Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Very Slight Change of Plans

Recently, we announced that you can now share yourParenthood photos and writing on the Your Greeting Card Competitions Facebook page, to get feedback from other fans. We are so excited to see that people are already taking advantage of that space. Let the sharing begin!

We just have one small change in how you'll share. It looks as though you won't be able to leave comments directly under other fans' photos. Bummer. Sooo, as the next best thing, let's leave our friendly feedback in the Reviews section of the page, instead. Sound good? Good.

Monday, October 27, 2008

One Week Left to Vote for Your Fan Favorite!

It's getting down to the wire, folks, and these votes aren't going to cast themselves. If you haven't already, add "vote for fan favorite" to your daily to-do list from now until November 3.
Want to vote now? Go for it.

We can hardly wait to see whose design is deemed the fave. We are also anxiously awaiting the look on the winner's face when he or she receives the festive prizes we've been cooking up.

*$250 bonus cash to buy an early holiday gift (Perhaps for themselves?)

*$250 match, in his or her name, contributed to the Global Fund to help fight AIDS in Africa (Because the winner is also the giving sort.)

*A 25" holiday tree, delivered to the winner's home, decked out in Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments (Because what's a mini contest without a mini tree?)

Make this last week count and vote on every day that ends in "y." It'll keep your clicking finger in shape for Grand Prize voting, which is just around the bend (more specifically, November 17).

yourParenthood Hint #3: Writing

Have you been digging through those photo albums and boxes for the photographic treasure (or treasures) you'll submit to the yourParenthood contest? Once you've got the star photo in hand, use these tips to help stir up some ingenious writing ideas from that noggin of yours:

1. Keep it sendable.

Your card could be sent to any person who's a mom or dad,
not just your mom or dad. Like could someone send it to their
sister (who's a mom) or their uncle (who's a dad) or their friend (who's a mom or dad)?

2. Weigh your options.

You can write on the front of the card AND on the inside,
just on the inside,
or on the front of the card only.

Make sure your card's not blank inside, though. That would just be sad.
If you opt to write only on the front,
make sure there's at least a "Happy Mother's Day" or "Happy Father's Day"-type message inside.
Otherwise, we'll add in that message for you.

3. Know your audience.

*If you're writing a Mother's Day card, don't be afraid to tickle a mom's funny bone.
It's okay if it's sweet and it definitely should be good-spirited but if any job requires a sense of humor, it's being a mom. Go on. Make some moms laugh.

*If you're writing a Father's Day card, keep it all about who a dad is and not what he does. That means even if every dad you know loves golf, the card shouldn't be about a dad's performance on the back nine. It should be more about what a great dad he is. Fewer hobbies. More heart.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mrs. kc.tbone

Not sure how many of you know it, but our own kc. tbone has been out for a while, due to matrimony. The team just couldn't let such a momentous occasion go by without a mention. Without a party. Without a prank.

Please enjoy the view kc encountered upon her return to Hallmark . . .

Get fan feedback on yourParenthood photos and writing

We've been wanting to offer this opportunity for quite some time--the chance for you to get a second (and third) opinion on your card ideas before submissions start. Well, the time is now! Take advantage.

When you become a fan of the Your Greeting Card Competition page on Facebook, you can upload the photos and writing you're thinking about submitting and get feedback from other fans. Maybe you'd like help narrowing down your top five favorite photos. Maybe you know which photo you'll submit but you can't decide between two pieces of writing. Let the fans help you out. And share your feedback with fellow fans, too. Collaboration . . . we love it. We hope you do, too.

All you need to do to get this party started is click on the Your Greeting Card Competition link above. Once you're on the page, click "Add Photos" (as shown in the picture above). Then, upload the photo(s) you're considering submitting. Type your writing in the caption box below the photo, and voila! Other fans will give you feedback in the reviews section of the page. And you, friend, will have a little help making those tough decisions that come with creating greeting cards. It's good to be connected.

Monday, October 20, 2008

yourParenthood Hint #2: Photos

The YourParenthood contest is your shot to make great cards with those fantastic kid photos you've got in albums. Or in boxes. Or scattered about. Who are we to judge? As you're sorting through your photos, keep these handy tips in mind. They're for your own good, you know.

1. Do your homework!

__ Does it include a child, whippersnapper, baby, toddler, or human half-pint?
If not, save that fab photo for another contest.

__ Make sure you're legal.

-Is this your own photo? The snapshot should have been taken by you, or by a friend who's
given you permission to use the photo.

-Was your photo taken by a professional? Unless that professional is you,
we can not accept studio
photos. No school pictures. No Glamour Shots.
Copyright laws--obey 'em

-Do you have permission to submit from the parents/guardians of the featured kid in the photo?
Make sure you've got it. If you're a finalist, we'll have them fill out a fancy schmancy
model release form to give you (and us) official permission.

