DIY: Valentine’s Day Gold-Heart Garland

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

I tend to prefer simple, understated decor for Valentine’s Day. There’s something so sweet about a delicate handmade garland—it can add a nice little festive touch to a plain space. Today we’re sharing how to make this terrifically simple gold-heart garland. We used gold faux leather but any gold paper or fabric would do. Plus, it’s versatile—you could easily reuse this garland anytime you’d like to add a pop of gold to your next party.

DIY Gold Heart Garland | alice & lois for minted Julep
DIY Gold Heart Garland | alice & lois for minted Julep

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Download: February Desktop Wallpapers

Now that it’s February, freshen up your computer desktop with one of these two charming wallpaper designs by Minted artist and graphic designer Kristin Doversberger of Lorent & Leif.

February 2016 Desktop Wallpaper Download

Download: “Flower Pattern” Desktop Wallpaper (above)

February 2016 Desktop Wallpaper Download

Download: “Terrarium” Desktop Wallpaper (above)

Download instructions: Click on the download links above and the image will open in its own tab (depending on your browser, you might need to click again to make it full size), Next, drag the image to your desktop; for Macs, select System Preferences and then Desktop & Screen Saver; for PCs, right-click the picture and then click Set as Desktop Background.

Note: These designs are for personal use only and were created by Lorent & Leif for Minted.

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Meet a Minted Artist: Lindsay Megahed

For a Chicago-area artist, Lindsay Megahed’s paintings emit quite the California vibe. From the beach scenes of “Weekending” and “Sea Wall” to the bright, dreamy colors in many of her other limited-edition prints, she’s got a lot of West Coast going on. But the Cali energy isn’t all that Lindsay has to offer. She’s a multi-talented artist-designer who’s won 109 awards across Minted categories: holiday cards, Valentine’s Day stationery, fabric, and, of course, art. Here, Lindsay talks about raising two boys, developing her career, and her insightful advice for up-and-coming artists.

What’s it like to be a work-from-home artist?
Very messy! Inspiration can strike at any time, so usually my studio is covered with works in progress—paper scraps, canvases, paint tubes, and palettes (I can’t throw anything away.) My studio is right off my main living space, so I don’t really have consistent start-and-stop working hours, and there are a lot of distractions. But being able to be so flexible with my time makes the haphazard work environment worth it. I can volunteer at my boys’ elementary school and attend all their events and activities, which is my main entertainment these days. Being home a lot, I do miss talking to grown-ups, so it’s always nice to hop online to see what’s happening in the Minted community.

Your work is so colorful. Do you have a favorite color combination?
I always start out trying to freshen up my palette a bit, but blue/green and orange/pink always seem to take over in the end.

Big Sur” by Lindsay Megahed

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DIY: Bon Bon Bowls

By Kathleen Ballos of  Snowdrop & Co

I’m the first to admit that my collection of vintage glassware is becoming a problem. I buy all kinds faster than I can do anything with them! Recently I stumbled upon a few sets of milk glass ramekins at the thrift store and of course I had to scoop them up. They’ve been sitting around a while, unused, so I thought they’d be just perfect for today’s project. Fill assorted bowls with candies and wrap them with cellophane to make an even larger candy! Wouldn’t these be great as small gifts or favors for a Valentine’s Day party?

DIY Bon Bon BowlsDIY Bon Bon Bowls

Click through for the simple step-by-step instructions

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Behind the Design: “Adventure Awaits” Save the Date

Bangkok-based Minted designer Elly Liyana gives us the scoop on how her popular “Adventure Awaits” save-the-date came to be (so perfect for nature-loving couples!).

Woodland Save the Date Design Minted

What was the inspiration behind this design?
I was brainstorming ideas for a project I was working on and wanted to incorporate drawings of natural landscapes with some portrait illustrations. Then, since many couples are gravitating toward an outdoor or rustic wedding theme these days, I thought I might be able to also feature these landscapes in an upcoming wedding challenge.

Please describe your creative process, from initial idea to end result.
I visit wedding blogs to have a look at the kind of wedding styles that are trending at the moment. I immerse myself in the whole wedding vibe as if I am a bride-to-be! I look for what I would like and I write all my ideas on paper and then start playing around with watercolor.

What are some challenges you faced as you were designing?
I think the biggest challenge was trying to create something fresh yet still consistent with current trends. Also, I’m new to watercolor—I usually paint with oils so it took a lot of trial and error before I was truly happy with it. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and try something new for the challenge.

What wedding trends do you love right now?
Nature never gets old. I’m also loving the modern abstract painting trend. I’m not an abstract painter but I appreciate the style because I know just how difficult it is to paint abstract art.

Woodland Save the Date Design Minted

Tell us about your workspace.
My workspace is small and messy most of the time. My desk is next to a balcony—I prefer to paint during the day when there’s a good amount of sunlight. I’ve got a clear view of the city and the skyline from that spot, it’s relaxing.

