Sunday, 28 June 2009

Chocolate birthday card


"The dream of creating an edible birthday card has finally become a reality for fine art illustrator Joy Cockle of Waddington based CreARTivity.

Joy came up with the concept a year ago and with the help of Longridge based Corper Deli has brought her idea to life and launched a range of fine illustration edible cards called Chocol-ART.

Commenting on the launch of the new range Joy said, “Like so many other people I love eating chocolate and whilst I’ve been illustrating greetings cards over the last few years I often wondered if I could transfer my creations onto chocolate and present it as an edible birthday card.

“I discussed the idea with Simon Edwards from the Corper Deli who completely bought into the idea, purchased the machinery and created a sample…and Chocol-ART was born!”

The chocolate birthday cards are available in milk, plain or white chocolate varieties in three designs, two featuring Joy’s signature Jester and the other a birthday cake design.

Joy continued, “We’re convinced these are the first truly illustrated chocolate birthday cards and initial sales have been very good. I’m currently working on a number of other card designs and would also welcome commissions, which would include an original piece of artwork as well as the birthday card…a real treat for that special birthday.

“The cards are only available at my workshop at Backridge Farm, but I’m currently talking to other gift retailers across Lancashire with a view to making the Chocol-ART range available to all.”

For more information about the Chocol-ART birthday cards, contact Joy on 01200 429337 or visit Joy’s workshop and gallery at Backridge Farm, Twitter Lane, Waddington which is open daily from 10am to 4pm".

Source: Backridge Farm

Friday, 26 June 2009

Good Luck

Police officer, brother start greeting card business

"We share the same brain," he said.

"Cpl. Clarence "Buzz" Cornwell has issued plenty of speeding tickets and traffic citations during his 14 years with the county Police Department.
Margeaux Corby — The Capital County police Cpl. Clarence “Buzz” Cornwell, left, and Douglas Sentz Jr. show off the first products of their new greeting card business, D & B Originals LLC.

The graduation card is currently available at the company’s Web site at
But in recent weeks he's been handing out a different kind of document - greeting cards.

Cornwell, along with his brother, Douglas Sentz Jr., recently announced the start of their boutique greeting card business, D & B Originals LLC. The company's first product, a graduation greeting card, is available for purchase on their Web site at
Cornwell, whose haircut mirrors his nickname, said he hasn't tried to use his experience on the force to create "license and registration, please" or "you're going downtown, pal" cards. "I can come up with some ideas," Cornwell said jokingly. "I only have about six years left. I'm hoping to get my pension and move on to bigger things."

Both Cornwell and his brother said they talked about starting a business for several years and wanted to create a company unique to the county and their talents. "If you can support a company that is local and that is putting the money right back into local sales people, local graphic designers and keeping everything else going, you should buy our card," Sentz said.

The brothers are not the only family members involved in the company. Cornwell's brother-in-law, Joe Gaeta, is the company's graphic designer and his wife, Kelly, will use her artistic ability to help design cards in the future.
"My wife is excellent with drawing and art," Cornwell said. "We want to come up with different ideas for cards, and we might have her come up with the artwork."

The graduation card that is currently available for purchase contains a motivational and forward-thinking message taken from a poem Sentz wrote years ago.
"He's always been a little bit more creative than me, but we've always thought of the big picture," Cornwell said, referring to his brother. "We didn't grow up with a lot of money and we just wanted a better life for ourselves, and we figured this is the best way to do it."

Cornwell will co-own the business in addition to his normal patrol duties and the occasional off-duty hours he spends working security jobs around the county. His brother is a retail manager for a small business in the county and a former freelance writer for local companies.

The brothers are currently in the process of contacting local stores to sell their cards. Sentz said they hope to have about 10 cards on the market by the end of the year, all of which will have original designs and messages not already on the market. "There are a million cards that say 'I love you, Mom' but can we say something that's different? If we can't then we're not going to do it," he said.

Neither Cornwell nor Sentz said they are worried about the potential strain of being brothers as well as business partners. Cornwell said he couldn't remember the last time the two quarreled and Sentz agreed.
"We share the same brain," he said".

