Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Custom Product Design No. 300 Deja Vu: Vintage Yellow Gold Hibiscus iPad Air Case

Hooray, I Just Posted Product Design No. 300 Today!

I just posted a vintage yellow gold floral iPad Air case on my iCandy58Designs store on Zazzle. It's my 300th custom product design and it feels somewhat like deja vu for me to blog about it. Why? Last month I wrote a post (click here if you haven't read it) about another custom floral iPad Air case design that was the 200th product posted for sale on my store! The only differences, beyond the images I used, are the cases; No. 300 is printed on a Case-Mate Barely There case and No. 200 is printed on a Powis iCase iPad Air case with no kickstand. My little "I've been here before" moment aside, I'm glad I chose this image to create this beautiful case, because I've received a number of social high fives on the Zazzle products I've created with it. Not to mention that I just sold a custom iPhone 5/5s case featuring this design.

Vintage Yellow Gold Hibiscus iPad Air Case ($78.95)

But I've Never Seen a Hibiscus in That Shade Before

I took this photo of a white Hibiscus my wife was growing during the Spring with my iPhone 4. Before I started editing it, I decided that I wanted to create something eye-catching and unique. So through the magic of post-photo processing, I added a soft white glow to the flower's center along with a golden yellow glow to the rest of the flowers and the sky. I also ran the photo through a vintage filter on my iPhone and added a slight pencil sketch effect as the finishing touch.

I really like the way it turned out and think it's perfect for anyone who loves vibrant floral photo designs. Including this custom iPad Air case, there are 12 custom Zazzle products featuring this vintage yellow gold Hibiscus including the previously mentioned Powis iPad Air case,  the iPad Mini case, phone cases for the Galaxy s4 and the iPhone 5/5s, the new 5c & the 4/4s among others.  If there's a Zazzle product you want to buy with this design on it, please email me through the Contact the Seller link on my store.

You can see all the vintage yellow gold Hibiscus gifts available for sale on iCandy58Designs anytime you want to by clicking on this link. Why not go check them out now?

The Case

The Case-Mate Barely There case, 9.5" L x 6.8" W x 0.4" H, is a lightweight impact resistant, flexible hard plastic shell that protects the back/corners of your iPad Air while giving you full access to the controls, ports & sensors and it's compatible with the iPad Air Smart Cover, which is not included. Priced at $78.95. Another option for you is the Powis iCase iPad Air case without the kickstand. It's 9.88" L x 7.125" W and printed on 100% recycled hardboard that's custom made from premium book cloth. The front/back are laminated and it features a rubberized no slip edge design for free standing landscape use/viewing. Priced at $44.95. Click here to go to the product detail page now.

That's it for now, but what do you think of my 300th custom Zazzle product design? I would really love to read your thoughts on it in the comments section below.


Friday, January 24, 2014

4 Cool Custom Printed Stainless Steel Hip Flasks for Men

Zazzle recently hit us with a big surprise when it introduced the new Liquid Courage hip flask to create custom designs for. I haven't created any (at least not yet), but many of my fellow Zazzlers have been busy designing some amazing custom hip flasks and in today's post, I'm going to showcase 4 of the coolest custom printed stainless steel hip flasks for men available in the Zazzle marketplace.

At the time of this post Z already has more than 22,000 custom Liquid Courage flasks available for sale, which is pretty impressive for a product that was just introduced in December of last year.

As you can probably imagine, there are a number of flask designs that have drinking themes, but there are some very stylish, bold looking ones that make excellent gifts for any man who wants to discreetly carry his favorite beverage. The 4 featured in this post are, in my opinion, just the coolest :).

FYI, each of the following 4 hip flask designs are on 6 oz. stainless steel flasks (dimensions: 3.75" l x 4.5" w x 1" d) with a screw off top. The designs you see are printed on high quality vinyl that's permanently wrapped around the flask.

Chrome Pirate on Carbon Filter Print Hip Flask ($27.95)

The chrome effect on this image featuring the classic pirate symbols of a skull & crossed sabers make this flask design by CaptainShoppe cool and bold.

Chinese Calligraphy Red Year of the Horse Flask ($27.95)

This Chinese Calligraphy design of the word 'horse' by giftsbonanza is simple, but the red raised satin effect gives it a bold, unique cannot-be-ignored look.

Wedding Tuxedo-Grooms Hip Flask ($25.95)

This classy black & white tuxedo and bowtie design by hungaricanprincess can be personalized, which makes this custom hip flask the perfect gift to give to your groomsmen. Also available in different styles.

Chinese Tribal Dragon Old Crushed Paper Red Brown Hip Flask ($31.95)

This fierce dark red Chinese dragon design by Strawberry and Hearts is very dramatic and the crushed brown paper adds a unique twist.

So which one of these custom printed hip flasks caught your eye? I like all 4, but I have to say ... the Chrome Pirate and Chinese Tribal Dragon flasks are the most eye-catching designs to me. If you want to see more, just click on this link => Flasks <=  to see all of the custom Liquid Courage flasks available in the Zazzle marketplace.  

