This blog is dedicated to my Zazzle shop, Pam's Designs and my Squidoo lenses,
Best Business Cards Online and Best Wedding Invitations

In this blog, I will go over my experiences in creating my Zazzle store and my Squidoo Lenses.
I will also post some of my favourite design pieces.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Grunge Zebra Print Business Card

best-zebra print business cards-grunge

This was a fun design.  After creating my Best Zebra Print Business Card Lens, I was itching to create my own zebra print design.

I had used the grunge effect on my lens picture, so I thought it would be fun to use on my business card.  Then I played with the colours a bit until I got a great teal colour.  I used the same colour in my zebra print, then beveled the image with a drop shadow.  I think it looks pretty cool.  I'll play with the colours some more later to get other colours.  I already have a purple one ready to upload.  I think the longest part of this design was choosing my fonts and layout of the text.
best - zebra print business cards

Here is my newest niche lens, Best Zebra Print Business Card Templates.  I've always loved the zebra look and there are quite a few zebra print selections on the web.  I do feel though, that they generally fit into a fairly similar design template.  I thought it would be great to find some really awesome designs that go outside of the box.

I decided to feature black and white, colourful, monogram, and unique designs.

Below are just a few of the featured designs in my lens.  I hope you think they are as modern and fabulous as I think they are.
Animal-Fashion-Salon-Spa-Business Card-Zebra print-Purplegold-red-zebra print-business cardSalon Business CardsFashion-Business Cards-Animal-Leopard-Suede-ZebraSassy-Zebra Print-Business CardsReal Estate-Business Cards-Chandelier-Zebra-Silver

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

HTML for Back to Top Button

A fancy back to top button; I've been meaning to do this for awhile now. It took a little trial and error, but here it is.

Here's how I did it.

1st - I drew the button with text in GIMP, a free photo editing program.  It's an excellent program and very user friendly.

2nd - I opened an account with Picasa, a free photo hosting site by Google.  I discovered this while blogging, as my pictures through my blog are automatically hosted through this site.

3rd - I right clicked on the picture that I uploaded and copied the link location.

4th, I pasted the link location into the following html code inbetween the quotation marks after img src="LINK PASTED HERE."  Here is the code:

<p align="center"><a href="#"><img src="" /></a></p>

The <p align="center" part, obviously centers it.  The <a href="#"> part, makes you go to the top when you click on the button.  The <img src="____________" part, is the location of my uploaded image.  And all the code at the end (/></a></p>) finishes the code.  It's a pattern.  Whatever is at the beginning, must have a closing, matching code at the end...<a> - beginning....</a> - end.  Basically, the (/) signifies the end.  The p is for a paragraph and the a href is for links.  Where the img src is located, I could simply put words and it would link the words when people click on it.

Here is the completed lens with the back to top button...  Top Masculine Business Cards.

Creating a Niche Lens

top masculine business cardsI've been told that it is a good idea to create a niche on Squidoo.  So what is a niche?  It is a compilation of related lenses that you link together.  I've been told it is good to make 6 linked lenses.

So far, I have made 2 linked lenses in the business card category.  My first was Best Business Cards Online, in which I focused on various occupations and focused my business cards on those occupations.  I noticed that the word top was searched quite often and someone was looking for masculine business cards.  This is the driving force behind my second lens, Top Masculine Business Cards.

It definitely takes awhile to make a niche.  Just one lens takes several hours if not days to make.  I say days, because I am constantly updating my lenses and making changes.  Yes, it only takes hours to make the initial lens, but for it to be a great lens, it takes so much longer.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fall and Winter Weddings

It seems strange creating wedding designs for fall and winter when if feels like summer has just started.  However, people generally send out their wedding invitations only a few months in advance, so it is time to start creating a few designs that cater to these seasons.

I thought this leafy design was really cute.  It took awhile to design the leafy background.  Unfortunately, I didn't have one on file, so to the drawing board I went.  It's nice though once you have your layout and design all figured out.  From there, it's simple changing of colours.  I love the select by colour tool.  It is one of my favourite tools.  And of course, who could possibly design without layers.  Occasionally, I will forget to save my file with my layers.  It's so disappointing when I have to go back to edit something or change colours, to find out that I have to start over again.

Looking back at old designs, I'm happy to see that I definitely have some designs that suit the fall and winter seasons.  Here are some of my favourites.

Wedding Invitation - Black & Red Damask FloralThank You Wedding Postcard Sage Green White DamaskWedding Invitation Classy Brown Gold FloralWedding Invitation Black & Gold Shimmer FloralWedding Invitation Silver Sparkle Floral SwirlsWedding Invitation Charcoal Grey Victorian Floral

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fine Tuning

Once in awhile, I simply have to dedicate my time to fine tuning my store.

