Wednesday, September 15, 2010

StoryCorps visits Kansas City

StoryCorps visits Kansas City

Every Friday morning I get excited when StoryCorps comes on Morning Edition on NPR. For those of you who are not familiar, StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit who's mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve stories. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived over 30,000 interviews!

Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind! I was thrilled to find out that their mobile sound booth (that cute little trailer up there) was parked here in Kansas City, September 9-October 3, 2010. It's a partnership with our local NPR station KCUR and sponsored by Mid-Continent Public Library.

The Booth is located at 6301 Brookside Blvd, Kansas City, Missouri 64113. On the corner of W 63rd St. in the Brookside neighborhood. If you're a Kansas City local please check it out and consider recording your personal story.

Here's tons of info on this exciting project, & I just found out some of the stories have been turned into animated shorts. !

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Oklahoma Joe's

Oklahoma Joe's BBQ from Evan Scherr on Vimeo.

Nice video I found about Oklahoma Joe's. Probably one of the best BBQ places in Kansas City *In my opinion*. I love getting the Z Man sandwich. Mmm!
Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Veggies

image source: civileats

I'm really enjoying summer in Kansas City, (despite the heat) - one reason is the fact that a lot of summer veggies are in season! I've been going to the River Market on the weekends to check out the local produce and, just a couple month's ago I was introduced to a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at work.

Basically this CSA consists of a group of Hallmarkers who pledged at the beginning of the season to support a farm operation (ours is Good Natured Family Farms). For a very small weekly fee (about $20) I get a bag of great local grown vegetables, fruit, dairy, and meat. My pick up day is every wednesday, and this is "What's in the Bag" for today:

  • All Natural Beef Patties - Mountain View, Missouri
  • Farmhouse Cheese, Mild Cheddar or Pepper Jack - Durham, Kansas
  • Sweet Corn - Columbus, Nebraska
  • Peaches - Campbell, Missouri
  • Onions - Rich Hill, Missouri
  • Bell Peppers - Rich Hill, Missouri
  • Tomatoes - Rich Hill, Missouri
The CSA season runs through the early fall, and the produce changes up every week depending on what's ready for harvest. I always look forward to the email of what's in the bag for next week, it's such a nice surprise !

If you are a member of a local CSA program, tell me what's in the bag for you this week?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Quixotic is a local Kansas City collaboration of musicians, dancers, aerialists and designers. They presented its summer show, Paix Reveuse, at the Madrid Theatre this past weekend. The show was a mesh of engaging sights and sounds.

I went to last year's show and I must say Quixotic is similar to Cirque du Soleil. The production, dancers and musicians of any Quixotic are always phenomenal!

photos from INK magazine

Thursday, June 17, 2010

it's color week at Hallmark

Today is the final color week presentation.

I had the pleasure of meeting Erin Olson, author of the popular design blog House of Turquoise.

The blog is an outlet where she shares her passion for the color turquoise and beautiful interiors.

Erin expanded on her love of color when she created Decor By Color, a network of 11 blogs that link consumers with places to purchase home decor and other products, sorted mostly by hue. What started as a hobby in 2003 became an obsession which turned into a full-time dream job.

A reception featuring goodies and drinks - all in turquoise - followed her presentation. Cupcake made by Hallmarker Laura!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

it's color week at Hallmark

Today's presenter was paper artist, Matthew Sporzynski.

Matthew Sporzynski got his start with Estee Lauder creating intricate paper and cardboard versions of luxury accessories. He is most well known for his paper constructions that appear in every issue of Real Simple magazine.

It was really cool to hear him talk about millionaires contacting him to design their personal Valentine's and party invitations.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

it's color week at Hallmark

A cool thing about working at Hallmark is that we get cool people to come and speak.

This week at Hallmark it's color week. There are presentations on the 2011 color forecast and the week is filled with colorful speakers.

Today it was fine artist, Tim Biskup, long recognized for his complex color and design theories.

It was neat to learn about his struggles of how he became an artist.

Speaking of artist are you watching Work of Art on BRAVO? It's an awesome reality show about artists that premiered last Wednesday.

Kansas City's own Peregrine Honig, owner of local lingerie store Birdies and co-producer of last week's West 18th Street fashion show, is a contestant. She does wonderful illustrative work. And she hasen't gotten kicked off yet!

