Recreate This Room: Plant-Filled Reading Nook

Chances are the reading nook is where you find yourself curling up with a good book or having long, leisurely conversations with your best gal pal over a glass of wine. The coziest spot in your home doesn’t need a ton to feel lived-in and utterly inspired—here are my picks for creating an intimate room within a room that’s meant to be snuggled in to (especially when Karl the Fog is taking over my city).

Recreate This Room: Earthy Nook Recreate This Room: Earthy Nook

1. “Intertwined” art print by Josh McClendon for Minted
Sometimes, the best part of reading is wandering off mid-sentence to stare into space, so decorate your nook with something interesting to look at.

2. Fiddle fig tree in terra cotta planter; image via See and Savour
Bring the outdoors in with a grouping of interesting-looking plants.

3. Nickel and leather ottoman
You’re definitely going to need a place to rest your feet.

4. Nickel and leather chair
A comfy chair that only gets better with age is an absolute must.

5. Sheepskin wool rug
No one likes cold feet, so warm your toes with a soft, cozy rug.

6. Brass table lamp
Because good lighting is an essential element for a comfy reading nook.

7. Wool kilim rug
Add more texture and visual interest to the intimate space by mixing-and-matching your rugs.

8. Reclaimed wood & zinc coffee table
The perfect place to rest your cup of coffee.

Photo (top): Jaclyn Campanaro

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How To: Throw a Killer Party on a Budget

Back when my husband was in law school, I worked part-time as a party planner throwing everything from baby showers to dinner parties. Throwing a festive shindig while staying on budget was a skill I picked up on the job—let’s just say I learned to make a dollar stretch. The key to throwing a great party on a budget? Keep reading for the #1 best party-planning trick I learned…

cheap party decor honeycomb balls

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Design to Dish: Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal cookies teacher thank you gift Favorite Teacher notebooks by Jill Means | Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies (recipe below)

I’m usually really on top of things, but I completely spaced on Teacher Appreciation Week earlier this year (whoops!) and wanted to make up for it by giving my kids’ teachers some really great gifts at the end of the school year. So, I enlisted my kids to help me make a batch of good, old-fashioned oatmeal cookies—one of my favorites!—for their teachers, and packaging the cookies with a cute, personalized thank-you gift. These charming “Favorite Teacher” notebooks from Minted are darling, and I know our teachers this year will love them (hopefully enough to forgive me for forgetting Teacher Appreciation Week!).

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe? A really good classic that’s always a crowd pleaser? My family loves this simple recipe for oatmeal cookies—we make them a lot for easy weeknight desserts and after-school snacks. They’re sweet and buttery, and the perfect balance between crisp and chewy.

classic oatmeal cookies

Keep reading for this family-favorite oatmeal cookie recipe…

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DIY: Kids’ Felt Initial Banners

By Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

When planning our kids’ birthday parties, we love to combine a party activity that doubles as a favor. This felt banner is just that; plus, it’s easy and not too time-consuming to prep. It’s also economical (sometimes party-favor costs can add up so quickly!). All you need: felt sheets, mini dowel rods, glue, yarn, and scissors. Seriously, that’s it! Set up a table at the party stocked with craft supplies and the kids will have a blast making and decorating their own initial banner. 

Keep reading for the step-by-step instructions

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Recap: Minted at the National Stationery Show!

Over the weekend, the Minted team flew to New York City to be a part of the 2015 National Stationery Show—the country’s largest paper-goods trade show—and meet members of our Minted artist community. We had a blast in our booth and also hosted a Minted party at Studio 450, a chic events space with some serious views of the Hudson River. Here are some fun photos of the event, if you’d like to see!

Minted at the National Stationery Show 2015

We’re continually impressed by the talent, inspiration, and passion of our Minted artists, and we knew we wanted to do something special this year to celebrate everyone’s creativity. So we asked our Minted artists and our fans what #CreativityIs and asked them to submit photos or objects that inspire their artistic process; then, we gathered everyone’s submissions and displayed them in our Minted stationery show booth, combined with in-person illustrations and pieces from the NSS artists and show attendees visiting our booth. The end result? A live, one-of-a-kind art installation. (Click play to see how everything came together!)

Click play to see how the #CreativityIs art installation came together at NSS 2015.

Posted by Minted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Many Minted artists and show attendees visited our booth for impromptu live-drawing sessions, like Rachel Nanfelt of Alethea & Ruth, Kristen Smith, Jackie of Sincerely Jackie Paper Co., and Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma. These creations were added to the #CreativityIs wall, which helped create a beautiful communal backdrop of our stationery show booth.

Minted x NSS 2015

We capped off the festivities by inviting our Minted artists to join us for a cocktail party at Studio 450 to celebrate. All of the event décor featured a beautiful jewel-toned palette of deep burgundy and purples, which really popped in the all-white space. Then, we decorated with coordinating Minted art, invitations, party accessories, and gave guests take-home tote bags designed by Alethea & Ruth, Jennifer Wick, and Phrosné Ras.

