Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Here is a video from the Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Crown Center. Kansas City

Holiday Fountain Water Show

Happy Holidays to everyone from all of us here at Hallmark!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Summer 2009 Internships

Join us in Kansas City this summer! Hallmark Creative Summer Internships are now posted at

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


November's theme for the Artist Trading Card (ATC) trade at Hallmark was "winter." Seems like everyone got into the holiday spirit with this creative exercise!

Here are a sample of the ATCs.

You can see more at my ATC blog.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Editor's Note: I was going to post this a couple weeks ago but was afraid ABC (the big one in New York) would make me yank it. I think we're close enough to the time of release now that I'm safe. If this post is gone in the next day or two, please send a search party for me. Also... Good Morning America is in KC on Wednesday, so I'm thinking that might be the day of the big reveal. Stay tuned... -Bess

Thanks to the creative talents of our Trend Expert, Scott Butterfield, and a collaborative Hallmark team, Kansas City will be wishing America happy holidays this December.

ABC’s Good Morning America will transform its ground-level studio windows at Times Square into three holiday display windows, each featuring a different city. Throughout the season, the two-sided displays will be visible from inside the GMA studios and by foot traffic on Broadway and 44th street. Nine cities were invited to compete for a window, and through the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association, Kansas City’s invitation ended up in Scott’s hands.

With his background in visual merchandising and store design, Scott was a great choice to lead a collaborative team to work on the entry. Illustrators, designers, and lettering artists all helped to develop the concept. Partners in retail and our model shop helped with the initial renderings. The Union Hill Photo Studio contributed through the efforts of photographers and photo retouchers bringing the photos to life. In Scott’s words, “they’ve all brought unique and valuable perspectives and talent to this project.”

Needless to say, their resulting design and presentation blew the judges away, making Kansas City GMA’s first choice! The winning concept will be unveiled on Good Morning America during the week of December 3-5. It features ornament vignettes, inspired by the magical light innovation of our own Keepsakes ornaments.

I'd share a sketch of what the window is going to look like, but I've been informed that you'll have to wait until GMA unveils it. So be sure to tune in to Good Morning America the week of December 3-5!

Read more here.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I wanted to post a few pictures I took on Saturday night at the DIFFA Glam Holidays event. I had such a good time mingling with local design professionals, eating wonderful hors d’oeuvres, and biding on one-of-a-kind holiday décor created by some of Kansas City’s most celebrated designers and artists.

Check out more information about DIFFA in Kansas City here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crown Center Ice Terrace

Here are a few photos from my first outdoor skating experience!
Adjacent to where we work is the Crown Center, an entertainment, dining, shopping, office and residential complex. Every year they put up Kansas City's only public, outdoor ice skating rink, The Crown Center Ice Terrace and this year it's open for the 36th season. I went with a few friends for an hour or two of fun ice skating. It was a blast!

Regular admission is 6 dollars for adults and Skate rental is 3 dollars. They also have special group rates and specials on Tuesdays.

The Ice Terrace is open from November until March. Good Times! I'll come back again real soon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

EXCLUSIVE: Brand New from Hallmark

As Hallmarkers savvy to this new-fangled interwebz dealy, I find it kind of our duty to promote the coolest new innovations we offer to the e-viewer. Well today, I come to you with an exclusive. You can't find news about this anywhere else on the net.

On November 7th the movie Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa cames out in theaters, but right now in Walmart and Hallmark Gold Crown you can purchase a card with a very special attachment on it: a USB Card/Drive (Jump Drive, Flash Drive) shaped like your favorite Madagascar characters. Here is the corresponding website.

On the Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa USB drive:
- exclusive Flash games featuring your favorite Madagascar characters.
- MP3s of the hit songs from Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
- customizable coloring pages to print
- desktop wallpapers and more!
- a desktop buddy of Moto-Moto (EVERYONE is going nuts over this guy)

As if that weren't enough, you can take everything off of the card, and use the store 1 Gig your files in a fun character verses a boring ol' grey stick... sweet!

