Kristen Smith Serves as Minted’s Community Ambassador

Minted artist Kristen Smith was at the top of the list of candidates for the first Minted ambassador, a pilot program we created to help artists connect with each other in their local regions of the world. Minted artists are constantly connecting with each other online, and routinely share with us how much they enjoy meeting and interacting with other community members in person. As the Minted Artist Ambassador, Kristen volunteers to organize a number of events for existing community members and prospectives in and around her hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

“Kristen is a passionate advocate for the Minted community, excellent at coming up with fun ideas, has good relationships with the creative community in Atlanta and has an infectious enthusiasm,” says Anthea Tjuanakis Cox, Minted’s Director of Artist Relations. “You can’t help but feel better after chatting with Kristen.”

Here, Kristen shares a few thoughts about the ambassador program.

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Meet the Minted Judge: Haskell Harris of Garden and Gun

As Style Director of Garden & Gun Magazine, Haskell Harris knows a thing or two about good design, which is why we asked her to be a guest judge in Minted’s first religious Christmas photo card challenge. Along with Summer Bellessa and Brooke White from The Girls with Glasses, Haskell will select one of her favorite designs in the “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful” Quickfire Challenge to feature on her Instagram, @haskellharris.

In the following interview, Haskell talks about the power of storytelling and the journey of honing personal style. Read about more Minted Design Challenge guest judges here. Read Haskell’s Garden & Gun blog posts here.

Minted: As style director of Garden & Gun, you oversee fashion, entertaining, interior design, architecture, gardens, and Southern artisans—which is a lot! What is your philosophy about directing style for all these topics?

Haskell Harris: From day one at G&G, I wanted the style content to reflect the same soulfulness and great storytelling that the rest of the magazine is known for. Yes, we feature houses and gardens, beautiful clothes, artisans, and entertaining, but unlike a lot of other titles covering similar content, G&G doesn’t just run pretty photos and leave it at that. We show you the people and the craftsmanship behind the things that would otherwise just be things, and the history and pride of places that make those things compelling.

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Font Award Roundup: Special Prize Winners

Announcing the special prize winners for our Font Awards! This award is for the design that introduces the best font that we purchase and add to the Minted Font List. We’re always looking to the community to help us surface fresh new fonts to add to our Minted Font List. If you have a vision for an amazing design that uses a font not in our font library, feel free to use it in your submission. You can read more about Minted fonts here. A huge congrats to all the winners and runners-up!

Winter Wonderland Non-Photo Holiday Card Challenge
The Most Wonderful Type Award


 The Most Wonderful Time 2015 Holiday Card Challenge
Fa La La La Font Award

Runners-up: Unleash the Joy by Sandra Picco Design | Sweet Merriest by Melanie Severin


Fall & Winter Digital Invitations Challenge
 Top Type Award


All You Need is Love Valentine’s Day Challenge
 Font Award


 Everlasting Love Save the Date Challenge
 Font Award

Runner-up: Hepburn by toast & laurel


Font Awards will be announced as a roundup three times a year. We also update our Minted Font List regularly, and include new fonts in our Community Newsletter.

You can purchase all of these fonts by using the links below:

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DIY: Petal-Envelope Cookie Favors

This simple DIY involves three of my favorite things: pretty paper, party favors, and cookies. The end product works well for a sweet takeaway for any type of party, just swap out the paper for a different pattern that coordinates with the theme.

gift wrapping ideas
how to make a petal envelope

Click through for the easy DIY

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DIY: Oversize Diaper Pins for a Baby Shower

Written by Kathleen Ballos of Snowdrop & Co

I love browsing through vintage paper goods—some of the designs and patterns are so striking! Today’s DIY project was inspired by retro baby-shower wrapping paper I recently found. Since most of the baby shower decorations available at party stores are either very baby pink or baby blue, I thought it would be more interesting to use a coral instead to match these “Modern Momma” baby shower invitations by Lauren Chism. Hang a pair of giant diaper pins on the front door of the baby shower venue, or make a few as decoration for the party. You could even use real safety pins and glue them to the backs of invitation envelopes!

DIY: Baby Shower DecorDIY: Baby Shower Decor

Click through for step-by-step instructions … 

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DIY: Hand-Stamped Spring Napkins

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Our favorite color palette this spring? Turquoise blues paired with coral hues—there’s something so serene about the colors of the sky paired with soft coral tones seen in so many blooming spring flowers. Today we’re sharing a hand-stamped napkin DIY in this color palette that incorporates a pretty unusual and unexpected stamp—celery! We love the clean, modern lines a celery stalk creates when stamped onto a crisp white napkin. Keep reading for the instructions.

