Hallmark sat down with Kris to discuss her Iris Fairy ornament releasing in March 2022. Enjoy!
When asked what inspired her Iris Fairy, Kris’s response might not surprise you if you’re familiar with her favorite color
Kris said, “purple is my favorite color and I felt it was time again to look at a purple flower for the series.” When asked WHY purple is her favorite color, Kris mentioned, “no reason, it’s just been my favorite since I was a little girl.” How special to be able to bring that lifetime love of color into one of the most beloved series!
Kris went on to say, “the Iris flower has such a unique shape, and the meaning of the iris is faith, hope, courage, wisdom and admiration, so her pose helps to reflect that.”
She is certainly a beautiful reminder of all things Kris mentioned above. And so darn pretty too! Don’t miss the touch of glitter on her skirt and wings!
Kris continued, “I think her skin tone goes beautifully with her flower color. She has such a sweet expression. I think she turned out so beautiful.”
We think she turned out beautiful too! What do you think? Who is already planning to add this one to their collection when she releases in March 2022?
Hallmark sat down with Tom Best to discuss his Santa Claus ornament which coordinates with the Santa’s Next Stop Special Edition ornament designed by every artist in the Keepsake Studio.
Tom began, “well you asked for dirt dug up on this Santa fella, so here goes…”
As with many projects in the Keepsake Studio, it takes a team of talented artists to design and develop an ornament from start to finish. Tom described, “this ornament was truly a collaboration. In the planning phase, we knew we wanted Santa to be a companion to the Santa’s Next Stop Special Edition fireplace ornament. We decided we would model our Santa off Tracy Larsen’s 2019 Keepsake Ornament Club Convention ornament, Santa and His Reindeer. We used the same long decorative coat style Tracy did.”
Tom then went on to describe, “the ornament then started life as a whimsical little sketch by Kris Gaughran. From there, it was tasked to me to use that sketch as a starting point and take it to finish.”
During this process, Tom mentioned of his artistry, “in my representation, I made Santa a bit more realistic to better match the style of the Santa’s Next Stop fireplace.” That ornament had already been completed by the time Tom was working on his Santa Claus.
Robert grew up with Peddle tractors, train sets, and anything Tonka. He channeled his love of these toys when crafting the Christmas Carnival #4, just for you!
Robert further discussed his inspiration, “I design primarily digitally now, but looked to what the Keepsake Studio has done with magic (light, sound and motion) ornaments in the past.” He recalled researching and calling on his memory of toys and dioramas from his own childhood. He also visited The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures of Kansas City to pull inspiration for this ornament.
Robert: “Engineering worked out the amount of movement and the track layout. The track moves up and down, so the timing of the music with the movement has to be smooth. Since this ornament connects to the Keepsake Power Cord, it allows for even more lights – that I hope our collectors love!” Robert went on to say, “The Keepsake Editorial team took all of our ideas for the sign and, as usual, came up with an even better idea from our input – Rock Candy Express!”
Finally, Robert mentioned, “I was channeling (retired Keepsake Artist) Ken Crow all the while that I worked on this.” Ken designed the first three ornaments in the Christmas Carnival series. “…and I think we both would love this ride.”
Rocky Candy Express Christmas Carnival
4th in the series.
Hallmark sat down with Joanne Wright to discuss her adorable Angelic Candlelight ornament.
Angelic Candlelight releasing at Ornament Debut next month is a follow-up to last year’s ornament of the same name. Like last year’s design, it uses Keepsake magic to imitate a real candle by lighting up and flickering!
Of her inspiration, Joanne described, “I love the flickering light candles you see everywhere, and I have always wanted to create an ornament around that kind of ‘magic’. My little great niece, Oakley, was my inspiration and model for this cute, charming angel. Getting the attitude and gesture just right was important, so it helps to use a model…especially one you love so much. Her playfulness and mischievous ways were perfect for this year’s Angelic Candlelight angel.”(more…)
Hallmark sat down with Tammy Haddix and Crista Couch to discuss their Sweet Santa ornament – releasing at Ornament Debut in October. Enjoy!
Of her inspiration, Crista recalled, “the Sweet Santa ornament began as an illustration for part of a 2021 Christmas collection group in our Visual Studios. The collection was a colorful group of images with an updated retro Santa and his sidekick reindeer enjoying a variety of fun Christmas activities. In some scenes, I included a few other little friends to join in the fun too. These images were originally painted in gouache and watercolor with a bit of digital work used to finalize them.”
The Santa was chosen to be featured in a variety of products such as greeting cards, gift bags and wrap, gift products (including a techno-plush Santa who plays hide-and-seek) and, of course, the “Sweet” little ornament for Keepsakes.
Enter Keepsake Artist, Tammy Haddix!
The ornament project and collaboration began with a series of drawings by Crista, based on the original Santa. Crista and Tammy eventually landed on one pose that appealed to them the most. From there, Crista handed off her drawings to Tammy for sculpting and hand-painting!
Tammy brought the Sweet Santa to life in 3D form through wax sculpting. The ornament will also have colored strings as attachments for the bows! At various stages during the sculpting and hand-painting process, Tammy would send pictures of progress to Crista to ensure everything was on track for their adorable Sweet Santa.
Tammy recalled of working with Crista, “It was very fun to work with Crista. I have known her for quite a few years, but we never got to work together on a project until now.”
And Crista recalled of working with Tammy, “Tammy was delightful to work with. She did an amazing job … she captured the essence of my original Santa perfectly!”
Did you know? Crista started her Hallmark career more than 17 years ago. During her years as a Hallmark artist, Crista has worked on all kinds of greeting cards and gifts. And, talent runs in Crista’s family! Her daughter is a Hallmark artist, and her other children are creative professionals too. Crista mentioned, “Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and I especially love creating fun and magical images for Christmas products.” When she’s not creating at Hallmark, Crista paints at home, where she enjoys spending time with her furry friends – a couple of Turkish Vans and an American Shorthair.