Friday, April 9, 2010

Thanks for Reading, Everybody!

It's hard to believe that this humble blog was started all the way back in 2007. Okay, maybe three years isn't that long ago but so much has happened between then and now that it feels like a lifetime ago in some regards. Our fearless leader, Judgy Judgerson started off the blog with a bang and from there we've heard from a whole team of bloggy friends. It's been crazy-fun interacting with you and sharing behind-the-scenes peeks of what we do here at Hallmark. Thanks for making our days fun, funny and all-around fantastic.

After hemming and hawing a little, we've decided to bring this blog to a close in favor of chatting with you on Facebook, Twitter and other social media spaces. There will still be plenty of sneak peeks, conversations, photos and all that goodness. For now, you'll just find it on Facebook and Twitter rather than here. Can't wait to see ya there!

-Wordy and the gang

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Calling The Birthday Her Way Winners!

Kenya called our winners...and Pita helped.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Submissions Closed for Now

Our Halloween contest participants scared up all the fun we could handle and now we're closed for submissions. Never fear. You'll have a chance to enter the newest contest on April 5...Happy Anniversary.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Last Day to Scare Up Some Fun

It won't be long before we're judging your howlarious Halloween cards.
Have you sent in your card yet? If not, make sure you do before the strike of midnight tonight.
Or else. (Mwahahaha)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wanna Scare Up Some Fun?

Now's your chance to conjure up a card with Halloween spirit.
Enter your frightfully funny card between now and Mar. 22!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Go Congratulate the Birthday Your Way Winners!

FYI, the winning cards from the Birthday Your Way contest are now displayed in the Winners Gallery. That means it's time to shower their creators with well-deserved praise. Oh, and you can buy their cards, too! That's another way to show your admiration.

Congratulations, winners! You've made some impressive birthday cards!

-Wordy and the whole gang

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Girl's Gotta Laugh Winners Are In the Gallery!

Have you checked out the fabulously funny encouragement cards from A Girl's Gotta Laugh? Well, you should! Today's the day they appear in the Winners Gallery with comments from the judges on why we deemed each card a winner. See what we have to say. Share your own comments with the winners. Spread the love and laughter. Hop to it. (Sorry. Easter puns are still with me from yesterday.)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Long-Awaited Judging Photos

I've been a bad, bad blogger by keeping you waiting for pics of last week's judging session. Do you accept groveling? I hope so.

Now let's move on to what you're really after...the pictures! Many of you know we start the judging session by choosing a group of finalists from our top entries. That's what these babies are, finalists:

Encouragement for Women finalists

Encouragement for Moms finalists

After the judges have all thrown in their votes and Pita has had a chance to cuddle with every judge at the table, we narrow it down to the winning cards, this time fifteen for women and fifteen for mom.

Encouragement for Women winners

Encouragement for Moms winners

Kenya, Shannon and Pita end the day by calling the winners. Pita doesn't like to miss any of the action. Sorry you may not have heard her on the phone, winners. She's as quiet as she is talented.

Congratulations to the winners of A Girl's Gotta Laugh!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Closed for (Funny) Business

The time has come to stop accepting entries for the A Girl's Gotta Laugh contest. We had all kinds of funny flowing in and now it's our job to narrow them down to the best of the best. Stay tuned for judging photos and behind-the-scenes details later this week.

Monday, February 22, 2010

That's Motherhood! In-Store Winners

Let the trumpets resound...the in-store winners for That's Motherhood! have been announced! Congratulations to the sixteen talented folks whose Mother's Day cards will be available in stores across the country this April. We can't wait to see them on display! Enjoy the extra cash and extra exposure that comes with being an in-store winner. You've earned every bit of it.

Go give a hearty "congrats" to the now famous bunch in the Winners Gallery. Their cards have stars underneath to indicate that they're in-store winners. Hooray for gold stars.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gotta Laugh: True Stories

You've got 'til Monday to enter your card for A Girl's Gotta Laugh. Is it in yet? I sure hope so! If you're lacking inspiration for funny encouragement, look no further than this here blog. Today, we're telling another tale of an uplifting, comical card received by one of our team members. This time the story is Debbie's. Take it away, Debbie!

