Category Archives: Informative

photo sticker for Christmas

Beach Christmas Photo Template Sticker, How to Center a Photo

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This beach Christmas photo template sticker comes in two sizes: 1.5 inch and 3 inch. The wording will be easier to read on the larger sticker. Use it on the back of the envelope when sending beach-themed or tropical Christmas cards.

photo sticker for Christmas
Square Photo Sticker, Beach Christmas Theme

A tropical beach scene of ocean water at the sandy shore is the background for two areas of custom text. I am loving the new fonts that are now available to use at Zazzle and this new sticker shows the modern, handwritten style of Revellyna font. All you need to do is type your choice of wording into the text template lines on the product page.

Add a photo – horizontal (landscape) photos work best – with the focus subject as close to the center as possible. If your photo is not centered, read on. I will explain on this page how to move a photo template. The photo can be moved left or right by the customer in the “customize” area, and it’s easy to do. (You will not be able to move it up and down on this sticker).

change the photo
Change the photo by uploading your own.

How to Center Your Photo Template

Use the “change” button in blue to upload your own photo into the template area, replacing the sample photo seen. In my example I have added the black and white photo of a couple, but it is slightly too far to the right.
If your photo needs to be centered, use the “click to customize further” link beneath the photo template area.

The design page below is what you will see in the customize section. It may look overwhelming, but it’s easy to move the photo and make it centered on the sticker. Follow the steps outlined here.

how to move a photo template
Click on the photo in the list and then move it with the arrows.

On the design page, find your photo in the “text and images” section to the right. Click on it. Then go to the lower left side of the page and use the toggle arrows to move the photo left or right.

Once the photo looks good – keeping it within the circle – click the “done” button at the top of the page and it will take you back to the product page where it can be purchased.

finished sticker photo template
Photo is changed and moved into center position.

Be sure to change the text as you wish, with your own signature, and choose the size sticker needed. I recommend the larger, 3 inch size.
Because I have made the template with a horizontal sample photo, there will only be room to move the image side to side. If you use a vertical photo, use one with the subject in the center, or contact me (bluehydpdc@gmail.com) and I’ll fit it in for you.

This tutorial for fitting a photo into a template will work for any photo template, on any type of product, at the Zazzle site.

Looking for more tropical Christmas items? We have Christmas cards and custom postage stamps in tropical designs.

zazzle custom wedding designs

Wedding Invitations and Matching Products Made by Zazzle Designers

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After the ring and the “I Do!” it’s time to begin the planning. Large or small, weddings are events that cause great stress and take massive amounts of time to coordinate. The invitations are usually an important part of that planning. The invitation, or more likely “save the date” cards, will be the first impression guests see. The paper is going to set the stage for the upcoming event.
starfish couple wedding invitation set

The internet contains many, many places to find wedding invitations of all types. Some offer upscale foil or letterpress printing. Typography is big these days and unique lettering can add charm and interest. Invitations come in all shapes and sizes and at many price points. I dare say you can find paper in any theme imaginable. If your preference is plain and simple, minimalist, or black and white, you will find those too.

My stores, including Sandpiper Wedding, are run through Zazzle. I talk about this more on my About page. Many professional designers create wedding suites in association of Zazzle, and Zazzle offers specialty paper as beautiful as any found online.

I decided to write this blog post for those people who have never heard of Zazzle, or didn’t realize they offer wedding suites. Zazzle is known as the best place to find customizable designs. Combine custom options with beautiful designs and couples can create invitations or entire sets with their own wording. See the finished product on the screen before you buy.

plumeria wedding

Matching Products Offered in Zazzle Wedding Suites

Zazzle’s product list grows almost daily. Wedding suites can offer almost any product needed for wedding planners, from save-the-date cards and “Will you be my Bridesmaid?” cards to thank-you notes for guests and members of the wedding party.

Invitations (come in 8 sizes, 6 corner options, and 12 paper types, with two options for printing (standard or high-definition). But this paper is not only for “invitations”. The paper works for more than invitations. The small size, 3.5 x 5 inches, is considered perfect for RSVP cards.

Here we go. This comprehensive list will give an idea of what can be customized to match any wedding suite on the Zazzle site. I don’t believe any other online site offers such a wide variety of customizable products that match.

