5-Minute Halloween Costume: Amelia Earhart

Halloween costumes have been the main topic at our house lately but with two toddlers who keep changing their mind, I’ve decided having a few five-minute costumes on hand is the safe way to go. I was able to round up all of the Amelia Earhart elements (with the exception of the goggles) using items we already owned—here’s how to replicate the costume.

easy halloween costume ideas

Click through for details on how to create this easy kid’s Halloween costume

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Meet a Minted Artist: Denise Wong

After working in a variety of art-based professions—art-exhibition planning and design as well as practicing art law—New York City-based painter Denise Wong decided to quit in order to pursue her own art practice full time. Here, Denise shares her artistic journey, where she finds inspiration, and what Minted means to her as a working artist.

Meet a Minted Artist Denise WongDenise Wong was photographed at the Minted Local store in San Francisco alongside her limited edition art prints “California” and “Highway One.”

Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist, ever since I was a child. I have very early memories of drawing, it was my favorite activity to do. When I was younger, I treasured my art supplies and I’m happy now to have finally integrated my childhood visions into my adult life and to have made art a full-time career. I think the things we truly enjoy should be the stuff of our everyday lives.

Tell us about your art.
My specialty is painting, particularly acrylic painting, but I also work with mixed-media works on paper. Painting is a wonderful, expressive form—it’s a very visceral form and I really love getting my hands into the paint. I started out drawing, like many artists do, and eventually transitioned into painting, starting with figurative painting. Later, I transitioned from figurative painting to more abstract works.

What did you do before pursuing art full time?
I’ve dabbled in many things over the course of my life—I’ve worked at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Columbia University Department of Art History in their Modern Art and Curatorial Studies department—but my own art practice is the thing that keeps pulling me back. Whenever I would veer off course, I would continue making art. I went to law school to study art law; prior to that, I was in graduate school for social science, focused on anthropology. I studied museum-exhibition design to make art more accessible to the public in an approachable way. While doing that I became interested in issues on cultural property and repatriation of stolen art; so I went to law school and studied art law, worked for an art-law journal, and became a lawyer. The legal work was very detail-oriented and I found that the more detail-oriented my work became, the art I was making—which initially was figurative in nature—started to come more abstract. Painting was a great outlet for me because I could balance the details of my work with the free-flowing nature of abstract painting.

How did you transition into a full-time art career?
It was slow and gradual. I took a number of art classes on the side as I pursued a variety of career opportunities. I was always making art but I just needed the right opportunity to begin selling art. While I was a student, I was interested in making art accessible to a wide variety of audiences and was always interested in innovative models of art exhibition and art sales. Companies like Minted are very forward-thinking and when I saw that Minted had expanded to the art world, it was a perfect match.

Meet a Minted Artist: Denise Wong

How did you discover Minted?
I was extremely busy with my day job and my art practice was getting pushed to the side. I was trying to think of ways to get back into making art and spending more time with my art practice. One day, I discovered through a blog post an ad for Minted and I checked out the website. Once work calmed down a bit, one day I opened up a magazine to a full-page ad for Minted. I went back to the website again and saw they were launching an art competition in a couple of weeks—I applied and the rest is history.

What makes Minted’s artist community unique?
What I love about the Minted community is that it’s extremely friendly, it’s almost like being in art school with family. It’s a very personal community and is a great way to get feedback in an honest and friendly way—I love it.

What’s inspiring you these days?
Inspiration is everywhere. I live in New York City and it’s very diverse and vibrant. I find inspiration around every corner—I love where I live and it’s a great place to get inspiration daily for the variety of pieces I’m working on.

How would your friends and family describe you?
They’d probably describe me as creative, with many interests, and very dedicated to pursuing them all.

What does your future look like?
When I think about the future, I’m very excited about the many opportunities I have in mind. One of those is Minted’s recently launched commissioned art program. It enables me to connect with art enthusiasts from all over the United States. I love working on commissioned pieces because it’s a way to connect with a customer in a personal way to create a piece that suits them.

Click through for more from Minted artist Denise Wong…

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FALL IN LOVE: Minted Fall Wedding Pinterest Challenge

UPDATE: Congratulations to Kiley Morgan, who wow’d us with a beautiful Fall Wedding board.

Fall marks the transition from the warm summer months to the chilly days of winter, treating us to a wonderful array of warm, organic colors that can make a lovely backdrop for any bride’s wedding day. Minted wants to help newly engaged brides plan their ultimate autumn wedding with a Fall Wedding Pinterest Challenge!

Get all the entry details after the jump…

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Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Muffins

One of my favorite things to do in the fall is bake. While I love baking year-round, the flavors this time of the year are the best—pumpkin, cinnamon, chocolate, spices. These classic pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins combine all of my favorite fall flavors into one tasty treat. And not only do they taste yummy, but they also make the whole house smell amazing while they bake.

Recipe: Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Muffins

These pumpkin muffins are perfect for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or alongside soup or chili for dinner. They make great treats to take to friends and neighbors and are delicious with a big mug of coffee or hot apple cider.

