Thursday, December 13, 2012

Get Ready for the New Year with a Calendar

This is the time of year when we start making plans for the coming year -- things that we want to start doing, such as being organized, remembering to blog on a regular basis, meeting with clients, work on our art, designs, garden -- whatever our passion.

What better way to help keep track of those plans than with a calendar.

Now I have a confession to make -- I haven't designed a calendar this year (in fact, I've never designed a calendar).  That's not to say I don't like calendars -- I love them and usually have one in the kitchen, one in my office/studio, one at my day job, and my hubby has one in his office too.

My personal favorite subjects are horses, wildlife and birds, and gardening.  So I'm going to browse through Zazzle and see what calendars I can find that feature my favorite subjects and share them with you here.


The first calendar I have selected is the 2013 EQUUS calendar from artCWRW. This is digital art at its very finest. I have followed this artist on the art website Renderosity for many years. In addition to producing some stunning artwork, CWRW has created some great resources for other digital artists, some of which I use myself in my own art. I didn't realize until today that CWRW is on Zazzle!

My second selection is by UTeezSF and is filled with great photographs of horses of all shapes and sizes.

This calendar features some beautifully detailed artwork of one of my favorite birds - the hummingbird.

As I have mentioned before on my blog, I'm very partial to owls. One of my biggest thrills is to hear the hoots of owls in the fields behind our house late at night. We were even lucky enough to see one once.

This calendar features some great photos of a variety of species of owl.

Dave's Garden is an internet community of gardeners.  This wonderful calendar features the winning photographs in their annual photography competition, which had 2,800 entries!

My final selection features the beautiful impressionist water lily paintings of Claude Monet, offered on Zazzle by Masterpiece Gifts.

Well those are just a few of the wonderful calendars I found, I could have listed so many more, but it's getting late.

Now it's your turn. If you're a designer on Zazzle, you are invited to add a link to your 2013 calendars in the Linky Tool below.

Use Option 1 in the Link Widget on the page of the Zazzle product/design you'd like to add. It will show up below as a small thumbnail and when clicked on, will link directly to your product.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Give Thanks for Thanksgiving!

Here we are now in October and once again, I'm lagging behind in my blogging!   I'm just too busy creating art these days! Haha!

Before I get going with this post, I want to thank everyone who added links to their wonderful Halloween designs in the Linky tool at the end of my last post, Summer is Over, Get Ready for Halloween.

Reading my post again inspired me to make some new Halloween creations of my own, including this Trick or Treat goodie bag.
And I made this cute little Patchwork Applique Halloween card last weekend.
Applique Style Patchwork Halloween Card
Applique Style Patchwork Halloween Card by 3DDesignsByJayne

Even though it's not even Halloween yet, my mind has moved on to Thanksgiving.  (Kind of like in Hobby Lobby where the Halloween stuff gets puts out on the shelves while I'm still trying to find July 4th decorations, and the Christmas decorations are out already in September!)

I started out by creating a Thanksgiving card for my store at Greeting Card Universe. Then I added it to my Zazzle store too.

I like to use my designs on different items, so I started thinking what else I could create using this design.

I hit on the idea of creating placemats when I was cleaning some rather old and battered placemats that have seen quite a few Holiday seasons. I also added the design to a plate and a tile/trivet.  Thinking about it now, I'm pretty sure I can change the size slightly and wrap it around a mug, a teapot etc.  But that's a project for tomorrow night after work!


Now it's time to look at just a few of the wonderful items the talented artists and designers on Zazzle have created.

If you're sending out cards or invitations for your Thanksgiving celebration, adding a Thanksgiving postage stamp is a nice touch. This digitally painted stamp by Cheries Art has a lovely country flair to it.
Plaid Border Happy Thanksgiving Stamp
Plaid Border Happy Thanksgiving Stamp by Cheries_Art

There's an almost overwhelming selection on Thanksgiving cards, from the traditional, such as this one by Vintagecards ...
... to the amusing, such as this "I'm Thankful for Vegans" card by koncepts ...

Thankful Turkey Greeting Cards
Thankful Turkey Greeting Cards by koncepts
Browse more Thanksgiving Cards

This personalized Thanksgiving recipe book by cutencomfy is a wonderful way to keep the family recipes together and pass them down to the next generation.

