Monday, June 30, 2008

Get your creative juices flowing...

This is random, but oh-so-funny for your droopy-eyed Monday... Enjoy!

Product of the Month

Way fun! Hallmark's new adhesive gift wrap is featured as a "Product of the Month" in the July issue of Real Simple Magazine. From the article: "The entire back side [of the wrap] is sticky, so there's no need for tape. The adhesive peels of boxes or fabrics without leaving a mark, and unlike tape, it doesn't stick to itself." Pretty handy if you keep misplacing your Scotch tape, or if you are wrapping on-the-go! The wrap is available at all Hallmark Gold Crown Stores for approximately $5 per roll.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Thanks for all who voted for me for the decor8 Amy Butler mood board contest!

I'm the happy recipient of an $75 Amy Butler bag!

Survey comments from readers include:
• "Could be a page out of Domino!"
• "I feel this board has simple yet lovely emotive qualities. The textures are quite inviting. Side illustrations are nice touches."
• "Kitchenis a room not usually done. Love the handmade apron and the cupcakes!"
• "This is fabulous! My favorite, hands down."

Awh thanks guys!

See the winner and five runners up.


There you have it, folks... That's my review of last night's performance of "ESO:TERRA" by Kansas City-based Performance Ensemble Quixotic.

From the program: "Quixotic's "Eso:terra" or "Mystery of Earth," is a dynamic combination exploring the concepts of "progression" on philosophical and metaphysical levels. A Living Installation of the first order, "Eso:terra" is a multimedia kaleidoscope of rich lighting, compelling movement, flowing fabrics, aerial artistry, live original music, and poetry that moves the viewer profoundly by appealing to all of the senses. A fusion of presitgious [LOCAL!] performers, video textures, and tapestries or sound -- at once exotic spiritual, "Eso:terra" has the dimension to be an enrapturing experience for all."

This is the first time that I have been to something like this, and I'd go again in a heartbeat. The sheer strength and athleticism of the performers was amazing (I could see every performer's six-pack abs from the middle of the Uptown Theater for goodness sake), the aerial stunts in media such as fabric, netting, and trapeze had me on the edge of my seat, and oh, the music: drums of all sizes and shapes, a digerydoo, wind chimes, an electric violin, an upright bass, keyboards, saxophones...

This is a show I would recommend to anyone and everyone. You don't have to be and artist or creative to appreciate a show like this. I took my boyfriend, Eric, who usually opts out of more "artsy" things for sports, camping, and video games, and he was very impressed. He even tried doing one of the stunts when we got home... [side note: there should be a disclaimer on the program: "All stunts are performed by professional athletes. Do not attempt.]

Tickets are still available for tonight's performance if anyone is looking for something to do on a Friday night in KC!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Two year ago, this October, I was hired by Erin Mills (yes, the same Erin that started this blog) to work on Hallmark's "core" Humor team. I worked there making cards covered in monkeys and fart jokes and loved it. Just recently, I moved to the magical land of sound, light, and motion; a much more demanding environment. Which is why i am enjoying a delicious Tuscan Chicken Panini, and typing this over my lunch break. Before all of this though, I went to a small school called Kutztown University (the other KU) in Pennsylvania and majored in Graphic Design. Hallmark flew me out here, i loved it, and i moved half way across the country to be here. I'm slightly obsessed with the internet and I've been blogging since the birth of Xanga. Other than the internet, I also really enjoy the music scene, playing kickball and video games (what, i'm a guy). Now that I put everyone to sleep with my rambling, I will say how cool it is to be part of this Cre•a•tiv•i•team (see what i did there!?), with this group of wildly talented, fun filled girls. I think my main purpose for me being here though, is to bring some masculinity to this blog, so i'll do my best to deliver. Until then, peace out.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Camp Quality- making cards with the kids

Every year I volunteer at Camp Quality. A camp for kids that have or had cancer. It's a place where kids can just be kids and not have to worry about being sick. Camp Quality costs $1000 a week to send one child to camp. The money is raised mainly by donatons. It is at no expense to the families of the children. Sunday is the first day of camp. The kids all show up in buses, and when they get off the bus they're announced like they're superstars. That's always my favorite part. This year, Piper (another Hallmarker) and I joined forces with my best buddies who work for K and Company (a scrapbooking company in Kansas City). They brought stickers, attachments, and we brought cards, glitter, flowers, ribbons and the kids had a blast.  

Pretty Illustration!

Here are some illustration styles from a group of Illustrators dubbed "Pink Sky" here at Hallmark. These four ladies are super-talented! I think you'll agree....


