Moving Announcement Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Moving to a new home is one of the most exciting events in someone’s life, whether it’s a newly married couple settling into their first apartment together, or a growing family moving into a bigger house. Minted customers love fresh, original moving announcements to notify family and friends about their new address. One in six Americans moves every year, and mailing a change-of-address card is a popular tradition. Moving announcements are a large and growing business for Minted, and we were “wowed!” with all of the creative and out-of-the-box designs! Congratulations to all the winners and runner-ups!

For the most out-of-the-box moving announcement 
Have Moved“ by Qing Ji

Runners-Up: Where in the world” by Kristen Smith | “We Mooved” by Kissyfish
Scripted” by Bethany Anderson


For the best design incorporating one or more photos
New Nest“ by Linda Alam

Runners-Up: love is key” by Leah Bisch | “A sweeter lot” by Pandercraft


For the best moving announcement showcasing a particular location
Gone South“ by Lisa Cersovsky

Runners-Up: Back to Cali” by Erica Krystek | “Long Haul” by Ann Gardner
Flying from one airport to the next” by Kissyfish


For the best traditional, elegant moving announcement design
Beautiful Home“ by Kimberly FitzSimons

Runners-Up: Sweet new home” by Laura Bolter Design | “Presidential” by Pad and Paper
Floral placard” by SunnyJuly

Click through to see more special prize winners from our invitation challenge

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DIY: Watercolor Cloth Napkins

By Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of Alice & Lois

Looking for a simple way to add a handmade touch to your next party? These hand-painted watercolor cloth napkins are an easy DIY project and will add a pretty splash of color to your next brunch or bridal shower. Bonus: The napkins can also double as take-home favors. All you need are a few supplies and you’re all set; I tied on sweet little “love” cards to use as napkin rings.

Click through for the full tutorial

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DIY: Fabric Play Tent

Every kid loves a small space to call their own, which is why we created this easy-to-follow DIY play-tent tutorial. Let your child pick out a favorite fabric pattern and then stitch up this special little hideaway. Bonus: It’s collapsible, making it super easy to fold and store.

DIY: Fabric Play Tent
Measures approximately 33″ x 33″ inside (at the base) and 55″ tall (inside)

Supplies:
• Scissors
• Four 6′ x 1″ wooden dowels
• Four 1″ rubber feet (optional)
Ribbon
• Drill + drill bit wide enough for your chosen ribbon
• At least 4 yards of fabric
• Sewing machine and thread

Steps:

1. Drill a hole through each of the dowels about 10″ from the top of the pole.

2. Cut out four triangles of fabric according to the dimensions in the provided pattern (above). It’s easiest to measure one triangle out and then use that as a template to trace the next three, as they end up being quite large. Be sure to choose a fabric pattern that’s the same right-side up and upside-down; otherwise, you will need to use more yardage of fabric.

3. After cutting out the four triangles, cut off the tops about 5 inches down from the tip.

4. Sew together the edges of the triangles to form a pyramid.

5. Choose which side you’d like to be the front. To create the tent opening, vertically cut up the middle about three-quarters of the way to the top. Next, snip a 1/2″ notch horizontally from both sides of the incision. Fold the fabric under about 1/2″ and hem (below).

6. Use a two-inch length of ribbon and either sew or glue the 1″ raw cut at the top of the tent opening (above).

7. Hem the bottom and top edges of the fabric panel about 1/2″.

8. Gather the dowels together and stand them up (it’s helpful to have another set of hands for this part) and thread the ribbon through the holes; tie a loose knot. Pull the fabric over the top and spread out the dowel legs as much as possible. Once the tent structure is standing, untie your knot and tightly wrap the ribbon around the dowels and tie it off.



More Fun Kids’ Ideas:
• DIY Felt Initial Banners
• DIY Summertime Lemonade Stand (with printables!)
• DIY Ribbon-Spool Spin Drums

 

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DIY: Easy Alphabet Cake Toppers

If you haven’t wandered the scrapbooking aisle at your local craft store, you’re missing out. The scrapbooking supplies I love the most are chipboard letters and stickers—they can be used to customize anything from favors and treat bags to party hats. I found these colorful mini alphabet stickers the other day and, in just a few simple steps, transformed them into cake toppers that can spell out anything you’d like.

letter cake toppers

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Meet a Minted Artist: Julia Contacessi

A monthly series where we highlight a member of our talented Minted artist community. Featured this month: contemporary abstract artist Julia Contacessi, who lives in Norwalk, Conn.

After graduating from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute in 2000, Julia Contacessi worked in marketing and branding as a graphic designer before deciding two years ago to quit and pursue painting full-time. Here, she shares a glimpse into her studio life.

Q&A: Minted Artist Julia Contacessi

Quick! Tell us…
Digital or Film: Film
Modern or Vintage? Modern Vintage!
Marfa or Oahu? Oahu
Morning or Night? Night
Stripes or Polka Dots? Both please!

How did you first hear about Minted?
I first discovered Minted years ago (BN—that would be “Before Neo,” before my son was born!), around 2007. I used to make custom candles that people could give as party or wedding favors, and I was always searching for other industry-related ideas and products. I remembering falling in love with Minted’s concept, and, of course, the designs were amazing. Then, more recently, when I started painting full-time and began to focus on other avenues to expand my reach, I joined the community and started to enter art print challenges. The Oh! Ovals challenge last year was the first one I participated in.

What mediums do you most enjoy working with?
As a painter, I focus primarily on acrylics. And because I love exploring the contrasting nature of things, I enjoy working with polymers and texture pastes along with pencil and paper. And, just recently, I started playing with fabric but not sure if that’s going anywhere.

If you could sit down with any artist past or present, who would it be and where?
Patricia Larsen in her studio
(Ed. note: See images of Patricia Larsen’s incredible studio in Mexico on Remodelista.)