And speaking of recipes, of course the cook has to have his or her very own apron such as this Gobble Gobble apron from Holiday Shirts.
What could say "Thanksgiving" better than football and turkey?
Football and Turkey PERFECT! Apron
Football and Turkey PERFECT! Apron by sportydesigns

The designers on Zazzle have created such a great range of Thanksgiving T-shirts it's hard to know where to start, but for myself,  I particularly like this classic Thanksgiving design by Memory Lane.
Autumn Harvest T Shirt
Autumn Harvest T Shirt by Memory_Lane

I laughed out loud when I saw the next two T-shirts.  After all, everyone has their preference!  I just wish I had thought of this first!

Are you, or is someone you know a "Breast Man" or a "Thigh Man"?

These are just a few of the items I noticed. There are many, many more.

Now it's your turn.

If you're a Zazzle designer, you are invited to add a link to your Thanksgiving cards or other items in the Linky Tool below.

Use Option 1 in the Link Widget on the page of the Zazzle product/design you'd like to add. It will show up below as a small thumbnail and when clicked on, will link directly to your product.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Summer is Over - Get Ready for Halloween!

Well here we are in September already.  It's hard to believe summer is officially over (this being Labor Day weekend and all).  Looking back at my blog, I see I lagged a bit in August with only one post.  I'll see what I can do about stepping it up a bit as we head into fall.

It will soon be time to break out the fall decorations for the house. I love decorating for fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving as much as I do for Christmas.

I recently bought this Cobweb Mantle Scarf from the Victorian Trading Company and can't wait to decorate our mantle!

Having my mind on the fall Holidays has got my creative juices flowing a bit (they had been in the doldrums for a while) and I spent some time working on a Halloween piece which I used to create Halloween cards and invitations.

I also created a poster and a stretched canvas with it.
Jack-O-Lantern and Haunted House Stretched Canvas
Jack-O-Lantern and Haunted House Stretched Canvas by 3DDesignsByJayne

I've seen some wonderful Halloween items created by other Zazzle designers so I thought I'd share some of them here.
How could I not have thought of doing something like this?  Every kid has to have a bag for their Halloween goodies, right?  Great idea!
Trick or Treat Tshirts and Gifts Bag
Trick or Treat Tshirts and Gifts Bag by halloweengifts
See more Halloween Bags

  This one looks like the sort of thing the older kids would carry -- Give me Candy... Or Else!  lol!
Halloween Trick or Treat Goodie Bag
Halloween Trick or Treat Goodie Bag by SquirrelHugger
See more Halloween Bags

I like this haunted house Halloween card by Celebration4all.  It's the sort of scene I had in mind when I created my own design, but of course I was working in a 3D graphic program so it came out quite different.

Among our house full of cats, we have two black cats so I love anything with black cats on. This vintage style card is lovely.
Now it's your turn. Now it's your turn. If you are a Zazzle designer, you are invited to link to your Halloween themed designs in the Linky tool below. Use Option 1 in the Link Widget on the page of the Zazzle product/design you'd like to add. It will show up below as a small thumbnail and when clicked on, will link directly to your product.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rainbow in the Clouds

In 2007, my husband and I were married just outside of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu. Then we hopped a plane for our honeymoon on the island of Kauai.

It was the most incredible trip and I took tons of photographs, some of which I'm going add to my Zazzle store as posters and postcards etc.

This past weekend, I was going through the photos from our honeymoon and came across a photo of a rainbow in the clouds at Kalalau lookout, on the Na Pali coast.

It's a spectacular location offering views of steep cliffs and the sea some 4,000 ft below. As we stood at the lookout, we were lucky enough to see this beautiful rainbow as the shone refracted off the water droplets in the mist.

The group of loud, obnoxious tourists who got to the lookout about five minutes after we did saw nothing, as the clouds had closed in and completely blanketed the area.

I admit I had to suppress a little smirk as we walked past them on our way back to the parking lot!

I also used the same photograph to create a postcard and this matching postage.

Below are some more rainbow postcards from Zazzle artists, including this spectacular double rainbow in Montana, from Zazzle designer pageandturner.

And here's another double rainbow, this time from designer beckbeck221.  I always seem to see double rainbows when I'm driving or when I have no camera.  Why is that?

In addition to actual photographs of rainbows, some designers have used rainbow colored patterns in their designs, like this abstract rainbow poster by abbeyz71.

Rainbows also feature prominently in fantasy art, such as this beautiful Unicorn of the Rainbow Art Poster by romanceworks.

And finally, if you're an animal lover like me, you can't look at a rainbow without thinking of the beautiful poem, Rainbow Bridge. This poster from Absoluteinspirations can be customized with your pet's name.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Who Loves Owls?

