Happy birthday to The Bard: here’s what’s in a name

April 23, 2014 by

Act One:

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

To the last syllable of recorded time,

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death …

 

Shakespeare was born in 1564,

The exact birth date still unknown to us

But celebrated on April 23

(He was baptized on April 26).

His plays are staged more than anyone else’s,

And translated into every major language.

How’s that for just one man (ignoring the conspiracies)?

 

Born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England

He was the third of eight children, to John

And Mary, alderman and landowner

(Respectively), as this black-and-white print

Of Shakespeare’s birthplace handsomely depicts:

http://www.zazzle.com/shakespeares_birthplace_print-228268570094171478

 

Act Two:

… Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me.

 

In London, 1598-99,

Shakespeare wrote Much Ado About Nothing,

A brilliant piece of comedy and wit

With man and woman fated to pair up,

But they must court each other first until

They realize it. The Front Piece to the Quarto,

Dated 1623, is priceless,

As both memento and an iPad case:

http://www.zazzle.com/front_piece_to_much_ado_about_nothing_quarto_ipad_mini_case-256345527602145106

 

Act Three:

Pray you now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish.

 

In London, 1603-6, he wrote

One of his final plays: King Lear, about

An older man gone mad over power

And ego (sound familiar?), who must make

Amends with his estranged daughter Cordelia.

This oil painting by Hillingford portrays

Lear vulnerably, winning forgiveness

From Cordelia. At last, some happy peace:

http://www.zazzle.com/cordelia_and_king_lear_oil_on_canvas_poster-228191120846294305

If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, and all is mended,

That you have but slumber’d here

While these visions did appear.

And this weak and idle theme,

No more yielding but a dream …

 

 

I Left My Heart In…

April 22, 2014 by

We’ve asked Katrina Lau, a longtime resident of San Francisco, and also a fantastic member of our marketing team, to pick her favorite Zazzle products that exemplify this beautiful city.  Though it can sometimes be a foggy city, it’s also a city for foodies!  But it’s not just the great restaurants that have us loving San Francisco, so here are a few other reasons.

 

Packed with good eats, rich culture, and historic landmarks, it’s no wonder that tourists flock to the City by the Bay each year! San Francisco’s just a quick 30 minute drive from our Redwood City office, and we Zazzlers would love to introduce to you our prime picks for this popular hilly city.

 

First stop: Golden Gate Bridge. There’s no skipping out on this famous landmark, and it’s a breathtaking view even for San Franciscans. Let’s take a piece of the bridge home with us, shall we?

http://www.zazzle.com/the_magic_electric_golden_gate_of_san_francisco_poster-228198154342269214?pt=pillow-189097350464634670

 

Beautiful scenery doesn’t just come in the form of bridges, though. Mission Dolores Park is a perfect place to enjoy good eats and take in this city’s culture. Grab some famous sandwiches and ice cream and don’t forget your phone case showing off this cool spot by local artist Nidhi Chanani:

http://www.zazzle.com/simple_pleasures_galaxy_s3_covers-179959998889318824?pt=case-179906216136705013

 

San Francisco’s also known for beautiful architecture, and one of the most popular styles in the city are Victorian homes. These Painted Ladies are located in Alamo Square, and while they’ve been featured in numerous media outlets, we like them because they’re the perfect mix of color, elegance, and city history.

http://www.zazzle.com/a_row_of_victorian_homes_poster-228681654381946116

 

Flower power and tie-dye of the 60s may be mostly gone today, but the Haight Ashbury district still boasts a peace and love culture. Good vibes, strong diversity, and hip boutiques and restaurants make this famous intersection a go-to if you’re in the city!

http://www.zazzle.com/haight_ashbury_tshirts-235665501725372684

From gifts on cable cars to Chinatown, we’ve got all your bases covered.

http://www.zazzle.com/san_francisco_mug_by_hearts_and_all-168890793028374488

How to Start a Blog with WordPress

April 21, 2014 by

Starting a blog is a fantastic way to promote your products, your brand and yourself. Did you also know that writing a blog is also a great way to connect with your fans and customers?

Today, we’ll show you how to create your own blog on one of the most popular and easy to use platforms – WordPress.