What are you inspired by?
I’m a details person and usually find beauty in the simplest of things. I can fall madly in love with the sparkle from the edge of a gold glass vase or obsess over the texture of a stone found along a walk. I guess, as a way to hold on to these bits of beauty, I started creating art—trying to recreate the beauty I find in life in my work.

What color palettes have you been into lately?
I’m currently crushing big time on all shades of blush.

What are some recent inspirations?  
I’m often drawn to the sea as a source of inspiration—I’m fascinated by how the ocean provides an escape and can transport you to a meditative, dream-like place. My most recent work explores the water in abstracted forms to capture the fluidity of time. I see this recent series as a progression of my earlier landscape work—it’s almost as if I am trying to capture the same subject matter and inspiration in another form.

How do you approach your art?
For me, my work is how I problem-solve and find balance.

And how would you describe your style?
My style is single-minded and focused on the simplicity of beauty in the moment. My goal is to drown out the noise and clutter to find a sense of calm. The end result is clean, fresh and modern.

What does Minted mean to you as a working artist?
Minted is such a valuable business partner—the company connects artists with amazing, like-minded businesses that would typically be untouchable as an independent artist. That means relationship-building in ways I could never do on my own. Minted is also a peer-to-peer resource and, in the creative world, I NEED MY PEEPS!! That means working on my own doesn’t have to feel that way.

"Sand" by Julia Contacessi | Minted  ”Sand” by Julia Contacessi for Minted

Julia’s Favorite Things
We asked Julia to share her current favorite art, style, fashion, and home décor inspirations.

Inspiration
Who inspires you: Positive people doing good things
Favorite recent discovery: My new sneaks—Cloud. I can run all day in these babies.
Favorite place in the world: Home
Favorite charity: Everytown for Gun Safety
Favorite movie: The Birdcage
Favorite colors: A lot! Blush, gold, cream… and then navy, green, and gray. Plus, soft purple.
Fashion idol: Recently I’ve been exploring fluidity and discovered Rick Owens. Fashion as art, incredible! And I always love Eileen Fisher.
Daily website read: TheSkimm
Song in your head: Because of my six-year-old: “Lego Ninjago the Whip
Favorite Instagrammer: @interior_wish_list

Home
Favorite pieces of art in your home: I just recently added two original abstract figures by Kim McAninch to my bathroom: this one and this one. Every day they make me smile.
Stationery: Neenah or Mohawk
Pets: Just recovering from the loss of our beta, Bubbles. He was a good fish.
Favorite flowers: Hydrangeas
Favorite gadgets: My Jawbone UP
Favorite neighborhood restaurant: LeFarm or Bartaco (because I can never get a rez at LeFarm!)
Favorite drink: By day, a fresh juice made with my Breville; by night, Smart Cookie red wine
Favorite dessert: Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt bars in coffee chocolate chip
Coffee-table book: Elements of Style by Erin Gates
Favorite snack: Lesser Evil Organic Popcorn in Himalayan Pink
Top 3 DVRed shows: Scandal, Girls and The Affair (oh, my)

Art
Favorite artist: My mom
Favorite works of art: Oh my… here’s a look at my Pinterest
Favorite art supply store: Jerry’s or Blick
Favorite paints: Charvin and Turner Acryl Gouache
Favorite brushes: Liquitex Freestyle Paddle
Other art-related favorites: A good quality mat and frame!

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Black-and-White Ice Cream Cone Wrappers (Free Printable!)

By Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of Alice & Lois

Summertime means lots (and lots!) of ice cream, which is why we designed these modern black-and-white ice cream cone wrappers. They’re such a fun, easy way to dress up a plain ol’ sugar cone. Download and print them out to use at your next summer gathering—set up a toppings bar for the kids stocked with sprinkles, mini candies, granola, sliced fruit, and whipped cream and just start scooping!

Click through for the free ice cream cone wrapper printable… 

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Roundup: 10 Summer Cocktails to Help You Stay Cool

Now that the temps are rising, beat the heat with these delicious, frosty, summer-inspired cocktails. Serve them ice-cold at your next alfresco dinner party—or even at your wedding reception!—and you might not need the A/C.

Summer Cocktail Ideas: Strawberry Smash

1. Strawberry Smash // via The Coveteur

2. Grapefruit Fennel Fizz // via Jojotastic

Click through for eight more summer cocktail ideas

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Children’s Birthday Party Challenge: Guest Judge’s Pick

Recently, we asked our community to submit their most fun and festive kid’s birthday party invitation designs for our “You are Invited!” Quickfire Children’s Birthday Party challenge. We received a whopping 1,356 submissions and, to help us sort through the amazing entries, we asked superchic blogger and wardrobe stylist (and mama to adorable Parker!) Jen Pinkston of The Effortless Chic to be our guest judge. Her winning pick? “Party Favors” by Jennifer Wick.

“I love all of the birthday invite submissions, but my favorite is “Party Favors” by Jennifer Wick. I love the simplicity of it and am always a sucker for polka dots!”
—Jen Pinkson of The Effortless Chic

Thank you so much, Jen, and congratulations, Jennifer Wick! You can also check out (and purchase!) all of the winning children’s birthday party invitations here.

Special Prize: Jen Pinkston's favorite Minted children's birthday party invitation

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Recipe: Blackberry, Cucumber, and Mint Popsicles

Looking for ways to beat the heat? Stay cool with these easy-to-make (and super hydrating!) popsicles infused with blackberries, cucumbers, and fresh mint. All you need to do is start with chilled cucumber-mint water (my favorite summertime drink!) and add a handful of your favorite berries to make this deliciously refreshing (and practically calorie-free!) icy treat.

Click through for this easy popsicle recipe

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