More about Peregrine here from INK magazine.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Christopher Elbow's Glacé Ice Cream Shop Opens


It's no surprise I love chocolate, especially anything Christopher Elbow makes. So I was thrilled to find out that finally his ice cream shop is opening today! It's located south of the Country Club Plaza, on 4960 Main st.

Just like expected, his ice cream and sorbet flavors are similar to some of his chocolates, and I bet they will change with the seasons. He's done a few preview weekends where you could buy ice cream at his shop in the Crossroads by the pint. I sampled the Fleur De Sel Caramel and it was pretty much amazing.

Here are the ones I want to try:

Caramelized Banana
• Basil Lime Sorbet
• Peanut Butter & Jelly (mmm?!)
• Rosemary Caramel
• Pineapple Cilantro Sorbet
• Venezuelan Spiced Chocolate
• Strawberry Balsamic

Check out the website for the other flavors. Happy Memorial Day Weekend !

Monday, May 17, 2010

36 Hours in Kansas City, Missouri

Image Source: NYT

Check out this wonderful article in the New York Times: 36 Hours in Kanasas City. It includes Travel guides for Places to Eat, Things to Do, and Where to Stay.

Friday, May 7, 2010

hoops&yoyo Fan Store Now Open!

Your favorite bunny and cat now have their very own fan store with gifts for a limited time only! Get your exclusive hoops&yoyo tote bags, beach towels, and a limited edition travel poster. This is the only place and the only time you can get these gifts, so don't miss it! I love these guys!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fresher than Fresh needs a "kickstart"

We've featured Lindsay L. and her Fresher than Fresh Snow Cones on cre-a-tiv-i-ty in the past so my moral compass is telling me it's ok to pass along her newest link. Please help keep this unique gem going in Kansas City and watch a cute little video too!

The LOVE Stamp

If the new Love stamp issued by the United States Postal Service looks familiar, it's because it should. It's based off of Hallmark's best selling card in history.

On Thursday, April 22, the official unveiling and first-day cancellation event for the 2010 Love stamp took place at the National World War I Museum near Hallmark's Kansas City headquarters. Dave Hall, president - Hallmark North America and Gene Maienschein, son of the original pansy card artist Dorothy Maienschein, offered comments during the event.

Read more about it and watch a video of the unveiling here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

celebrating Earth Day at Hallmark

We're celebrating Earth Day this week at Hallmark!

There will be representatives with information on how to recycle and save energy.

And not only is the 22nd Earth Day... it's also Take Your Kids to Work Day! There will be samples from local food farmers and kids can plant an heirloom tomato plant with seeds and instructions to take home.

Uhmmm... I don't have a kid to bring to work but I want an heirloom tomato kit!

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?

Friday, April 16, 2010

West 18th Street Fashion Show

I'm so excited to announce that the Tenth Anniversary Celebration of the West 18th Street Fashion Show, A Decadent Summer, will be held at dusk on Saturday, June 12th.

I've been every year since I've been living in Kansas City and I love it each time. This will be my 5th show to see.

The show takes place in on West 18th Street in Kansas City, between the cross-streets of Wyandotte and Baltimore.

As the anniversary event it's going to be more elaborate, over-the-top affair than ever! The show will feature eighteen collections from a select group of local and national designers.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Art of the Crown

At the beginning of the year there was an art show in one of our galleries called "Art of the Crown" it helped kick off Hallmark's centennial year (we blogged about it here a little bit). Hallmark artists created 250 uniquely diverse works of art, all starting with the same white resin crown (á la Kidrobot). Jeanee, Josh and I have crowns in the show!

Read more at the Centennial Blog.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Disney Princesses on Ice

Being a designer in the Licensing department the Disney Princesses and I have become BFFs! And guess what?!? They are in Kansas City starting this Friday with Disney on Ice Presents Princess Wishes!

Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine and Mulan all make their wishes come true in this collection of celebrated tales wonderfully told through artistic skating and acrobatics.

With the help of the magical pixie Tinker Belle, the Disney Princesses’ embark on an adventure to find their heart’s fondest wish. Ariel dreams of a life above the sea; Mulan finds her inner strength; Jasmine discovers a whole new world; and Snow White finds her true love. Cinderella, Belle and Sleeping Beauty also find happiness in this beautifully imagined new ice show.

