All Things Zazzle And Design

Hey, I Designed You A Mug – Now Fill It With This

Hey, I Designed You This Mug - Now Fill It With This
So you purchased yourself a designer mug, supporting independent artists with your choice. Good for you. We, the creatives behind these designs thank you. But now what? It is a specialty mug, so just pouring in some darn old coffee from the grocery store would not be fitting. No way. These cups ask for something special.
No worries, I did the work for you and found some really wonderful coffees and teas you should fill that special mug with.
I Designed You A Cup - Now Fill It With This
Jacobs Kronung Coffee
This coffee is tradition and perfection in a cup. There is simply not a better roast out there, that does not cost you an arm, a leg and your first born. I grew up on this stuff, and it is the standard by which I hold each other coffee. Sorry, Starbucks, your coffee taste like pee water compared to this.
Hey, I Designed You A Mug - Now Fill It With This
JO – Organic Fair Trade Coffee, Medium Roast
My favorite of the Fair Trade Coffee’s out there. Stick with the medium roast of this brand for best results. While it is not as fine and sophisticated in flavor as the before mentioned German coffee, it is still the best I could find so far in its category. And while drinking it, you can really feel good about yourself for being a responsible consumer (again).
Hey, I Designed You A Mug - Now Fill It With This
Teekanne Rosehip and Hibiscus Tea
I simply love this tea, its tart, refreshing taste, even if you drink it as a hot cup of tea (which I prefer.)  It is my go to cup with a few cookies as part of a quick afternoon break. It tastes fruity and light, though I recommend to add your favorite sweetener, on its own it can be surprisingly sour.
Hey, I Designed You A Mug, - Now Fill It With This
Teavana Pineapple Berry Blue Loose-Leaf Tea
No list that includes teas is complete without having a pineapple flavored addition to it. At least that is my opinion. Hey, don’t knock it until you tried it, this tea is hot and cold a wonderful treat. Cheaper than a Hawaiian vacation.
Hey, I Designed You A Mug - Now Fill It With This
Moonstruck Classic Hot Cocoa
Wintertime is hot chocolate time, and I prefer the classic, no fancy added flavored version of hot chocolates. This creamy, deep flavored, elegant milk chocolate cocoa mix does the trick here. It is a wonderful way to wind down a busy holiday day, and no December evening would be complete without it. I would recommend to get extra. Especially if you are a chocoholic like I am.
Now savor that hot (or cold) stuff!
Have a wonderful day!
 Disclaimer: The above post contains affiliate links.

Colors, Shapes And Design – A Weekend Coffee Share Post

Vintage French Perfume Label Mug
Vintage French Perfume Label Mug

Glad you came over for a cup of coffee. Sorry, that I did not have time to bake, but I brought my favorite cookies to share. They have chocolate in the middle. I hope you like them.

How was your week? Mine was busy, filled with working on designs, emerging myself in the colors and shapes that hopefully create something people will enjoy. I enjoy them. I don’t think I could try to sell something, I would not believe in or would not want to hang in my own home.

Colorful Silhouette"
“Colorful Silhouette”

I love being an artist. Do you love what you do? I hope you do. Despite the fact that I work 15 hour days on average, it does not feel like I am working. It does not matter, if I am writing, or if I am creating visual art pieces to sell, it does not seem like work, simply because  I love it. I hope you are lucky enough to have a job like that. I surely wish that for you.

Colors and shapes are fun. Even though I have been mostly working with roses and other flowers over the last few days, sometimes I stray from it and work with other shapes. Like the above silhouette. A classic shape, that feels so “French” to me. Speaking of “French”, do you  speak it? I have tried and failed. Besides the fact that English is my second language (German is my first), I read Dutch, speak a few words of Turkish and Arabic, and can understand basic Italian, I have never been able to get my head around French. Not because I have not tried. I have, really.

"Old-Fashioned Key"
“Old-Fashioned Key”

As a kid, I traveled a lot (including to France). I wish I still had some pictures of my travels with my parents in Europe, but that box (amongst a few other things), was stolen when we had our stuff in storage a few years ago. But I got my memories, and stories. And I hold the colors I saw dear to my heart, hoping to bring some of them into the designs I create. Have you traveled much? Where are your favorite places to travel to? (Mine is Bardolino, Lake Garda, Italy, and Verona – also in Italy).

I am sorry that I don’t have much time today. I still have to run to the store, get some fresh veggies for dinner. Maybe the next time you can come over, you can stay for dinner, just let me know what you like. As long as it is not meat. It will be a vegan dinner, sorry. For stuff with meat, you would have to talk to my husband.

Thanks for stopping by!

See you next week!


Best of Zazzle – Quote Edition # 2

Being surrounded by quotes can help you stay inspired and motivated. Sometimes the wisdom of those before us, give us an extra boost to reach for our own dreams.  I have collected some mugs that feature such inspiring words. Enjoy!

Growth - Rumi Quote
Growth – Rumi Quote
Henry Ford Quote
Henry Ford Quote

As always, thank you for supporting independent artists with your purchase!

Have a wonderful day!


