Friday, August 29, 2008

Judging: Round 1

Judging is serious business. We've even got training to make sure our judges know their duty. They didn't have to raise their right hands, but they did have to read a bunch of paperwork.
Oooh, official.
Then, they signed their lives away, pledging to uphold the rules of the contest and the integrity of the judging criteria. What a bunch of pros.  They handled it with such bravery. 
After all that mumbo jumbo was finished, the real fun began.  The judges looked at all the submissions that had made it past the initial screenings with one purpose in mind: to narrow down a whole load of entries to just fifty.  They knew it would be tough but, whoa.  They had no idea just how difficult it would be to choose only fifty favorites out of so many great submissions.

They divided all the entries into "yes," "maybe," "probably not," and "no" piles. Then, they debated about whether the entries met the judging criteria (red, sendable, unique), whether the designs would look good next to photos (since that's one way they'll be sold during the holidays), etc..

When it got too intense, the judges decided lunch outside by the fountain would be in order.  A little sunshine and fresh air (and eating out) gave them new perspective and energy to keep going in the afternoon.

By the end of the day, they had done it (and boy, were their brains fried).  They picked fifty to move on to the next round of judging.  But that round would have to wait until the next day . . . 

p.s. More pictures of the Bowling Alley coming soon. :)


poeticfisherman said...

This is so exciting. I hope I'll be able to stick around to see next week's updates, assuming I don't end up leaving for Hurricane Gustav.

As always, the suspense is tremendous and seeing the "bowling alley" in action looks fun. I've promised myself I won't do the "I think that's my card" view, this time. It's hard not to do it, though.

Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone, and may everyone stay safe should Gustav become a threat.

Sandideer said...

Hello Judges, fellow finalists and bloggers,
Well just one more day and the Your Funnyness contest ends.( Sigh)
I did my voting thing today and went onto the Sheoebox site to read Newsdroppings and lo and behold there my card was displayed...I didn't expect to see it there, especially this close to the end!...ya think maybe just maybe I can gather enough votes from it now to place in the top five??( I just never give up is part of my character..and it drives some people nuts)

A friend of mine said I should at least get a contest consolation prize...Hooked on Phonics...for all the spelling errors I have made in my blog comments.. She is such a smarty pants.

For all of you who have been wondering, no I don't speak in rhyme in real life..actually most people who know me did not even know I dabble with poetry.It has bubbled over the top in this contest.
Thanks for letting me express myself here, through the blog and the contest.!
This is a great thing you are doing Hallmark!
Sandra Groth

For all of you in the storms path, I wish you all the hope that it fizzles out in the ocean.! Stay Safe!

Kris said...

Hi Sandy! I wanted to pop in and THANK YOU for your cute poem and sweet comments on an olllllllld blog pertaining to my card! (It was the 'shameless plug' stuff, and I'm the one in the panthose! :D) I've looked around a couple Hallmark stores, and your card slot is always empty or nearly sold out! Yea! :) This contest has been long, but fun and interesting, hasn't it?

poeticfisherman said...

To everyone who was a finalist in 'Your Funny*ness,' be proud of yourselves.

The cards you created were unique, diverse --- in design and humorous qualities --- and, as I've said so many times on this blog and elsewhere in life, you had the opportunity to do something that few have the opportunity to do. Many people in this world have dreams and live their entire lives, never fulfilling a single one of them (many never come close).

Some become so consumed in the mediocrity of life that they never do anything "spontaneous" or special --- you've now done both. No one will ever take these memories from you, regardless of how much time passes or where you, ultimately, finish in the competition.

Best of luck to all of you in your future endeavors and I hope I'll see you, either in other contests or here on the blog, as I sit and await word about 'Your Holidays' and any future contests. You've made me jealous --- I want a piece of your successes so badly I can taste it!!!! ;-)

poeticfisherman said...

Yippee!!! Our local officials are not making plans to evacuate SE Texas, so I'll likely get to enjoy more of the suspense from here in the comfort of my house, all of this next week.

What a relief.

pecanbrittle said...

Theodore Roosevelt said:
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checked by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.”

Becky (Daisyduster) said...

Ohh my goodness!
So interesting to see a little glimpse of the whole process...thank you for sharing that with us!
Good Luck Entrants...AND Judges! :)

Sandideer said...

