Posts tagged Minted
6 Ways to Rock at Sending Christmas Cards

This is a sponsored post by Minted, whose products I love and purchase for my home! All opinions are my own.

This year, it's going to be the best year ever. I'm a big fan of traditional cards and hand written letters and quality paper and beautiful photography. BUT, I have (long time) dreaded the whole process of creating, addressing, and sending our Christmas cards. I do believe that my husband even asked me not to send them out one year because I was a miserable grump for so long, trying to get it all together in a way that said something about who we are as a family. I'm not here to convince you of the importance of Christmas cards - to each her own - but I am here to tell you how to rock the process if you DO send them.

I want you, too, to love this process (because I want to receive your beautiful, handwritten card in the mail), and if we can make something that much more awesome, let's go ahead and do it.

1. HAVE SOMETHING YOU LOVE AND WANT TO SHARE

This might be in the form of a letter or a photo or something else. Many of us parents want to show off our kids or pets or both and so we opt for photo cards. First step to great photo cards? Great photos.

DIY family photo shoots can be awesome if everyone is well rested and in the mood. We opted for some time with our friend and amazing photographer, Brittani Renee. If you live in the Indiana or Michigan area, book your photos with her. She spent a few hours with us and gave us a load of great options for our cards (and presents, too!).

2. GET THAT CHRISTMAS CARD ADDRESS LIST TOGETHER

So, of course, it's a great idea to keep your address book or file constantly updated so that you know everyone's address, but (blah blah blah) some of us are not that on task all the time. If post Thanksgiving is the time that you need to put it all together, then so be it. I have a small drawer where I keep return addresses of new friends or those who might have moved. I pull out that stack in late November, and I update an Excel sheet that I've been using since we sent out our wedding invitations!

Use technology here to be your friend. Social apps can help find missing info and the White Pages app can help find details that you might be missing.

Bonus, some companies like Minted offer free (FREE!) addressing on all of your envelopes. I am a lover of handwriting, but I must say that going with Minted and seeing the way that they handled the printing of the envelopes (so good), I was convinced that this time saver was my new best friend.

3. TRY SOMETHING NEW

I created our cards for the first ten years of our family. It was a total labor of love that I designed and printed from our home. I loved it, but it also stole me away for hours and stressed me out and made Christmas cards seem to last forever. So, for now, for me, the right choice was to order something. But I also wanted something unique this year. Our photograph has bright pinks and blues in it so a traditional Christmas color scheme just wouldn't do.

This might be the year to switch it up for you! Maybe it's a bulleted list of activities of each family member for your card. Maybe it's a mini book of messages or a gift tag. Or a montage of photos rather than just one. You may just find that changing your card injects more fun into the process!

4. CREATE DESIGNS AND MESSAGES THAT ARE AWESOME

Totally biased on this one, but a great design goes so far! There are many wonderful options out there from Make-Your-Own kits to store bought packages of cards to designer collaborations. I wanted something on trend for our card so I scoured the foil pressed section at Minted. With their site you can select the photo or photos you want to use and see it in all the designs at once. Game change for me. This selection process could have taken me days, but instead was done in 15 minutes. Various color ways and foils are available for each design! And a fun add-on they have is that you can watch the foil shine through a .gif of your card. I may have been mesmerized by this for more than a few moments.

With the photos warm tones, I decided the new rose gold foil would be a great pick for our message of Rejoice. *Spoiler alert to friends who will receive our cards!

5. EMPLOY THE SMALLEST OF ELVES

To keep me motivated, I pull in our three children to help decorate the Christmas card envelopes. Now that they are already addressed, adding some charming Christmas stamps doesn't take too long for any of us. It's fun to sit around the kitchen table, listening to the Swinging Christmas music station on Pandora, and talking about all the families and friends who will receive our greetings.

