Archive for February, 2014

Age is Just a Number! Part Deux

Friday, February 28th, 2014

We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve expanded our age-specific range!

Our new designs have been introduced to offer our members more than one option for each age group up to the age of ten, featuring animals and colour schemes to appeal to girls and boys.

For children celebrating their fifth birthday, Katie’s Cards offers a dinosaur themed ecard where different species bob to the music before a big ‘5’ appears in the centre of the frame. Alternatively, senders can choose a design of jumping pigs which is accompanied by a big pink ‘5’ to say ‘Happy Birthday’.

5 birthday boy and girl ecard

We wanted to create at least two options for each age, one which used colours and animals that might be more popular with boys and another that might be preferred by girls. After the popularity of our pink and blue versions of the Cake Game ecard, we thought it would be a good idea to expand our age-specific range in this way.

The Cake Game is an existing interactive ecard from our Birthday category. The platform game involves triggering booby traps to stop the attacking cake monsters attempting to get their hands on the birthday cake. ‘Attack of the Cake Munchers’ has also featured on GameNet where it has achieved over a million plays.

ATTACK OF THE CAKE MUNCHERS

After a few weeks story-boarding and animating, the result gave us designs that are quite versatile. They’re not necessarily just meant for either girls or boys but they achieve what we set out to do – which is offer greater variety for our members to send on that all important milestone birthday.

Check out our other age designs featuring mischievous monkeys and bonny bunnies, plus more in our birthday ecard category.

 

And the winner is…

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

KC’s Top 5

We know it’s never fair to have favourites and, really, we love them all equally… but seeing as it is awards season, we thought it might be fun to share our top picks from some our most popular categories.

Don’t worry – we’ll try to keep the speeches short.

#1 4th Birthday Monkey (Birthday)

4 birthday BOY

For your little monkeys on their 4th Birthday

This is one of our newest ecards added to the site. It’s just one of our new range of milestone age birthday cards for children which feature dinosaurs, lions, and fish. We really love these cheeky monkeys and something tells us that your cheeky monkeys will love them too.

# 2 Cheesy Valentine (Valentine’s Day)

MR-CHEESE

For Valentine’s puns riper than the bluest stilton check out Mr Cheese

We know we’ve been banging on about this one loads but we’re really proud of the idea and the way that it looks. Valentine’s is over for another year, but we’ve got a feeling this one will ‘Brie’ around for a long time to ‘crumb’. Eugh. We’re sorry.

# 3 Cake Game (Birthday)

The Cakemunchers Birthday game - nearly as addictive as frosted icing.

The Cakemunchers Birthday game – nearly as addictive as frosted icing.

The Cake Game isn’t just a really cool looking card but a really addictive game too. We’re ashamed to say that even out of office hours we’ve found ourselves loading up this one for ‘just a couple more gos’. And for little ones (yes, that’s who the game is really designed for) there’s a choice of pink or blue.

#4 Turkey Breakout 2 (Christmas)

Find out what happens our turkeys on the run in this entertaining ecard

Find out what happens our turkeys on the run in this entertaining ecard

Is it too early to send your Christmas cards? Probably a smigden. But we wouldn’t blame you wanting to send this entertaining ecard with a slightly dark, but ultimately funny, ending.

#5 Supermum (Mother’s Day)

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's Supermum, silly!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s Supermum, silly!

Christmas may be ages away, but don’t forget about Mum on Sunday 30th March (or Sunday 11th May if you’re in the U.S.) This ecard gives an exclusive glimpse at a day in the life of Superman – ahem – or should we say Mum (wink, wink.)

So there you have it. To the winners we say congratulations and to the runners up we say better luck next ye–

— Wait, please… don’t play the music yet!

Last Minute Valentine

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

So we’re going to assume that you’ve sorted your Valentine’s day card thanks to our new ‘Cheesy Valentine’ ecard - but what about a present?

Whether you’ve been trying hard to avoid it or just haven’t had the time to organise anything fancy, Valentine’s Day is almost here. But never fear, Katie’s Cards is here to share some of last minute gift ideas from around the web that just happen to be pretty economical too.

