Tuesday, October 6th

Design Challenge Winner, August 2020, Holiday Season – Mindy Pierce,

Design Challenge Winner, August 2020, Holiday Season – Mindy Pierce


Happy Holidays Christmas Tree Snowman Squirrel Bunny Red Green

What was your inspiration for your winning card? Please walk us through the process of how this card went from an idea to a greeting card.

Several years ago we lived in a house that had trees really close to it. There were tons of squirrels and they would jump back and forth from the trees to the roof like little spastic acrobats. It was our first house so everything seemed magical and I was mesmerized  by the show they were putting on. It wasn’t long until one of them chewed a hole through our wood roof and built a nest in our bonus room attic. That brought an entirely new meaning to the term “going nuts”.  I never quite looked at them the same way after that. It turns out squirrels have to chew things to keep there teeth clean and sharp. Who Knew? I would have bought them dental accessories if they would have left our roof alone. With that revelation I mused about what a squirrel could accomplish if you could channel all that destructive behavior. I still think they are cute despite our previous clash. As illustrators often do, I started thinking about them doing human activities. Since I much prefer to sit on my butt during the holidays I imagined squirrels decorating my Christmas tree. I never allow enough time for it and usually don’t get to it until the last minute. I was also thinking that if squirrels did decorate trees they would probably use found objects. I am pretty sure Target does not cater to squirrels(not sure about amazon) so I’m thinking acorns would be the ticket for the decorations. I put the tree in a woodland setting so that no wood roof would be harmed in the process. Then I added a snowman and a bunny just to keep an eye on the twitchy energetic squirrels. That bunny of course is close to my heart since he is sitting on his butt.

You offer many different cards featuring snowmen in your GCU storefront.  What are the key makings of a good snowman and what is your favorite part about making them?

A good snowman is in the eye of the beholder. I think as long as you are able to impart emotion into him/her/them any snowman can get your message across. One thing I will say is when I really started trying to develop my own style for a snowman I drew on my personal experience of how I built them as a kid. You know…traditional carrot for the nose, rocks for the eyes and mouth, and sticks for arms. In my very first snowman collection I painted all of them with rocks for their mouths. I proudly showed them to an art director and he told me they looked like they had rotten teeth. Now I needed those dental accessories for my snowmen.

They say Christmas in July and in this case August.  Aside from the Design Challenge prompt, how did you get inspired and in the “merry” mood?  

I usually start thinking about Christmas in July because I like to make Christmas gifts. I need a lot of extra time because they never turn out to be the greatest most thoughtful gift ever and I have to allow enough time to go shopping for the real gift once I get over the disappointment of my failed attempt. Usually by august I am rummaging through my research(Christmas related imagery) that I have collected over the years. Then I pull out all my old thumbnails that haven’t germinated yet. The “squirrels going nuts” idea  has literally been a scribble in my files since my kids were in grade school. You never know when inspiration will make an existing thumbnail a complete idea. I try to jot down ideas on paper no matter how stupid they seem whenever they strike. Some times they make it to my files but other times they are notes on napkins or an envelope and get misplaced all over the house. I find them in my kitchen cabinets, on top of the washing machine and even in my sock drawer. I think a lot of my ideas have to percolate for a long time in order for me to bring them to life.

Which card is your favorite of your Christmas cards and why?

At this moment I think my Santa in a hippie bus is my favorite( Product Id: 1549658). I like it because it was an accidental joint effort with my daughter and I can be sentimental about these things. I wanted to give Santa a new mode of transportation since drawing a sleigh can be a real drag. When I thought of a van I realized I could use poinsettias instead of those 60’s flower power painted ones. I generally do the art first because I can never think of what to say and I love ridiculous whimsy in general. Needless to say coming up with a sentiment stumped me. I printed out the image in my studio and took it upstairs to consult family at the dinner table. I showed it to my mother and daughter and they both laughed out loud that Santa was doing a peace sign in a hippie bus. Then my daughter blurted out “Let your holiday hippie loose!” It was the most painless instantaneous completion of an idea I have ever been gifted with.

