Latest News

Latest News2018-10-20T18:41:34-06:00

New Keepsake Studio Artist: Gregor Bendetti


Gregor Bendetti
Senior Product Designer

In the recently released 2019 KOC Convention app for the iPhone, it was revealed that there is a new Keepsake Studio Artist named Gregor Benedetti.

The app indicates that he will be part of a Meet and Greet on the Thursday of the event from 10 am – 12 pm.

Gregor’s work is not entirely new to the line, he had four personalizable sports ornaments in the 2018 line featuring sock monkeys.  He also teamed up with Tammy Haddix to create “Toy Soldier,” this year’s Gift of Memories promotional ornament.

July 15th, 2019|0 Comments

2019 KOC Convention: Experience the Magic (UPDATE)

Event Updates

Convention App.

The 2019 Hallmark Convention app for iOS (including iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch) is now available in the App Store. Please be aware that at present this app is only a basic framework and is still being populated with information.

The quickest way to locate the app in the store is to tap Search and type in, “KOC Convention”.

An app for Android on the Google Play Store is still in the approval process and has yet to be released*.

Hallmark will be sending out a communication when the app is ready for both platforms.

*NOTE:  It is not uncommon for apps appearing in both stores to be released at separate times due to the Stores’ individual approval processes.

July 14th, 2019|0 Comments

Press Release: Holiday Magic Begins with Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Premiere

More than 250 all-new ornaments arrive in Hallmark Gold Crown® stores and Hallmark.com for Keepsake Ornament Premiere Event starting July 13

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 11, 2019) —Join us for more than 250 new Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments that will be released during the annual Keepsake Ornament Premiere Event beginning Saturday, July 13, at Hallmark Gold Crown® stores nationwide and online at Hallmark.com. The annual event gives consumers a first chance to purchase Keepsakes Ornaments from the all-new 2019 line and experience the magic of Christmas in July.

“There is something magical about this time of year. We are excited to show Keepsake Ornament fans this year’s new line of ornaments in our collection—lots of fun surprises,” said Nicole Reid, general manager for Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments. “Every year, our artists create the most amazing ornaments that help people celebrate the special times in their year, and the special people in their lives.”

The entire 2019 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament line includes more than 500 ornaments to help people capture memories, celebrate milestones, and turn the Christmas tree into a holiday experience the whole family will enjoy. More than half the new line will be available at Ornament Premiere.

At Ornament Premiere, consumers will find two brand-new Keepsake Ornament series and can take advantage of the best offers of the year, which run through July 21. Shoppers will also find ten limited-quantity ornaments, available exclusively in Hallmark Gold Crown stores.

New Harry Potter™ Keepsake Ornament Storytellers and Tree Topper

Hogwarts™ Castle Tree Topper
Harry Potter™ Collection

Hogwarts™ comes home. Relive the story of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with Hallmark’s newest Storytellers collection. For 2019, Hallmark is expanding their offering of Keepsake Storytellers Ornaments with three favorite characters from the Wizarding World: Harry Potter™, Hermione Granger™, and Ron Weasley™. This innovative technology allows each ornament to give consumers a fun show on its own, but when other Storytellers ornaments from the collection are added, they’ll unlock more interactive performances. The new Harry Potter™ collection features three ornaments, sold separately, that together play an epic light and sound performance from the feature film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. To add even more enchantment from Hogwarts™, Hallmark Gold Crown will also be offering a coordinating interactive Christmas tree topper featuring the score from “Hedwig’s Theme.”

Hermione Granger™*
Harry Potter™ Collection

Harry Potter™
Harry Potter™ Collection

Ron Weasley™
Harry Potter™ Collection

Introducing New Sesame Street® Ornaments

Hallmark proudly welcomes the characters of Sesame Street® to the 2019 Keepsake Ornament collection. For the first time Keepsake Ornaments will feature favorite characters from the beloved children’s program for the holidays. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Sesame Street®, Hallmark will offer two ornaments at the July Ornament Premiere event, Big Bird and Cookie Monster, followed by an additional Elmo ornament at the October Ornament Debut event, October 5th.

Cookie Monster
Sesame Street®

Sesame Street®

Elmo*
Sesame Street®

First in Series Ornaments

Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments is excited to introduce two additional series at Ornament Premiere perfect for starting new traditions in 2019.