If you're looking to buy one for that special guy in your life for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, his birthday or for some other special occasion, keep in mind that these stainless steel hip flasks can easily be customized and/or personalized by adding your own photo, artwork or special message to create a very unique gift that won't cost you "an arm and a leg".

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

8 Custom Wrist Watch Designs for the Fashionable Abstract Art Lover

Updated, 1/23/2014:

I'm pretty psyched about today's post, because I'm going to showcase 8 of my custom wrist watches from iCandy58Designs that make great gifts for anyone who loves abstract art designs.

I've had a thing for watches ever since I was 8 yrs. old and I have a lot of fun creating these custom fashion wrist watches that you can personalize. I don't have a lot of them posted for sale in my store; I just posted my 23rd 24th design today, but I really love the designs I have posted there. Most of my designs feature cool, fun, funky digital abstract art themes that are perfect for the types of watches Zazzle offers for sale. So without further delay, here are my 8 custom wrist watch designs:

Funky Hot Yellow Metal Ball Fashion Wrist Watch ($50.95)

I think the yellow May 28th watch bands and red keeper are a perfect match for my funky hot yellow metal ball design, but you might like the red bands and yellow keeper better!

Diamond Lights White Custom Rhinestone Wrist Watch ($55.95)

This white rhinestone wrist watch was made for this Diamond Lights design of mine! Diamond Lights is also available in a white May 28th wrist watch, priced at $50.95 ~ click here to see it now.

Blue Blurred Motion Custom Wrist Watch ($50.95)

I'm very careful about which products I add this Blue Blurred Motion design to and I'm glad I chose this clear May 28th style to work with, but I also think the white bands with a grey keep would also be a great choice for it. What do you think?
Blue Eye of Storm White Custom Wrist Watch ($50.95)

I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to use this Blue Eye of Storm to create this custom white wrist watch design. Would you buy it as it is or would you customize and/or personalize it with different color bands, keepers, etc.?

Cute Custom Flower Burst Wrist Watch ($50.95)

This custom wrist watch design is actually a photo of a singe red rose. It was through the magic of photo editing that I produced the abstract flower burst that you see here.

Nothing But Time Custom Stainless Steel Wrist Watch ($95.95)

I think Nothing But Time is perfect for this stainless steel wrist watch, but it's also available as a grey custom May28th wrist watch.

Quad Vortex Abstract White Custom Wrist Watch ($50.95)
Quad vortex abstract has black, grey and silver blue in it, so I thought the white May28th bands with a black matte keeper would look best. But now I'm wondering if I should change it to clear.

Blue Blurred Motion Custom Rhinestone Wrist Watch ($55.95)

Do you think Blue Blurred Motion in white rhinestone would look as good as it does in black rhinestone?

You can keep up with all of the custom wrist watches that I design for my Zazzle store anytime you want by clicking on this link.

Most of my wrist watches are May 28th watch designs. It didn't start out that way, it just sort of developed over time mainly, because of all the very colorful bands and keepers I get to work with. What you can do with them reminds me of Swatch watches that were very popular way back when :). You can further customize and/or personalize each watch in my store by changing the type of band, the color of the band/or the keeper. Or you can personalize them with your own artwork, photos or custom text. All you have to do is click on the blue 'Customize it!' button to get started.

So what do you think of my custom wrist watch designs? Would you buy them as is or would you switch the bands + the keeper and/or add your own artwork or photograph?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Guess You Wonder Where I've Been and Other iCandy58Designs News Updates

"I guess you wonder where I've been ... I came back to let you know" ~ Bobby Caldwell, What You Won't Do For Love

It's been 7 days since my last new post, so I wanted to write a short post on what I've been up to and to let you know that I haven't fallen off a cliff or forgotten about you :).

I haven't really focused on Zazzling much since my "how to" post on custom keepsake jewelry. Don't get me wrong, I have added some nice new custom throw pillows, some more wrist watch designs and even a few more custom keepsake necklaces to iCandy58Designs during the week. But for the most part, I've been running around taking care of family stuff and helping my girls get ready to go back to school for the start of their Spring semester (on is in high school & the other is in college). Those of you with kids in high school and/or in college know what I speak of :).

Now that things are back to normal in my home, I can once again turn my thoughts to creating some new eye candy product designs, adding new product categories to iC58D (I have one in the works that I'm VERY excited about), introducing you to other Zazzlers I've met that do amazing design work, building up my following and blogging about it ... here regularly of course!

That's it for today, but before I go I want to show you 2 of my latest product designs available for sale on my Zazzle store:

Vintage Purple Flowers Custom Polyester Throw Pillow, 20" x 20"

Diamond Lights White Custom Wrist Watch

Click on the links just below the images above or go to to order these or any of my custom product designs.

I would love to know what you think of these designs, so take a hot minute to leave a comment (even if it's just to say "Hi, Ray!"), and if you really like them ... please post a link back to them on your favorite social networks. Thanks!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

How to Create Your Own Custom Keepsake Jewelry on Zazzle

Updated, 1/14/2014

I've made a small, but very important update to this post that will help you create better looking custom keepsake locket or necklace jewelry pieces. 