I woke up about 4 am yesterday. At first I wondered what had woken me up, then I heard something outside -- an owl hooting!  It was quickly answered by another and so the conversation went back and forth between them.

I love owls, there's something so mysterious about them, and I especially love that we can hear them here at night sometimes.  I peeked through the window but couldn't see anything in the dark, so then I crept out on the patio.  Straining my eyes in the direction of the sounds (they sounded quite close) I was finally able to make out dark shapes on the top of electric poles along the street behind our house.

They were probably scanning the fields on the other side of the road for mice and other prey.  I listened to them for several minutes and then their hoots started getting further away as they flew silently across the fields.

Did I mention I love owls?  Check out this macrame owl I made for our patio earlier this year. Remember these from the 70's?  My mum in England still had one I made for her and after a visit to England in spring, I decided I needed to make my own.

 Not bad, if I say so myself! Especially considering I did it without a pattern, just sort of designing as I went. :-)

Anyway, I thought I'd indulge my love of owls and see what designs and products my fellow Zazzle artists have created.  Here are just a few, then you'll have a chance to add your own.

I like to think the owls we hear are Great Horned Owls. To me, they are the quintessential owl with their big eyes and those ear tufts.

This postcard from Critterpainter shows a Great Horned Owl sitting on a branch - check out those talons!

This pen and ink drawing by Wildlife Inc. really captures the essence of the Great Horned Owl. He looks as if he might be sizing me up for dinner!

So, too, does the owl in this poster from PhotographieBy Pixie.  What an incredible shot!

There are many different species of owl and I love this card with John Audobon's illustration of a Great Gray Owl, from VintagePets. I've always admired the stunning detail in Audobon's work.

At the other end of the size spectrum from the Great Grey Owl is the Northern Saw-Whet Owl. This postcard features a beautiful watercolor painting of an adorable little Saw-Whet owl by Renee Fukumoto.

Stylized owls have always been popular in art and for home accents - like the macrame owl I showed at the beginning of my post.

Here are some more examples of stylized owls from the Zazzle community.

Owls seem to fit quite nicely on iPhone cases, as seen in the examples below:

Owls are popular on cards and invitations, as you can see from the selection below.

I thought I'd finish up with another of my favorite owls - the Barn Owl, this time on a stamp.

Now it's your turn. If you are a Zazzle designer, you are invited to link to your owl themed designs in the Linky tool below. Use Option 1 in the Link Widget on the page of the Zazzle product/design you'd like to add. It will show up below as a small thumbnail and when clicked on, will link directly to your product.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Raindrops are falling....

We've been getting a LOT of rain this week.  After the Texas drought last year, we needed all the rain we could get, so even though it caused some local flooding, the rain was appreciated.

So all this rain got me thinking about creating a rainy scene in Vue d'Esprit and I'm quite happy with the way it came out.

There were a couple of challenges in the piece -- how to create the actual rain drops and how to make the water surface look like raindrops were hitting it, all inside Vue and without the need for post work in Photoshop.  But I found the tools I needed and was able to pull it together (well, I think so anyway, I hope others like it too).
Rainy Day at the Lake Poster
Rainy Day at the Lake Poster by 3DDesignsByJayne

I'm in the process now of creating some other products with it -- a mousepad, iPad sleeve, laptop sleeve etc.  I'm also going to create some cards with it, and maybe some postage.

So now it's raining again outside, I decided to have a look around Zazzle, and see what other rain-inspired designs I could find.

Here are just a few that caught my eye:

I love the inspirational quote on this fridge magnet from CookingandMe at Zazzle

This adorable poster is from an original painting by Gordon Bruce.

I've always admired the paintings by Gustave Caillebotte, depicting a rainy Paris in the late 1800's such as this one from VintageGftStore at Zazzle.

I love the simplicity of this pink umbrella poster by Tasha at Zazzle. It's such a cheery poster.

I'm going to have to post this fridge magnet with a gardening quote on my gardening blog - Green and Serene - Jayne's Country Garden. It's so true!

One of the joys of rainy days is being able to sit warm and dry inside and watch the magical rainy, misty world outside through the raindrops on the windows.

This is captured beautifully in this postcard by Susan Savad.
Finally, this rain-spattered iPhone case looks very realistic.
I could go on and on... but now it's your turn.
If you are a Zazzle artist or designer, you're invited to link to your rainy day themed designs in the Linky tool below. Use Option 1 in the Link Widget on the page of the Zazzle product/design you'd like to add. It will show up below as a small thumbnail and when clicked on, will link directly to your product.