“For Art’s Sake” Challenge: Special Prize Winners

We are continuously impressed with the high quality of artwork and photography that our Minted community has created. As our art business continues to grow, we can’t wait to launch a more diverse and unique assortment of art. We turned to you to submit your most interesting and creative pieces. You wowed us once again! Congratulations to all the winners!

Curator’s Choice Award: For the artwork that most captures
the attention of the Minted curatorial team
The Mountains Before Us” by Mande


Newbie Award: For the best work of art by a first-time entrant
Sable Song” by Juniper Briggs


Color Award: For the best bold and colorful art piece
Green Garden” by Tae Lee


Nursery award: For the most charming print for a little one
Blue Fish Wish” by Maja Cunningham


Avant-Garde Award: For the best edgy print that pushes boundaries
Star Child” by Tolani Lightfoot


Abstract Award: For the best abstract painting, illustration, or graphic
Melt” by Adrienne Jackson


 Photography Award: For the best photographic art print
Red Rock and Sky” by Compass Rose Photography


 Seasonal Award: For the best piece of artwork inspired by the fall or winter months
Blue Mountain” by Jenny Partrite


Landscape Orientation Award: For the art piece that best utilizes the landscape orientation
Linger Longer III” by Lindsay Megahed


Square Award: For the most interesting square-shaped composition
Sombras” by Lulaloo

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on “For Art’s Sake” Challenge: Special Prize Winners

“Joy to the Work” Holiday Challenge: Special Prize Winners

This holiday season, businesses across the country will search for the perfect card to send customers and partners. We asked you, our talented Minted community, to significantly update our corporate holiday card assortment with fresh, original designs. We were overjoyed with the incredible submissions to this challenge. A huge congrats to all the winners and runners-up!

For the most innovative corporate holiday card
that you wouldn’t find on other sites
Abstract Tree” by Erica Krystek

Runners-Up: Stateside” by Jessie Steury | “Christmas Birds” by Ana de Sousa


For the best simple (but still interesting!), masculine design
Holidays Stamp” by Erin L. Wilson

Runners-Up: “Big Joy” by iamtanya | “Joy All Around” by Alston Wise


For the card that best communicates gratitude to customers
lettered thanks”  by Dawn Jasper

Runners-Up: “Thanks for being Awesome” by Genna Cowsert  | “Shimmering Snow” by
Pistols | “Simple Script” by Misa


For the best design incorporating stats & 
data from the year in a fun way
Infographic Joy” by Bonjour Berry

Runners-Up: Holiday Pie Chart” by Hooray Creative | Watercolor Stats” by Smudge Design


For the best design that incorporates a company logo
From Our City” by Frooted Design

Runners-Up: Delivering Holiday Cheer” by Itsy Belle Studio 
Winter in our City” by Shelly Gerritsma


For the most clever, witty card that makes you smile
Loading” by Elly

Runner-Up: Tools of the Trade” by Cheer Up Press


For the best design showcasing the company’s office location
nickname city” by Aspacia Kusulas

Runners-Up: Joy From Our State” by Sarah Brown | “West Coast Greetings” by Erica Krystek | “Location Location” by Hooray Creative


For the best new year’s corporate card design
A Complete 2016” by fatfatin

Runners-Up: Bright New Year” by Kaydi Bishop | “Bright Ideas” by Elly


For the design that best showcases one of Minted’s die-cut shapes
Wreath of Prosperity” by Qing Ji

Runners-Up:  Joyful Garland” by Katherine Moynagh | “Watercolor Laurel” by Baumbirdy


For the best design that puts text on a curvilinear path
Watercolor Pine Wreath” by Gakemi Art + Design

Runners-Up: holiday streamers” by peetie design 
Good Cheer is Good Business” by Chelsey Scott


For the best design from a first-time entrant:
Vintage Snow Globe” by Lisa Assenmacher

Runners-Up: Winter Sprigs”  by Claudia Bianchi | “Merry & Bright, You Were the Highlight” by Chelsea Voorhees

Images: Leah Conroy
Ed. note: “The Most Wonderful Type Award” will be announced at a later date.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on “Joy to the Work” Holiday Challenge: Special Prize Winners

Wedding Thank-You Card Etiquette

Thanking friends and family members not only for their thoughtful wedding gifts but for also being part of your special day is an absolutely essential pre- and post-wedding task (yes, engagement party and shower gifts require a thank-you card, too!). While a gracious note seems simple enough, there are some key things you need to keep in mind. To help you get it right, here are the answers to the most frequently asked wedding thank-you questions.

Wedding Thank You Card Etiquette and IdeasFrom top: “Woodland Initials” by Lehan Veenker; “Olive Branches” by
Carolyn Nicks; “Dahlia Bouquet” by Alethea and Ruth; “Woodland
Romance
” by Hooray Creative; and “Bookbinder” by Jennifer Wick

Who gets a thank-you note?
Everyone who has given you a gift at any of the wedding festivities (the engagement party, bridal shower, wedding).

