Monday, December 30, 2013

Vintage Purple Flowers iPad Air Case Design

It was s-w-e-e-e-t to log in to Zazzle earlier today and see I had another registered vote of confidence in my custom design work, a/k/a I made a sale. So, I thought it would be cool to make my last blog post of 2013 about the 1st custom iPad Air case I sold.

In today's post I'm going to cover my Vintage Purple Flowers iPad Air case design that I sold today on my iCandy58Designs store on Zazzle. It's always exciting to see that you've made royalties on the sales of your designs and/or you've made referral commissions on the sales of another designers products; it's even more of a big deal when you're a newbie designer like me! The way I look at it, all sales & referrals validate your efforts as a designer and marketer.

Vintage Purple Flowers iPad Air Case

This iPad Air case design can easily be customized and/or personalized

The image for this custom iPad Air case design is a derivative of the one for the Vintage Pink Flowers iPhone 5/5s case I blogged about last month. Pink has a bright painted sketch look, but with Purple I wanted to do something different. I wanted to create a pencil or pen sketch look with the flowers while doing my best to keep the green bush looking as natural as possible. I was really pleased with the purple/violet hue and the light pen sketch effect. What do you think?

This design, priced at $44.95, is printed on a durable hard cover Powis iCase iPad Air case made from premium book cloth that's been laminated front & back, and it has a no slip edge, which makes it easy to use your iPad Air in freestanding landscape view. However, this Powis iPad Air case does not come with a kickstand. You can make my design unique by personalizing the cover by adding a name or a personal message/slogan to it. Or you can make it a true one-of-a-kind case by using your own photo or artwork. How cool is that?!

I'm definitely adding this Vintage Purple Flowers design to more Zazzle products - especially the cases - in 2014 ... if you have any suggestions re: which ones I should add it to, please post them in the comments section below. To keep up with all the new product additions for this design, just click on this Vintage Purple Gifts link.

This is my last blog post for 2013, and I probably won't post anything new until Saturday, January 4th. So ... I wish you and yours a fun filled, but safe Happy New Year! Thank you for visiting my blog, reading the posts here and for all your encouragement/support

Oh before I go, let me hip you to something else that's cool: you can save 20.14% off all Zazzle products until Friday, 1/3/2014 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time ... use coupon code: 2014NEWYEARS. Just go to my store on Zazzle (or any other) and save yourself some money. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

3 More Rockefeller Center Images Inspiring My Custom Zazzle Product Designs

Are you a fan of the world famous Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan? You should enjoy today's post if you are, because I'm showcasing 3 more images I'm using on Rockefeller Center themed product designs on my iCandy58Designs store on Zazzle.

The week before Thanksgiving I blogged about my Vintage Ice Skating at the Rink designs. I always intended to do a follow up post on the other 3 Rockefeller Center images I'm using to create custom product designs for my store, but for one reason or another I never got around to it :)

I took these photos with my Blackberry Torch at the same time I took Vintage Ice Skating at the Rink and edited them on my iPhone 4.

Black & White Vintage Skating at the Rink

This Black & White Vintage Skating at the Rink is very similar to Vintage Ice Skating at the Rink, but they are two (2) different photographs. I think Black & White focuses more on the skaters, while Vintage captures the entire buzz of people at Rockefeller Center - the skaters, the onlookers and shoppers. What do you think? I've posted Vintage Skating below so you can compare the two images.

Vintage Ice Skating at the Rink

I currently have only seven (7) Black & White Vintage Skating designs on my Zazzle store that can be customized and/or personalized. I think it's a beautiful winter design, so I will be adding it to a few more Zazzle products very shortly :) You can see the entire collection anytime by clicking this link.

Vintage Rock Center Christmas Tree

This Vintage Rock Center Christmas Tree photograph is probably my most favorite capture of the day. The Tree is so iconic and such a BIG deal, there was no way I was going to let that photo opp pass me by! It's funny, for eight (8) years I avoided Rockefeller Center like the plague when the Lighting of The Tree ceremony was taking place ... I would do my best to leave my office (which was less than 5 minutes away from there) afterward, because it was a real nightmare trying to get to Grand Central Terminal with all the people in midtown wanting to see the Tree.