Tell the truth, will you send holiday cards this year and if so will you send one of your own cards or send a design by a different artist? 

There is probably a 75% chance that I will send cards this year. I always intend to but sometimes I just run out of time. Preparing for the holidays requires organization and planning and I find that I am getting more deficient in that skill set every year. I usually send my own cards since family and friends like to see what I have been doing but sometimes I find one out there that is so perfect that I have to have it. Then I have to spend the entire next year confessing that I didn’t create it when I run into someone and they compliment me on it. I think this year I will have to make an extra effort. I plan on sending a photo card this year because travel will not be an option. Making communication as personal as possible for all my extrovert friends and family will be a priority. It won’t be as good as being there but maybe it’s the next best thing.

Ok, now for the fast five, fun questions …

Describe your first car and what you loved or hated most about it.

The first car I ever had was an American Motors Gremlin. It was a dirty gold color and the humiliation of my young adult life. It had a very cartoonish lopped off back end to it and there was just really no way to look cool while cruising around in it. If I could I would have thrown it in a microwave and blew it up. It did turn out to be reliable and hardly ever needed repairs. You really can’t argue with always getting where you need to go.

Which is your favorite, puppies or kittens?

Kittens are cute but I am absolutely a puppy junky.

What is your greatest irrational fear?

Ticks or maybe a mutant tick spider.

Pick up pennies or walk past them?

I pick them up. I need to bend over for exercise.

List something that is on your bucket list.

I am mortified that I have turned into my parents. I want to buy a camper and visit all the national parks.

Thursday, September 21st

Finding your Artistic Voice – Olivia K. Kneibler

See Olivia and Company’s greeting cards on Greeting Card Universe

What sparked your interest in art? Did you start as a young child?

My fascination with my mother’s career is what sparked my interest in art, she was a beautiful portrait artist who worked mostly in oils.  When I was a small child I could always tell when she was painting from afar, I could smell the linseed oil and the paint.  As soon as I sensed that familiar smell I would stop whatever I was doing and make the fast dash to her because I loved to watch her paint.  I truly was fascinated how one small stroke could change the entire feeling of the whole painting, it was like magic.  When she wasn’t painting like the masters many of her paintings were filled with whimsy; for example her tiny large eyed angels had wings that where several times larger than the angel and at times the wings would completely fill the page.  My whimsy is totally different but that is where I found my love for art and whimsy.  So yes, I started creating art as a young child, long before I started school.  One of my earlier fond memories of creating art was when I was trying to make profiles of women (I’d say I must have been around 3 or 4 years old).  I thought I was doing a fine job until I stood back to have a look only to realize that my profile had two eyes instead of just one; needless to say I was baffled!  I persevered and finally discovered how to create one eyed profiles, but I must say it was so much fun and a bit magical to create the two eyed versions.

What inspires you/how did your style of art evolve?

It is somewhat difficult to say what inspires me because there are so many things that do; a beautiful flower, a magical dragonfly, children playing, the elderly man sitting on a bench, thunderstorms, cats, silly thoughts, funny sayings, I guess I’d have to say life inspires me.  The mystery of nature, complexity of the living, life’s curiosities, and the general question, “Now how exactly did that happen or how was that discovered?”.  I have a card about how cow milk was discovered and I think I laughed until tears rolled down my cheeks, I just had to share it so I made it into a card!  As far as how my style of art has evolved that is a wee bit more complex.  When I started on my journey I had my mother as my role model and I was most interested in the serious side of art so that is where I started.  I loved fine art of all kinds, mostly traditional though. I spent quite a few years excited by pointillism; I was inspired by Georges Seurat and his history/evolution.  One of the awesome parts of pointillism was that it is science in art, it combines my two loves (yes I actually love science too) by using retinal color mixing.  However, as the years passed there were some trials and tribulations that we all tend to experience from time to time and because of that I came to enjoy and appreciate the more light hearted styles.  I love to smile, be light hearted and of course laugh until I cry so I decided the best way to accomplish that was by trying to create it in my artwork.