Source: Annapolis
The Capital

Hallmark expand, go green

Good news Hallmark

"Hallmark was recognised for using 100 per cent renewable electricity at its offices; printing 97 per cent of cards and 100 per cent of envelopes using certified sustainable or recycled materials and recycling 80 per cent of solid waste, reducing landfill by 200 tonnes in the past two years; donating £750,000 over three years to breast cancer research; and for its commitment to Bradford Cares, allowing employees to volunteer during work time."

"A new £12 million warehouse and distribution centre which puts Bradford at the forefront of the European greetings card industry has been opened.

David Hall, grandson of the founder of Hallmark Cards, flew in to cut the ribbon at the group’s largest single investment in the business on this side of the Atlantic.

The new 200,000 sq ft distribution centre uses computerised technology to pick, sort and pack up to 30,000 boxes of cards an hour for shops and major chains.

It replaces warehousing at Hallmark’s UK head office site on Bingley Road, Heaton, Bradford, part of which is to be developed for housing. Around 150 staff have been transferred to the new site and Hallmark employs 2,300 people in Bradford.

Mr Hall, president and chief executive of the group’s greeting cards business which next year will celebrate its centenary, said the new development demonstrated Hallmark’s commitment to its Bradford base.

It has been developed alongside the firm’s greeting cards printing plant on a 17-acre site on Dawson Lane, Dudley Hill, once occupied by Renold Gears.

Mr Hall said: “The investment, especially during these challenging economic times, demonstrates our eagerness to remain a leader in our industry. It also highlights our continued and significant commitment to Bradford.

“This new facility really will make a significant impact on several areas of our business, improving efficiencies and increasing capacity across the board. It was fantastic to be able to come here to see for myself these state-of-the-art facilities which will soon be making a huge difference to our business and that of our customers.”

Group operations director Richard Campbell said: “We are confident we have developed a unique system that allows us to pick and distribute orders efficiently, providing the best possible value and service for our customers.”

Hallmark has won a gold award from Business in the Community for its community and environmental policies. It also gained platinum status in the Yorkshire and Humber Environment Index.

Hallmark was recognised for using 100 per cent renewable electricity at its offices; printing 97 per cent of cards and 100 per cent of envelopes using certified sustainable or recycled materials and recycling 80 per cent of solid waste, reducing landfill by 200 tonnes in the past two years; donating £750,000 over three years to breast cancer research; and for its commitment to Bradford Cares, allowing employees to volunteer during work time".

Source: Bradford Telegraph & Argus

Unhappy Birthdays

Unhappy Birthdays for 650 staff as card shops fold

“We got told last Wednesday that we were closing. They are keeping us open to Sunday because that’s Fathers Day but when we close the doors then that’s it.”

"Administrator Peter Saville, partner at Zolfo Cooper Europe, announced that 201 Birthdays branches had been saved. But sadly, the Graham Street branch didn’t make the cut.

Mr Saville said: “We are pleased to announce that an offer has been accepted and are hopeful that the contract will be finalised in a matter of days. No purchaser has been forthcoming for the remaining stores or the head office at Bury and we will be implementing a closure programme with immediate effect, with all stores scheduled to cease trading by close of business on Wednesday, June 24"

“Regrettably around 800 jobs will be made redundant across the group.

“All employees have been made aware of the situation and we are grateful for the understanding and support of staff, customers and suppliers throughout the administration process.

“We will also be writing to all landlords shortly to inform them fully of the situation.”

Source: Lanarkshire Airdie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Former owner Clintons buys back 196 stores of stricken card chain out of administration in £3.5m deal but a third of jobs will go.

"About 650 jobs have been lost after the administrators running the stricken Birthdays card chain sold part of it back to its former owner Clintons Cards.

Clintons has bought back 196 of Birthdays' 322 shops, saving 1,450 jobs. The remaining stores, which are all understood to be loss-making, are now closing or have already been shuttered.

It comes just a month after Clintons put the loss-making Birthdays into administration, saying it could no longer support the subsidiary, which it bought in December 2004 for £46m. The deal is valued at £3.5m, but Clintons is only paying £250,000, and agreeing to write off £3.25m still owed by Birthdays.

One retail analyst said today's deal "looked a bit like financial engineering", adding that Clintons had blundered by buying Birthdays in the first place.

Shares in Clintons jumped by 15% to 25.4p today".

Source: The Guardian

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Design Idea - Word Clouds

Design ideas: Wordle

"Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text".

Our first Cool Cards word cloud, the entire te
xt of a 400 year old play... Have a guess.