Working at Hallmark I get to do lots of researching for trends and cute things to apply to our products. But I'm always finding interesting things around me on a daily basis. So I was happy to have the opportunity to participate in the decor8 Amy Butler mood board contest. The grand prize winner can win up to $300 worth Amy Butler stuff including, a signed copy of Amy's book Midwest Modern, 1 Birdie Sling in her Midwest Modern Fabric, 1 Sew It Kit, 2 Card Kits, and 10 of her most recent patterns.

The goal was to design a room around one (or more) of your picks from Amy's new Midwest Modern fabric collection. There were 118 entries and only 20 were selected by Amy Butler and decor8 to be voted on.

I did a kitchen with a hostess theme. The main photo is of me holding Baby Cakes cupcakes and wearing an apron I made with Amy Butler fabric. Go to my Flickr page for a listing of products.

So please go and rate the 20 entries by EOD Thursday. There are some great mood boards to look at.


P.S. Amy Butler used to work at Hallmark!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

LOOK --------------------->

A couple new blogs have been added to the Hallmarkers Who Blog at the right.

Nate and Sam's: Pencil Pop

and Amy's: ARTNICKS


Monday, June 23, 2008


Bess, and I am the new Creative Talent Recruiter for Hallmark.

Erin has spent the last 2+ years as the über recruiter and is leaving some very big shoes to fill, but I am excited to pick up where she is leaving off. And I know that she's not going to push me into the vast ocean of creative recruiting without a little bit of guidance.

So for the next month or so, I will slowly transition into my new role and Erin will exit and be on to bigger, better (as yet unannounced or maybe even undetermined) things.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

From KC to NYC

Hallmark recently had an exhibit at the New York Licensing Show, June 10th-12th at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Most people know that Hallmark has licensing relationships with places like Disney, Mattel, Marvel, Dreamworks, and many more (and we've got the cards, plates, cups, napkins, ornaments, and gifts to prove it!). However, most people don't know that we also have a group responsible for licensing out some of Hallmark's creative assets.

From the Hallmark Design Collections website. "For nearly 100 years, Hallmark has been creating images that people love. Each year, we add more than 23,000 new illustrations, designs, and photographs to our collection—a collection that spans every emotion, occasion, and season. Hundreds of thousands of images are waiting for you—created by Hallmark artists and photographers, or derived from Hallmark-owned collections. It's a treasure trove of creativity, one that will truly set your products apart."

So, below are some photos from the Hallmark Design Collections booth at the New York Licensing Show. Be sure to check out the Design Collections website to browse more of the collection and for information on how to tap into our unparalleled creative collections!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


What happens when a baby-boomer Hallmark writer is the winner of the Barbara Marshall Award sabbatical? Well, she takes the summer to go back to her alma mater... living in the same dorm she did 30 years ago, making friends with students more than half her age and blogging about it.

Molly Wigand was granted a 3-month leave from Hallmark to dive into a very personal generational study. Enjoy every bit of it at her blog:

Back-to-School Boomerang

And for more information about the Barbara Marshall Award read below. Just goes to show how cool Hallmark is and the wonderful opportunities available to the creative community here.

Creative award inspires for past 10 years
( Wednesday, January 30, 2008 7:15 AM )

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the introduction of the Barbara Marshall Award. The award recognizes top talent within the creative division and gives recipients a sabbatical opportunity to explore various creative disciplines.

The award was established in 1998 to honor the 50th anniversary of Barbara Marshall, daughter of Hallmark founder J.C. Hall. Through the years, Barbara has been a strong influence on Hallmark greeting card designs — and the people who design them (see related story).

Commitment to creativity
“The Barbara Marshall Award recognizes the spirit of creativity that Hallmark was founded on,” says Don Hall, president and CEO. “It was designed to nurture creativity and allow time for innovation and creative exploration. In doing so, the award and its recipients inspire our entire creative community.”

The award is a testament to Hallmark’s commitment to its creative community and is a best practice among creative companies, adds Dan Foster, vice president – creative design and visual studios.

“For people considering a job at Hallmark, this award tells them a lot about how much Hallmark values creativity and the company’s creative team,” he says.

Thorough selection process
Members of the creative staff with more than five years of Hallmark experience may apply for the award. The rigorous selection process for the award begins with a focused review of all submissions by a core team of senior creative leaders. After the first review the team presents its recommendations to the entire senior creative leadership team for a vote.

“The finalists are invited to a meeting to personally present their idea so we can hear the passion and depth of what they’d like to do,” Dan says.

After completing their sabbaticals, past winners have presented their work to other Hallmarkers — for example, in a creative gallery exhibit on the 9th floor at headquarters — to provide inspiration.

