DIY: Simple Thanksgiving Place Setting

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  Alice & Lois

Now that its November, I’ve got holiday entertaining on my mind. I love hosting dinner parties but always wish I had more time to create a pretty “tablescape” for the meal. What usually ends up happening is that I spend the majority of time cleaning the house and preparing the food instead of decorating. But this year, I’m determined to carve out time to make some simple table decorations. My preference is to incorporate fresh flowers and greenery from my local flower mart and today, I’m sharing a quick and easy way to add a lovely natural element to your Thanksgiving place settings.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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Announcing the Winner of our First Outside Art Challenge!

For the very first time, Minted is taking your art to the streets—our street! We hosted our first Outside Art Challenge in October 2015, and we were blown away with the number of fresh and modern submissions we received. Out of 342 submissions, we have one winner, 10 runners-up, and one Special Editors’ Prize.

We’re thrilled to announce that the winner, as voted by California voters, is “Wind in the City” by Yuke Li! “This is an image of wind passing by,” Yuke says. “When the wind blows, the dandelions fly.”

windinthecity.jpg

We just finished painting “Wind in the City” on Minted’s headquarters building this week. We are so excited to share it with all of you and our neighbors in San Francisco’s Jackson Square neighborhood, where indeed it can get windy! Check out the video below to see our blank wall turn into a beautiful canvas.

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DIY: Easy Fabric-Wallpapered Bookshelf

Written by Amy Ehmann of  Design Lotus

Creating a beautiful backdrop for a niche or bookcase can be fun, easy, and commitment-free. This fabric backer is affordable and makes a great alternative to permanent wallpaper. You can even try this in other areas of your home, like the back of a closet or lining the bottom of a drawer. If it gets dirty or you’re tired of it, you can easily peel the fabric off, give the wall a quick wipe down, and start fresh with a new fabric.

Click through for the step-by-step instructions

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No-Carve Pumpkin Ideas for Halloween

Happy Halloween! If you waited until the last minute to purchase your Halloween candy and pumpkins (hand raised right here!), then skip the time-intensive carving and opt for one of these just-as-creative no-carve ideas instead.

No-Carve Halloween Pumpkin Ideas

1. Gold Confetti Pumpkins via Homey Oh My!

2. Sprinkle Donut Pumpkins via Studio DIY

3. Brushstroke Pumpkins via The Merrythought

4. Mummified Pumpkin via Better Homes and Gardens

5. Spider Web Pumpkins via Woman’s Day

6. Fall Foliage Pumpkins via Country Living

 

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Chic Halloween Decor in One Easy Step

Written by Lauren Saylor of A Fabulous Fete

The older I get, the less I want to decorate my house in traditional Halloween colors. If we are going to have decorations up for weeks at a time, I want it to look great—after all, I’m going to look at it every day! So this month has been all about brainstorming chic ideas with a spooky twist, which lead me to my new secret weapon for Halloween decorating, beakers. They give off a creepy laboratory vibe when paired with moody colors and maybe a spider web or two. Here are a few ways you can update the bar for your Halloween bash if you grab just a few.

Halloween BarBeaker Cocktail Glasses

Resources:
• I ordered a few sets of beakers on Amazon: the cylinder shape and the flask shape.

Creative Halloween Ideas

Bar Styling IdeasAdd treats and snacks in the wide-mouth beakers.

Halloween CocktailsMix drinks and add stirrers and straws to turn them into the perfect Halloween cocktail glass.

Halloween Cocktail Ideas The larger pieces in the sets make perfect pitchers or vases for flowers!

BeakersBeaker Flower Arrangements

These beakers got my bar Halloween-ready with minimal effort. I did the same things I always do for guests, just in interesting containers! Great for any last minute decorating or putting that finishing touch on your decor.

 

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Last-Minute Halloween Costume: Julia Child

Have an aspiring culinary artist in your midst? Dressing up like Julia Child is actually super simple and you probably already have the items on hand. Throw in a Bob Fosse and Christopher Kimball and you have a complete PBS Saturday morning line-up.

easy halloween costume ideas

All you need is:
• A shirt dress or button-up shirt with pencil skirt
• Beaded necklace
• Apron
• Curly wig
• Props such as a whisk or baguette

julia child costume

Admittedly, this costume would work better on an older child or adult who wouldn’t yank the wig off instantaneously. I’m pretty sure Julia’s hair never looked that wild.

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DIY: Glowing Moon Halloween Treat Bag

Halloween is quickly approaching! This year, stand out in the neighborhood with this glow-in-the-dark moon treat bag. A great craft for kids and adults, this project is a fun and easy way to collect candy on Halloween. Bonus: The moon motif holds up year-round so you can carry it long after All Hallows’ Eve is over.

