Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fall is Upon Us

The nights are getting cooler, the sun is going down earlier and earlier and it’s definitely getting darker too!  A sure sign that we are sliding into the fall months. I like to think of fall as a time of new beginnings. One reason would be the start of a new school year for many, whether it is elementary, high school or University.

Another reason is because this is the time the leaves begin to change to brilliant colors of orange, red and yellow and nature is so beautiful and appealing during this season. Going for interesting hikes and walks with my husband in the cooler temperatures and crisp air is one of my favourite weekend things to do in early fall.

September can also be a time of rethinking routines and goal setting for many. Perhaps reading this will inspire you to sign up for a new class, try a new hiking trail, change up your routine at the gym, start that business you’ve been thinking about, whatever it is I hope you do something new and see great progress this month.

I’ve been working hard on my websites, there is always so much to do with designing, marketing and finding new ways to get my designs and sites seen.  Stop by my store or visit one of my websites, you can find them in the side bar of my blog. You’ll find lots of new items and ideas! 

Zoo Animals with Vines Pillow
Zoo Animals Pillow
 
Love Seashell Design Walnut Cribbage Board
Love Seashell Design Walnut Cribbage Board
 
Cartoon Dog with Paw Prints Wrapping Paper
Cartoon Dog with Paw Prints Wrapping Paper
 
Cartoon Dog Birthday Party Invitation
Cartoon Dog Birthday Party Invitation
 
Dental Design Tooth and Brush Luggage Tags
Dental Design Tooth and Brush Luggage Tag
 
Green Plaid with Chocolate Brown Business Card Template
Green Plaid with Chocolate Brown Business Card Template
 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bucket List– 7 Places You’ll Want to Travel

Perhaps you’ve had a travel adventure this summer or are still preparing for one. My husband and I have just started travelling and exploring different countries and cultures over the last 5 years or so and once you start it’s hard to stop. There is always another place you want to see, another piece of history to learn about, another country to explore.

Here are some recommended places to put on your bucket list! Some we’ve been to and some we are yet to visit!

1) England

2) Rome,Italy

3) Greece

4) Hawaii

5) Spain

6) Germany

7) PEI

There are so many exciting trips to be taken. So many pictures to snap! Awesome food to be tasted! I think people love to travel for the great experiences and the sense of adventure and possibly the thrill of the unknown. Meeting new people, finding out others experiences and learning how cultures differ from country to country. The airplane flying is not the most favourite of most people but it is tolerated as a means to get to the good stuff! Being comfortable and organized can make this part of travelling much more enjoyable.

Visit this ‘Travel Blog’ and read about some of these places as well as find luggage tags to protect your bags from loss and theft.

Kayaking on the Ocean Travel Bag Tag

 
Purple Bike Pullover

 
Blue Hydrangea Wedding Invitation

 
Vacation Beach Scene Coffee Mugs

 
Funny Giraffe Art Luggage Handle Wrap

 
Pink and Black Leopard Pattern Luggage Handle Wrap

 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Using Paper.li for Marketing

Recently you may have noticed lots of different daily newspapers popping up on Twitter and other social media sites. Perhaps these are new to you and you are wondering what they are about and if they might work for your own marketing.

These papers I had seen showing up but didn’t really know anything about them, how they came together or why one would want to publish one!  I looked into this and last week decided to create a couple of my own to promote my websites and further my marketing efforts.

Paper.li pulls stories, videos, ideas from sources that you authorize by choosing #hashtags on certain subjects that pertain to your newspaper topic. It pulls links together and sets it up in newspaper fashion without you having to scour the net for the information yourself. Unfortunately you can’t really customize the paper too much but you can delete sites or items you don’t like, so it’s good to check the paper when it’s published and be sure there is nothing on there that is offensive or that you don’t approve of.

My first paper.li is called ‘All Things Bridal’ You can check it out to see what paper.li is all about and if this idea appeals to you!

Choose a name for your paper.li that reflects your topic, choose your relevant news sources, choose your keywords wisely and let the paper to the rest for you!

Starfish and Ocean Bridal Shower Custom Invite
Starfish and Ocean Bridal Shower Invite
 
Whimsical Sea Critters Igloo Can Cooler
Whimsical Sea Critters Igloo Can Cooler
 
Blue and Green Floral Design Fingernail Decals
Blue and Green Floral Design Fingernail Decals
 
Spa Party Accessories Favor Box
Spa Party Accessories Favor Box
 
Purple Octopus Pacifier
Purple Octopus Pacifier
 
Under the Sea Girls Birthday Invitation
Under the Sea Girls Birthday Invitation
 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Gala Event Planning Tips

Hosting a gala event, black tie affair or fancy reception requires hard work and great organization. You want things to run smoothly and be as elegant and fairy-tale like as possible. There are many things that you’ll want to be aware of as you begin your planning.

