Art Prints by Erin Condren & Marco Fine Arts

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I can’t believe the day is finally here… I’m so proud to announce the launch of art prints by Erin Condren! Ever since partnering with Marco Fine Arts, a fine arts printing company of the highest quality and reputation, I’ve dreamed of diving into the interior design space. Today, my long-term goal has become a reality: to bring the same colorful and motivational designs from your desktop to your decor!

Not only is it thrilling to see our designs as the true pieces of art that they are, it feels fantastic to know that through this partnership, we’re bringing our customers the finest quality art prints available. Ever since partnering with Al Marco of Marco Fine Arts, we’ve been able to vertically integrate our processes to keep costs at a minimum without sacrificing quality- and it’s all made right her in the good ‘ol USA! From the archival paper we print on, to the contemporary-cool wooden frame and everything in between, each component is a display of the finest craftsmanship in the biz- and boy, aren’t these babies beautiful!

Here’s a bite-sized breakdown of just how awesome these art prints really are:

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Archival Paper

In the printing world, there are two types of paper: there’s archival…and then there’s everything else! Kidding, but in all seriousness, when a print is exposed to all sorts of light, temperature, and humidity the paper quality really does matter. Archival paper, and particularly the matte white paper we print on, allows the vibrancy and integrity of the artwork to really pop, and prevents it from fading or wrinkling over time.

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Rich Finish Wooden Frame

While I am certainly no expert on interior design, one thing I’ve learned is that contemporary styles are seriously versatile, making our frames the perfect addition to any aesthetic. Not only does their angular profile pair well with a ton of style themes, the gesso coating gives the moulding a rich, smooth finish that’s seriously sleek and unobtrusive, letting the beauty of the print do all the talking.

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Acrylic Cover & Dust Protector

Two words: shatter-proof! I don’t know about y’all, but living in earthquake country along with a busy home filled with two teens and a dog, a shatter-proof print is exactly what I look for when filling my walls. The acrylic cover does just that, while also protecting the print itself from any wear and tear. On the backside, an acid-free dust cover provides a custom finish.

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Hardware Instant gratification is the name of the game: when I order an item, I want to be able to enjoy it right away! All of our prints are fitted with hardware necessary for hanging, so as soon as it arrives, your art is ready to be displayed. Now if only picking the actual prints were this easy!

Not quite sure how everything should hang? Stay tuned for our upcoming post on how to create a gallery wall!

4 Ways to Creatively Cover Your Textbook!

Getting back in the back-to-school groove is a whole lot easier when your scholastic supplies bring a smile to your face! One of the first tasks all students are given is to cover their textbooks, a project that usually involves repurposing a brown paper bag. We thought we’d take this DIY a step further and add a little excitement with our new sticker sheets!

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What you’ll need:

– brown paper bag

– scissors

– sticker sheets/sticker book(s)/washi tape

How to create your cover:

1. Gently remove the bag handles.

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2. Cut down the side of one of corners the bag from top to bottom, then cut the rest of way around the 3 sides of the bottom to remove the bottom flap. Open up the bag and lay it flat- you should have one long rectangular piece.

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3. Customize the fit to the size of your textbook by placing the book in the center of the paper and creasing the top and bottom excess paper (or you can mark the dimensions using a pencil) to fit the actual height of the book.

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4. Set the book aside and fold the top and bottom along the crease or pencil lines.

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5. Place the book back in the center and wrap the paper across the cover from left to right so that the ends meet evenly.

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6. Fold the overlap over the front cover and crease the paper along the edge. If there is significant excess paper, you can trim it down. You should have enough bag to wrap about 3/4 of the way into the inner front cover.

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7. Insert the cover into the slots created by folding the top and bottom of the bag, slide until you hit the crease, and close to create the final fit. Cover should fit snugly, not to the point of tearing, but not loose, either.

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8. Repeat the same process on the back cover. You’ve now got your blank canvas ready for decorating!

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Block Letters

Against the backdrop of plain brown paper, a cute and colorful design can really bring excitement and style to an otherwise boring book cover! One of the simplest and easiest design options is to spell out the first letter of the subject or topic with designer sticker sheets or the individual sticker sheets (if you prefer to stick to one particular design theme).

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Spell It Out

One of the hidden treasures in our cool for school sticker book are the metallic alphabet stickers hiding in the back of the book! They are incredibly versatile, and are a fun to way personalize just about any paper product for a unique and fresh way to truly make your supplies your own. Keep it straightforward with the title of the book or the subject, or have some fun with phrases: ‘hola’ for a Spanish text, or ‘E equals MC squared” for a clever physics cover.