Hmmm... maybe Princess Tiana will get in on the action next year!

Show Times at the Sprint Center:
March 19th : 7:00 pm
March 20th : 7:00 pm
March 21st : 10:30 am and 7:00 pm
March 22nd : 11:00 am, 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm
March 23rd : 2:00 pm

Hallmark Channel Branding

Design firm Imaginary Forces just finished up the 2010 Network Branding for Hallmark Channel (The website got a facelift too).

Here is what they said about the concept:

"The new branding for the Hallmark Channel emphasizes the Network’s goal of “celebrating life’s moments.” Taking the design for the new branding a step further, we celebrated the brand itself. Using an embossed 3D logo, the design physically explores the ins and outs of the logo, and highlights the content of the network with changing color schemes and subtle cues to the programming it surrounds."

It is very very cool! Check out the video on their site.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Big 12

Not going to lie and say I follow many college sports events, but I keep hearing about the Big 12 Conference coming to Kansas City this week. The Women's and Men's Basketball championships start tomorrow March 10th-14th. Kansas City is expecting to have tons of visitors for the games and the Visit KC website has a wonderful site devoted to just that.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sourdough Bread

Every Tuesday of this year the Centennial Committee has been posting a video giving us a glimpse into Hallmark's history. I enjoyed this one a lot- one of our bakers tells the story of the sourdough bread recipe J.C. Hall brought back from San Francisco in the 1960s. Enjoy!

Watch other Crown Minutes on the Hallmark Youtube page

Friday, February 26, 2010

the new Garment District opens today

Did you know that Kansas City once housed a world-famous Garment District right between Washington and Wyandotte? Many don't. In fact, clothing manufacturers employed thousands after WWI, and according to the KC Garment District Museum website, '1 out of every 7 women in the U.S. purchased a KC made garment.' I highly suggest taking a tour there.

The Kansas City Power and Light District unveils their own Garment District today at 1350 Main.

The district is touted as a boutique | bar | collective and will house seven regional retailers such as Westport fave Imagary, City Girls Boutique (from Salina), Urbantique (repurposed vintage), Denim Couture (OP), Label, Two Chic Blvd, & Polka Dot Petals. The best part is, there is a bar in the middle of it all. So grab a cocktail and shop until you drop.


Kansas City has a cool art community.

Hello Art is a membership organization created and sponsored by the Arts Incubator to serve as an introduction – an ice breaker of sorts – to Kansas City’s arts community. Hello Art bridges the worlds of the artist, gallery owner, experienced collector and “curious beginner” through a year-round calendar of events designed to strengthen the Kansas City arts scene. The goal of Hello Art is to bring together all who want to appreciate and support art. The point is to build community and have fun.

On First Fridays, members can come by the Hello Art Lounge located in the Arts Incubator. Here, they mingle over wine and hors d’oeuvres and look at art work by featured member artists. Then, members hop on the Hello Art trolley and visit a few galleries where volunteer docents will greet them and introduce them to exhibits and/or artists. Other events include workshops, discussion groups and behind-the-scenes studio tours.

Check it out!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

precious places in Kansas City

As a member of this blog I feel like it's my speciality to inform you of all of the spots here in Kansas City. Well... I'd like to tell you today that there are some little precious places filled with antique and whimsical goods.

Over the weekend I went around to four places for some Valentine inspiration.
Curious Sofa
Urban Mining Homewares (owned by a Hallmarker)
Bon Bon Atelier
Good Juju

I must say that Kansas City has some of the best antique and thrifting spots. Such eye candy!

See my blog for more!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hoops & Yoyo LOVE you!

Around Christmas time I was a bit too busy to blog. But if i could have, i would have blogged about this:

Hoops & Yoyo MOVIE NIGHT

HOLY MOLY! Are you excited?! They're at it again! Hallmark's beloved characters are hosting a movie night, every so often, to get you psyched about movies... and Hallmark... and donuts... and coffee... and popcorn... and all around goodness! The first time was at Christmas, but this time, Hoop and Yoyo will be part of Hallmarks Countdown to Valentine's Day, appearing on February 5th (TONIGHT!) and again on February 12th at 9/8c. Don't miss it!