Do I sound like an ad? Call me marketing! ;)

It's important that if you think this is something ultra-cool and new that Hallmark should continue to do, that go out and buy it. I can't stress this enough. Spend your hard earned cash on this fun new product and you will see more. Buy it for your sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, grandsons and daughters, maybe that nice kid down the street?

Spread the word!


PS. Has anyone seen the movie? What did you think?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I've added a new blog on the right under "Hallmarkers Who Blog." Heather H. purchased a letterpress a couple weeks ago and is already creating amazing pieces. She's also blogged a bit about how much she loves her job at Hallmark... who doesn't love reading about that!?

Check out Heather H.'s blog:
twine and twig


Monday, November 17, 2008

The Get Up Kids Reunion

After 3 years apart, the band that some claim "to have started it all" had reformed to play one night only at Record Bar in Kansas City, Mo. The Get Up Kids reunion show was barely publicized and was only allowed to house 250 people. Being that they were all back home for the holiday season, and they felt it was a good idea to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their second release, Something to Write Home About (which is the record that sent them skyward). The set included every song off of that album, and an encore of some favorites. Matt Pryor, the lead vocalist, said "it was going way better than he expected" and it seemed like the band was happy to be playing shows together again. As a side note, they said they would try and do this at least once a year, and joked around about only playing at the Record Bar. Only in KC.

I took some photos and a video but because my camera is wonky, here is someone else's. Enjoy.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pixel Awards.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that last night Barack Obama became president elect. The voter turn out in Mo was amazing. And, speaking of voting... the Shoebox Blog just won the "2008 Peoples Champ Award" over at Media Temple's Pixel Awards. Out of thousands of nominees, Shoebox came in first. Great job guys, you earned it. Thank you readers and everyone who voted for them.

Holla!, Josh

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

My husband and I went to go vote at 6:12a this morning! We live downtown and the line was around the corner and down the street!

We finally got done at 7:40a. It woulda been longer, but they called A-G to come forward. Thank goodness my last name starts with a D now! My maiden name was W... always last.

Good luck waiting to vote!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Crafty Chicks

I participated in the 9th annual Crafty Chicks craft show this past Saturday.

Cheryl and Gretchen, fellow Hallmarkers, run the event every year. Crafty Chicks is a yearly event that celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of all the participants selling uncommon hand-crafted gifts and pre-owned treasures.

This was my 2nd year participating. It was a little stressful getting prepared because I wanted to outdo myself from last year. I had so many ideas of gifts to make. But the event was just as fun as last year. Can't wait to do it again!

More photos on my Flickr page.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I attended Amy's gallery show at Paragraph and was impressed and excited to see the amazing artwork she creates outside of her regular 9-5 gig at Hallmark. You can check out her blog at the right under "Hallmarkers Who Blog" — Amy K.


What do you do at hallmark?
Designer on the SAC (Socially Aware Connecting) team. We design cards for (RED) and Green, among other exploratory projects linked with social causes.

Where did you go to school? What was your major?
Ringling College of Art & Design (I graduated in 2001). My major was illustration.

New Washington, Indiana (along the Ohio river in southern Indiana, just north of Louisville, KY)

Your style in 3 words:
irreverent, quirky, emotive

Sources of inspiration:
In addition to illustration & design blogs & books, I look at a lot of "fine art". Not just in museums...I spend a lot of time cruising the internet and galleries that represent contemporary and "emerging" artists, and also look at as much outsider art and street art as I can find. I love travelling for that a new city, you feel like you're practically tripping on that stuff everywhere you turn. I love that feeling of seeing something fresh and completely unlike anything I've ever seen before, something that starts your mind wandering in a new direction.

