The Brite is back! You’re not dreaming, friends: Rainbow Brite, heroine to ’80s kids everywhere, is making a comeback. Did you know that Hallmarkers created the unstoppable world-brightener in the early 1980s? They did! The current generation of Hallmark Creatives is insanely proud to be working for the birthplace of Brite. So we made a video. Like we do. Hallmark Gold Crown stores will be getting shipments of Rainbow Brite goods later this week; call your local store to find out when Rainbow Brite will be in your neighborhood. Rainbow Brite will be showing up on Hallmark.com in several weeks, so keep checking in there, too.
Video Credits: Starring Tommy Donoho and Brian Rio. Appearances by Mark Morton, Jake Johnson and Jen Dreiling. Sound by Chris Johnson and Josh Williams. Edited by Dac McCabe.
As gift wrap designers, Patty Ross and Lorenza Stornello are no strangers to accessorizing. Many gift toppers can be translated to other things—like keychains! What better way to start off the school year (or work week for us older folks) with a fun way to accessorize your favorite bag or backpack with monogram keychains? Find out how below!
Start by gathering your materials. You’ll need embroidery thread or yarn for the tassels, beads (you can paint wood ones yourself using acrylic paint or buy pre-painted beads), plastic animals to paint for some added fun, key chain rings from your local craft store, and a letter for your monogram.
To hang your plastic animal, you can find small eyelet screws that will screw into the plastic at the hardware store. For the monogram letter try using found letters from your local craft store or cutting your letter out of cardboard, felt or even heavy cardstock.
Let’s get started! Paint your wood beads with acrylic paint in your favorite colors. We had fun painting the beads with polka dots and stripes. Use a dowel rod in one end of the bead for easier painting and drying. Also paint your plastic animals to hang from your keychain. We like bright colors! Once you’re done painting, you can decorate your letter while things dry.
Use markers, paint or a sharpie (like we’ve done on the cardboard letter shown) to decorate your letter. Now it’s time to make some tassels! Refer to this blog post from our friends Laura and Ashley on how to make tassels. For an added twist, try wrapping washi tape around the top. As surface designers, we like to add as much pattern as possible!
When all of your parts are ready, start assembling. String your beads onto your tassel top and hang from your keychain. Then add your plastic animal and letter and get ready to accessorize with your custom monogram keychain!
Mirna Stubbs’s unique style is immediately recognizable and yet also wide-ranging (check out her Instagram account, and you’ll see what we mean). She always finds ways to make her Hallmark projects feel original yet relate-able. She’s here today to tell us about her newest collection for Studio Ink, in Gold Crown stores now.
Less than a year ago, I was sitting at my desk and playing around in a sketchbook, trying to find inspiration to start the project that was ahead of me. I can’t remember what that project was. Likely something that didn’t excite me too much, because I was clearly procrastinating.
Sketchbooks are where we feel free to explore, mess up, and express current thoughts and feelings without worrying about how someone else could relate to it. They’re personal, which isn’t always great when you’re illustrating for cards that should appeal to other people and their unique situations. Being that I’m a very passionate person, my sketchbook reflects a certain amount of visual drama, boldness, imperfection and spontaneity. Sometimes it’s a terrible mess, and other times I prefer what’s in the sketchbook over the polished final illustrations I do “for real.” Luckily, on this particular day, my art director preferred my sketchbook art, too.
I was exploring painting on black paper with gouache. Gouache is such a great medium for dark paper with its opaqueness and vibrancy. Even a simple pattern painted on the dark background evokes mystery, luxury and emotion. My art director encouraged me to continue in this direction with a 12-card collection for Studio Ink in mind. For the next few weeks, I dove in to this dramatic, almost mythological, opulent, magical land. I asked one of my much-admired writer friends, Sarah Magill, to help me find a voice for them. She perfectly put the emotion of the illustrations into words.
Although these illustrations came out of a very personal point of view, I believe that Sarah’s voice and the authenticity of my explorations are relatable and identifiable. After all, our situations and relationships may be uniquely different, but our emotions and sentiments are often very much alike, indeed.
What do you think of Mirna’s Studio Ink collection? Show us your favorite Hallmark purchases by tagging us on Instagram! And shop more of the Studio Ink line at Hallmark.com.
Amy Trowbridge-Yates is a gifted Hallmark Senior Writer whose witty, tell-it-like-it-is attitude knows no bounds. She’s a lover of tiny animals in clothes, bad reality TV, chewy Sweetarts and her two goofy girls. Earlier this summer, Amy helped us create Summer Fun Lists, and today she’s back to tell us how sound charms helped her and her oldest daughter survive the back-to-school season.
