Design a Day Challenge 2018 – Print on Demand

Design-a-Day Challenge 2018

So I’ve been doing a Print on Demand (POD) Design-a-Day Challenge on Red Bubble which began on January 1, 2018. The idea was to do a t-shirt design (or merch of any kind) every single day in the year 2018.  The hope was that two things would result at the end year,…1) I’d sell some products and make a bit of extra money, and 2) I’d get better at graphic design. Well that’s the theory anyway…

Halfway Through the Design-a-Day

This week marks the halfway point to my design-a-day challenge. Today is day 182 – so 183 days remaining. Generally, but not always, the designs I come up with are inspired by conversations I have with people that day. Something they say or I say. It could be something I hear someone else say. The inspiration also comes from songs, books, TV shows or films I watch. Really it could be anything from anywhere that winds up as my design-a-day: places, phrases, icons or anything.

Sometimes people ask me to design something for them…which I do for FREE and then upload it for them to buy.*

Today’s design is my own quote – “Perspective is a Mirror Not a Fact”. It’s not one I think will sell many (or even any) but a lot of this challenge is me doing what I please anyway. Naturally I’d wear it, it’s my quote.

Buy Perspective is a Mirror not a Fact on nearly 60 different products like this Tank Top

Print on Demand – Strategy

I will be doing more posts about Print on Demand (POD) in the coming weeks – here and on other channels.

I’ve slowly been compiling a list of tips, tools, influencers to follow, Youtube Channels  to subscribe to and FB groups to join. (Hey if you’re in the UK, I am even an admin on one called Merch Across the Pond)

Merch By Amazon - Merch Across the Pond

One thing worth mentioning is that there is no right or wrong way to do Print on Demand. You can do it on one channel – like Amazon Merch (aka Merch by Amazon). Or you can be a Multi-Pod and upload your designs to several places – like Red Bubble, TeeSpring, TeePublic, Spreadshirt, and the like. (A future post on some of these PODs will be coming soon).

You can do designs yourself or you can outsource it to a professional that you know – or maybe using a site like Fiverr.  (There are loads of ways and sites to find a designer).

You can do research into niches and trends, or you can do whatever you damn well please (which is my current M-O). Again no right or wrong, just whatever works for you!

You've Made a TeePublic Sale...

It Feels Good to Make a Sale

I can tell you right now, it feels great to make a sale. Though I am not doing well on Merch, (organic sales wise), I am doing decent enough on both Red Bubble and TeePublic. I never tire of getting those “You’ve made a sale” emails from them.

Finally, Amazon Merch currently only ships to the USA. Red Bubble and TeePublic ship globally.

Watch out for more POD posts coming soon.

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Searching for the Best Music for Spotify Playlists

Let's Connect on Spotify

Searching for the Best Music for Spotify Playlists

Music is my life. Really, it’s as important to me as food, air, and all the other essentials we humans need to live. So I’ve been creating and curating some of the best music for Spotify playlists that I can uncover. I’m finding songs that are old, new, or new to me and also adding tracks that are all time faves too.

So far I’ve broken down my playlists into different genres. They are: Indie Anthems (90s), Acoustic/Coffee House type tunes, even some Old School R&B for good measure. I’ll be adding to them as I remember tracks or I come across them. I’ll do a Classic Rock (what I call Junior High tunes), and maybe a Love songs playlist next. The playlist opportunities are endless.

Revisiting Spotify

It’s funny really – because I’ve been a Spotify account holder for nearly decade (it launched in Sweden in October of 2018) – but for many years, I simply didn’t use it, at all. I am not sure why. Then maybe two years ago, I picked it up and started to create playlists on it more diligently.

I figure, if I can’t be on the radio, this could be the next best thing. So playlist-building I began.

Thea's Indie Anthems - 1990s - Playlist on Spotify

Indie Anthems – US and UK

There are two Indie Anthems playlists on Spotify. There is one for Indie music from USA (mostly) and another for tracks from the UK (mostly).

Music can bring up so many good memories can’t it? Hearing some of these 90s songs brings me right back to different experiences – whether it was University days in Northern California or the move to Scotland and being on the radio – where many awesome bands came into my radio show to do interviews and sessions.

Travel Playlists

I created a few location playlists. They are both called “Oh the Places We Go”. They will take you on a journey – to places in the USA or to musical hot spots in EuropeThe European one is my newest one and so it’s not good to much on it. There are songs about London, Berlin and I’ll find some for Glasgow I am sure…

Thea's Coffee Shop Sounds Playlist on Spotify

Acoustic/Coffee House Sounds

Well I’m not a coffee drinker, but I do like hanging out in the them. I often love music that plays in coffee shops, the cool ones anyway…(Gosh I miss Beanscene in Scotland…) Anyway two of these playlists are pretty chill/similar actually. They’re perfect for home, the office or wherever you want some nice background music going on.

The older I get the more the acoustic stuff has become my mainstay. It’s probably what I listen to most.


