If Obama, Freud, and Frida Kahlo all had lunch together, what do you think they’d talk about?
Let’s be real here: We’re all children inside. Even children are children inside! Never too grown up for finger puppets, especially it’s a puppet of Frida Kahlo. Or Freud. Or Obama—the list goes on!
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild has the ultimate puppet hook-up! Some are beautiful (Kahlo), some are comical (Andy Warhol), some are a little…creepy (Vincent Van Gogh). These little puppets are actually detailed works of art! And they’re magnetic!
Also, they’re excellent tool for teaching kids. The Unemployed Philosophers Guild makes finger puppets from a wide range of historical periods, literary genres, art periods, and throws a little pop-culture in the mix!
Put on a historical finger puppet show?! Yes. Finger puppet auto-biography? Think of all of the possibilities!
Visit our store online at www.petalsandpostings.com or drop by the shop in person: 225 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, Michigan!
Petals and Postings has been open for 36 years, we love our city. And we love our creatives. In honor of all of the local artists and entrepreneurs we’ve worked with over the years, we will be doing a new monthly blog series, each post featuring a local artist whose creations are sold/have been sold at our shop on the downtown mall.
And this is the first installment! Aren’t you lucky to have jumped on the bandwagon right at the beginning?! Yes. You are lucky. Because our first featured artist is an incredible young woman. Entrepreneur, illustrator, researcher, plant expert extraordinaire Maia Hausler, founding owner and creator of Wander & Gather.
Put simply: If you’re a plant nerd, you’ll love Wander & Gather. Greeting cards, postcards, prints, canvas totes—all illustrations of natural Michigan. Hausler’s illustrations are vibrant and textured. Detailed in an idiosyncratic way—presenting the sharpness of the exact moment in which the subject was first seen, combined with the haziness/impreciseness of recollecting that moment in order to render it on paper. In my opinion, that’s why so many of her illustrations have such stunning contrast. The balance between attention to detail and, “No limits, just life.” as Hausler states, is quintessential Michigan aesthetic!
The following is a short interview with Hausler, for your reading pleasure!
1. What was the first card you made and when?
The greeting cards actually came to me through a series of fortunate events. I never set out to create a greeting card line, I began developing it because friends and family asked me to do some for them. It grew from there. My first card design was originally done as an illustration for a Seed Savers Exchange contest.
At the time (summer 2014) I was living in Europe working on farmland traveling. My dad, who is also an artist, had given me a small travel watercolor set and a book of blank postcards for painting on. When the contest presented itself it was the only means I had of creating the illustrations, so I went with it. I had not worked much in watercolor before that. It was my dad’s medium and I think I felt a need to be different from him.
The first illustration I did in my current style was of nasturtiums. There isn’t a card design of this first work.
I loved the results and continued to work in this style the remainder of my time in Europe, sending postcards of the work home. My first few cards were all of edible greens in bloom. I was inspired by what I was seeing working all day on the farm. Once I had returned to the US family and friends who had received postcards of my work kept asking me to turn them into cards they could send to friends, so I did. The business grew from there. The first series I printed was the series of six edible greens in bloom: spinach, tatsoi, kale, chard, arugula, and lettuce.
I find the flowers of these plants incredibly beautiful. They have more to offer than just a tasty treat.
2. What is your favorite card?
The blueberry card. I love the way it looks, but I’m also a blueberry fiend. My parents once thought a raccoon had gotten into all of the bushes in our yard over night. But really I had just gone and cleaned off all the bushes myself.
3. Where do you hope to see your business in 5 years, 10?
When I started Wander and Gather I had no idea it would ever get to where its at today. So, my vision for it is likely too small. I hope in 5-10 years it has grown to the point where Wander & Gather cards are carried in shops outside of Michigan. But most of my dreams for Wander & Gather are about new card designs! I might not be the best businesswoman, but for me, creating beautiful cards and having them out in the world for people to enjoy is all I really think about as far as the future is concerned. I have list upon list of ideas for new work, and they just keep getting longer.
4. Who has been the most influential person in showing you what’s what in the card design business?
My father has been the most influential to the art aspect of creating cards. Not only did he give me the tools to create the first design, he also taught me how to paint. I’m not sure I would be an artist if it wasn’t for his influence when I was growing up. He also instilled in me my love of plants, always pointing them out when we would go on hikes or camping trips.
As far as the business aspects are concerned, trial and error have been my best teachers. I’ve had plenty of sage advice from friends, but mostly I’ve learned by just jumping in and doing things wrong. I think there is a lot of value in making mistakes. Often, mistakes have taken me down new paths that prove invaluable.
Every we get a new shipment from ban.do it’s like opening a box of smiles! SERIOUSLY. Opening our most recent shipment was like opening an oversized box of Lucky Charms.
