Journals in Country Living’s May issue.

We were thrilled our journals were included in Country Living’s fresh picks in their May issue.

Wildflowers by j. bartyn design and  grey stripe notes by alethea and ruth were pictured.

And the timing couldn’t be better; our journals are such great gifts for Mother’s Day… did you see all of our adorable matching journal / stationery sets?

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Take Note! Women’s Stationery Challenge Special Prize Winners

We can never get enough of beautiful stationery. Whether you’re sending a formal note or just saying ‘hi,’ chic, modern stationery is the perfect way to do it with a bit of class and personality. That’s why we asked the Minted Community to design women’s personal stationery like we’ve never seen before. Below are the special prize winners that stood out in each of our categories. Congratulations, winners!

The Perfect Gift Award for stationery that would make a perfect gift for many women

White Flowers” by Four Wet Feet Design

The delicately framed monogram, calming color palette, and heart-shaped petals work together beautifully to make “White Flowers” a perfect choice for the special ladies in your life. We really adore Shannon’s playful floral illustrations.

Runner Ups (from left): “Daydream” by b.wise papers | “Simply Succulent” by Frooted Design | “Beaded Swag” by Laura Hankins

Typography Award for the best bold, simple, and modern design relying on typography to showcase a name

Write On Me, I Dare You” by Christopher Morben

We love the contrast of large, yet subtle type in Christopher’s “Write on Me, I Dare You.” The big name and business title flawlessly worked into the background (with modern type accents just below) make this great personal stationery for a chic professional.

Runner Ups: “All Lined Up” by Amber Barkley | “Ampersands” by Sarah Brown | “Antique Monogram” by Laura Hankins | “Hello, You” by Lisa Nelson

Modern Businesswoman Award for the best design for a businesswoman writing a note that demonstrates her unique style, and that she can send to both women and men

Business or Pleasure” by Up Up Creative

Julie’s “Business or Pleasure” strikes a great balance between the two. Her clean, simple background is definitely fit for a business setting, while the unique layout of her stacked-type adds a very modern twist. The subtle use of color adds character, without detracting from the sophistication of the design.

Runner Ups: “Entremet” by chocomocacino | “Write on Me, I Dare You” by Christopher Morben | “Two Feathers” by Jody Wody | “Dotted” by GeekInk

Colorful Award for the design that best uses bright, strong colors

Victorian Mod Floral” by Alethea and Ruth

We love the rich pops of color in “Victorian Mod Floral.” Rachel’s stylized flowers and bright little berries make this one very beautiful piece of personal stationery. The unusual layout of her bold, but delicate flowers over a classic cream background give the design a contemporary feel.

Runner Ups (from left): “Up” by VOSS | “Beaded Swag” by Laura Hankins | “Garden Party” by Jennifer Wick

Text with a Twist Award for the best design that uses curvilinear text to create unique shapes or unusual layouts

Here Comes Sunshine” by Jennifer Wick

Jen’s designs always seem so lighthearted and this is no exception. The flowing lines of her lovely hand-drawn “hello” give so much life and personality to the card (the bright, friendly yellow helps too!). We love how effortlessly her text follows the smooth curve of her “hello.”

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Thinking of You Badge” by Serenity Avenue | “Just a Floral Banner” by Hooray Creative | “Dream a Little Dream” by Roxy | “Keepsake” by nocciola design | “Bonjour” be Melanie Severin

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Engagement photo tips.

As you all know from last week’s post, we just wrapped up our 2012 Minted Top Model Engagement Photo Contest. So many beautiful photos were submitted and we really appreciate everyone sharing their special moments with us! We wanted to share a few engagement photo learnings from all the great contributions… so read on if you’re newly engaged or just looking to capture a few tender shots with your sweetie.

  • Although it sounds obvious it’s hard to remember when a camera is clicking away at you, but you don’t have to look at the camera! I think we’re all quite used to staring straight at the shutter and giving a big smile… but let’s be honest, most of us aren’t models, and that’s not usually our best angle. Plus, it’s most likely to look staged, because it is staged!

Jenni Olson’s photo (above) shot by angela & evan photography is a great example of looking at one another. After all, more than anything, everyone wants to see that special spark between you two love birds!

Equally adorable is when the Groom looks at Bride (lovingly, of course) and the Bride smiles at the camera. Jennifer Cardall Jacobson‘s shot (above) is a great example of this… while in motion!!

And lastly you don’t have to really be looking at anything at all — it’s enough to be in the same space sharing a moment together. Isn’t this a sweet candid moment captured by Katy Melling of this happy couple (Katiuska Flynn).

  • It’s definitely not the only way to do it, but if done right it can be just so sweet: get in close!

Natasha Uspensky and her fiance look stunning closely cropped. You see just enough of that special moment. The texture of his sweater works well here… especially when shooting black and white, keep not just color, but also the texture of what you’re wearing in mind.