Personalised Sharpie Mugs

You can find design ideas for these all over Pinterest but we really liked the idea of personalised Mr and Mrs mugs. You could even add a special date to the handle. We’ve also heard on the grape vine that the cheaper the mug, the better the result – so don’t worry about raiding your Granny’s china cupboard, a cheap mug from the supermarket or Ikea should do the job.

DIY Mr and Mrs Sharpie Mugs

DIY Mr and Mrs Sharpie Mugs

Love Pegs

We saw these a couple of days ago and shared them on our Facebook page. Turn an everyday run of the mill clothes peg into a secret love message for a Valentine that won’t leave them hanging.

peg message

Secret Valentine’s Peg Message

Breakfast in Bread

Breakfast in bed is old hat, so liven things up a bit by getting creative in the kitchen.

egg in a basket

Love heart egg in a basket

Serve up a tasty treat of egg in the (love heart) basket with an extra decadent side of (love heart) bacon. Does there exist a thing on earth more overwhelming than love that’s bacon flavoured?

bacon hearts

A tasty side of heart-shaped bacon

Sweets for your Sweet

If breakfast in bed isn’t their bag, have a go at baking up a batch of these loveheart cupcakes to satisfy their sweet tooth.

loveheart cupcakes

Satisfy their sweet tooth with these Loveheart cupcakes

Whatever the occasion we’re always looking for new and creative arts and craft ideas so if you’re itching to share your tips and insights, we’d love to hear them! Contact us through our Facebook page or comment below.

Cheesy Valentine

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

A couple of weeks ago we mentioned that we were in the process of developing a new Valentine’s Day card. Today, we’re very excited to share with you information about the design process along with sneak previews and artist’s sketches of our new ecard.

Coming up with the idea

The very first thing we do before we start to design an ecard is put our heads together and try to determine what we want to achieve in terms of story and in relation to the specific celebration. With this ecard we were all fairly certain that we wanted to create something that was a bit light-hearted and that our members could share with anyone, including friends – and those who they’d like to be a bit more – without being too embarrassed. So right off the bat, we knew that we were going to have to adopt a humorous approach and came up with the idea of using the cheesiest puns possible to make recipients chuckle/groan. The “cheesy” element eventually manifested into a cute little character whose actions would match the pun. In the preview below, the toe-curling pun ‘I wheelie like you’ has our ‘Mr Cheese’ character riding across the screen on a bike.

Mr Cheese in our latest Valentine's Day Ecard

Mr Cheese in our latest Valentine’s Day Ecard

Choosing the perfect puns

We’re suckers for a good pun (just check out our ‘A whole lotta pun’ Pinterest board if you don’t believe us) so we thought long and hard about what which would work best. Ecards need to get their message across quickly and we soon realised that the puns would need to use no more than four words and also involve a variety of interesting props for ‘Mr Cheese’ to interact with.

Developing the look

We were keen on using a simple but stylistic design so after we’d settled on our puns, we did some sketches based on how we wanted the ecard to look. And then we were ready to go. Of course there were changes during the design process; two of the puns we’d chosen ended up using similar props so we eventually changed the action of one of them to avoid repetition. Below shows the artist’s sketch for the pun ‘I dig you’ and a preview from the existing animation which has ‘Mr Cheese’ operating a similar piece of equipment to accompany the pun ‘You move me’ – in this instance we changed the prop and action from the first sketch and kept the idea from second.

cheese-i-dig

Initial sketch for ‘I dig you’

Mr Cheese rides again

Mr Cheese rides again

Animation

The animation followed on from the design sketches, first with the development of a rough-cut and then a period of meticulously editing the actions of the various moving elements to create a smooth and realistic animation. And whilst all this was going on, the search for the right soundtrack began…

Finding the music

It’s a surprisingly time consuming job to find the right sample of music to accompany an ecard. But after listening to hundreds of possible soundtracks, we found the right fit. Again, the tone was light-hearted and upbeat and worked well with the movement of the animation. A few more tweaks and the card was ready for final sign off and is now has pride of place in the Valentine’s Day category on Katie’s Cards.

And whilst we normally don’t like to toot our own horn, we think this ecard is really Gouda! 

(Sorry)

Preview the ecard here or watch below: