Personal Stationery Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners from our From the Desk of: Personal Stationery Challenge! We don’t think there’s anything more delightful than receiving a beautiful, handwritten note.  So we asked you, the talented Minted community, to dream up stationery designs that were unlike designs anywhere else. There were so many fresh and unique submissions in this challenge. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

For the most modern and preppy design
Preppy Stripe” by Ann Gardner

Runners-up: Spumante” by Chocomocacino | “Cornered” by Jessica Williams
Simple Nameplate” by Hooray Creative


For the most unique, original stationery design
Watercolor Dip” by Baumbirdy

Runner-up: “Today’s Fruit” by Mel Armstrong


For the best design that would appeal to men
Initialed” by Jessica Williams

Runners-up: “Modern Monogram” by Christina Novak | “Honorable” by Jennifer Postorino
Modern Madison” by Rebekah Cuff


For the best classic design 
Faded Flowers” by Susan Moyal

Runners-up: Swirled” by Lena Barakat | “Polished” by Jessica Williams
Stamped Florals” by Hooray Creative


For the design with serious “wow” factor
Bursting Hello” by Noah and Olivia

Runners-up: Biology” by Makewells | “Stella Multi” by Julie Murray
Handdrawn Pattern” by Hooray Creative


For the design that best showcases one of Minted’s unique shapes
Secret Garden” by Stacey Meacham

Runner-up: Floral Monogram” by Hooray Creative


For the design with elements that truly shine in foil-pressed
Gilded Confetti” by Stacey Meacham

Runners-up: Forget-Me-Not” by Faiths Designs | “Bold Bars” by Lena Barakat
Shine Bright” by Seven Swans


For the best design that uses curvilinear text 
to create unique shapes or unusual layouts
Hello Stamp” by Heather De Long

Runners-up:Petals” by Qing Ji | “Classica” by Leah Bisch


For the best design from a designer winning for the first time
Fanciful Geometric” by Casey Brock

Runners-up: Chef Notes” by Tefi Fleck | “Lost in the Wilderness” by Honey Hawk Design


Images created by Leah Conroy

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How I Holiday: Easy Christmas Greenery Centerpieces

Today we’re sharing a holiday-themed guest post from Melanie Severin, a Minted artist and graphic designer based in Lloydminster, Alberta.

Easy Christmas Centerpiece Idea: Fresh Greenery

Name: Melanie Severin
Where you’re based: Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2011

From Melanie:  One of my favorite holiday traditions is getting together with the women in my family to make table centerpieces with fresh greenery. This DIY is simple enough to get the kids involved and make wonderful teacher gifts.

Read on for the step-by-step instructions...

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How I Holiday: Dark-Chocolate Cookie-Butter Cups

Today we’re sharing a holiday-themed guest post from Minted artist Kerry Doyle, a graphic designer based in San Francisco.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups Recipe: Dark Chocolate Cookie Butter Cups

Name: Kerry Doyle of Paper Dahlia
Where you’re based: San Francisco
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2008
Download: Click here to download Kerry’s free printable holiday-treat labels (pictured above)

From Kerry:  Every year I make two or three different dark-chocolate confections to give as gifts to family and friends. I love making homemade holiday presents—they’re guaranteed to be one of a kind and make people feel special, and isn’t that what holiday giving is all about? This has been my tradition for the past 15 years and now I enjoy sharing this with my daughter. One of the more recent additions to my candy repertoire is a dark-chocolate cookie-butter cup sprinkled with sea salt. There is something so amazing about the combination of chocolate, lightly sweet cookie butter, and a sprinkling of sea salt. Better still, it is super easy to make (translation: It’s really hard to mess this one up!). Since the holidays can be stressful enough, why make it more so with complicated and time-consuming projects? That’s my philosophy, at least. I hope you enjoy this recipe and maybe even your friends and family will, too!

Click through for the whole post...

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How I Holiday: Warm Coffee Cocktails

Today we’re sharing a holiday-themed guest post from Minted artist Shannon Chen, a graphic designer based in Sacramento, CA.

