Department 56: Creating Pusheen

Department 56 Sculptor Kiri Namtvedt and Artist Tate Yotter give an insider view on what it was like creating the new and quirky Department 56 Pusheen ornaments.

Sculptor Kiri:

“The first time I ever saw Pusheen I didn’t even know what her name was, but the image resonated right away because this little cat was sitting in an open refrigerator eating all the pie and I could totally relate. Pie is the best food, after all.  When I found out that we were doing Pusheen ornaments I thought it was so fun to see a three-dimensional Pusheen – so simple and round, like a pet rock, but still having all the fun adventures.”

Artist Tate:
Tate’s Cat, Tubber

“Let me start by saying that you don’t have to be a cat-lover to love Pusheen, but it definitely helps. For those of us with cats in our lives, Pusheen’s mannerisms are on point. If you don’t know Pusheen, Google her immediately, and let the giggling begin. You might remember her from Facebook. You might know her from her adorable gifs on the interweb. You may even know her from the plushies released last year by our sister company GUND.”

“If you’ve never heard of her Pusheen is a tubby little gray lady kitty. And she’s hilarious. She likes to eat pizza and doughnuts, loves spending Christmas with her fluffy friend Stormy and of course, like any cat, enjoys napping. Basically Pusheen is my spirit animal.”

“Artist Clare Belton created Pusheen. The tubby gray lady kitty was born of Clare’s comics on everydaycute.com. Sadly this site no longer exists.  But fear not! Pusheen has become an Internet sensation. This year I had the pleasure of working with Pusheen Corp and Clare in developing a line of ornaments for Department 56. I was so excited about this line and am hoping you find these little ornaments as charming as I do.”

Pusheen ornaments will be available starting this summer at your local gift retailer and at www.department56.com

©2017 Pusheen.

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Reflecting on 2016 and Looking Ahead to 2017

As we reflect on an eventful year- thankfully celebrating our enthusiasts and retailers let’s talk with a few of our brand managers about our experiences in 2016 and what to look forward to in 2017!

Irena: Classic Brands

“We were really excited to partner with Girls Scouts of America to create a fun, unique and inclusive statement of ornaments and table top pieces. We love working with Girl Scouts because we believe and support their values of honesty, fairness, courage, compassion and character. Our collection of Girl Scouts ornaments depicts girls actively participating in activities to earn their badges. Of course, this collection wouldn’t be complete without a nod to Girls Scout cookies – 200 million boxes a year!”

“Jack Daniels is another brand that I absolutely love. A legend, a true American heritage brand with rich history and a bright future. 2016 celebrated 150 years since Jack Daniels birth. We wish this great brand prosperity and longevity. Our collection of ornaments and tabletop items exude the cool and collected vibe of the brand. Black and silver colors of this collection offer an adult perspective on decorating. We continue with this legendary collection into 2017.”

jack-daniels

Ashley: Snowbabies and Snowpinions

“It’s hard to believe, but 2016 marked Snowbabies’ 30th anniversary! We commemorated this milestone with you, our loyal customers, at artist events around the country. Kristi had the opportunity to meet many new collectors as well as connect with some familiar ones.

“2016 was another sassy year for Snowpinions but just wait till you see what’s in store for 2017! There’s a dash of sweet and a pinch of snark along with some new, cuddly characters. We’ll even roll out a brand new, totally unique product type. It’s topic secret so be sure to check it out!”

Birds_BellsCLASB_Glam17

Jackie: Village

“On behalf of the whole Village team here at Department 56, Happy New Year!
We had so much fun during 2016. Some of the best selling items were the Gazebos, offered in celebration of our 40th Anniversary. Buddy, along with his cast of friends from the movie “Elf”, made their debut, while Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Grinch, and Dairy Queen remained strong among our customers and fans. We can’t wait for you to see the newest additions to your favorite Village series, along with a few surprises.”

4056682SNWVL_Glam17B

Please visit our Facebook page and let us know what you think.
Below are images from AmericasMart in Atlanta featuring some of the mentioned products so you can take a peek at how we’ve started 2017!