“In 2008, we’re focusing more on the learning opportunity and re-thinking how we can present the winners’ experiences to other Hallmarkers — through an online blog or film, for example,” Dan says. “We’re excited to see what our latest recipients have in store for us.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I love local shopBaby Cakes in the River Market. Darling gourmet cupcakes in flavors like orange dreamsicle with vanilla icing and chocolate with peanut butter icing.

A selection of four runs you about eight bucks, but it's worth it.

Just look for the cupcake sign!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I went to the fashion show last night. It was packed! The theme was Summer at Sea.

I didn't get many good photos. But I did capture the opening act -- land synchronized swimmers.

Uhmmm... they really weren't synchronized :O
It was an interesting opening to an interesting show!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


At Hallmark we have a cool trends department ran by Marita and Scott. They chose 8 employees to meet on a monthly basis to develop our research skills. I'm so happy to be in this group to sharpen my research skills. The group is called TrendPlant.

For this month's theme was customization. So I suggested we do a swap. What's a swap? Well, everyone makes a list of their likes and dislikes of their hobbies and such. Then we drew names and kept our swap partner a secret. Kinda like secert Santa. The swap theme was green, the color and eco-friendly items.

Here is a photo of everyone's packages today. They all look so nice!!!

These are some of the items I gave my swap partner.

This is the package I received.

I like to cook and I don't have any bamboo cooking utensils. So that was a super fun thing to receive!

After we opened our goodies Marita took us out to the Leawood, KS in•gre•di•ent location.

They've been open for a month. I've been to the Lawrence, KS once and they are opening one on the Plaza soon.

I ordered mahi tacos.

We ate outside. There were colorful chairs and a oversized plant bucket water fountain.

It was a fun afternoon. And it was work too!!!

"Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual."

-Arthur Koestler

Award-winning work!

Check out the 2008 Channel Frederator Awards!

Some very talented students and professors (who have become great friends of mine) produced and created the winning Cartoon of the Year Fumi and the Bad Luck Foot. Y'all make me proud!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Be sure to head out on Saturday night (June 14th, 2008) for the 8th Annual West 18th Street Fashion Show. This year 11 new designers have been added to the show that features regional talent. The show is held on 18th Street, between Wyandotte and Baltimore in the Crossroads District. It starts and dusk (8pm-ish) and is FREE.

Check out the time-lapse video of last year's show.

Designers featured:

Andrew Hansen
Made in America
Bon Bon Atelier
Cali Roberta
The Sunset Collection by Dig It Swimwear
Jessy Bergmann
Summers Only
Metallic Mermaid
Rachel Marie
In Deep, by Katie Coble
Lacey Doherty
Mary Bellamy
Mr. Baby
Sikenomics Clothing and Beth Guint
Sirens Calling
Jamie Brehm
Sophie and Gwendalynn

For more information, visit the website.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Father's Day is this weekend!

Check out these videos from a recent Hallmark video contest. In honor of our silly, crazy and goofy dads, the Daddy of All Dance-Offs was a competition held by Hallmark to find the nation's best dancing dad! Dads from all around the U.S. could submit a video of their fly dance moves in one of two ways: 1) at a contest location (complete with a stage and state of the art sound system) in one of several cities, or 2) online. Below are two of the winning videos. The first dad showed up to the Portland, OR stage location to show off his hip-hop skills, and the second had his kids film him jivin' in the kitchen of the family's home in St. Joseph, MO. Check out the other winning videos here.

Portland, OR Online

Friday, June 6, 2008



Since Blanc opened in March in the Westport area my fiancé and I have visited every other week for their spiced lentil burger. The onion rings, made with local Boulevard Pale Ale, and sweet potato fries comes in a cute little shopping cart. They come with house-made ketchup, stone-ground mustard and chipotle aioli as dipping sauces. We took my parents there over Mother’s Day weekend and they each ordered the classic burger and cleared their plates! Along with local brew, Blanc features over 112 bottled beers.

Blanc is completely different from the dark saloons in this Westport neighborhood. Painted bright white and the staff wearing white shirts, Blanc is beyond your average burger joint.

Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Closed Sunday.
Price: $-$$
A bit of the menu:
• BLT Salad _$6
• American kobe burger _ $12
• Classic burger _ $8
• Meatloaf burger _ $8
• Spiced lentil burger _ $7
• Sweet-potato fries _ $4
• Boulevard Pale Ale onion rings _ $5

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Last night it was announced that Senator Barack Obama has claimed the Democratic presidential nomination.

There are Obama t-shirts for sale on the official web site. The price is $20.08. I find it ironic that the prices equals the year 2008. CRE•A•TIVE!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"Creativity takes courage."

-Henri Matisse