Project Runway Unconventional Materials Challenge winning dress by Edmond Newton | Hallmark Signature collection | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Designer Edmond Newton’s Winning #SignatureStyle

Project Runway Signature Style Challenge | interview with winner Edmond Newton | thinkmakeshareblog.comProject Runway Signature Style Challenge | interview with winner Edmond Newton | thinkmakeshareblog.com

To know Project Runway is to love the show’s recurring unconventional materials challenge, in which designers have to “make it work” by creating garments out of anything and everything from leaves to lawn chairs. Thanks to the creative collaboration between Hallmark Signature and Project Runway, our very own Signature cards stylishly starred as the designers’ materials in this season’s unconventional episode. For those of you who tuned in to see Edmond Newton’s winning wedding dress march down the runway, you already know that his sculptural creation—complete with a coordinating bouquet—was created out of Signature cards, envelopes, and featured embellishments such as gems, feathers and the clever use of the Signature logo on the bodice of the dress. We had a chance to chat with Edmond to learn more about his creative process, what inspires him and even what’s on his playlist.

Project Runway Unconventional Materials Challenge winning dress by Edmond Newton | Hallmark Signature collection | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Where did you first learn about fashion?

Growing up, both my mom and dad were very fashionable people, and I saw this style focus daily. For them, getting ready for work or events was a process. I also grew up in my mom’s beauty salon in South Carolina and was always around beauty and fashion and the whole nine there.

How did you get your professional start in fashion? 

I was a professional model for a time, and it was there I realized that I didn’t care for being in front of the camera as much as I liked to be behind it. I loved fashion, and was inspired by what I saw on the runways, but didn’t see the things I liked in malls or stores. I realized if I couldn’t buy it, I was going to have to make it. So in 2004, I started teaching myself to sew. I did some small shows in my hometown that same year. It was also the year I learned about this new show called Project Runway and decided to audition for the first time for it. I auditioned every year until I finally made the show in Season 14.

Project Runway Unconventional Materials Challenge winning dress by Edmond Newton | Hallmark Signature collection | thinkmakeshareblog.comHow do you keep yourself inspired?

I find my inspiration through my life experiences—and always trying to get new ones.

What’s your work process? Do you sketch first?

I dive in, no sketch. The fabric tells you what it wants to do.

What’s your work space like?

I like to think of it as workable chaos.

Project Runway Unconventional Materials Challenge winning dress by Edmond Newton | Hallmark Signature collection | thinkmakeshareblog.comFor the unconventional materials challenge, what were your first thoughts when you learned you would be making a garment out of Signature Cards?

Standing there, looking around, seeing so much shape, color, texture, 3D materials—I was just figuring out what would be my power statement. I took the energy of the Signature line into consideration, too. I kept thinking about what would be a really special, cool statement. Cards are something special these days. If someone takes the time to pick out a card, it has to reflect them. I wanted this to reflect me.

Did you run with your first design concept?

I did run with my first concept. A few of the cards spoke to me the same way fabric speaks to me. They are what jumped out, and they were my inspiration throughout.

Tell us about the cards you chose that inspired you to create your winning bridal look.

The cards brought back memories of my family and their stories as well as my own personal journey in the years leading up to Season 14. I channeled all of that energy into my look.

Project Runway Unconventional Materials Challenge winning dress by Edmond Newton | Hallmark Signature collection | thinkmakeshareblog.comThe handmade bouquet was a wonderful touch. What made you create that as well as your wedding dress?

As an artist, my mind works differently than most people. I focus on one project, but never one thing. For the bouquet, I just pulled out my art class skills—art was always my favorite subject in school.

Who are some of your biggest inspirations from fashion and beyond?

  • Gianni Versace
  • Halston
  • Rick Owens
  • Whitney Houston (I got to meet her on an airplane on the way to casting for one of the Project Runway seasons. I could barely get my words out, I was so starstruck.)
  • Madonna
  • Naomi Campbell
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • My mom, Rose, and my dad, Edmond

What are your three favorite songs on your playlist right now? 

  • “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears (my all-time favorite song)
  • “It Was All a Dream” by Notorious B.I.G.
  • “Anything” by Anita Baker

Project Runway Unconventional Materials Challenge winning dress by Edmond Newton | Hallmark Signature collection | thinkmakeshareblog.comWho would you love to have over to dinner if you could?

Halston. And maybe Rihanna?

Speaking of dinner, what’s your favorite meal?

Pizza. Papa John’s, pepperoni with extra sauce. I like to have that on Thursdays when I watch Project Runway.

 

To learn more about Edmond and to watch Hallmark Signature-inspired designers in Season 14’s unconventional materials challenge, “It’s All in the Cards,” go to www.mylifetime.com.

Say hello to Hallmark Signature on Instagram @HallmarkSignature and on the website!

Rainbow Brite is back!

Rainbow Brite is back!

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.

Share your Rainbow Brite excitement with us on Instagram @think.make.share

DIY keychains by Hallmark artists | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Celebrate back-to-school with DIY monogram keychains

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!

DIY keychains by Hallmark artists | thinkmakeshareblog.com

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.

DIY keychains by Hallmark artists | thinkmakeshareblog.com

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.

DIY keychains by Hallmark artists | thinkmakeshareblog.com

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!

DIY keychains by Hallmark artists | thinkmakeshareblog.com

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!

DIY keychains by Hallmark artists | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Share your creations with us on Instagram @think.make.share! Find even more back to school ideas from our artists here and on Hallmark.com.

Mirna Stubbs Studio Ink bold on black collection | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Mirna Stubbs unveils a new card collection for Studio Ink

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. 

Mirna Stubbs Studio Ink bold on black collection | thinkmakeshareblog.com

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.

Mirna Stubbs Studio Ink collection | thinkmakeshareblog.comMirna Stubbs Studio Ink collection | vibrant guache on black paper | thinkmakeshareblog.comMirna Stubbs Studio Ink collection | vibrant guache on black paper | thinkmakeshareblog.comMirna Stubbs Studio Ink collection | vibrant guache on black paper | thinkmakeshareblog.com

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.

Mirna Stubbs Studio Ink collection | vibrant guache on black paper | thinkmakeshareblog.comMirna Stubbs Studio Ink collection | vibrant guache on black paper | thinkmakeshareblog.com

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.

Hallmark sound charms are perfect for back to school | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Fun back-to-school ideas using Hallmark’s Sound Charms

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.

Hallmark sound charms are perfect for back to school | thinkmakeshareblog.comHallmark sound charms are perfect for back to school | thinkmakeshareblog.com

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!)

Check out what our friends at Hallmark.com have put together for more back-to-school ideas and gifts