Warm Cocktails: Irish Coffee & Grand Marnier Recipes
Free Printable: Holiday Recipe Card

Name: Shannon Chen of Four Wet Feet Studio
Where you’re based: Sacramento, CA
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2010
Download: Click here to download Shannon’s free printable holiday-recipe card (pictured above)

From Shannon:  I love drinking warm coffee cocktails in the wintertime. My favorite is an Irish Coffee—so warm and comforting on a chilly Christmas morning, sipping it by the fireplace. I’m sharing two of my favorite coffee-cocktail recipes below: The first is for my favorite Irish Coffee, as well as another warm coffee drink spiked with Grand Marnier. They’ll warm you right up and both go well with any holiday cookies or treats you might have around! Hope you enjoy these, as well as the printable holiday-recipe card (above) that I created just for you.

Click through for the whole post...

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Quickfire Custom Stickers Challenge: Special Prize Winners

For the announcement you’ve all been awaiting (for a very long time)…announcing the special prize winners from our Quickfire Custom Stickers Challenge! In this challenge, we asked you the talented Minted Community, to design unique, personalizable stickers for a wide range of uses. A huge congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

For the best design for kids’ name labels
Kitty” by Lori Wemple

Runners-up:”Vroom Vroom” by chocomocacino | “Little Doodles” by Jessica Williams
Fancy Dog” by August and Oak


For the most imaginative sticker design that
you wouldn’t find on any other site
Out to Sea” by Shiny Penny Studio

Runners-up:”Kokeshi” by chocomocacino | “Stitched Love” by Laura Bolter Design
Looking Up” by Rebecca Bowen

Click through to see more special prize winners

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How I Holiday: Handmade Gifts With Kids

Today we’re sharing a holiday-themed guest post from Minted artist Carolyn MacLaren, a graphic designer based in Encinitas, CA.

DIY Kids Pottery Painting

Name: Carolyn MacLaren
Where you’re based: Encinitas, CA
How long you’ve been with Minted: Since 2011

From Carolyn:  For the past three years, we’ve made it a tradition in our family to create handmade gifts for friends and family members. The first year, my daughter, who was two years old at the time, painted with watercolors; I chose a small section of the painting and framed it with a large matte. Framing a small portion of the painting made it feel more artistic, special, and versatile. The next year, we made handmade soaps and jams: We found an amazing soap recipe on Pinterest which included grapefruit, mint, poppy seeds, and shea butter—they turned out fantastic and were perfect for the kids. We gave everyone the soaps paired with homemade lemon curd and jams.

Kids Pottery Painting

This year, my daughter wanted to paint pottery, so we went to a nearby children’s pottery painting studio and spent an evening painting small bowls. I chose bowls because they’re easy for the kids to paint—they make great gifts that have so many uses (keys, jewelry, food, etc.). I limited our color palette to blues and greens to keep all of pieces unique yet cohesive; the kids could paint any design they wanted, and since it was in a single color palette, I knew it would look fresh, modern, and fun. I love how they turned out! The energy of the kids’ designs is so carefree and whimsical—something that as an adult is hard to do. We painted the pottery, left it at the studio to kiln fire, then picked it up a few days later. Ben and Reese are so proud of their gifts!

Thank you for sharing your family’s wonderful holiday tradition, Carolyn!


More Holiday Ideas:
DIY Holiday Luminarias
• Free Printable: Modern Black-and-White Holiday Gift Tags
• Three of the Cutest Ways to Wrap Your Holiday Gifts
• How To: Tie the Perfect Bow

More From Minted:
• Shop Carolyn MacLaren’s Minted Store
• Gift Tags
Foil-Pressed Art Gifts

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Minted Holiday Playbook Awards

Announcing the winners of our Minted Holiday Playbook Awards! Throughout November 2015, we looked to reward artists who had taken great initiative with their Minted Artist Stores. We had 7 categories from “Star Attraction” to “Social Butterfly” where artists could be nominated. A huge congrats to the winners! All winners will be receiving $250 Minted credit.

 Star Attraction Award
For the Artist Store with a Featured Products Bar that best integrates title, description,
and the selected products to grab a shopper’s attention.
Katie Craig

Runners up: Kamala Nahas | Alethea and Ruth


 Ready for my Close Up Award
For the Artist Store that does an excellent job of using photos
to tell their story in the ‘About Me’ carousel
Stephanie Nowotarski

Runners up: Oscar and Emma | Jocelyn Edin


 Tis The Season Self-Launch Award
To the artist who self-launches the best seasonal art,
holiday cards, gift wrap, or gift tags
Annie Brady

Snowy Trees Wrapping Paper

Silent Night, Holy Night Cards

Runners up: Lisa Revelli | Lauren Rogoff


 Social Butterfly Award
For the Minted Artist who does a stellar job creating engaging social posts
about their Minted products or Artist Store
Angela Marzuki