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Go Avant-Garde

It goes without saying that we love to celebrate creativity, and the beauty of this DIY project is the ability to customize your book covers any way your heart desires! There are a million-and-one ways to customize your covers, so we encourage you to get creative – we especially love the idea of creating an interactive cover with sheets from our coloring book and matching colored pencil set! It’s the gift that keeps on giving for those less-than-lively lectures 😛

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Want more creative ways to use our stylish new stickers? Check out our Pinterest for TONS of DIY ideas!

Fall Party Feature: Perfect Placemats for Every Occasion!

It’s fall, y’all and I couldn’t be happier! For my household, this means more family gatherings and reasons to celebrate. No matter who or what you choose to celebrate, I’m going to share multiple ways to use one of my favorite products to make all your parties feel extra-special…

Designer Placemats that are disposable and conveniently bound together in a pad!

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 Halloween Cookie Decorating
Whether it’s a full-blown halloween party or just an after school activity with the little ones, cookie decorating is a fun fall activity that feels even more festive when you set the stage with wicked fun placemat pads! Other than the obvious benefit of containing the mess of sprinkles and frosting, they can also be used in a TON of other ways.. pumpkin carving, anyone?
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Floral Ink Tea Party
All you need to throw a sophisticated tea party is classic tea set, a few delicious cookies, and a fabulous floral ink design to add a touch of fancy! The gorgeous color palette of this design makes picking a coordinated napkin color a cinch.
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Palms Backyard Entertaining

The epitome of elegance comes alive in a palms themed garden party! One of the best aspects of placemat pads (and the palms design) is their versatility- you can use them for almost any occasion! You’d be surprised at how instantly these gorgeous palms placemats add to your entertaining aesthetic!

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Hosting a bridal or baby shower? Share the love on a custom colored heart design that compliments the wedding theme colors or nursery. The text inside the heart is customizable so you can truly say it from the heart!

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Special Moments

Celebrate a soccer goal or a super grade! The pad of “You are Special Today” placemats is great to have on hand for any spontaneous celebration and a personal favorite in my family.

Looking more for party-planning inspiration? Shop all the delightful designs for our placemat pads here!

How to Apply NEW Nail Wraps!

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I’m obsessed with nail art these days and LOVE following the incredible work of nail artists on social media! However, for those of us that don’t have the tools or the talent, I absolutely love the brilliant invention of nail wraps (stickers!!!). We’ve partnered with NCLA who has some amazing collaborations with Beyoncé & Hello Kitty, so, I was incredibly honored to be collaborating with them for my first collection of wraps! The application process is really meant for DIY-ers and takes some practice to make perfect!

Here are a few hints to help you with an accent nail or full set of fashionable nails:

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What you’ll need:

  • Nail wraps in your favorite design – mini nail file included!
  • Base coat/Top Coat (not included with nail wraps)
  • Tweezers/Dowel (optional, also not included)

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1. First, clean and file your nails as you normally would before applying polish. Any nail shape will work, however, I recommend keeping them square to make the design really pop and to eliminate how much you need to trim them to fit!

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2. Apply a clear base coat (NCLA has a great option, but any clear base coat will work!) onto clean, dry nails, and LET DRY. I can’t stress this part enough- without a fully dry base, the stickers may slide and won’t adhere properly.

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3. Depending on the width of your nail beds, you may need to trim your nail wraps (don’t worry about the length, we’ll get to that in a moment). Should you need a trim, simply measure the excess against your nails and use cuticle scissors to cut them to size.

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4. Next, apply the round side of the nail wrap against the cuticle. Stretch from the bottom upward and outward until you have the perfect fit!

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5. Air bubbles? Don’t stress! Press firmly from the cuticle in an upward motion until the wrap is completely flat.

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6. Lastly, use a nail file to remove any excess by filing in a downward motion. Apply a coat of clear polish for a flawless finish!

Ready to ‘nail it’ with nail wraps? Shop all five designs here!

*Don’t worry if you forget these instructions when you get the wraps. They come with a full set of easy to follow instructions as well.

Breast Cancer Awareness: Pink Lotus Foundation & Erin Condren

Sam-headshot-1-copy1 Beloved EC employee and breast cancer survivor Sam Kuhr took part in the Malibu Triathlon as a member of team TBG,  a group of survivors, family members and supporters,  lead by reconstructive surgeon Dr. Tiffany Grunwald, and included Dr. Kristi Funk of the Pink Lotus Foundation. To honor her courage & support this wonderful foundation, Erin Condren is proudly donating 50% of all proceeds of our signature lotus design sold in October. Read more of Sam’s triathlon tale and how you can show your support, too!