I bought a full box of assorted Christmas stamps at a local craft store as well as a red and green stamp pad, and we (or they since I'm busy writing the messages) rotate around the table after a dozen or so envelopes so that every child has a chance to use every stamp (this has become an important point to them).

6. KEEP THESE CREATIONS ALL TOGETHER TO ENJOY

Christmas cards, especially those with personal messages and photos, are a unique, once-a-year communication with individuals important in our history and present lives. Since you're putting the time into your cards, why not make a frame of the last five years that you can display at Christmas? Or put a binder ring through all of them and bring them out every holiday to see all the years.

Consider making the Christmas cards you receive a part of your holiday decorating. Creative ways to do this abound! Check out my Christmas board to get inspired to create one of your own.

Minted is running a holiday discount on cards when you use the promo code: Joy15. You get 15% off your order until Dec. 8, 2014.

How do you send your holiday greetings?

xoxo, MJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Backyard Circus Party: Endless Summer Projects

Minted is the premier marketplace for independent design and art. They sell the best work of indie designers and artists as fine stationery, art, and party decor. Their newly-launched collection of birthday party invitations and party decor suites would be perfect for summer birthdays, fitting every theme from movie nights to pool parties!

Today's Endless Summer Project is an incredible array of circus themed goodies topped off with a fabulous DIY from Jen at Classic Play. We're making stilts this week, and I am giddy about the final product! I have no idea how to walk on stilts, but I think it would be a ton of fun to try it out with our kiddos.

Have you ever been to or thrown a circus party? I haven't yet, but I want to! Especially after seeing all of the possibilities. I spent some time looking at invitation ideas for our party over at Minted, and I was amazed by the many options and awesome designs.

Minted offers a platform for independent artists and designers to showcase their work. If you find a design that you love, you can easily personalize and adapt it to the theme that you want. So, if you see a birth announcement that is just what you need for a summer party, you can easily make those changes right on screen.

Check out just some of the celebratory invites and cards over at Minted:

You can find all of these and more under the circus search of Minted. The top two are my favorites, and I can imagine my guests getting excited after receiving one of these!

The circus theme is such a fun one that we've expanded it across all of the blogs in Endless Summer Projects. Click around to see some amazing creations from these ladies!

  • On Lulu the Baker today, find a round up of circus treats that would make the ideal menu for your circus party.
  • This Heart of Mine features delightful circus party decor.
  • Alexandra has some super cute costumes that you can DIY to bring the circus to life!

Have fun making your stilts! We're living the high life this year.

Join in next Wednesday for a watery-good post in the Endless Summer Projects series.

xoxo, MJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by Minted
The products in this post were given by Minted. Ideas and opinions are all mine.

Sometimes this world of blogging is pretty damn awesome. Actually, most of the time (even the long, wee hours of the morning kind of time) it's pretty awesome. And when the amazingness meets up with a friend in need then all sorts of super fireworks go off and real inspiration comes through.

Enter my real life friend, Kelly. Kelly is a rare talent as a completely joyful, totally intelligent, got-it-all-together kind of gal. For the past many years, she's been inspiring children in her role as teacher, and now she's made a leap. She's started to pursue one of her life dreams of becoming a children's author. And girlfriend is good. Like three-books-ready-to-be-published good. So when she said she was headed to a writing conference in NYC, I asked if I could help. How about some swanky business cards?! I have just the place for you to check out.

Enter Minted. Minted describes their work in this way:

"Our purpose in life is to uncover exceptional design from all over the world and bring this to savvy consumers who won't accept anything else."

Kelly and I hopped over to their site to check out the many, many options they had in innovative business card design. As a writer, Kelly wanted something clean but unique.

We discovered this hip Monolith style, available in a variety of colors. It hit the mark. A clear branded touch on one side with a fun pattern on the other and all printed on a super thick paper. And bonus: they come in this class box with a little bit of wit tucked on the inside.

Big thank you to the generous team at Minted for gifting Kelly with these incredible first impressions. Check out just how well these cards turned out from Kelly's perspective.