Runners up:  Carly Reed | Carrie O’Neal


Autobahn Award
Biggest traffic driver from October 1st through December 1st
Katie Craig

Runners up:  Julia Contacessi | Geek Ink


Student Driver Award
Newbie with most traffic to their Artist Store
Maja Cunningham

Runners up: Lyna TiBlair Stakey


100-Meter Dash Award
Most traffic to an Artist Store on Cyber Monday
Julia Contacessi

Runners up: Geek Ink | Shirley Lin Schneider

Published December 16, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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Q&A: What’s Your Advice for Collaborating With Someone?

Ever thought about working in collaboration with another artist or designer? For some artists, working solo-style is best for them, while others choose to collaborate for short sprints or long-term projects. Many Minted artists also say they benefit from the collaborative nature of critiquing each other’s work during the Design Challenge process. For this edition of #ArtistAdvice, we asked full-time design duos Baumbirdy and Rose Lindo and her husband to share their best advice for creative collaboration.

Sarah Baumgardner and Carolyn Doogan
Baumbirdy

Chicago

Our best advice for working in a collaboration with someone is to have good communication from the very beginning. Honest communication is best. Sounds simple, but it can be really hard in the beginning not to take things personally, especially when dealing with something so personal as art.

It’s easy to say, “I like this color palette,” “That looks nice,” or “What do you want for lunch?,” but the true progress comes from “real” critiques. Being able to openly give and take advice and criticism is essential in creating trust and open-mindedness between one another. Being able to recognize and talk about one’s strengths and weaknesses are essential to creating an efficient design process.

Floral Peace” holiday card by Baumbirdy

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Meet a Minted Artist: Laura Condouris

When we asked Laura Condouris to name her favorite Minted designs, she prioritized those that were created by artists other than herself. That’s the kind of selfless artist she is. Based in Baltimore, Laura works full time from home as an independent calligrapher, illustrator, and type designer. In this interview, she talks about her passion for animals, her most memorable experience of the year, and all the Minted designs she loves.

Do you think of yourself as an artist or a designer or both?
What a good question! I think everyone is a little of both. Design is just applied art.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I started doing freelance calligraphy and design work while working full-time office jobs. After the hours of my freelance work began to tip the scales of my regular work hours, I had to make a tough decision. The first few years of freelance-only were very, very hard, but in the end, I’m glad I made the switch.

Skyline-New York” wedding invitation by Laura Condouris

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Minted artist finds inspiration despite health challenges

Kailyn Glassmacher, who is deaf, is one of 10 people in the world who has a rare muscular dystrophy-like syndrome. She recently won her first Minted design challenge, and we were blown away with her response to our question: What was most inspiring about 2015? Read her story here.

This was both a difficult and inspirational year for me.

I was born profoundly deaf with a rare form of muscular dystrophy-like syndrome. I am in a wheelchair full time and communicate using American Sign Language. My syndrome was only recently identified, and I am only one of 10 people in the world who has this disease—I am the oldest and only girl to have it.

Although it has been difficult, I haven’t let it stop me. I graduated from Gallaudet University with bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Graphic Design. I now work as a freelance graphic designer and continue to search for a full-time job that matches my artistic style.

In 2015, I was hospitalized twice for significant periods of time. I joined the Minted community between hospital stays to share my work and improve my art skills. Joining Minted kept me focused on my art and allowed me to forget about my illness. It helped me to develop a passion for stationery design that I didn’t know I had. I began working on the designs for my older sister’s wedding, which came out looking great! I am so proud of them. The wedding was wonderful, and I was well enough to fulfill my duties as maid of honor.

Although this was a tough year with my health, it was also a surprisingly wonderful and inspiring time in my career as an artist.

American Sign Language Love” Valentine’s Day Greeting Card by Kailyn Glassmacher

We’re honored that Kailyn has joined Minted’s global community of independent artists and designers, and we hope to see more of her designs in our assortment of holiday cardslimited-edition art, and home decor.


What was most inspiring about 2015 for you? Share your answer in Comments below and on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter with the hashtag #WhatInspiresMe.

READ MORE #WHATINSPIRESME
Does routine inspire or stifle your creativity?
Has anything ever scared you so much it’s inspired you?
How does food inspire your creativity?
Who’s your biggest creative influence?

Published December 10, 2015 • Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

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