minted

I am so excited to learn about minted, an online shop chock full of all things stationery. Minted carries cards, address labels, invites, journals and more. They have everything you need to keep a well stocked writing and party planning desk for all occasions. Styles range from serene to quirky and you can even customize many pieces with a personal photo. What I especially love about minted is they crowdsource the artwork from independent designers and artists . Since 2008, they have hosted 119 design challenges. Submit a design and minted followers will vote on which designs they want to see sold on minted. If your design is selected you can win cash prizes and a percentage of revenues. Here’s just a few of my minted pics:

 

Minted Je t'aime bebe by Guess Who

 

I’ve been a bit obsessed with all things French lately and this birth announcement is so sweet. Designed by Lori James of Guess What? from Honolulu.

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Ten things to do with shipping tags

I keep a pack of shipping tags from the office supply store on hand at all times. You can score 100 for less than 5 smackers and the fun never stops.

TenThingsToDoWithShippingTags

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StudioKMO

I’ve always found the practice of map making, cartography, fascinating. When I happen upon an artist inspired by the intricacy of maps, my heart skips a beat. Karen O’Leary’s work pulls together the art of the map and the simplicity of paper with her handcut creations.

StudioKMO Paris Handcut

She believes that a map is more than a navigational tool; it also tells us a story. When I view her work, I imagine what it would be like as a resident, walking through the urban grid visiting museums and dining at a street-side cafe.

StudioKMO offers handcut originals on Etsy like the beautiful Paris map above (my personal favorite).

StudioKMO Notecards

Original ink drawings, prints (including canvas stretch) and trading card collectible pieces are also available. The notepad set with a mix of cities is the perfect stationery for a traveler or anyone who dreams of places beyond their corner of the world.

All images via artist’s Etsy shop, StudioKMO.

Visual Thesaurus…

A love of words is the greatest love of all.

Thinkmap Visual ThesaurusHave you tried the Visual Thesaurus yet? This online tool by Thinkmap is the coolest thing since sliced Portuguese sweet bread (in my humble geeky opinion). You type in a word and bam! A visual map hovers on your screen. I chose hover because this interactive display isn’t stationery, it is in constant movement, inviting us to play with words, literally. Grab and pull a word and watch the diagram change. Click on the speaker to hear the proper prononciation. Roll over a word to see its meaning. Click on an outlying term to bring it to the center, creating a whole new image. Right click for an instant internet search of a synonym that is begging to be researched.

I use the Visual Thesaurus during my editing process to add more punch and variety to my writing. It’s my go-to productive distraction if I’m at a loss for words. Mapping random words that come to mind can also get my creative juices going. I once logged ten blog post ideas after a five minute map play.

All this verbal goodness doesn’t come for free but it’s well worth the $2.95 monthly or $19.95 annual fee. Thinkmap offers a free try and a fourteen day free trial so you can get a little taste. If you write (lyrics, blogs, bestsellers, love letters, memes to be incessantly shared on social media), you’ll love the Visual Thesaurus. Their site is worth a visit even if you don’t plan to jump on the map wagon at this time. The blog is all kinds of awesomeness with catchy titles like “Words we love to hate” and “Why do people love their language peeves”. Also check out their word of the day and maps for trending news and issues.

 

Take A Picture…Paper

Sshhh, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m not crafty. I can’t turn paint, a ball of twine and a wad of styrofoam into something awesome (emphasis on awe). I’m more like a curator of the artsy and crafty world. I do enjoy playing with paper from time to time but keep things sweet and simple.

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