As far as designs go, with only two (2) Vintage Rock Center Christmas Tree custom designs on my store, it's very much underrepresented. I don't believe in slapping my images on every product that I can, but I'm going to have to fix that fast. Click on this link => Rock Center Christmas Tree anytime to see the products this design is available for, and if there's a Zazzle product you would like to see it on, email me via the Contact the Seller link on my store .. just go to

Vintage Rockefeller Center

As much as I love the Rockefeller Center Christmas holiday theme, I wanted to capture the real grit of midtown Manhattan and I think this Vintage Rockefeller Center image, with a little photo editing magic, accomplishes it very nicely. Every day I worked in midtown during those 8 years, I looked at tall office buildings like these, but I never saw them until I left New York and returned as a visitor (I prefer 'visitor' over 'tourist' 7 days a week). Isn't that something?

Right now I'm using this Vintage Rockefeller Center design on six (6) Zazzle products and I will be adding more to my store. Click Here to see the entire collection anytime you want.

I hope you enjoyed looking at more of the images that serve as inspiration for my product designs. Sometimes artwork and photographs can't be properly viewed on a product created for sale, so I thought it would be cool to share them here on my blog. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Can you believe it ... we will be in a brand new year, 2014, in 4 days? 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Zazzle Product Design Category: Decorative Dinner Plates

Updated, 12/20/2013:

At the time of yesterday's post, the 25th custom dinner plate design wasn't showing yet in the category, so I've updated this post to include it. I hope you like it.

With today's short post I'm publicly announcing the launch of the new decorative dinner plates product design category on my iCandy58Designs store on Zazzle! I just posted my 25th custom dinner plates design to my store this morning. I'm really psyched about the prospects for this new category and in today's post I'm going to share 5 of the latest plates with you.

Vintage Soft Flowers Custom Dinner Plate

Spring Flower Art Custom Dinner Plate

Vintage Precious Little Flowers Dinner Plate

Vintage Floral Art Custom Dinner Plate

White Orange Tulips Purple Grass Dinner Plate

Would you like to see more? Just go to this page => Go to this page to see all of the designs in the decorative dinner plates gifts category.

These custom melamine plates are 10 inches in diameter, dishwasher safe, easy to clean, durable and at $27.95 per plate they are affordable. They can also be customized and/or personalized to your liking, which make them great for any special occasions or events you're having. 

I think my nature based iPhone photography and digital painting images are a perfect match for these decorative plate designs, but I would love to read your thoughts on them in the comments section below. 

With Christmas Day only 5 days away, I won't be making any new posts until Friday, 12/27. So, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas that's filled with joy, family, friends, fun and reflection. Christmas is always a big deal for my family, because we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord & Savior and my oldest daughter's birthday (yes, she was born on Christmas Day in the morning). 

See ya soon :) 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Zazzle Product Design No. 200: White Pink Cherry Blossoms iPad Air Case

With cold weather settling in before Winter officially arrives here in metro-Atlanta, my eyes set upon this symbol of warm, beautiful Spring southern weather for Zazzle product design No. 200 in my iCandy58Designs store.

Today's post is about this beautiful white pink Cherry Blossoms iPad Air case that I recently posted for sale on my iCandy58Designs store. I'd like to say it was my intention to choose this image to create my 200th custom product design, but it wasn't. That being said, I'm very glad I decided to use it on this custom case for the new Apple iPad Air.

The image for this custom iPad case is actually an iPhone photograph of one of the many Cherry Blossom trees in my neighborhood that was in bloom during the Spring (the Cherry Blossoms on this tree were mostly white, but some of them were beginning to turn a soft shade of pink). My photograph morphed into more of a digital painting through the magic of in-app photo editing on my iPhone 4. 

This hard cover Powis iCase case is printed on 100% recycled hardboard that's custom made with premium book cloth and glossy laminated front & back. It also features a rubberized no slip edge for free standing landscape use/viewing. It does not come with a kickstand. Priced at $44.95, this Powis iCase for the new iPad Air is very affordable. It's also available for the iPad Mini and the iPad 2, 3 & 4.