Holiday Parade,” crafted by artist Tammy Haddix, will feature a different festively-decorated parade vehicle each year to add to the series. The series will begin with a retro red pickup truck featuring a bottle brush tree from Tammy’s Tree Farm ready to deliver a payload of Christmas spirit.

Holiday Parade
1st in the series.

Cozy Lil’ Critters,” crafted by Nina Aubé, will feature charming miniature birds all bundled up for warm winter fun. This year’s ornament shows a miniature bird in a matching scarf and stocking cap perched on a snow-capped branch.

Cozy Lil Critters
1st in the series.

For more information about Keepsake Ornaments, or to locate a Hallmark Gold Crown store, visit Hallmark.com.

*NOTE: Hermione Granger™ and Elmo will be released on October 5 as part of Ornament Debut.

July 11th, 2019|1 Comment

Artist Journal: Tom Best (Concept Drawings)

Monday, July 08, 2019

Here are some concept drawings, created by Keepsake Artist, Tom Best in the early 2000’s, for a possible new series that was never done.

These sketches depicting Santa piloting various flying machines were created, in 2003, 2004 –ish, during Tom’s first years in the Keepsake studio.

July 8th, 2019|1 Comment

2019 Reveal: Holiday Barbie™ Dolls

Here are pictures of the 2019 Holiday Barbie™ Dolls that inspired this year’s Holiday Barbie™ Ornaments.

Barbie shines in an elegant gown with a red and white striped peppermint print and silvery sparkle detail. A beautiful bow adorns the gown’s shoulder and complements a dramatic red train. Her long, blonde hair is styled in waves with a chic side part, and silvery chandelier earrings complete the look.

2019 Holiday Barbie™ Dolls

July 3rd, 2019|1 Comment

For Keeps: Volume 18, Issue 2 Summer 2019

Hear about new series from the artists, see what personal creative touch every Keepsake Studio artist added to the North Pole Village ornament, and take a look at some of the companion ornaments available this year, and so much more!


  • Why start a new series?
    • Sugar Plum Fairy (Nutcracker Sweet #1) – Edythe Kegrize
    • Cozy Lil’ Critters – Nina Aubé
    • Prince of the Forest (Noble Nutracker #1) – Terri Steiger
    • Holiday Parade – Tammy Haddix
  • Join us at Ornament Premiere!
    • Clever Cockatiel Ornament
    • Blue Chiffon Fashion Collection Barbie™ Ornament
  • It takes a (Keepsake) village
  • Better together
    • That’s Snow Sweet
    • Father Christmas’s Reindeer
    • Lady Summer Tanager
    • Majestic Lady Cardinal
    • Piranha Plant
    • Golfing with Woodstock
    • Wild Lion
  • Are you getting our emails?
  • Save the date

Download a PDF of the Issue


For Keeps – The Official Newsletter of the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament Club.

July 1st, 2019|0 Comments

2019 Companion Ornaments: Better Together

When the Keepsake Studio brainstorms new ideas for ornaments, the same thought is always shared: “How great would it be to tell the story between two characters?” From this thinking, the studio creates limited-quantity companion ornaments.

Pinwheel Sweetness
Christmas Cupcakes
1oth in the series.

That’s Snow Sweet!
Special Edition

That’s Snow Sweet A companion to Pinwheel Sweetness, these two frosted treats prove there’s always room for a little more dessert.

.”

Majestic Cardinal

Majestic Lady Cardinal – Cardinals are a classic Christmas icon. And this year, we’ve brought both the male and female cardinal to life in a metal form with splendidly intricate detail.

Majestic Lady Cardinal
Special Edition

Summer Tanager
The Beauty of Birds
15th in the series.

Lady Summer Tanager
Special Edition

Lady Summer Tanager – Keepsake Artist Edythe Kegrize always tries to keep in mind the coloring of the female bird that corresponds to the male in her Beauty of Birds series. And this year, the mate to the male Summer Tanager is a beautiful shade of yellow.

Father Christmas
16th in the series.

Father Christmas’s Reindeer – Father Christmas #16’s trusty companion, this reindeer was inspired by Keepsake Artist Joanne Eschrich wondering what animals would be present with someone like Father Christmas.

