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Dash of Inspiration: Founders’ Choice Awards December 2016

December 1, 2016


Founders’ Choice Awards for 2016 results are in!

1. Best New Artist: Joy Ellaga joining GCU in April 2016.

Honorable Mentions for Best New Artist are awarded to: Ness Norberg and Lyasya Sinkovski

2. Best Overall New Card: Stephanie Laird – PID 1451206


3. Hottest Seller: Ron Magnes – PID 1456758


4. Best Custom Front card:

a) Custom Text: Sue Cassell Broadwell PID 1436126


b) Custom Photo: Liz Van Steenburgh PID 1457116


c) Business Logo: Penny Cork PID 1453390


5. Funniest Card: Nobleworks PID 1457040


Honorable Mention: Brian McConnell PID 1417240


6. Most Creative Stock Card Creations (BigStock) card: Ginger Yvonn PID 1439878


7. Rising Star card: Cathie Richardson PID 1421146


Honorable Mention: Gerda Steiner PID 1428442


8. Nailed It Wanted Cards Request Card: Stacia Gorge PID 1421734


Honorable Mention: Pamela Jorgensen PID 1439434


9. Best Uncommon Card: Lisa Crisafi PID 1454418


Honorable Mention: Sandra Rose PID 1419152


10. Best Design Challenge Submission: Barbara Schreiber PID 1430324


Honorable Mention: Michelle Lanoue PID 1458070


11.  Simply Clever: Ivy M. Brown PID 1458340


Honorable Mention: Colleen Kong-Savage PID 1454016


12. Reviewers’ Choice:

Phoebe Reviewer #443 Barbara Schreiber PID 1423208


Ella Reviewer #758Christie Black PID 1440548


Rebecca Reviewer #619MG Doodle Studio PID 1450600


Fiona Reviewer #825JJBDesigns PID 1460622


Desiree Reviewer #121Carol Kearns PID 1448954


John Reviewer #233Doreen Erhardt PID 1436130


WHEW! What a great list! CONGRATULATIONS to all and cheers to a new year of creating cards for the world’s best greeting card store!


WOW!  Where did the year go? Here’s hoping each of you had fun, learned something new and were inspired to step outside your designer’s comfort zone this year. Before we kick off December’s Challenge – let me explain what GCU is doing this year end.

For those of you who were involved with last December’s Dash of Inspiration Challenge, this year will be different. The December 2016 Challenge will be handled as every other month (unlike last year), so it’s your last shot at creating the VERY BEST card you’ve ever created!

GCU is announcing the Best of 2016 Founders’ Choice Awards! The difference being is that our founders; Mindy and Nasser, will be choosing from ALL the cards created in 2016 – not just from challenge submissions – to keep the mystery of this exciting event, none of us know what the specific categories are which they will be giving out awards! Personally, I love the idea and the beauty of having all artists and all 2016 creations being included in Mindy and Nasser’s choices. Winners of the 1st Annual Founders’ Choice Awards is expected mid-January, 2017. For those who won ‘digital awards’ last year, the same type of recognition will happen with these awards – it will simply be a bit more prestigious!

Now for December’s Challenge:


Theme: Your BEST Design in 2016


  • If ever there was a time to put you best foot forward, this is it. Last call for 2016 creations to be considered for a possible Founders’ Choice Award!
  • Any category, any subject, any medium.
  • Since marketable cards have a message and verse which speak to your imagery, category and recipient – blank cards will not be considered for entry in this challenge.
  • Previous challenge cards – whether they won or not – are eligible should you choose to enter one of those cards as your Best of 2016

NOTE: Please understand that your entries for the December Challenge act as a nomination for your Best Card in 2016. There will be no voting or winner for December, but by posting your best will ensure it’s consideration for the 2016 Founder’s Choice Awards!


Entry Deadline: Saturday, December 31st


How to Enter: Post the PID (card number) and the URL (public storefront link – please WAIT for the card to be available in the public marketplace, please DO NOT post a link to your Manage Cards area) as a post in the challenge blog. We’ll forward your entry to the jury.


Category: Any Category / Any Occasion



  • Submission must meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines and be Approved through the usual Review Cycle– Fast Track your submission with this in the Notes to Reviewer: December Design Challenge Submission here is the link to the blog post: (include THIS blog post URL)
  • Only ONE card per artist per challenge.
  • Submissions must have been created and approved in 2016.
  • Your entry must meet the Challenge Requirements and Theme or it will not be included in the challenge.
  • Stock Card Creations entries will be accepted.