How long do I have to write them?
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have a year’s grace period (sorry!). For gifts received during the engagement party and shower, send a thank you within two to three weeks of the festivities; for gifts sent before the wedding date, send a card as soon as possible but definitely before the wedding; for gifts given on the wedding day itself, mail a thank-you note within three months; and for gifts received after your wedding, send one within two to three weeks.

I want to feature a wedding portrait on the card but we haven’t gotten photos from our photographer yet. Can we wait until we’ve received them?
Your thank-you notes are a great opportunity to show off your first pictures together as husband and wife; however, if personalizing your thank-you cards with a wedding photo means missing your deadline, use an engagement photo instead.

What should we write?
Make sure your thank-you note feels warm and genuine (definitely avoid generic phrases and wording!). Address the gift giver by name and mention the present and what you’ll do with it, along with a personal detail. For example: “Thank you so much for the juicer, we’ve been wanting one for a while and have already come up with some new recipes! We’ll have to have you over for brunch soon so you can see it in action. And thank you for coming to our weddingwe loved dancing with you at the reception!”

Do text messages or in-person thank yous count?
While a face-to-face thank you is always important, a proper thank you must be on paper; texts and emails don’t count. Also, even though typing them out might be easier, wedding thank-you notes should always be hand-written.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Wedding Thank-You Card Etiquette

DIY: Painted Favor Boxes

I love sending party guests home with an edible treat. These small, round boxes can be found at any craft store and are the perfect container for said treat. And all it takes is a bit of paint to make them truly presentable.

party favor boxes

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on DIY: Painted Favor Boxes

Design to Dish: Cheddar Scallion Biscuits

We’re going through a biscuit phase in our family right now, and I just discovered a new favorite flavor combo: cheddar and scallions. I’ve known the two tasted good together, but I hadn’t tried them in my go-to buttermilk biscuit recipe until recently, and the result was kind of mind blowing!

cheddar scallion biscuits

I was worried they wouldn’t taste good topped with butter and honey—our usual biscuit-eating method!—but they were excellent. On their own, they were savory and just salty enough, and adding a drizzle of honey to the fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuits added a delicious sweetness. These easy-to-make biscuits are perfect with barbecue or a Sunday pot roast. And they’d be amazing topped with homemade sausage gravy for a hearty weekend breakfast.

cheddar scallion biscuits and new throw pillows by Minted Home I’m loving Minted Home’s new line of throw pillows, especially this pretty green design
(left; “Summer Fun” by Simona Cavallaro), which inspired me to make something
with scallions. || Cheddar Scallion Biscuits (right; recipe below)

Keep reading for this easy, savory biscuit recipe…

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... Comments Off on Design to Dish: Cheddar Scallion Biscuits

When you need a quick creative pick-me-up, what do you do?

Creative funks happen to the best of us, but overcoming them oftentimes inspires a whole new direction. Here, Minted artists Joni Tyrrell, Andi Pahl, and Jennifer Postorino share their most reliable creative pick-me-ups.

Joni Tyrrell with her son, Kingston

Joni Tyrrell
North Liberty, Iowa

Take a break! It’s so easy as a creative business owner to get caught up in working all the time and forgetting to find balance between work and family life. I’m just starting to figure out a balance, and I find that when I turn to the two most important people in my life—my husband and son—that downtime can really trigger a creative thought or idea and I can come back to “work” feeling refreshed and excited about new things.

Joni with her dog, Maverick (“A female with a boy name,” she says.)

Pining for Pineapple by Joni Tyrrell


Andi Pahl
Columbus, Ohio

Music—from show tunes to ’80s pop to Jenny Lewis and everything in between—is a great creative pick-me-up. I also enjoy taking ballet classes, so whether it’s an hour-long class or a short plié relevé combination in my living room to get the blood pumping, working out can be very helpful.

One of my favorite creative pick-me-ups is coffee and collaborating with a creative friend, like Alaina from Cheer Up Press. Since inspiration seems to hit me at the most random times, I keep several journals. When I’m at a total loss for ideas, I consult one of my journals for creative inspiration. There’s always a surprising idea that I wrote down at some earlier point and forgot about later. When all else fails, I just start painting or sketching without any prior plan or expectations.

I’m Frond Of You No. 2” by Andi Pahl

Reflections Watercolor by Andi Pahl


Jenny Postorino and her daughter, Quinn. Photo by Ashley Mauro Photography

Jennifer Postorino
Dayton, Ohio

It’s pretty simple for me. I just walk away from whatever I am doing and see what’s going on in the world around me. I’ll run to grab an iced coffee from Starbucks or a sweet treat from our local bakery—I’m a total sucker for iced sugar cookies and cupcakes! Lately I’ve been hitting the gym for a butt-kicking crossfit session every day (which is my newest obsession, or necessity, based on my love of cookies).