1) Create your WordPress account

To create your account go to http://www.wordpress.com and click “Get Started”. Next, fill out your email address, choose a username and password, and pick your blog domain address. WordPress will let you know if the domain address that you choose  is taken,  and will also show you suggestions for similar domain name options that are available. If you want a free blog, your blog address will look like this: http://www.yourblogname.wordpress.com. You can also choose to pay for your own domain name, for your own website address that is powered by WordPress. That blog address would then just be the name of your website: www.yourblogname.com. Direct domains are better for SEO (search engine optimization.)

Once you choose a domain name, you will be prompted to enter your blog title, tagline (a brief description of your blog,) and if you like,  a blog post goal.

 

get_started31step1_wordpress

 

2) Choose and customize your theme

Choose a theme (a template) that goes best with the type  of content you will be sharing. Will you mainly be posting pictures and videos? Then choose a theme that has a lot of room for images. Will you be mainly writing stories? Then a choose theme that’s more text heavy.

WordPress offers free and paid theme options, as well as the ability to change your theme.

Once you choose a theme, you will have the option to customize your theme with different background colors, header, etc.  Remember, you can always change your theme, so you can try out a few before you create too many posts, and see which one you prefer.

choose_themecustomize_theme

3) Create your first post

You can choose a format for your post by picking text, photo, video, quotation or link.  Not sure what you’d like to post? Take a look at the “Inspire Me” link which directs you to other people’s content. It’s a great way to get fun and fresh ideas.

create_first_post

Below is an example of what  a photo/image  post looks like with the PinkTouch2 theme. Underneath your post, you will see that there is an “About the Author” section which shows a description of the author that you can fill out in the  public profile section.  The post will also show any categories or tags that you added to the blog post.  Categories are a great way to keep your blog posts organized. Tags are what make your content searchable on WordPress.

post_examplepost_example1

 

4) Review your Home Page

Your homepage is a place to check the latest posts from your blog and the blogs you follow. You can also view your statistics, where you can see how many visitors, views and comments you have on your blog. This helps you see which blogs posts perform best and during what times/days of the week.

You can search for various blogs from this page by searching for different “tags” or viewing the “You May Like” section.

wordpress.com  stats_wordpress

5) Review your Dashboard

The dashboard can be overwhelming at times, but once you know what each section is, it’s lot easier to work with.

Your dashboard will have “screen options” which let you choose what you’d like to see on your dashboard.  You can set your preferences  to have “Stats” and “Quick Draft” on your dashboard page, for example.

dashboard_screenshot

Let’s take a closer look to each section of the dashboard.

dashboard_screenshot2

A. Home: The home section shows you everything that’s on the home page including blogs, posts, comments, and stats. You can use Omnisearch to search through all your blogs, comments, pages and images.
B. Store: The store section allows you to add a store to your blog for $99.
C. Posts: The posts section lets you see all of your posts with the option of viewing by categories or tags. You can also copy posts in this section.
D. Media: The media section houses all of your images and videos.
E. Links: The links section shows all of the links that your blog  links back to.
F. Pages:  The pages section shows all of your blog pages. For example, if you have an “About Me” page on your blog, it would show up there.
G. Comments: The comments section shows all of your comments and lets you search your comments as well as filter them.
H. Feedback: The feedback section is where you can find all of your feedback from readers, see your blog ratings, and create and view polls.
I. Appearance: The appearance section  is where you can customize your blog with options to change the header, background, etc.
J. Users: The users section is where you can add new users to your blog, as well as view your profile and personal settings.
K. Tools: The tools section is where you can add the “Press This” bookmarklet to your browser so you can share content from the web on your blog faster. In this section you will also find the website verification options for Google, Bing, Pinterest, Twitter and Yandex.
L. Settings: The settings section is where you can find all of the options for writing your blog, your reading preferences, email preferences, etc. You can even set up push notifications for yourself if you’d like to be notified each time someone leaves a comment for example.

There are definitely many parts to starting a blog, but once your account is set up, it’s really easy. Are you ready to give WordPress a shot? Go here to get started.

On April 18, a Super-anniversary …

April 18, 2014 by

Pop quiz: Later this week, someone special turns 76.

 

He grew up in Kansas. His favorite color is blue.

 

He wasn’t born on Earth. His dad’s a scientist, but he’s actually adopted. His (adoptive) dad is a farmer.

 

He’s not like the rest of us. He’s kind of superhuman — but he uses his powers for good.