What exactly are “dangles” and would you consider “dangles” your signature style?

I suppose I would if I picked a signature style, because for me personally “dangles” aren’t just something hanging around, they are so much more than that.  Dangles aren’t bound by the laws of physics like we are which is why I love them, plus they are just so much fun to create!  Dangles can go anywhere they so desire; up, down, at an angle, or swirl around – they don’t follow our laws.  Long before dangles had a name I was creating them (this goes back to my mother’s whimsical paintings).  It is because of these two reasons I would say probably yes, dangles is my signature style however I’m somewhat hesitant to commit because there so many styles and media that I love as well.

How are Dangles the same or different than Zentangles?

I think the easiest way to explain this is to envision them in a vin diagram, you can have either one style work just fine by itself or use them together.  Both Dangles and Zentangles share quite a few qualities, such as; patterns, lines, and whimsy.  Dangles need dangles whereas Zentangles do not.  Many Zentangle designs include dangles but it is not at all necessary.  I feel that both are a wonderful form of expression, light hearted and fun.  One thing I like about both styles is that you don’t have to be an artist to create something wonderful, anyone and everyone can enjoy this creative process.

What do you think about “doodling with a purpose”?

I really enjoy it, extremely fun.

Can you recall getting in trouble or scolded for doodling?

Only in school.

Do you think it’s important for an artist to have a signature style?

Yes and no.  Yes, because if you find a style that your customers really enjoy it won’t take long for people to recognize your work by your style even if they don’t know your name, especially if it is rather unique.  If you are trying to make a living from your artwork this is really something to consider.  Also no, because how are you supposed to learn and grow as an artist if you only do one style?  For me, sometimes I find it enjoyable to switch between styles because it helps to keep the creativity flowing.

What advice would you give artists who are struggling to find their artistic voice or signature style?

Keep working at it, never give up if you love it; try different styles, media, background music, surroundings, and so on.  The reason for this is because you might realize that something as simple as switching the television for lovely background music might just be the catalyst to finding your artistic style.  You never know when you are going to feel that little spark and sense of excitement so keep experimenting until it happens.  Once you experience this sensation you’ve probably discovered something wonderful – for you.  Take that part and incorporate it into your style, keep doing this until you feel you have discovered the style that is completely and uniquely you.

We understand that you just published a book, The Art of Drawing Dangles.  Tell us about the making of this book.

It was a very busy, busy time for me but filled with excitement.  Race Point Publishing contacted me and asked me to write an instruction book on how to create dangles with an emphasis on the alphabet.  I loved the idea because I was already creating dangled words so I happily agreed.  I was thrilled with the idea of taking the dangle style and teaching others how to create it too.  With dangles as I previously mentioned you don’t have to be an artist, anyone can dangle and that is how I approached the book.  I broke every letter of the alphabet down into easy to follow steps. The back sections of the book have a variety of dangles images – crescent moons, mandalas, dreamcatchers, a cherry blossom tree to name a few.  A dangle directory is included as inspiration.  I loved being able to do so many creative images all filled with dangles, it was great fun!

You feature many cute animals & critters in your designs. What animal is your favorite to draw and why?

Totally silly cats!  Cats have so many moods, attitudes, and physical abilities.  They are so animated in real life that it just seems almost seamless (as well as tons of fun) to transition them onto the page.  A few examples are below – from the so sad cat gripping the screen door to King Kitty himself.

Please share your top 3 favorite cards in your GCU storefront.

This is a hard thing to do because I have favorites in each style and theme.  But, if I had to select only 3 they would probably be the silly/funny ones.  The reason I would pick the silly cards is because I love to laugh and there are some that make me giggle every time I see them.

Well, I guess I’m breaking the rules a bit but I would also like to include a card that is sentimental instead of humorous.  I truly enjoy creating this style of art as it is reminiscent of some wonderful times in my childhood.  Simple and vintage but filled with emotion.