This design is available on 6 other custom product designs in my Zazzle store that you can customize/personalize to your own liking. You can replace my digital painting with your own artwork, image(s) or even Instagram photos like the Coral Instagram Photo Collage with 9 Photos Case for iPad Air featured in my last post. The possibilities are endless!

What do you think of my white pink Cherry Blossoms iPad case design? Would you buy it as the new iPad Air case or as another product? I'd love to read your thoughts on my 200th product design in the comments section below

Saturday, December 14, 2013

3 Custom Personalized Product Designs From Zazzle that Make Awesome Christmas Gifts

Now that I've fully recovered from the bad cold I picked up on Thanksgiving, I want to give you a few Christmas gift ideas to help you wrap up (sorry I couldn't resist!) your holiday shopping.

With only 10 (yes, TEN) shopping days left until the Big day, I was thinking some cool Christmas gift ideas that don't cost a lot of money would probably help you out quite a bit. So in today's post, I'm going to give you 3 custom product designs created by other Zazzlers that make awesome Christmas gifts for anyone, even you, on your holiday shopping list. What makes each one so cool is that you can add your own photos, artwork and/or text to the product to make the design truly personal not to mention one-of-a-kind.

But before we look at these cool custom Zazzle gift ideas, do me a favor .. when you click through to the product page of these designs to make a purchase, please click the 'Like' link to the right of the product image and leave a positive comment about your purchase. Your purchase validates a designer's work, but your kind comments and Likes encourages them to continue creating designs that people want to buy.

Now here are your 3 custom photo gift designs:

1. Coral Instagram Photo Collage with 9 Photos Case for iPad Air ($42.95)

This case for the new Apple iPad Air can be customized/personalized with 9 Instagram photos and custom text to create a unique, memorable gift. All you have to do is click on the blue Customize it! button under the product image and follow the instructions. Your creation will be printed on a durable, hard cover Powis iCase for iPad Air case made from premium book cloth and 100% recycled hardboard that's been laminated front & back. This case does not come with a kickstand. Priced at a very reasonable $42.95, this design is also available for the iPad Mini and the iPad 2, 3 or 4. If the red Guaranteed by Christmas! icon is highlighted on the product page, you can still receive your case by Christmas when you choose premium shipping.

Click here to order your iPad Air case today.

2. Create Your Own Instagram Pillows ($30.95)

This square custom Instagram photo pillow design is an awesome gift idea for Christmas or any other time of the year. The 16" x 16" throw pillow is large enough to feature 32 of your favorite Instagram photos. It's designed for images that are 612 pixels x 612 pixels, but the designer says you can use any square photographs. Priced at $30.95, the pillows are made from 100% polyester, but for $39.95 you can purchase a larger 20" x 20" square pillow made from 100% grade A cotton. 13" x 21' lumbar pillows are also available.  If the red Guaranteed by Christmas! icon is highlighted on the product page, you can still receive your Instagram pillow by Christmas when you choose premium shipping.

Click here to design your own custom pillow now!

3. Our First Holiday Photo Keepsake Ornament ($22.95)

This custom premium photo ornament design makes for a gift that will be remembered long after the holidays are over. It's a perfect keepsake gift to give to newlyweds, new parents, grandparents, your child that just graduated from college, your best friend ... the possibilities are endless. You can personalize it with 4 photos and your own custom message. The ornament pictured here is 2" by 2", weighs 1.05 oz. and comes with a red ribbon, is priced at just $22.95. It's available in 6 other shapes at different price points. If the red Guaranteed by Christmas! icon is highlighted on the product page, you can still receive your photo keepsake ornament by Christmas when you choose premium shipping.

Click here to order your custom photo ornament .. while there's still time.

