Archive for January, 2013

Seller Spotlight: Kat_Parrella

January 31, 2013

Kat (Kat Kadoodle) always thought she would go to art school, but after encouragement to enter a more “streamlined and stable” field, she found herself in information technology for over thirty years. But she always painted and drew on the side, and looked for ways to express her artistic creativity. One day she sat herself down and learned how to use illustrator and different graphic design software. As more and more friends requested invites, she looked around for ways to share and sell her work, and found Zazzle.

I’ve always loved to entertain, which is probably why I love designing invitations. I love in all kinds of different things – iPhone cases, bags, but I always seem to go back to invites. They are my first love and what I truly enjoy creating the most. I love designing for baby showers, graduations, holiday parties and yes – cocktail parties.

You have to celebrate, you know? My family always made a huge deal about celebrations. I feel like I’m passionate about fun and that translates to the designs I create. Life is full of too much drudgery.

My artistic style is pretty playful. I like to use a varied colored palette and mix things up with varied brights and retro colors. I love to play teal, limes and oranges off of each other. I love to design for babies, too – I try to use a lot of pinks and blues and find new ways to integrate them.

A lot of my products have drink designs on them. I work drink elements into a lot of my invites – and no, I don’t put drink images on baby shower invites.

I really do believe just about any celebration is more fun with cocktails; hence the many cocktail-inspired invitations found in my shop:

Valentine Party Heart Love Cocktail Invitation
Valentine Party Heart Love Cocktail Invitation by kat_parrella
Wine tasting parties are one of my favorite parties to host and I have several different designs in this theme – but this is my most loved one:
Wineglass & Grapes Wine Tasting Party Invitation
Wineglass & Grapes Wine Tasting Party Invitation by kat_parrella

An afternoon at a local winery inspired me to create a whole series of wine-themed invitations, including this fun favorite for a wine-loving bride-to-be:

Modern Bride Wine Theme Bridal Shower Invitation
Modern Bride Wine Theme Bridal Shower Invitation by kat_parrella

Probably my favorite baby girl design: I love the way this one turned out with the antique texture, stitching and shadow effects:

Sweet Birdie It's a Girl Baby Shower Invitation
Sweet Birdie It’s a Girl Baby Shower Invitation by kat_parrella

A popular baby shower design: I thought the little tag was a great way to represent the idea of the shower of gifts to come for the mommy-to-be:

Happy Blue Dots Boy Baby Shower Invitation
Happy Blue Dots Boy Baby Shower Invitation by kat_parrella

Coming up with new, modern approaches to traditional themes is something I really enjoy. I think this design really brings that together with the fun color combinations and overall contemporary theme:

Lots of Hearts Couples Wedding Shower Invitation
Lots of Hearts Couples Wedding Shower Invitation by kat_parrella

Zazzle’s new design tool’s rotation feature inspired me to play with the angled photo placement in this new design for this year’s graduation season – I’m hoping it does well!

Sporty 3 Photo Graduation Announcement Black Blue
Sporty 3 Photo Graduation Announcement Black Blue by kat_parrella

Wedding Trends: Interesting Wedding Themes 2013

January 30, 2013

In TDSWhite’s (the dynamic duo of Matthew and Trevor) last post, they gave us a look at their top five wedding patterns for 2013. In this post, they point out some interesting wedding themes for 2013. 

It is often said that everything old is new again. That’s definitely true when it comes to trendy weddings in the 2013 wedding season. Brides will be welcoming wedding planning help from grandmothers and great-grandmothers if they choose to go with Art Deco themes featuring the glamorous 1920’s, along with elements and influences of the 1930’s and 1940’s. This revival of recent history is one of the hottest wedding themes this year. It brings Art Deco into the 21st century with rich colors, clean lines, bold shapes and intricate ornamentation.

Template Wedding Invitations
Template Wedding Invitations by TDSwhite

Are you ready to take your wedding over the rainbow? The experts say that you have a good chance of doing that this year, as rainbow theme weddings are the next big thing in wedding planning. A rainbow-wedding theme makes unique use of some or all of the colors in the rainbow by incorporating them throughout the various stages of the wedding. Two popular ideas include colorful wedding invitations and multi-colored flower arrangements. This rainbow concept easily and naturally carries over to wedding attire also. Each groomsman can wear a different color tie and coordinating handkerchief sticking out of the pocket, and each bridesmaid can wear different colored shoes.

