Party Series: the up all night sleepover

By • 2 months ago with no replies yet

As we all know, there is a nail design for every woman (or manicure-loving man). Umpteen designs, in fact – so many kinds that we used the word “umpteen” for the first time in years. Each of your nails could have new nail art every day for the rest of your life, without running out.

 

There are nails matched to shoes. There are 3D designs. There are jewels, flowers, animals, glitter, breast cancer ribbons, and bows that are even bigger than the nails they’re stuck to.

 

So obviously, the thing to do is: make a sleepover out of it! Get the gang together, order in dinner, get a playlist going (loud) and decorate the night away.

 

The only thing you have to do ahead is: buy that art. And where do you start, with all the umpteen options?

 

For the friend who loves the natural world, things that flutter and fly and spend their days perched on flowers, the Butterfly Finger Decal is gorgeous and light in purples and pinks, with a touch of white. It’s a multi-hued nod to nature that’s subdued but 100% standout:

http://www.zazzle.com/butterfly_pattern_ipad_folio_case-256517220727457973?pt=minxnailart-256099733628950510

 

For whoever’s feeling punchy and hip, with a flair for the whimsical, the technicolor, the Hipster Stripes Nail Wrap manages to mix teal, black, aqua, and pink and work it — classic hipster. Somehow it’s insane and irresistible:

http://www.zazzle.com/teal_black_pink_and_aqua_hipster_stripes_nail_wrap-256583830288343761

 

Back on Earth, give your chillest friend an ethereal look that’s bubbly and floaty, but with pizzazz. The Watercolor Polka Dots Nail Wraps start with white, dotted with turquoise, purple, and pink – like the funkiest champagne you’ve ever seen (and instantly had to have):

 

http://www.zazzle.com/turquoise_pink_girly_watercolor_polka_dots_pattern_minxnailart-256922116745249975

 

The only question left is: what’s for breakfast?

Thanks! I hope you liked it.

Party Series: the ultimate baking bonanza

By • 2 months ago with no replies yet

First up in our party series: we’re throwing a baking bash!

 

You start off with a Sunday afternoon. Make something different every time (OK, a few things). You take your basics, like an apple-cherry compote, and add some surprising twists – raspberry-ginger cobbler, tres leches cake, the smoothest chocolate-orange tarts.

 

You pick your creations based on the season, your mood … and how much time you have. Your recipes get more elaborate every month. Now it’s mixed berry tartlets, English trifle, lemon sorbet.

 

Yeah, you’re ambitious. And getting crafty with the equipment. You need a food processor, a pestle and mortar, a soufflé dish. Your shopping list grows from just the ingredients to all-new gear. It’s a recipe for baking success.

 

First, the Sweet Cakes Apron protects your threads from the melting chocolate, flying flour, reducing balsamic, and all stages of meringue. Add your name, and we have ourselves a bona fide dessert chef:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/311_sweet_cakes_apron-154545345012255209

 

At your stage, you know most of the recipes by heart, in your sleep. With the Cupcake Mania Scratch Pads at your side you can jot down notes on the fly, like a pro – check the oven in 5, tops should be golden-brown:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/cupcake_mania_scratch_pads-133950136394444698

 

The final flourish is in the presentation. Out of the pan, onto the platter, covered with a lid to stay under wraps. Set on the Doodle Food Pattern Dessert Tray, and you usher it in to the waiting, devouring crowd:

 

http://www.zazzle.com/doodle_food_pattern_dessert_desk_organizers-256390398135059936?pt=piocservingtray-256713301803954525

 

An hour and a half to bake, and it all disappears in three minutes. Success.

Thanks! I hope you liked it.

Tips for Curating Collections

By • 2 months ago with no replies yet

Want to make a curated experience for your audience? Check out the Zazzle Collection Feature which lets you link to a page with products handpicked by you! Maybe you’d like to share your favorite Frozen finds with your Disney fans, or maybe it would be fun to compile a set of Americana goodies for 4th of July – the possibilities are endless. Today we’ll review how to create a collection and go over a few tips to remember.

collections_feature

How To Create a Collection 

You will need:
1) Your associate ID
2) All the product ID’s (or PID’s) you’d like to show in your collection (separated by commas)

Full link:

http://www.zazzle.com/pd/collection?rf=associateID&lst=PID,PID,PID

Part 1:  Collection URL

http://www.zazzle.com/pd/collection

Part 2: Asscociate ID
?rf=238xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Part 3: Product ID’s separated by commas
&lst=PID,PID,PID

Collection Feature Tips 

Tip #1 Your associate ID is mandatory. In order for the link to work you will need to include your associate ID in your collections link.

collections_feature2

Tip #2 Make sure there are no spaces. Sometimes when creating your link and posting it into WordPress or another similar site, spaces get added into the link and it’s no longer functional.  One way to get around this to use a URL shortner which brings us to our  Tip #3.