I think these 3 product designs are so cool and Zazzle makes it so easy to create truly unique, personal gifts for your family and friends that don't cost an arm & a leg. But I would love to know what you think about these gift ideas. Why not take a very hot minute to share your thoughts in the comments section below? Even if it's just to say "Hi Ray! What's up?!" I would love to hear from you :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This Funny Custom Christmas T-Shirt Makes a Great Gift Idea For Fans Of 'Hump Day!' Camel

Today's post is a short one, because I have the very important job of taste-testing the delicious food my wife is preparing (she is an excellent cook) for our Thanksgiving dinner and I'm having a hard time focusing on anything else :) 

Are you a fan of those hilarious commercials featuring the 'Hump Day is here!' camel? I was checking out some random product designs on Zazzle earlier today when I came across this funny custom Hump Day Camel Santa Christmas t-shirt from the LaughingShirt store. It's the perfect Christmas gift idea and guaranteed to be a BIG hit with anyone who is a fan of the 'Hump Day!' slogans simply because this year Christmas falls on a ... you guessed it, Hump Day Wednesday!

Uh oh, guess what day Christmas Day is ... Hump Day!

Besides the great design, this custom Hump Day Camel t-shirt is made from pre-shrunk, heavyweight 100% cotton and is available on a number of apparel/shirt styles and colors.

I have to get back to my taste-testing duties, but please go check out LaughingShirt's Hump Day Camel Santa Christmas t-shirt ====> just click here to go to the product design page on If you buy this t-shirt design, please remember to 'Like' the product and leave a positive comment for LaughingShirt.

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the time you have with your family and take some time to reflect on the people & things you are thankful for. See you back here in a few days :)

Btw, LaughingShirt has many hilarious product designs; here's the link to their Zazzle store - >

Sunday, November 24, 2013

8 Cool iPhone Case Designs (Plus 4 More) for Your New Apple iPhone 5/5s

Updated, 1/3/2014:

When I originally published this post, it was hard to limit myself to just 8 great looking custom iPhone 5/5s case designs. So if you've recently scored a new iPhone and/or you want to see more cases, I've added 4 more cool designs for you to choose from to make it an even Zazzler's dozen.

Are you searching for cool phone cases for your iPhone 5 or 5s? If you just bought a new iPhone or are getting a new one soon (as a Christmas gift?), you don't want one of those run-of-the-mill ones you see at the local mall or on Amazon; no, you want one that's different, unique like you.

So to help you, here are 12 (twelve) cool iPhone 5 case designs that you can buy on Zazzle now. Two are from my iCandy58Designs store and the remaining 10 designs are from a few very talented, creative storekeepers whose design work I really admire: BluedarkArt the Chameleon, God's Blossom and Northwestphotos. As an artist I really admire them, so it was a no brainer to feature some of their eye candy product creations in this post. I've included one design from Cutestbabyanimals, because Getty Images has some great designs featuring cute baby animals.

All of the case designs showcased in this article can be customized and/or personalized to create a unique, one-of-a-kind iPhone 5/5s case for you. All you have to do is click on the blue 'Customize it!' button on the product detail page to get started.

Here are the 12 cool iPhone 5 case designs:

1. White Orange Tulips Purple Grass iPhone Case 

This vibrant case design, printed on a Case-Mate 'Vibe' case, is one of my first smart phone cases posted on iCandy58Designs. The image is an original mobile photograph of mine that I morphed into a digital work of art through the magic of photo editing. Priced at $49.95.

2. Blue Hydrangea Blossoms iPhone Case Cover 

This beautiful photo based design from Northwestphotos is printed on a Case-Mate 'Barely There' case. The inspiration for this custom case is a close up of blue Hydrangea blossoms. Priced at $42.95.

3. Psychedelic Skull Art Design iPhone 5 Case

This Psychedelic Skull case design by BluedarkArt the Chameleon is printed on a Case-Mate 'Barely There' case. The detail and colors displayed against the black background in Blue's artwork makes this one very cool iPhone case for lovers of graphic artwork. Priced at $42.95.

4. Stars and Stripes Girl's Portrait iPhone Case

This Stars and Stripes Girl's Portrait custom case design, printed on a Case-Mate 'Barely There' case, is another excellent example of BluedarkArt the Chameleon's creative talent. Priced at $42.95.

