Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dressed to Impress

Did we mention we've got a Halloween contest coming down the way? This is your primo time to capture all the fallish (and foolish) festivities. Snap plenty of pics of your favorite costumed critters (human and animal, alike) this weekend and be thinking how you might turn them into a card in the near future.

One tip to keep in mind:

Avoid pictures of licensed or copyrighted characters. Yes, we know they're cute, but they're also against the contest rules. Tough break.

This message has been approved by Pita, Shannon's phenomenally well-behaved dog.
Can she pull off the ear-flap hat, or what?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Crack 'Em Up...Later

We know some of you have been working ahead on your card ideas and we just want to wave you down to give you the latest info, in case you hadn't already taken note. Originally, we were planning to have the "Crack 'Em Up" Shoebox card contest in February. What can we say? Plans change. If you've already been crafting your jokes and fine-tuning your funny, don't fret. You'll get to enter your best "Crack 'Em Up" card soonish. Just not yet. For now, store that card submission in your back pocket and aim your brain power at our contests coming just around the bend. Let us know if you have any questions about the new plan.


Just in case you didn't notice all the pumpkins, costumes and candy at the store, consider this your friendly reminder that Halloween is just around the corner (Ahem, Saturday). What better time to be snapping photos left and right of the sweet, silly and spooky dresser-uppers in your life? As you're capturing all the tricks and treats, keep in mind what might make a winning Halloween card! You'll be able to enter it in our upcoming Halloween contest set for March.

Need a little inspiration? These fallish finds are compliments of Theresa, whose mom has been rumored to have slaved over more than a few Halloween costume sewing projects. What a gal.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Judging 101

We're sharing the inside scoop on the That's Motherhood! judging process for all you card contest enthusiasts and curious cats. Hopefully, it will help you plan for the next contest, Birthday Her Way (Nov. 2-15). You deserve to know just how the judges start with this blank board...

and wind up with these babies...

Step 1. Fuel up!

If you happen to go back through our past contest photos, you may notice a pattern...a fruity yellow pattern. It seems Theresa's judging senses are fortified with potassium. Mmm, nana-licious.

Other favorite judging supplements include Diet Coke, Diet Sunkist, real Coke with real sugar, flat pretzels, normal pretzels, chocolate of any kind, crackers, and the list goes on. Please mail snacks to...just kidding. We're above bribery, however tasty.

Step 2. Think it over.

Each and every judge goes through the whole pile o' potential winners and chooses a set amount of favorites for the Friend category and the Mom category. They're looking for cards that fit the theme (funny Mother's Day cards), are cohesive (the image and writing work well together) and are sendable (they work for more than a few people). They also have to keep in mind things like variety and irresistability. Variety is important because they can't choose ten diaper jokes and expect people to only shop from those at Mother's Day. Irresistability is important because those are the cards that just beg to be picked up in the store.

Step 3. Pin 'em up!

Once the judges have made their individual picks, they pin them up on boards for the whole room to see. This is one of our favorite parts of the process, revealing which judges picked what cards. Usually a few are loved by everyone and others are up for debate. Judges will squeal, "Yay! You picked that one, too!" or question, "Really?! That one?!"

Sara Dykes, the yourBloopers Grand Prize Winner was our V.I.P. guest judge. Here's her board of favorites. Thanks for your help, Sara!

Step 4. Tally the votes!

Once all the judges are finished pinning, we count up the "votes" for each card. If a card is loved by six out of six judges, it makes its way to the winner board. If it's only loved by two or three judges, it's up for more lively discussion. The process goes on like this until the judges narrow the cards down to the final number.

Ta-da! We've got our winners, winners chicken dinners...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Is Your Card Legal?

Judging requires all hands on deck. And all funny faces, too. Our lawyers came down to get a close-up look at your card entries run them through their legal check. They were on the lookout for copyrighted images, recognizable locations, brand names, etc. All those that passed the test moved on to the official judging round. Speaking of judging, stay tuned to the blog this week for more judging highlights. Will your card make it to the coveted winners board?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Real Moms. Real Stories. Pt. 3

Our friend Kenya is sharing a story today that reminds us that being a mom inevitably means losing your cool from time to time. And having a mom means getting to witness such meltdowns once in a while...even after you're all grown up.

Here's Kenya's tale of one ticked mama:

A few years back, Mom and I went on a trip to Las Vegas. We were typical tourists with our 35mm cameras in hand. At some point, at one of the ginormous hotel/casinos, Mom needed to change her camera film. Upon trying to auto-rewind the thing, it jammed up. Mom was not happy. She immediately flipped open the camera door (that you're not supposed to open or you'll ruin the film), wrestled with the film and eventually showed it who was boss by aggressively ripping the film completely out! Yes, she succeeded in tearing the film and breaking the camera. When the episode was over, we laughed hysterically! Neither one of us could believe what she had just done!

Sorry, Kenya's mom. What happens in Vegas sometimes winds up on the internet.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Real Moms. Real Stories. Pt. 2

Today, we've got a story from a guest mom, our teammate Theresa's mama. Her recollection gives us a glimpse of young Theresa's personality coming through at an unexpected time. Just look at this impish grin.

Without further ado, a tale of Theresa...

Because I was a working mom and my time with my little one was always too short, I chose to rock her to sleep every night. When Theresa was 17 months old, we snuggled up in the rocker for our nightly routine and I started singing lullabies to her. After just a short time of me singing, Theresa reached up, put her hand over my mouth and said, "CLOSE!" I'm not sure if she didn't like the selections that night or if this dislike of my singing had been building up!

We've got to admit, this story surprised us. Who knew our sweet Theresa was such a Little Miss Sassy Pants?

(Theresa now, all well-mannered and stuff)

Thanks for the real scoop, Theresa's mom!
We'll be on the lookout for more sass.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Real Moms. Real Stories.

Our contest team is made up of moms and people who have moms so that means we all have funny tales to tell of the kid and parent dynamic. The first such tale is from Julienne, word guru and mom extraordinaire. Her story is one of those that might not have seemed so funny at the time, but is definitely chuckle-worthy now.

Moms know it's hard to teach your kids to be truthful and polite at the same time. My daughter could be in-your-face telling long-winded neighbors "good-bye" when she thought they should leave, or proclaiming that a playmate's house was "messy," then offering the helpful tidbit, "Vacuum it!" But nothing tops the time she came into a circle of my friends gathered for a lovely autumn tea. Someone's sweater smelled like mothballs and Bridget was trailing the scent. I saw her little nose circle the room in search of the source. Before I could take evasive action she declared, "Lady has a smell." Up went her pointer finger, "This lady!" I mumbled some compliment about the woman's perfume, shoved a cookie in Bridget's mouth and dragged her out of the room. Sometimes I think honesty is overrated.


So how about it? What's your funny childhood or parenthood tale? Leave a comical comment, why don't ya?