  • Although you are obviously the center of attention, you don’t actually have to be in the center of the photo. And in fact, off-center shots work especially well with many of our save the date cards with left or right justified text.

Lauren Maxwell and her sweetheart stand to the right here.

Isn’t this just lovely? Ink roll by phoebe wong-oliveros.

And to the left we have Ashley Barker and her fiance.

Don’t they look great in Alex Elko’s love bop save the date?

  • Great photos are all about great light. A very sunny day can result in a slightly faded image… which is both very pretty and puts the emphasis on the date!

Kirsten Fox‘s engagement pic by Lauren Reynolds Photography looks great in jill means’s retro numbers save the date.

  • We’re definitely not all about being matchy-matchy, but sometimes one common color between the Bride and Groom can look quite sharp.

The deep red in her dress (Dana Hanegraaf) and his tie lie this effusive photo together.

  • If there is a place that holds sentimental meaning for you as a couple, definitely consider it as a back-drop for your shoot. Perhaps it’s where you met, where you got engaged, where you first knew they were ‘the one’!

This shot of Meagan JenningsAdam Berg in the Boston Public Library in Boston is just breathtaking. Photo courtesy of Heidi Vail | Photography.

  • Accessories count big time;  don’t forget about the shoes! Think carefully about shoes, hats, necklaces, bangle bracelets, ties, watches and of course don’t forget the ring!! Even if the ring doesn’t end up in your final pick for your save the date, you’ll want to have a few pictures documenting it for posterity’s sake. Or perhaps you can use it as an inset image on one of our signature photo backers?

In fact, that’s all you can see in our winner Katherine DeJulius’ photo. Even if you decide not to go with a shoe-only shot, accessories can really make or break a photo.

  • And last, but not least! Have fun and try your very best to relax… you’ll look your best when you’re comfortable and being yourself. Don’t try to overstage something if you’re already nervous or shoot in a super public area if you’re really a shy person at heart. While an awesome setting can be really awesome, you really don’t need anything more than a plot of grass or a colorful door.

Don’t Emma Metcalf and her sweetie look really stunning before this red backdrop?

And piggy backs are always fun!! Spencer Combs captured this playful moment between Kaylee Graham and her Groom-to-be.

Do y’all have any fun couple shot tips? We’d love to hear them in the comments below. Thanks!!

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Welcome Home Moving Announcement Special Prize Winners

There couldn’t be a more perfect time to send a stylish note in the mail than to announce a change of address. It’s a great opportunity to go out on a limb and send your friends and family something light, fun, and full of personality. Check out the special prize winners from our Welcome Home Moving Announcement challenge below. Congratulations, moving Mintie winners!

And don’t worry — we know you’ve all been anxious for more winners and we hear you! Special prize winners for our graduation announcements, journals, and stationery will be coming very soon.

Out of the Box Award for a design that is highly creative

New Place, New Space” by kelli hall

We love how simple and yet how very clever Kelli’s “New Place, New Space” is. The clean design elements make her design so modern, while the lowercase Didot and missing “a” in space make a smart nod to our minimalist, Internet-infused world (ironically on an good old-fashioned paper announcement!).

Runner Ups (clockwise from top left): “Architect” by Sarah Brown | “Tear Sheet” by VOSS | “Pecil Us In” by Moglea | “On the Move” by Cheer Up Cherup | “Where We’re @” by kelli hall

Whimsy Award for the best fun or whimsical design

Mod Move” by Kristen Smith

Kristen’s first-place winner “Mod Move” was the immediate favorite for the best whimsical design. Every detail is so fun from the vintage suitcases to the vase balanced on top of it all to the patterned shadows under the wheels. We love the idea of living the kind of simple life where you can pack a few bags on the back of your Vespa and zip off to a new home!

Runner Ups: “The Burbs” by Pistols | “Bird Off the Wire” by Shindig | “Rolling On” by Kristen Smith | “Goldilocks” by Inky Livie

Independent Living Award for the best design to announce a move for someone living on their own

Me, Myself and I” by VOSS

You know the relief and independence that comes with moving on your own? Sara has captured it perfectly. Her bold letters in playful, imperfect blocks proudly announce a move for an individual. We appreciate the fun dash of culture in her De La Soul reference too.

Runner Ups: “City Living” by Jana Volfova | “New Beginnings” by Please Reply Designs | “Apartment Living” by Jennifer Long | “Pretty in Pink” by annie clark

Our First Place Award for the best design to announce a couple’s first home together

Ikat” by Palm Papers

Lauren never fails to impress with her super-chic, minimalist style. Her varying fonts add visual interest to the thin, white text. The yellow on yellow ikat pattern adds a bit of depth and texture to the design, without taking away from the message at all. It’s all about the Mr and Mrs in this design – just as a moving announcement for a new couple should be.

