & things I offer to clients.

Being left handed made it a little difficult for me to learn, and I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’m so motivated and practicing is so much fun. Below are some examples of my progress. (The states on the right were a few days after the workshop, and the one on the left is from a couple of days ago).




+ Second: Positive Postage! Oh my goodness. I can not wait for this project to be done! If you’ve been following my twitter or blog within the last few months, I started a project called positive postage and I’ve been working on solidifying it lately.

Positive Postage is a project about being happy and sharing happiness by mailing out hand written postcards. Starting with just one positive word, each post card has a designated space for writing personalized messages on the back to someone dear to you.

So, I hand lettered a bunch of words and made designed 16 post cards (with cute patterns) and I’m printing them on a few different colored paper stocks and OMG it’s just going to be so much fun when it’s all done. Expect a complete post about Positive Postage!

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+ Third: new, new, new. I’ve needed a new web site for quite some time. I haven’t made a big stink or anything about it, but has semi-officially launched (beta version – still working on the shop and the portfolio needs some additions & subtractions!)

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I had been going by “Kristen Marie” for all of my design stuff for a while but did you know there are like one billion Kristen Maries? A lot of which seem to have creative careers… It wasn’t exactly the easiest to recognize me by first & middle name only! I originally opted out of using my last name because it’s so long, but now, I have chosen to embrace it. A shortened version, Kristen Droz, is totally easy to remember and also I found that it can be consistent through social platforms. I’m happy that I’ve found a unique name to use (who knew it would be my own).

Long story short, I have a lot of new things I’m working on, including a new print shop on my site, new skills, new prints, new business cards, new web site, etc. I’m excited to continue my journey as a designer. It’s my dream to do what I love for a living.

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+ And this goes without saying, summer fun. Kayaking, night time hang outs, etc. It’s been so beautiful out!


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Sketchbook Archives 02

This time… I think I’m printing a sticker sheet out of these and cutting them out to stick everywhere!

Summer fun & trying not to stress myself out too much is the theme of my life lately if you can’t tell..

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Colorpack Prints!

Steve & I had so much fun today taking pictures! We realized that we weren’t developing the colorpack prints long enough, so when we started to wait longer  (sometimes twice as long as reccomended!) before pulling the print off, they turned out so awesome! I had to scan them immediately when we got home.. the double exposures are making me so happy.



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