Monday, August 18, 2008

Closed for Submissions. Open for Fun!

The YourHoliday submission period is over but don't be fooled.  The fun must (and will) go on.

You can still vote for your favorite YourFunny*ness and YourPets finalists
and buy their buzzworthy cards.  (Fun.)  Plus, you can still visit the blog
 to see what's happening behind the scenes and, while you're at it, talk to other blogging buddies.  (Way fun.)

Then, before you know it, the YourHoliday finalists will be announced. (What could be more fun than that?)

Glad you asked.  The finalists will be revealed one at a time, so as to give them each their very own day in the spotlight.  Because 15 minutes of fame just isn't enough, darn it.

Each weekday, a new finalist will be featured, until all twenty are revealed (in no particular order).

All the fun anticipation of the holidays, none of the fruit cake.


mommyryans said...

yea! My fingers are crossed!! :)

hypnobee said...

I'm on the sidelines for this one.

I just happened to read through the rules to make sure I wasn't missing anything before finalizing my design and there it was, "The Contest is open to all persons legally resident in the United States," ohh... the pain...maybe next time Canada...maybe next time.

KC.TBone said...

hang tight canada, hang tight! we're trying to work our magic for ya, and ohhh... feel your pain!

avkitty222 said...

I logged on too late to submit my Holiday card. I thought we had untill midnight. :( I wish I could share my card with everyone. I think its great.

poeticfisherman said...


My fingers are crossed, too. This contest, specifically, has meant so much more to me, since my Dad passed away in June. I was motivated to design something I know he would have loved and regardless of how the judging falls, I could not be prouder of my submission. Having the opportunity to potentially help others through the affiliation with Product(RED) was awesome inspiration, as well.

To hypnobee - Your designing ability is awesome and I'm sorry you are on the sidelines for this one. I would have loved to have seen your creation and I've little doubt it would have made the finals.

Good luck to everyone. When I was a child, I'd always bounce off the walls, thanks to the anticipation of the holidays(and teased torture about my wrapped gifts that my parents always dished my way). Now, I'm an adult and feeling the same holiday and childhood giddiness in August! Is it too early to launch the artificial Christmas tree????!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many entries were submitted for the contest.?

Spencer said...

Hi, Annonymous! I just wanted to be sure to extend a great big "THANKS" your way for your comments regarding my card (Hello, again...). I wrote back after I read your comment. Here's wishing you good luck in the Holiday contest!

Sharon said...

yipes. I didn't realize my kid hadn't logged out so I ended up making comments under his account. Guh! That'll teach me to try to do things way past my bedtime. Also, "Annonymous", you might not be the same person who left comments regarding my "hello" Your Funnyness card entry - so, if so, please ignore my reference. Sigh...time to turn off the computer and get some much needed

Becky (Daisyduster) said...

Ohhhh, I don't know about you guys...but I think I might be addicted to checking this blog several times a day for the next month! LOL
Thanks again Hallmark, for giving us this wonderful opportunity!

hmmmm...I was wondering too, how many entries there ended up being for this contest...any hints? :)

GOOD LUCK to everyone!!!

Sandideer said...

The blog is quite addictive,
The people here are nice!
These contests are exciting,
your creativeness enticed!

When you are picked a winner,
and you realize your fame,
you'll jump for joy and even cry,
to share in Hallmarks name!

Hi will be fun to see all of your entries.I am sitting this one out...I need a break from my computer!( Plus I am working two jobs now so my time is limited)..Have fun and I will check in from time to time.

Good luck!!!

Pass the Mustard Seed... said...

I feel the same way Becky! I'm excited to see everyone's designs!

Wordy McGee said...


Dang! We're sorry we missed your card, too. Hang on to it, though. You never know when another contest may come up. :)

Wordy McGee said...

For those of you who are curious about how many entries we got in the YourHoliday contest, be curious no more. We got hundreds of entries (more than 100, less than 900)! That's a lot! We were very excited about how many submissions we received. Not only about how many, but also about the great quality of your entries. You should have heard us ooohing and ahhhhing over all the great holiday card designs you sent us.


jtumbleweed said...

