2012 Minted Baby & Kids Top Model Contest.

Kids are just too darn cute!! And boy did we have an overdose of cute when going through all of the submissions to the 2012 Minted Baby & Kids Top Model Contest. We are so thankful to everyone for sharing their loved ones with us and are thrilled to announce two winners who all perfectly capture the very best side of their too-cute-for-words kiddos. They will look smashing in any of our upcoming 2012 holiday cards or awesome birth announcements.

1. There’s no faking a real smile and these kids are clearly genuinely happy. We still love the idea of popping real furniture in an open field… the dried grass is rustic and homey, but the leopard chair is modern and unexpected. And of course, no family photo is complete without the “favored child”: your beloved pup! Congratulations to Tamika Garscia for submitting something so stunning!

2. Oh painted brick wall, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: Your yellow is so bright and fresh, you are perfectly uneven, your uniform color makes any card design really pop, and you put the emphasis on what we really care about: our little ones. And those adorable little jeans, with that matching yellow tie, combined with a perfect look of interest and wonderment take this photo, submitted by Aubrey Hansen, of a very good looking young gentleman to another level.

There were so many great photos submitted, I just can’t help but share a few other favorites from the editor’s picks with you.

Editor’s Pick: How cute is this little baby all wrapped up in a knitted bundle? And how sweet are those little folded hands? Ooh and what about those pretty flowers? Submitted by Sangeeta H. Landau.

Editor’s Pick: What’s better than a baby in a basket? Two babies in a basket!! I will just never tire of the Moses basket shot. Submitted by Alison Danielson.

Editor’s Pick: A photo should really capture a moment… it’s very hard for a posed shot to compete with the serendipity of real life and the best kids photography gives a glimpse into your child’s personality! I love how natural her expression and hands are. And of course those pigtails don’t hurt the cuteness factor either. Submitted by: Rachael Boer Photography.

Editor’s Pick: I love this photo because it shows how matchy-matchy can look really good! It helps that the fleeces and hats couldn’t be any cooler. I love the background texture from the bright green grass and moss covered bench. Submitted by Casey Dué Hackney.

Editor’s Pick: This is just such a great, very natural family shot. The fact that the little girl isn’t staring right at the camera actually adds to the image’s charm. Everyone is perfectly accessorized without being over-styled. And the green of the grass is very fresh and relaxing. Submitted by: Betsy F. Chen.

Editor’s Pick: Anything can be a great back-drop… even a rusty ol’ truck! And, again, here we’re reminded that it’s more interesting if not everyone is staring straight at the lens. Doesn’t this family look both so real and so happy? Submitted by Heather Rasmussen.

Please note: There are many more winners! We will be in touch with all of you early next week. Thanks for your patience!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 2   COMMENTS

Minted Launches Art Prints.

We’ve finally done it after dreaming about it for three years: Minted has launched a unique, carefully curated selection of art prints from our talented global community of designers and artists.  It may come as a surprise to lots of folks that inside the company, we have never thought of ourselves as a stationery retailer, but instead as a design community.  With the launch of our art business, we’re thrilled to provide further access to exposure, income, and community to creative geniuses everywhere.  We know consumers are interested in the work of independent artists; with Minted’s art collection, they can access the work of independent artists but also enjoy the trusted printing, paper, and customer service quality that Minted has come to represent over the past four years.

Christy Turlington Burns and Mariam Naficy at Minted's art launch party.

We are also thrilled to announce that we are partnering with Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to reducing the deaths of women and girls worldwide due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth.  Every Mother Counts was founded by Christy Turlington Burns, the model, yogini, and director of the documentary film “No Woman, No Cry”.  Christy founded the organization after experiencing a life-threatening complication during the birth of her daughter. Minted will be donating 50% of the sales of our children’s and nursery art collection to Every Mother Counts in the months of May, June, and December 2012, and 6% the remaining months of the year, all the way through May 2013.

To celebrate the launch of our art business and our partnership, Christy and I co-hosted a party at my home in San Francisco last week.  Minted community designers ERAY (Eric Comstock) and Hello Hailey (Hailey Myziuk) were flown to San Francisco at Minted’s expense to attend the party, based on their performance in a recent art competition.  I thought you might enjoy pictures from our very fun day:

2:30pm: Christy stopped by Minted headquarters in San Francisco to speak to our employees about maternal mortality and what they could do to help.