Tip #3 Use a URL Shortener. Using a URL shortener like Bitly or Google URL Shortener will ensure that your links will not get extra spaces in them when uploaded to other platforms.  Another plus to using a URL Shortner is that you can view the stats of your link simply by adding “+” to the end of it.

http://bit.ly/1iME8iV –> http://bit.ly/1iME8iV+

Thanks! I hope you liked it.

Special Guest Interview: National YoungArts Foundation

By • 2 months ago with no replies yet

Vanessa Leitman is Vice President of External Relation and Communication at the National YoungArts Foundation.  She heads up communications and PR – she’s also known for her dance skills (more on that later).  We’ve invited her today to tell us more about the amazing artists and programs supported by this fantastic organization.  You can also buy products and support them at the YoungArts Zazzle store.

 me alone 2

 

Zazzle: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Vanessa! What is the National YoungArts Foundation?

Vanessa: The National YoungArts Foundation (formerly known as the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and support the next generation of artists in the visual, literary, performing, and design arts, and to contribute to the cultural vitality of the nation by investing in the artistic development of talented young artists.  Each year, there are approximately 11,000 applications to YoungArts from 15-18 year old (or grades 10-12) artists, and from these, approximately 700 winners are selected who are eligible to participate in YoungArts programs in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. YoungArts provides these emerging artists with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation’s most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.  YoungArts has honored more than 20,000 young artists with over $6 million in monetary awards; facilitated in excess of $150 million in college scholarship opportunities; and enabled its participants to work with master teachers who are among the most distinguished artists in the world, such as Marina Abramović, Zaha Hadid, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Plácido Domingo, Bill T. Jones, Robert Redford and Martin Scorsese. In addition, at the request of the Commission on Presidential Scholars, which is appointed by the President of the United States, YoungArts serves as the exclusive nominating agency for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, the country’s highest honor for young artists.

 

YoungArts acquired the iconic landmark Bacardi Tower and Museum building in Miami, Florida in 2012.  These building have become the organization’s first national headquarters.

Zazzle: Tell us about the amazing U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts.

Vanessa: The 20 Scholars in the Arts, all 2014 YoungArts Winners, were nominated to The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars by YoungArts, and were selected based on academic, civic and artistic achievement.  The award is the highest honor that an artistically talented graduating high school senior can receive. The 2014 U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts represent 12 states from across the country, and are filmmakers, dancers, photographers, classical and jazz musicians, actors, visual artists, singers and writers. They join an illustrious group which includes Tony Award-nominated dancer and choreographer Desmond Richardson, American Ballet Theatre Chief Executive Officer Rachel Moore, novelist and National Book Award Finalist Allegra Goodman, Grammy Award-nominated violinist Jennifer Koh, BRAVO’s “Work of Art” winner Abdi Farah, OBIE Award-winning actress Donna Lynne Champlin, and recording artist Chris Young.

Young Arts Miami 2014

Zazzle: How can we watch tomorrow’s performance in Washington, D.C.?

Vanessa: On Monday, June 23 at 8pm, the Scholars in the Arts specializing in dance, jazz, theater, music, and voice will participate in “A Salute to the U.S. Presidential Scholars,” a free public performance that celebrates all of the awardees directed by Tony Award-winner, dancer, choreographer and YoungArts Artistic Advisor Bill T. Jones at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. The performance will be streamed live on PBS’ Facebook page and YoungArts’ website.

Zazzle: Tell us more about the Smithsonian exhibition that is ongoing from now until August.

Vanessa: On Tuesday, June 24 at 7:30pm an exhibition of the work of the visual artists, writers and cinematic arts scholars will open at The Smithsonian Institution, S. Dillon Ripley Center and will remain on view through August 7.

Zazzle: So you have a store on Zazzle – which Zazzle product is your favorite?

