Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hallmark Master Artist Linda Sickman Retires

Effective April 1st, 2008 Linda Sickman has retired from Hallmark. She will be sorely missed by Hallmark ornament collectors.
Linda began her career with Hallmark in 1963. She joined the Hallmark Keepsake Ornament division when it was first formed. Linda's ornament creations have graced the Hallmark Keepsake line since 1975, beginning with the Nostalgia collection ornaments. Linda Sickman sculpted many popular Hallmark ornament series through her career including the Hallmark Rocking Horse series, Clothespin Soldiers Series, Tin Locomotives, and Peace on Earth. More recently she was responsible for the Pony for Christmas series, Noelville series and Doorways Around the World series. Her Hallmark ornament contributions are vast, numbering over 400. Thousands of Hallmark Ornament collectors count Linda as their very favorite Hallmark Artist.
Linda, we at will miss your wonderful creations, and join Hallmark ornament collectors worldwide in wishing you health and happiness in your retirement years.

Linda's farewell message...
To everyone who has loved a Keepsake Ornament, On March 11th, I celebrated 45 amazing years with Hallmark Cards. During my anniversary celebration, I announced my retirement. I will leave Hallmark on April 1st, taking with me an abundance of gratitude and wonderful memories.
I cannot tell you how much joy I feel when I think of all the good people I have met at ornament events over the years. From the beginning, I have personally experienced so much change along with you. What a privilege it has been to sit down, chat with collectors and share stories of our families, our sorrows, and our life joys. These have been special times for me.
Working as a Keepsake artist has brought many changes to my life, too. From starting with a staff of four artists to growing into a studio of more than twenty. From sculpting with industrial clay to designing with the wax we use today. From developing a line of glass balls to creating an array of handcrafted ornaments. And from a variety of materials – plastic, tin, porcelain, silver, cold cast with moving parts and attachments galore – to make ornaments that tell stories, warm hearts, and celebrate cherished moments. With your interests and loyalty, you have inspired us. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all of your support and love.
As time goes by, many aspects of our lives change, as well as what becomes most important. The one thing that has never changed throughout my life is how priceless my family and friends are to me. I have found that I want and need to spend more quality time with them. By putting my professional career aside, I will have the opportunity to create new memories with the ones I love. Every day, we are called on to help with God’s work.
I have had the time of my life. Thanks to all the loyal fans and collectors who have made it so.
Linda Sickman
*Source of farewell message, Hallmark Cards, Inc For Keeps publication

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Warehouse Sale

We had such a wonderful time at our Spring Warehouse Sale last Saturday! We were happy that so many of you chose to spend a sunny Spring Saturday with us!

A big "Thank You" to all who came out to the Hooked on Ornaments Warehouse to meet former Hallmark artist Joyce Lyle! Joyce was a great addition to our sale - her new line of ornaments (on the web at Angel Works Art) are simply beautiful and she had many stories to tell about the inspirations for her artwork. It's always a treat to meet someone who takes such pride in their work, and has such great talent. If you did not get the chance to meet Joyce, or to have her sign pieces from your Hallmark collection, be sure to join us at our Fall sale, when she & her husband Tom will be joining us again!

We were excited to have the club from Springfield, MO join us on Saturday - we had Hallmark ornament collectors from near & far. Frank Williams & Andrea Doubet were so kind as to drive down from Iowa to share their Hallmark knowledge & enthusiasm with us.

Lee Schooler & Dean Oehlert had quite a display set up from their vast Hallmark collection at the "Hallmark Museum" that is their home. Lee & Dean are a fun addition to our sale, and always bring items with them that are rare and fun.

Carol Adams, Mary King, and Dianne Burnett were our lucky door prize winners...they took home a basket of Hallmark Birdsong birds, a Miniature Ornament basket & display, and a 2005 Merry Old Toymaker!

To see a few more photos we snapped at the sale, click here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

PRETTY but Not Produced !
Can you help us solve the mystery?

I'm excited to have just acquired this beautiful Hallmark Pansy Heart ornament for my personal collection! It's hand painted porcelain just 2" high and features my favorite spring flowers... pansies.
The printing on the back indicates it was SUPPOSED to be the first in a new Spring 1999 ornament series. But, only a few were made!

Why was it pulled from the 1999 Hallmark Spring Ornament Line?
Hard to say, maybe a production problem?
What was the series name supposed to be?
Do you know? If so, we'd love to hear from you and solve this mystery!

Happy Collecting, Nicki
Visit our site often for all your Hallmark Collection needs!

Your destination for Hallmark Ornament Collecting!

"We're Hooked on Hallmark Ornaments!"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The excitement builds...
The Hooked on Ornaments
Saturday April 26,2008 is just days away!

HUNDREDS of ornaments $1-$4.00
LOWEST PRICES EVER on hard to find ornaments!

AND... JOYCE LYLE will be joining us!

Keepsake Ornament Artist Joyce Lyle recently retired from Hallmark after nearly 30 years.

She, along with her husband Tom created AngelWorksArt and are offering a new line of exclusive ornaments and sculpted jewelry.

Joyce will be selling and signing her new beautiful creations, a few shown here.

Joyce will also be happy to sign ornaments she sculpted for Hallmark. A complete list of Joyce's Hallmark creations is posted in our Forum under "Artist Info" - Just go to our site at and follow the link on the right to the Hallmark Ornament Forum.