Click through for the ingredients and instructions

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Free Printable: Halloween Potions Drink Labels

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  alice & lois

Are you hosting a Halloween party this month? We have the perfect printable for you, whether you’re throwing a spooky soirée for grown-ups or a monster mash for the kids. Print them out and turn your party drinks into Halloween potions: orange juice becomes Witch’s Brew while pink lemonade transforms into The Magic Spell. And for the adults? We love turning our favorite fall sangria into a Spider’s Elixir. Really, the creepy concoctions are endless!

Halloween Potions Free Printable | alice & lois for mintedHalloween Potions Free Printable | alice & lois for minted

Click through for the free Halloween drink printable

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Party Hack: Flag Cake Toppers

I know, I didn’t invent the flag cake topper. But here’s the situation on these DIY versions: I found wooden sticks with cute round tops in the candy-making aisle at my local craft store. And that means no cutting dowels down to size and gluing round beads on top (yay!)—making this one of my favorite little party hacks. Keep reading for the full how-to on turning these rock-candy sticks into little treat-topper flags…

easy diy cake toppers

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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DIY: Bewitched Bottles

Styled by Olivia Kanaley; photographed by Jessi Gilbert

Halloween Bewitched Bottles DIY

Stir up some ominous fun this halloween by turning ordinary bottles into bewitching potions and elixirs. Pair an assortment of old, recycled or re-usable glass bottles with some creatively-customized Minted labels for an eye-catching, spooky display. We’ve linked to the label designs we chose, and listed some fun copy ideas to get you started. As a finishing touch, you can fill the bottles with unsweetened tea, or water tinted with food coloring (please note, these are for decorative use only, unless you are using food safe bottles).

1. Quotable Bookplate by Olivia Raufman

Customize the text to read: Tonic | Water of Swamp | Guaranteed to cure all that ails. We have braved the mire of bogs and marshes to gather this magical substance by the light of the will-o’-the-wisp. Twelve fluid ounces.

2. Luxe by Alethea and Ruth

Customize the text to read: Poison Wormwood

3. Elegant Flourishes by Kristen Smith

Customize the text to read: Eye of Newt, Fang of Vampire, or Wool of Bat

4. Farm to Table Sara Hicks Malone

Customize the text to read: Mr. Oddfellow’s Pure Graveyard Essence or Mr. Oddfellow’s Pure Distilled Moonbeams

5. Adore by Leah Bisch

Customize the text to read: Bewitching Potion | Salem’s Best


More Halloween Ideas:
• Throw a Googly-Eye Halloween Party!
• DIY: Simple Spider Headband
• DIY: Witch’s Hat Party Favor

More from Minted:
• Halloween Party Invitations
• Online Halloween Party Invitations
• Halloween Party Decorations

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Chip + Joanna Gaines, Sweet Paul, and Girls With Glasses’ Holiday Card Picks

Back in April we announced the guest judges of our “Making Spirits Bright” Holiday Photo Card Challenge: Joanna and Chip Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, and Paul “Sweet Paul” Lowe, Editor-in-Chief of Sweet Paul Magazine. Shortly before that, we announced that blog and YouTube personalities The Girls With Glasses would be the guest judges of our “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” Religious Christmas Card Challenge. To say that a number of Minted artists were excited is an understatement.

Without further ado, here are our guest judges’ picks from each challenge, along with their thoughts about the designs.

Guest Judges Picks: 2016 Holiday Card Photo Card Challenge

Joanna and Chip Gaines (pictured above) are one of the most popular couples on TV — they’re in the business of flipping left-for-dead homes for their clients: Chip handles construction and Joanna focuses on design.

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Behind the Design: “Boho Ikat” Wedding Invitation

Minted designer Nicole Armstrong of Penelope Poppy, who’s based in Pittsburg, Penn., shares the vision and creative process behind her brightly patterned wedding invitation “Boho Ikat.”

Boho Ikat wedding invitation from Minted

What was the inspiration behind this design?
I was very inspired by the brightly colored bohemian weddings that I had been seeing and wanted to create a design that embodied that look and feel. The super bright colors are a bit of a departure for me but it was fun to explore different palettes and capture vibrancy. A good friend of mine was getting married the same time as I was creating this invitation and she was a big inspiration, too—she even helped name the design!

Describe your creative process – from initial idea to end result.
Sometimes I get inspired by an idea and sit down and start hashing it out. Other times I am sitting at the computer, knowing that I need to create something. I just start messing around with different ideas and there is a lot of morphing and transforming that happens as it begins to shape. When it comes to designing, I am a “feeler,” everything that I create is based on instinct, no so much the rules of design. To complete a project, I need to get it to a place where it just feels right to me.

What are some challenges you faced as you were designing?
One of the biggest challenges with “Boho Ikat” was the color palette, I was concerned about getting it just right. I really wanted that vibrancy to come through and to have playful colors that complemented each other nicely without coming off like a rainbow tie-dyed shirt. That’s why I chose a palette of hot pink, teal, mustard/gold. I wanted to convey the fun spirit of a boho wedding and these colors worked perfectly.