Best of Zazzle – Pillow Edition # 2

I love how easy it is to add accent colors to our home, by simply adding some pillows. It is an inexpensive way to freshen up your living room or bedroom and add an extra creative touch. Here are my current favorites available at Zazzle.

Moroccan Quatrefoil Pattern
Moroccan Quatrefoil Pattern
Purple Pattern Pillow
Purple Pattern Pillow
Heart Fretwork Scroll Pattern Pillow
Heart Fretwork Scroll Pattern Pillow
Yellow and Gray Floral Pattern
Yellow and Gray Floral Pattern
Whimsical Retro Flamingo Pattern
Whimsical Retro Flamingo Pattern
Persian Carpet Pattern Pillow
Persian Carpet Pattern Pillow

As always, thank you for supporting independent artists.

Have a wonderful day!


Celebrate The Small Things – Rose Edition

Celebrate The Small Things - Rose Edition
White Rose by Claudia H. Blanton

Hi,  everyone! It is time again to celebrate all that we are thankful for. Please stop by to say hi to Lexa Cain, our wonderful host of the “Celebrate The Small Things” Blog Hop. As always, it is time to share our gratitude, and I hope you will join us!

What am I grateful for this week?

I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to express myself creatively via my art this week, working mainly with flowers, but other subjects as well. I find roses to be my favorite flower to work with. It has been a lot of fun!

Lotus In Blue by Claudia H. Blanton
Lotus In Blue by Claudia H. Blanton

I am grateful that a very unique Asian supermarket opened its door in our neighborhood. Their vegetable and fruit selections are enormous, and as vegetarians and vegans our family goes through a lot of vegetables. We are so excited about that. (well, we are foodies, all of us. We used to own a restaurant, so there is no getting us away from food).

I am also grateful that we had a couple days of cooler weather, even though it is back in the mid 90’s, at least we had some heat relief for a brief moment.

What are you grateful for this week? Why not write about it, and share your link with us here. Blessings!


Best Of Zazzle – Floral Edition # 1

I love designs that feature nature in its full beauty. Floral designs are a great way to add some color into our sometimes quite gray lives. They can instantly brighten up a space and lighten the mood. Here are some examples of my favorite floral designs currently available on Zazzle.

(For more information on the individual product, click on the individual image)

Best of Zazzle - Floral Edition # 1Best of Zazzle - Floral EditionBest of Zazzle - Floral Edition # 1Best of Zazzle - Floral Edition # 1

Best of Zazzle - Floral Edition # 1Best of Zazzle - Floral Edition # 1

As always, thank you for supporting independent artists, with your purchase. Not only are you receiving one of a kind art pieces, but with your support you are allowing independent artists to grow and flourish.

Thank you


Featured Artist Of The Week: Lisa Marie from DawdlingDoodles

Do you like quirky, yet pretty art? Then Dawdling Doodles has exactly what you need. Artist Lisa Marie has created a charming series of adorable and sometimes funny pieces of art, that are softly colored and simply beautiful. I had a chance to ask her a few questions a few days ago and wanted to share this interview here with you.

Me:  How long have you been drawing and creating art?
Lisa: Pretty sure I was born with a crayon in my hand. But I’ve been making art professionally for about 5 years now (opened my studio after I completed my MA in Art History). The doodles started about 1 year ago. Mostly in my studio I create fine art portraits and I needed a way to decompress artistically, so I began doodling on scrap pieces of paper. After a while, I had a pile of cartoon images and I figured I would put them to work – that’s how my doodle blog was born.

Me:  Your Dawdling Doodles are charming, and showcase a quirky sense of humor. How did you come about putting them on Zazzle?
Lisa: Thank you! I already had a Zazzle store showcasing my fine art drawings (, hence opening a second store showing silly doodles ( was a fun side project at first. But then they became very popular and it just started to grow and grow! Now it’s just part of my regular studio routine.

Me: What is your favorite aspect of creating art for Zazzle?
Lisa: I love seeing where all my customers come from! The idea that someone in Ireland or Switzerland is wearing one of my doodles on a t-shirt makes me smile! And around the holidays, when the store gets really busy, it’s really fantastic to think that people all over the world are giving my doodles as presents! Sometimes I think there’s no greater gift than the gift of humor.

Me: Take us through your process of creating a piece. Do you sit down with a specific idea in mind, or do you let your creativity flow without boundaries when you sit down to create a piece?
Lisa: Heh, ummm……it’s pretty sporadic. Doodles happen when I need a break from some realistic portrait that I’m drawing for a customer. Usually, I just grab a piece of paper and start to play. Eventually, one particular doodle catches my eye and that’s the one I commit to finishing. If I really want to make something pop, I’ll even put it in Photoshop and enhance some details. But I have a strict rule to never take my doodles too seriously. If I overwork a cartoon, it loses that impulsive playful feel.

Me: How can the audience connect with you outside of Zazzle? Do you have any social media accounts or blogs you want to mention?
Lisa: Oh, I’m all over the place! They can find me on Instagram (ArtistryByLisaMarie), they may see my fine art portraits at, and they can see a new doodle every Monday on facebook at

Me: What would you like to tell an independent artist out there, who is trying to get the nerve up to put themselves out there?
Lisa: There will never be a “perfect time” to start, so just go for it! Really, sharing your art can be one of the greatest hurdles for a new artist. You just have to look the computer square in the keyboard and put your stuff out there!