DIY Hand-Stamped Spring Napkins | alice & lois for minted
DIY Hand-Stamped Spring Napkins | alice & lois for minted

Click through for the simple step-by-step instructions…

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Printable: Bunny Bag Toppers

Take your Easter basket up a notch with these adorable bunny treat-bag toppers. They’re a cinch to whip up (not to mention they’re a great way to obscure some of the unavoidable not-so-cute Easter candy packaging out there). Keep reading for the free printable.

easter favors
bunny bag toppers

Grab the free download below…

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7 Podcasts For Inspiring Your Creativity

What inspires your best creative work—audio stimulation or the sound of silence? Some artists need absolute quiet; others, not so much. Jennifer Wick, a prolific artist with 283 Minted Design Challenge wins to her name, says she is unable to work in silence, so she fills the void with good music and talks. “I remember getting my first walkman in sixth grade and raiding my older sister’s mixed tapes, finding a whole new world of music that put me in such an inspired mood,” the Pennsylvania artist says. “From then on, I’ve always worked with music or the news in the background.”

Especially during Minted’s busy holiday stationery design challenge season each spring, Jennifer’s working ritual includes several podcasts per week, in addition to Pandora, HGTV, and the Food Network. If you’re looking for recommendations for podcasts to help stimulate creativity, you’ve come to the right place. With so, so many great podcasts to choose from, we’re limiting our list to seven, but we’d love to hear your ideas—share them in Comments below.

Podcasts About Art, Design, and Creativity

The Jealous Curator: Art for Your Ear

Danielle Krysa is the blogger behind The Jealous Curator, the author of Creative Block, and the host of Art for Your Ear, the podcast featuring “inside-scoop stories from the artsiest people” she knows. Minted artist Kelly Schmidt likes Art for Your Ear for its tips and tricks about artists’ technical aspects, creative process, and materials. “Danielle talks to artists about challenges they face and how they found success,” Kelly says. “There are common themes about artists who are parents, as well as comments about insecurities as artists, which I’m guessing many of us relate to.”

Kelly suggests listening to the episode featuring fellow Minted artist Jaime Derringer (“Design Milk by Day & Sketchbooks by Night”), and to inspire holiday spirit, Kelly likes “The Best Gift Ever,” in which 12 artists talk about the best gift they’ve ever received. She also loves: Xochi Solis: “Paper Nerds Unite“; Kiana Mosley “Late One Night“; and Maryann Moodie: “Textiles Treasures, and a New Tribe.”


The work of textile artist Maryanne Moodie

Design Matters

Design Matters is the world’s first podcast about design and an inquiry into the broader world of creative culture through wide-ranging conversations with designers, artists, curators, musicians, and other leaders of contemporary thought. Host Debbie Millman has interviewed more than 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Massimo Vignelli, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Barbara Kruger, and Seth Godin.

Creative Commoners

Creative Commoners explores a particular topic about the creative process, with each host bringing their own flavor and experience to the mix, and plenty of witty and tangential banter to keep things fun. Jennifer Wick recommends “Episode 140: How the Creative Mind Works” (skip to 15:35), in which the speakers talk about their creative processes and the mind exercises they do to help get ideas flowing. “For me, I’ll do whatever it takes to put myself in the holiday mindset,” Jennifer says.

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Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

A series where we highlight a member of our Minted artist community. Featured this month: artist and designer Derek Overfield, who is currently based in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Derek Overfield studied fine arts and graphic design at Fairmont State University alongside his wife and fellow painter (and Minted artist!) Lauren Adams. Working with charcoal and pastel on paper, as well as latex and acrylic paint on canvas, his bold pieces focus on the human figure. Here, Derek discusses life as a working artist, including overcoming artist’s block and challenging himself to create at least one drawing a day.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
Making and studying figurative art has always been a big part of my life. As a child I studied very closely the dynamic figures of comic book art, learning what I feel is the unique and expressive language of the body. That study of the figure continued into college where I was introduced to so many amazing examples of the human form in art history. This is also when I began to work from life models and from my own image. I set a goal as a student to complete a large-scale figure drawing every day, which I have stuck to as closely as possible since. I continue to be amazed at the potential of the figure in art.

Did you study art formally in school?
Yes, I have a degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from Fairmont State, where I studied with acclaimed painter Lynn Boggess and met my future wife (and also a Minted artist), Lauren Adams.

Where do you currently reside?
I live in a small town in West Virginia and have always been proud to call this state my home. It has remarkable beauty and my family’s roots here go back to the 1700s.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
I work on at least one drawing a day. On top of that, I usually work on canvases or do the not-so-fun stuff of  building our stretchers, stretching and priming canvas, etc. There’s always other work like photographing pieces, answering customer’s emails, updating my website, and social media.

