Last updated: September 06. 2013 9:44PM - 17 Views

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Staff Writer

Two area women cooked up winning puns for Hallmark’s national “Hungry for Laughs” card-creation contest.

The mission was to create funny birthday, love or friendship cards using food. Of the 1,303 entries, local residents Beth Stafford and Laurie Muller submitted two of the 53 winning designs.

For Stafford, a Westerville resident, it’s close to a dream come true.

“I’ve always wanted to work at Hallmark, which is funny,” said Stafford, who currently works as a graphic designer for a marketing company. “My strategy was just to fit the audience and what I would like to purchase.”

Consequently, she submitted an illustration, thinking that it would be more universal than an actual photograph.

Her card depicts two marshmallows squished between graham crackers and chocolate. “Every day, I love you…” is printed on the front; the inside reads, “…s’more and s’more.”

Stafford’s bio on the contest webpage suggests that her husband is the only s’more lover in the house.

“But I do like love,” Stafford wrote. “That’s something we could all use s’more of.”

The judges also ate up Sunbury resident Muller’s pun about sushi.

Her card shows three sushi rolls chanting, “Raw! Raw! Raw!”

“Three cheers for you on your birthday!” is printed inside.

Muller said her son, who works in advertising art and took the photograph, initially rolled his eyes about the hokey humor.

“Never fear, Laurie,” Hallmark added to her bio. “He’ll come around now that you’re on a roll. Pun intended.”

The puns do not stop with Stafford and Muller.

Another winning entry for example, shows a raison wearing a party hat and surrounded by grapes; the caption is, “Man, you’re getting old.” Another shows an anthropomorphic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with the jelly asking to be on top.

There is also a fair share of beans with googly eyes, babies and hot dog jokes.

Since Monday, the winning cards have been sold online for about $3.50. The online winners receive $250, with a chance to win an additional $250 if their cards are sold in stores, according to Hallmark. The first round of winners was selected by a panel of judges, but the cards selected to be sold in stores will be based on the success of the online sales, said publicity manager Jaci Twidwell.

“I was just amazed at how creative everybody was,” said Twidwell.

This contest marked Hallmark’s 24th consumer-created card contest, and the first with a food-related theme.

The company has expanded the program to have more contests with shorter entry periods. The next contest is slated to begin Aug. 1. The challenge is to “create a sweet or funny Mother’s Day card for a special Pet-Mom from the heart of a furry ‘kid.’”

Those considering entry may be up against Delaware County’s seasoned winners. Both Stafford and Muller have made a hobby of entering the Hallmark contests.

“It’s a creative outlet for me,” said Muller. “I need to go back to work … but I’m having too much fun doing this type of thing.”

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