Most exciting Hallmark opportunity:
The opportunity to work on (RED) is particularly exciting for me. I wasn't on this team when it started, and I remember very clearly when the product came out and I saw it in the card shop - I went and bought like one of every card. So it feels great to be on a team, less than a year later, working on those cards that I was so inspired by.

Favorite places in Kansas City:
Dolphin Gallery, Grand Arts, Paragraph Gallery, Byron C. Cohen, H&R Block Artspace, Bon Bon Atelier, City Market, Christopher Elbow Chocolates, the River Market Antique Mall, Retro Inferno

Advice for someone looking to work at Hallmark:
My advice to illustrators and designers would be-be diligent about keeping a sketchbook. Even if you don't "sketch" per say....collect things, write things, collage things. Sketchbooks are a great way to work through your thinking process, and they're the best way to flex your art/design muscle every single day, no matter where you're at or what you're in the middle of. (and - recruiters just love them.)

Feeding America

Are you a card-sender?

I have been since I learned how to write, sending cards to pen pals that I met while on family camping trips, writing my grandparents letters, sending postcards from family vacations back home to my friends, and each year, helping my mom and dad address hundreds of Christmas cards for family and friends.

I continued my "card-sending habits" into my first couple years of college, but somewhere between college and my fourth anniversary at Hallmark (this past June), I haven't sent very many cards. It seems that in these days of my new job in Hallmark's Licensing Design Studio (which keeps my flying by the seat of my pants most days), a growing relationship with my boyfriend Eric, traveling to see family all over the U.S., and just holding down the fort (my condo) all week so I can catch up over the weekend with cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry (while still trying to make it out on Friday or Saturday night or head to a Chiefs game on Sunday) (whew!), I always turn to easier and faster forms of conversation: text, Facebook, and a few phone calls.

However, when I heard about Hallmark's donation to Feeding America for each Thanksgiving card purchased, I thought I might send out a few cards this Thanksgiving to friends and family, letting them know how thankful I am for their part in my life, and I in theirs.

(Visit Hallmark's Website to learn more and browse a selection of our Thanksgiving cards).

What a perfect time to remind us (as we sitting down with our families to eat a ton of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes), that there are some people in our country without food (and even without family). A small effort on each of our parts, buying and sending a card to someone we love, could help in a monumental way. I'm proud to be part of a company that contributes to the greater good in many ways, this small effort just being one of them.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Today was the annual Hallmark Creative Halloween Party. There was a costume contest of course, and my Art & Editorial Directors as well as fellow designer's decided to enter in the group competition, and guess what? WE WON! Best Group Prize. Totally handmade costumes too (we used yellow ponchos stuffed with balloons and made beaks out of foam visors), We were dressed up as yellow duckie Peeps, since we do candy cards in my department. Oh and we also had the black Peep of the family, Yay!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kearney Day Away

I wanted to share some photos from this Monday. Hallmark owns a farm in north east Missouri, just 30 or so minutes from Kansas City in a town called Kearney. It's mainly used as a retreat by different departments, to hold workshops, learn new trades, get inspired, etc. It was really great, apparently my department goes up there at least once a year. We had breakfast, and then we carved and painted pumpkins, followed by a wonderful potluck lunch, hiking through the numerous trails that the farm had, and just general bonding.

That funny pumpkin in the front was mine. Great time!

Oh I had to take a photo of the apples! the farm had apple trees and a pear tree, I thought it was so cool, I've only seen an apple tree three times in my life (we don't have those in florida), haha

There was a few kayaks close by that we could have used in this pond, but it was too cold to try.

The Wordiest Week Ever!

First of all, please excuse my tardiness. I know that Word Week happened ions ago and I’m just posting, but I needed a little extra time to let the goodness simmer before I could talk about it. Yeah, that’s what it was… I needed time to let the goodness simmer. I’m not a procrastinator at all.

Any-who, Word Week is an entire week dedicated to celebrating the overall awesomeness that the written word contributes to Hallmark and the world. And in my opinion, it’s a beautiful thang. The entire week was comprised of excellent speakers, showcases of internal Hallmark talent, and most importantly, refreshments.