Near the end of my last post I stated that I expect most of the folks buying keepsakes would use their own photos. So, in today's post I'm going to blog about how to use your own images to create one of a kind, custom keepsake jewelry.

Looking to buy keepsake jewelry for yourself or someone special? Zazzle gives its customers the option to (1) buy an existing design they like, or (2) customize/personalize that design, or (3) upload their own photo, artwork or custom text to create their own totally unique design. This post is for people who want to go the option 3 route to create their own custom keepsake locket or necklace jewelry on Zazzle.

You Can Create Your Own Custom Keepsake with this Necklace Template 

Don't get me wrong ... as a designer I would love to sell you one of my Diamond Lights custom sterling square necklace or Sterling black & white vintage skating at the Rink locket designs. BUT the whole point of creating custom keepsake jewelry is to make something special that will be kept and remembered, because it reminds you (or the person you're giving it to) of someone, some place, some thing or event that's special to you (or them). So using your own image would make the keepsake that much more meaningful to you and the person you're giving it to.

Zazzle makes the process of creating your own custom products fairly easy. Just follow these 5 steps:
  1. Go to and choose a template necklace to create your keepsake;
  2. Using the basic design tool, add your artwork, photo and/or custom text - please carefully follow the Zazzle image guidelines, which can be found here:;
  3. Position your image and/or text within the visible design area;
  4. Select the Style (round/square necklace or round locket), Color (silver plated, gold finish or sterling silver) & Size (small, medium or large) that best suits your image & your budget; and
  5. When you've completed your design, select the quantity you want to order, click on 'Add to Cart' and checkout.
The most important aspect of designing a custom keepsake locket or necklace is having a great looking, high resolution image to create your jewelry with! 

I can't state this enough - if you want to create the best looking keepsake possible, please follow Zazzle's image guidelines (see item 2. above) and recommended image sizes& resolutions. For round lockets, Z recommends an image size of 288 by 288 pixels with an image resolution of at least 200 ppi. For square necklaces, it's 276 x 276 pixels with the same image resolution of 200 ppi. I recommend using a higher image resolution of at least 300 ppi; for my designs, I use 600 ppi. Also, using a larger sized image that fills out the visible design space beyond the bleed area will result in a much better looking design when printed onto your locket or necklace.

You can get good results with free online based editors like or even PicMonkey. You don't need Photoshop to make your images look great! GIMP is an excellent free desktop program, but there will be a bit of a learning curve in figuring out how to work with it. Paint.NET is another free image editor that is very good. I have used it to produce some fantastic results and in my opinion, there's not as much of a learning curve with it as with the GIMP. It just takes a little consistent practice.

So are you ready to create your own custom keepsake jewelry piece? I believe that by following what you've read in this post, you will definitely be able to design great looking, memorable custom personalized jewelry on Zazzle. Post any questions or comments you have on how to do this in the comments section below.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year, New Custom Zazzle Gift Designs and More

Updated, 1/8/2014

Happy New Year, I hope 2014 is off to great start for you! My mind is still in holiday mode just a little bit, BUT I wanted to write a short post today about what's new on my iCandy58Designs store on Zazzle.

Since blogging about my 200th custom gift design last month, I've created/posted 56 new designs on my Zazzle store. For some Zazzlers that's one days work, but not for me ... I take a slower approach, because I want to make sure the design and the product are a good match for each other. I have floral art/ nature designs that are perfect matches for some products and I have abstract art designs that are made for other products.

Anywho ... :) in today's post I'm presenting a few of the new product designs I've added to my store. I've added some new custom iPad cases like the one below ...

Vintage Fall Leaves iPad Air Case

more custom iPhone 5 cases, a few custom wrist watches ...

Alarmed Clock Custom Wrist Watch

and some new decorative dinner plates, but what I'm really excited about are my new custom throw pillow designs ...

Vintage Floral Art Custom Throw Pillow

and custom round locket design like this one ...

Sterling B & W Vintage Skating @ the Rink Locket

Both are the very first product designs in my new Custom Throw Pillows and Custom Keepsake Jewelry categories on my Zazzle store. I have 11 floral art & nature photography themed throw pillows in-progress that I plan on posting over the next few days. I have 1 square sterling necklace in-progress that will be posted today, but additional keepsake jewelry will be added more slowly. Even though I expect most of the people buying keepsakes will use their own photos, I still have to "marry" the best images I can photograph and/or create to the lockets/necklaces Zazzle makes available for my use.

I've posted all 11 of my in-progress custom throw pillow designs (as well as another May 28th custom wrist watch and a new square sterling necklace) to my store. A few of them are doing the Zazzle bounce, but you can see the entire category on this page => Custom Throw Pillow Gifts.

I won't go on and on about it, but I have some exciting plans for iCandy58Designs, as a store and as a brand in 2014. Stay tuned!

Thanks for visiting my blog and checking out this post! Please let me know what you think of the new custom design gifts showcased in this post by commenting below. If you're on Google + or on Facebook, please follow me so you can keep up with what's going on with my blog.