October 26, 2009

Sunset at Figueira da Foz Portuguese beach

Last Sunday, October 25, we've had Daylight Saving Time clock usual change - 1:00 AM back to 12:00 Midnight. I hate it. As a result, we´ll get an early evening with the sun going down too soon for my taste for the following months. I took this photo 45 minutes ago.In Summer at this same hour we have still a lot of natural light...

October 25, 2009

My store is one week!

It has been a week since I opened the store. It’s too soon to have an opinion on how it will perform but I have a good feeling about it. I discovered lots of excellent stores, great artists are selling great stuff on Zazzle. It’s a market like any other.

I had two surprises from two Zazzlers, one posted one of my designs (Party Flu!!!) in the front page of the store, the other made a public show of her gratitude on her blog just because I dropped by her Wall page to leave some words. Both reactions are fantastic proof of generosity. We Zazzlers need publicity and so I am happy and thrilled with what these two absolute strangers did.

Moonman’s store theme is all things space. It's called 3DMoonman store. It was fun to visit his (or her) planet on Zazzle as I am such a sci-fi fan. I’ve seen all movies, all TV series and read all possible comics about the conquest of space, alien life, life on the moon, everything! It’s fascinating. 

As for K’s – I call her K- I found her blog by pure accident and read about her Zazzle experience. She sounded a bit disenchanted and so I decided to visit her store and leave her some words of incentive. Her store is named K-Rich's place. It has been only a week but I have already understood that is harder to promote the store than to create products! If we are new to it we must be persistent and keep working. And that’s all I said. So imagine my surprise when I saw her blog post and her Squid Lenz. No need for that at all. I was moved and I really hope she can find time to make more drawing and get new stuff on the store. She’s is a mother of three children so probably she doesn't have much free time. As for me, I do not have children of my own...maybe that's one reason why I create designs for all the children!

(Please tell me if you find English mistakes. This is not my mother tongue!)

October 22, 2009

The name of the store: A Portuguese Love

Things started nicely. I put into my head that in one weak my new Zazzle store should open to the public. I am a determined girl and so I did. I called my shop The Portuguese girl. I liked that name very much. I googled it but not enough and this is a lesson I’ve learned. One must be careful before naming stores. My shop was running and I was happy with it. Well, not too happy. Some of the designs were finished in a rush to fulfill my goal. My new store had 30 visits each day, lots of encouragement on The wall, nice words from the Zazzle community. I joined a lot of Fan Clubs and got my share of fans too. I discovered some pretty good galleries. Two of them belonged to Portuguese girl and mother.

Then on Sunday morning, I googled again and there it was! I found a shop named as mine and selling also Portuguese inspired designs. Ok, I know that I am not being 100% original here. But what a coincidence that a Portuguese girl living in California also fancied the name I picked! I wrote to her apologizing and confessing my surprise. I was not stealing her name, I did not know about it. At that time I still wanted to keep the name. But as soon I as click the send button on my email box I realized I had to change it. I was the one to blame. I did not look carefully. But I was overwhelmed by the idea of re-uploading everything. Starting all over again? Yes. I had to.

I sent Zazzle an email reporting the need to delete the store. Almost immediately Zazzle answered and I was informed that my shop would be deleted. This happened too fast and I wasn’t able to keep the contacts of some wonderful stores I had found in the last two days. The new store opened on 18th October under the name A Portuguese love. Some designs were updated in the process. When I finished doing it was completely fed up with it, I could not look at the monitor no more! And the store looked so empty without any comments on the Wall!

Even today I am still trying to find some of the initial galleries I visited! But most visitors came back and that was sweet! So here's my first advice to anyone reading this post. If you are about to create a store in Zazzle or Café Press or Etsy GOOGLE the store name very well!

(Please tell me if you find English language mistakes. This is not my mother tongue!)

October 17, 2009

Sweethearts handkerchiefs or lenços de namorados

The sweetheart’s favors or "Sweethearts´ handkerchiefs", also known as "love handkerchiefs" are a Portuguese tradition. It dates maybe from the 17th century. They have a symbolic function - the conquest of a man's love. These squares are made of linen or cotton and have embroidered messages dedicated by a young woman to the man she is in love with. She then sent it to the man and, if her love was returned, he would use the handkerchief in public. In case he didn´t, the romantic dream was over. Often these handkerchiefs have language mistakes and rhyme. Designs include blackberry vines, bouquets, flowers, hearts, and keys to open hearts, butterflies, doves, religious symbols, etc. Linnen is embroidered in cross stitch, in running and stem stitches. 