Father Christmas’s Reindeer
Special Edition

Golfer Snoopy
Spotlight on Snoopy
22nd in the series.

Golfing with Woodstock
Special Edition

Golfing with Woodstock – Golf club covers never looked so cute. Snoopy tees off while a familiar face gives pointers and adorns his clubs.

Mickey’s Circus (1936)
Mickey’s Movie Mouseterpieces
8th in the series.

Wild Lion – What’s a ringleader without his trusty lion? This companion was inspired by the classic Disney short “Mickey’s Circus,” created in 1936.

Wild Lion
Special Edition

Mario

Piranha Plant
Special Edition

Piranha Plant – This pesky plant has been a thorn in Mario’s side for years. And now, you can relive beloved gaming memories with these two classic characters on your tree.

July 1st, 2019|1 Comment

The Magic of Christmas North Pole Village: Artist Contributions

The North Pole is a busy place, especially at Christmastime! From getting mail to making toys to waxing the sled, everyone has a job. And to make this year’s convention-exclusive ornament extra special, every Keepsake Studio artist added their own personal creative touch to the North Pole Village ornament.

Keepsake Artist Contributions

Design Concept and Art Direction Tom Best

Architecture and Structure Design – Robert Hurlburt

Front View: 

  • Mr. and Mrs. Claus Chimneys – Sharon Visker
  • North Pole Flag – Terri Steiger
  • Wreath – Edythe Kegrize
  • Mailbox and Mailbags – Kristina Gaughran
  • Toy Soldier Statues – Ken Crow
  • Christmas Tree in Front Window – Jake Angell
  • Snowman on Base – Tammy Haddix

Right Side:

  • Wreath – Edythe Kegrize
  • Cupcake Sign – Debra Nielsen
  • Teddy Bear with Lollipop – Robert Chad

Left Side:

  • Snowman on Roof – Joanne Eschrich
  • Toy Workshop Sign – Matt Johnson
  • Polar Bear Cub Statue – Anita Marra Rogers

Back View:

  • Music Shop Sign – Rodney Gentry
  • Wreath – Edythe Kegrize
  • Santa’s Workshop Sign – Matt Johnson
  • Sled Shop Sign – Terri Steiger
  • Santa’s Sleigh – Orville Wilson
  • Reindeer in Stable – Tracey Larsen
  • Lantern near Stables – Nello Williams

Not Pictured:

  • Penguin – Nina Aubé

Art Color Team and Technical Team: Jennifer Swanson, Susan Wieland, Lisa Vogel and Nita Obbink

The Magic of Christmas North Pole Village
(front view)
Event Exclusive

The Magic of Christmas North Pole Village
(right side)
Event Exclusive

The Magic of Christmas North Pole Village
(left side)
Event Exclusive

July 1st, 2019|0 Comments

2020 Sneak Peek: 2nd in series

Why start a new series?

There are so many reasons to start a tradition with a first-in-series ornament—new storytelling, never-before-seen concepts and unique design styles to look forward to year after year! Get the behind-the-scenes scoop on some of our newest series, straight from the Keepsake artists, and take a look at sketches of next year’s ornament.

Cozy Lil’ Critters – “The first in this series is the first from the Cozy Critters series that started in 2017. I changed the details in the clothing and the pose and other subtle changes to make it different from the original. What I love is that they get even cuter when they’re smaller; I like to think of it as the little brother to the original.”

.”

Cozy Lil’ Critters (2019)
1st in the series.
(Available at Ornament Premiere)

Cozy Lil’ Critters (2020)*
2nd in the series.

Holiday Parade (2019)
1st in the series.
(Available at Ornament Premiere)

Holiday Parade – “My dad was an auto body guy, and he liked to restore old cars. He even got me out there helping him. So it was really fun to get out there with my dad and restore old trucks back then, and so a truck series just seemed like a really fun thing to do.”

Holiday Parade (2020)*
2nd in the series.

Noble Nutcrackers – “Each nutcracker’s staff, crown and attachments are unique to their domain; this first-in-the-series has a bottlebrush tree crown, rope garland and real twine. I tried a lot of different kinds of roping for the trees, and I really liked the red and white because it was so Christmas-y and iconic. My hope is that this nutcracker can bring the wonder of nature to your tree.”