-Are there any copyrighted materials in the pic?
Like Batman on your kid's t-shirt? Or Barbie in the background?
Crop 'em out or choose another photo.

__ Save your image at 300 dpi. Why? Because we said so.
And because we have to print this sucker.

__ Crop your image to 4 3/4 X 5 1/2. (We can crop it for you as well; just make sure you give us
an image that will look good when cropped to that size.)

__ All photos will be printed in black and white. You can send us a black and white image,
or we can take the color out for you.

2. Go for big impact!

The finalists' cards will be part of our Mother's and Father's Days displays at stores across the country.
Choose a photo with some big-time star power--one that will scream "pick me up!" in the card aisle.

__ Make sure the kid's the center of attention by hitting ZOOM!

__ Choose a photo that tells an immediate story (you "get it" right away).

__ Photos that are unique, unusual, or have a definite personality
(Remember, we're not looking for annoying child-model perfection. We're looking for something
authentic that will make a mom or dad smile because it reminds them of their real life.)

3. Think warm

These cards will be selling in the spring and summer. For some reason, people don't buy a lot of cards
with snow or dead leaves on them when it's all bright and sunny out. So save your holiday snapshots
for a colder-weather contest!

If you have any questions, don't be shy. Leave your comments after the beep (or in the comments section) and we'll get right back atcha.

Friday, October 17, 2008

To All Our Friends . . . Wanna Be Facebook Friends?

Although we love talking with you here on the blogosphere, we'd love to talk to you elsewhere, too. And since you might get kinda creeped out if we started "coincidentally" bumping into you at the grocery store, we thought, why not Facebook. Judgy and I wanted to let you know that we started a new Page there called "Your Greeting Card Competition."

Become a Fan of "Your Greeting Card Competition" and you'll get updates on new contests, voting, buying, etc. Plus (and we think this is the coolest part), you can write on the Wall or have discussions with us and with other Fans. Right now, it's in its rawest state but as we all pitch in, it'll become more vibrant and lively. Perhaps you have a discussion topic in mind? Or maybe a friend you'd like to invite to become a Fan. We're good with all of that. See you there!

Monday, October 13, 2008

And the Next Contest Is . . . yourParenthood!

Today, we're serving up the first hint in the YourParenthood contest, and it's all about the theme. The task, if you choose to take it on (and why wouldn't you), is to create a card for Mother's Day or Father's Day that will make moms and dads smile. Or laugh. Or both.

*Plus, for the very first time, you'll be able to submit a Mother's Day entry AND a Father's Day entry (if you wanna). It's two, two, two contests in one!

Starting in mid-November,
here's how you'll do it:

1. You'll submit a fun photo of a kid you know (and have permission to photograph)

2. You'll include writing that goes perfectly with your photo and also makes a Mother's Day or Father's Day card that any mom or dad would be oh-so-happy to receive.

As soon as we get those marvelous Mother's Day and Father's Day photos and writing, we'll be judging on three criteria:

1. Sendability - Your card could be sent to any person who's a mom or dad, not just your mom or dad. Like, could someone send it to their sister (who's a mom) or their uncle (who's a dad) or their friend (who's a mom or dad)?

2. Cohesiveness - Your photo and writing are a match made in card heaven.

3. Authenticity - Your card expresses the real experience - the joy, the frustrations, the humor - of parenthood.

Keep checking back for more hints in the coming weeks. In the meantime, dig out those old photo albums and boxes and find your most charming kid photos. We can't wait to see 'em.

Hark! Fan Favorite Voting is Here!

Today's the day to scoot on over to the finalists page and vote for your most beloved holiday design in the Fan Favorite mini-contest, sponsored by Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments. In fact, every day between now and November 3 at 8 AM CDT is a good day to vote for your fave. Still undecided on which design catches your fancy? Keep these things in mind when deciding which is most worthy:

1. Does it feel like (RED) or have red in it?
2. Could it be sent by lots of different people this holiday season?
3. Is it unique?

Now, get to voting. Once today. Once tomorrow. Once the next day. (You get the idea.) Your daily vote is important. It will determine the winner of the following festive prizes:

*$250 for holiday shopping money, and the like
*$250 donated to the Global Fund, to help people living with AIDS in Africa
*A petite (25") holiday tree decked out in Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments

Introducing Allan Nacapuy,
Your Winning Runner Up

The YourHoliday runners-up designs were too good not to share. So we shared. And you shared your two cents on which was your favorite in our blog poll. Thanks for that.

