Do you enjoy a warm Christmas in a tropical area somewhere or in the Southern Hemisphere where Christmas occurs in the middle of summer? If so then you’ll be familiar with the idea of fun Christmas T-Shirts.
I was first introduced to the concept of a Christmas t-shirt when I was an adult and moved to the Southern Hemisphere. There are lots of different styles of Xmas shirts to choose from, but I do have a soft spot for the funny Christmas t-shirts myself.
Zazzle has a lot of these fun Christmas shirts to choose from, I have a collection of Christmas t-shirts that I’ve designed available here –
If you love to use coasters for your drinks then I think you’ll fall in love with my selection of Beach Themed Coasters. These coasters are perfect for long, icy drinks in the summer especially outside enjoying the sun.
My beach themed coasters are all based on photographs that I took at – surprise, surprise – the beach! I have 3 available in my Beachcombing store –
The first shell with the pinkish hue to it was photographed on Ohope Beach in New Zealand, the sand came out looking a lot darker in the photo than I remember it being, but I do love the pink hue in the sea shell.
The second coaster features a lifeguards hut on a beach at Mount Maunganui which is also in New Zealand. I love how in the photograph it looks like the waves are almost lapping at the feet of the hut, in reality just past the hut is a sharp drop and there’s more beach, although it was also high tide.
The shell in the third coaster has a sheen on it because it was still wet and was glistening under the sun. This photograph was taken at Wellington Point on the strip that leads out to King Island as the tide was going out. Wellington Point is in Australia.
I did have quite a few other beach theme drink coasters at one stage, but no one seemed interested in them so I’ve only kept the three that people seem to want to look at.
Although I haven’t designed any myself I do love the look of some of the vintage style beach themed drink coasters that you can get on Zazzle, here’s a few of my favorites –
When you’re creating a product using an image from the public domain how do you get it to stand out from the others? I usually upload the image to Photoshop and using the color dropper icon I simply pick a color from the image to use as a background or frame.
In my Images of History store I started off with Catherine of Aragon and one of her older sisters Juana. The next image I used was of Anne Boleyn and then I had to decide whether to stick with the rest of the ‘Spanish’ women or the other wives of Henry VIII. I decided to do Henry VIII’s six wives first.
When I found an image of Catherine Parr it was tall and not very wide so didn’t sit well on a greeting card. I picked a color from the skirt of her gown and put that as a background with the image over the top. That just made the image look flat and just ‘not right’.
I took a color from her kirtle and added that as a very thin frame around the image, but the background still didn’t seem right it needed texture.
I created an image of just the background color and used one of the filters on Photoshop to give the background some texture and then added the original image with it’s frame onto it.
I lived in New Zealand for 10 years and even ended up married to a Kiwi so we travel back regularly. I love some of the funny Kiwi sayings and so it came as no surprise to people who knew me when I decided I had to open up a Kiwi inspired shop on Zazzle – Kiwiana Shop.
I started this Zazzle store with Kiwi inspired t-shirts because Kiwis in general seem to love their t-shirts. No Worries Bro, Not Even Owl, Nek Minnit and other Kiwi sayings look great on tees.
The next ideas for t-shirts was place names and “add town” born style of t-shirts, but my personal favorite was yet to come.
I often find some of my most creative thoughts come to me in bed when I’m trying to sleep and the idea for this funny t-shirt was no exception. I was thinking of a Kiwi (bird) eating a Kiwi (fruit) and I thought to myself, “could you call that cannibalism” and started to giggle.
This funny t-shirt certainly isn’t my most popular Kiwi tee, but it’s my favorite and still brings a smile to my face when I see it.
Of course my Kiwiana Shop isn’t all about t-shirts as I’ve designed other products in it as well, but t-shirts is where this particular store started and it is the main product that I create for it. If there’s a Kiwi in your life you can find some cool gift ideas for them there.
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I have fallen in love with spotted turtle doves after they moved into my garden a few years ago, I have amassed so many spotted turtle dove pictures I knew I just had to show them off to people. I’ve created a few greeting cards with these gorgeous birds as the stars.
Let me tell you a little bit about my spotted turtle doves………maybe four or five years ago I spotted a couple of spotted doves playing out their courting ritual next to my pool, before this time I hadn’t seen any in my back garden.