Runner Ups: “Home Front” by Kimberly FitzSimons | “Memory Lane” by lehan paper design | “First Home” by VOSS | “Love Nest” by Amber Barkley

Best over the top pretty design

bienvenue!” by Cecile Paper Lounge

Fine, beautiful florals and a lovely vintage key definitely make this design over-the-top-pretty. Cecile weaves a very intricate, but delicate image of leaves and flowers while the striking Villa Didot font provides a lovely balance. The containing borders and strong lines help the photo stand out in a very natural way.  And who doesn’t love a touch of French class?

Runner Ups: “Sweet Homeness” by Yolanda Mariak Chendak | “Moving Along” by Kelly Nasuta | “Flower Patch” by Sharon Rowan

Best classic with a twist design

Brand New” by annie clark

Annie strikes the perfect balance between modern and retro with “Brand New.” The slightly messy strokes in her pink background and her bold, angled “home” give the design so much energy. We love the balance between her thick text and her expanse of blank space.

Runner Ups: “We Are Home” by nikku | “A Bright Sunny Day” by My Playgroud | “Zipcode” by VOSS | “Pretty in Pink” by annie clark

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Minted in Martha Stewart Weddings.

We were excited to see some Minted love in Martha Stewart Weddings latest issue.

The issue featured a very fun story about stationery from ‘A to Z.’ Per the usual, they did a very cute job with it.

We were featured under ‘W’ for Wraparound label. “Printed stickers that make addressing your envelopes both easy and cost-effective. The front contains the return address and the back bears your initials.” The story showcases J. Bartyn’s Sundance Wildflowers in the lower right hand corner. Check out all of our Skinny-Wrap TM labels here.

Cover photograph by Christopher Baker/Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2012. Copyright © 2012. Story photographs by Johnny Miller/Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2012. Copyright © 2012.

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Minted’s Art Preview at ALTitude Design Summit.

I wanted to, albeit somewhat belatedly, share with you the preview of our soon-to-launch art collection at the ALTitude Design Summit.

The show was curated by the insanely talented Suzanne Shade, the founder of the Beholder, a marketplace for artists.

Don’t you just love what she put together?!

Here’s what Suzanne had to say about how she made her selections: “Art is all about what makes you happy, makes you wonder and connects you to others. When I chose the collection for the ALT exhibit, I wanted to just focus on what pieces I loved and try to see the connections between them.”

“The more I chose, the more I realized that ‘love’ itself was the central theme to a lot of the pieces,” says Suzanne.

“And because of the way the Minted Community votes on art challenges, I could see how many other people enjoyed a piece, too.”

“This was such a joy, because once you saw all of the love a piece was getting, it made me feel really connected to the people voting, not just the artists.”

Here are a few bloggers in front of the show!

And here’s just how packed with bloggers the lounge where the art was showcased got in between conference sessions.

The installation itself was an all-hands-on-deck effort, which included our CEO and founder Mariam Naficy working away with Suzanne until the wee hours of the morning.

And being a bit of a night owl, that smile never left her face!

Match it up just right!

And just one more shot of the curator with her beautiful collection! 

We’re looking forward to the collection’s official launch on our site later this spring.

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Ohio Mintie Meet Up

In January, Paige Rothhaar of cadence paige design posted in the Minted forum about an informal Mintie gathering in Worthington, Ohio – just outside of Columbus. Being from the Buckeye State myself, I was really excited to see so many fabulous Minted designers would be in attendance and decided I’d have to make it out for the event. I flew out a month later for the meetup at Igloo Letterpress and had a wonderful time learning how to use the antique presses while stealing moments to chat over some pop and snacks with the girls. It was really fun to see some familiar faces and to meet some brand new designers as well.

Allison Chapman is the owner of Igloo Letterpress in Worthington. She was wonderful to share her studio with us for a few hours. She has a number of antique letterpresses in her studio and showed us how each one worked.

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Guest judges awards from ‘Untitled.’

As you all know, we simply could not be more excited about our new line of art prints soon to launch from “Untitled: The First-Ever Minted Art Print Challenge.” Every time we think about hanging these beauties on our own walls, our hearts go pitter-patter!!

Today we’re happy to announce the guest judges’ awards from our esteemed panel of decor experts. Each design chosen will be awarded $500, plus the designers will also receive a print of their design!

Our first judge was Alison Pincus. Alison is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of One Kings Lane, the leading private flash sales site in the home market.

Alison’s three picks will be featured and sold on One Kings Lane during a special sales event in 2012. How cool is that?! Following the 72-hour sales event on One Kings Lane, the three prints will then be sold on Minted.com along with the rest of the winning prints. In no particular order, Alison chose Ocean Whale by Colorado-based Creaform Design.

