Terri Steiger

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Keepsake Artist Terri Steiger

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Terri Steiger

Title: Hallmark Senior Artist
Date started at Hallmark: 1996
Date started at Keepsakes: 2003
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Terri comes from an artistic family—several of her siblings have creative jobs or hobbies. Her mother is a quilter and her father likes to build objects (he is currently building a boat). Both parents have always encouraged creative solutions to their children's projects.

While in school, Terri loved to draw and create things. She particularly enjoyed 3D projects, such as making a miniature replica of a fort and clay models of the human muscular system for a science fair. She went on to graduate from the Columbus College of Art and Design.

After college, she was recruited by Hallmark and became a greeting card designer. A few years later, she decided to freelance, which gave her an opportunity to travel around the U.S. and to take a mission trip to Russia. Missing Hallmark, she returned and eventually worked in almost all the creative areas. She was drawn to Keepsakes because she always liked making 3D gifts, plus she enjoyed learning something new. A self-described "research junkie," she finds inspiration for her ornaments everywhere.

At home, Terri loves to sew and do art projects with her two adopted daughters from China. Not surprisingly, her favorite ornament is the 2007 Chinese take-out box with the symbol for double happiness on its side and the fortune cookie that says, "What good fortune to have each other!"

2018 Keepsake Ornament Set: Nesting Doll Surprise

Nesting Doll Surprise Ornament Set

Inspired by the traditional Russian matryoshka dolls, Keepsake Artist Terri Steiger dreamed up her own cheerful holiday interpretation. Her jolly Nesting Doll Surprise set includes Santa, a snowman, and a penguin. Also, for a number of lucky collectors, a sweet bear is included in some of the boxes, as a limited offering.

Nurturing a longtime appreciation for nesting dolls, Terri jumped at the opportunity to travel to Russia several years ago. During her visit, she says, “I fell in love with the gorgeous artwork. It was fascinating.” Wanting to bring back some of that intricate beauty, Terri bought a book on matryoshka dolls as a fond reminder of her trip. From professional athletes to political figures, she discovered a huge range of icons celebrated through the nesting doll medium.

The Nesting Doll Surprise Keepsake Ornament set is a merry nod to Terri’s love for things with an unexpected twist. Fun to hang on the tree together or as separate characters, Terri loves the charm of this ornament set’s interactive element. Rotate the nesting dolls and you’ll find a new holiday pal smiling back at you. She says, “I just love the hidden surprise.” Terri also enjoys adding storytelling to her work, and she thinks the Nesting Doll Surprise set is a good example of the stories we gravitate to at Christmastime. She adds, “Ornaments are beautiful to look at, but I think they can even be more than that.”

Keepsake Ornament Sweet Santa

Sweet Santa

For Terri, growing up in Cleveland meant snowy winter days and delicious Christmas desserts. It’s one of the reasons her Sweet Santa Keepsake Ornament means a lot to her.

Having just baked a spread of sugary treats, Santa shows off the scrumptious Bundt cake and frosted cookie tree. These two childhood favorites were delicacies her mother used to bake. To remember that special time, Terri says, “I really wanted Santa sugared up!” Decked out in a festive red-and-white striped apron, St. Nick is thrilled with his munchable masterpieces. He even stocked up on sweets for a late-night snack, with plenty of lollipops tucked away (and a few candy canes in his back pocket!) for later. Terri also wanted to accentuate Santa’s iconic “round belly,” which couldn’t be jollier. Just seeing his smile is truly a treat!

A delightful treatment of the North Pole nice-lister, Terri’s Sweet Santa acts as a companion Keepsake Ornament to the in-store artist signing event piece—Santa’s Sweet Treat Cart. “Every studio artist created a part of this sweets cart… so I wanted my Santa to coordinate with such a special ornament,” Terri merrily adds.

Endearing, merry and bright, Sweet Santa is an absolute joy—much like the ornament’s creator. Telling her version of what happens in Santa’s bakery, we get a glimpse of what a magical holiday means to Terri.

There’s nothing like those cherished moments we savor during the season, and how we love the tradition of keeping those memories close.

A Happy Christmas to all, and to all some good sweets!

Stylin' Santa Keepsake Ornament

Stylin’ Santa

One stylish ensemble we can all recognize is Santa’s bright red suit. From his merry hat to his chunky boots, seeing St. Nick all dressed up means Christmas is near. Though we totally love Santa’s fashion sense, Terri wondered what else was in his jolly ol’ closet.

Inspired by mix-and-match storybooks, she thought it would be interesting to see what creative combos Santa could sport. She says, “I always enjoyed those books, because you could create lots of funny characters.” For Stylin’ Santa, Terri designed three main outfits: “Classic Santa,” “Santa in pajamas,” and “Santa on vacation.” But she didn’t stop there! Working with Hallmark Engineer Jean Newton, the two came up with 9 different outfits for St. Nick by including an interchangeable function. With their collaboration, anyone can style Santa just by twisting the bottom two sections. Terri says, “Jean was crucial in making this work.”

Terri’s whimsical take on Santa’s attire is a must-have Keepsake Ornament for those who love surprises and interactive components that stir the imagination. She hopes kids from one to 92 adore this trendsetting Santa and have a fashionably fun season!

Find Keepsake Ornaments at your local Hallmark Gold Crown store.


Buy Keepsake Ornaments online.

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