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So… I have just competed in the 2016 Malibu Triathlon. I was asked to be part of a relay team by my fantastic reconstructive surgeon, who has sponsored Team TBG for the past 6 years.  Each year her office has dedicating this event to the strong women that their practice has been privileged to care for – all breast cancer survivors. These survivors inspire others with their courage, perseverance, and ability to remain positive as their bodies heal. (Yes, my doctors are angels sent from heaven!)  As I cycled through the rolling hills of Malibu for 25 miles last Sunday, I had plenty of time to reflect on the past 16 months.  I couldn’t help but think about how competing in the triathlon was an analogy for my cancer diagnosis and treatment.   Let me share why.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the first couple of weeks were filled with anxiety, fear of the unknown, and apprehension.  Similarly, when I agreed to be the bike “leg” of our relay team, and was standing waiting for my swimmer to arrive and pass over the electronic chip that measured our time, I was filled with that same anxiety and fear of the unknown.  In fact, when I told my husband that I was biking in the triathlon, his response was, “really?… but you’re not a biker!” You see I’m not… in fact I didn’t even have a bike growing up as a child, but I was assigned this leg of the relay, and rather than try to switch to be a runner where I’d be most comfortable, I just decided to dig deep and figure out how to do it.

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Finally my swimmer finished the mile swim and passed over the chip.  I had my helmet on and was ready to race.  My heart was pumping and, as this was my first triathlon, I didn’t know what to expect. For some reason I was able to put all my anxiety behind me and just start pedaling through the sea of bikers and make my way to the beautiful course along the Pacific.  It was almost instinctual.  It was that same feeling I had when I finalized my treatment plan to attack my cancer. I had chosen my amazing team of doctors after rounds of questions, interviews, and research, and scheduled my double mastectomy. Both times, I didn’t know what to expect… yet I was able to just get going and instinctively move through the process.

At first, I was very hesitant to shift gears. I didn’t really want to pass people, and my stomach was swirling with the ‘what-if’s’.  What if I couldn’t finish the race?  What if I got a flat and couldn’t fix it? What if I fell and twisted my ankle? I mean how embarrassing would that be!?!  Those same feelings were racing around my head as I began preparing for my big surgery.  I had a happy smile on the outside, but inside I was apprehensive, running all of the ‘what if’ scenarios.  Are my will and living trust current?  Did I pay all of the bills?  Do the boys have enough underwear?  What if I die on the table? Do I have enough food for them to eat for a month?  Should I write letters for their wedding days in case something goes horribly wrong? What if they find something else? You wouldn’t believe the crazy stuff that popped into my head.

After the first few rolling hills, at about mile 6, I realized that this was actually not too hard. I began to settle comfortably into the ride, and I realized that I totally had this.  In fact, I began to shift gears, and suddenly it was ME saying ‘on your left’… and passing people!    Same as the first big surgery… I’m not going to lie… it was a monster… but after the first few days, and I began to settle into my new normal, I also realized that I totally had this.  My boys were fine, my friends were bringing food every day, and I was starting to heal.  Yay!

There were a couple of really big hills that caused me to shift gears a little higher and were a bit of a challenge, but again… I knew that I had this and I was cruising along the course. Before I knew it, I was at the halfway point and turning the hairpin bend to ride home. I had that same feeling after my third surgery.  I totally had this, I was recovering as quickly as I could each time, our family was in this bizarre cancer rhythm now, and I had my eye on the finish line.

The last 5 miles were challenging with lots of hills, but I realized that I was overtaking a LOT of people… even those spandex wearing, fierce looking, seasoned cyclists riding funny looking aerodynamic bikes.   My inside voice was saying, “On your left beefcake… let this Warrior Goddess through to pedal off into the sunset… watch and learn!”  And when I reached the finish line, I felt so strong, proud, and felt a huge sense of accomplishment.  Similarly when I was entering my fifth and final surgery of 2015, instead of feeling weak and frail, I felt stronger than ever.  I knew what to expect and what I needed to do to reach the finish line.  And I could almost taste it.

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My experience with Team TBG was incredible, emotional, and life-changing.  We had all been through so much physically and emotionally in the doctor’s office and on the racecourse, and the gratitude and connection we all felt was overwhelming. We shared this incredible energy and experience to raise awareness and funds for three breast cancer foundations. Our 23 teams of cancer survivors, family members, and my incredible doctors, Dr. Kristi Funk and Dr. Tiffany Grunwald all crushed it together!

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Erin Condren has always supported breast cancer awareness.  She is proud to support the Pink Lotus Foundation, and is donating 50% of the purchase price of a Pink Lotus collection item in our signature designs back to the Pink Lotus Foundation.

XOXO

Samantha Kuhr