2016 Holiday and Christmas Photo Card: Special Prizes

Announcing the Special Prize winners of our Oh Come, All Ye Faithful Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge (non-foil and foil) and Making Spirits Bright Holiday Photo Card Challenge (non-foil and foil)! We counted down the top-voted winners and Editors’ Picks for these Challenges back in September, and we’re thrilled to share the Special Prizes winners with you now.

Oh Come, All Ye Faithful Religious Christmas Photo Card Quickfire Challenge

Completely Classic Award

For the most unique, traditional design inspired by a religious sentiment or hymn
Starry” by Jessica Williams

Religious Scripture Award

For the best design inspired by religious scripture
Glory Bookplate” by Lorent and Leif

Multi Photo Award

For the best religious design that showcases multiple photos
His Blessings” by Erica Krystek

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DIY: Ghost Wine-Bottle Wrap

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

What are your Halloween plans this year? We’re going to a friend’s house for dinner and a night in watching scary movies. When I started to think about what to bring, it struck me how easy it would be to dress up a bottle of wine for the occasion! Keep reading to see exactly how to make your own ghostly wine bottle this Halloween. Boo!

Ghost Wine Wrap for Halloween | Julep Ghost Wine Wrap for Halloween | Julep

Click through for the step-by-step instructions … 

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DIY: Felt Eyeball Planters

Written by Sharon Garofalow of  Cupcakes and Cutlery

I’ve never been a fan of Halloween. I don’t like scary things and would rather ignore it all and move on to the other fall and winter holidays. My kids, however, love Halloween. So I compromise by decorating with things that are cute and just a little creepy. This eyeball planter is super easy to make and perfect for our Halloween décor. You don’t even need to worry about keeping your plant alive—this is the only time of year when dead plants fit right in, which is good news for anyone (like me!) without a green thumb.

Click through to learn how to make this easy eyeball-embellished planter

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Horror Movie-Inspired Cocktails: The Eel Charmer

Taking cues from my favorite classic horror movies, I’ve whipped up three Halloween concoctions that are guaranteed to make your skin crawl. First up, an homage to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in the form of a life-giving citrus elixir: The Eel Charmer. The recipe includes a hefty dose of zingy orange and a potent shot of bourbon to invigorate—all in the spirit of De Niro’s life-giving eel bath from the 1994 film.

eel charmer frankenstien-inspired halloween cocktail by kelli hall eel charmer frankenstien-inspired halloween cocktail by kelli hall eel charmer frankenstien-inspired halloween cocktail by kelli hall An orange peel eel is surprisingly simple to pull off.

Keep reading for the recipe for The Eel Charmer


5-Minute Halloween Costume: Amelia Earhart

Halloween costumes have been the main topic at our house lately but with two toddlers who keep changing their mind, I’ve decided having a few five-minute costumes on hand is the safe way to go. I was able to round up all of the Amelia Earhart elements (with the exception of the goggles) using items we already owned—here’s how to replicate the costume.

easy halloween costume ideas

Click through for details on how to create this easy kid’s Halloween costume

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Meet a Minted Artist: Denise Wong

After working in a variety of art-based professions—art-exhibition planning and design as well as practicing art law—New York City-based painter Denise Wong decided to quit in order to pursue her own art practice full time. Here, Denise shares her artistic journey, where she finds inspiration, and what Minted means to her as a working artist.

Meet a Minted Artist Denise Wong Denise Wong was photographed at the Minted Local store in San Francisco alongside her limited edition art prints “California” and “Highway One.”

Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist, ever since I was a child. I have very early memories of drawing, it was my favorite activity to do. When I was younger, I treasured my art supplies and I’m happy now to have finally integrated my childhood visions into my adult life and to have made art a full-time career. I think the things we truly enjoy should be the stuff of our everyday lives.

Tell us about your art.
My specialty is painting, particularly acrylic painting, but I also work with mixed-media works on paper. Painting is a wonderful, expressive form—it’s a very visceral form and I really love getting my hands into the paint. I started out drawing, like many artists do, and eventually transitioned into painting, starting with figurative painting. Later, I transitioned from figurative painting to more abstract works.