Please share 3 artists in GCU’s community that you admire.

That would be almost impossible because there are many wonderful and unique artists at GCU; I’m certain I couldn’t limit it to just three, maybe 300 or so.  So many artists styles are vastly different and it would seriously be a huge challenge to try and narrow it down that far, I’m sorry.

Please list any of your professional social media sites.

I’m getting ready to start a blog, hopefully I’ll have it up within the next few weeks.

Art with Olivia A Kneibler on Facebook

Olivia and Company Shop

Follow me on Instagram



Wednesday, March 1st

Julia Bryant – January Design Challenge Winner

BallettElephant with Music Notes and Tutu for Dance Teacher Birthday by Greeting Card Universe artist Julia Bryant

Please list the URLs of your 3 favorite cards in your storefront and why they are your favorites.

Being ex-military, I wanted a card that would be encouraging to someone about to begin the most exciting and scary part of their life.


I just love this card. I love the retro look and colors.

My first card to win something and I love the message.

What were your inspirations for both of your winning cards? Please walk us through the process of how these cards went from ideas to greeting cards.

I wanted the dance teacher birthday card to be whimsical. I imagined a little girl or boy wanting to give a special birthday card to their dance teacher. Elephants are my favorite animal and ballet is my favorite dance, so I think the natural progression would be a dancing elephant that was simple and cute.

For the Dream Big Little One card, I had the same idea of keeping it whimsical and cute. I imagined being young again and getting a card that I would be able to relate to. I wanted it to be positive and reinforce her creativity and imagination. Show her that her dreams are very possible and she can do or be anything she imagined.

What sparked your interest in art? Did you start as a young child?

I did study art in middle school and high school, but I actually didn’t participate in art for the longest time. Right out of high school, I joined the military and then after I ended up in an IT career, which is furthest from an artistic life. I started doing greeting cards using public domain and shared images from around the internet. But after reading an entry by Corrie on GGU Community Blog about Adobe Illustrator, I took the initiative and learned the product and started refocusing on what I learned in school so many years ago.

Do you have formal training or are you self-taught?

I don’t know if middle school and high school art classes are considered formal training, but it definitely gave me the basics I needed to create designs.

Is your work done by hand and then scanned or do you work entirely on the computer?

I create all my designs using Adobe products, Illustrator and Photoshop.

Have you ever/do you currently have a job other than as an artist?

I work in IT and have been doing that for over 20 years.

What GCU artist(s) do you admire?

Sue Nollmeyer/ SueShine Studios. Sue is so motivational and a cheerleader for me since I first started in GCU. She never fails to send a note or leave positive feedback in my store or Facebook for any of my achievements. She also is one of the most talented artists I’ve seen and her designs are inspirational. I appreciate all that she’s done for me.

Looking at your storefront, your font choices are wonderfully fitting for each design.  Can you share how you choose a font?

Choosing a font is one of the most difficult processes in designing a card. You can have a lovely card and if you choose the wrong font, you can really setback the design. Usually, I will open the image in Photoshop and get an idea of the type of font will fit the design. I open my font viewer program that previews fonts by category and then choose several that fit. I will then try each one in the design until I find one that gives the ‘wow’ factor. Placing the font should also provide balance and be pleasing to the eye.

What would we be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a very technical person and engineer. But, I think being literal sometimes helps with the creative process.









Monday, July 4th

Fourth of July


Fireworks, roasted marshmallows, family get-togethers … no holiday is more all-American than the Fourth of July.


A commemoration of our adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Independence Day is celebrated in big towns and small towns all across America with parades, barbeques,  red, white, and blue decorations, political speeches, and a patriotic feeling shared by all.


The Declaration of Independence is the document that spells out the thirteen American colonies’ freedom from British rule. Voted on by Congress on July 2 and ratified on July 4, this important document contains, in its second sentence, what is widely regarded as the most meaningful statement on human rights:


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.


