Archive for holiday

Luck o’ the non-Irish!

Posted in Birdy27's world of design with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by birdy27

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the most challenging things about creating designs for tees and other imprintables is keeping up with the holidays and special occasions. If you thought these events came around pretty fast for you, try conceptualizing, designing, and creating final products for each of them weeks before they occur. Whew! It’s insane! After exhausting most of my ideas before Christmahanukkwanzaa, I have to start getting ready for MLK day, Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day. And this is just within the first 3 months of a calendar year. Fast and furious indeed.

Often I can’t even find inspiration until the holiday or special occasion is just around the corner. Wherever inspiration comes from, it adapts to my “works best under pressure” mentality. This is how I got through college and all of a master’s program. This is how I work best. However, this is not what works best for this type of t-shirt biz.

It would be one thing if my job was limited to designing. But when you’re working online with a couple of PODs–print-on-demand companies–and you are your entire staff, then you’ve got perhaps hundreds of products to “produce.” (This isn’t true for my local sales. I only offer a small percentage of the designs I have for my local sales.) With PODs, there usually isn’t a limit to the number of designs you can offer; I have 500+ in’s marketplace and I create more every week. Hey, that’s a cool thing! You can test designs, do custom orders, do quirky designs, and you don’t have to worry if those designs don’t sell. (For my local sales, if a particular design doesn’t sell, then I’m one unhappy birdy.)

This is mostly a good thing. However, I have to take the designs and put them on products. With, I have to pick which print colors I would like for each design based on the color of the product. With, if I want to change the print color, then I have to go back to the design and create a brand new file with the new colors and this is true for every print color change. Then, for both companies, I have to write descriptions for the designs and figure out tags or keywords for the designs. Next, I have to upload the designs and products into the marketplaces. Double whew! And then it’s time for marketing. But hold on! By this time the next holiday is fast approaching.

I’m not complaining really; I actually love what I do. But could I live without some of it? Yeppers. Do I feel horribly depressed when a holiday passes and I’m so late getting all this done that I miss some sales. Uh huh.

So here I am again. St. Patrick’s Day sales have already begun. Now I’m feeling inspired. And I’m feeling the pressure. Luckily I have quite a few Irish-themed designs already in Spreadshirt’s marketplace. To be clear, I’m not someone who solely focuses on current events and the latest popular topic. Now THAT would drive me to drink. A good portion of the designs I do are non-event specific designs. As Zazzle’s holiday list demonstrates, there are more of these that I could ever keep up with. But I do try to hit as many of the major days as I can. And no matter how many concepts I conjure up, I never feel like I’ve done enough.

Here are a few of my new Irish-themed designs. Most are available on tees/other apparel, bags, and aprons on’s marketplace. (Click on this Birdy27designs link to all all available designs.) A few are offered on tees, doggy tees, magnets, mugs, mousepads, hats, bags, aprons, stickers, buttons, key chains, postcards, greeting and note cards, and more through (Click on this link for my Birdy27 designs on Zazzle.) I also have some in my Who U Be Tees shop with Spreadshirt. (Click on this WUBT link.)

And please, by all means, send some inspiration my way for Easter! Chirp, chirp!

Note: For all online products except Zazzle items, get 15% off all orders of $35 or more until March 12th! Use MARCHSALE2 in coupon code.



Designing Work Is Never Done!

Posted in Birdy27's world of design with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2010 by birdy27

Whew! When I started my t-shirt business, the only thing I really knew how to do was write slogans/concepts. I had no idea what I was getting myself into! If you had told me five years ago that I’d also become a graphic designer, that I’d be selling products with my designs on them at a craft fair/flea market, that I’d learn how to build a website, I would have denied it all.

One thing I haven’t mastered is getting designs ready for various holidays; you have to think ahead in order to get the timing just right. And I never noticed how the holidays just keep on comin’. I find myself scrambling to do my holiday-themed designs early enough.

Now that Valentine’s Day is almost here, it’s time to start working on my 2010 St. Patrick’s Day designs. I’m decidedly not Irish and that has been a source of inspiration. I’ll post a few of them soon.

Since I started working with online print-on-demand companies, I’ve actually sold hundreds of  my slogans/concepts, the majority I’ve designed myself.  Scores of people I’ll probably never meet are wearing t-shirts with my designs and I’m eternally grateful to them all. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of my fans in person at the craft fair/flea market. It touches me when someone likes what I’ve created enough to hand me their hard-earned money. And the coolest thing is that they walk away smiling because I’ve created something they value. I LOVE it!

But designing work is never done, so I better get back to work. I tried to add some images in this post, but, um, I failed. Until i figure out how to do it right, you can find my designs at:

– Birdy27’s Zazzle shop:

– Who U Be Tees:

Oh, I should also say that my company name is ALA International. Go to the ALA International website to get to all of my shops and to see some of my cool designs.

I haven’t added anything lately to Kool Kids Tees and I Shop I Am Tees, but I’ll try to get to that soon. Go to my ALA International website for the latest Birdy27 info or bookmark this blog. Chirp, chirp!


post-thanksgiving–very busy

Posted in Birdy27's world of design with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2009 by birdy27

well, i didn’t meant to go so long without a post, but i was so busy pre-thanksgiving and i’m still busy post-thanksgiving. so much designing to do before the holidays! i’m creating some custom gifts for friends and family as well as my usual task of creating more designs i hope the public will likey.

in addition to creating t-shirt designs, i started creating greeting and note cards. stressful, but kind of fun once the dimensions weren’t so much of an issue. now i have a mom’s b-day card with complete verse, a couple of xmas cards with verses, a couple of kwanzaa cards, some cards with shoes, and some other note cards. kind of cool. i had a couple of card verses published a while ago, so it’s interesting to now be the writer and the designer.

i’m also now designing stationery. my mom loves chocolate brown, so, for her b-day, i created a nice classic stationery design in chocolate brown, tan, and beige. she loves butterflies, so i designed some cute butterfly wings and they are kind of flying across the paper. she loved it! and i just finished a pig stationery design for a family friend who loves pigs.

i still love doing designs for apparel, but it’s kind of nice to branch out. this is gift-giving time, so it’s nice to have options, don’t you think? 

today is the last day of the extended cyber monday sale for my online items (not through my zazzle shop), so i’m trying to get a lot of stuff done. an entrepreneur’s work is never done.