Thanks Kris!!,

(I am taking a break from scraping and painting on my house)
I don't know if you know (or did I tell you) that when this contest started I voted for you every other day..not just for myself.I only started voting for myself in late June.( Selfish?)
I am voting now for Sharon to help her keep her treadmill card in place in the card stack. Your pantyhose on your head cracks me up...if you have kids I bet you are a riot of a MOM!
It is nice to hear that my card is selling!And I hope that it continues to make money for Hallmark.I seek out cards with horses on them because I love horses...MILLIONS OF PEOPLE DO.!They are so expressive...I have taken thousands of photos of my horse..I bought him when he was just two hours old.I have another photo of him I am just DYING to use on a Hallmark again.!
I gave one of my cards to the person who owns Shahsams daddy..he is the spitting image of his Daddy)

I told him he should be able to get a higher stud fee now that he has a famous Hallmark son!
This has been a great contest and I hope that we all stay connected on the blog here...I will be checking to see the new group of finalists cards and looking forward to the new contest in the works! I regret not submitting to the Holiday contest but I have committed my time right now to work and house.(And my voting public just wanted a break too.)
Maybe chat with all of you again on Tuesday!
Thats a great quote Pecan!!Poetic, I am glad you are not on the evacuate order!!!I sense a Hallmark in your future!!

Sharon said...

Hi, all. SO much fun to read all the blogs.

Sandideer, you are so wonderful! Friendly, funny, generous, terrific poet and great blogger. I loved your comment about charging higher for Shahsam's daddy 'cause his son is a Hallmark Star. Here's something I've been there a way to connect via email? I'd love to chat directly sometime. I'm looking forward to Tuesday, too, however I think we all know the outcome of who will be the winner (no duh!)Even so, I was so very honored you chose to help me up the ranks! :-) So very appreciated - you are the best!

Kris, it looks like great things will be coming your way 'cause yours was the highest seller. YAHOO! I'm hoping Hallmark chooses to sell yours for a full year too, along with possibly of awarding you pretty much the same grand prize. Guess we'll find out soon enough...

It will be fun to see the Holiday finalists revealed (from the Hallmark blog entries, it looks like they've been chosen already?)and offer our support to any "newbies"...perhaps that will be Poeticfisherman!

Here's hoping everyone has a fun holiday weekend!

poeticfisherman said...

Sharon and Sandy,
Thanks for the "votes" of confidence for the next contest. Just like your waiting game for the end of "Funny*ness," I'm trying to go through typical Labor Day weekend celebrations (and house cleaning,) but am breathing differently, thanks to the excitement and awaiting word for 'Your Holiday.'

I had a terrible time trying to decipher this Hallmark blog posting, as to whether the cards have been cut to a mere 50 or if the 20 finalists have already been chosen and notified. If they've been notified, I'm not in the final bunch, but have my supplies ready to roll for the next Hallmark challenge to come my way.

I won't give up until Hallmark quits doing contests!!! If I'm not a finalist for 'Your Holiday,' I'm still proud of my entry; I know my Dad would have been, too. And, I'll take comfort in knowing that, unlike in Funny*ness, I mastered the formatting, for a change! ;-)

Have a great Labor Day weekend, all. I'll vote one more time, tomorrow, for Funny*ness and catch you all on Tuesday.

Sandideer said...

Good morning Poetic,Sharon and Kristi,
The way I read it,, 50 have been chosen for now and the final 20 are yet to be picked. But that is just MY interpretation!!
And now the final results of your Funnyness are being kept a secret till Tuesday...SUSPENCE!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it!I sent out one last HUGE barrage of emails asking people to vote over the weekend for my card...what the heck...NEVER GIVE UP!
I don't know if they allow email addresses in the blog but I will give you mine Sharon and is! I would love to chat and send photos to you...I have met the greatest people through this contest.! And I love that the Hallmark staff that runs this contest actually TALK to us. Every other contest I have entered never allows that!It is just fill out the form and hit send and then wonder who won...most contests you never find out.We sure will with this one!Good luck Kristi in the card are still on top today!
When I was notified that I was a Your Funnyness finalist it was via email...probably because I was online and they couldn't dial through to me.BUSY SIGNAL.I only have one phone line!
I had just gotten permanently laid off from my job and was online a lot looking for a new job.
So much has happened since April!

