Thursday, October 30, 2008

Donna Lee

Hallmark Keepsake Artist - Donna Lee

Hallmark Keepsake Studio Artist, Donna Lee sculpted hundreds of Hallmark Keepsake ornaments before her retirement in 1993. At the time of her retirement Donna had sculpted all of the Nostalgic Houses and Shops, one of Hallmark's most popular series. The ornaments that Donna designed for Nostalgic Houses and Shops were inspired by the buildings, the people and her memories from childhood; as were many of the ornaments that she designed.

One of the original four artists chosen to begin the Keepsake Ornament department, Donna Lee joined Ed Seale, Peter Dutkin and Linda Sickman as the artists responsible for giving life to the Hallmark Keepsake ornament line that we still love today. In 1975 Hallmark introduced the first 'handcrafted' ornaments to the Keepsake line. There were twelve handcrafted ornaments that first year and Donna Lee was responsible for the six Adorable Adornment ornaments.

Besides the Nostalgic Houses and Shops series, Donna created many more of Hallmark ornaments most memorable designs. Before the beginning of Keepsakes, Donna was working in Hallmark's Specialty Design Department. During her time there she brought in a prototype of a goofy looking reindeer; that reindeer became one of Hallmark's all time best selling properties, Rodney Reindeer. In 1982 the Musical Angel became the first in an unofficial collection of angels that Donna calls the 'mischievous angels.' Collectors simply call them the Donna Lee angels. Donna Lee also championed the miniature ornament line. Original market research caused Hallmark to reject the idea of the miniature line. Donna Lee was instrumental in persuading some of the other studio artists to help her create a small tree complete with miniature ornaments. When presented with the result and shown the concept the miniature line was approved.

In 1993 Donna Lee retired from Hallmark primarily due to her health. But after a couple of years of retirement Donna pleased collectors by introducing the short lived Starry Eyed Ornaments. The Starry Eyed ornaments were only produced for a short period of time, but the detail of these ornaments is extraordinary and like most of Donna's Hallmark designs, each had a story of its own.

Some information for this article came from: "Still Following Her Star - The Story of Donna Lee and the Ornaments She Creates" by Donna Lee with Deborah Shouse

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Warehouse Sale Wrap-Up

We had the best time at our Fall Warehouse Sale! Thanks to all who were able to attend.

Joyce Lyle was once again generous with her time, and did lots of signing for lucky collectors. And our special mystery guest was Hallmark artist Lynn Norton, who is a veritable fountain of information about Hallmark ornaments and had lots of wonderful facts to share with all of us.

We had great door prizes, gifts for the first 25 attendees, and some really spectacular bargains. (We try to make your visit worth your while!) As always, fun was had. Click here to see more photos from the sale and we hope to see you at our next one in April 2009!

Spooky Decor Contest Winner!

The winner of our Spooky Decor and More contest is....
Sheryl Kneebone!

She will be receiving a Hooked on Ornaments Halloween prize pack, which can be put to good use in her spectacularly decorated home.

Check out these awesome photos and marvel at Sheryl Kneebone's excellent Halloween spirit! Thanks for all your entries in this month's contest. We truly enjoyed all your photos.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Contest: Spooky Decor and More

WE'VE EXTENDED THE DEADLINE ON OUR HALLOWEEN CONTEST - send your photos to me by FRIDAY OCTOBER 10th to be entered for a chance to win a great Hooked on Ornaments prize! Good luck!

Halloween is my favorite holiday. It might be the chill in the air, the changing of the leaves, or maybe just all the candy, but decorating my home for Halloween makes me feel just like a kid again. When September rolls around, I'm counting the days until I can drag my black & orange bins out of the basement to start putting up my Hallmark Halloween displays and ornaments along with all the other spooky goodies I've picked up throughout the years.

Which brings us to our next contest: send me a photo of your Spooky Halloween Decor (actual spookiness not required, just show us your Halloween spirit) inside your home. We'll choose our top two or three favorites for a very special prize. Send your photos to:
by Friday, October 3rd
Friday, October 10th

Winners will be chosen by Monday, October 13 and our favorite photos will be posted here on our Hooked on Ornaments blog!