Image link to original:
Wordle: Romeo and Juliet
Project Gutenburg - Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet


Like that? Here's more... it just gets better. Hugely talented data-mining bloke called Jeff Clark of Neoformix tells us "I enjoy discovering the patterns in the apparent chaos of real life".

His creativity is apparent...


Have a go...
Word Hearts also from Neofomix: "This is a simple tool that automatically fills a heart shape with any words you like. Enter some words separated by commas in the text box and press the 'Enter' key. You can also choose one of three fonts or change the colors".

Our go...

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Postman Pot...

Jail for postman too stoned to deliver the mail

Rarely we receive an email : Subject - Order not received.
Blame the...

"A YORK postman has been jailed for burning stacks of mail in his garden after smoking so much cannabis he was too lazy to deliver it.
Neil Goddard, 32, was given a 12-month sentence after he set up a huge cannabis factory in his bedroom and managed to cultivate 8,000 pounds of the drug.

But he smoked so much of it over a year-old period that he was too high to bother delivering thousands of items of post.

Judge Stephen Ashurst told him at York Crown court: "All postmen know that those who interfere with the post in the course of their work face severe consequences. They are inevitably sacked and very often go to prison.

"You went to very considerable lengths to set up what I regard as a professional cannabis unit. I could not possibly justify passing a community sentence for what you did."

Alan Mitcheson, prosecuting, said police found sacks of undelivered mail at Goddard's house, a pit containing charred fragments of junk mail and a cannabis unit in his bedroom capable of growing many crops.

They also found 227 letters and parcels and 9,675 leaflets and other door-to-door items which should have been delivered between April 2007 and March 2008. After checking Royal Mail records, they found Goddard had claimed £170 for 13 postal rounds he had never even started.

David Dixon, defending, said: "This was laziness brought about by excessive cannabis use. He stopped delivering junk mail which some may say was a public service."

Goddard admitted growing cannabis and was convicted of a charge of intending to supply it to others after a trial in April. He also asked for ten more offences of claiming payment for undelivered junk mail to be taken into consideration".

Source: Yorkshire Post

Monday, 22 June 2009

Father's Day - Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy

Bottles of beer will be given to fathers who attend church, in an alternative "blessing" for Father's Day.

Beer is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy
(Urban Graphic greeting card)

"The plan to distribute ale has upset groups working to tackle alcohol abuse, but the Rt Rev John Inge, the Bishop of Worcester, said that it could help churches to attract more men.

He argued that the free beer was intended to be symbolic of "the generosity of God".

Men at St Stephen's church in Barbourne, Worcester, will be handed bottles of beer by children during the service. A prayer will be said for the fathers before the gifts are distributed.

The Ven Roger Morris, archdeacon of Worcester, who will be leading the service at St Stephen's today, said that it was a practical way of sending a message to fathers.

"I don't see any other time that we can stop and remember fathers, and this is a gesture saying 'Here's something that will bless you,'" he said.

"Posies of flowers are given to mums on Mothering Sunday and we wanted to give a laddish, blokeish gift to the men. A bottle of beer hits the mark. The whole of life is to be celebrated in church."

However, Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, criticised the Church, claiming that it was acting irresponsibly.

"Bearing in mind the country is facing rising health harms from its high level of alcohol consumption, anyone in a position of authority or respect should perhaps think twice about promoting alcohol to the public," he said.

Bishop Inge said that it was wrong to claim that the move would encourage alcoholism, and encouraged churches to use it as a way to reach out to men.

"Jesus created a lot more wine at a point in the party when some thought that there had already been enough drinking. He was all in favour of partying," the bishop said.

"We give wine away every Sunday, so giving away beer could be said to going downmarket a bit, but it's an attempt to speak of God's generosity.

"It's something that could be used as part of a service to encourage fathers to come. Once they are in church, hopefully they will be challenged by the deeper questions around fatherhood." "

Source : Telegraph

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Father's Day

Father's Day cards, same old same old...
So often a stereotypical portrayal of the 'male species'... however true? And now ageist to boot...

One of our most popular Father's Day cards, from Uncooked:

dad i promise that when you get
old and gross i won't put you in
one of those smelly nursing homes.
i'll let you come and live with me.
if there's room.

What do other dads get up to..?

Blokes nowadays have it easy...