The Fourth of July allows Americans the opportunity to be grateful for our freedom and recognize the richness of our history — all in the company of good friends and family.

While most of us are content with the traditional Fourth of July menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad, there are those who enjoy participating in hot dog eating contests. The most famous hot dog eating contest is sponsored by Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog on Coney Island, New York. Held since 1916, the contest pits 20 contestants against each other in a race to see how many hot dogs they can each eat in 12 minutes. The record holder is Joey Chestnut with 69 hot dogs in 2013.


Kid-Safe Activities for Fourth of July


  • Neighborhood or family bike parade — Kids can decorate their bikes with red, white, and blue streamers, pinwheels, construction paper, or balloons and then have a short parade up and down the block.
  • Declaration of Independence in kids-friendly words http://quatr.us/northamerica/after1500/government/declaration.htm Help children understand the significance of this important document.
  • Water balloon dodge ball — Using red, white, and blue balloons (of course!) filled with water, divide the children into two equal groups.  The children throw balloons at each other and each child who gets hit is out of the game. A nice game to play to cool down!
  • Instead of the egg in the Easter Egg game, substitute an ice cube. First child to reach the finish line with the ice cube on the spoon is the winner.
  • The tried and true watermelon seed spitting contest! Permission to spit — What child doesn’t think this game is the coolest?


The Fourth of July allows Americans the opportunity to be grateful for our freedom and recognize the richness of our history — all in the company of good friends and family.

General Fourth of July cards

Fourth of July Across the Miles

First Fourth of July



Saturday, June 18th

Father’s Day


Father’s Day, celebrated this year June 19, is a day to celebrate the man who tells dad jokes, sings along to the radio when your friends are in the car with you, gives threatening looks to your dates — and dries your tears when the boy you like doesn’t give you a second look, surprises you by picking you up after school to bring you for ice cream “just because”, and is the man with whom you compare all other men.

Father’s Day was first celebrate in 1910. Sonora Smart Dodd, after hearing the sermon for Mother’s Day the year before, wanted a day to recognize the importance of fathers. Ms Dodd was aware of how important fathers are in the lives of their children because her father single handedly raised 6 children.


What do you get the man who means so much to you? Most dads would want you to know that they don’t need another tie. But wouldn’t they love a gift from the heart? How about a day with you and dad participating in his favorite hobby, like fishing or gardening? Or a lunch with just you and dad? Make arrangements to pay the waitress beforehand so that dad doesn’t grab the check. And any dad would like a card with your heartfelt thoughts on what he means to you and how much you appreciate how much he’s done for you. Greeting Card Universe allows you to write your own verse on the inside of the card as well as no charge to add a special photo of you and your dad to the inside.

Remember all the father‘s in your life, not just your own dad. Greeting Card Universe has you covered for all relationships.

For Godfather

For Both my Dads/Fathers

For Birth Father

For Estranged Dad/Father

General Father’s Day

Greeting Card Universe Father’s Day Pinterest board

Friday, June 17th

Betsy Bush — GCU May Challenge Winner

GCU May 2016 Challenge Winning Card by Betsy Bush

GCU May 2016 Challenge Winning Card by Betsy Bush


Visit Betsy Bush’s store Dragonfire Graphics

Please add the URLs of your 3 favorite cards in your storefront.

Please list any of your professional social media sites:
I have a few social media sites but must confess I don’t pay attention to them the way I should.

What was your inspiration for your winning card?  Please walk us through the process of how this card went from an idea to a greeting card.

I browsed all of the available June International/National days and 2 jumped out at me, National Nature Photography Day and National Cancer Survivors Day. I wrote them both down and had them in front of me for a couple of weeks before I began designing. I did a Nature Photography Day design because I had tons of photographs I had taken over the years to use. That one was ultimately declined for a few photography issues and I am so glad as I initially wanted to address the Cancer Survivors Day because I feel that the people that have been through such a battle deserve to be recognized. I didn’t tackle that one first as I was in the process of planning my daughter’s wedding shower, it was getting very close and I just didn’t feel as if I could do the subject justice at the time. I dove in anyway.

