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Saturday, September 29, 2012

The 3-D Printing Buzz

I’m sure you’re aware that 3-D printers have been used for manufacturing and making prototypes for many years. What’s different now is that 3-D printers are now being made for companies as well as for use at home by consumers like you and me. 3-D printers are in use by many small companies already. This technology allows designers and engineers the ability to create an object in just a few hours. Most 3-D printers are unaffordable for the home owner just yet but will eventually come down in price. These printers will be affordable and desired by many home user’s and will allow people to produce their own unique items right in their own homes.  It’s kind of hard to wrap your mind around this advanced technology. Imagine you loose a chess piece to your chess game, with this technology at home you can just print up another one. Perhaps you want some new coffee cups, choose a design, color, shape and print yourself some new mugs. You will be able to print toys, household items, clothing and so on. Most of the electronic gadgets or items we own have been prototyped on a 3-D printer. All 3-D printed objects begin as digital files. They make objects using what is called an additive process, meaning that objects are built layer by layer from the bottom up. There are companies like Makerbot who have just created a new 3-D printer that works from a simple desktop application and allows you to turn your files into physical objects very easily. We will be hearing much more about these new technologies as time goes on… Pretty interesting stuff!

For designers like myself there could be a good future where I’m able to sell my unique designs that could one day be used by consumer’s to create their own gift items or products from their homes. Instead of selling my design on an already made item like a t-shirt or calendar. Someone could simple buy my design and print the item themselves on their 3-D printer. Wow, pretty crazy where technology is going…

Here are some of my more recent designs on items in my store, drop by for a visit. Designs by Shell

Wild Animal Print Name iPod Touch Case

Swirly Cupcake Design Apron

Leopard Print Birthday Invitations

Swirl Purple Cupcake Design Business Card Template

Black and White Zebra Stripe Mug

Pretty Packages for a Special Teacher Christmas Ornament


Friday, September 21, 2012

Moving or Still

This past spring while on a holiday with my husband in Italy, Rome the words ‘moving or still’ were heard often! You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about so I’ll explain. At cafe’s and restaurants in Italy we almost always ordered mineral water with our meal. The servers always asked us if we wanted ‘moving or still’ some even called it bubbly water.  Where we live in Canada, it’s simply called mineral water or by brand name like Pelligrino.

Where am I going with this? Well, this phrase ‘moving or still’ made me think in terms of a business. If a business is moving you can imagine it is growing, bringing in revenue, gaining ground. On the other hand if a business is still, I imagine it to be in a slow period, perhaps not growing as it should or reaching it’s customers the way it should be. If one has a choice I would want my business to be ‘moving not still’! 

Here are a few ideas to get your business ‘moving’.

1) Have goals for your business, write them down, even add deadlines.

2) Stay positive, write down some success’s you’ve had in business, build on them

3) Create a routine, how many hours are you willing to put into your business. If it’s 4 or 5 a day, then stick to it…

4) Spend time marketing, promoting and sharing your business.

5) Connect and network with other business owner’s, share tips and gain insights from others.

I’ve been working on my business this week designing for new products and spending time marketing as well. Thanks for visiting my store Designs by Shell. If you enjoyed this post please feel free to leave me a comment or share a tip of your own!

Black Ribbon Wedding Postage Stamps

Pink Feathers Save the Date Post Cards

Keep Calm and Eat Chocolate

Pink Heart and Black Ribbon Save the Date Stamps

Cupcakes iPhone 5 Covers

Pretty Snowflakes Great Teacher Christmas Ornaments


Friday, September 14, 2012

Boosting Your Energy

Today I thought I’d write a little about ways to boost your energy. With busy, busy lives it seems more and more people are hitting burnout and feeling exhausted a lot of the time.

Signs of low energy can vary from person to person. For some it’s an all over feeling of exhaustion, aching muscles and just feeling plain tired. For others it can be a feeling of energy drain with not wanting to participate in your usual activities. Concentration and patience can be affected as well.  So what are some ways to help get your energy levels up and get you feeling better you say?  Here are a few tips that may help increase your overall energy.

1) Starting your day with a coffee is not a bad thing, coffee is loaded with antioxidants known to protect us from free radicals that can be disease causing, it can also improve concentration.

2) Eat a properly balanced diet – vitamins and minerals are important to overall health.

3) Get enough exercise, even when you don’t feel like it exercise has proven to increase your energy levels. A short brisk walk, a bike ride or gym workout can all benefit you.

4) Choose healthy snacks, an apple or piece of fruit, small bowl of oatmeal or a handful of almonds are great choices.

5) Get enough sleep, 6-8 hours is recommended, less can leave you anxious and feeling exhausted.

6) Stay hydrated, drink lots of water throughout your day.

I’ve been keeping busy marketing my store and working on new designs. Here are some of my recent additions. Drop by for a visit anytime… Designs by Shell

Cute Coffee Get Together

Smiley Coffee and Cinnamon Bun

Coffee Cup And Muffin Business Card

Hoppy Christmas Frog Mug

Pretty Floral Thank You Round Stickers

Pink Cupcake with Cute Saying Refrigerator Magnets


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fall and New Beginnings

Fall is in the air! The nights are getting cooler and it’s definitely getting darker earlier 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, though I don’t have kids going back to school the neighbourhood is full of them. Another reason is because this is the time the leaves begin to change colors and nature is so beautiful and appealing at this time. 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 ( I need to do this one), start that business you’ve been aching to do, whatever it is I hope you stick to it and see great progress this month.

I had a goal of reaching 10,000 products in my store by December 2012, well I’m happy to say I reached that goal last week! That feels really good, now to keep charging on.

Zazzle released a new product a few days ago, ‘wall decals’! These are really cool there are oodles of styles, sizes and shapes that we can design. They are easy to use and can be reapplied without marking up the walls.  I’ve designed a few but I must get busy now and make some more. Stop by my store when you can Designs by Shell

Electric Guitar Wall Decor

Coliseum Italy, Rome

Blue Cupcake Thank You Square Stickers

Birthday Cupcake with Candles Stamps

Cute Bookworm with Reading Message

Black and White Modern Floral Business Card Template