See you on the blog on Tuesday and good luck to all of you!!!

poeticfisherman said...

I just placed my last vote of Funny*ness for you and Shahsam. Too little, too late, but sometimes, it's the thought that counts.

And, for everyone else, Sandideer has my primary e-mail contact info, but if anyone else wants to contact me, you may do so at: This is my back-up e-mail account, but I still check it often, as it is my writing e-mail account.

The way I interpreted the update from Hallmark was that they've cut the cards to 50 and the final cut is still to come, so Sandy, we read the posting the same way.

There's one thing about it, the finalists for 'Your Holiday' will have to be notified, this coming week, to finalize the paperwork, prior to the 8th, I'd think.

But, if I am lucky enough to make the finals and they need to contact me, e-mail will likely be a better method. Like Sandideer, I have dial-up and one phone line. Per my online promotion of my poetry, I am on the computer.... A LOT.

Sandideer said...

I received an SPAM email complaining about the content of some of the cards that Hallmark has chosen to inspired me to write this:

Why do we give each other greeting cards?
(It’s a question I ask myself.)
Most cards are kept for years by some,
And displayed proudly on a shelf.

These cards convey our feelings,
That come straight from our hearts,
No matter if we are close and near
or live many miles apart.

These cards are funny, some are sad,
Some wishing love and luck,
And some will say I’m sorry,
When things just run amuck.

These paper tokens of affection,
(And the online ones as well,)
Say what we can’t say in person,
Or what we’re struggling to tell.

They are the bridges to our heart paths,
Which lead us to the place,
That keeps us all connected,
In this human race.

They don’t take the place of voices,
They’re extensions of our souls,
Our inner feelings sent with love,
To help one smile or be consoled.

A place to share a photo,
Or just the day’s events,
A holiday or wedding,
A birth or even death.

These cards are treasured memories,
That we keep tucked near our hearts,
And it is true when it is said,
“ Nothing says it like Hallmark"

poeticfisherman said...

I love your poem. I am very guilty of being one of those people who walks into a Hallmark store and stands in front of the cards for several minutes, flipping through many different cards (more for the sentiment than the design) to find the one that says exactly what I'd want to express.
Do I always approve of the design choices or the inside sentiments? No, but in that case, I don't complain; I just put the card down and move to the next one on the rack.
The key to design and writing, that some choose to forget, is that every individual is different. We all have different opinions, different ideas about what makes a good design or poem, different tastes, and different points of view. This is normal.
Just this past week, I was listening to the radio and heard a comment from a local disc jockey who said she "hated poetry in school because she could never understand the symbolism."
The DJ, like the person who voiced the opinion against Hallmark's design ideas, did not realize that there are no right or wrong answers to figuring the symbolism in a poem or no right or wrong ways to analyze a design, because each person may take a different meaning from the poem or design. As for these contests, Hallmark must find the "package" that reaches the widest possible audience and all of their differences in opinions.
It is highly possible, by life in general, that no two people are going to like the same things or believe the same beliefs when it comes to whether a greeting card is good or not. (I'm sure this is a struggle for Hallmark's own panel of judges, too.)
It's sad that some choose to publicly criticize instead of keeping opinions to themselves, but some people are just like that.
Personally, I feel that Hallmark must be doing something right, since they are more widely known, as a company, and on a much wider scale, than many of the other greeting card companies.

Anonymous said...

that's great that everyone wants to focus on the new holiday contest, but we in the running for the your pets still see no answer for all the "auto" or shall i say shady voting.... I still think this need to be looked into before the grand prize is awarded!!!!!

Nicole said...

oooo.. This is exciting! Can't wait until the finalists are announced!

mamapup said...

Anonymous! You're a person that I've come to admire - while this Pets contest will not decide whether we have stem cell research or win the war in Iraq - it is a principle -

If we're going to set rules - follow the rules - punish for differing - then by Golly - obvious offenses should be pointed out!

Nope, we still haven't seen the 100's or 1000's of votes cast by technology rather than human hands, none more obvious than the Chinchillas.

Hang in!

Anonymous said...

For crying out loud. It's still all about the chinchillas...