Vanessa: We do. We love our Zazzle store and every day we think of more items we want to create and sell. My favorites right now are the kids t-shirts and little onesies. We actually just made a onesie for an alumna of ours who just had a baby. It is white & pink and  says “Future YoungArts Winner in Theatre” on the back. The coffee mugs and clock are also pretty cool – they make awesome gifts.

Zazzle: What is your artistic talent?

Vanessa: I absolutely love music and dance and there was a point in my life that I thought I would make a career out of it. I actually tried out for Star Search when I was 10 years old – my best friend and I did a jazz routine to Michael Jackson’s “Bad”  but unfortunately we didn’t make it on. I think that was the end of my dancing career!  Now I enjoy watching all forms of dance, listening to music and writing.

me dance

Thanks! I hope you liked it.

Get into the swing of baseball season with the new MLB Players Shop

By • 2 months ago with no replies yet

Today we’re announcing a new addition to the Zazzle team.  The Major League Baseball Players Association now has a Zazzle store. You can find products that are inspired by your favorite Major League players.  We’ve got all baseball fans covered from Arizona to Washington.  The season is in full swing, so get ready to find and create custom merchandise for yourself or for any baseball fan.

MLBPA-Zazz-Mantle-A-2360x400

Zazzle is offering a large selection of products from t-shirts and hoodies, to wall clocks and pillows.  The history of baseball goes back almost 150 years when baseball’s first professional team was founded in Cincinnati in 1869.   The MLBPA is the union that represents the players of professional baseball.  The MLBPA was founded in 1966 and changed the landscape of professional sports dramatically.  Zazzle is honored to partner with the MLBPA on their first-ever Zazzle store!

If you’re a fan of Justin Verlander and crew, you might enjoy this wall clock because it’s always time for victory-


http://www.zazzle.com/detroit_roster_vinyl_magnets-160725298486224290?pt=clock-256444233593291700

If you’re a fan of Buster Posey and crew, then perhaps this pillow would be a good luck charm for the black and orange (perhaps for the sofa in front of the TV where you watch all the games)-


http://www.zazzle.com/san_francisco_roster_flexible_magnets-160388062461320712?pt=pillow-189095032939003198

There’s no doubt Mike Trout is one of baseball’s greatest, young superstars, so show off your Trout fandom with a high quality Mike Trout poster-


http://www.zazzle.com/mike_trout_posters-228588271667663752

Or, if you’re a Miguel Cabrera fan, check out this cool Miggy iPad case-


http://www.zazzle.com/miguel_cabrera_ipad_covers-256648306453351290

In addition, Zazzle artists and designers are welcome to be a part of our FanMerch program.  The FanMerch program is a special opportunity designed to bring you and your favorite players together on Zazzle. This is where you’ll be able to submit your own original designs, inspired by and on behalf of the MLBPA!   Now let’s get out to the ball game!

Thanks! I hope you liked it.

France Series: La Seine

By • 3 months ago with no replies yet

Ah, the Seine! You’d have to be crazy to go to Paris and not spend some time on the Seine. Forty centuries before Paris was born, farmers and herders settled on the left bank of the Seine, reportedly because the sound of the river here was so soothing for man and beast alike.

The river is named for the goddess Sequana, known for her healing ability and her love of waterfowl. When the Romans founded their city of Lutetia Parisiorum here, they depended on the Seine as their major trade artery connecting all of Gaul.

Since then, the banks of the Seine have drawn countless generations of painters, filmmakers and lovers throughout the centuries, who come to be touched by the river’s incomparable magic. From Serrault to Godard, artists have incorporated the sensuous curves of the Seine into their iconic visions. Today, a trip to Paris is virtually defined by sitting at a cafe on the Seine, looking out on the Île de la Cité and Notre Dame. Even seasoned travelers can see Paris with new eyes when they ride a bateaux past the Eiffel Tower and magnificent Musée d’Orsay, sampling the world’s best cuisine with a bottle of champagne.

The only problem with the Seine is that you have to leave it eventually. How can you leave behind the mysterious heart of the City of Lights? Simple: don’t. Bring the Seine home with posters that evoke its ancient, sinuous majesty.

Relive the moment you discovered the Seine, with bateaux gathered along the Left Bank in a black and white composition that recalls the ghosts of Godard in his heyday.


http://www.zazzle.com/the_left_bank_paris_posters-228312062898332545

The sun is setting on the Eiffel Tower as your bateaux dinner cruise begins. As the twilight darkens the skies above the Seine, the City of Lights is about to twinkle into life.


http://www.zazzle.com/river_seine_posters-228046879446327935

Approaching the Musée d’Orsay from the Seine presents you with the most dramatic view of Paris’ greatest former railway station and the world’s most prestigious home for Impressionist and Post Impressionist painting and sculpture.


http://www.zazzle.com/view_of_the_musee_dorsay_from_the_north_west_poster-228066542856637178

It’s hard not to wish you were in Paris right now, isn’t it?

