“Dadmosa” Beer Cocktail for Father’s Day

Written by Sharon Garofalow of  Cupcakes and Cutlery

Skip the BBQ this Father’s Day and host a family brunch instead. And just because you’re hosting a morning event doesn’t mean you can’t include Dad’s favorite brew. Serve up some Dadmosas, the perfect beer-based brunch cocktail (that even non-beer lovers will enjoy!). Move over mimosas, there’s a new brunch beverage in town.

Brunch cocktail idea with beer for Father's Day.

Click through to see just how easy this recipe is! 

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5 Tips for Building Your Creative Brand Online

With loads of Internet tools and resources just waiting for your personal touch, developing a creative brand can seem at once exciting, full of possibilities… and overwhelming. Which is why we tapped industry experts to share their insights at the Minted headquarters for San Francisco’s Design Week 2016.

Photo by Tiffany Tran

On June 7, we hosted a lively panel discussion featuring Minted Creative Director (and one of our first Minted artists) Annie Clark, Chronicle Books Design Director Kristen Hewitt, and artist and jewelry designer Lisa Anderson Shaffer. Here are the top five takeaways; view the panel recording here.

1. Cohesiveness Is Key

Do you want to build a website and create social accounts for your creative business? If so, focus on creating a cohesive body of work to share online.

“A lot of new artists and designers are all over the map, and it’s hard to understand where their focus is or what style they want to bring to the table,” said Kristen Hewitt, Design Director at Chronicle Books. She advises that designers and artists present a sense of who they want to be and what they want to make. Showcase a clear, cohesive body of work to attract clients and help them understand your vision.

Minted Creative Director Annie Clark said it’s equally important to keep your portfolio fresh and up to date. “It’s not important to share everything you’ve ever done in your career online,” Annie said. For example, you can keep those works from when you dabbled in oil paint during art school offline if it’s not something that will be central to who you are now as an artist and what you will be selling.

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Printable: Father’s Day “Facts About My Dad” Worksheet

I always get a kick out of kids’ answers to questions about their parents, which is why we whipped up this fun “Dad Facts” printable just in time for Father’s Day. You’re guaranteed loads of laughs with minimal kid-participation required.

father's day printable

Click through to download our free Father’s Day printable

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Minted Real Wedding: Alyssa & Nic in Brooklyn

After more than seven years of dating, Alyssa and Nic (who first met on MySpace!) decided to make it official and tied the knot at the Brooklyn Courthouse with just their immediate family as witnesses. Later, they broke the happy news to friends and extended family by mailing marriage announcements (from Minted, natch!), then invited everyone to the Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg eight months later for a wedding reception and party. The celebration featured deep-red tones and French-themed details (a jazz band performed “La Vie en Rose” for the couple’s first dance; guests were given boxes of Ladurée macarons as favors) and the winery’s collection of vintage, mismatched china perfectly complemented the look.

Bride and groom: Alyssa Mozdzen & Nic diPierro
Occupations: Freelance IT tech, actor, and writer (Nic); literary agency assistant (Alyssa) and graduate student (she will be attending graduate school for writing in the fall)
Based in: Brooklyn, NY
Wedding ceremony: December 12, 2014 at the Brooklyn Courthouse
Wedding reception: August 9, 2015 at the Brooklyn Winery
Number of guests: About 130
Minted wedding invitation: “Johannis” by Jack Knoebber (letterpressed)
Wedding gown: Rembo Styling, purchased from VeKa Bridal in Brooklyn
Florist: Faye + Renee
Musicians: Avalon Jazz Band
Photographer: Bia Sampaio

Brooklyn Winery Wedding Minted Wedding Invitation

How did you and Nic meet? 
Through MySpace! We’ve been together a very long time…

Tell us about the proposal…
We’d been together for more than seven years before deciding to make it official, so there really wasn’t a formal proposal. Getting married was never really something either of us were dying to do. We’re supremely happy together, and knew we’d spend the rest of our lives together regardless of whether or not we were married. But after crunching the numbers and deciding we wanted that official security of marriage, we figured we might as well! My parents had already planned a visit to New York in December, so we got married while they were in town. Nic’s mom signed as our witness, and we didn’t tell anyone but our immediate families. We broke the news to all of our friends and extended family in late January by mailing marriage announcements (using Minted!). It made the whole reveal so much more personal than simply posting something on social media. We got so many texts and phone calls after people opened their mail and saw the good news!

How did you find your wedding venues?
The Brooklyn Courthouse was purely for convenience: we live within walking distance! And we found Brooklyn Winery after doing some research on Brooklyn venues that fit not only our budget, but our style and size. Plus, they make it so easy by providing the food, wine, and a day-of planner to help assist coordinating all your vendors.

What was the wedding-dress shopping process like?
My mom came in from out of town and my sister (who lives in Brooklyn as well) joined me in searching for the perfect dress. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted because I knew exactly what I didn’t want: no strapless, no ball gown, no white—I really wanted a blue dress. We must have looked at about five or six different locations over a few days, but found this one at the first place we looked, Veka Bridal in Brooklyn. The designer was Rembo Styling and it fit everything on my wish list: vintage looking, simple, unique, and, most importantly, a lovely shade of light blue peeking out through the white lace.

And what about your accessories?
I carried a book-themed clutch by Kate Spade. Since I didn’t have a bouquet, I wanted my clutch to have some significance, and since I work in publishing, that clutch was perfect.