5. Vintage Brillant Camera iPhone 5 Case

God's Blossom has some amazing product designs and this cool iPhone 5 case, printed on a Case Savvy glossy finish plastic case, is just another example of what you will find in her Zazzle store. Priced at $37.95.


6. Vintage Payphone iPhone Case

This funky, retro payphone iPhone 5 case, printed on a Case Savvy hard shell plastic case with a glossy finish, is another cool vintage design from God's Blossom on Zazzle. Priced at $37.95.

7. Blue Peacock Case for iPhone 5

This Blue Peacock smart phone case from Northwestphotos, printed on a Graft Concepts 'Leverage' case, is simply stunning. It makes the perfect gift for any bird lover and it can be customized with 1 of 6 different colored frames. Priced at $48.95.

8. Girly Pink Flower Art iPhone 5 Case

This custom case design, printed on a Case-Mate 'Vibe' case, is another one of my floral art designs inspired by one of my iPhone photos that I turned into an original (but as of yet unnamed) digital work of art through the magic of photo editing on my iPhone 4. Priced at $50.95.

9. Psychedelic Rainbow Snake iPhone 5 Case

This eye-catching custom iPhone 5 case design, printed on a Case-Mate 'Barely There' case, from BluedarkArt the Chameleon was designed for the Chinese Year of the Snake zodiac symbol. Against a black background, the colorful snake appears to have a 3-D effect. Priced at $42.95.

10. Howling Wolf on Carved Wood iPhone 5 Case

This beautiful rustic looking case design from the God's Blossom store, is printed on a Case-Mate 'Vibe' case. The design depicts a carved wooden image of a wolf howling at the moon. It's the perfect gift for anyone who loves animals, wolves or nature. Priced at $47.95.

11. Razzle Dazzle Dahlia iPhone Case

This custom case design from Northwestphotos, printed on a Case-Mate 'Vibe' case, captures the dazzling beauty of a Dahlia bloom in rub red, pink and white. Priced at $47.95.

12. Kitten in a Red Drawer iPhone 5/5s Case Cover

I've included this vibrant case design for the cat lovers in the house. Printed on a Case-Mate 'Barely There' case, it features the image of this cute little kitty cat in a red tool box drawer. Priced at $42.95.

Do me a favor please, when you click through to the product page of these designs to buy one or more of them, it would really be great if you 'Like' the design and leave a positive comment about the case(s) you purchased.

So what do you think about the iPhone case designs featured in this post? I enjoyed sharing them with you and I hope they fit your definition of what a cool iPhone 5 case looks like. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Inspiration Behind My Vintage Ice Skating at the Rink Product Designs

Do you ever wonder what inspires a Zazzle storekeeper to create a specific design?

I know our product descriptions are supposed to tell potential customers what's special about the designs we create, but many times the blurb leaves out the story behind the image! I'm guilty of doing this a time or two, so in today's post I'm going to share with you the story behind the image in this post, Vintage Ice Skating at the Rink, which I'm currently using on 4 products on my iCandy58Designs store.


I shot Vintage Ice Skating at the Rink three years ago at Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan in NYC while my family and I were visiting the city during the Christmas holiday season. I hadn't been back to NY since the Spring of 2010 and I thought it would be fun to shoot a few pictures of  the Rink that capture the buzz of people ice skating and shopping for Christmas gifts. Vintage Ice Skating is 1 of the 5 photos I took on the same day using my Blackberry Torch.

Around the time I opened my Zazzle store, I started running this picture through a couple of my favorite photo editing apps on my iPhone 4. But it was through using Paint.NET to do some additional post-processing that I was able to achieve the look and texture you see.

Before I forget, you can see this Vintage Ice Skating at the Rink image on this case design for the iPhone 4, 4s, 5, the new 5c and the new 5s. It's also available for the new iPad Air. I'm really pleased with the image and the designs. What do you think?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I Was Just About to Post About One Of My New Zazzle Product Designs ...

With winter and Christmastime right around the corner, I was getting ready to publish a post about my new Vintage Ice Skating at the Rink product designs that fit those themes to a 'T'. But a funny thing happened when I logged into Zazzle to grab the URL of my favorite product in that series.