Rainbow Wedding Invitations Online Custom Template
Rainbow Wedding Invitations Online Custom Template by TDSwhite

Birds, birds, birds! From peacocks and doves to robins and cute little love birds, incorporating these fine feathered friends into a wedding theme is all the rage this year. Feathers make an interesting textural and colorful addition to flower arrangements. Gilded birdcages may be used as table center pieces (either as is or filled with flowers), while little bird nests may hold egg-shaped chocolates or other favors. You can also use mini-nests on the table as a base for place cards and table number cards.

Blue Gray Birdcage Wedding Save The Date Postage Stamps
Blue Gray Birdcage Wedding Save The Date Postage Stamps by PineAndBerry

When does “out of style” suddenly become stylish? It’s what happens when you’re thinking about planning a vintage wedding. If people are always telling you to “get with the times,” then a vintage-themed wedding might be right up your alley. Ironically, having a wedding that utilizes vintage elements will actually make you trendy in 2013 because vintage-wedding themes will be big this year. Ideas to capture the vintage look include using large floral prints, intricate lace patterns, and old-fashioned typography. Vintage inspired color combinations such as pink / gold, black / white, and mint / yellow will play a major role in this wedding theme.

1920s Theme Wedding Invitation Template
1920s Theme Wedding Invitation Template by TDSwhite

Top Five Valentine’s Day Trends

January 29, 2013

Whether you love the day or feel ill at the sight of another pink conversation heart, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Here at Zazzle, our merchandising team has been keeping tabs on Valentine’s Day gift trends and the verdict’s in: you guys express your love in some pretty interesting ways. In no particular order: 

1. Cuddling

What girl can resist a guy who boldly proclaims a love of…cuddling. Cuddling is an underrated art and being semi-suggestive is even more so.

Valentine's Day Cuddle Monster Dog Tshirt
Valentine’s Day Cuddle Monster Dog Tshirt by niffx

2. Vintage

Are the jokes about love on t-shirts too cliche? Is saying “I Love You” through bacon too crass? Apparently yes, for some of you. From vintage paintings of Cupid to a vase of elegant roses, some yearn for a time when love (and Valentine’s Day) was a classy affair.

Vintage Valentine's Day Card for Kids
Vintage Valentine’s Day Card for Kids by kidsonly

3. Zombies

Zombies and the impending related apocalypse is a pretty big deal, and it’s something that many people feel passionately about. It’s no surprise that this passion —- including fervent love of your sweetie’s insides (even if it’s their brains) — is channeled through Zazzle products.

I Heart Zombies by Mudge Studios T-shirts
I Heart Zombies by Mudge Studios T-shirts by mudgestudios

4. Coffee

You can live without waking up to guy or girl in your life, but for caffeine addicts everywhere — can you really say the same about coffee? Here’s to one thing that will never let you down on a Monday morning and will always be there to pick you up from a slump.

Coffee is my Valentine Mug
Coffee is my Valentine Mug by Retro_Zombies

5. Bacon

Ah, bacon. While your relationship may sometimes push you to your limits, fanaticism around bacon knows no bounds.

Don't go BACON my Heart Greeting Card
Don’t go BACON my Heart Greeting Card by Hipster_Farms

Wedding Trends: Top 5 Wedding Patterns 2013

January 29, 2013

In TDSWhite’s (the dynamic duo of Matthew and Trevor) last post, they delved into all things wedding color schemes for 2013. In this post, they let us know their take on the top five wedding patterns for 2013: 

Here are the top wedding patterns for 2013 in random order:

1. Gingham: Yes, that picnic blanket / Italian restaurant tablecloth pattern of overlaying stripes is “in” this year. When choosing a gingham wedding pattern, brides-to-be must be aware that a gingham pattern is not a plaid pattern, though both look quite similar at first glance. Gingham is visually simple and plaid is visually more complex upon closer inspection.

Both Gingham and plaid patterns have a history stemming back to the late 17th century. Gingham is usually made with woven horizontal and vertical lines in cotton. When these lines cross, they create a saturation of color at the intersections. Plaid is usually made with wool and has more intricate and varied line thickness and color combinations.