Good Luck to everyone! I came across this contest late this past Saturday night and had a blast designing the Holiday card even though I had a little trouble getting the dimensions right. Hopefully it went through well. I dabble with fiction and poetry and have had the dreadful writers block for a while, thanks Hallmark for this contest it seemed to have helped with the flow of my imagination, which was much needed!

poeticfisherman said...

I have found the blog to be quite addictive, too, but the Hallmark contests have motivated me, so much.

I'm looking forward to see the designs. Best of luck to everyone who submitted.

Anonymous said...

i am still waiting for an answer for the fishy voting from the ET chinchillas.. That person is right, everytime someone gets ahead of the chinchillas, they are back on top in a matter of a few minutes. I have been voting for some time now along with others and my percentage isn't budging!!! Just asking.. I think the voting is unfair, and the best card is not the one in #1 for your pets.

purplepassion said...

I have stopped by several Hallmark retailers & I am totally shocked that the staff & employees AREN'T really aware of the ongoing contests. As one of the finalists, I was curious to see how these contests were being promoted to the general public. Unfortunately, only interested Hallmark retailers would receive the finalists' cards for sale. I had numerous complaints from family & friends that the voting process is cumbersome & not easy to do. Now this time around, purchase of a Holiday Contest finalist card counts as one way of a vote seems...

kmbrco said...

I, too, was surprised by the lack of information provided to the Hallmark retail stores/staff. I ended up filling them in on the details of the contests, etc. It was surprising that they aren't aware of these things. Especially when they end up selling the items.

That said, I've been greeted with kindness by many of the retailers once the cards arrived in the stores. I think the contests could be promoted more. Two years from now it could be a completely different story and we'll be saying "remember way back in 2008..."

I agree, also, that there is suspicious voting going on. I think it would be so nice to know how many total votes each card is getting, in addition to percentages.

Oh, one more thing...I still think it would be mighty nice if Hallmark would offer each finalist the opportunity to by a quantity of their own card at a good discount before the contests are over.

poeticfisherman said...

Our local Hallmark Gold Crown in my town is very small and does not have any of the cards from any of the contests. Other stores in the Houston area do, however.

I was told by the manager of our local store, when I inquired about the contest cards, that because they are such a small store, they're limited for shelf space and don't have room for big displays. Our local Gold Crown manager did know about the contests, at least.

I had wanted to buy the cards of some blogger friends I've met here and I did find the contest cards at a Hallmark Gold Crown store in Baybrook Mall on the South side of Houston.

The 'Your Pets' cards are in our local Wal-Mart Supercenter, as well.

Anonymous said...

I aggree with the cumbersome voting.. a lot of friends/realitives got turned off because of the diffuculty of voting. I think the contest is too long and it leaves people with plenty of time to think up how to cheat in the voting!

hypnobee said...

Based on the schedule they've put out for the Your Holiday contest it looks like they've cut down the voting period to a reasonable length.

Only suggestion I could put forth is not having to click the word VOTE four different times before finally getting to vote.

KC.TBone said...

Suggestions are great, keep 'em coming. I know we've said it 1,000 times, but this is brand spankin' new to us here at Hallmark, so we're learning and changing based on what we hear and see! Kinda like learning to ride a bike, ya know? Few bumps along the way, but we'll get all of that ironed out so thanks for riding along on this journey with us. Hypnobee brought up one good example, we totally hear you on the voting being too long so we've shortened that moving forward (yay!). And I'm pleased to report the "vote" won't have to be clicked 42 times moving forward too! For the finalist's out there, remember that little survey you took? We're using that every week in our planning so we're listening, and we're sure you'll see your suggestions coming to life very soon!

To address a few other questions/comments:

JTumbleweed & Poeticfisherman- Glad this was a great outlet for your creativity, we're on edge waiting to review the entries right along with you!

Voting - We're constantly on the lookout for people who aren't playing by the rules of one vote per person per day so rest assured the bad votes will be cleaned up shortly. Reminder to all to play fair - we'd rather spend time coming up with fabulous new contests, not removing votes that don't comply with the rules (that's no fun, no fun at all, rather be dreaming of prizes and themes and you get the point).