I wanted to create a card that was suitable for men or women to receive, so I chose a pale grey as the background. I went through my graphic design resources to find imagery to convey what I thought would be inspirational and also modern. I love the trendy watercolor look and when I came across the feathers I knew they were going to be the main focus of the design.

When it came time for the words I was brought back to the time spent with a very close friend who sadly lost his battle with cancer. His strength during his illness, his sense of humor and kindness that never faded stuck with me. He was my inspiration.

You’ve won many GCU’s Design Challenges, what advice would you give to other artists who are hesitant to enter?

I would love to see every artist on GCU enter the challenges! It is such a wonderful way to learn new things due to the research you may have to do to address the subject of the challenge. I love seeing the other designers take on the subject of the month. And not to mention, of the 14 design challenges I have entered, I have had sales of 11 of those designs! Designs that would have never seen the light of day had the GCU Design Challenge not spurred me to create them!

What sparked your interest in art? Did you start as a young child?

This is an easy question to answer! When I was a little girl my mom went to a weekly craft night with friends and always took me along! I loved it so much. I know this is what made me want to create art. My favorite time of day in school was art class. I still remember the first drawing I ever did that wowed my family. I was 7 and did a drawing of Donald Duck from a Walt Disney magazine.

Do you have formal training or are you self-taught?

I never had formal training. I started to take a cartooning class in junior high school, but the teacher was not even remotely interested in the subject

matter, I don’t even remember him teaching anything that related to drawing! After 3 classes I gave it up. As for the digital art I discovered 6 years ago, I am entirely self-taught. I can’t say how many YouTube videos I have watched over the years trying to learn Gimp, Photoshop, and other programs.

Is your work done by hand and then scanned or do you work entirely on the computer?

I work entirely on the computer. In the beginning of this adventure I used all of my own digital art, photographs, and some doodles scanned.

Now, I love to scour the design sites for the wonderful offerings I can purchase or even get for free to create with. I always loved jigsaw puzzles and to me finding a way to use these resources to create something new is like putting a puzzle together!

Have you ever/do you currently have a job other than as an artist?

I have two other jobs besides my greeting card and design work. I have been a waitress since I graduated high school 37 years ago and I am also a lunch lady at our local intermediate school. I have been doing that for the past 18 years. My dream is to retire from waitressing and focus more on designing. Maybe one day!

What GCU artist(s) do you admire?

Of course I love Corrie Kuiper‘s fun take on the world with her fabulous illustrations. Doreen Erhardt‘s elegant and classy designs are always a favorite. Other artists I admire are Micklyn Le Feuvre for her amazing mandalas, Sharon Fernleaf for her adorable animals, and Sue Nollmeyer for her spectacular sentiments.

What would we be surprised to learn about you?

I don’t feel very surprising, but a few facts about me are, I have been married for 35 years, have 2 wonderful daughters (29 and 27), have lived in 5 states (NJ, NY, PA, CA, CO), have horribly frizzy hair, went to school with Jason Alexander (George Constanza on Seinfeld), (disclaimer: we were not closely acquainted), fell out of a moving pickup truck (at only 5 miles an hour fortunately) when I was 20, (never lean on your car door!), and when I was a chambermaid in Aspen, CO in 1986, I cleaned the rooms of Hunter S. Thompson and the whole entourage of the Prince of Saudi Arabia.













Sunday, April 17th

World Hemophilia Day – April 17

People with hemophilia have a lower level of a clotting factor and they can bleed longer than normal, sometimes causing life threatening complications. World Hemophilia Day is intended to draw attention to hemophilia, which impacts approximately 1 in 10,000 people, and other bleeding disorders, such as Von Willebrand disease, rare clotting factor deficiencies, and inherited platelet disorders.