Thanks! I hope you liked it.

5 Tips for Original Designs

By • 3 months ago with one reply

As a custom marketplace, we can’t enough of the creativity and unique ideas of our designers. Check out our tips below for creating new and fun designs that are truly one of a kind.

1. Get creative and learn something new.

Start from scratch, and be the one to bring your great idea to life! A quick internet search can help you find free tools and tutorials for creating digital graphics and images so you can create the perfect match for your Zazzle products. Try free editing software like Gimp, or easy online photo editors like Picmonkey.

2. Do your homework.

Slogan happy? Check out the United States Patent and Trademark Office site and the United States Copyright Office site to cover your bases, and be sure your idea is not already protected content. You can find other good reading on guidelines for your Zazzle designs in our User Agreement and  Acceptable Content Guidelines.

3. Know your permissions.

If you’re creating designs using stock image elements, be sure to read the site’s terms and image usage licenses very carefully. Keep in mind that images found on the web have an owner, and usually require licensing for commercial use on sites like Zazzle. Double check that the license you purchase for your stock imagery does not include any restrictions that prohibit use on Zazzle products.

4. Verify.

Not sure if you can use an image or graphic? Get permission directly by reaching out to the original creator to introduce yourself and explain your proposed use of the image, or by checking in with the service department of the stock image site.

 

5. When in doubt, make it yourself!

You’re the only one who sees the world the way you do, so your designs should be just as unique as you are. Dust off that camera – or even your smartphone! – get out there, and find your next great Zazzle design.

Bonus Tip: Join in our friendly designer community in the Zazzle forums!

Thanks! I hope you liked it.

5 Tips for Staying Inspired

By • 3 months ago with 2 replies already

It happens to the best of us: you finally find a moment to sit down and get designing, but your mind is a total blank. Not an idea in sight!

What to do when the wellspring of creativity dries up? Here are 5 quick tips to help revive your designer mojo:

 

1. Start small

The whole wide world of design can be a little intimidating, and sometimes having too many options can really get you stuck in indecisiveness. Think small! Pick one color, one pattern, one theme, or even one word as a starting point for your design.

2. Unplug

We all know the benefits of getting a little quality time without the stress of work. Walk away for a minute: step outside for a walk, grab a latte at the local coffee shop to absorb the creative vibes, or have a good in-person chat with a friend.

3. Think outside the computer screen

Staring at a blank screen or looking at the same websites all day is enough to stifle anyone’s originality. Try turning away from the computer to read a book, watch a movie, or listen to music. Let other types of art and creation spark your own creativity.

4. Research Trends

Now that you’re refreshed and back at your computer, why not see what’s going on in the world? Taking a look at current trends in different areas like fashion or interior decorating can give you a great place to start for coming up with your own designs that complement popular styles.

5. Check out new products

The shape, size or function of a product can help spark ideas for a design that’s just perfect on that product. If you just can’t step away from Zazzle (we know, it’s hard), take a look at our Create page to see if any products catch your eye that may be missing from your store.  You can get the scoop on all of our new products weekly in our official Zazzle News Forum.

What will your next great design idea be?

Thanks! I hope you liked it.

France Series: Les macarons

By • 3 months ago with no replies yet

The ingredients are simple, but the result is extraordinary. Macarons (pronounced de-lish-us) are a meringue-based French confectionery classic, comprised of almond powder, sugar, eggs and food coloring. Sometimes they have flavors added, sometimes they don’t, but there’s nary a time that they cease to amaze.

Macarons are so good, in fact, that there is an entire museum dedicated to them. The museum, Musée de l’Amande et du Macaron (also known as The Almond and Macaron Museum), is in Montmorillon, a small French town that has made its macarons with the same recipe for over 150 years. A century-and-a-half of the same recipe? You know those are some tasty treats.

You know what they say, though: a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips. So what’s a sugar-fiend to do? We’ve got just the solution for you. Turn your fixation with these crazy-colored confections into art.