Purplepassion & Kmbrco - The store managers all received information about the contests and even a list of who the finalists were before they were revealed on the website so I'm befuddled! We'll give 'em a call!

Finally, just to provide a little suspense, Monday is the big first day of judging so be sure to check back to see some behind the scenes action throughout the week. Thinking we should deck the halls to get in the spirit.... hmmmmm...... wonder what Judgy would say when she arrives back from her vaca and her cube is filled with... hmmmmm..... I have visions of reindeer and snowmen and.... hmmmmmm.... :) GOOD LUCK TO ALL, it's going to be mighty tough to pick only 20 from the peeking I've done!

Becky (Daisyduster) said...

kc.tbone...maybe one of those giant blow up snowglobes would fit nicely in her cube! and all!! LOL

too fun!
Can't wait 'til Monday to check back!
Gosh, I wouldn't want to be in the judges' position of'd probably keep me up at night for days on end! :)
Good Luck!

Sandideer said...


How do you dress a cubicle,
To bring Christmas into view,
So Judgy feels the holiday,
when she comes back to work renewed?

Pine scented candles burning bright,
White batting for the snow,
A Norwegian pine to decorate,
Tinsel scattered to and fro!

Peppermints and popcorn strings,
Christmas lights a must!
Gift Wrap EVERYTHING thats on her desk,
(That will drive her nuts!)

Hang a stocking on her screen,
filled with Hallmark cards,
made for her especially,
from all of you, who work so hard.

And while she opens all her "gifts"
to try and start her day of work,
she'll probably look at all of you,
with a little elfish "smirk".

Paybacks...are so fun.

Yep, it happened to me( I have very funny friends...they even forked my yard once.)...they wrapped everything on my desk, and in my desk..even my pens and pencils and get busy!

For those of you who do not know what yard forking is??? Your best friends get together and buy up , oh say ,about 1000 white plastic forks and in the middle of the night "plant" them in your yard.
It is soooo muuch fun finding and removing them all.Plastic knives work too.

Uh oh...I predict a shortage of plastic utensils soon...very soon.

30 days ago said...

Can't wait for the judging to begin! Do we get to see everyone's cards, or just 20? I know the answer, but I do want to see all:)

poeticfisherman said...

One of my favorite things to do when I was a kid was cutting paper snowflakes, so maybe you could dress Judgy's cubicle with those.
Or, in elementary school art class, back in the day, we made rings from construction paper, in red and green. The rings interlocked and each day, as we moved closer to Christmas, we'd remove a ring.
Perhaps, you could do that for Judgy's corner as a "days until the finalists' unveiling?"
Just some thoughts.... Happy Holidays, albeit early. I've no doubt that those of you at Hallmark are loving the holiday fun as much as we are!

poeticfisherman said...

And, by the way, I, too, can't wait until Monday to check for updates!!! This is so exciting.

My entire week has been exciting and newsworthy, though. Life is good and hard work DOES pay off. I know this fact now, more than ever.

I won't know for sure for a little while, yet, but there may be some "Chicken Soup" for my poetry in the near future (come the holidays, this year). ;-)

That news, along with this Hallmark contest, has made me giddy all week!

Becky (Daisyduster) said...

You Rock the words, baby! too funny...and yes, I am familiar with yard forking...and having everything in a bedroom individually wrapped IN TOILET PAPER! LOL

OH how exciting!!!! I will never forget the feeling of all my hard work paying off last year when I tried out for a very coveted spot on an online design team, then saw my name on the list! I think I was high for a month! I'm very giddy-giddy for you!!

poeticfisherman said...

For awhile, I collaborated with a local radio station's morning show and as a result, I came to meet many radio personnel who worked at other radio stations in the building. Many of those staff members were pranksters.
One year, another radio station's morning show producer took a bunch of aluminum foil and foiled everything in the morning host's office. (He even foiled the telephone and the host's calendar, writing the days, weeks, etc. on the foil, in permanent marker.) Oh the memories of that insanity.

mamapup said...