 

He writes for a newspaper, and lives in a big city. He has an archenemy, a major crush, a deathly allergy and a second, secret night job.

 

Sounds like a spicy life, no?

 

It is: it’s Superman‘s. (Not bad for a senior citizen!)

 

On April 18, 1938, the very first Superman comic appeared. It was created by the writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, who were high school students in Cleveland (precocious much?).

 

We can’t get enough of this super-dude with a heart of gold, and a stylized shield on his chest. We want to visit Krypton. And Metropolis. And work at the Daily Planet. And fume at Lex Luthor, and have lunch with Lois Lane.

 

Who wouldn’t? And while we’re at it, who wouldn’t want to celebrate this birthday with a bang?

 

Bang number one: the Superman Stare Wall Clock. You know it’ll always be there — on time, in place, ready for action. Like our hero, it’s epic, fierce and definitely intense:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/superman_stare_wall_clocks-256646415456411881

Bang number two: the Superman Red Throw Pillow. For sitting back and devouring a comic, or pizza (but definitely not another superhero’s movie). Stay comfy, stay hungry, and most of all stay good:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/superman_red_throw_pillow-189617859393500669

 

Bang number three: the Superman U.S. Flag Wallet. Because when you leave the house, you’ll still need his protection and style. And when the man of steel’s with you, impossible is nothing:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/superman_us_flag_tri_fold_wallets-256146521731138860

 

And in case you need him around, don’t forget to say, “This looks like a job for Superman!”

Muppets Most Wanted: when it’s easy being green

April 17, 2014 by

If you’re anything like us, you legged it to the movies last month to catch the opening of the latest Muppet caper, Muppets Most Wanted. (We loved it!)

 

Adding Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais to the usual Muppet mix was a foolproof plan for hilarity. They get to be among the newest members of a franchise that’s now more than 60 years old (egad).

 

As Statler and Waldorf would say: That’s not half-bad … Nope, it’s all bad!

 

In honor of our longtime friends, we have some winning ways to celebrate everything Muppet — whether you’re a Kermit fan, Miss Piggy devotee or Statler and Waldorf soulmate. (Such a soft spot.)

 

Many of the Muppets we now love got their start on The Muppet Show, which started in 1976. Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Animal and Gonzo all made their debut there, along with the first celebrity guest stars.

 

The first slew of flicks came in the late-’70s, with the legendary Muppet Movie, Great Muppet Caper and Muppets Take Manhattan.

 

As of 2012, they even have a collective star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Envy!

 

And how to celebrate? We’ll start with a classic. Nothing spiffs up a room like a print of Kermit’s evil doppelganger. Case in point, the Constantine Print:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/constantine_print-228918940444926984

 

Next, here’s a way to spread the Muppet love. Travel the globe, stay at home, but tell your friends all about it with the Muppets Tour the Globe Post Cards. Tiny car, eight wild-eyed Muppets, careening through Europe — you could customize the text, but could you ever surpass them?

 

http://www.zazzle.com/the_muppets_tour_the_globe_post_cards-239509467878218949

 

Finally, a way to take our beloved Muppets out with you, everywhere and always. That is, after all, the key to happiness. The Animal World Tour Courier Bag is crazy devilish fun and rad, as it should be (and as you should be):

 

http://www.zazzle.com/animal_world_tour_courier_bag-210232904457301318

 

We’ll leave you with one last nod to our favorite two-man peanut gallery. They always put it best.

 

Statler: This is a very moving moment.

Waldorf: Yeah. I wish they’d move it to Pittsburgh!

Pretty Printables

April 16, 2014 by

logo

 

We’re so excited that Kori Clark is now on Zazzle! Kori offers free printables on her blog, which are fun patterns you can print for free. Now these printable patterns are available on Zazzle products in Kori’s Zazzle Store.

Let’s take look at some of these fabulous products:

Keep your favorite technology safe with these cute Orange You Glad and Doxie Pink pattern cases.

Drink some coffee from an adorable Doxie Dash Teal and Yellow mug while writing  down your notes in your Sweet Nothings journal.

Packing for a trip? Grab a Floral Fiesta compact for your purse and an Anchor Pattern luggage tags for your suitcase.

 

 

 

There is much more where these charming products came from – take a look at the whole selection here.