There are two types of hemophilia, each caused by a low level of a clotting factor. The more common is Hemophilia A and is caused by to low levels of clotting factor VIII (8). Hemophilia B is rare and is caused by too low levels of clotting factor IX (9).

Prolonged bleeding is the main symptom of both types of hemophilia. Bleeding, which is often internal but can be external, can range from mild to severe.

Severe cases of hemophilia can lead to an early death if left untreated. Fortunately, successful treatments are available, and when managed, people with hemophilia can live healthy lives. Treatments for hemophilia involve regular injections of the missing clotting factor.

Established in 1989, World Hemophilia Day is intended to draw awareness to this condition and increase the availability of treatment worldwide. April 17 was chosen in recognition of the birthday of WHD founder Frank Schnabel.

Light it Up Red

On April 17, major landmarks around the world will light up in red. These landmarks include

The Helmsley Building in New York City; Zakim Bridge, Prudential Tower and South Station in Boston; The Wrigley Building in Chicago; Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles City Hall; Pacific Science Center in Seattle; and The Monarch in Austin, Texas. Individual households can participate by replacing their front porch light with a red light bulb.

Greeting Card Universe World Hemophilia Day

Greeting Card Universe Hemophilia Awareness Pinterest Board

Sunday, April 10th

National Siblings Day April 10

Greeting Card Universe National Siblings Day

Siblings — you’ve gotta love’em, right? At least, that’s what your mom says. From late-night ghost stories to tattling to your mom when you got home late from a date, chances are you’ve had plenty of reasons over the years to have a love/hate relationship with your siblings. Who else has lived the same history, knows the same family stories, shares the same inside jokes… and can push our buttons every.single.time?

Seventy-nine percent of people in the US have siblings. Started in 1997 and observed on April 10 every year, National Siblings Day is a celebration of our brothers and sisters.

While it doesn’t describe everyone, many people are impacted by their birth order. Oldest children tend to be reliable, cautious, and structured; middle children are often people-pleasers, peacemakers, and somewhat rebellious; and youngest children can be fun-loving, outgoing, and self-centered. But no matter their characteristics, siblings are our first friends, our first debate opponents, our longest-lasting relationships, and our most complex. Because they know us so well, it’s easy to feel comfortable in the relationship. But that also means that they know the soft spots of our emotions — and there are times when they give those spots a bit of a nudge.

Despite all of this, though, siblings are there for us when we need them, they provide us with a sense of continuity, and we love them. We should let them know that we recognize their importance in our lives.

Did you know about these famous siblings?

Randy and Dennis Quaid, actors

Alec, Billy, Stephen, and Daniel Baldwin, actors

Chad and Rob Lowe, actors

Jake Paltrow (Director) and Gwyneth Paltrow (actor)

Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, writers

Wilbur and Orville Wright, inventors

George and Ira Gershwin, composers

Venus and Serena Williams, tennis players

Steph and Seth Curry, basketball players

Dear Abby (Pauline Phillips) and Ask Ann Landers (Eppie Lederer), columnists

Prince William and Prince Harry, British royalty

Julia and Eric Roberts, actors

Greeting Card Universe National Siblings Day cards

Greeting Card Universe’s Siblings Day Pinterest Board

Sunday, February 28th

Ron Magnes, Best of 2015 Winner


Ron Magnes' winning card in Best of 2015 contest

Ron Magnes’ winning card in Best of 2015 contest

Greeting Card Universe artists were invited to submit their best 2015 work. Ron Magnes is the winner. Congrats to Ron from all of us at Greeting Card Universe!
Please list any of your professional social media sites:


Which are your 3 favorite cards?

Birthday Humor, Duck with Large Bill Pun card

Christmas, Cool Reindeer Giving Peace Sign with Shades card


Pop Art, Colorful Love Hearts, Valentine's Day card


Your winning card is very funny. What was your inspiration? Please walk us through the process of how this card went from an idea to a greeting card.