- hire help or at least recruit friends or family members that you can count on and that you can give specific duties too.

- find your venue and check out the set up, halls, ballrooms or churches are often rented out for such fancy events

- choose your Master of Ceremonies to host your event

- choose a menu, bar options, dessert buffet

- if it’s a charity event you’ll need to decide on your fundraising and set goals for this as well

- choose your invitations, rsvp cards and send these out at least 6 weeks in advance of your event, include dress code (black tie, formal)

- choose table seating cards, tables, chairs, tablecloths, table decorations and any other decor require

- does the venue have a PA system or do you need to bring one in, choose your music or have your MC prepare this

-make a table seating chart and have hosts to direct people to their seats

Well that’s a short list with lots of information to think about if you’re about to plan a gala event, especially if it’s your first time hosting something this big and special. Just remember to enlist help and it will all come together.

Here are some samples of table seating cards, invitations and reply cards below. You can visit here to see lots more styles and various  color combinations.

Silver Sequins Invitation Card
Silver Sequins Invitation Card
  
Black Gold Black Corporate Party Event Template Personalized Invite
Black Tie Corporate Party Event Invite
  
Black and White Initial Reply Card
Black and White Reply Card
  
Black & White Traditional Wedding RSVP Card
Black & White Traditional RSVP Card
  
Formal Tuxedo Black Table Number Seating Place Table Cards
Formal Tuxedo Black Table Number Seating Cards
  
Elegant Black and White Art Deco Table Numbers Post Card
Elegant Black and White Table Seating Cards
  

Monday, May 5, 2014

Travelling - Don’t Eat That

I thought I’d share some travel tips for those that might be going on a trip or happen to be frequent flyers.  Since I am doing some research on this for my husband and myself so that we can have a comfortable flight on our next trip, I thought others might benefit from the information as well.

If you are going on a long flight anywhere from 5 – 10 hours here are some things you’ll want to avoid eating and drinking to ensure a more comfortable time during your flight.

The day before your long flight avoid rich, heavy foods. Starches and foods that contain heavy cream as these take longer to digest and may aggravate your digestive system. When you’re sitting for long periods of time bloating and discomfort become more pronounced. The pressurized airplane cabin promotes bloating as it is. Try to get up and walk around, even just standing up and stretching for a couple of minutes can help.  Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these can dehydrate you, even carbonated drinks can cause discomfort, though I often thought that ginger ale was supposed to calm the stomach!  Water is better!

Eat lightly the day before a long flight. Avoid all fast food! Grease is not your friend! Protein like chicken, fish or turkey will keep you satiated and is easier to digest. Fruits and non gaseous vegetables are fine to consume as well.

On the flight bring snacks like bananas, nuts , carrot  sticks and bottled water. You need to stay hydrated so drink plenty of water or light fruit juices even if it means more trips to the washroom.

Keep items like tums, antacids and something for stomach cramping in your carry-on. Gravol can be useful to keep nausea away. Mints or menthol gum can be helpful too!

Well I hope these tips make your next travel vacation or business flight more enjoyable!

I’ve been working lots on my websites and creating designs. Here are a few below. Thanks for visiting my sites.

Leopard Pattern Baby Shower Invitation
Leopard Pattern Baby Shower Invitation
  
Ocean Beach Scene Save the Date Postcards
Ocean Beach Scene Save the Date Postcards
  
Cartoon Giraffe with Flowers Baby Bibs
Cartoon Giraffe with Flowers Baby Bibs
  
Pink Flamingos Birthday Greetings Greeting Card
Pink Flamingos Birthday Greeting Card
  
Busy Bees Honey Do List Dry-Erase Whiteboard
Busy Bees Honey Do List Dry-Erase Whiteboard
  
Animal Patterns Earth Tones Birthday Invitation
Animal Patterns Earth Tones Birthday Invitation
  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Selling Through Your Own Website Versus Store

So I’ve been wondering a lot lately about the best ways to promote products online. I’ve come to realize that when you have a store on Zazzle and there are literally thousands of others that have stores on Zazzle, your store can get completely buried and is then like finding a needle in a haystack! Through sharing and speaking with others I know that many people are frustrated with not being able to get their products viewed they way they would like to.