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Here Come the Holidays: Christmas Mantel Decorating Tips with Department 56

Now that it’s officially December it’s time to start the holiday decorating! After you’ve found your inspiration, you want to start actually planning how to set up your mantel display. Seeing beautifully decorated mantels on social media can be intimidating to recreate. Here are a few Christmas decorating tips to make setup more fun! We’ve also included some Department 56 inspiration based on your decorating style. All items can be purchased on our website!

  1. Create height variation. One of the easiest ways to add dimension to your arrangement is with a vase or candle.
  2. Add greenery or organic materials. Embrace the fun of the holiday season by using fir or pine garlands, birch branches, or poinsettias. (live or artificial)
  3. Candles add ambiance. Their warm light draws attention and adds to the atmosphere.
  4. Personal touches are important. Add a cherished item or picture on the mantel. It’s important to still reflect you as a homeowner.
  5. Use repetition, such as hanging stockings or placing votives throughout your creation. Some consistency across the long surface expertly ties in all of your mantel décor elements.
  6. Keep it simple. Sometimes less really is more!

 

For the traditional decorator:

pd-mantelCreate a scene on your mantel that even Mrs. Claus would envy! This “Christmas Traditions” Santa has a basket of greens in one arm and a delicate dove of peace nesting on his other hand. The elegant sleigh and gift bag with small metallic accents bring a little sparkle to the display. Cut a piece of glitter wrapping paper as your mantel runner. Add Santa’s backdrop to complete the scene.

 

For the contemporary decorator:

christmas-tweets-mantelDon’t be afraid to embrace the sparkle! Choosing a bold red with gold accents is a perfect start and the texture of the feathers are a playful addition. The whimsical bird nutcracker breaks the conventional mold and ties in perfectly with the feather trees.

 

For the Village collector:

village-mantelVillage accessories can tie your collection together as well as add a personalized touch to your mantel. Don’t be afraid to mix pieces from different collections! Looking for something special this year? Consider adding one of our 40th Anniversary pieces before they’re sold out!

 

For the minimalist decorator:

village-mantel-gnomesSometimes simple is best! Add natural touches by incorporating elements of the outdoors such as oversized mushrooms and glittered pine trees to add height. Bring out your lighthearted side by adding cute outdoor friends, like Santa’s elves dressed as friendly gnomes.

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Summertime Soft Serve with Dairy Queen

When soft-serve ice cream was first produced in 1938, there was no Dairy Queen. John “Grandpa” Fremont and Bradley McCullough developed the formula for this summer favorite and convinced a friend, Sherb Noble to test it in his Kankakee, IL, ice cream parlor. Noble sold 1,600 servings for 10¢ each in just two hours! The trial was a definite success! Because McCullough deemed that the cow was the queen of the dairy industry, name “Dairy Queen” was chosen. The first Dairy Queen ice cream stand opened in 1940 and today there are over 6,000 locations in 30 countries.

Hover Over The Images to Shop!

Department 56 designed a ceramic version of one of the earliest ‘drive-in” versions to celebrate the 75th birthday of the company. A retro highway billboard designed to look like the drive-in is also available. Other cleverly designed accessories and a new North Pole “Cone House” have been added this summer. When used together, these pieces allow collectors to create a small stand-alone display, or add the pieces they like to their existing Village display.

Starting with the simple soft-serve cone with the trade-mark curly Q one top, Dairy Queen has developed a number of fan favorite frozen treats including the “Dilly Bar” (1955), “Peanut Buster Parfait” (1973), the Dairy Queen Cake (1981) and the “Blizzard” (1985). All of these, and more were inspiration for our designers to create a  collection of blown glass, hand painted ornaments and are available to enjoy on your Christmas tree (and they won’t melt!).

Did you know:

dq_vintageThe state where there are the most DQ franchises are located, is Texas.
• Dairy Queen was one of the first companies in the US to offer franchises of their business to prospective owners.
• Dairy Queen® soft serve contains 5% butter fat and has only 140 calories per creamy 1/2 cup.
• All Dairy Queen soft serve is stored at 18 degrees F rather than the normal 0 degrees that is required for regular ice cream products. This is why you can dig in to a DQ treat as soon as it is in your hands.
• The world’s largest Dairy Queen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The two-level restaurant is 7,500 square feet and can easily seat 240 customers.
• The number one selling Blizzard is Green Tea (sold only in China) followed by Oreo, a favorite here in the United States.

 

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