Take these sweet treats and hang them high. Turn your apartment into a shrine to the glorious macaron. While all the prints are calorie-free, we don’t recommend eating them. These beauties are best seen and not tasted.

This adorable French Macarons Watercolor Print features five heavenly macarons floating their way down from, presumably, heaven. Pink, blue, yellow, green and purple macarons pop against a white backdrop for a fun yet clean look. Frame it in a bold, contrasting color to make it really funky or keep it classy with a thin black frame.

http://www.zazzle.com/french_macarons_watercolor_print_11_x_8_5-228028616703081348

Transform your suite into something sweet with the Macaron Suite Gallery-Wrapped Canvas. This great canvas is customizable, so you can get the exact size you need. Whether you’re looking for a smaller version for that awkward nook in the kitchen or a larger-than-life size for above the sofa, this delectable print is certain to satiate your sweet tooth.

http://www.zazzle.com.au/macaron_suite_gallery_wrapped_canvas-192276836893321760

Of course, if you’re in need of a truly bold statement piece, this Macaron-centric gem from the Baker’s Joy Collection may be just what your heart has been yearning for. The extra-large poster features renderings of 15 French macarons in just as many colors against a bright green background.

http://www.zazzle.com/bakers_joy_collection_french_macarons_posters-228499036812494050

Can’t decide which print is best for you? You could always get one for every room. There’s no such thing as too many marvelous macarons!

Thanks! I hope you liked it.

Father’s Day Featured Designer Interview with Designer Dad Steve Thomas

By • 3 months ago with no replies yet

Today we have a special Father’s Day interview with one of our “designer dads” on Zazzle, Steve Thomas.

 

Zazzle: Tell us about you! How many kids do you have – and at what ages?

 

Steve: I have three kids: a girl who is 8, another girl who is 6 and a boy who is 3 and a half.

 

Zazzle: Has Zazzle helped you spend more time with your kids? How do you balance your creative career and your parenting?

 

Steve: I’m lucky enough that I’m able to work from home, so I’ve been spending my days with the kids since they were born. I’ve been able to do things like volunteer at their schools and spend time with them outdoors in the summer when they’re not in school. When my wife gets home from her job as an environmental toxicologist and we all have dinner together, that’s when I’ll start working. For the most part I spend my days as a dad and my evenings as a working artist. I’ve been pretty fortunate that way.

Zazzle: Do your kids ever ask you to create specific art for them?

 

Steve: They actually haven’t yet. They see me making things but never really request anything – they’re still pretty young. I have taken on some specific art projects like My Little Pony because I have two girls.

Zazzle: Do you find that you draw inspiration from your children?

 

Steve: Yes, I’ve done some things for Disney licensed art (which obviously is not sold on Zazzle). My plan is to do more artwork for kids specifically, kind of in the same style that I do for my travel posters. I have plenty of ideas like this that have come to me because I have kids, I just haven’t been able to quite get to them yet. I’d really like to make some things that would look good in kids’ bedrooms.

Zazzle: Are your kids also creative artists?

Steve: I think so! Some of the things that they come up with or draw I think are pretty amazing. It’s probably the same as with any other parent, though! Once in a while they’ll take their drawings and say they they’re posters. They’ve actually gone out to the front yard to try to sell their art. So I guess I’ve inspired them in that way. My oldest daughter, instead of making prints, actually just drew 10 of the same drawing in order to sell them. A few of the neighbors stopped by and of course bought a couple things. At first she set the price a little too high, but I think she went down to a reasonable price for the neighbors. She needed a little help with figuring out her royalty markup.

Zazzle: How would your children describe your profession?

Steve: I think they would say I draw pictures and sell posters for a living. That would probably sum it up.

Zazzle: Do you have a favorite/most heartwarming “dad moment” to share?

Steve: I know that one of my kids took their first steps when I was home, that was pretty great. I had to call my wife at work and of course I took a video of it.Just being able to be home with them is a big plus. There can also be down sides, such as when I have a big deadline. Especially when they were younger it was hard to get work done while also keeping an eye on them, but it’s worth it.Being the artist/designer in the family, it was also up to me to design all of the birth announcements!

Zazzle: What would you want as a Father’s Day gift from Zazzle?

Steve: I haven’t looked around Zazzle too much lately other than to create my posters, but I know there have been a lot of new products lately. I would probably say that the best gift would be something that I would use the most, like an iPhone case or a t-shirt. Maybe an iPhone case with one of my daughter’s posters on it.

Thanks! I hope you liked it.