What did you do before pursuing art full time?
I’ve dabbled in many things over the course of my life—I’ve worked at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Columbia University Department of Art History in their Modern Art and Curatorial Studies department—but my own art practice is the thing that keeps pulling me back. Whenever I would veer off course, I would continue making art. I went to law school to study art law; prior to that, I was in graduate school for social science, focused on anthropology. I studied museum-exhibition design to make art more accessible to the public in an approachable way. While doing that I became interested in issues on cultural property and repatriation of stolen art; so I went to law school and studied art law, worked for an art-law journal, and became a lawyer. The legal work was very detail-oriented and I found that the more detail-oriented my work became, the art I was making—which initially was figurative in nature—started to come more abstract. Painting was a great outlet for me because I could balance the details of my work with the free-flowing nature of abstract painting.

How did you transition into a full-time art career?
It was slow and gradual. I took a number of art classes on the side as I pursued a variety of career opportunities. I was always making art but I just needed the right opportunity to begin selling art. While I was a student, I was interested in making art accessible to a wide variety of audiences and was always interested in innovative models of art exhibition and art sales. Companies like Minted are very forward-thinking and when I saw that Minted had expanded to the art world, it was a perfect match.

Meet a Minted Artist: Denise Wong

How did you discover Minted?
I was extremely busy with my day job and my art practice was getting pushed to the side. I was trying to think of ways to get back into making art and spending more time with my art practice. One day, I discovered through a blog post an ad for Minted and I checked out the website. Once work calmed down a bit, one day I opened up a magazine to a full-page ad for Minted. I went back to the website again and saw they were launching an art competition in a couple of weeks—I applied and the rest is history.

What makes Minted’s artist community unique?
What I love about the Minted community is that it’s extremely friendly, it’s almost like being in art school with family. It’s a very personal community and is a great way to get feedback in an honest and friendly way—I love it.

What’s inspiring you these days?
Inspiration is everywhere. I live in New York City and it’s very diverse and vibrant. I find inspiration around every corner—I love where I live and it’s a great place to get inspiration daily for the variety of pieces I’m working on.

How would your friends and family describe you?
They’d probably describe me as creative, with many interests, and very dedicated to pursuing them all.

What does your future look like?
When I think about the future, I’m very excited about the many opportunities I have in mind. One of those is Minted’s recently launched commissioned art program. It enables me to connect with art enthusiasts from all over the United States. I love working on commissioned pieces because it’s a way to connect with a customer in a personal way to create a piece that suits them.

Click through for more from Minted artist Denise Wong…


FALL IN LOVE: Minted Fall Wedding Pinterest Challenge


Fall marks the transition from the warm summer months to the chilly days of winter, treating us to a wonderful array of warm, organic colors that can make a lovely backdrop for any bride’s wedding day. Minted wants to help newly engaged brides plan their ultimate autumn wedding with a Fall Wedding Pinterest Challenge!

Get all the entry details after the jump…

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Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Muffins

One of my favorite things to do in the fall is bake. While I love baking year-round, the flavors this time of the year are the best—pumpkin, cinnamon, chocolate, spices. These classic pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins combine all of my favorite fall flavors into one tasty treat. And not only do they taste yummy, but they also make the whole house smell amazing while they bake.

Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Muffins

These pumpkin muffins are perfect for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or alongside soup or chili for dinner. They make great treats to take to friends and neighbors and are delicious with a big mug of coffee or hot apple cider.

Click through for the ingredients and instructions

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Free Printable: Halloween Potions Drink Labels

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  alice & lois

Are you hosting a Halloween party this month? We have the perfect printable for you, whether you’re throwing a spooky soirée for grown-ups or a monster mash for the kids. Print them out and turn your party drinks into Halloween potions: orange juice becomes Witch’s Brew while pink lemonade transforms into The Magic Spell. And for the adults? We love turning our favorite fall sangria into a Spider’s Elixir. Really, the creepy concoctions are endless!

Halloween Potions Free Printable | alice & lois for minted Halloween Potions Free Printable | alice & lois for minted

Click through for the free Halloween drink printable

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Party Hack: Flag Cake Toppers

I know, I didn’t invent the flag cake topper. But here’s the situation on these DIY versions: I found wooden sticks with cute round tops in the candy-making aisle at my local craft store. And that means no cutting dowels down to size and gluing round beads on top (yay!)—making this one of my favorite little party hacks. Keep reading for the full how-to on turning these rock-candy sticks into little treat-topper flags…

easy diy cake toppers

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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