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day: say thanks for a lifetime of love

April 16, 2014 by

Think of all the things your mother has done for you. Try to remember them. Making you soup when you were sick. Driving you to so many activities, every day. Watching terrible dance recitals, music concerts, sports games – the worst – because they love you, and you’re their child.

 

Waking up so early on a Sunday morning to stand for three hours in the rain watching kids do nothing with a soccer ball, and cheering it on? That is unconditional love.

 

So every year, we spend one day thanking them for that. One day. That’s cute. Really, the only payback is having kids yourself and going through all of it again, from the other side. Ha.

 

But we can try. We can show our moms how big a deal they’ve been for our whole lives, and how pathetic we’d be without them.

 

We can start with the heartfelt: the Custom Family Photo Collage Canvas Print. Pick the photos that represent your favorite memories over the years, put them together, and give it to her with a handkerchief, just in case:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/custom_family_photo_collage_canvas_print-192708520257303914

 

Next, the hilarious. Because if you think about it, raising children is so intense that it’s actually ridiculous. And we can acknowledge that, with a Funny Coffee Mug for Mom that lets her off the hook completely for all those times when she just needed a moment, to get it together:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/funny_coffee_mug_for_mom-168975269843056469

 

Finally, we can spoil her. Because didn’t she spoil us for years? (Maybe she still does?) The Gray and Pink Custom Monogram Sandals are the most awesome flip-flops – perfect for the house or the beach, maybe a spa day, just life. They’re brightly colored, monogrammed for her, and as lazy and luxurious as a day without the kids:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/gray_and_pink_chevrons_with_custom_monogram_wrappingpaper-256551058560399112?pt=flipflops-256736389631256877

 

We have to have a shot-out to Grandma, too, because we all know she and Gramps sometimes took over when Mom and Dad needed a break (who could blame them?). And crucially, you and Grandma share a common enemy. The We Love You Nana Mother’s Day Mug gets straight to the point – we love you with all our hearts:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/we_love_you_nana_mothers_day_mug-168159863808824337

That’s what it’s all about. Loving them back for the love they’ve shown you your whole life. It’s only a day, and they’ve devoted to us so many.

Hashtag Happiness: Introducing the #ZazzleMade Sweepstakes

April 15, 2014 by

If you think that winning $50 to spend on your favorite Zazzle products sounds pretty amazing, we have some great news for you. We’re excited to announce our new photo contest: #Zazzlemade!

 

#zazzlemade FINAL

At Zazzle, we pair the Dreamers with the Makers. The result? Products that are as unique as the people who create them.

 

Simply share a photo of your favorite Zazzle product(s) on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and tag it #zazzlemade.

Each week, we will randomly select one winner who will receive a code worth $50 on Zazzle.com!

 

*If you already have photos of Zazzle products on Instagram, simply go back and add #zazzlemade in the comments section!

More Traffic with Polyvore

April 14, 2014 by

Looking for a fresh and unique platform to show off your products? Polyvore is a stylish social shopping site where you can create collections and showcase your favorite products to more than 20 million users around the world.

In this week’s Designer Tips & Tricks, we’ll give an overview on how to create a Polyvore account, and talk about ways to get greater visibility.

1.) Set up your Polyvore account 

Creating your Polyvore account is easy, just go to http://www.polyvore.com and sign up with your email or Facebook.

polyvore_sign_up

 

Once you’ve signed up, fill out your profile information by hovering over the  image icon in the right hand corner and clicking on “Settings”. Fill in your name, display name, image, URL (use your Zazzle store URL here), and description. Don’t forget to use keywords in your description, which will make your content more searchable on Polyvore.  You can connect your Polyvore account to your other social media accounts in the “Sharing” tab of the “Settings” section.

polyvore_settings

Here is an example of a filled out account  from In Case Zazzle, a Zazzle designer.

polyvore_in_case

 

2.) Add Products

An easy way to add products from your favorite online stores, is to download the Polyvore clipper into your browser.

Once the Polyvore clipper is downloaded, you’ll be able to click “Clip to Polyvore” right from your browser to add any product or image from the web to your Polyvore. In the pop up window, you can add a title, tags and price for your Zazzle product. Make sure you double check all of your product information before clicking the “Like” button.

clip_to_polyvore

3.)  Sets, Collections, & Templates

Sets

Sets are collages where you can mix and match products and images from different online stores and websites.