Minted x NSS 2015

In short, the Stationery Show was a blast! Thank you so much to everyone who came by the Minted booth and party to say hello and contribute to our #CreativityIs wall. We can’t wait to see you again next year!

Photography: Charlie Juliet
Floral Design: Cristina Lozito

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Elements of Style: Painterly Pastels

Your wedding day is a blank canvas—turn it into an artful celebration by adding details with romantic, painterly brushstrokes in shades of soft pastels.

Weding Idea: Paint Strokes

1. WEAR // this wedding dress
This silk ball gown by Kathryn Conover Couture features hand-painted florals along the skirt (all done by the bride!).

2. GIVE // these sugar-cookie favors
Send guests home with a box of these pretty (and delicious!) hand-painted treats.

3. CUT // this cake
Have your cake designer paint the bottom tier, then crown the confection with a trio of sculptural sugar flowers. (Cake design by Savvy Fare)

4. SEND // this wedding invitation
Set the tone for your artful celebration with this painterly invite (“Peach Strokes” by Emily Jeffords for Minted).

5. DIY // these escort cards
Direct guests to their seats with mini hand-painted canvases displayed on wood easels.

6. CARRY // this bridal bouquet
Ask your florist to select in-season blooms in warm, soft shades of apricot and peach.

Photos: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 /

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DIY: Edible-Gold Polka-Dot Cake

A little gold makes everything better (am I right?!), but add polka dots and you’ve got yourself a grade-A winner. Hence, this DIY edible-gold polka-dot cake—it’s just what your next birthday party or get-together needs! Plus, it won’t take you hardly anytime at all to make on your own.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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DIY Wedding: Air-Dry Clay Place-Card Holders

These modern, triangle-shaped place-card holders are a fun DIY wedding project made with easy-to-work-with air-dry clay. Once they’re dry, you can paint the holders to match your wedding-invitation design (bonus: they also double as wedding favors—guests can use the little holders to display photos at home!).

Keep reading for the step-by-step instructions

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Minted News: Launching a New Artist Community Experience

One of the most exciting parts of our work here at Minted is supporting the creativity, personal development, and careers of the best independent artists in the world. We are here because of you—we love your creativity in exploring new design boundaries and your courage to put your vision out there for everyone to appreciate. Our brand is built around you, as an individual artist.

As you may have heard on previous conference calls and from other community members, we’re revamping the artist community section of our website over the course of 2015. We’re adding new features, tools, and services to make it easy for you to participate in our challenges, give and take feedback from other artists in our community, and build your brand and business on Minted.

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the first phase of this redesign today. Here’s a quick tour of some of the redesigned features that are a part of this first phase:

  • Redesigned “Participate” section. Enjoy a new look and feel for the Participate section of the site, with a redesigned navigation to help new artists learn about our challenge process and the community.

  • Challenges page. Find all the open challenges to submit, critique and vote in one place—the Challenges page. You can also see upcoming challenges, recent winner announcements, and community events on the same page.

  • Synchronized calendar for Challenge deadlines and Community events. Keep track of all design challenges and community events in your Google calendar, Outlook, or any calendar of your choice. It will automatically update your calendar as we announce new challenges or update deadlines, or host events.

  • Challenge Home. Each design challenge on Minted will now have a new home where you can find all of the Challenge activity and information in one place. You’ll find the latest submissions, requests for feedback, open polls, information about the challenge and the prizes, and a leaderboard. You’ll be able to submit your designs, vote on designs, like designs, and finally see the winner announcements here as well. See, for example, our home page for the 2015 Holiday Cards Challenge.

  • Artist Dashboard. Brand-new is our artist Dashboard—this is your personalized starting point on Minted. Here, you’ll see your stats, recent submissions, announcements from Minted, and much more. The Dashboard will make it easy for you to see current challenges and voting, give feedback, and connect with other artists in the community. Find a link to your Dashboard by logging in to Minted and clicking on your name on the top right corner.

We hope these changes will help you create, promote, and enjoy your work on Minted. This is the first phase of a complete redesign of your artist community experience on Minted; we’ll be rolling out new features and improvements throughout the rest of this year. We’d love to hear your feedback on these new features, and how we may be able to improve them to better fit your needs. Please share your feedback here.

We are committed to providing you the best platform to develop, get exposure for your work, and have fun with likeminded creatives. We ask that you pay it forward by helping your fellow Minties with honest, constructive critiques, and support.

We’re heading to the National Stationery Show this weekend to demonstrate some of these features and collect feedback in person from some of our community members. We also have a community VoiceIt conference call scheduled for later this month, where you can ask questions and give us feedback. We look forward to hearing your thoughts! You can also check out some of the frequently asked questions from artists about the new community redesign.

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