Meet a Minted Artist: Erica Krystek

Triathlon magazine creative director. Former competitive tennis player. Journalism major. Mom and wife. These are a handful of the words we can use to describe Erica Krystek, who like many of her fellow community members, enters Minted challenges by night. With more than 200 Minted awards to her name, Erica’s work spans from exuberant holiday cards to humorous baby and kids designs, and a little bit of customizable art for good measure. If you look a little closer at Erica’s work on her Minted Artist Store, you’ll likely find yourself smirking at her usage of clever puns: “Let’s Taco ‘Bout How Awesome You Are” and “You’re Tool Cool” among them. It goes without saying that she’s not only a talented designer, but she’s also got a way with words.

Here the San Diego artist talks about her “plannerly” creative process, how she’s evolved as a Minted artist, and how quality mommy time and a good work-life balance makes her heart happy.

Sleepy Fox” baby shower invitation by Erica Krystek

Minted: Did you study art or design formally in school?
Erica Krystek: I grew up in San Diego and, other than college, have lived here my whole life. I did not formally study graphic design, and instead received a B.S. in journalism at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2002. My intention was to be an editor or writer; however, my senior year while working as an editor at Cal Poly’s daily newspaper, I realized I enjoyed the design aspect of journalism more than the editorial side. At the time, the paper was a very low-budget operation, and as an editor, you were also tasked with designing your editorial section. So I quickly taught myself Quark and found that I kind of had a knack for it. After I graduated, I was fortunate to get a wonderful job working for a firefighting magazine, where I honed my design skills, eventually working my way up the ladder to Art Director.

Erica’s dog Sherman likes to stick his nose into Erica’s work.

What’s it like to work as the Creative Director of LAVA magazine?
I grew up heavily involved in many sports and received an athletic scholarship to college, so working for any sports-oriented publication piqued my interest. When I had the opportunity to work as the Creative Director for LAVA, it seemed like a perfect fit. LAVA is a newsstand, coffee-table-style triathlon magazine, published nine times a year. Our content caters to more serious and seasoned triathletes, versus beginners, and takes its name from the lava landscape of Kona, Hawaii, where the Ironman World Championship (the premier event for most triathletes) has been held each year since the early ’80s. We have a very small operation of eight people, so I do the majority of the design work for print and web as well as create our marketing materials and direct our cover shoots.

Erica Krystek is the Creative Director of LAVA Magazine.

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DIY: Last-Minute Printable Heart Glasses

Written by Sharon Garofalow of  Cupcakes and Cutlery

Need a fun, last-minute craft to do with your kids today? I’ve got the perfect, easy activity for you! Just download and print the template for these adorable heart-shaped paper glasses!! They’re the perfect accent to your Valentine’s Day festivities!

Easy last minute Valentine's Day craft for you and the kids.
Printable heart shaped glasses for kids on Valentine's Day.

Click through for step by step instructions

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DIY: Galentine’s Day Party Invitations

Written by Kathleen Ballos of Snowdrop & Co

Are you having friends over for Galentine’s Day this year? These simple DIY rosé party invitations are the perfect start to a relaxing night in with the girls. Plus, they go perfectly with Minted’s Rosé S’il Vous Plait print! Happy Galentine’s Day!

Galentine's Day Invitations | JulepGalentine's Day Invitations | Julep

Click through for step-by-step instructions … 

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DIY: Heart-Stamped Tote Bag

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Give me a plain white tote bag + paint + a potato and I am a happy crafter! This Valentine’s Day I made this heart-stamped tote for my daughter. And to make the stamp, I used—get this!—a potato. If you haven’t made a potato stamp before, you have to give it a try, it’s so easy. And I love the look of ombre, so I stamped my hearts in varying shades, ranging from soft pink to cherry red. This is the perfect little gift for your sweet one this February 14.

DIY Heart Stamped Tote Bag
DIY Heart Stamped Tote Bag

Click through for the step-by-step instructions …

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Jessica Hische’s Guest Judge Pick!