To create a set,  go to “Create” at the top of the page and select “Set”.  A window will open up where you can create, edit, save and publish your set.

Set Editor Overview

Create_Set_3

A. Functions: Publish, open saved sets and templates, save your set, undo and zoom

B. Functions: Remove, flip/flop (turn your design sideways or upside down), clone (duplicate your design/product), forwards/backwards (choose whether that product/image will be in front or in back of an overlapping product/image)

C. Functions: Choose products and images from your items, collections  or other categories

To start creating, simply drag products from your items, collections or other categories onto your canvas. Once you have all of your items placed the way you want in your set, you can publish your set.

Here are a few examples of sets from In Case Zazzle, a Zazzle designer.

polyvore_sets1polyvore_sets2

Collections

Collections allow you to arrange your best sets and items together. Creating a collection is similar to creating a set. To create a collection, go to “Create” at the top of the page and select “Collection.” Then, a window will open up where you can create and publish your collection. To start creating, drag the items and sets of your choice to the canvas.

collections_create

Here are examples of collections from Pepperberry and Sage, a Zazzle designer.

collections3
collection2

Templates

Templates are pre-made patterns you can create, save, and use later to create sets. 

To create a template go to “Create” at the top of the page and select “Template.” The template editor will open up, which will allow you to add placeholders in certain areas of the canvas. You can re-size, move, flip, and even name these placeholders. You can also add images (your logo for example) to your template, if  you would like to have a certain template that always contains that particular image.

template1

Once you publish your template, you can use it to create a set by going to create->set->open->my templates.

use_template

 

4.)  Likes, Following, Followers

Likes

The Likes section will show all of the items, sets, and collections that you’ve liked either by adding them from other online stores or directly from Polyvore. Likes will show up in the  “my items” section of  your set, collection, and template editors.

Following

The Following section will show all of the Polyvore members you are following.

Followers

The Followers section will show all of the Polyvore members hat are following your account.

Here is an example of where you can find Likes,  Following, Followers and Views in your account from Pepperberry and Sage, a Zazzle designer.

likes_followers

5.) Groups & Wins

Groups 

Polyvore groups, similar to Pinterest group boards, are groups of Polyvore members that come together to explore similar themes and topics. As a member, you can create a maximum of 5 groups once you have 30 followers. If you choose to create a group, it is suggested to look through the existing groups so you don’t create a group similar to one that already exists.

Here are examples of groups on Polyvore from Isabel Alfarrobinha, a Zazzle Designer.

groups_polyvore

Wins

The Wins section of your account shows you all of your placements in the contests that you’ve entered. Find out more on how to enter a contests here.

wins_polyvore

Now that you know the ins and outs of how to use Polyvore, give it a shot! Not only can it get you more visibility, but it also lets the public see how your products can be grouped with other products. Plus it’s a fresh and exciting experience – you never know what ideas you’ll get from creating your sets, collections and templates.

Until next time,

Elizabeth P.

 

Cases That Are Out of This World

April 11, 2014 by

We’re so happy to be able to buy the new Samsung Galaxy S®5, an amazing new smartphone that launches today.  We’ve all seen its powers – it’s got a fast, vibrant camera; an awesome screen for all of your HD movies and games; and even a heartbeat tracker for the fitness-minded folks.  Another interesting feature will create greater security because you can lock and unlock the phone with your fingerprint – you’ll feel safe and secure with your phone in your hands!  This phone is powered by Android, which is the world’s most popular mobile platform.  Android devices offer useful features and tons of apps so you’ll be fully entertained and in control of your mobile experience.

 

Why not add a fun case to your brand new phone?  Starting today, we’re offering custom cases for the Galaxy S®5!

 

We partnered with Case-Mate to offer an impact-resistant plastic case that protects the back and edges of the phone.  It maintains the slim profile of the S5 while adding a layer of plastic to make sure that your phone can withstand any dings, drops, or dips.  You can add the ultimate design or the perfect photo – this case has a glossy finish so you know that it will shine.  In addition, the case allows easy access to all ports, sensors, cameras and controls.

 

 

You can customize your case right away.  The price starts at only $39.95 and fits all U.S. and international models.  Now you can feel confident that your new phone will be as strong as you are – and live up to the challenges of daily use.

 

 

 

 


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