"I was at home in bed with strep throat. I was really sick. My two young daughters had never seen their mother in bed ill for 2-3 days before. On the third day, my older daughter, Amanda, brought me a card. It was a Peanuts card with Lucy on the front. The card said, 'Are you going to get well or am I going to have to pound some germs?' What was funny was that my daughter was so serious when she gave it to me; I think she really thought that she might need to do that. I had just enough energy to be able to laugh, but I started feeling better right away. She decided that her mom was going to be okay and the germ pounding was not necessary."

Thanks for sharing, Debbie. Glad your kiddo helped you laugh your way back to health.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gotta Laugh: True Stories

We all go through rough patches in our lives and one key to getting through those times is definitely humor. In the spirit of A Girl's Gotta Laugh, I'm sharing true stories from our team about how laughter has been the best medicine for what ails us (or the people we love). Feel free to share your stories in the comments section or on our Facebook page. We'd love to hear from you!

The first story I'll share is about my mom. She had cancer when I was in high school and I remember her getting lots and lots of mail when she was sick. Recently, when I asked her if she recalled any favorite cards, she immediately brought up this one...



One of her funny friends had sent it after Mom's surgery and Mom hooted with laughter as soon as she opened it. She kept the card propped up on her nightstand as a reminder to stay lighthearted even through the scary stuff. I love that her friend took a risk, made Mom laugh and gave us a good memory. It's amazing how humor sticks with you.

What's your story?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You Could Be On TV!

You already know that card stardom could be yours if you're a winner in the A Girl's Gotta Laugh contest. The winning cards will be sold on and the best of the best will be sold in stores across the country. That's some serious exposure...but that's not where it ends.

Your card could be on t.v.! Yeah, that's right. We've teamed up with our friends at Ovation t.v. to put one lucky winner's card in the bright spotlight. If your winning card is the chosen one, it will be featured in a commercial on Ovation t.v. You'll want to be sure to record that!

Get the full scoop and enter your winning card a.s.a.p!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bring the Funny: Two Ways

The newest contest gives you the chance to make well-deserving women laugh, a job you should take pretty seriously. This time around, you have two chances to spread happiness with a humorous card:

1. Make a funny card for a woman that helps her get through a stressful time.
2. Make a funny card that helps any mom laugh about the crazy reality of motherhood.

If you're looking for real-life inspiration for your motherhood card, look no further than The Edge of Motherhood page on Facebook. Our funny friends tell it like it is and we think you'll agree that their humor and honesty are incredibly refreshing.

Stay tuned to the blog in the next couple of weeks as I'll be sharing some of my favorite funny, encouraging cards. I'd love to hear about your favorites, too!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Just What the Doctor Ordered

What woman do you know who couldn't use a laugh.
That's what we thought.

Work up your witty wisdom and quotable quips for a contest that's all about encouraging women with humor.

Enter Monday, Feb. 8 through Monday, Feb. 22, but first find out more about how to win!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Birthday Your Way judging is complete!

Well, we’ve finished up another exciting week of judging! The Birthday Your Way winners are sure to knock your socks off! We chose quite a variety- from hilarious and quirky to sweet and complimentary. The big reveal isn’t until March but here’s a little bit of insight about the winning cards for you, our contest-loving, blog-following peeps: The cards feature a gnome, a candy-sprinkled tongue, a fishing teddy bear, a provocative road sign, a birthday chalkboard equation, a fortune cookie, fireworks and breakfast in bed! Impressive, huh? We had a lot of fun filtering through all 2,575 submissions but it was very difficult narrowing them down to the winners. Hopefully, the contest excitement will continue to grow and we’ll be forced to get a bigger contest team! A little bit about our next contest: We’re changing up the theme for ya. It’s called “A Girl’s Gotta Laugh” and it’s all about encouraging women through a funny card. We’ll be accepting submissions from Feb. 8-22. Can’t wait to see what that one brings!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthday Blog

As we may have already mentioned a time or two, Hallmark turns the big 1-0-0 this year. It's a big celebration commemorated with parties, cakes, a special book about Hallmark's history, a contest (*ahem*) with cards made by you (Birthday Your Way). There's a lot going on. Sneak on over to Hallmark's centennial website and read what I have to say as a guest on their blog. While you're there, see what other Hallmarkers are up to during this special year...and check back often!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cause for Celebration!

It's Hallmark's big 100th birthday week and we wasted no time getting to the celebrating. We kicked it off Monday with a party in our cafeteria, the Crown Room. We had live music. We had balloons. We had streamers. We even had skits. It was quite the bash. Here's the behind-the-scenes look at how the party went down...