Everything was on point.

However, I must say that my favorite event was The Coffee House Reading on Friday. This is when Hallmark writers read pieces of their work; personal and private. You would not believe how amazing it was. I felt privileged to be in the company of such brilliant writers. Some were funny as all get-out. Some were serious as a heart attack. And others expressed a vulnerability that induced tears. It was truly a bonding experience.

All in all, I give Word Week two enthusiastic thumbs up! It’s fine holiday fun for the entire family.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boss's Day

Our team took our mangers out for Boss's Day on the 16th.

We went to Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill in Westport.

I've never been there before. I usually go next door to Blue Koi for my vegetarian meal. I'm always nervous about meat getting into my meal on the community grill.

But this place was great! They used separate cooking sticks for the vegetarian food.

They had tons of veggies and meats to choose from. They have different bowls for vegetarians and meat-folks so the cooks know which is which. So you just put your goodies in a bowl, add some seasonings and sauces. Then they cook it up!

My combo came out great!

The decor was beautiful too.

I'm going back!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mosaic Lounge

Saturday, October 11th my husband DJ'd at Mosaic Lounge in the Kansas City Power and Light District. He plays there every Wednesday, but that's a work night so I don't go out. But since this was a Saturday I actually got a chance to go out and see him play.

My husband designs his own flyers. Cool huh?

However, I have to do the path for him in Photoshop to do to the photo cut-out, but he won't tell me how to do all of the cool Photoshop effects. What ev... I got my own tricks!!!

I love the interior of Mosaic. The Moroccan shapes of the bar and ceiling are really cool.

I shouldn't show photos of some of my Hallmark friends that came out. They are directors and I'm sure they don't want their co-workers to see them getting their groove on! So here is a photo of the entertainment coordinator of Bice Bistro and me looking suave!

This was one of the last summery nice nights in Kansas City. Goodbye summer!!! It's like 40 degrees now (I'm cold!).


September 29th was our last TrendPlant meeting. So sad not to be meeting each month, but it was so great!

We had a potluck and everyone brought awesome fall food!!!

It was such an honor and great opportunity to be in the pilot TrendPlant group. I've learned so much more about researching. I'm going to bring my new findings back to my team so everyone can be inspired.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We’re getting blogged!

If you’re doing some on-line research on pumpkin carving you’ll most likely run into the Hallmark Magazine carriage pumpkin.

Seems like everyone loves it as much as we do and are blogging about it.
How about orange...
arts & dafts
Pat Slogan's Corner
Sketching Life

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dia De Los Muertos • Window Display

This is a gorgeous Day of the Dead window display in the creative library here at hallmark. Most of the collection belongs to two photographers from our Union Hill Photography Studio. Beautiful!

Friday, October 24, 2008

mind candy

I'm on the mind{FULL} creative inspiration e-letter team at Hallmark. This month we teamed up with another creative inspiration e-letter Eyecandy to do a gallery showing of how Hallmark designers were inspired by us. We called it mind candy!

Our theme was candy and we had gumballs as take-aways and candy all over the room.

It was really nice to see all of the Hallmark product that was inspired by our e-letters.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Lion King - Broadway Across America

This Saturday I had the chance of watching Tony Award-winning The Lion King Live presented by Broadway Across America, at the *beautiful* Kansas City Music Hall downtown. It was incredible! I had shivers when Rafiki (played by Phindile Mkhize) opened the show with traditional african singing. There were hundreds of puppets, and the costumes were amazing!, it was a colorful visual treat! WOW! The musical is running until November 16.

Other Upcoming Shows at the Kansas City Music Hall
Annie - December 30 2008 - Jan 4 2009
Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy - Feb 24 - Mar 1, 2009
The Phantom of the Opera - Mar 25 - Apr 19 2009
The Color Purple - Apr 28-May 3 2009