I watched them court for a while and then for a few days I only saw one which I thought was a little sad until my husband was working in the garden around the pool that is. He called me out to have a look at what he’d found – my spotted turtle doves had a nest and one of them looked at me through the foliage as though to say, ‘excuse me, a little privacy please!’
I turned the photo of the spotted dove being a good parent into a greeting card –
I looked up spotted turtle doves online and found out that both parents take it in turn to sit on the nest and after a few days I noticed the change over. I also started photographing the nest each day and one parent would have it’s tail feather on display while the other parent would just be looking at me (as you see above). One day I noticed that no parent appeared to be on the nest……
There was a new addition to the spotted dove family. I had hoped to document the new chick as it grew up, but unfortunately I had to go away from home for a few weeks.
During the time that I was away our area was hit by some pretty bad storms and my husband found the nest on the ground, we’re hoping that the dove chick had already started to fly and was safe. The doves were still around, but we couldn’t see where they’d built a new nest too.
Finally I think I managed to isolate the area in a tree that their nest could have been in, but it was in my next door neighbor’s garden so I couldn’t confirm my theory. My neighbor has three young boys who are pretty inquisitive and very boisterous so it’s best not to mention a possible birds nest!
Fast forward a few years and I was sitting on the deck one day and suddenly realized how many spotted doves there were – I counted between 10 and 11 (they kept moving!). I have to think that they all originated from that first ‘couple’.
I would have been happy to continue just watching them from my deck , but that was before one of them decided to adopt us!
A couple of weeks ago my husband told me that one of ‘my birds’ – he calls all of the birds in our garden that because I always talk to them! – came right up to him when he was hanging out the washing and he was sure he would’ve been able to reach out and touch him if he tried. I just nodded and murmured something and thought nothing more of it.
The following day my hubby calls me into the kitchen and points out to our deck whispering I think that’s the bird from yesterday. I looked and saw it was a spotted dove and so I went outside with a couple of pumpkin seeds in my hand (they were a bit big, but they were in the trail mix I was eating at the time).
The dove decided to come onto my hand, then he looked at the seeds, looked at me again and I thought he was about to fly away. Instead he jumped further up my arm, twisted his head on one side to look at me before proceeding to walk up to my shoulder. I was a little in shock and after about a minute he flew off and headed towards my husband.
I went inside to get some bread and hand fed the cute little bird. The second day he got on my shoulder and decided to give me a couple of pecks on the lips (see the photo above). We see our ‘adopted’ bird every day and my husband insists s/he prefers crushed pieces of weetbix every day so feeds it that. I’ve found that our little birdie prefers pieces of bread from me so…..
Here’s a couple of greeting cards made with our little feathered friend as the star –
What could be a better way of letting everyone know what a dog lover you are than by using dog Christmas gift wrap. I love seeing dog inspired Christmas wrap, tree ornaments and Christmas cards at this time of the year, don’t you?
The first dog Christmas gift wrap that I designed was based on a bull terrier that reminded me of my husband and I’s first dog, Shelly.
I used an image from the public domain for the bull terrier and at first added a festive green background to is, but the result wasn’t ‘quite right’ so I went for a brighter green and I thought that the end result was spot on. I’m not the only one as this design was the first gift wrap that I ever sold.
I have since used different colored backgrounds for the bull terrier designs, but the one featured is the most popular one.
I also have some dachshund inspired Christmas gift wrap. For this gift wrap I have taken an image of a dachshund and used a few different colored backgrounds on it, but this time I was surprised at which gift wrap sold. My most popular dachshund Christmas gift wrap are these two –
I joined Redbubble earlier this year, but I didn’t upload any designs initially and then I got an email about designing graphic t-shirt dresses. I’d never thought about designing dresses before so I was intrigued.
I first started looking at the selection of dresses on the site and the ones that I was initially drawn to were the black and white dresses. I loved a couple of them that were based on landscapes and decided that I would try and design a few like that.
I started off with a full color landscape photo and thanks to the wonders of photoshop turned it into a black and white image.
I then took a shade of grey from the sky and used that for the top part of the dress and placed the image to start on the bottom. I’m very pleased with the look.