“The Ultimate Man Tool” is just a spoof on those type of ads and infomercials that claim, “this is the ultimate tool” or “this tool can do everything”. It was a bit more involved than my usual cards. After completing the knife illustration, which took awhile to get just right, I had to write funny little blurbs for each tool, I must have tweaked the wording on this for days. When I create a new card I always set it aside for a few days, sometimes weeks and then when I revisit it, it’s like having a fresh pair of eyes on it, and if at that point it still seems funny or heartfelt if I’m doing something sentimental then I know I have a winner. When I finished everything I then uploaded and submitted the new card to my GCU shop. It was rejected for looking too much like the Swiss Army knife. The reviewer suggested to maybe change the image a bit and resubmit. I shelved the idea. Months later I revisited the image, I was determined to make this idea work, I had put so much time into it. So, as per the reviewers suggestion I redrew the image, changing the casing shape and color. With this newly revised image, I submitted a new card. This time it was accepted with a comment attached suggesting that I do a series for different recipients and occasions, which I did.

What sparked your interest in art? Did you start as a young child?

My Mother did. As a young child I would often sit and watch as she painted, I found it so fascinating. She had noticed my interest in art, so one day she gifted me, “Animation by Preston Blair, Learn How To Draw Animated Cartoons” . I would sit and draw cartoons from that book for hours, there was a time I didn’t go anywhere without that book. From then on my passion for art just grew.

Do you have formal training or are you self-taught?

I’m a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. I also have 20+ years experience working in a graphic arts studio where I honed my typography skills and learned how to create professional looking graphics.


Is your work done by hand and then scanned or do you work entirely on the computer?
All of my cards are done completely digital, from concept through finish.
Have you ever/do you currently have a job other than as an artist?


I worked for a graphics arts studio in the Pittsburgh area for over 20 years. I’ve been on my own for the past 12 years as an independent illustrator. So, I guess, no.

Are you as humorous in real life, such as parties or family get-togethers, or does your humor only come out in your cards?

I’m a bit reserved in large social gatherings, but I’m always observing. I do joke around when I’m with small familiar groups and family. I do prefer visual humor, you don’t have to be spontaneous, you can take your time to work it out just right.


What GCU artist(s) do you admire?
I find some of the NobleWorks artists to be very humorous.


What would we be surprised to learn about you?
I was seriously considering culinary school at one point, but later decided art school was probably a better fit.
Sunday, February 14th

The Joy of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, that day of love and care, is celebrated February 14. According to the Greeting Card Association, Americans send out 145 million Valentine’s Day cards each year. This doesn’t include the classroom Valentines exchanged in schools.

Originally celebrated as a liturgical celebration of one of the Christian saints named Valentinus, by the 18th-Century, Valentine’s Day had evolved into a day for expressions of love. The oldest paper Valentine’s Day card is from the 1400s and is in the British Museum. Commercially printed Valentine’s Day cards became available in the 1800s. Second only to Christmas cards in the US, Valentine’s Day cards have grown in popularity ever since.

Along with general Valentine’s Day cards and cards for family members, Greeting Card Universe has many options.

Anti-Valentine’s Day Cards For those disinclined to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Greeting Card Universe has an assortment of cards. Don’t be bitter on Vinegar Day! Make it a special day for pampering. There are some ideas to get you started in Getting Through Valentine’s Day Being Single.

Birthday on Valentine’s Day Surely someone born on Valentine’s Day is a love child!

Gay/Lesbian Valentine’s Day cards Greeting Card Universe currently has 532 cards that speak to the gay or lesbian relationships.

Valentine’s Day Photo Cards  Photo cards at Greeting Card Universe are very popular. Take advantage of Valentine’s Day to show family and friends your love.

Wedding on Valentine’s Day  On average, 2.2 million people get married on Valentine’s Day. What a special day to start your life together! And there’s little chance that your anniversary will be forgotten!

Secret Pal/Admirer on Valentine’s Day  A secret admirer can be anyone: a classmate, a colleague, a neighbor … or someone closer to home: Valentine’s Day Secret Admirer Essay



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