Reach out to me…

I love trying to find the best music for Spotify Playlists – so if you have any musical suggestions – be sure to reach out to me on Spotify with them or by commenting in the comments below here.

The possibilities for playlists are endless. Scottish tracks, Body Parts, TV show inspired – you name it, there’s an opportunity for it.

Hope we can connect on Spotify, or over on my Thea’s Things Facebook page (thanks to the algorithm there it doesn’t get much love and engagement)

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Canva Training Courses Coming Up – Book Now

Thea Newcomb - Canva trainer in Scotland

Canva Training & Workshops

Good news for anyone local who is interested in some Canva training courses, there are a few coming up in a few different regions of Central Scotland. All of the following events are FREE events with Business Gateway. Read on to see where and when these upcoming events are taking place…

What is Canva?

First though, if you don’t know what Canva actually is, it’s a FREE online tool that allows you to create eye-catching graphics to use both offline and on.

 You can create a logo, a flyer, brochure, business cards, buttons for your website, web and social media headers and so much more! You can also use Canva to source images to use on your website and social media channels!

…And did I mention, you can do all this for FREE?

Canva Course, BG Lanarkshire

My first Canva course for 2018 is 22 February – Business Gateway Lanarkshire.

This course is being held at Business Gateway’s Atrium Business Centre from 1:30pm-4:30pm.

It is recommended that you bring your own laptop to this course as it’s an interactive training session.

To book Creating Killer Graphics at Lanarkshire, go to this Events page on Business Gateway.

2nd Canva Workshop – East Dunbartonshire

The next Business Gateway Canva Workshop for 2018 will be held in Milngavie on 1 March.

This will be my first time delivering a workshop in East Dunbartonshire (though have delivered the Canva training to the Business Gateway staff already).

The event is 9:30am-12:30pm at Milngavie Enterprise Centre.

Again you’ll want to bring your laptop as this course is practical. To book the March 1 workshop, please visit the Business Gateway Events page here.

Evening Canva Training – Ayrshire

For those who can’t make day time events, you may be happy to learn that one is being held in the evening.

Join me at 5pm on the 6th March, in Ayrshire at Greenwood Conference Centre, Dreghorn.

At the moment this workshop is “Fully-booked” – so I would advise putting it in your calendar and checking nearer the time.

There are often a lot of “no shows” – so you will probably get in. Perhaps give BG Ayrshire a phone to get on the waiting list, or keep an eye on Ayrshire  BG’s events page to see if any cancellations come up. (Honestly they will come up)…

Finally, Canva in Paisley

Last but not least, there is a recent addition to the Canva courses – this time it’s Paisley for Business Gateway Renfrewshire – tentatively slated for March 8 at 1:30pm in InCube.

This has just been confirmed today and will be added to the Business Gateway Events system in due course (pun intended).

So if you’re interested in attending, do keep an eye on the BG Renfrewshire course area or follow their FB page to be kept up to date. Or call them up to book on.

Before I Go, “Blogging for Business”

Just a final mention of one other workshop coming up this week for Business Gateway Ayrshire – it’s Blogging for Business.

You can book this Valentine’s Day course here.

The course has also just been confirmed for Paisley on the 15 March at 1:30pm.

Again keep an eye on BG Renfrewshire’s events if you’re interested in that one too.

That’s about all that’s on the BG courses on the books at the moment.

The rest of the time is spent doing one to one training with a wide variety of clients across the Central Belt.

Want to Connect with Me?

Feel free to connect with me on the Thea’s Things Facebook page.

Also please check out my latest t-shirt designs on my Design-A-Day 2018 over on Redbubble.

If you would like any one-to-one training then please feel free to reach out to discuss how I might be able to assist you on 0141 416 1492.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Thea’s T-Shirts: A Design a Day on Red Bubble & Merch Too

Click the pic to buy a Ralph Says Things T-shirt on AmazonT-Shirts: My Design a Day on RedBubble & Amazon Too

Just a really quick update about the world of Thea’s t-shirts. In particular how I am doing a “Design a Day” on Red Bubble & Merch By Amazon Tees too.

So this whole t-shirt thing started last summer – when I stumbled across a video about Merch by Amazon. I was desperately trying to find ways to make some money for my dad – via Ralph Says Things . I loved the idea of making a few bucks for t-shirts for the auld yin.

The royalties seemed amazing. Like $7.00 if you priced a shirt at $19.99. Not bad eh?

At first, I thought it would take a week, or maybe a month, to be approved by Amazon. How wrong could I be?

Around eight months later, it finally happened. Last week! Yippee.

Week One on Amazon – Tier 10

The first shirt that went live on Amazon Merch was simply the Gaelic word “Cosagach” – meaning “Snug” or “Cosy” if you believe Visit Scotland… Or it may actually have a less favourable interpretation if you were to ask a proper Gaelic-speaking Scot…That said, it may actually mean more about “Wet Moss than Warm Blankets”

Within 90 minutes of the shirt going live – it had a sale! Admittedly it was a friend in Michigan, but still. A sale’s a sale. And it was nice to be off to a good start.