What are some of your own “rules” for living and working?
I feel that art should come from a place of love. It’s difficult to explain, but I feel the artist should be moved by the subject matter first, before they can ever hope to move their audience.

How would you describe your artistic style?
Expressive, simple and bold, classic and modern.

What painting techniques have you been working with lately?
My works on paper could be characterized as a sustained gestural technique. They take elements from both classical drawing and expressive work. My works on canvas have a similar approach, and I’ve developed a technique of painting that feels very much like drawing.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

Please tell us about your studio space.
We have converted part of our 1935 two-story house into a studio space. We’ve renovated two rooms into one studio space, large enough to accommodate both of our needs!

When did you begin painting?
I began painting in college, watercolor landscapes on location.

What medium(s) do you most enjoy working with?
On paper, charcoal and/or pastel. On canvas, latex and/or acrylic paint.

What is your creative process like?
I use my works on paper as a way of preparing for and experimenting with themes for my larger canvas works.

Meet a Minted Artist: Derek Overfield

What are your favorite subject matters?
The human figure, usually in reference to a heroic or tragic theme.

Your work primarily focuses on the human form, almost always with the male figure. How did you arrive at this?
I’ve done figurative work of both genders, but the stylistic approach I’m currently employing has a very masculine feel to it. I feel it works best with the male figure at the moment.

Is there a movement in art history that speaks to you?
That’s a great question. So many movements have embraced figurative art, so they usually always speak to me. I would say that the most essential would be the late classical period of Greece/Rome and the High Renaissance of Italy, with their humanistic focus on the figure as the epitome of artistic expression. I respond to non-figurative work as well, and really admire the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Their embrace of the artist’s personal touch and view of art-making as an event, very much influences my approach to art.

If you could sit down with any artist past or present, who would it be and where?
Couldn’t pass up the chance to witness Michelangelo at work, or anywhere, really. I don’t think I’d have the guts to speak to him though!

Click through to read more about Minted artist Derek Overfield and his work

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Baby Shower Idea: Tropical Jungle

Coming up with a fun and fresh baby-shower theme can be a bit of a challenge, but as soon as I saw Rebecca Turner’s “Jungle Fun” fabric, I knew it’d be perfect. The cheerful, illustrated pattern is just the right mix of playfulness and whimsy, and just begs to be the star of the show at the party. So, shower the mama-to-be with a jungle-themed celebration with darling decorations, freshly cut palm leaves, and plenty of tropical touches. Keep reading for our party-throwing tips…

jungle baby shower for minted by kelli hallrebecca turner jungle fun print table linen for jungle baby showerRebecca Turner’s “Jungle Fun” fabric inspired the whole shower vibe.

jungle baby shower for minted styled by kelli hall

1. Set the tone with a bold print.
This table is deceptively simple to pull together: All you need are simple dishware paired with fresh-cut palms. This lets the tablecloth be the real star, acting as a focal point and infusing the tabletop with playful energy. I especially love how this print feels like a storybook narrative is unfolding across the table. And the beauty of using a strong statement print as the focal point on the table is it becomes a jumping-off point for all other party elements.

wildflower journal j.bartyn for minted

In addition to the table linen, I used details like this custom baby journal (above) to incorporate other patterns with a similar jungle vibe, like the winding vines and green palm prints on the cover.

hibiscus fizz cocktail jungle baby shower by kelli hall for minted

2. Serve tropical-themed nibbles.
The party menu doesn’t have to be complicated; simple tropical-inspired flavors will create the right vibe. Think: coconut-lime chicken salad, tropical fruit skewers, or prosciutto crostini. For drinks, I served up this recipe for hibiscus soda (with a couple of minor tweaks—I went lighter on the hibiscus tea and swapped the raspberries for hibiscus flowers).

jungle baby shower for mintedI love how the linear pattern on the baby shower invitation feels like a stylized palm illustration.

baby tiger stationery by rebecca turner for minted

3. Get creative with gifts.
What’s a baby shower without a few presents for the mom-to-be? One of my favorite ideas: Gifting the guest of honor with coordinating stationery that she can use once the little one arrives (made extra-special by printing the new baby’s name up top!). Another idea: A custom baby book for her to record special events from baby’s first year.

gold jungle animal place card holdersGold elephants and tigers make the perfect place card holders.

jungle print baby shower for mintedThese “Sprinkled Love” place cards complement the linen’s navy-blue snake illustrations.

Click through for more tips on throwing a jungle-themed baby shower

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