Here's an example of "lenço de namorados". The maker is Virgínia Fonseca and she lives in Peso da Régua.  I like the simplicity and ingenuity of it all.
I created a line of products inspired by these "Sweethearts'handkerchiefs" and blue color.  Have a look!

A mug of hot chocolate and spice for Halloween?

Here in Portugal, we don´t celebrate Halloween. Mmmmm. Not totally true...a lot of acculturation has taken place. But kids do not do the trick-or-treat thing door to door yet. I like the spirit of Halloween! Pumpkins rule!  I am so fond of pumpkin. I do not know what´s Halloween traditional beverage. But I would like to fill this mug with hot chocolate. I found an interesting recipe at The steaming cup!

"The Aztecs were the first to serve chocolate as a drink, but they also mixed it with hot chili pepper to make a really special beverage. Try something exotic with your hot chocolate today. You can always reduce the amount of chili if it's too hot for you." 

Lot's of different colorful Halloween mugs! It will be hard to pick just one!

WHY? How to buy from Zazzle?

Welcome to the blog of A Portuguese Love Zazzle Store

The products presented on this blog are all for sale. (Some are created by Associate Zazzle Stores, not me. If you buy one of these I'll earn a small percentage.)
You can access to A Portuguese Love Store clicking on this link or the link in the above bar, any product/link on the blog posts, or any product/link presented on the flash widgets available on your right.
How can you buy a product from A Portuguese Love Store or Associate?

1. If it's your first time on Zazzle, you will have to register. It's a simple process. Then, when you find the product you wish to buy, you must click on top of it and you'll get something like this:

You can check product details for more information. Then you must click the button Add to Cart. After, if you have a Promo Code/Gift Certificate you must enter it. Then Proceed to check out and enter the Shipping address. It's pretty easy.

YOUR COUNTRY AND CURRENCY INTERFACE – A Portuguese Love Store is Zazzle.com and this means the American currency and English language. But you can browse the Store under a different country language and currency, maybe even your own.

On the Store page, look down and search for the flag of the country of your preference: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Japan, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium.

2. BUT! You may want to customize the product you're about to buy. Look at the blue button on the mousepad. It says CUSTOMIZE. This means you can introduce some elements or change some elements previously arranged by me. If that's the case you must click on the blue button to customize your product. This is what you'll see next:

As you can see the area on your right is now showing what we call the Zazzle tool. What can you do with it? Depending on the options made available to you by the product creator you’ll be able to:

- Remove Text and/or Images from the design

- Alter the image size/orientation/placement (using controls provided in the design tool)

- Alter the text size/orientation/placement/color/font

- Change the layering of design elements (adjusting which is "in front of" or "behind" other elements)

- Add Text and/or images not included in the original design

In this section, you can also determine the style of the product and color of the product you want to buy if there are several styles available.

I used the Zazzle tool to write "I am a good rooster". Have a look!

3. Some things make shopping on Zazzle even more enjoyable. These things are:

You don't have to buy multiples of the same items to receive a quantity discount. Example: you'll receive a quantity discount on any order of a quantity of different designer bags!

COUPON DISCOUNTS - Coupon Codes means you can buy more for less! Visit the Coupon Center when you’re placing an order to check if there is a discount for the product you want.

TURNAROUND TIME FOR ZAZZLE ORDERS - If you are wondering how long it will take for your product to be produced.

4. Some other things will make you feel at home when shopping at Zazzle. These things are:




ZAZZLE CUSTOMER SUPPORT : 1-888-8ZAZZLE (or 408-983-2800)

Hours: Mon - Fri: 6am - 8pm PST (9am - 11pm EST)


5. Zazzle currently accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and PayPal, as well as Zazzle earnings and gift certificates as payment.

What are my ideas for this blog?

 - In this blog, I'll write about how I find inspiration for my Zazzle drawings and also about Portuguese culture in a light and informal way. 

- I will show my Zazzle products. 

- Sometimes in the near future I will promote giveaways.

- I'll showcase products I like and stores from Zazzle artists...and more!

Any comments, questions, opinions, and suggestions are welcome!

Enjoy your visit!