My daughter is nothing like me. I was energetic and outgoing and LOUD. My report cards always referenced me “disturbing others with conversation” and “disrupting the class with a joke.” Luckily, I managed to turn my love of words and humor into a career (thanks, Hallmark!). But my sweet Lydia has always been an introvert. She has trouble at the start of each school year adjusting to a new classroom and an unknown teacher and forming new friendships.
When she started kindergarten, I searched for a way to help her feel connected and close to me during the day—something to raise her spirits and remind her how much she’s loved. I found Hallmark’s Sound Charms in our Gold Crown store and immediately had the answer. Throughout the school year, I recorded little messages of love or encouragement on the small, colorful device and tucked it into her backpack. Any time she was anxious or missing me, she could simply pull it out and press the button to hear my voice. She loved it, and her teacher did too! As she’s grown, I’ve purchased a new design for each grade and tried out new ideas:
A knock-knock joke recorded and placed in her lunch box. Friends at her lunch table look forward to hearing a new one every day! Hey, if I’m not going to be the mom who makes little animals or faces out of sandwiches, I might as well throw something fun in with her plain ol’ baggie of chips!
Her little sister singing a made-up song or saying something funny. This usually ends in a toot-sound (my second daughter is not an introvert), but it’s still a fun little pick-me-up.
Reminders of things she can look forward to. Anything from “Three days ’til Uncle Tommy comes to town!” to “Get ready to kick some booty at soccer practice tonight!” It’s also fun to count down to something like Christmas Break. For the week leading up to it, I simply mentioned all the little things we were planning for her time off (“Start thinking now about how you want to decorate your gingerbread house! Bring on the Skittles!”)
The chorus to her favorite song. Because even ten seconds of Taylor Swift will break up the monotony of the car-rider line. (It’s important to mention I record it from the stereo, I don’t sing it!)
Got ideas for messages to your kiddo? Let’s hear ‘em! (No, seriously, let’s. I’m running out of options—and knock-knock jokes—here!)
Alfred Jones is an art director at Hallmark’s Union Hill Studios. With a love for beautiful things, an incredible eye for detail, and a knack for curation, he’s showing us how a few of his many skills come together by inviting us into his lovely mid century home to teach us new, cool ways to display collections.
The first things I ever collected were baby squirrels. (Or so I’m told; I was really young.) These weren’t just any baby squirrels, though—they were invisible baby squirrels.
My imaginary squirrel collection shows how deep the desire to collect can run. While I no longer collect invisible squirrels, I do collect a number of other things: vintage barware, globes of every shape and size, and art prints. I recently noticed that I’d started a bird collection without even realizing it.
David and I moved into a new home at the end of last year. (It’s a mid-century ranch house built in 1965.) After the initial new home renovation projects were done—new hardwood floors, a fresh coat of paint on every wall, and a total kitchen remodel—we started unpacking.
That’s when the fun began!
Throughout our house, we created little display spaces: globes on the stairs leading to the dining room, art prints on floating shelves so they can be easily rotated, and Danish teak and brass bar tools mingled with vintage martini shakers. (And don’t get me started on David’s antique radio collection; we have radios in almost every room.)
After some trial and error, I discovered that it’s possible to display your collections without succumbing to clutter. Editing is key: Don’t put everything out. Instead, hold some things back and swap them occasionally to keep your display spaces fresh. (This is where thoughtful organization and storage can help.)
Collecting, for me, is curating, and part of curation is knowing that not everything you collect has to be displayed. I have a collection of Ironstone platters and serving pieces that only come out during the holidays. I have a handful of vintage wool blankets, and only one or two are out at any given time. I even have two birds tattooed on my ribs, which though rarely on display, are still a part of my collection.
Thanks to careful curation, our new house feels light, airy, uncluttered and lived-in. It’s home, and we love it.
I’m not an interior designer by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have a few simple tips on how to display collections (attributable to trial and error…and many hours watching HGTV):
Display collections you want to see everyday and share with others, not just tchotchkes that collect dust.
Simplify your surroundings to allow your collections to stand out. A collection can be the statement piece in any room!
Play with size and scale: “Bounce” creates visual interest.
Mix things up. A collection doesn’t have to be a lot of “one thing.” You can build a collection around a theme or even just a favorite shape, color or material.
And the best tip: There are no rules. Just make sure you love it: Once your friends find out what you collect, expect to receive a few more as gifts. (No invisible squirrels, please.)
So what to do you collect? Tag us on Instagram at @Think.Make.Share to show us your favorite collections! See the rest of our Hallmark home tours here.