Archive for #nature

S & L Services, our newest Give A Fig partner!

img_3487We are excited to announce that S & L Services is our newest Give A Fig™ partner! S & L Services provides professional design, printing, and copy services in Kennett Square PA. They also sell stationery, office supplies, and gift items.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer Suzanne’s line of premium, handcrafted greetings!” says Sandy Tapia, store owner along with her husband Luis. This family-owned business is also a valuable asset to the Spanish-speaking community.

“We’ve worked with Suzanne for a long time, providing quality printing and copying for her award-winning communication design business. It’s exciting to feature her beautiful cards to our local community.”

As you know, at Give A Fig™ we care and we give back to our community by donating a portion of profits to the arts and the environment. Our messages come from the heart. We are an American stationery company with a line of socially-responsible, eco-friendly, superior-quality greeting cards and stationery gifts. Give A Fig™ cards are produced on premium recycled, FSC-certified paper with soy-based inks. Renewable resources such as wind and solar provide 100% of the energy for our studio. Because Give A Fig™ is committed to giving back, a portion of every Give A Fig™ card sold helps support the arts and the environment in our community.

It means so much to find local partners who also Give A Fig like Sandy and Luis. Be sure to check out S & L Services for all your printing and copy services, and ask about our Give A Fig™ cards. Thank you!

Our favorite fungi

gaf-mushroom-smHere’s a preview of our newest Give A Fig™ card, featuring our favorite fungi! In Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, where our Give A Fig™ studio is located, it is known as the “Mushroom Capital of the World” because mushroom farming in the region produces over a million pounds of mushrooms a week. To celebrate this heritage, Kennett Square has an annual Mushroom Festival when the town hosts a parade, tours of mushroom farms, and artisans and food vendors sell all kinds of goodies. There is also a large, lighted mushroom that gets lowered from on high by a countdown on New Year’s Eve like in Times Square!

Here are a few unusual and interesting facts about mushrooms. (Thank you Fungi Perfecti for compiling these!)

1. Mushrooms are fungi. Fungi are as uniquely different from plants as plants are from animals. In fact, fungi and animals are now in the same super-kingdom, Opisthokonta.

2. Fungi recycle plants after they die and transform them into rich soil. If not for mushrooms and fungi, the Earth would be buried in several feet of debris and life on the planet would soon disappear.

3. The oldest mushroom found in amber is from 90 million years ago—a Cordyceps. Scientists recently discovered a fossil first uncovered in 1859 and named Prototaxites, dating back more than 420 million years, a time when the tallest plants were around 2 feet tall. Prototaxites was 3 feet tall laying down, but if standing was nearly 30 feet high. In either case it would be the tallest organism on land… and it was a giant fungus!

4. Some of the oldest living mushroom colonies are fairy rings growing around the famous Stonehenge ruins in England. The rings are so large that they can best be seen from airplanes.

5. You can make beautiful colors by boiling wild mushrooms and dipping cloth in the resulting broth. The book The Rainbow Beneath My Feet shows you how to make dyes with mushrooms.

6. Many mushrooms grow towards light, following the sun just like other plants. Unlike plants, scientists do not yet know how mushrooms use sunlight; only that they do.

7. The spores of mushrooms are made of chitin, the hardest naturally-made substance on Earth. Some scientists suspect that mushroom spores are capable of space travel; a few even believe that some fungi found on Earth originally came from outer space! (Others believe that people who think this must be from outer space themselves.)

8. Under the right conditions, some mushrooms’ spores can sit dormant for decades or even a century, and still grow!

9. Mushrooms are useful not only as food and medicine; some are also being used in bioremediation, to absorb and digest dangerous substances like oil, pesticides, and industrial waste in places where they threaten the environment.

At Give A Fig™, we care and we give back. When you choose a Give A Fig™ card, you show that you Give A Fig™ too. Thanks a bunch for choosing Give A Fig™ cards!

Foxy Idea

I’ve seen four foxes near my home in the past two days! I think it must be a sign that I have to create a FOX design for Give A Fig™ Cards with a Conscience. When I contemplate using an animal in my art, I enjoy finding out about its Native American symbolism and/or other cultural significancefox. What does this animal totem signify? From http://www.spiritanimal.info/fox-spirit-animal/: “The fox is often associated with the figure of the trickster, but as a spirit animal, it can also turn into a teacher providing guidance on swiftly finding your way around obstacles. If you follow the fox totem wisdom, you may be called to use or develop quick thinking and adaptability. Responsive, sometimes cunning, this power animal is a great guide when you are facing tricky situations.” Also, “When the fox appears in you life as spirit animal, it encourages action and quick, swift moves. You may be called to take action in a way that shows your adaptability and ability to move quickly through obstacles and resistance.” There’s more to my artwork than meets the eye! Enjoy.

Bald Eagle

At Give A Fig ™, a main source of inspiration for my artwork is nature and all its beauty. I love to identify birds, but I’m no expert. The other day, a rare gift flew by. As I passed a corn field, lying dormant this time of year, I spotted a mature Bald Eagle soaring overhead. It was only about 40 feet above the ground, and it seemed intent on getting closer to something it had seen in the field. I imagined he may have spotted a field mouse pecking at a kernel of abandoned corn. His white head and tail feathers were stark against the blue sky. He was large and alone, truly a magnificent sight. Although their numbers have increased since they plummeted in the ’70s, due mainly to the use of DDT, it’s still a rare site to see an eagle up close. bald eagle