2. Chevron: Another pattern likely to be confused with a close cousin in the design world is the chevron pattern. People often consider a chevron pattern to be interchangeable with a zigzag pattern. However, they are not the same.

A zigzag pattern has sharp repeated peaks and valleys. A chevron has one peak repeated downward. This creates a column of peaks – a stack of upside down V’s on top of one another.

When a chevron column is placed beside another chevron column the two should not match. The colors should be reversed or the chevron itself should be slightly higher or lower than the adjacent chevron. A chevron pattern has many different looks ranging from very thin to bold and thick. Also, any combination of thick and thin chevrons used together can create an interesting pattern. It can be one solid color against a background or various color combinations may be used.

Mint Chevron Custom Wedding Invitations
Mint Chevron Custom Wedding Invitations by TDSwhite

3. Paisley: A Paisley pattern has been a fashion staple of men’s ties and women’s silk scarfs for many years. A paisley pattern is made up of varying size decorative comma-shaped designs that range from simple outlines to those with elaborate, intricate details. The color possibilities are varied too. A paisley pattern can be as simple as one color in the foreground against a background color or the designer can employ a variety of colors throughout the design.

Orange Pattern Gingham Check Groom's Tie
Orange Pattern Gingham Check Groom’s Tie by TDSwhite

4. Polka Dots: Do not underestimate the power of a polka dot! A polka dot design is a simple uniform pattern of dots placed over a solid background color. In a particular polka dot design, the dots themselves can be the same color throughout the design or they can be a mixture of different colors.

These little design spots can create a wide range of effects. Itsy bitsy, teenie-weenie polka dots are used as an accent or background pattern while big, bold polka dots placed close together make a dramatic statement demanding attention.

Love Birds And White Polka Dot Mint Wedding Invite
Love Birds And White Polka Dot Mint Wedding Invite by TDSwhite

5. Stripes: Striped patterns seem deceptively simple at first glance, but they can actually be extremely intricate depending on the color, number, thickness and placement of the individual stripes.

Let’s break down striped patterns one criterion at a time. By definition, a designer must use at least two colors in order to create a stripe. The colorful creativity doesn’t stop there. Really, the sky’s the limit. Mother Nature herself used stripes to display the colors of the rainbow. She didn’t forget black and white stripes either — just ask the zebra at your local zoo.

Placement refers to what angle and direction the stripes take in the pattern. They can be horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Thickness of the lines determine the effect the pattern has on the eye. Thin stripes (and relatively more of them) close together are used as a background or accent to help other details stand out whereas large pattern stripes (and relatively fewer of them) become the focal point and draw attention.

Red White And Blue Stripes Monogram Wedding Invite
Red White And Blue Stripes Monogram Wedding Invite by TDSwhite

Wedding Trends: Wedding Color Schemes For 2013

January 28, 2013

TDSWhite (the dynamic duo of Matthew and Trevor) did such a knockout job giving us an inside look into how they design for weddings that we asked them to flesh out their predictions and play trendspotter for all things weddings 2013. First up: wedding color schemes for 2013. 

The time of year your wedding will take place and the geographic location of your wedding will influence what’s hot this year in wedding colors. The bad news is that you can’t have them all (unless you choose a rainbow wedding theme), but the good news is that there are so many beautiful color options from which to choose.

Many wedding color names this year sound good enough to eat! Popular shades of green that are in this year and that also share their monikers with foods include lime, spearmint and a darker shade of mint. Other in-demand hues that bring to mind edible delights are: chocolate, lemon, tangerine, mocha, strawberry, blueberry and cranberry. Behind these tasty color names are varying gradations from light and bright to heavy and dark of the basic, classic colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and brown.

Mint Green Honeycomb Pattern Love Birds Wedding Announcements
Mint Green Honeycomb Pattern Love Birds Wedding Announcements by TDSwhite

PANTONE released their spring colors at the end of 2012 and declared emerald as the color of the year for 2013. Designers all over the world wait for the release of PANTONE’s color report in order to incorporate specific colors and complementary color combinations into the worlds of fashion, interior design and graphic design. In turn, all of these areas have an impact on what is hot in wedding colors schemes for the year. Since Emerald is the official color of the year, you can expect to see fifty shades of green in 2013 used as an accent color or a dominating wedding color.

What does all of this mean for the bride who is in the midst of choosing her wedding colors during the wedding planning stages?