Supplies:
• Black cotton tote bag
• Glow-in-the-dark dimensional paint
• Glow-in-the-dark brush-on paint
• Paintbrush
• White color pencil
• Dinner plate
• Piece of paper

Steps:

1. Lay the tote bag flat on a table and trace the dinner plate in the center of the bag with the white color pencil.

2. Move the plate over about 4 inches and trace the edge to create the crescent shape.

3. Apply the dimensional paint over the white pencil outline

4. Allow to dry as directed.

5. Apply the brush-on paint to the inside of the crescent shape. Create a moon surface effect by varying your brush strokes.

6. Allow the paint to dry as directed; once dry, your tote bag is ready to be filled with treats!

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Save the Date Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Newly-engaged couples will soon be coming to Minted to search for unique and personal ways to announce their upcoming nuptials. We asked you, our talented Minted design community, to completely refresh our Save the Date assortment with a large number of truly exceptional new designs. We were blown away with the number of eye-catching and design-forward submissions in this challenge. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up!

Collection Award: For the first time ever, we are awarding the ability to launch a full end-to-end wedding collection based on a winning Save the Date design. Each design below will receive a guaranteed full wedding suite collection, including a coordinating Wedding Website,Wedding Invitation, and Day Of pieces.

Click through to see more special prize winners from our invitation challenge

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Design to Dish: Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Snack Cake

Fall is my favorite time of year! I love the weather (sunny mixed with overcast, just the right amount of chill in the air), I love the activities (pumpkin patches, hayrides, apple picking), and most of all, I love the baked goods (apples, pumpkin, and spices galore)! One of my favorite fall flavor combinations is pumpkin spice and chocolate. I like it in all of it’s forms: muffins, breads, cookies, doughnuts, and this easy to make, easy to serve snack cake. It’s the perfect treat to serve at a low-key pumpkin carving party featuring these darling invitations by Hooray Creative.

pumpkin carving party invitations and pumpkin chocolate chip snacking cake“Pumpkin Carving Party” invitation by Hooray Creative | Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip
Snack Cake, recipe below

pumpkin spice cake with milk chocolate chips

Keep reading for this simply scrumptious fall recipe…

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Meet a Minted Artist: Kamala Nahas

A series where we highlight a member of our Minted artist community. Featured this month: photographer Kamala Nahas, who lives with her family in lives in Camarillo, California.

Kamala Nahas has always loved snapping photos, but it wasn’t until a trip to Arizona’s Antelope Canyon in 2011 that something clicked. She came home inspired and enrolled in classes to hone her technique; two years later, Kamala started her own photography business. Here, the Southern California-based shutterbug shares a glimpse into her life, process, and inspiration.

How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I’ve loved snapping pictures for as long as I can remember, but I never took it seriously. About four years ago we took a family road trip to Lake Powell in Page, Arizona. I had just gotten a new camera and literally ditched my family to go on a six-hour photography tour in Antelope Canyon. This was the first time I completely immersed myself into photography and was smitten with the whole process. Looking back, that was the beginning for me. For years I’d taken pictures at holiday gatherings, on vacations, and at my kids’ school events. Even though people told me I “had an eye,” I think part of me was afraid of making a serious try at something I’d never really been trained to do. Brooks Institute is close to my home and they offer workshops for budding photographers. It’s nothing like attending the school itself, but participating in a few of the workshops in the years that followed the Antelope Canyon shoot allowed me to gain some technical knowledge and see how I stacked up. About two years ago I started a small portrait and event photography business: Tall Poppy Photography. I love it. Even though it’s been so much fun capturing special moments and connections between people, my heart has always been in nature and landscape photography. Last year, I finally got the courage to submit some photos to Minted and explore the more creative side of my work. I feel fortunate to be a part of this community and can’t wait to see what lies ahead.

Did you study photography formally in school?
Aside from six weeks of photography in community college and a workshop here and there, I’m self taught.

What are some of your own “rules” for living + working?
In all things:
Be Authentic
Stand Up For Yourself and Others
There’s Always More Than One Way
Take A Chance
Wing It
Get Lost, Get Messy, Sing Loudly, Dance

Please describe your last month in a word.
BIG

What are you serious about?
I’m super passionate about education and volunteer a good portion of my time in schools. I’m very serious about finding ways of reinventing our educational system to ensure our next generation is made up of thinkers, innovators, and makers with a global conscience. I’m also very serious about preparing grilled cheese sandwiches properly—crunchy on the outside, creamy in the middle, with a side of homemade tomato soup to dip the corners into.

What things will you never take seriously?
Road trips, chocolate, and mashed potatoes are all things that should never be taken seriously—even when they are bad, they are still good.

Please tell us about your family.
I’ve been married for twenty years to my first and only true love. We have three children. My oldest is my daughter Asha who is almost fifteen. She is my partner in crime and assists me in my business—I’m going to be pretty lost when she goes off to college in a couple years. My oldest son, Sassin, is twelve. He has a generous spirit and can generally be found playing soccer in real life or on the XBox. My youngest son is almost ten. His name is Samir and he is the character in the family. He is constantly building something or making something or experimenting with something or getting away with something. Our house is loud and messy, but we love each other a bunch and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Click through to read more from Minted artist Kamala Nahas

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