TheAspenStand

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

7 Recommendations for Personalized Valentine's Day Gifts


I am well aware that there is a love, hate relationship with Valentine's Day. I've observed that people either love Valentine's Day or totally oppose the concept. I have found there is no in between for a mediocre appreciation of it. People get stressed over what to get, whether a certain gift will insult someone or whether someone might feel left out. So to avoid the stress some people don't even recognize the day.

So if you don't plan to go all out by sending cards to all your acquaintances, friends, or loved ones just to let them know you care, I offer you some ideas that might be best individual valentines gifts for her and for him.

You will find quite a few great ideas for a total surprise on Valentine's Day in the Zazzle marketplace. I'm sharing two of my products and five others I found to be simple yet send a special message.

Personalized Teddy Bear In 3 Sizes


Zazzle recently offered this adorable Teddy Bear in three sizes ~ small 11", medium 17" and large 21". The eyes, nose, and mouth are embroidered for safety and durability. The tee shirt allows you to add a message, photos or digital art. The adorbs Teddy Bear below with my lighted heart fractal design allows you simply fill in template fields to change the text and it's personalized. You'll find more than 350 Valentine's Day themed Teddy Bears from which to choose in the Zazzle Marketplace.


Lighted Heart Fractal Artwork Teddy Bear


Personalized Sweets for the Sweet


Sweets for the sweetheart may not be for everyone but if it is for your special someone, I am betting that you didn't know Zazzle offered personalized boxes of chocolate. Well, now you know it chocolate is an option at Zazzle.

You can order chocolate with a specialized message on the box cover and on the chocolate. The chocolate is available in a mixed selection of 45 pieces of milk and dark chocolate as you see below with my lighted heart fractal cover design. You can also get a 2 lb block of your favorite chocolate.  You can peruse more than 1900 boxes with a Valentine theme

Lighted Heart Artwork Design 45 Piece Box Of Chocolates

Lighted Heart Artwork Design 45 Piece Box Of Chocolates

I went cruising the Zazzle marketplace to find some cute and simple ideas for those of you still wondering what do to for a unique gift. I found this adorable designed candy tin for you. This sweet teddy bear tin can be ordered empty for you to fill with a special surprise disguised as candy (hint, hint).

And if you don't have a surprise to fill it, you can choose something sweet right there on the product page. The tins can be ordered with mints or a favorite flavor of JellyBelly™jelly beans. 

Keeping with the sweet theme, you can choose a more sophisticated design like on this Snip Snap candy tin featuring an elegant heart design. Although the title says "gold glitter", the details are simulated in the artwork and no actual glitter is used in making the tin cover.

This can also be ordered empty or filled with a favorite jelly bean flavor or mints. You can find more than 4800 candy tins, bottles, and jars featuring the Valentine theme.

Gold Glitter Flourish Valentine Candy Tin

Gold Glitter Flourish Valentine Candy Tin

For The Guys


As I mentioned earlier in the post, I'm not going to forget some ideas specifically for the guys. There is a fun collection of more than 25 Men's Boxercraft Cotton Boxers designed specifically for Valentine's Day. The100% cotton boxers come in black or white and are available in sizes S-2XL. The design features a classic boxer cut, false fly and longer out-seam with an elastic waistband. These are unisex fit so they can be worn as underwear or sleepwear. You'll find the design below in that collection. 


Custom PROPERTY OF heart boxer shorts for men

Custom PROPERTY OF heart boxer shorts for men

Although not everyone wears ties to work, this Valentine's Day Zazzle Apparel Tie Collection of more than 600 ties might offer a great gift for those who do. The ties are 100% polyester with a silky finish. The tie is 55" long and 4" at the widest point on the bottom. This elegant gold heart outline design below is part of the collection. 


Red Gold Hearts Valentine's Day Men's Tie

Red Gold Hearts Valentine's Day Men's Tie

And for the guy's who are more accustomed to a casual look, I narrowed my search down to Valentine themed tee shirts with more than 1100 designs currently showing. This adorable Labrador design is included in that collection.


Black Lab Valentine Dog holding Red Rose T-Shirt

Black Lab Valentine Dog holding Red Rose T-Shirt

So there you have some recommendations and links to peruse for more ideas before giving up and waiting until the last minute for a gift. 

I look forward to you letting me know your thoughts on the holiday and the post in the comments. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

4 Talented Social Media Connections You Too Might Like To Know


As each year near's end I like to think back on what I accomplished, whether I left good along the path and what I can do better next year.

We've said "Buh Bye" to 2017 and I think back to folks who touched me throughout the year on social media. These are people I've never met in person but feel a connection to for all we've shared in this virtual whirlwind we call the internet.