What happened? I came across this unique Vintage Travel Postcards Sleeve For MacBooks design that I wanted to blog about. Don't get me wrong, I think I have some beautiful products available for sale on my store, but I wanted to showcase another designer's work instead.

This vintage travel themed design is an attractive, eye catching Rickshaw 15" laptop sleeve with a cool, retro look that makes it a great gift idea for any 15" MacBook Pro owner who travels/wants to travel, loves the vintage European travel postcard look or simply wants to buy a custom sleeve that really stands out.

This design by kicksdesign is just the type of fantastic eye candy product creations from other Zazzle storekeepers that I want to blog about here. I can publish posts about the designs in my iCandy58Designs store, like Vintage Ice Skating at the Rink, any time I want to BUT that would get old -n-boring pretty quickly for you. It wouldn't be much fun for me either, because I really do enjoy seeing the diverse display of great designs available for sale on Zazzle.

What do you think about this Vintage Travel Postcards design? Do you promote other storekeepers designs on your blog or across the social network platforms you belong to? Let me know what you think in the comments below.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Vintage Pink Flowers Art Custom iPhone Case Design for the iPhone 5/5s

Updated, 12/30/2013

My vintage pink flowers art design for the iPhone 5 or 5s makes the perfect custom iPhone 5 case gift for anyone who loves floral art designs. It has a very special place in my heart, because it represents a lot of firsts for me! The image that inspired the design was one of my first attempts at turning my iPhone photography into digital painting; it's one of my first iPhone case designs on Zazzle; and it's the first product design I've sold on my iCandy58Designs store.

This case design can be customized and/or personalized to your liking

As I mentioned earlier, the inspiration for this vintage pink flowers iPhone 5/5s case is a photo of some pink flowers that were growing in a green bush near my home. I don't know what type of flowers they are, but they caught my photographer's eye. By running the photo through one of my favorite iPhone photo editing apps I was able to give the image that vintage look. Not being one to leave "good enough" alone, I ran it through a few art filters in Paint.NET to achieve that painted and sketched outline look.

This phone case design is available for the Apple 3G/3Gs, 4/4s, 5/5s and the new 5c iPhones. It's also available for the Samsung Galaxy s4 and a few other designs. You can see all of the vintage pink flowers design gifts anytime you want on this page: I will be adding this design to more custom products in the near future. Are there any other device cases or products you would love to see this design on in my store? Please let me know in the comments section below.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Welcome to iCandy58Designs, the Blog!

Updated, 11/9/2013:

In the excitement of publishing my first post on this blog, I left out a few things that I wanted to share with you right out of the gate. So, I've updated this post to discuss the types of designs you will find on my store and how the store name iCandy58Designs came about.  

Welcome, I've set up this blog to showcase the product designs I've created for my iCandy58Designs store on

What will you find here? I plan to write posts about my favorite custom designs for iPhone cases, wrist watches, Galaxy phone cases, iPad cases and Rickshaw laptop sleeves among others. I also plan to blog about the fantastic eye candy product creations from other Zazzle storekeepers and post some of my photo images that serve as inspirations for my product designs.

My Zazzle product designs are photography based images that I've captured and edited using my trusty iPhone 4, which I always have with me. With the updated camera app in iOS 7, my eye can catch some beautiful pictures at almost any moment. Through the magic of post-photo processing using 4 - 5 photo editing apps, Pixlr and Paint.NET, I've been blessed to morph some of my images into digital works of art (which is really cool for an old pencil, watercolor & oil paint artist like me).

Most of the subjects for my designs come from nature, but lately I've been adding in more abstract shapes and a few architectural images.

How did the store name iCandy58Designs come about? I wanted to come up with a brand/store name that would play off of my desire to use my iPhone 4 to take pictures that catch my eye and my love of eye catching images. I liked 'iCandy', because it seemed perfect for what I had in mind. 58 represented the number of images I initially planned to use for the products in my store. Add in 'Designs' and the name has a catchy, memorable ring to it.        

Okay that's all for now. I truly hope you will come back & visit, leave a comment or two, subscribe to this blog, visit my store at* and let me know if any of my designs strike your fancy. :)