Click through for more from Alyssa and Nic’s Brooklyn wedding

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DIY: Playful Pineapple Crown

By Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

When I saw these mini pineapples at the dollar store, I knew they’d be the perfect addition to a tropical party this summer. The pineapple trend is still going strong, so why not fully embrace it and make this playful pink crown? It’s perfect for the guest of honor at a birthday party, bridal shower, or bachelorette party and you could even use other plastic fruits to make more tropical crowns for guests!

DIY Pineapple Crown | Julep DIY Pineapple Crown | Julep

Click through for full instructions …

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DIY: Simple Paper-Flower Garland

If your flower garden is struggling a bit like mine is, I’ve got a solution for you—paper. Paper flowers can be used to decorate your house year-round without once watering them and they’re always in season. Here’s a way to make some eternal blooms with just a few supplies.

diy flower garland
diy birthday decorations

Click through for the easy step-by-step instructions

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15 Questions to Inspire Quality Art Critiques

By Nathan Bond & Amy Schroeder

Many Minted artists say peer critique is one of the most valuable aspects of our community and challenge process. After submitting your work to a challenge, Minted artists are encouraged to share feedback on other artists’ work and invite fellow community members to critique their own work.

We’ve found that when artists ask specific questions about their work, they are more likely to generate quality feedback. Armed with this constructive feedback, many Minted artists iterate their submissions or put the feedback in their back pocket for future projects.

We asked Nathan Bond, an art instructor at Parsons School of Design, to create the following list of prompts to inspire quality critiques. We recommend that you copy and paste the questions that resonate with you into the “Ask for Feedback” pop-up field after submitting your work.

Fossilized Rock” by Frooted Design

With more than 20 years of experience, Nathan said he created this list for a wide range of artwork, including paintings, drawings, and photography. “These questions focus on the fundamental elements of all works of art, regardless of genre or style,” he said. “I organized them in an order that develops similarly to how you would develop a formal critique, starting with the basic foundations of the image and developing toward the more interpretive aspects.”

15 Art Critique Prompt Questions

1. Does the composition effectively move the viewer’s eye around the image?

2. My intent with this composition is to take the viewer to ____________ location. Did your eye go there?

3. Are there any classic compositional errors? For example, is the subject matter too centered or too far off to one side? Are things cropped in an effective way? Is anything “kissing” the edge?

4. Is there good positive-negative space, and is it balanced and harmonious?

“Skyward Angles” limited edition print by Gabrial Reising

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Printable: Father’s Day Beer Labels

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Celebrate Dad this Father’s Day by surprising him with his favorite brew repackaged with these festive “World’s Greatest” labels. It’s the perfect way to make your pops feel extra special this Father’s Day. Looking for more easy Father’s Day ideas? Check out our homemade salsa recipe with label printable and BBQ sauce printable.

Free Printable Father's Day Beer Label Free Printable Father's Day Beer Bottle Label

Click through for the free printable beer labels…

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New Minted Artists Talk Picasso, Pizza, and Mentors

Every month we welcome some of our newer Minted artists to the community in the Welcome Wagon series. Hop on and learn some fun facts about Belia Simm, Seth Smith, and Stephanie Strouse.

Belia Simm
Fishkill, New York

Personal website: beliasimm.com
Instagram: @beliasimm
First winning design: “Name Initials” during the A is for Art challenge in August 2015.

Name Initials,” Belia’s first winning design for Minted

Which artist or designer would you like to invite to your home for dinner?
Pablo Picasso, since he was such well-rounded artist. He is famous for his paintings but he also did sculptures, sketching, printmaking, and even stage design. As an artist, my goal is to also have an extensive portfolio of quality, diverse work like he had.

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Minted Artists Critique Holiday Designs at Atlanta Meetup

Story and photos by Kristen Smith

In late April, I had the pleasure of organizing an incredible live holiday stationery design critique session with six fellow Atlanta area Minted artists. The meetup was especially exciting because it was the very first in a series of gatherings we’ve planned this year as part of the pilot Minted Ambassador program.

In addition to Kristen Smith, the six artists who attended the Atlanta meetup were Stacey Meacham, Ashley Ottinger, Kelli Hall, Camilla Acosta, Zanne Bedore, and Susie Stern.

We all gathered at the lovely home of Kelli Hall, who was so very gracious to host us, and we each brought print-outs of designs we were currently working on. Because the “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge is one of Minted’s biggest and most competitive challenges of the year, sharing live critiques was absolutely invaluable. Being able to take a break from our computer monitors and interact with the printed, tangible work was a much needed, fresh perspective. We scheduled our critiquing meetup about a week before the day final submissions were due, so it was the perfect little boost to motivate us and carry us weary and cross-eyed through the finish line.

As there are quite a few Minted artists in the Atlanta area, we were fortunate to have veteran community members like Stacey Meacham (pictured above) as well as a few first-timers and recent first-challenge participants. Our hope is to see many new faces at future meetups as our talented community of independent artists and designers continues to grow.

Stacey said she enjoyed the holiday critique because it gave her the confidence to move forward with submissions that she was questioning. “I often have designs that linger on my artboards that I know have something but am unsure if they are finished or good enough,” she said. “Having in-person feedback from respected designers, friends, and artists is invaluable. Even if there are not changes that need to be made, just getting the confirmation that ‘yes, this is good—you should definitely submit’ is so helpful.”
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