Good for you Anonymous!!!! I would think that several are waiting on some word about the CHINCHILLAS - They are a sneaky little bunch of rodents with a slightly underhanded voting tactic. Not much us Mamas can do but, watch when someone gets a few votes against them - and revel in the speed of their recovery - almost like magic, eh? Called "auto voting"

Anonymous said...

how interesting... just scroll down and look for a familiar picture..

Sandideer said...

oh my gosh Anonymous..what have you discovered??? I saw it!!!
Looks like the same photo to me?!!!
Thers a fly in the soup???!!!

hypnobee said...

Anonymous, you should do a little extra homework and click on the picture and see who it's credited to... dun dun dun...

Melissa Wolff

and the name of the finalist...

Melissa Wolff

I've seen the photo of 'Pondering the future' (aka the baby) from the Your Funnyess contest floating around in Facebook months before the contest and I would have to assume that Hallmark has done some homework to make sure the person that's submitting the image actually owns it (either that or the legal documents they signed before hand will land them in a heap of hot water)

Anonymous said...

i did do my homework...just thought it was interesting

Cindy Lou Who said...

I'm so excited and nervous I might piddle my pants. My legs are cross in addition to my fingers :D

Cindy Lou Who said...

Contestants - good luck. I'm anxious to see everyone's (the one's they'll let us see) work!

Sandideer said...

It certainly looks fishy but maybe not!! There are many cases where a persons photo can be snagged off the net..bring a photo up anywhere, hit the Print screen button on your keyboard and that photo can be pasted into any photo editing program on your computer.These days nothing is safe.
I am sure that once the photo is used by Hallmark it can't be used anywhere else for profit anyway.
Is that true?.... oh great Hallmark staff tell us what the scoop is?

Have you got Judgys cube all spiffy yet?? I like the idea of the paper snowflakes and the paper you remember making the paper wreath too? Take an 11 x 14 piece of green constuction paper and fold it in half. Cut slits in the paper about 1/2" apart and stop about 1" from the fold all the way down the length of the paper. Open it up and then tape the paper into a cylinder( tube) and then bend it into a circle and tape the ends together.( The slits will open up and make it bend.Then take a paper punch and punch little red dots out of red paper and glue them to the wreath( holly berries) Cut green holly leaf shapes and glue them to the top along with a red paper bow. tadaaaaa. Wow..for about fifteen minutes I was back in 2nd grade...what an escape!

I am excited for all of you who entered the Holiday contest!!
It was fun to be a finalist in the Your Funnyness contest....I sure gave it my all to try and get more votes but it just wasn't in the stars...not enough friends and family to compete! I wish all the congratulations to the winner!It will be interesting to see how the voting changes in the last week of the contest.I think I will stop voting for myself( yep I was) and pick one of the top five and start voting for them....!

poeticfisherman said...

Sandideer and Everyone else,
I'm sure Hallmark's staff will be better able to answer the questions about rights to your artwork, from their view on things, but let me add my two cents worth from what I DO know.
Over the years, with my artwork and writing, I have been featured in magazines and other publications. In all of those instances, I was sent a permission release, prior to the publication, that stated I gave the magazine, book, etc., "one time" rights to publish my work.
After that one time right was used (aka the duration of the contest, in this case) and the publication had made it to print, I was free to use the work in other commerical interests, per my status as the copyright holder, AS LONG AS I mentioned where the work had been previously published when submitting the photo, design or writing to the new company.
Earlier this week, in fact, I signed another such release for a New Year's poem I had written and again, the permissions agreement stated this. Most of the time, the agreements are similar, though the writing may be a little different.
Again, these are just my two cents worth. I'm sure Hallmark will let you know.
As far as some photos from the contests showing up on other websites, it is highly possible that the finalists used what materials they had at their disposal to create their cards (i.e. photos they had taken) and thus, the photos were, as hypnobee has said, on the web, long before the contest began.
Would it be poor taste to post the photos elsewhere, during the contest? I would say, yes, but otherwise, the photo's owner had every right to do as they pleased, prior to the contest. I would have dumped any references to the photos elsewhere on the web, beyond the card, just for giving Hallmark a little exclusiveness, even if this was not stated as a "need," per any contract from Hallmark. It's courtesy.
I won't defend cheating and I think it is sad that in today's society, many choose a "win at all costs" attitude, even if that means cheating.
That said, if the cinchillas picture was on Wikipedia, prior to the contest, it's one thing, but if the finalists are required to sign a "one time rights" clause with Hallmark, giving Hallmark the right to use the picture for the duration of the contest (which I'd think would occur --- I'm not a finalist) and, thus, the picture is still posted elsewhere on the web (beyond the card on Hallmark's website), I'd think that would be a no-no, per the contract.
If nothing else and no contractual harm is done by this, it's bad taste on the designer's part to still have it there. At least if the picture were to remain on the site, as it has, the designer should post a Wikipedia update that the photo is being used, currently, in the 'Your Pets' contest. Lesson #1 in why one should always know where their photos and internet based works are.