Alison says, “I adore this for either stationery or perhaps a notebook cover.  The whale is sweet and joyful.  Although the name Holden initially grabbed my attention (I have forever loved the name), I am a fan of the typography.   Overall, it’s preppy, fresh and fun!”

Bird Count by Portland-based Tara Lilly Studio also caught Alison’s eye.

“When I first viewed “Bird Count” by Tara Lilley, I immediately thought it would be ideal for a 4th baby’s birth announcement,” says Alison. It’s adorable and memorable.  And, on the other side, I can imagine the messaging done in beautiful typography.  And there will be space for the baby’s precious face.”

Last but certainly not least, Friendly Forest by Atlanta-based Wondercloud Design also garnered Alison’s stamp of approval!

“One Kings Lane is passionate about giving our members access to the work of both renowned and emerging designers & artists,” says Alison. “I’m always enthusiastic to support the work of talented artists, and look forward to providing One Kings Lane members the first chance to buy these unique and original pieces from up and coming Minted designers.”

The other esteemed judges included Christina Brian, the founder of the blog Full House, which often highlights life at home as well as ramblings about design with an emphasis on home decor.

Christina chose Highway Wildflowers by Atlanta-based Kelli Hall.

“In my mind Highway Wildflowers is a winner not only for the fact that it is an abstract but also for its beautiful colors,” says Christina. “I feel that every home could benefit from an abstract piece like this one because it is fun, fresh, modern, chic and sophisticated. Also abstracts are not just for modern homes but in fact sometimes look the best when juxtaposed with traditional elements.”

Mary Jo Bowling works for McEvoy Media, where she covers the best of California design and architecture for California Home+Design and writes about the unique, stylish and sometimes quirky nuptials of the Golden State for 7×7 Weddings.

Mary Jo chose Initial Wreath by Ohio-based Kristie Kern.

Our hats go off to all you brilliant designers and a huge thank you to Alison, Christina and Mary Jo for taking the time to lend their talented eye to our new collection. We really can’t thank you enough. And a happy weekend to all!

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Every Mother Counts and the Little Journeys Art Challenge.

As you all likely know, our ‘Little Journeys: The Nursery, Children’s, and Family Tree Art Challenge‘ is going on right now and for the first time in a Minted design challenge, we’ve teamed up with an amazing non-profit organization: Every Mother Counts. Christy Turlington Burns, the founder of Every Mother Counts, will choose 3 judge’s picks from the challenge. A percentage of proceeds from all nursery, children’s, and family tree art prints sold on Minted will benefit Every Mother Counts and their mission to improve global maternal health. Working with Every Mother Counts makes a lot of sense for Minted, as both our designers and our consumers are mostly women (and many are moms), and we strongly believe in the power and importance of mothers in shaping the future of our world.

We thought you might like to know a little more about EMC… Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally. Every Mother Counts seeks to engage new audiences to better understand the challenges and the solutions while encouraging them to take action to improve the lives of girls and women worldwide.

Here are some statistics that highlight what EMC is up against:

  • A death occurs every 90 seconds from pregnancy and childbirth complications. Hundreds of thousands of women die each year from pregnancy, making reproductive health problems the leading cause of death among women worldwide aged 15 to 44. 90% of these deaths are estimated to be preventable.
  • Pregnancy is the biggest killer of women aged 15-19 in the developing world. Nearly 70,000 young women die each year because their bodies were not ready for parenthood.
  • Women who have completed their secondary education decide to have a skilled worker present at the time of their delivery 84% of the time–which translates to a higher survival rate for mother and baby.

Every Mother Counts was founded by Christy Turlington Burns upon completion of her directorial debut, NO WOMAN, NO CRY in 2010.

NO WOMAN, NO CRY is a gripping documentary that tells the personal stories of pregnant women and their caregivers in four countries as they try to avoid adding to these troubling statistics. The film puts audiences in the footsteps of a Maasai woman in labor who must walk five miles to a clinic with no electricity, a young pregnant woman in the slums of Bangladesh too ashamed to seek out care, a pregnant OB in Guatemala who helps women who have suffered from botched illegal abortions, and a midwife in central Florida who treats uninsured women who are denied appointments elsewhere.

First time director Christy Turlington Burns opens the film with footage from her own harrowing birth experience. A quick turn of events during the delivery of her daughter inspires her to see firsthand what can be done to help other women who do not have the same access to quality care that she did.

Now in its second year, Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal mortality reduction globally. Every Mother Counts seeks to engage new audiences to better understand the challenges and the solutions while encouraging them to take action to improve the lives of girls and women worldwide.

By entering this challenge, our designers will be indirectly supporting the work of EMC and helping mothers-to-be the world over receive better access to quality health care. It all starts with spreading the word about this incredibly important issue! Check out their informative site to learn more.

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