Most Popular Items

Invitations
RSVP cards and Details / Directions cards / Enclosure cards
Rehearsal dinner invitations
Save-the-Date (invitation paper, postcards, or glossy photo card paper)
Specialty envelopes, decorated to match the theme
Address labels and Stickers (many shape options)
Postage stamps – with text / and sometimes photos
Thank you cards – flat cards, folded notes
Ceremony Programs
Reception seating cards – escort, table number, place cards – flat or tented
Menu templates – many sizes and paper types
Seating chart posters
Guest book
Table signs
Wine Labels

As well as this big list of products, any product on Zazzle can be customized as you please. Most wedding designers expect to be contacted by the customer, especially if they need matching products. Designers can only guess at what couples will need and fill wedding collections with the most popular products.

Other Personalized Products to Use For Weddings

Favors: Mint tins, favor bags, key rings, and luggage tags
Welcome bags for destination weddings
Gift Tags
Can and Bottle Coozies – great for a shower or pre-wedding party
LED Candles, come in 3 sizes
Private wedding announcements (Reception only invitations)
Paper goods – plates, cups and napkins
Ties for the Groom and Groomsmen
Ball caps
T-shirts (Bridal party, Bachelorette party)

honey

What You Really Need to Put in the Hangover Kit

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honeyA popular addition to the weekend wedding welcome bag is the “hangover kit”. Just search for such a thing and you will find antacids and tylenol in little bags as hangover remedies. And sure, medicine can help you feel better after a big evening of partying, but did you realize there are more tasty ways to handle a hangover?

One delicious way to help yourself feel better is to eat some honey.

It’s a natural ingredient that has antioxidant properties, and the article at Mother Earth Living says that “Because of its antioxidant properties, honey neutralizes the toxins created by consuming alcohol.” And the fructose is used to “convert the acetaldehyde made during alcohol metabolism into acetic acid”, a substance that is “burned up naturally by the body.”
Maybe some little honey straws should be added to the welcome bag. Buy a pack of 100 at Amazon. Or find some little jars of honey and add your own personalized labels. Guests could consume honey in their tea, on toast or biscuits, or right from the straw or spoon. Eating honey before, during and / or after the partying is all good. So consider serving desserts that are honey based at the wedding reception. Cheesecake and cookies can be made with honey. Or serve a specialty drink with honey as an ingredient.

Another food that helps with hangover recovery is tomatoes. Few people want to wake up in the morning and eat a tomato, even when feeling well! But drinking tomato juice or V8 could help make that headache disappear faster. Combine it with some honey on toast, and you’re good to go.

sandpiper wedding contact

Custom Design Contact Changes at Sandpiper Wedding

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Although I have had an open contact-the-designer attitude for nine years, now I must make some changes at Sandpiper Wedding. At Zazzle, the idea is to give buyers, who need some special items created, the option to ask for such items. It’s a good idea. If it worked out as I’d hoped, I’d be making coordinating wedding stationery per customer request, which would increase the size of orders and in turn make me more money. I’d have happy customers with beautiful matching wedding suites, who would be grateful for the personal attention. I would be paid nicely for my time. Win, win.

But it has seldom worked out that way. Because I have wanted to keep an open line of communication with potential buyers, I have patiently answered all types of questions over the years. From shipping times, paper suggestions, and returning items advice, to sizes, prices, discounts, and much more, I have patiently replied. Approximately one out of five contacts are actually about design. And even those requests have lately turned into very small orders.

The idea of the contact was to garner design questions and requests, but I became an extension of Zazzle’s customer support team. A team member who was not paid a penny for her time. That’s right. Those of us who design for Zazzle are not paid an hourly wage. We make money from sales. Up until a few years ago, the Volume Bonus made up for that in my mind. Now the VB is as good as gone, and there is no incentive to continue on like this.

Whenever a customer uses the contact button and asks, “Do envelopes come with this card?”, or “When can I expect to get this item?”, or some other general information, of a designer, that person is working for Zazzle for free! I’ve done it for years. Now, I am stopping.

You may wonder why I allowed contact at all. I had high hopes that I would make referral money, and increase my sales by offering design help. The majority of my contacts do not request design help, and therefore I end up making very little, and truthfully not enough to make it worth my while.

Anther downside to helping via e-mail is the difficulty in understanding exactly what the customer wants. Usually a whole collection of back-and-forth dialog is needed to come up with one simple product design. It is a lot of time spent doing something that the customer may ultimately decide not to buy in the end.

I don’t know anyone who “works” for NO PAY, yet Zazzle expects us to do so. We can turn off customer contact, and that is exactly what I have done for the first time in nine years.

I have a busy life. I can’t afford to sit and answer e-mails, which the Zazzle company should be answering, using it’s paid customer support team. It’s up to Zazzle to come up with a better solution to this problem. Until and unless they do, I regretfully must shut down my communication via my online stores.