Dave Hall, Don Hall, Jr. and Don Hall, Sr. said a few words about the momentous occasion. A few tears were shed. We're not saying by whom.

A gigantor cake, made by some of our talented fellow Hallmarkers, was rolled out in all its glory. You can't tell from this picture, but the cake stands exactly 100 inches tall and it's wrapped in 100 images from Hallmark's history. Pretty impressive if you ask me. The cake will find a permanent home in the Hallmark Visitors Center shortly so if you're ever in the KC area, come pay it a visit!

I'm not sure whether Theresa's mesmerized by the cake or laughing at one of the skits. My money's on the cake.

Speaking of cake...we each got a real one! Not 100 inches of cakeyness, but still mighty tasty.

Here. Have a virtual taste...

Hey, I think you have some orange frosting on your nose.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

OK By Us

Rest assured that the card you enter for the Birthday Your Way contest will not be judged by our CEO, but only by our contest team. And thank your lucky stars that you didn't work here in the forties, a time when J.C. Hall reviewed all of the cards produced and approved them with a simple, "OK, JC." Talk about pressure. Check out this and other stories from Hallmark's 100-year history on our official centennial site.

Relax. Take a deep breath. And enter that fantastic Birthday Your Way card you've been cooking up by Monday, January 25. We can't wait to give it the OK.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Whatever Inspires You

Have you found just the thing that speaks to you for your Birthday Your Way card? Is it an old photo you've already taken? An artistic style you want to explore? A joke you thought of in the middle of the night? A poodle?

This photo was taken of a Hallmark artist and her subject in the 1960s. Sometimes the real thing is the only thing that will do. I'm guessing the poodle was paid handsomely in treats.

These days we've got our own sources of inspiration, one of them being Pita. She's always game for a photo shoot, a lap sit or a dead-pan look.

Find inspiration where you may and enter your Birthday Your Way card between today and Monday, January 25. Not sure where to start? Check out a whole century of cards and card making on Hallmark's centennial website.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Are You Getting To Work Yet?

So, have you been working hard on that Birthday Your Way card? Hmm? Time to get out those brushes, pens, paints or computers and get to it. You can submit your card starting Monday, January 11 through Monday, January 25.

Long before Hallmark opened up its doors to card contests and fabulous cards from you, they recruited an in-house creative community of artists, writers and other creative folks. This photo is from one of Hallmark's art studios in the 1930s. Would you just look at that concentration! Have a look at more behind-the-scenes photos and snippets from Hallmark's first 100 years.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We Could Use a Picnic.

I'm not sure when Hallmark's all-employee picnic was discontinued but I vote to bring it back! Nothing would do my creative juices more good than a blanket on the grass and a divided plate filled with fried chicken, tater salad and baked beans. Maybe that's my spring fever talking, but can you blame me? All the snow in Kansas City has me longing for picnic weather.

I have no picnicky treats to offer you, but I do have a feast for your eyes as you create a card for the Birthday Your Way contest: Hallmark's centennial website, a visual banquet of cards, photos and video from our first one hundred years.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Way Back When

It was around one hundred years ago when this shot was taken at Hallmark's very first retail store here in Kansas City in the first floor of the Corn Belt Bank Building. The store offered cards, stationery and gifts. I don't know about yours, but this early location looks nothing like our Hallmark Gold Crown store today. One hundred years can do a lot to change a place!

If you're looking for inspiration as you create an original card for the Birthday Your Way contest, look no further than Hallmark's centennial website. It's got a cool timeline of our first 100 years, behind-the-scenes videos, etc.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Special Holiday Entry

The halls of Hallmark are starting to become bare, but we had a special visitor join us in the office today. (Check out that tie and jacket!)

Peter got a taste of the contest action by designing his very own Christmas card featuring a gingerbread house, a gingerbread man and some peppermint goodness.

Peter was awarded with a Pets card and some snacks to tie him over until lunch.

Wishing all of you very Happy Holidays! Be sure to come back on 1/4 to get the scoop on the "Birthday Your Way" contest and to see the "Birthday Her Way" winners.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Merriment

Welcome back to the second installment of our tour d' trees. I am your guide, Wordy, and I'll be taking you through the Hallmark halls, lobbies and dining facilities to give you an up close and personal look at this year's Christmas trees. Keep your arms inside at all times and please stay seated until we come to a complete stop.

Our first feature is a pepperminty pillar of Christmas joy.