Art prints at Minted

Art prints at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns speaking at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns speaking at Minted

Christy Turlington Burns with the Minted.com team

(L to R): Janae Leininger, Mariam Naficy, Christy Turlington Burns, Niniane Wang at the Minted office

4:30pm: we traveled to my house in San Francisco.  Minted asked interesting people from the technology and design communities to curate art from our collection, and we displayed their picks throughout my house.  Jeremy Stoppelman, the founder/CEO of Yelp, Marissa Mayer,  VP at Google, Tabitha Soren, the former MTV VJ and now amazing fine art photographer, Victoria Smith (the blogger behind SFGirlbyBay), and Alison Pincus, the co-founder of online decor site One Kings Lane, all picked beautiful curated sets which were displayed on the walls of my house (I’ll do another post about framing and creating those collages later!).  When we walked in, this was Christy’s reaction to the art (you can see the wall she curated in the photo at right – her choices fit perfectly with the style of my home!)

Christy arriving at Mariam Naficy's house

Christy and Erin arriving at Mariam's home

Christy Turlington Burn's art choices from Minted

Christy's curated art picks from Minted's collection

Christy changed into a very gorgeous dress, then we sat down to discuss details of our partnership.  Here are Erin Thornton, the executive director of Every Mother Counts, Christy, and I sitting in my living room.  Erin and Christy are incredibly bright, caring, dynamic women.  The Minted team learned so much from them about global maternal mortality – more than one thousand women die every day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and more than 90% of these deaths are preventable.  Christy and Erin recently launched a No Mother’s Day campaign to remember moms who are lost every day, leaving families behind.  We brainstormed ideas including fielding San Francisco and New York Marathon teams to raise awareness and funding.

5:15pm – Minted community designers Annie Clark, Hailey Myziuk (Hello Hailey) and Eric Comstock (ERAY) arrived at my house – they were pretty excited to see their art up on my walls!  It was really meaningful to the entire Minted team to be able to celebrate the launch with them.

Hailey Myziuk (Hello Hailey) and Eric Comstock (ERAY) with Christy Turlington Burns and Mariam Naficy

Hailey Myziuk with her piece "Elegampersand"

Hailey Myziuk with her piece "Elegampersand"

Eric Comstock with his piece "Fun Games that Make You Laugh", which we hung twice in a row for effect.

Annie Clark with her piece "In a Row", which was chosen by Yelp's CEO as part of his curated picks.

Here I am standing in front of selections from Minted’s children’s art assortment, one of my favorite things we have launched.  I think people have been looking for a personal connection to art for a long time.  Our customizable art is still indie chic, but allows the customer to make it her own by choosing colors and text personal to her and her particular space.  Our customizable art includes family trees, maps, wedding celebration art, and more. The children’s selection is fresh and modern, and includes a variety of customizable and non-customizable prints for children’s rooms and nurseries.

Mariam Naficy and Minted's children's art collection

Mariam Naficy and Minted's children's art collection

6pm – The party was in full swing, with an interesting mix of design, technology, and retail people turning out to see Minted’s art collection and to hear more about Every Mother Counts.  All of our guest curators came to explain why they chose what they chose.  Hiroki Asai, the head of graphic design at Apple, was there and a hit with the designers.  Bloggers Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day and Victoria Smith of SFGirlbyBay were among those to make it to the party.

Alison Pincus and Gary Friedman

Ali Pincus, founder of One Kings Lane, and Gary Friedman, CEO of Restoration Hardware, in front of Ali's curated picks.

Alison Pincus, Tina Sharkey, and Dick Costolo

Alison Pincus, Tina Sharkey, and Dick Costolo

Victoria Smith, the blogger behind SFGirlbyBay, chatting with Mariam

Hiroki Asai, head of graphic design at Apple, and his wife April.

Hiroki Asai, head of graphic design at Apple, and his wife April.

Lara Deam, founder of Dwell Magazine, in front of art selection curated by Marissa Mayer

Lara Deam, founder of Dwell Magazine, in front of art selection curated by Marissa Mayer

And finally… here is a shot of the extremely hardworking, fabulous, intelligent Minted team at the party.