A giant scalloped heart, colossal lemon slice, a huge pink smiley face—THESE ARE THE HAPPIEST BAGS EVER. These catch-all cooler bags are a summer must-have. Even though I kind of hate the phrase must-have…these bags are so poppy, stylish, and versatile—definitely worth investing in! Especially if you’re the kind of person who attempts to pack an entire days worth of activities into one bag. A mega-purse? A gym bag? A schoolbag?….and a cooler?! Yes. All of those things.
Easy-peasy lemon squeezy! You’ll be one of the coolest (yes, that was an intentional pun!) kids on the block this summer.
Secondly: It’s May! Check out these awesome style blogs for some summer inspiration:
Sometimes a handwritten card or letter can mean far more than you realize—especially with moms. Mother’s Day should celebrate all of those women in our lives who’ve gone out of their way to nurture, mentor, and open doors for us! Personally, I’ve been lucky to have had many different ‘mothers’ in my life. Role-models, thesis advisors, bosses—you get the idea.
Drop a line! Sometimes a handwritten card or letter can mean far more than you realize—especially to those who have given us so much. Having trouble finding the right words? It useful to begin by asking yourself what you would find meaningful in a handwritten letter! Here are a few unique writing prompts/ideas for writing your mom/grandmother/mentor the ‘mother’ of all Mother’s Day cards:
What’s your favorite memory of your mother/mentor/role model? Describe it in detail and then explore why it’s your favorite memory and how it helped you grow.
Try writing about the ways in which you see yourself in your mother/mentor—positive things. Then, if writing to the person who raised you, describe the ways in which you see your mother in your grandmother! Grandmothers are super important!!!
Write a gratitude list! Doesn’t have to be too fancy or complicated—just try to be specific about the things your grateful for!
Cards! Cards! Cards galore! Visit us in person at our shop in Downtown Kalamazoo! We’d love to assist you in your quest to honor the awesome mother figure in your life—also available online! 🙂
P.S. Check out this awesome Mother’s Day playlist from SoulPancake on YouTube!
Courage can be difficult to come by. It’s important to keep your morale up—especially considering the recent shift in politics in the U.S. and all of the craziness that goes hand-in-hand with, well—changes such as these. Am I skirting around politics? Yes. Hopefully, you get me.
We often talk about the concept of courage as though it were something we search for, or something to be anticipated—it takes courage to make decisions and carry out plans. It takes courage to run that last mile—literally or metaphorically. It takes courage to get out of bed in the morning and WAKE THE HECK UP. Okay, okay, I’ll speak for myself here: I often think about bravery as though it were something outside myself—a thing, rather than an action or feeling to be mindfully cultivated from within. This might have something to do with the fact that the words used to describe the concept of courage are all so undeniably NOUN-ish. The abstract noun. A dangerous and magical creature! Courage, bravery, valor, fearlessness—these words, even when combined in a list can’t quite convey what it is to ‘be brave’.
And maybe, just maybe, this is partly why it can be so difficult to recognize bravery in ourselves and those around us. Often times, being brave really just comes down to the small stuff. You know, just doing the right thing. Making the right choice for YOU.
How do you begin celebrating those small, everyday moments of blistering, blazing, BRILLIANT bravery? How do you go about reminding yourself that you’re a good person, you deserve success, and that you’re not alone? Comments welcome!
Check out Emily McDowell’s Everyday Bravery pins. These excellent little pick-me-ups make great gifts—for someone else or yourself. Available online as well as in our shop!
“WHEN YOU CAN DO THE COMMON THINGS OF LIFE IN AN UNCOMMON WAY, YOU WILL COMMAND THE ATTENTION OF THE WORLD.” – GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER
2018 Rifle Paper Co. Agendas certainly turn the everyday task of managing your life into a walk in the park—or rather, garden! Rifle has, once again, managed to render perfectly vibrant floral palettes, complete with touches of metallic gold in all the right places.
1) Are you a ‘lists person’? These agendas are great for stuffing notepads, small notebooks, etc. Elastic band sandwiches everything together and keeps notepads from getting grungy at the bottom of your tote!
2) Pretty darn sturdy. Generally, my agendas look like they’ve survived a hurricane—or several—once the year is over. In fact, agendas-of-days-gone-by rarely made it through the year without the help of duct tape. Totally different story with these Rifle agendas! Super durable.
3) Great inspirational quotes throughout weekly/daily section! Always good to have a little brain candy when you’re trying to make sense out of your schedule!
1) If you’re a small purse/bag person, this agenda might be slightly on the large side for your tastes. Not so much in girth as in width.
2) Into writing every single detail of your day down? While the new agendas offer a wide variety of different ways to view/plan your schedule, the actual lines in the daily/weekly section are smaller than I personally find necessary. Always feel like I don’t have enough room to write!
On that note, we at Petals and Postings wish everyone a happy Monday!