On the lighter side of the color chart for spring to early fall, we will see the use of bright neon colors, which is one of many color trends this year. (One note of caution is that neon should be used sparingly in designs unless a bride is planning on a traditional Las Vegas destination wedding. In that case, there is no such thing as too much neon!) For most brides-to-be, a small pop of neon against an overall white or pale colored background will work perfectly.

Here’s an idea for wedding save the dates, wedding invitations and RSVP’s. The bride and groom’s names can be highlighted in neon colors while the rest of the wedding wording should be low key but complimentary, giving the entire wedding stationery ensemble a trendy and stylish designer touch.

Yellow And Orange Fall Wedding Template Invitation
Yellow And Orange Fall Wedding Template Invitation by TDSwhite

On the darker side of the color chart for fall and winter weddings, we will see many nature-inspired earth tones. They will be deep, rich, and fully saturated as opposed to their lighter spring counterparts. Mother Nature’s palette – autumn’s fiery reds, deep bold oranges, and forest browns as well as winter’s blues and snow whites – will surely inspire wedding designers.

Wedding Personalized Invitation
Wedding Personalized Invitation by TDSwhite

What will some popular color choices be for matching and complementary wedding colors? Everybody knows that black and white go together, but color matching goes quite beyond the basics these days. Some notable color coordinating trends for 2013 will be the use of light green or mint green either used alone or paired with salmon (pink), chocolate or mocha (brown), tangerine (orange), dusk or powder blue (light blue).

White And Honeysuckle Wedding Invitations
White And Honeysuckle Wedding Invitations by TDSwhite

Seller Spotlight: Jill311

January 25, 2013

Jill from Jill311 has been designing since the sandbox. She’s always loved to draw and doodle. She graduated with a degree in advertising, and after a few years out in the working world, she still struggled to express and support herself with her artistic talents — until she found Zazzle. “My life would be so different without Zazzle,” she told us. Jill took some time to talk about her “glam” artistic style and her love of Zazzle.

311 Happy Love Day Photo Valentine Personalized Announcements
311 Happy Love Day Photo Valentine Personalized Announcements by Jill311
Custom print invitations on zazzle.

I was so close to quitting designing. I wasn’t making any money, I was going into debt and I remember calling my mom and telling her I was over it. My mom and husband encouraged me to give it another month. Within a month, a client called me to ask if I made stickers. I did a search for “custom stickers” and Zazzle popped up. I thought to myself, “What is this?” I couldn’t believe how it easy it was to upload my own designs, and I didn’t know that I could sell designs online. Now, I design full-time on Zazzle.

311 Glam Crazy Pink Gold Damask Business Card Templates
311 Glam Crazy Pink Gold Damask Business Card Templates by Jill311

I love designing invites and girly products — my work has been called “glam with a touch of bling.” I also love designing for parties. There’s nothing better than getting thanked for a well-done invitation and seeing people’s excitement. I get a lot of orders from California, interestingly. I guess you guys out there are laid back, but still like to dress it up once in awhile.

311 Glitzy Sparkle Bachelorette Blac Kiss Metallic Invites
311 Glitzy Sparkle Bachelorette Blac Kiss Metallic Invites by Jill311

For inspiration and design ideas, I’ll browse the internet, read blogs, look at Pinterest boards and check out wedding blogs for what colors are trending this year, etc.

311 Ciao Bella "Peaches & Cream" Vintage Chic Invites
311 Ciao Bella “Peaches & Cream” Vintage Chic Invites by Jill311

I’ve gotten so much attention from my work on Zazzle, too, and many have reached out. I had the opportunity to design for a PR firm in New York, for a charity fundraiser and for a magazine in Oklahoma. Often it starts with someone looking on the site for someone who’s an expert in “leopard” and then they’ll reach out and contact me. My latest project is really fun. I got to design for Little Waisted’s packaging — they make Glass Glitz, a glittery sugar that is added to cocktail glasses’ rims. It’s a perfect match with my style.

311 Dollface Desserts Kohlie Pink Damask 3.5 x 2 Business Card Templates
311 Dollface Desserts Kohlie Pink Damask 3.5 x 2 Business Card Templates by Jill311

Foto Friday SlideShow

January 25, 2013

Check out this week’s Foto Friday!