The overall black and white graphic effect that I had created was in line with other designers dresses that I liked the look of – now to see if buyers are interested! Whether or not they are it is fun to think of myself as a fashion designer, my inner teen is very happy to be able to say that!
I think designing graphic t-shirt dresses could be a lot of fun, here’s a few others that I’ve created –
I think one of the first designs I made on Zazzle, that wasn’t just an uploaded photo anyway, was the ladies ‘It’s All About Me’ t-shirt. I actually designed this with a friend of mine in mind. She used to always manage to turn the conversation around so that it was all about her and then she’d suddenly realize that she’d done that and say, ‘ because it’s all about me!’. It became a thing among her closest three friends that when she started doing it if she hadn’t realized we’d say because it’s all about me!
Anyway I was trying to think of a design I could make for a t-shirt I decided to try the phrase – it’s all about me – in a variety of colors and fonts and I just kept repeating it. I ended up buying the t-shirt for my (at that time tween aged) daughter because she was at that age (any one who’s been around kids can probably relate!) and it looked great. The quality of Zazzle’s t-shirts certainly passed the kids test and even after a lot of washes the design didn’t fade.
I only had it on a white background initially, but a couple of years later I tried it on a black t-shirt and I think it really popped especially in the man’s style. Of course this means that I don’t know which one I prefer now. You can also get the design on sweaters so that come winter or summer you can make things all about you!
It’s often said that the right words are all you need and the best designs are the simple ones and I thing both those statements hold true with this t-shirt. Do you have someone who thinks life is all about them? If you do then you really need to get this t-shirt for them, check out the different styles available –
A few years ago my husband and I flew down to Sydney for the day and we headed straight for Circular Quay, The Rocks – the oldest part of Sydney. I took a number of photos that day some of which I would turn into individual Sydney Harbour Postcardson Zazzle. One particular Sydney Harbour postcard would turn out to be my favorite and the reason why is because it looked really unique.
Here is the photo that I took of the Sydney Harbour Bridge –
Now this photo doesn’t look very special at all does it? Well the end result is totally different. This was a few years ago way before I invested in Photoshop, my computer came with a program called Picture It installed on it.
I randomly chose the above photo to try out a few of the filters and see how they looked. I couldn’t even tell you what filter I used now, but this is the result –
I tried the same filter on many other photos, but it just wasn’t the same. There was something about this end result that I thought presented the Sydney Harbour Bridge in a very unique way.
The postcard proved to be a popular product when it was first released and a few months into it’s ‘life’ it became the first product of mine to sell 100 of to one person. The popularity of this Sydney Harbour postcard has wained a little over the last few years, but I still love it especially because of the thrill I received when one person brought 100 of them!
Sydney Harbour boasts not just the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but also the Sydney Opera House, two famous Australian icons in close proximity to each other. Check out a few of the Sydney Harbour postcards I have available for purchase –
I have been on Zazzle for a number of years and after a while I decided I really should have separate shops for all of my varied interests. Two of these shops are based on my love of beach photography.
Beachcombing is a store based on photographs of just about anything I see at the beach from driftwood to shells. The name comes from beachcombers who ‘comb’ the beach for treasures to take home. In my case the ‘treasures’ are my photographs.
One of the images that seems to be very popular is this one that I snapped on Ohope Beach in New Zealand –
I love the blues I’ve captured in this photograph, it really was a lovely day out. The surfboard had just been left on the beach, but I’m sure the surfer wasn’t too far away as the car park is in sight of the beach.
I’ve got a few other beach photographs that have been turned into art work for this store, here’s a few –
The other store that has my beach photography in it is my Watching Seagulls store, which as the title suggests is based on seagulls.
I love bird photography as well so the combination of the beach and birds seemed to inevitably lead to seagulls. I will lax lyrical about seagulls on another post however as they really are very expressive birds.
This print was based on a photograph I took on Australia’s Sunshine Coast and when I cropped it I found I liked it much better as a long horizontal image than the ‘full’ original image. To me the image just puts me in a peaceful mood and is a perfect piece of art to compliment your beach decor.
Do you like beach photography? It certainly seems to be growing in popularity if my instagram feed is anything to go by!
Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article – more information can be found on our disclosure page.