My customers are important to me. Anyone needing matching items made, or who have requests for invitations and other stationery, can certainly contact me. This blog gives anyone the ability to do so, but the option is turned off in my online stores. Simply leave a message on the About page and I will reply promptly. If you are unsure of what I can help with, please read the FAQ’s page.

married too young

How to Marry Well, Part 2: Too Young!

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getting married too young
Getting Married Young
I speak from experience when I say; please don’t get married at a young age. Part One of this series was about “intelligence“, which is not something most couples consider when they find a spouse. Now I have more marriage advice. I am not an expert, except that I was married for 30 years. I also have four children, and at the present time none of them are married! But I did advise them to wait until they were older to marry. Some listened and some didn’t.

Many young people currently seem to not want to marry at all, which I think they will regret down the road, but that is another matter. Getting married before there is a chance to get your bearings in life, I feel, is a mistake. At the age of 18, 20 or 25 life is really just beginning. You may still be trying to figure out what you want out of life. Dreams are big. Will your dreams and your spouses dreams match up? How can you know if you will agree on things that have not even come to mind yet?

It’s tough to know what you really want in a spouse also. Without enough life experience, jumping into a marriage early in life can mean facing many more unexpected obstacles down the road. Not many young people are realistic about finances and budgeting. They want things… lots of things! Also, they may not have a permanent career, or know where they want to live, or even what type of house they want. And what they think life will be, usually ends up not being so.
sunset couple

That being said, if you’ve been dating the same person for six years and you are now in your mid-twenties, it could be a good time to make the commitment to marry. If not, maybe you should go your separate ways and begin anew.

I didn’t wait until I knew what I wanted, and my first, “too young” marriage failed quickly. When I married the second time, I made another mistake, but that was because the person I married was not authentic. But that is another subject.

My daughter is 28 years old and is still unmarried. She has told me that I was right in advising her to hold off on marriage until she was 30! That was my number, but what I meant was “older” and more sure of her direction and preferences in life.

One thing I hadn’t considered was how many guys would be single dads. As my daughter got older, she found that the men she met were divorced, with children.

single dads
Dating Single Dads
She dated two single dads, with young children from a previous marriage. After those experiences she knew, that for herself, it wasn’t what she wanted. The playing field has been narrowed down.

For some couples, getting married is not what they want – ever. I still believe it’s the best way to commit to each other. That piece of paper connects you in ways that can be scary – if you marry the wrong one. But, it also means neither one of you can simply walk away at the slightest tiff.

Marriage is a daily process of getting along. It’s not easy to live with someone else. Throw kids into the mix and you have a big pot to stir. But two decent souls can make it through. You are weaving the tapestry of life, and with dark (bad times) and bright (good times) threads you will end up with a magnificent masterpiece in the end!

I’m not telling anyone what to do, just voicing an opinion. If you find the love of your life, good for you! That is something many people search for and never find. True love is a gift… at any age … married or not.

PHOTO CREDITS: Thank you to Pixabay for the use of these public domain, free to use, photos.

New Collections at Zazzle Make Designers Smile

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starfish wedding stationery
Starfish Wedding Stationery Collection
We’ve been waiting a long time for this. Designers at Zazzle now have the ability to create collections, and it’s making us very happy. The opportunity to show off our best-looking, and best-selling items has now become easy. The collections pages are organized and beautiful to view.

For the customer, a collection is a fast view of items that have a similar theme. A wedding collection, such as the Starfish Couple selection I show here, will have matching products with a single design theme. This set does not contain all the items I’ve created with the blue and brown starfish, but it does contain best-sellers, and products most often needed in wedding planning. I try to include a link, in all my product descriptions, which will take the viewer to the entire set within my store.

Collections can be in any theme. I also design many beach home decor items, and now they can be arranged together as I please in a collection. Instead of linking to a single item, I can link to a page full of items the customer may be interested in viewing. The same holds true for my art store, my party store, hydrangea store, and so on.

I can see this helping a new bride who loves plumeria flowers, for example, but isn’t sure of a color theme just yet. A collection of wedding stationery which contains all colors of the plumeria flower, may pique her interest. In my Sandpiper Wedding store I have white or pink stationery sets containing the lovely plumeria and I can show them both in my Plumeria Collection.

Each collection will have a themed banner at the top of the page. They are simple to make in 1140 x 315 pixel size. Many of my banner images come from the Pixabay site, where all images are in the public domain.