Check your local cable listings for channel. If you don't have the Hallmark Channel, call your cable provider to find out how. ;)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cards Reflect Our Culture

I have never really thought of a greeting card as a sort of "time capsule", but when you think about it...they really can be a freeze frame of world events, slang, social norms and design styles. The Hallmark Centennial site has a really great section where they showcase cards from the past 10 decades, they are grouped in themes. With Valentine's right around the corner, the album up right now shows the different ways people used to say "I Love You", and how they say it today.

While you're there check out the past albums.
Tough Times, Good Wishes
Cards Are Groovy, Man

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm Keeping Busy, and so is Hallmark.

I haven't been around for a while. But i finally got a break in my busy schedule, so, I thought I would give you an update on what I've been up to. Not that it would normally be interesting enough to mention, but i have had my hand in pretty much everything that has come out in the last few months.

1: DVD Cards - Wouldn't it be cool if you could have a customized movie with pictures of you, your family and/or your friends that can be played on your home's DVD player? Say no more. Hallmark's done it. Takes 10 minutes. Packaged conveniently into a card so you can send it out to your loved ones. Imagine Grandma's surprise when she sees that gem. It will blow her mind. Available at your local Hallmark Gold Crown.

2. Augmented Reality - The world has come one step closer to Holodecks with this innovation. Basically, when you buy specially marked Hallmark Cards (available at Walmart and Gold Crown this Valentine's Day) you get an "Online Surprise". It's a 3D, virtual reality movie, that moves around in your own world when you hold the card up to at webcam. Don't understand a lick of what i am saying? Go try out a free demo here or let Hoops and Yo-yo try and explain it! GO. QUICK!

3. Kids Encouragement - This may not seem terribly innovative, but in reality it is. Hallmark has found that kids need to be spoken to in a certain way. And that parents are starving for a way to talk to there kids. So Hallmark Gold Crown is currently (or will be very soon, depending on the store) sporting a brand new wall display featuring dozens of new products that help encourage kids in their everyday life. And not just cards, but TOYS, BOOKS, and GAMES!

The others are so top secret i can't talk about them. But i will. Oh, i will.

I know this is all pretty boring without many pictures, but maybe you will just have to go out to Hallmark and take a look. ;)
Seriously though, there has been a lot of hard work put into these cards and we'd love to know what you think when you see them!

Love, Josh

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Crowns honoring Hallmark's 100th Birthday!

Remember Jeanee's post awhile back about the crowns that Hallmarkers could create to help celebrate Hallmark's Centennial? Well, one of the gals on my team here in Hallmark's Licensing Design Studio created a series of five Centennial Crowns to honor one of Hallmark's Licensing partners, Lucasfilm. She has been a fan of Star Wars since she was a child, so the project was also a personal one for her. Here are her crowns: Yoda, Darth Vader, Leia, Chewbacca, and a Star Wars tribute crown.

Each of the Star Wars crowns features a sound clip (or several!) from the character and/or music from Star Wars. You can read more about the crowns and the artist behind them on Star

Friday, January 15, 2010

Centennial Colors

It's starting to look like a celebration wherever you look around here ! Loving these colors everywhere. 
This is a photo of the Visitor's Center and Kaleidoscope.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

KCUR Covers Hallmark Centennial Celebration

I'm an avid NPR listener, especially while I design during the day. I like to listen to the local Kansas City Station KCUR. One of my favorite local shows is Up to Date with Steve Kraske of the Kansas City Star.

I wanted to give a heads up about tomorrow's show - Steve will be talking with Hallmark's Historian Lynley Farris about how the need for emotional connection has stayed consistent over the decades even while the means by which we connected - the images and editorial used in Hallmark's greeting cards - changed to reflect the times.

It sounds like an awesome show, if you're in the listening area you should tune in tomorrow Friday 15th 11am - Noon on 89.3 FM, and even if you're not you can still listen online.


Here's a Link of the show archive.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How is a greeting card born?

In this edition of "Glimpses," learn how a card comes to be, from writing to design/illustration, to printing, to distribution. As you can imaging, it's pretty difficult to narrate the greeting card development process in just 2 minutes, but at least you get a quick overview and behind-the-scenes look at one of the things we do best.

For more videos and information on Hallmark product development and on our Centennial, visit Hallmark 100 Years.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What does a 100th Birthday Party look like?

Here's a sneak peek behind-the-scenes at today's 100th Birthday Party in the Crown Room (cafeteria) here at Hallmark's headquarters... Keep in mind that this was only one of three groups to attend the party today-so you're looking at only 1/3 of Hallmark's employees!