I Google my name, twice a month, to see where my work has landed on other websites and to be sure I am properly credited. Even then, I'm sure I miss a few who may have swiped titles and changed them, etc. In this day and age, artists are left with little to no other choice.

Anonymous said...

Maybe anonymous just thought it was interesting and wasn't questioning anything. Maybe anonymous finds it interesting as to how someone was getting the word out about voting for their critter.

kmbrco said...

I don't know about the chinchilla's, but I've read a few interviews online with the mother of the Pandora baby photo. It was a photo she took of her son a few years ago, sent it to some friends, etc., and it started circulating the web. When the contest came up, she knew she had a good shot and used it. Which she had every right to do.

My photo (squirrel) is an original. It was featured once on the web before the contest. I have it on my flickr (again, posted before the contest), and indicated once it was a finalist, that it was featured in the contest (hoping to get votes, frankly).

Not everyone who enters these contests is a true blue designer. Just creative people hoping for a chance.

I didn't enter the Holiday contest for just that reason. I'm no illustrator. I'm better at photos. I can't wait to see the finalists.

My husband got an email yesterday offering the contest cards at 50% off. I didn't get it, don't know why. But just thought I'd let you all know. The finalists might want to stock up on their cards for posterity.

Wordy McGee said...

A little tidbit on the use of photos:

All of our finalists have signed legal documents that give us the right to use their image on greeting cards. They still own their photo or artwork, however. Basically, that means that Hallmark doesn't want the finalists' images showing up on non-Hallmark greeting cards but the finalist can use their image any other way they'd like. That's why you'll find photos, images, etc. on the internet in other places.

Believe us, we double and triple check the ownership of the entries. We've got people around here dedicated especially to that task.

Hope this clears up some concerns.

Wordy McGee said...

Thanks for the booth decorating tips, everyone. You've got festive ideas coming out of your ears! What a perfect way to ease Judgy back into the work week after a relaxing vacation.

Wordy McGee said...

30 days ago,

You'll get to see all the finalists' cards. Sorry, we won't be showing all of the submissions. That'd be a heck of a lot of entries to put up on the site. We try not to press our luck in the computer crashing department. :)

Wordy McGee said...

I know kc.tbone has already talked about this but just know that we hear your concerns about the contest, including voting, fairness, etc. We want these contests to be fun and fair for everyone. We're really working to make sure that happens. We hope you'll bear with us as we learn how to make things better all the time.

poeticfisherman said...


My point, exactly. If you're going to leave the photos or designs, online, once the contest is going, you'd be crazy not to promote the photo/illustration on the web posting as being a part of the contest. You don't know how many votes one could draw by doing so (or lose, if nothing about the contest is noted). Leaving the image online, blind, with no reference to the contest could be the designer's own loss.

Wordy, I can certainly understand the clause for Hallmark having exclusive greeting card rights to the photos and figured that was how the agreement went. Legal agreements are not always as complicated as non-legal people believe they are.

Sharon said...

Hi, Judgy and Wordy. Just curious...are the list of "bestsellers" for the "Your Funnyness" current? If not, will there be a final update?

Anonymous said...

How about taking her cubicle out all together.

Anonymous said...

Judgy's cubicle

Sandideer said...