It has also come to my attention that Zazzle is pushing store owner’s to find their own way to market their individual products. I realized this even more as I began doing specific searches for certain products in the Zazzle marketplace. Take for instance, I want to find a nautical birthday card, I type that in the search box and it pulls up cards, postage, labels and all kinds of items with this theme. I only wanted to look for a birthday card not sort through a bazillion other related items. This can be very frustrating for customers and I think store owners lose a lot of business this way.  

I’ve come to realize that the best way to market your store items is to create your own websites that promote and link to your products, or the one’s that you wish to refer. A big advantage to sending people to your own website versus your store is that there will likely be a much higher potential for referrals.  Creating your own website allows you to design it with a professional look, choose your own themes, page style, fonts and set up!  I recently designed two websites, you can view them and let me know what you think! The first is Birthday Party Invitations and the second is Baby Shower Themes!  Thanks for bookmarking them too, you never know when they might come in handy!

Once you’ve created your website you’ll then want to look for places to promote it. There are lots of places to promote your sites, twitter, pinterest, forums, LinkedIn, FB, Google+, etc.  I’m learning and searching for new sites and ideas of how to market daily! Feel free to share your thoughts with me here!

Orange Cake and Cupcakes Birthday Invitation
Orange Cake and Cupcakes Birthday Invitation
 
Dazzling Daisies Birthday Invitation
Dazzling Daisies Birthday Invitation
 
Nautical Sailboat Baby Boy Shower Invitation
Nautical Sailboat Baby Shower Invitation
 
Sitting Giraffe with Giraffe Fur Print Gift Wrapping Paper
Giraffe Fur Print Gift Wrapping Paper
 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Design Process

Hard to believe today is the first day of April. I sure don’t know how those last few months went by so fast, but they did! I hope you’re enjoying the beginning of Spring where you live! Spring time is one of my favourite seasons right up there with Fall. We have hung the bird feeders in our backyard and the little birds are beginning to return to it once again. The last couple of mornings I’ve been waking to the sounds of their chirping. There are lots of buds opening up on the plants and shrubs and some little flowers beginning to bloom! Such a beautiful time of year!  

Zazzle has been putting out new products, several over the past few months. It is a challenge as well as exciting to be able to create designs and ideas for these new items. They include items for the home, office, apparel and gift products. When you’re designing item by item it takes quite some time to keep the new products coming out quickly. Challenging to get to them all!  One day at a time, one step at a time!

Some of you may be wondering exactly what is involved in designing a new product so I thought I’d share the steps I go through here.

1. Design process begins with choosing one of the products to design. Say I choose to work on a ‘wedding favor box’, first I choose the style of box as there are several choices for this. Then I begin playing with drawing designs or patterns and choosing colors on my tablet until I am happy with one of them.

2. Next I upload the design to the ‘wedding favor box’ and proceed to post for sale. At this point I will add a descriptive title and then describe the product so that customers can find it.

3. I then choose one or two market categories that the product is suited for, like ‘special occasions’ and ‘weddings’. Finally I choose one of my store categories that is is best suited for. I have a ‘wedding’ category!

4. Next comes the important task of tagging the product, this is choosing the keywords that allow the product to be found in searches.  You want to choose words that people would think of related directly to the product that you’ve designed so that it will be found on the internet. This can be tricky sometimes!

5. When I am satisfied with my keywords I am ready to set my royalty rate on the product and go ahead and post it! This means it will soon show up in the Zazzle market place and in my store.  This process is done for each product, one at a time! That’s pretty much it! 

Here are some of my recent designs! Thanks for visiting Designs by Shell! There are always new items to browse!

Black Ribbon Pink Flower Wedding Favor Box
Black Ribbon Pink Flower Wedding Favor Box
 
Green Tiger Fur Pattern Party Favor Box
Green Tiger Fur Pattern Party Favor Box
 
Aqua Diamond Pattern and Purple Floral Night Light
Aqua Diamond Pattern and Purple Floral Night Light
 
Black Handbag with Coral Flowers Purse Hanger Hook
Black Handbag with Coral Flowers Purse Hanger Hook
 
Zebra Pattern with Flower Birthday Invitation
Zebra Pattern with Flower Birthday Invitation
 
Diamonds and Bright Flowers Tshirt
Diamonds and Bright Flowers T-shirt