Just imagine the potential for awkward family photos in front of this beauty. It's begging for a matching-sweater-wearin' family to pose in front of it, don't you think?

Moving on, we have a tree whose every bough is laden with loveliness. No branch goes undecorated and I'm loving the effect of abundance.

Side note: There was a guy sitting just off to the left of this photo. I offered him a spot in the shot, thinking maybe he'd like to reenact a Christmas from his childhood and rip open one of the pretty packages nestled underneath. Oddly enough, he declined. Grown ups--sheesh.

We've now arrived at the final destination of our tour. Please observe a moment of silence in honor of the great Snoopy tree, which seems quite the opposite of a Charlie Brown tree.

Isn't it a feast for the eyes? It stands smack dab in the middle of our cafeteria, the Crown Room.

Have a gander, closer up.

And this concludes our tour d' trees. Thank you for riding. It's been a pleasure. I hope you'll join us for future tours.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Beginning to Look Festive

Have you been gathering seasonal inspiration for a future holiday contest? Have you had your camera at the ready? I broke mine out yesterday just to get some shots of the impressive decor around here. Hope it sets the mood for your next great card idea.

The halls of Hallmark are decked and the trees are chock full of cheer. Again, our amazing design friends decorated the place to the hilt, helping us all get into the spirit of the season. Enjoy this first installment of Hallmark trees. There's more to come--Hallmark's a big place with plenty of room for a variety of trees.

This frosty beauty is next to the corporate offices, where the Hall brothers can be spotted. I did, in fact, chat with them before snapping this photo but they seemed shy about jumping into a photo op with the tree 'n' me. Maybe next year.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Her Way Has Been Judged!

This was the week for judging the Birthday Her Way contest. Yours truly got to step in as an official judge this time as Julienne had other duties to attend to. I was both honored and perplexed by the opportunity--honored because we had such great cards to choose from and perplexed because we had SO MANY GREAT CARDS TO CHOOSE FROM!

Here's our "A" bucket, the front-running cards from filtering:

First, we each go through the "A" bucket on our own and choose the cards we have "winner" potential. It's a chance for each judge to cast her vote, so to speak.

This time we agreed on most of the winning cards. It just took a little conversation and convincing to choose the remaining few. We're so agreeable (mostly).

After our final decisions were made, Kenya raced to the phone to call the winner-winner-chicken-dinners. Hooray! Look for video of that here soon.

Ciao for now!

Monday, November 16, 2009

That's Motherhood Checks Are in the Mail!

It's been a while since we announced the winners of our That's Motherhood contest, but we couldn't forget to send them their hard-earned moolah. Oooh, look at that prize money. Can't you almost smell it? Those of you who entered the Birthday Her Way contest--a check like these could be coming your way soon if your card is deemed a winnah! Look forward to the judging action later this week. We'll be giving live updates from the judging room on Twitter and Facebook tomorrow!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pita Says "Enter By Sunday!"

We had ourselves an extra pair of eyes in the latest Birthday Her Way filtering session. Pita, our unofficial mascot, generously offered her assistance at judging the entries. She claims she's got a nose for these things (and a penchant for puns, apparently).

Pita and the team noticed some distinct trends among the entries today. We saw lots of nature, pets, babies and butts. It seems people can't resist a good butt shot when they have the chance. We're curious to see if we'll get more of a variety over the weekend. It's always nice to see a fresh, "we've never seen that before" kind of card. Those are the types that have us clapping and cheering and bugging the people in the room next to ours.

If you haven't sent in your original, Birthday Her Way card yet, what are you waiting for? You've got until Sunday at the stroke of midnight.

Good luck!

-Pita and the Gang

Monday, November 9, 2009

Enter by Sunday Night!

Today, we had another fun-filled filtering session for the Birthday Her Way contest. Was your card in the mix? If not, send it in by Sunday at midnight so it has a chance to make you a winner. This could be your card we're oohing and ahhing (and Tweeting) over.

Julienne does the honors of reading all the entries out loud for the team. If it takes us too long to "get" it, it doesn't go in the potential winner pile. Before sending in your card, give it to a few friends for a read-through. If your message trips them up, a few tweaks could be in order before you officially enter your card.

It's anyone's guess as to what these lovely ladies are thinking. What do their expressions say to you?
(Clockwise from left: Shannon, Kenya, Julienne, Theresa, Karen)

Look forward to more behind-the-scenes filtering later this week.