Happy for me, Kelly was also willing to let me assist with some basic design for her brand new blog. We used the strong direction from her business cards as a great jumping off point for her blog design. The strong font, the color options, the great use of white space all came into play thanks to the Monolith design.

Write, Read, Smile is a fabulous spot for parents and kids that encourages a love for learning all around. There you'll find story starters, great read-alouds, and brilliant recommendations for getting and keeping the young readers and authors in your life interested in words and books. I am so excited for Kelly and all that the future holds.

Inspiration can be found all over. If you're looking for great design, check out Minted! And if you're looking for a great read, click over to Write, Read, Smile.

I feel really fortunate to be here where I am so thank you, too, for reading and commenting and clicking. It all means so much to me. Every day. Thank you.

xoxo, MJ

 

 

Valentine (no sew) t-shirt bag
Every now and again, I add features or links to posts from companies that sponsor the blog. When I do this, I'll let you know right at the top of the post. Sponsor companies are ones that I select and shop myself. Products are theirs, but opinions are mine. Today's valentines were selected by me and provided by Minted.
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Happy (almost) Valentine's Day, friends! We are in full-on Valentine prep around here with classroom parties galore. The great folks at Minted offered us classroom valentines of our choice (and, oh, the choices!), and I'm pretty sure these are the nicest valentines we've ever sent. They came personalized with my daughter's names, too, so we've had fun adding special touches to the envelopes (hello ring pops) since the hard work was already done!

Since our cards are stepping it up this year, we decided to take our valentine container up to the next level, too. Did you decorate shoe boxes to collect your valentines as a kid? Or make a heart complete with doilies and ribbon to hold your cards? I did, and I loved the creation of the container almost as much as the cutesy notes themselves.

Well, times have not changed, but instead of gluing my box or envelope, my kids and I crafted some sassy t-shirt bags to tote our love notes. These bags are super easy, upcycled, and take less time than construction paper and glue (no...really). I have a sewing machine that loves dark corners of my basement, and I wasn't ready to change its mind for this project so I found this idea and made it valentine.

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(And also, I love that my daughters were most excited to send their teachers cards!)

STEP ONE:

Dig to the bottom of the drawer, or for us the bag of giveaway clothes. We found a pink and a red t-shirt that were too small to wear but in awesome shape, ready to be remade. *Just a note, if you're making a bag suitable for kids, use a kids t-shirt so that the bag won't be too large for their size.

STEP TWO:

We wanted a blank canvas so we turned the shirt inside out. Trim off the tag as well as the sleeves (with a little extra for the handles). Next trim a rounded or squared shape from the neckline to create the handles of your bag.

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STEP THREE:

We made our bag with three holes in the bottom and therefore we cut three slits at the bottom of the shirt, about equi-distant from one another.

STEP FOUR:

With the sleeves that you trimmed, cut 1/2 inch strips the entire length of the sleeve width. Pull on the strip to make it curl on the edges (neat-o trick).

STEP FIVE:

Grab one of the strips, pin it with a safety pin on the end and feed it through the seam allowance at the bottom of the shirt. Thread it through two sections of the shirt, pull the cord, and tie a knot. Continue to do this with the two other strips and the remaining seam sections. Tie all ends into one large knot at the bottom of the bag.

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STEP SIX:

Grab your freezer paper and cut a heart stencil. Apply paint evenly with the brush or sponge of your choice. We chose a metallic paint to add some shimmer to the bag and stamped simple hearts on the front and back.

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That's all there is to it! Our first shirt took us 20 minutes with painting included, and we whipped up the second in under 10.

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My 9-yo could craft these on her own, and they'd make great party favor bags for a sleepover or to go bags from a crafternoon.

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Maybe gift wrap for a galentine's day present?Or make one for yourself to show that you love Love Day!

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Happy Valentine's, dear readers. You all are the sweetest!

xoxo, MJ