I noticed the other day, when I was looking through Zazzle stores for wedding invitations for my Best Wedding Invitation Templates' Squidoo Lens, that it was much easier to navigate the page and I was more willing to use these people's designs when they posted pictures of what was in the folders.  I realized that this is something that I have yet to do in my own store.  So, today is the day, that I dedicate to sprucing up my store.  Here is my progress so far... Floral Invitations

This is an example of one of the category icons.  I think it really makes a big difference from the standard folder.  Plus it makes browsing much easier.

Since I posted this photo on my BLOG, I've actually made more changes....fine tuning the fine tuning.  Revised Floral Invitations.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Purple Star Award for Best Wedding Invitations Lens

Today was an exciting day in Squidoo world.  I only just started making lenses at Squidoo just over a week ago and I just won a Purple Star Award.  This is a big deal.  They only give out 1000 of these per year and there are over a million lenses on Squidoo.  This is my second lens ever, mind you, I worked very hard at it.  The award winner is my first ever Best Customizable Wedding Invitation Templates lens.

This lens actually features one of my past wedding set designs for the lens image.  I designed this image, using one of my favourite artist's floral paint brushes, Mel's Brushes.  She has some fantastic designs that are perfect for manipulating and adding great features to my wedding designs.

Although many of the designs on my wedding invitation lens are my own, there is a large amount that are not.  I think that if I'm making a lens about the best wedding invitations, that I choose amongst the wide selection that exists online.

I'm looking forward to extending my wedding lens into more specific topics.  In the future, I plan to create a classic colours lens that will feature invitations with response cards and thank you cards.  I would also like to create a colourful wedding set lens and a destination invitations lens.

Purple Floral Swirl Wedding Set

I was a little too ambitious last night.  I was up until 1:30am designing this one, but I have to say, I'm quite proud of it.  Wedding Invitation-Purple-Green-Floral-Leafy-Swirl

This purple and green floral swirl wedding invitation  must have taken me around 1 1/2 - 2 hours to complete.  I'm not completely sure because I kind of lose track of time when I'm in "the zone."

This purple and green floral swirl wedding set contains matching rsvp cards, save the date cards, thank you cards, and wedding programs.

Usually, when I design a new set, it takes a little while to design my elements, but I have to say that most of my time is spent placing the design elements.  It becomes much quicker when everything is in place and I am simply changing the colours.  Zazzle has a great feature that allows you to customize your designs.  This allows me to simply go into a design I already made, then switch the colours.  All of my text and layout still exists, even the text and photo items that I have made into a templates are still in tact.  This really saves a lot of time once the initial design faze is complete.

Here is the rest of the set and of course, it will also be posted in different colours....probably not today though.
Wedding Response-RSVP Card-Purple-Floral-SwirlSave the Date-Photo-Wedding-Postcard-Purple-FloralWedding-Church Program-Purple-Floral-SwirlThank You-Photo-Wedding-Postcard-Purple-Floral

1st Blog

I figured for my first post, I would tell you about my Zazzle store, Pam's Designs.  I specialize in designing Wedding Stationary, Business Cards, party invitations, and occasionally I like to dabble in some fun things like IPhone Cases and Doodle Speakers.

Florist-Business Card-Elegant-Blue-White-Floral
I really enjoy Zazzle.  It's so much fun making new designs.  I can be as creative as I feel.  Sometimes, I will simply go around my yard taking pictures of my gardens and make a business card out of it. 

This florist forget me not business card is an example of me just having fun, shooting pictures in my yard.  I find it really amazing that you can do such neat effects with software these days. 

I find that I mostly go back and forth between Wedding Sets and Invitations and Business Cards.  When I feel like designing something elegant, I will usually go with a wedding design and when I feel edgy, I'll usually go with a business card design.  I find there's so much diversity that you can do.  I have a wide array of business cards from sleek and professional to elegant to modern and edgy to fun and exciting.  I think that one thing I would say all these cards have in common, is that they are all unique.  I think that is what the consumer is looking for.  To stand out from the competition.Makeup Artist Business Card-Bold-Zebra Print
Family Dentist-Business Card-Happy Teeth
My happy teeth design was actually one of my first designs.  I drew the teeth freehand, not realizing all the useful tools that were available to me.  But with time, you learn lots of tricks for designing.
The other cards posted on this blog are more recent.  The chandelier business card uses a lot of different and advanced design features.  I've added sparkle, depth, and shadow to this design.  I also used a neat tool, called the paths tool, to draw the curved, dotted lines.  It's actually pretty easy once you learn how to use it.

The lawyer business card also contains a lot of neat design elements.  This design uses many layers, uses special positioning tools to draw the plaque, transparencies and layers to design the ribbon along with the background.

Law-Business Card-Black-Stylish-Lawyer-AttorneyI've found with time, my designs have become more detailed.  They contain several design elements, where my original designs only contained a few.  I think that having all those layers of depth really adds to the design.

I'm really curious to see how far my designs have come in a year.  It will be really neat to compare them.