After all the votes were tallied, Allan Nacapuy came out victorious, and here's where the really big news comes in. Although Allan's design won't be in the running for the Grand Prize contest, his card will be for sale on! This is the first time a runner up has been able to have his or her card printed. (You're a pioneer, Allan!) That means along with the finalists' cards, Allan's card will be generating hope for people living with AIDS in Africa with every sale, beginning Nov 17. He'll also be receiving $100 cash and $100 donated to the Global Fund in his name. Just look what good his design is doing the world. Nice work, Allan.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Time's Up

The clock has struck midnight, and you know what that means . . . the YourHoliday runners-up blog poll is o-fficially closed. Many thanks to you dutiful bloggers who cast your votes in the name of holiday fun and delightful design. Come back Monday, when we'll spill the beans about the winningest design.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

For All You Curious Types

We've got a new contest around the bend and we'll start dropping hints next week.
If you want to do a little sleuthing before then, find the picture above on the homepage ( and click on the Learn More button. Who knows; maybe you'll crack the code.

Friday, October 3, 2008

And Now Featuring . . . Your Runners Up

Now that all the finalists have gotten their days in the sun, we thought it might be fun to shine the spotlight on our runners up. Their entries made us wish we could have more finalists, they're so good. Too good not to share.

Take a gander at the runners-up gallery, either the slideshow here or the standing-still version (by clicking here) and let us know which one's your favorite. Which one would you send, if you could, for the holidays? Cast your vote on our super-scientific blog poll between now and October 9th at 11:59 PM. Look on the blog sidebar and click on the button of the design that you wish you could send. Could it get any simpler? Nay.

Finalists Revealed . . . It's Almost Mini-Contest Time!

You've now had a chance to meet all twenty YourHoliday finalists and see their fantastic card designs. How, oh, how will you ever choose your favorite?  Well, you'd better think about that real quick because mini-contest voting is just around the bend!  In fact, it's October 13 through November 3.  Log in to site and vote once per day for the card that brings home the holiday spirit for you.

Are you ready?  Here's what you'll need to do to vote successfully come October 13:

1. Go to
2. Find your favorite YourHoliday design and click "vote."  
    *If you're already registered, your vote will be cast, just like that!
    *If you're not registered, a screen will pop up and ask you, ever so kindly, to do so.  Registration helps us       keep the voting process honest--very important.  After the first time you've registered, you won't have           to do it again.  You'll be able to log in with ease.
3. You can vote once per day during the voting period.  Once.

Well, that about does it.  Get excited.  And get ready to vote, vote, vote in the mini-contest.

Introducing Alice Ashe, Your Holiday Finalist

Meet our finalist of the day. Read on to learn a bit about her and her entry.
If you like what you see, comment right here--everybody likes props on their hard work! And check back weekdays through October 3 to meet the rest of the finalists.

Tell us one of your best (or most entertaining) holiday memories.
By far, all my best holiday memories involve the entire family gathered around the fireplace, playing a board game with our grandmother, who alwas seemed to make the most fun of it!

I got in the holiday mood for this contest by . . .
Browsing through some old holiday cards I've still got and looking at snowy, wintry pictures.

Why is your card the perfect choice for anyone sending holiday cards this season?
Despite the green and red color theme, my card is adaptable to many different holidays. It also leaves room for a short note and is a lively way to send your best holiday wishes!

Tell us (and the world) a little bit about yourself.
I am a graphic designer living and working in Washington, D.C. As the daughter of a professional photographer and a teacher, I grew up with an appreciation for art. I graduated college with a degree in Media Art and Design and a minor in Spanish from James Madison University.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Introducing Jamey Jackson, Your Holiday Finalist

Meet our finalist of the day! Read on to learn a bit about him and his entry.
If you like what you see, comment right here--everybody likes props on their hard work! And check back weekdays through October 3 to meet the rest of the finalists.

Tell us one of your best (or most entertaining) holiday memories.
I remember as a child being on Christmas break from school. It seemed to last for weeks and every day was just . . . fun! No getting up early, no homework. Just endless cookies and treats, building snow forts, watching Rudolph, Charlie Brown and The Grinch on TV and playing with my newest set of Legos. Life was never sweeter.

I got in the holiday mood for this contest by . . .
Looking through photos of Christmases past and remembering all the great times spent with my family and friends.

Why is your card the perfect choice for anyone sending holiday cards this season?
Because it is a classic concept presented in a contemporary way that everyone can understand.

Tell us (and the world) a little bit about yourself.
I'm an artist, husband, dog and cat lover, world traveler, student of life and novice (very) musician.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Introducing Steffane McClary, Your Holiday Finalist

Meet our finalist of the day! Read on to learn a bit about her and her entry!
If you like what you see, comment right here--everybody likes props on their hard work! And check back weekdays through October 3 to meet the rest of the finalists.

Tell us one of your best (or most entertaining) holiday memories.
My favorite childhood memory is walking into my grandmother's house on Christmas morning. I loved the smell of her freshly baked cinnamon rolls and seeing all of her beautiful Christmas decorations. My family would meet for breakfast and then begin opening the sock presents Santa had left the night before.

Tell us (and the world) a little bit about yourself.
I love reading, drawing and creating beautiful works of art with my children, who are a constant source of inspiration.