Minted team with Christy Turlington Burns

Minted team with Christy Turlington Burns

I would love to hear ideas as to how Minted can continually improve its art business and also how we can all help Christy and Every Mother Counts.  Please feel free to leave your comments here!

PS – Minted prints art on museum-quality, cotton rag archival paper.  The initial offering will range in size from 5”x7” to 44”x60”.  Crowd-sourced from an ever-growing community of thousands of artists and designers, the Minted art collection will be continually refreshed.  All artwork is available in several colorways, in order to allow customers to match art prints to their home décor.

PPS – Except for the photos of the Minted team and Lara Deam, which were taken by Drew Altizer, all other photos were taken by Elisabeth Fall.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 6   COMMENTS

Party invitations guest judges’ awards.

Today we’re excited to announce our judges’ picks from the Party Invitations Design Challenge!!

Stephanie Brubaker is the culinary and aesthetic genius behind StephModo, a pretty blog with original recipes, valuable tips and a healthy dose of “pretty.” Steph chose Element of a 16 birthday party invitation by Eunice Kindred.

Says Steph: “Loving this age-appropriate, modern invitation that boasts just the right amount of “cool”.  It emits the right amount of sophistication without being overly so.  He is still technically a ‘kid’ after all!  What a top-notch option for a stylish, fun-loving teenager that isn’t into skulls or cross bones.”

Our judge Liz Stanley is the creative, DIY force behind ‘Say Yes to Hoboken‘, a style and crafts site, when she’s not camping under the Golden Gate Bridge with her husband and son or digging for treasures at local thrift stores.

Liz chose Science by Kristen Kern.

“This one really stood out to me for it’s solid design elements and unexpected color choices,” says Liz. “I want to throw a science party  just around these invites!”

She also really liked Sweet Treat by Natalie Peoples.

“The simplicity of the design, fantastic font choices and fun summer colors–I’m a sucker for all things turquoise made this one a winner for me,” says Liz.

And last, but certainly not least, balloon bear by kadie foppiano.

Liz says: “I love the nostalgic, vintage feel to this invite and the colors combined with the text are just perfect.”

A very big thank you to these lovely ladies, bloggers, and mums for taking the time to pick out party invites that both they and their children will love!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 4   COMMENTS

Snippet and Ink post: What type of bride are you?

Our creative team did such a brilliant job putting together inspiration boards for a recent sponsored post on Snippet & Ink, which by the way if you haven’t checked out this inspiring wedding blog, you simply must; Kathryn is beyond adorable and has the best eye! Her inspiration palettes are tops. The boards were a fun little series inspired by different types of brides: whimsical, rustic, classic, modern and elegant.

Clockwise from top left: ChalkboardElisabeth Millay via Style Me Pretty

The chalkboard theme is such a fun one and what I love about this design by Alethea & Ruth is that it’s a little more subtle than most… and there are so many fun ways you can incorporate chalkboards into the event’s decor: placecards (as pictured), menus, signage, even favors.

Clockwise from top left: Mr. LaurenceBrandon Witzel via Green Wedding Shoes, via Postcards & Pretties

Moglea’s design is a feast of pretty typefaces and the backer is the perfect rustic, fall color palette to work with. I love all the rich colors pulled out in the tabletop above right.

Clockwise from top left: Just My TypeMolly EganGrand LaceJessica Johnston via Merci New York

Ann Gardner’s invite is just so classy!! I love the idea of bringing in ivory and light peach florals with it. Adn isn’t that plaid backer just perfect?!

Clockwise from top left: Circle the DateGabriel Boone via BridalHoodMy SunshineSwoon by Katie via Wedding Chicks

I know you wouldn’t think of it at first, but circles, inspired by Kimberly Fitzsimons’ design, are actually a motif in and off themselves. I love billy ball flowers–the perfect little yellow balls above–in fact I had them at my wedding so I may be a little biased. I also love the idea of doing some circle banners.

Clockwise from top left: Charming Go LightlyRebecca Wedding Photography via 100 Layer Cake, via Flora Fetish

Again, I think it’s really nice to have a classy front to your invitation and then to have a more playful backer. Here, cheree berry’s chevron is pulled into a table runner and it’s just perfect!

I hope you enjoy these fun boards as much as the team enjoyed putting them together!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Snippet and Ink post: What type of bride are you?