... and while there, print out your Money $aving COUPON under the "Whats New" tab.
We're excited that Joyce and Tom will be a part of our HALLMARK EVENT...Mark your Calender now and plan to join the fun!
And, for those that are too far away to attend, check out our SUPER SALE BUYS on line at

Happy Collecting, Nicki

Be sure to visit us online at

Monday, April 14, 2008


All of us at LOVE Maxine, and yes....we CAN RELATE!

Here's a little of her history!
When Hallmark launched Shoebox in 1986, nobody knew that the crabby character gracing the covers of a few Shoebox cards would become a celebrity. But it didn’t take long to see that Maxine’s irreverent quips about aging, the workplace, retirement, political correctness, and of course sex (or the lack of it) had struck a cord.

Since then, Americans have purchased more than 220 million Maxine greeting cards, and Maxine is still the first and only greeting card character to move from the card isle into popular culture.

Whatever pops into her mind, Maxine says. Ordinarily, folks might be offended. But instead, millions of Americans have identified with the crabby, irreverent Maxine, the popular Hallmark character that lambastes everything from holidays to aging, and does not hesitate to tell it like it is – or as she sees it.

Maxine keeps up with the times. "I'd like to try day trading," she says. "I'd start by trading Mondays for Saturdays." Or she might snap, "You're a year older?...Want me to moon the birthday fairy for you?"

Nobody and nothing is sacred to Maxine. She's not your typical warm and fuzzy greeting-card character. The only thing warm and fuzzy about Maxine is her bunny slippers – and her dog Floyd!

She points and shakes her finger at you. She dishes out philosophy to anyone who will listen: "When life hands you lemons...tuck 'em in your bra. Couldn't hurt, might help."ABOUT THE CREATOR John Wagner (or as Maxine calls him "Arty-Boy"!

John Wagner, Hallmark artist since 1970, says Maxine was inspired by his mother, his maiden aunts and his grandmother, the woman who bought him art lessons.John remembers doodling as a preschooler, and says both his grandmother and his mother encouraged his artistic interests. He eventually attended the Vesper George School of Art in Boston, and landed at Hallmark as part of a new artists group.
But it was the birth of the humorous Shoebox Greetings in 1986 that added a new dimension to John's professional life. The Shoebox way of seeing the world unleashed his talents and he created Maxine.
"Cartoonists are sensitive to the insanities of the world; we just try to humanize them," John says. "If Maxine can get a laugh out of someone who feels lonely or someone who is getting older and hates the thought of another birthday, or if she can make someone chuckle about stressful interpersonal relationships, then I'm happy. Putting a smile on someone's face is what it's all about."
Fans nationwide are collecting Maxine items. Letters from consumers and fans to John and Maxine reveal a very personal connection to Maxine. Many people say they are just like Maxine.Why the name "Maxine"? "People at Shoebox started referring to the character as 'John Wagner's old lady,' and I knew that would get me into trouble with my wife," John says. The Shoebox team had a contest among themselves to name the character, and three of the approximately 30 entries suggested "Maxine." John says the name is perfect.
John, who says he's humbled by such acceptance of Maxine, admits he's proud of her.
ALL of which are on sale now!
*Source: Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mary Hamilton Nativity

The basic starter set - Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, were originally offered as part of the Hallmark Little Gallery line in the late 1970s. There are two different versions of the Nativity, one is handpainted soft pastel colors and the other is an all white bisque. When the Hallmark Little Gallery line was discontinued the painted porcelain set was added to the Hallmark line.

Originally a wicker stable was offered. The stable was discontinued quite early and was replaced in 1986 with a porcelain stable. Because the early pieces were in production for so many years they are the easiest to find. The later pieces are hardest to find since they were in production for a comparitively short time.

Wicker Stable
Porcelain Stable

(The following were available in white bisque or painted porcelain)
Loving King
Adoring King
Devoted King
Gentle Shepherd
Faithful Donkey
Dear Lambs
Little Calf

HARDER TO FIND - Available in painted porcelain only
Drummer Boy
Starlit Angel
Heavenly Angel
Goose Girl (Hardest to Find)

You can view all the items in the collection at - follow the link to Hallmark Collectibles and then Mary Hamilton Nativity.

Some information from "Deck the Halls" 1991

Friday, April 4, 2008

Are you Hooked?

You know you're Hooked on Hallmark if...

10. You have ever crossed two state lines to buy a Keepsake Ornament.

9. Instead of keeping photos of your grandchildren in your wallet, you carry pictures of your decorated trees.

8. You can located your Dream Book faster than your phone book.

7. You have empty boxes that are wrapped, stored, and insured.

6. Your husband, kids, the family dog, and you goldfish are all members of the Keepsake Ornament Collectors Club.

5. Your ornament collection has caused you to contemplate a major home renovation - maybe a room addition or enlarging your basement.

4. You get excited at the sight of twinkling lights, snow and tissue.

3. You know exactly what they are talking about when you hear MIB, NB, DB, MM. MIB with NT.

2. You become hysterical when you see someone take the price tag off a Keepsake Ornament box.

1. You have more trees in your house than in your yard.

Just like you...we're Hooked on Hallmark! We'll include a FREE copy of this "top ten" and a "I'm Hooked" button click on the "free stuff" link (on the right side of the website) when you place your next order at .

Visit us often at for a great selection of Hallmark ornaments!*Author of the above "top ten" is unknown...if you me at , I'd love to know & acknowledge !

Hooked on Ornaments