‘Twas the Night Before the Challenge…

Tomorrow is the big day! We’re launching the 2014 Holiday Challenge. If you are as excited as we are, you may very well not sleep tonight, but to help you dream of candy canes and gingerbread, we present to you a little video bedtime story as told by Elliot, our Community Design Lead and the man behind files@minted.com.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

By popular demand, we’re pleased to share a closeup of Elliot’s cat sweater and the entire poem:

‘Twas the night before the challenge and all through the land,
not a snowflake was stirring, not a mitten on hand.

Jack hung the lights round the office with pride
To bring winters glow while the sun shone outside

The Merch team was nestled all snug in their desks
With visions of cards to assort in the annex

While Katy spun dreidels and whipped up a hot toddy
Jen and Madeline sent fruit cakes (a terrible hobby)

We’ve blasted the classics to make ourselves merry
Sinatra, King Cole and Mariam’s fave, Mariah Carey

We wove evergreen wreaths and warmed our hands by the printer
We’ve done all that we can to bring thoughts of winter!

But try as we may, try as we might,
something is missing, it just doesn’t feel right

Are our sweaters too boring? No, that can’t be it
Just look at this festive cat-themed knit!

What else can be done to bring christmas to spring?
I know what’s missing! I know just the thing!

We need photo cards, skinny wraps, backers and liners
The freshest new work from the world’s best designers

Now, Jennifer! Now Sarah! Now Laura and Erin!
On, Jessica! On Kelly! and both of the Erics!
Now Stephanie! Now Kimberly! Now Heather and Amy!
On, Ashley! On Katherine! and ALL of the Minties!

Now we just have to wait til’ the bright morning light
Happy Challenge to all, and to all a good night!


Welcome Little One! Birth Announcement Challenge Special Prize Winners

By Madeline Paymer, Minted Community Team

In the Welcome Little One! Birth Announcement Challenge, we asked the Minted Community to help spread the joy of a new baby by creating fresh, original birth announcements. Minted designers proved up to the challenge of creating designs worthy of one of our most meaningful categories, producing an array of sweet, cute, funny, chic, and beautiful designs great for those little future stationery lovers (girls and boys alike!). The winning designs below each stood out in one of our special prize categories. Congratulations, winners!

Big Picture Award for the best full-bleed photo design

emma” by Rebecca Bowen

Rebecca does a great job of leaving plenty of room to highlight the new arrival’s photo without sacrificing style in “Emma.” The whimsical “hello” and the cute hand-drawn arrow make this announcement so fun.

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Katy’s Hot Toddy and Spiced Apple Cider Recipes

This last idea for getting in the holiday spirit may be one of the simplest, make a holiday beverage!  The taste (and smell!) of these drinks always make me think of wintertime.

Hot Toddy (makes 1 serving)
  • 1 1/2 ounces whisky or bourbon (I’m using Bulleit® Rye)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 cup hot water
  • a few whole cloves and/or a cinnamon stick
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Just for Kids Room Decor Challenge Special Prize Winners

By Jen Casebeer, Community Editor

In the Just for Kids Room Decor Challenge, we asked the Minted Community to design décor for kids’ rooms and nurseries. Every child dreams of having a room as unique as they are — from princesses and pirates to sports and stars, we were looking for décor that would help kids’ express themselves and create their perfect spaces. This was such a fun one! Congratulations to the special prize winners below who stood out in each of these categories:

Out of the Box Award for the freshest and most innovative take on room décor that you wouldn’t see anywhere but Minted

Globetrotter” by Lulaloo

We fell in love with Maria’s adorable boy on his magic paper airplane. We love every unique detail from her watercolor stripes to her very cute little aviator and his bug buddy.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – Holiday Wreath DIY

As our holiday challenge gets closer and closer everyday, we’re doing everything we can think of to help get our Minted Community designers in that holiday-card-creatin’ spirit! We’re hitting all the senses – we warmed things up with Jack’s holiday music playlist and filled your homes with the sweet winter smell of Cathy’s Gingerbread Cake. Now how about some nice winter greenery? Today we have a beautiful Holiday Wreath DIY from Lizzy McGinn, a Mintie who also does incredible floral design. You can see her work at her website, Saturday Flowers, and on Instagram. Check out Lizzy’s instructions below, in her own words:

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Design to Dish: Peach & Seafoam Spring Wedding

Written by Melissa of Lulu the Baker

I love weddings! As a teenager, I loved looking through bridal magazines, and by the time I got married, had quite the collection of wedding-related glossies stashed in my room. While every season has uniquely beautiful wedding details, Spring seems almost tailor-made for weddings. The blooming flowers, warming weather, fresh flavors, and soft colors of Spring make for a lush, romantic celebration.

To go with the sweet, peachy-pink color of this Peach & Seafoam Spring Wedding inspiration board, try these scrumptious Glazed Grapefruit Mini Cakes. They’re the perfect mix of sweet and tart, and their dainty size and pale pink glaze make them both delicious and elegant.


The Sweet Smell of the Holidays

With our big holiday challenge coming up soon, we decided to help get everyone in the spirit. We kicked things off yesterday with Jack’s holiday playlist and we’re very happy to continue spreading holiday cheer with a delicious Gingerbread Cake recipe from Cathy Haebe. Cathy is not only a Mintie, but she is also an incredible baker! Check out her work at kneadtomake.com and on Instagram. Try this recipe out at home to fill you home with the scent of the holidays…

Classic Gingerbread Cake

(Yields 3 layer 9” cake)

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
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Do You Hear What I Hear?

Album Art adapted from Lena Barakat’s “Retro Resolution

Though it’s hard to believe, our big annual holiday challenge is just around the corner! Here in San Francisco, the shining sun, the green grass, and March Madness have been making it a bit hard to feel the cheer. So we’ve decided to share a series of things you can do to help yourselves (and us!) get in the holiday spirit.

To kick things off, our very own Jack of jackmove has put together a playlist of his favorite holiday jams. And don’t forget: the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear! Listen (and sing along) to it here.

If you have any great ways to get in the holiday spirit, please post them in the comments below!