Hallmark employees go cheer with pom poms and clappers, whistle, and cheer as Don Hall, Sr., Don Hall, Jr., and Dave Hall walk onto the stage.

A rare live presentation/speech by Don Hall, Sr. He spoke about what it means to be 100 years old, gave thanks for all Hallmarkers present, and expressed gratitude for Hallmarkers who have gone before. He also teared up as he said that he is so thankful for Dave and Don and he appreciates them "more than they'll ever know."

The crowd listens intently as Don Hall, Sr. addresses the crowd.

A smiling and enthusiastic Don Hall, Jr. takes the stage.

A group of Hallmark employees presented a "Living History" of Hallmark through storytelling, acting, music, and even a little rap song. A narrator told the story of how Hallmark came to be, new products we've introduced, and how we've contributed to the Kansas City community and the world. Between narrations, an actor/actress presented a vignette to illustrate the narrator's story. As for the rap song, you just really had to be there...

Hallmark's 100th Birthday cake is pictured on the left -- it is 100 inches tall and is wrapped in the entire 100-year history of Hallmark. Don Sr., Don Jr., and Dave presented the cake to the roaring crowd, and then we each got to take a cupcake of our own when the celebration ended (see below).

Happy Birthday, Hallmark!

Happy Birthday, Hallmark!

Yesterday, January 10th, 2010, Hallmark turned 100! The coverage of our Centennial in the Kansas City Star yesterday was excellent. You can browse several articles online: one giving a brief timeline of Hallmark, one entitled On Hallmark's 100th, a fond look back, (a Q&A with Don Hall, Jr., our President and CEO), and one discussing "greeting card keepers" and why they keep the cards they receive.

My favorite part of the coverage in the Star was the online slideshow of historic Hallmark photographs. It is amazing to look back at our rich history and the some of the people who made our company great! Looks like Marcos enjoyed the slideshow too, as he just posted about it as I was writing this post (great minds think alike I guess, huh friend?!) :O)

I'll be recapping the week's events at within Hallmark here on cre•a•tiv•i•ty, and it sounds like Marcos will also be giving inside sneak peeks (along with several other Hallmarkers) on the Signatures blog. There will be lots of good reading this week, so stay tuned!

Happy 100th!

Photo from: The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Star has a wonderful photo gallery of Hallmark through the years. As well as timeline of Hallmark History.


Along with our centennial website (as Erin mentioned), there's a Centennial blog called Signatures - it's a behind the scenes look at the year long celebration. The contributors are 11 Hallmarkers (I'm one of them!) Check it out!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Hallmark is Turning 100!

That's right, Hallmark's official 100th birthday is Sunday, January 10th, 2010! Next week, Hallmarkers here at headquarters will begin a week of events to celebrate our Centennial. I'll be posting about these events as they happen, starting with Monday's giant birthday party in the Crown Room. This event will feature remarks from the Hall family, a "living history" presentation about our last 100 years from Hallmark employees, and the unveiling of Hallmark's allegedly "huge" birthday cake! I can't wait to see it and enjoy one of the Centennial cupcakes!

You can celebrate our Centennial with us by visiting our special Centennial website Hallmark: 100 Years. One of coolest parts of this website are videos called "Glimpses," which are guided, behind the scenes looks at Hallmark. Here's the first one!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

new online magazine

Issue one of Kansas City's new magazine for young adults, "QUIRK."

Very local, very cool, very... quirky.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Kansas City in the New York Post

photo from:

Sure KC is known for its BBQ, but in an article by the New York Post, it seems our museums might be even better. We have two outstanding museums of contemporary art (Nelson-Atkins and Nerman) as well as a thriving art scene in the Crossroads. The writer also touches on a number of historic and Kansas City landmarks.

Read the entire article here: 50 States: Missouri - Art Attack! In Kansas City, the museums might be better than the BBQ.

For all you've ever wanted to know about Kansas City, check out or

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hallmarker chicks rock out!

Softee is a band composed of four Hallmark Cards gals: Sarah, Steph, Mimi and Flora.

They made the cover of a local Kansas City magazine, HERLIFE.

Like a groupie I went around the office and got each gal to autograph my magazine. It's gonna be work some money one day!!!