Hi all,
I bought a bunch of my cards earlier this week ( A BUNCH!) and did not receive any email offering a discount.I did get a discount though for the quantity I bought..the same discount that the general public would get when they buy.
They came today with the envelopes addressed with my return address..very nice!

I am going to send them to my family members and friends who voted faithfully as a thankyou to them for trying so hard to help me try and win.
It has been a nice journey Hallmark!Thank you for all your hard work!

mamapup said...

Anonymous! I admire your tenacity but, we just don't seem to get answers. Just how have the little rodents cast hundreds of votes in a matter of miliseconds? and, continue to do it when anyone challenges? Auto (automatic) voting! ESPN disqualified a number of participants for that tactic. I've watched others - who do have a lot of votes cast for them but, all, without exception, are at least abiding by a "human being typing in each vote? - not under the table technology!

Sandideer said...

Hi Hallmark crew,( welcome back Judgy)

I had a friend mention this to me yesterday...she actually voted everyday for me! bless her heart!.

Maybe one vote per day per HOUSEHOLD would be in order,because the contests run for weeks/months.

That voting would choose the ONLINE PUBLIC favorite and have a specific prize for that....for example half of what the grand prize would be monetarily.
But then have the independant Hallmark panel plus celebrity judges that would choose the best card at the end of the contest based half on a percentage of sales and the other half on the actual card content...( what the contest was all about..humor,holiday,pets etc.)
That would be the grand prize.

She also was didappointed that the Funnyness contest did not have any Mini-contests like the pets contest did.

Can't belive this contest is almost over for me...the summer sure went too fast!

I am as excited as the entrants are in the Holidays Contest to see their entries..

Have a great day all, off to work I go!

Sharon said...

Sandideer, I love your suggestions for voting and judging! And I am right there with you regarding reaching out for votes - it's been tough to do without alienating all my friends and family in the process - especially towards the end of the (loooong) contest. All that aside, though, I'm happy we were able to be a part of this amazing event. What an experience! To have a card design chosen and sold by Hallmark has been a huge delight and wonderful honor!

Sandideer said...

Hi Sharon,
Yes it has been a glorious time,
(where did the summer go?)
Our Hallmark flats are framed and hung, we've just got days to go!

I had hopes of maybe winning,
but alas, my time will end,
so guess what? I now am voting,
for your card and YOU ,My friend!

Good luck least you are in the top lineup !Congratulations!

Sharon said...

Dear Sandideer, I just noticed your blog. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your wonderful poem, great sentiment and friendship. This came at the perfect time as I was feeling low having it confirmed mine was not a top seller and knowing I hadn't a chance getting near the top three. But receiving your message really brightened me up and knowing you chose to support me meant everything. Just to let you know - my entire family LOVED your card (and bought some!) and so did I. No lie. I've enjoyed reading everyone's blogs and sharing the fun - but seriously, yours was the only one that made me smile everytime I looked at it. You have a great talent and I hope to see and support you in your next great creative endeavor! You're the best!

Sandideer said...

Hi Sharon,

The last week I figured was going to be mad dash in percentages but I see not much is moving still! I will vote for your card till the end now!I also voted for the pantyhose on the head card earlier still cracks me up!All of the cards were great( we have a yard near here that has a bottle tree bottles even!!
Thankyou for the compliments and for buying my card, it means so much to know that I was able to put a smile on your faces.
I have a lifetime supply of my own cards now..I wasn't going to get any at first but figured I better so my son can say 50 years from now" MY Mom designed this Hallmark card!!"It is the first card I have put in my "new" Hallmark shoebox..which is actually a Ritz tin.( Safer from fire hazard!))
This has been a great time and has been one of the high points in my life.Thanks to the Hallmark crew for letting me have this opportunity and for all their hard work getting these contests off the ground.It would have been great to get the big prize and got to Chicago..( my brother just moved back there and I have not seen him in two years!)Oh well, it was not meant to be!
I can hear my Hallmark Grandma say to me still, " You can please some of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time." So it goes with these contests as the rules are fine tuned and the voting procedures tweaked until it all shines!
I was very glad to be a part of it!
It was nice meeting all of the finalists and those that are still trying!I hope we stay together here on the blog and otherwise!