I learned from people who spent time on my posts, followed, and interacted with me on social media and who are simply nice to stay in contact with throughout the year. These are a few of those wonderful connections I've made.


I have to lead off with Carol Stephen since she is the most interactive person I know on social media. You'll find Carol on several social media platforms. I probably visit with her most on Twitter where you'll find her as @Carol_Stephen.

You'll see Carol's Twitter bio shares that she is a "Conscious soul. Gym Mouse. Blogger for #Startups". She is also quite active on Pinterest. I learned how to make a slide presentation at the top of my Pinterest page by following Carol's blog.

Carol posts great information on a variety of social media subjects and publishes a new blog post each Thursday. She runs the weekly Twitter chat, #DigiBlogChat, on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. pacific daylight time. If you follow her on Twitter, you'll see her posts announcing the weekly chat. You should check it out.


I am happy to add Joe Valencia, a New Jersey native, to this round-up. I met Joe on a now-closed community blog site. We interacted there and when we both left that site we continued to stay in contact.

Joe is a photographer, blogger, and also has a YouTube channel. You can find Joe's photography portfolio and more at Joe Valencia Fine Art Photography.

Joe is active on Twitter, where I'm most likely to be chatting with him. You will find him there as @WanderPhotog posting his photography, motivational quotes and more.


I definitely want to mention Ariane Corminboeuf. I met Ariane sometime mid-year 2017 through someone's Facebook posts. She is such a sweet and sharing person. She's also a Zazzle designer who posts adorable art and is also active on Twitter as @iCraftcafe.

Ariane sells her work on several print-on-demand sites. You can also find her on Facebook where she shares her products from all the sites she sells along with other fun and interesting information.

In 2017 she asked for suggestions to add to a sketch story she was doing about traveling pumpkins. It was fun to see her final production on YouTube ~The Little Pumpkin Summer Trip.


Annette Sugden is another creative individual I wanted to mention in this post. Annette is a talented artist who kindly visits and comments on my Facebook page often.

I've followed Annette for some time after seeing her fun, creative designs. She can be found on Google as +ArtVixen. Annette's Facebook page is titled Art Vixen where you're sure to find fun and interesting art like her mermaid page banner above.

Annette also shares her work and products at print-on-demand sites Redbubble and CafePress.

You now know some of the interesting and interactive folks who I am very grateful to know via social media. I urge you to go check them out.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

4 Genuine Reasons to Embrace Cuddling At Home


Winter has arrived for many of us and it's chilly. Are you looking for unique and cozy all in one shot? Here's an idea.

Fleece blankets are a recent new arrival at Zazzle. These soft comfy blankets come in three sizes: 60" x 80" Large; 50" x 60" Medium; 30" x 40" Small

I purchased five of the large size blankets for gifts and was pleasantly surprised at the printing quality from edge to edge on the front. The back is an off-white. The sturdy double edge stitches offer a clean finish. These soft blankets are machine washable but recommended for a low tumble dry. 

The large (60+ x 80") blanket below features a recent addition to my store. Having the models hold up the blanket gives you a sense of size. 


Aspens Trunks & Snow Blend Photograph Fleece Blanket



Something to think about is that queen size mattress dimensions are 60" x 80" so the large blanket will cover the top of a bed. That means, it should fit the top of a full-size bed in the same way and fall over the edges of a twin (38" x 75"). 


I ordered one that was simply a word cloud design and was very happy with how the lettering printed. Here is my Chocolate, Almonds and Dark Chocolate Word Cloud Fleece Blanket. You can snuggle up with your personal love of chocolate. The design is a chocolate lover's dream sporting a word cloud of chocolate, dark chocolate, almonds in English, German, and French.

Here you can see how it fits draped over a love seat to give you another idea about size. You can see that it falls nearly to the floor over the back of the seat. 


Chocolate Lover's 60" x 80" Fleece Blanket

The cozy fleece blanket below is a red color splash photograph of the famous corner in Winslow, Arizona along historic Route 66. A facade was built on this corner that was made famous by the Eagles song "Take It Easy". I made the photo black and white leaving the red as a prominent element since the flatbed Ford was red.

The Famous Corner In Winslow, Arizona

This last blanket is designed from a photograph taken of a lone grizzly bear in Denali, Alaska. I loved the fall colors for the background.
Grizzly Bear In Denali, Alaska

Would you use one of these type fleece blankets as a throw over a chair or a bed? Would you just use it to cuddle up?

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

5 Creative Tech Ensembles to Personalize A Workspace



Does your workspace decor evolve with time? Have you tried to give your cubicle some of your personality? 

Probably the most visible items one can view in work area are photographs. Family, friends, and of course the best of the selfies. Framed, pinned to a cork board, or a cut-out print slapped on a metal cabinet with a magnet.

