3rd design : mermaid dreaming


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My intent originally was to do 1 design a day, do a blog post on it and a tutorial with a video.  I am finding out that thought is overly ambitious.  So I am going to post the design each day because I am keeping with my challenge of 1 design a day.  In the beginning, the design will be with product reviews because I am writing as I get the products back.  But not always.  Depends on if I got a product.  As you know Zazzle does not send a product sample so I am designing what is on 40 or 50% sale that day.  As Zazzle changes sales categories often, the products I design for will vary too.

So they had notecards and postcards on 40% sale.  I have just recently tried out a cool program called Topaz Studio and have been experimenting with it so I decided to use Topaz on my mermaid dreaming image.  This is an image I had worked with before in Photoshop with a photograph I had taken in Second Life.  I had changed it in photoshop working with blend modes and other techniques that I favor.  Also I had used a texture by Debbie Scott on a couple layers to increase the feeling of ocean.  She gives away one texture on the weekend for the weekend only so if you should definitely check out her blog.

So when I ran my image through Topaz, I came up three versions I liked.  First I will show my original — which is longer than what the 5×7 layout of the notecard allows — and then my versions within the 5×7 layout as I had to make some editing decisions.

My original:

And then here are my three versions for the 5×7 card


This first one I called the Greco style as it was my image but elongated to fit within the 5×7 parameters. The mermaid’s body became elongated which reminded me of the style of painting that El Greco did. This second one was changed in Topaz and I felt that it had a more Impressionistic feel.

The third one I thought had a more Expressionistic feel

As I liked all three, I asked friends in real life, Second Life and facebook which they liked best.  Most people chose Expressionistic.  I decided to wait until I received the postcards before I made my final decision but I would leave only one of the versions up on Zazzle.  It’s too confusing having different versions of the same image and it’s hard to see the differences in their image.

Problem is the cards have arrived and I am happy with all 3 versions.  So I have decided to keep with the majority choice and kept Expressionistic up.  I had to make one small change — there was a tiny bit of white on the image that bothered me on the notecard but not on the screen.  This happens sometimes so I cloned over the that white.

Also Cynthia suggested that she liked the Expressionistic the best but she liked having the full arch from the Greco version and suggested I try to get the full arch into the Expressionistic version.  So I will try a 4th version elongating the Expressionistic one the next time there is a card sale to see if I will like it better.

Notecard and postcard review: I love the quality of the cards.  They are glossy and a good cardstock.  My images looked great so that was good too.  My only beef is that Zazzle stamps their logo on the back of the card and the postcard.  The card is no problem because the space is big enough that I had also put on “designed by Cactus Dreams”.  Postcard is more of a problem because there is no space for Cactus Dreams.”

Notecards made by Zazzle Greeting Cards in Reno, NV.  Postcards made by Zazzle Greeting Cards in Reno, NV.

I need to change my Zazzle store name to Cactus Dreams.  I already saw that Cactus Catz doesn’t really work as while I love cats, not everything will be cats. I was so busy getting the domain name CactusDreams and setting up this blog, I didn’t make that change so going to go do it now.


disclaimer: as a designer of the cards, Zazzle gives me a royalty if anyone buys anything with my design. As an associate, I may earn a commission if someone buys something by clicking links on this page whether or not I’m the designer.



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