But, honestly, most of the time I find myself just hanging out with my two kiddos, being a typical mom. The things that come out of their little mouths crack me up, and I find inspiration in them every day. It could be anything from hearing my 3-year-old sing Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” in the car at the top of her lungs to playing outside and listening to my son ramble on about how he thinks he has a huge head while shooting hoops. Oddly enough, it’s in those little moments when creativity strikes, and I feel recharged again and ready to work.

Glimmer” by Jennifer Postorino

Bundle of Joy” by Jennifer Postorino


What do you do when you need a quick creative pick-me-up? Share your answer in Comments below and on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with the hashtag #WhatInspiresMe.

How does education—formal and informal—shape your creative work? Read about Minted artists’ experiences here.

Learn how to become a Minted artist here.

Published September 14, 2015

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 2   COMMENTS

DIY: Birthday Candle Garland

Written by Sara Albers and Melissa Fenlon of  alice & lois

Birthday candles are a must if you’re celebrating a birthday, which is why we created this whimsical garland of cardstock candles. It’s guaranteed to become a decoration staple at all your birthday celebrations. We used bright neon cardstock to make ours, but you could, of course, choose any color scheme you like.

A great DIY birthday candle garland to make for your next party.A great DIY birthday candle garland

Click through for the full tutorial

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 2   COMMENTS

Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 1st Place Winner

By Mariam Naficy

At Minted, we celebrate independent creatives. They are the heart and soul of what we do as a company. We know that creativity comes from unexpected places, and we cherish the serendipity and surprise that result from this. We strive to create a marketplace for independent creatives—a marketplace that rewards them for the quality of their work and provides customers with a direct connection to find art and design that expresses their unique style.

Minted’s annual Holiday Photo Card Challenge is the biggest stationery design event of the year. This year artists submitted a total of 4,661 designs. We have a very diverse group of winners who truly embody independence of thought.

I’m thrilled to announce that the first-place winner of the 2015 Holiday Photo Card Challenge is Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma for her design “Embellished.” The Columbus, Ohio, artist has won $9,000 and a forthcoming VIP trip to San Francisco along with second-place winner Phrosné Ras of Cape Town, South Africa, and third-place winner Kristie Kern of Akron, Ohio. All winners also earn commission on the sales of their winning designs. See Karly’s winning design and a video of me surprising her below.

Having known Karly as a dedicated Minted community member since the very first year Minted launched (in 2008), I’m thrilled for Karly and her holiday win. A self-taught designer, Karly has embodied the Minted community spirit from the beginning, repeatedly giving advice and help to new designers along the way.

Embellished” is a refreshing new take on a full-bleed design. I love the delicate, elegant, circular lockup, which still lets a customer’s photo shine. What I’ve always admired about Karly is that she studies her work so carefully and that her typography is so carefully considered. Karly revealed to us that she edited “Embellished” nearly 20 times to achieve perfection. The use of holly and the color red convey holiday festivity without compromising the card’s elegance and simplicity.

The Depew Family from left: Karly’s husband Judd, Ollie, Maeve, Parker, and Karly.
Photo by Christa Kimble

Karly’s design was a favorite among both consumers and our community of independent artists—a very difficult feat. Congratulations on this well-deserved accomplishment, Karly. We couldn’t be happier for you!

Each year we surprise the first-place winner, and each time we aim to get a little sneakier. I traveled this year to Columbus to surprise Karly, and even enlisted the help of a special accomplice and fellow Minted artist, Carrie O’Neal, who created a cover story and drove all the way from Cincinnati to help get Karly to the right cafe at the right time. I emerged from a broom closet at the cafe, trying to cover my face with giant red balloons. Watch the video to see how it all went down.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 7   COMMENTS

Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 2nd Place Winner

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

Elegant gold branches adorned with delicate dots and leaves come together to perfectly frame the photo in Phrosne’s stunning design. Her artistry is on full display in this card. The thin clean stroke of her line brings a lightness while the use of gold adds just enough luxe to make this holiday card truly shine.


More Winning Designs from our 2015 Holiday Photo Card Challenge:
3rd Place Winner
• 4th Place Winner
• 5th & 6th Place Winners
• 7th & 8th Place Winners
• 9th & 10th Place Winners
• Top 11–15 Winners
• Top 16-20 Winners
• Top 21–30 Winners
• Top 31–40 Winners
• Top 41-50 Winners 

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 3   COMMENTS

Holiday Photo Card Challenge: 3rd Place Winner

Each year Minted hosts our highly anticipated holiday photo card competition in search of the best and freshest holiday card designs. This year Minted’s community of independent designers produced breathtaking and exceptionally creative designs — we received an incredible 4,661 submissions. The votes have been tallied and the Top 50 winners have been chosen, see them all right here.

Kristie takes two of the hottest aesthetic trends – foil texture and ambre watercolor – and brings them together to create a card that literally radiates joy. The ever-softening shades of red pull you into their soft glow. The tiny smattering of gold and vertical dashes burst onto the page like laughter or an uncontrollable smile. This card captures how the best of the holidays feel. Well done Kristie!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP... 2   COMMENTS