How did you start designing for Minted?
My sister told me about Minted in 2009 and encouraged me to participate in the challenges; my first submission was for a wedding invitation challenge. It’s great to see how Minted has come such a long way, and how many of the wonderful designers have grown in their work. They truly inspire me to design more.

How does it feel knowing that couples from around the world are incorporating your save-the-date into their wedding?
It’s incredible! I’ve gotten some really sweet emails from brides-to-be saying that they have been looking for something like it for a long time and were so happy to have found it for their wedding. I’ve always wanted my art to reach a variety of people and it’s such a great feeling that my work is part of such a special occasion.


More from Elly Liyana:
• Elly’s Minted Store
Elly’s Website
Elly’s Instagram

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

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Conversation Hearts Valentine’s Day Party for Kids

Roses are red, violets are blue, we LOVE this Valentine party and hope you do too!

Valentine’s Day is one of Happy Wish Company‘s favorite holidays and when we saw Minted’s adorable Conversation Heart Valentine Party Décor and coordinating invitation, we just knew it was begging for a celebration.

The peach, light pink, dark pink and white color scheme is such a sweet twist on the traditional red and white, and gives this party a fresh, creamsicle-like feel.

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Meet a Minted Artist: Naomi Ernest

A self-described “artist, photographer, and clandestine writer,” Naomi Ernest has carved out a unique niche for herself on Minted. Her paintings, drawings, and photographs are at once minimalist, personal, and whimsically mysterious. “I am very process-oriented, letting the various effects of tools, mediums, and techniques be integral to each piece,” she says. “I like my work to be uncomplicated at first glance, but the more you look at it, the more complexities you discover. Overall simplicity with interesting details.”

Here, the Ann Arbor, Michigan artist shares details behind the scenes of her life–from her five children to the ongoing project of rehabbing her farmhouse.

When did you know you were an artist?
Growing up, my parents were both artists-on-the-side; as a very young child, I wanted to be an artist and a writer. I remember thinking these things specifically at maybe 3 or 4 years old—well before I could write more than a word or two, when my paintings were unsteady brush marks in blue and red and yellow. Somewhere along the uncertainty of growing up, I lost these early convictions, and it took me decades of searching to rediscover and to implement them.

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The Pros and Cons of Working From Home

Don’t you love it when a planned, routine project turns a corner, changes form, and, ultimately, becomes more interesting? That’s the case with this story. What started as the January edition of our #ArtistAdvice series (featuring Minted artists sharing their advice about work and creativity), evolved into this: an e-conversation between Jessica Williams and Rebecca Turner. Both are longtime artists in the Minted community. Both work from home. Both said, “Hey, wait a minute, I have more to say about this than just my advice.” And both want to hear your thoughts, so we’ll get to that at the end.

So, here we go. This is the start of what we hope becomes an ongoing discussion with the Minted artist community about what it means to work from home—the pros and cons and all the insights in-between.

Rebecca Turner burns midnight oil in South Bend, Indiana.

Amy Schroeder: How long have you worked from home, and why?
Jessica:
I’ve worked from home for almost three years. I previously worked full time in visual merchandising for Johnston & Murphy, and my freelance work built up to a point where I wasn’t able to do both. It was a scary leap to make, but completely worth it.

Rebecca: I’ve been working exclusively from home since 2010 and the birth of my first child. Before then, I worked full time at various “designy” jobs and freelanced on the side.

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Day in the Life of Meg Gleason of Moglea

By Meg Gleason

Meg Gleason is not your average Minted artist, but then again, there’s no such thing as “an average Minted artist.” The self-described designer, illustrator, and farm wife leads her fully staffed print shop, Moglea, in Audubon, Iowa, and somehow manages to raise two children and help run a family farm, raising cattle, hogs, corn, and soybeans. “The farm has been in the family for four generations,” she says.

Fiesta Turtleneck” limited edition print by Moglea

Meg joined the Minted community in 2009 and has 70 wins to her name. Designing for Minted challenges was how she got her career start and helped her gain confidence to launch her own letterpress stationery line. “The community provided me with invaluable feedback and encouragement at a pivotal moment in my career and they continue to do so,” she says. “Minted continually helps support and promote Moglea and I’m forever grateful for the opportunities I’ve had from Minted.”

Here she shares her day in the life. —Amy Schroeder

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Mariam Naficy Keynotes Alt Summit, Reveals Curator Stores

“Will knock your socks off” was a spot-on description for today’s opening keynote at Alt Summit Winter 2016. Minted Founder and CEO Mariam Naficy was in good creative company with her fellow keynote speakers in Salt Lake City, Utah—all of whom are Internet powerhouses: Sarah Michelle Gellar of Food Stirs, Jihan Zencirli of Geronimo Balloons, and Luvvie Ajayi of Awesomely Luvvi.

Mariam Naficy gives her keynote speech at Alt Summit on January 21, 2016.
Photo by Troy Williams of @SimplyTroy

Alt Summit is the most influential conference for lifestyle and design bloggers, small business owners, and social media personalities. The four-day summit features panels and workshops about creative problem-solving and empowerment, where up-and-comers can rub elbows with stars like Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow and artist Elle Luna.

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