What’s Foto Friday? It’s our weekly blog post of customers enjoying their Zazzle products. Want to join in the fun and earn $5 towards your next Zazzle order? See details on how to participate in Foto Friday.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Products featured:
Rainbow Live Free Tee
Mug with Flag of Norway
I Love Redheads Mesh Hat

Join in the fun now! Learn more about submitting your photos and videos to Foto Friday!

“Occupy Valentine’s Day” and Other Gifts in Protest of Stupid Cupid

January 23, 2013

Roses are pricey, who still buys violets, sugar’s unhealthy, and so is Valentine’s Day (to some people, whether they’re single or shackled — I mean, taken).

In addition to thousands of earnest Valentine’s Day gifts, we have a host of Anti-Valentine’s Day offerings for anyone who hates the holiday, who wants to celebrate being single, or both. Whatever your style, we can help with your quest to protest Valentine’s Day or make the best of it.

Maybe you want to invite your friends over for a girls’ night in? Start the mood right with the defiant Conversation Hearts or Singles Party invitation:

Funny Valentine's Day conversation hearts Invite
Funny Valentine’s Day conversation hearts Invite by holidaywhimsy
Singles Party Valentine's Day Invitation
Singles Party Valentine’s Day Invitation by marlenedesigner

Remember those “best friends forever” necklaces you wore every day when you were twelve? Same spirit, new symbol: show solidarity with your dissident friends with an “Anti-Valentine’s Day” or “Best Friends For Life” mug:

Anti Valentine’s Day Mug
Anti Valentine’s Day Mug by CSfotobiz
Best Friends Mugs
Best Friends Mugs by orsobear

To brace yourself for the onslaught of lovey-dovey sentimentality everywhere, adorn yourself with the defiant “Occupy Valentine’s Day” button and take a stand:

Funny Anti Valentines Day Quotes On Buttons Pins
Funny Anti Valentines Day Quotes On Buttons Pins by TheNiftyGifty

Make the day yours, and do your thing. This Valentine’s Day series is over.

For the Valentine That’s Always Been There: Perfect Gifts For Your Pet

January 22, 2013

We think it is totally legitimate for your pet to be your valentine, and appropriately showered with gifts. They’re always there for you and they always listen — that’s more than we can say for some humans, right?

So among our range of Valentine’s Day gifts, we have a section devoted to pets. They deserve it.

For your best friend and companion, keep them safe (and cute) with the personalized Red Heart Name Tag:

Red Heart Pet Name Tag
Red Heart Pet Name Tag by bonfirevalentines

Keep them toasty and warm with a shirt that rewards both you and them — the “I Heart My Mommy” dog t-shirt:

I Heart My Mommy Dog Clothing
I Heart My Mommy Dog Clothing by petgifts

And keep them nourished and happy with a customized Damask Pet Bowl — you choose the name, nickname or other word to include:

Damask Pet Bowl Custom Name Dog Bowls
Damask Pet Bowl Custom Name Dog Bowls by jessica91582

Don’t forget, you can also feature you and your beloved companion in a custom photo card wishing your loved ones a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Coming up next to wrap up our Valentine’s Day series: gifts for the anti-Valentine’s Day contingent.

You Make It, They’ll Love It: Valentine’s Day Gifts For Him

January 21, 2013

Women seem to have the reputation for dominating Valentine’s Day, but we all know it’s an equal opportunity holiday.

Our thousands of Valentine’s Day gifts make it easy to find just the right token for your man — whatever his interests and tastes.

If the way to his heart is through his stomach, speak his lingo with a personalized You Are the Eggs to My Bacon card:

You are the eggs to my Bacon Card
You are the eggs to my Bacon Card by Hipster_Farms

Butter up his ego with one of our many tongue-in-cheek t-shirts, boasting everything from “As Seen In Your Dreams” to “I Love My Hot Wife”:

As Seen In Your Dreams Shirt
As Seen In Your Dreams Shirt by OfficeGangsta
I Love My Hot Wife Tees
I Love My Hot Wife Tees by magarmor

Or help him stay clean in the kitchen while he makes you all those breakfasts in bed (or does the dishes…we can dream, right?) with the no-nonsense “7 Words To A Long Marriage” apron:

7 Words To A Long Marriage Aprons
7 Words To A Long Marriage Aprons by samack

Coming next in our series: what to get for your pet valentine.

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