Thanks for taking the time to answers these questions.

As always, please support independent artists with your purchase. And stop by again next week, when I will feature another exciting independent artist.

Have a blessed day!


Best of Zazzle – Halloween Edition # 3

Time to send out theHalloween party invitations! The following invitations can all be personalized, and you can purchase as many or as little as you need. Just click on the individual image for details. Enjoy your party!

Best of Zazzle - Halloween Edition # 3Best of Zazzle - Halloween Edition # 3

Best of Zazzle - Halloween Edition # 3Best of Zazzle - Halloween Edition # 3

Best of Zazzle - Halloween EditionBest of Zazzle - Halloween Edition # 3

Special Coupon Code! 15% OFF ALL ORDERS | 30% Off ALL Card, posters and plates      Ends Thursday   (Oct. 8th, 2015)   Use Code: ZSPOOKYSCARY

Please party responsibly!

Have a blessed Halloween!


Making Money On Zazzle – How To Add Tracking Codes To Your Zazzle Referral Links

Making Money on Zazzle by Avalon

Every Zazzle designer has their own Zazzle Associates ID code, via which you receive referral pay when you promote your own work or that of another designer on Zazzle. But did you know that you can also add a tracking code to
your referral links? This can be particularly helpful if you are running a promotion or are testing a new strategy in your Zazzle sales.
While it might be a little time consuming, it is quite simple to execute.

Let me show you on this example

The following is a completed link I would use to track one of my items ( A Spooky Heart Halloween Pillow)

This section is your product code:

?rf=youruniqeassociateidhere  is where your unique associates referral id would be – which is unique to you, and will be assigned to you by Zazzle. Your Associate ID can be found in the Associates tab of the MY ACCOUNT section within the Zazzle website.

&tc=Halloween is the unique tracker I added in order to keep track of my Halloween sale stats. You can create your own combination of letters and/or numbers to create whatever tracking code you would like to use, and makes sense to you. I highly recommend that you keep it simple, though.

Put together, you can use this uniquely created link to check up on your promotions and sales.

If you want to add a tracking code to your Zazzle Pinterest pins, you will have to manually add your tracking code AFTER pinning it to your board. This can take some additional time, but it is really worth it, if you are serious about tracking the performance of your individual campaigns or products.

Have a wonderful day!


If You Were Here With Me In Las Vegas – A Weekend Coffee Share Post

Weekend Coffee Share

Hey there, glad to have you here again for coffee. Do you like this cup? It is one of my own designs, and yes, you can take it home with you.
I hope you do not mind that I will use your visit as an excuse to stop organizing my Zazzle stores for a moment. I did not bake anything this week, too busy, but I bought us some streusel cake.
So this week had been another busy one. I am trying to get ready for a few things, first the above-mentioned stores have to be ready for the upcoming holiday season. I have given them and myself a week to make them just the way I want to. By next Saturday, they better are that way.
Also, NaNoWriMo is only a month away. I want to have the first draft of a book finished by then and use that month to edit the mess I wrote. I say mess because the first draft is always a vomit draft – just a bunch of stuff written on paper – it is the subsequential stages that carve out a true story. Apparently this story will the intro to the town most of my Paranormal fantasy series will be centered in. So the details have to be right at the end. And they will be – hopefully.
Amazon is launching an Etsy-like business section for homemade products, and I am trying to find out as much info as I can. I really love the idea, and will be writing about it on the blog, whenever I get info about it. This will be interesting. (P.S. saw some of the pre-launch selection of some stores and darn they look good – impressive stuff)
If you were here  with me, I would tell you all of the reasons I do not like living in Las Vegas – the gambling in the grocery stores, the groves of homeless people in the parks, just a little bit away from tourist section, the dirtiness of the city, the personal stories of loss and addiction I have been listening to. It is a hard, dangerous city that takes so much out of so many people. On one hand, I see tourists and people with money (as obvious by their clothing, and expensive cars), walking around and partially stepping over people with no place to live. Poverty is everywhere in the US, but I have never seen it so much in your face and seen so many people act as if it is okay. It is not okay. But for me, a temporary resident only here to work for a few months, there is not much I can do. And that is what is killing me. I do what I can, donate where I can, listen to people’s stories and give a kind word or two. As I worry about the content of my next blog post, they are worried about what to feed their children or themselves. It took me a while to learn that I can not rescue everyone – an affliction my husband and I seem to share – so we do what we can to help. I just don’t feel like it is ever enough.

Okay, I’ll stop with the depressing talk, turning back toward my usual more upbeat self, hoping that you enjoyed your coffee, and I will bid you farewell with a blessing of prosperity and happiness, hoping that you and your loved ones will always have what you need, and wishing that you would share with those who do not.


P.S. Please check out all of the other wonderful people who write as a part of the “Weekend Coffee Share”. Give them some love!

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