I'm going to offer you some ideas for office ensembles that can give your space a shot of color, pizzazz, and a glimpse of personality.

Keyboards


Since the keyboards are the biggest of the ensemble, here's some information on them. The USB dongle plug and play wireless keyboards are PC and Mac friendly. They measure at 17.5"x 6.75"x .75". The keyboards have a low battery LED indication with low profile keys. Keyboards runs on two AAA batteries which are included.

These colorful festive confetti toss designed tech items are found with other items in the colorful design category.


Colorful Festive Confetti Toss

Mouse Pad

The next smaller item in reference to size is the high quality, full-color printed mouse pad. It will protect your moue and desktop from scratches and debris. the mouse pad measures 9.25" x 7.75" with a non-slip backing. The printed cloth cover is dust and stain resistant. Since I've ordered several I know mouse pads, I know you will get a distinct scent upon opening the package. the scent is from the pad or the ink but after a short time out of the package, you won't smell it. 

The unique green metal weld grunge product below are among many in my store category. These can make a unique design for a shop office, garage, or man cave.


 Green Metal Weld Grunge

Wireless Mouse


The smallest and last item you might consider for a three-piece ensemble is the wireless mouse. the mouse is an easy plug-and-play installation using a USB dongle that is Mac and PC friendly. It uses two AAA batteries that are included. It has a low battery LED indicator and an auto sleep function for maximum battery life. The mouse is 2.25" x 4" x 0.9".

The golden floral grunge design below was a fractal that looked like a flower so I did some editing and added vines and leaves to give it something to cling to. I like the contrast with the black background.

 golden floral yellow grunge

The three products below feature my Digital Art Curls design. You can find these three products among many featuring this design. You'll also find this design in five additional colors ~ red, yellow, blue, green, and orange. 

 Digital Art Curls

The last collection offers you my colorful espresso cup and saucer design on the keyboard, a word cloud espresso design is embedded in the mouse pad and there are three background designs on the tiled image over black, teal, and white. 

 colorful espresso cup and saucer

What give's your workspace personality? 

Leave me a comment and let me know your decor ideas and thoughts on the post. 


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Easy Way to Preserve Fun Family Memories


A lot of families STILL spend time together working on jigsaw puzzles. If you put away all the tech gear and sit around working on a community style project you might learn a few things. You might even find a new way to enjoy each other.

Puzzles come in quite a variety of shapes, sizes, and piece counts. For me the more pieces the more fun. I remember trying to finish up one while on a business trip and staying at vacation rental style accommodations. It's addicting when you know your time is limited.

But what do you do with them once they are finished? Some go back in the box but you may have some that you might like to keep. You can save those memories as I discussed in a previous post on the blog.

Let me pique your interest since Zazzle offers thousands of jigsaw puzzles by thousands of independent artists and photographers. I collected a few from Zazzle designers that I'm familiar with from online groups to share with you here.

This interesting geometric Fractal Squared 20", 676 piece square puzzle is designed by Jaclyn (Jackie) Hughes. She manages The Gift Of Sass Zazzle shop where you can find many more uniquely designed puzzles.


Fractal Squared Jigsaw Puzzle

You'll also find this fractal design titled Glowing Beauty 14" x 11", 252 piece puzzle in Jackie's store too. 


Glowing Beauty Jigsaw Puzzle


Artist Sally Lanier manages Painted Dreams Designs store on Zazzle. I found this beautiful Buckskin Tobiano Paint Horses 14" x11", 252 piece puzzle in her store.

Buckskin Tobiano Paint Horses Jigsaw Puzzle

Donna Cervelli is an artist and designer who offers wonderful original work in her Zazzle store HeART and Soul Artwork. I remember seeing her post this beautiful Summer Sunset piece on a different product and thought it would make a great puzzle. Now you get to see it as an 11" x 14", 252 piece puzzle.


Summer Sunset Jigsaw Puzzle

This Autumn Garden puzzle of Donna's is another I like since autumn is such a colorful season in some locales.

Autumn Garden Jigsaw Puzzle

Lucy Williams manages several product-specific stores on Zazzle. You'll find her English Rose Macro 8" x 10", 110 piece puzzle in her Urban_Lights store. 

English Rose Macro Floral flower Close Up Petals Jigsaw Puzzle

Now that I've got you checking out cool puzzles, I'm also sharing another method to preserve a puzzle that I found on the blog Between Naps on the Porch titled How to Save or Frame A Jigsaw Puzzle.

You can find the Blue Eyed Kitten Under Blanket at the top of the post in my store. 

Leave a comment to share your favorite puzzle story or your thoughts on this post.