Back in October, we invited Jessica Hische to be the Guest Judge for our biggest Wedding Challenge of the year, the Wedding Bells are Ringing: 2016 Wedding Invitation Challenge. Jessica Hische is a lettering artist, illustrator, author, and self-described “avid internetter” working in San Francisco and Brooklyn. Jessica has become as well known for her side projects as she has for her client work. She’s created several educational micro-sites including Mom This is How Twitter Works, Should I Work for Free? and Don’t Fear the Internet

Out of 2,848 submissions, Jessica selected Beloved by Design Lotus! When asked specifically why she chose this design, Jessica said, “It was incredibly hard to choose a winner because there were so many outstanding submissions this year, but I kept coming back to this design. I love how it combines classic elegant components (the use of gold engraving illustrations and beautiful clean typefaces) in a modern asymmetrical layout. It almost feels like the design could double as a high-end wine label. I think it’s really difficult to design in a way that feels understated and elegant but not minimalistic. I could see this design working for a wide range of weddings—from a big elaborate affair in a gilded ballroom to a small outdoor ceremony in an overgrown garden.” Congratulations Design Lotus!

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DIY: Cactus Valentine’s Day Temporary Tattoos

Written by Kersey Campbell from And We Play

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and to help you out, I made these fun valentine tattoos complete with a cute pun (because what is Valentine’s Day without a funny quip, am I right?). Let’s make some tattoos!

Let’s get started with supplies

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DIY: Valentine’s Day Embroidery

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

We love to gift our friends with little Valentine’s Day presents, just like the kiddos do. This year, we’re making a simple embroidered gift that’s straight from the heart. We fell in love with Minted’s “First Crush” fabric by Katherine Roberts and added a special touch by stitching pink embroidery floss to the fabric. We started with a small hoop and used basic split stitches and French knots to add some sweet embellishments to the darling fabric. Lastly, just add some string to the top of the hoop to turn the embroidery into a wall hanging for your friend.

DIY Valentine Embroidery

You also have to see some of our other favorite heart-patterned fabrics:
• “Loved” by Carolyn MacLauren
• “Love of Heats” by Four Wet Free Studio
• “Hand-stamped Hearts” by Hooray Creative

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DIY: Valentine’s Day Plates

Written by Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

Do you like candy hearts? I think they’re so cute, but I don’t like actually eating them. Enter these DIY Valentine’s Day message plates! Write any message onto the plate to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. I chose simple messages, but you could customize them with names or inside jokes for a simple DIY gift.

DIY Valentine's Plates | JulepDIY Valentine's Plates | Julep

Click through for step-by-step instructions … 


Recipe: Homemade Lime Sherbet

Lime sherbet is a flavor I associate with childhood, but it’s also something I secretly love as an adult. And I haven’t done any official research, but I’m pretty sure it’s the most popular sherbet flavor out there. Since we have so many limes growing on our lime tree, I thought it would be fun to try a homemade version of lime sherbet. And the results are delicious! It tastes like a limeade milkshake: tart and citrusy and creamy and sweet—a million times better than a store-bought carton. Keep reading for the full recipe.

homemade lime sherbet

Using a food processor to make the base for the sherbet ensures that the sugar is completely dissolved in the lime juice, making the finished sherbet smooth instead of gritty (alternatively, you could alternately use a blender). After mixing, make sure you chill the lime juice mixture for at least a couple of hours, then add the heavy cream and milk just before pouring the mixture into your ice cream machine.

homemade lime sherbet

Click through for ingredients and instructions…

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Win a Trip to Haiti with Every Mother Counts

Minted is thrilled to launch the Every Mother Counts Prize for 2017. Read below for more information on how to enter.

Every Mother Counts is a non-profit organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere. EMC is Minted’s charitable partner. Learn more about this amazing organization and how it helps women around the world here.

Two Minted artists will be selected to join Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy and Every Mother Counts Founder Christy Turlington Burns with members of their teams on a trip to Haiti in early 2018. On the trip, the winning artists will meet with one of Every Mother Counts’ grantees and experience first-hand the work that they are doing to provide skilled and compassionate care to Haitian mothers throughout their pregnancies.