Prince of the Forest (2019)
Noble Nutcrackers
1st in the series.
(Available at Ornament Debut)

(2020)*
Noble Nutcrackers
2nd in the series.

Sugar Plum Fairy (2019)
Nutcracker Sweet
1st in the five-part series.
KOC Exclusive
(Available at Ornament Debut)

Nutcracker Sweet – “As I first started working on the ornament, I had this wonderful opportunity to visit the Kansas City Ballet as they prepared to do The Nutcracker performance. I think what amazed me the most was the up-close look I got at the tutu of the Sugar Plum Fairy and how wonderfully reflective and glittery it was. And to bring some of that magic to my ornament, I added fabric attachments and beads to make the ornament as sweet as a sugar plum fairy should be.”

Snow Queen (2020)*
Nutcracker Sweet
2nd in the five-part series.
KOC Exclusive

July 1st, 2019|0 Comments

2019 KOC Convention: Experience the Magic (UPDATE)

Here is a convention update that was just sent out to all Convention participants!

Dear KOC Member,

This email is packed with important information and updates to help you Experience the Magic at the upcoming convention so please read it carefully and, as always, let us know if we can be of help.

Event Updates and Reminders

Local Club Dinner Night – Start Planning!

We can’t wait for you to get out and explore Kansas City and our amazing restaurant scene! To help make your dining experience all the more enjoyable, we have partnered with several local restaurants, some of which have agreed to provide a special KOC Convention discount. Click here for a list of participating restaurants and special offers, and please keep the following details in mind as you plan:

  • Local Club Dinner Night is completely optional. It’s a great way to kick off the event with friends and family and get a taste of Kansas City local menu’s.
  • Your options for dinner on Thursday night are not limited to the restaurants included on the list. These are just a few of our favorite recommendations for you to choose from.
  • We recommend that you book reservations directly with the restaurant of your choice. You can book by calling the phone numbers provided or through the Open Table app.
  • When you book your reservation, let the restaurant know that your group is attending the KOC Convention.
  • As a reminder, Keepsakes is covering dinners on Friday and Saturday evenings as a part of your convention experience.  Thursday night dinners will not be paid for. Make sure to take advantage the special offers!
  • Seating options, table capacity and menus will vary at each restaurant
  • Don’t forget to plan or arrange transportation for the evening!  Transportation options include: Uber, Lyft, taxis available from the hotel valet stand, and the Kansas City Street Car. Also, many restaurants are within walking distance from the hotel.

Convention Ornaments – Now, more in your registration bag!

As you may have read in the recent Keepsake Community posting, we have decided to place more goodies inside your registration welcome bag! Now, all three Event ornaments included with your registration will be in your bag when you arrive instead of handed out at the Evening dinners. Now, these ornaments will be available to you in time for the Artist Signatures the following days. We hope to see everyone at both Friday and Saturday evening events. You can expect to enjoy great food and entertainment with friends, plus artist appearances! It’s going to be a magical time.

Local Club Centerpiece submissions are due July 12

Don’t forget!  This year, Local Club members can submit a centerpiece for display at the evening events. This is a voluntary and creative way to show pride in your local club, and to share with fellow Collectors what your local club means to you. Centerpieces will be featured on the tables during evening events. There won’t be any prizes but your club’s participation will be considered as part of its submission for the 2020 Keepsake Artist Signing events. Complete this submission form by Friday, July 12, to participate. But first, here’s a quick review of the guidelines.

  • One centerpiece per local club
  • One designated centerpiece contact person, phone number and email per club
  • Maximum 12 inches long x 12 inches wide x 18 inches high
  • No perishables or open flames
  • Electrical outlets will not be available
  • Hallmark is not responsible for the safety of your centerpiece
  • Centerpieces must be dropped off at the Sheraton Hotel on Thursday, August 8th between 10am – 6pm (exact room location to come)
  • Centerpieces must be picked up within 30 minutes following each evening event

Want to participate? If so, please have your local club’s designated contact person complete this form. We’re excited to see what you create!

Sincerely,

KOC Convention Team

For questions, call 1-800-Hallmark. Specially trained KOC Care Agents are available 7 days a week to help.

We can’t wait to see you!

July 1st, 2019|0 Comments