Time to start choosing or creating your most marketable, most creative, most unique creation!



36 Comments leave one →
  1. Ron permalink
    December 7, 2016 9:47 pm

    Well, I guess I’ll kick this thing off with my submission.

    PID: 1456758

    Good Luck everyone!

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Liz permalink
    December 8, 2016 3:08 pm

    It was harder to choose one card than I thought! But the customers have spoken and seem to like this new holiday design quite a bit.

    Product ID: 1457116

    Happy Holidays to All!

  3. December 8, 2016 6:54 pm

    Hi All,

    Here’s my submission:

    PID: 1457610

    Good luck and happy holidays everyone!

    Ness xx

    • December 8, 2016 8:23 pm

      Thank you, Ness and Happy Holidays to you as well! Your entry will be forwarded to Mindy and Nasser, good luck!

  4. December 13, 2016 3:16 am

    Here’s mine:

    PID 1456170

    Good luck and happy holidays everyone! This is a great site and a wonderful creative community!

  5. Tam Moody permalink
    December 13, 2016 1:42 pm

    Good luck to all! Will be a tough call- so many beautiful designs to choose from!

    PID 1455120

  6. juliat2 permalink
    December 14, 2016 2:29 pm


    Here is my submission for this year:


    Have a great holiday, everybody!


  7. December 15, 2016 7:54 pm

    Hi Doreen, I decided on my newest card for a submission. Best of luck to all fellow artists! All so talented! Michelle

  8. PamJArts permalink
    December 21, 2016 5:16 pm

    Hi Doreen,
    Here goes. I picked this one for my best of 2016. Good luck to all!

    PID 1432254


  9. December 26, 2016 1:30 pm

    Merry Christmas! I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday.
    Doreen, here is my entry for December.

    Happy New Year!

  10. Carol permalink
    December 29, 2016 12:17 am

    Hi Doreen, hope you had a lovely holiday. Here is my December card.

    PID 1432730

    Happy New Year, Carol x

    • December 29, 2016 12:35 am

      Great to hear you had a lovely holiday, Carol. 🙂 Entry will be passed along, thank you and good luck!

  11. December 31, 2016 7:56 am

    Hi, Doreen,

    As I was creating a card appropriate for the Madden Cat Menagerie to send to family and friends, I realized that there was an outlier – an old friend of mine whom I had noted tends to send Solstice greetings instead of the usual holiday fare. So I changed the inside message for that card (the text on its cover was “The Madden Family Winter Outing”); then I thought, “Solstice,” hmm – wonder what GCU has there. Well, GCU has a lot of very nice, and very cute Solstice cards, even kitteh Solstice cards. BUT I didn’t find humorous kitteh Solstice cards! So there you have it, it must be done. And it was.

    I don’t honestly know if this is my best or most marketable card for 2016, but it was a heck of a lot of fun to create and send!

    I hope everyone had a happy/merry/joyful whatever-you-celebrate, or just a fine time if you don’t. And, of course, have an astoundingly wonderful New Year.


  12. December 31, 2016 3:19 pm

    Here’s my nomination:

    PID # 1433270

    May everyone have a safe & happy New Year’s celebration tonight!


  13. Stephanie Laird permalink
    December 31, 2016 6:36 pm

    Hi Doreen! Thank you and all the best in 2017! Thinking it’s going to be a GREAT year!

    • December 31, 2016 10:29 pm

      Hi Stephanie! Happy New Year to you and yours! We’ll pass on your nomination to Mindy and Nasser, good luck!

  14. January 4, 2017 8:38 pm

    Hi, Doreen! One more straggler here. Apologies for the confusion! Happy New Year!

    PID# 1461194

    • January 4, 2017 11:36 pm

      Hi Colleen, Happy New Year! I’ve checked with Mindy and since this is a nomination to be included for consideration in the 2016 Founder Choice Awards rather than a normal challenge month – and since this card was actually created December 16th, but lost in transit (LOL!) – we will indeed be forwarding your submission along with all the others. Thank you and good luck!

  15. January 11, 2017 2:14 am

    Ok, all noted and ready for consideration. Thank you for your submissions and all of your creative work in 2016!

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