Describe the type of bride or wedding you imagined this design would complement?
Let me paint the picture for you: The wedding takes place in the desert, with mountains in the distance, lots of bright florals, succulents, cactuses, brass accents. The bride is wearing a floral crown and a lacey, bohemian-style dress and her groom is casual, maybe wearing a fun tie. Think: feathers, dream catchers, terrarium centerpieces, and macramé.

Boho Ikat wedding invitation from Minted

What wedding trends do you love right now?
I am a huge fan of brides who can pull off a completely cohesive event without being too matchy-matchy. Different patterns and colors. I love bridesmaids in mismatched bridesmaid dresses. It just looks so much more personal and interesting and less “cookie cutter.”

How did you come to design for Minted?
I loved designing wedding stationery and was so excited to find a community with such beautiful and inspiring work and couldn’t wait to become a part of it. I submitted pieces for my first wedding invitation challenge back in 2010. Six years ago! I love the company and appreciate the community and level of detail that goes into every aspect. Minted does everything with excellence and with a genuine and sincere work ethic—something I strive for in my own work.


More from Nicole Armstrong:
• “Boho Ikat” wedding invitation
• Nicole’s Minted Store (Penelope Poppy)
Nicole’s Website
• Nicole’s Instagram

More from Minted:
• Wedding Invitations
• Save the Date Cards
• Wedding Websites

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Meet a Minted Artist: Mya Bessette

Meet a Minted Artist Mya Bessette

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I worked for over a decade in the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, where I met my husband, Cody. When we found out we were having a baby, I left that career (because babies and oil fields don’t mix). I found myself finally able to decide what I really wanted to be when I grew up. So I revisited my life-long love of painting. Initially, I was painting for my daughter, Nevi—I wanted her world to be full of color and uplifting art. As I began honing my skills and my personal style, my little sister encouraged me to begin selling on Etsy, which I then did for about seven years. Eventually, my paintings began to filter out into galleries and I launched my website and began selling directly from my site.

Did you study art formally in school?
Nope. I’m self-taught.

Where do you currently reside?
Bigfork, Montana. My home overlooks Flathead Lake. The towering Mission Mountains are to the east, Glacier Park is a 30-minute drive away, and the village of Bigfork is an artistic little hamlet tucked beside the Swan River and behind a marina that spills out into the lake. I can’t figure out why everyone on the planet isn’t living here. It’s a dreamy place with a slow and peaceful pace.

Meet a Minted Artist: Mya Bessette

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
Wake up before the kids, sip Mainline coffee while I reply to customer emails, and formulate my “to-do” list (so I’ll have something to laugh at later in the day). Wake the kids for school, make a bagel with cream cheese for one, slightly “burny” toast with thin pats of cold butter for the other, tend to all special requests for lunches, pack ‘em, dress ‘em, hug ‘em, and put them on the bus. Breathe. Spend every possible moment creating without interruption. I go into a bit of a trance when I paint—texts are ignored, usually phone calls are as well, and time passes so quickly; I’m almost always surprised by the roar of the bus coming up the hill. Then, I get to hear all about kindergarten and first grade from the two sweetest little kiddos and start the evening routine. After I put the kids to bed, I try to reflect on the day and take time to catch up on all of the correspondence I missed while creating.

What are some of your own “rules” for living + working?
I try not to put too many restrictions on how I work. It seems that the more flexible I am with my process, the more genuine my paintings are. However, since my studio is in my living room, I do try to paint when I have that space to myself. I’m not very good at starting and stopping; when I’m in my creative zone, I like to stay there!

Meet a Minted Artist Mya Bessette

What objects have been most significant to you lately?
I never would have thought that I’d ever say this: flowers and botanicals. I’ve always meandered between abstract works and landscapes. Creating my latest abstract florals has been such a unique and organic journey. I’m also pretty obsessed with geometric shapes right now.

Please describe your last month in a word.
Rejuvenating

Can you share an as-of-yet unrealized project with us?
Yes! In the spring, I plan to team up with children’s clothing company, Couture Flower, to release a line of children’s swing dresses created with fabric from my original art.

What are you serious about?
Teaching my kids to be kind and honest. Being punctual. Following through with commitments.

What things will you never take seriously?
Anti-aging serums, Web MD, shabby chic, people who tell me their kids love broccoli, salmon, and kale.

What are some keys to balancing work and life?
It’s all such a big jumble of chaotic fabulousness that’s it’s difficult to even separate the two. An artist’s eye rarely rests so when I’m out and about enjoying the day with family, I’m the one stopping to investigate the leaves on a fern or photographing a cluster of clouds. When I’m in the studio, I love to involve my family and it’s not unheard of for all of us, my very creative husband included, to sit down for an art session together. When your job is to be creative and innovative, I think life and work naturally blend into one another.

Click through for more from Minted artist Mya Bessette

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