Original Cosagach t-shirt design by Thea Newcomb

So as I am writing this blog, I decide to go get the link to said shirt and I see some ASSHAT has actually copied my design EXACTLY – the same font, same style, making no effort what-so-ever to make it his or her own.

Charles Caleb Colton said “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery” – but what just happened with that shirt was actually lazy forkin’ theft.

Sure go ahead, nick the word, and make it your own, but the asshat stole all of it and that’s decidedly UNCOOL, man.


The Next Day was a Ralph Says Things Shirt.

Have you been following Ralph on Social. He’s “Ralph Says Things” on everything (e.g. @ralphsaysthings). The whole idea was to give him a bit of a reason for living. Something fun to focus on. It’s not making us loads of money but hey it amuses me, him and a few other folk who follow him so that’s cool.

Thea's Ralph Says Things - Face t-shirt

Click his face to buy your own Ralph Says Things T-shirt

Music is Better Than Everything

I’m quite pleased with the next t-shirt (which I am sure will be nicked in a matter of minutes…if my random Gaelic one was…) But it’s about my one, true love, MUSIC. I love music more than everything and so I made a shirt that said as much. If you’re a music fanatic or know someone who is, the please buy it and help me “tier up” to the next level in Amazon Merch. Apparently I need to sell 10 shirts to move up? I think so anyway, we’ll see. 4 shirts in so that means 6 to go. Rock and Roll. Pun intended.

Music is Better than Everything T-shirt by Thea Newcomb - the first on Amazon

Click to buy this original design on Amazon

The next t-shirt I designed this week was the Canyon City. It’s a private, limited edition shirt you’ll only have access to it if you come to the gig. Find out more on last week’s blog Canyon City Glasgow. If you’re near Glasgow do pop along. It’s going to be incredible.

There’s another one about being a non-parent too…

Not sure what I’ll do for tomorrow’s upload.

At Tier 10 you can only have 10 designs live.

Design a Day on RedBubble

Click the pic to check out Thea's Design a Day - Scoop Neck TeesMeanwhile I am seven or eight months in on RedBubble…and on a whim I decided to do a Design A Day for 2018. I’ve mostly been keeping up with it, but rather foolishly realised I’d uploaded the same design twice and now I am one behind (Day 16). So two on Day 17 I guess?

I sort of call what I am doing on RB – more “Positiva-Tees” if you see what I mean. They’re all pretty upbeat…Love, music, life, mind/body/spirit type stuff…

The great thing about RedBubble is that all the products can go on a variety of merchandise – mugs, clocks, apparel of all sorts, stationery, and so forth.

You can check out the men’s classic t-shirts here.

While I am not selling much on RB, I’ve not actually promoted my stuff there much so it’s not too surprising. There are moments I get a bit disheartened but then I remember I absolutely LOVE designing these shirts in Canva and creating these designs.

So at the end of the day it’s about the “MindLESSness” and Joy and less about the moolah. For now anyway.

I’ve not decided whether my “Design-A-Day” will be for the month of January or if I will try to do it for the year.

What do you reckon?

Well it’s nearly 2am so it’s time to close I think.

Thanks for popping by.

Please treat yourself or someone else to a t-shirt.

If not, then maybe simply share one somewhere.

Or not. Your call.

Cheers all.


UPDATE JULY 1: You can now go on to read my post at the halfway mark – Design a Day Challenge 2018 and if you’re interested, you can sign up for TeePublc for FREE here via my link.

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Thea Newcomb Presents: Canyon City in Glasgow Feb 5, 2018

Canyon City in Glasgow - Live on Feb 5, 2018 at Collabor8te

Thea Newcomb Presents: Canyon City in Glasgow Feb 5, 2018

Delighted to be presenting Canyon City in Glasgow on February 5, 2018 at Collabor8te co-working space. This unique event is the first ever Canyon City  (CC) show in Scotland and, along with London (and possibly Leicester), will be among the first few CC dates in the UK ever.

It’s  an absolute honour to be bringing such an esteemed musician to do this private, free concert in my beautiful city.

Read on to learn who Canyon City is, how this unique gig came about, and how to claim your FREE ticket to see this live and exclusive show…

Who is Canyon City?

Canyon City is the moniker for Nashville-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Paul Johnson. Don’t be fooled by the city he is coming from. Though he’s based in Nashville, it’s not what I would call “country music”. Paul actually writes and performs catchy, acoustic, indie pop tunes overlaid with dulcet lyrical tones. (I’m not sure that makes sense but it does in my head).

To date there are two full length albums Midnight Waves (2016) and Constellation (2017). His music has appeared in Gerard Butler’s film ‘A Family Man’, as well as the Hallmark TV program ‘Chesapeake Shores’ (a personal fave of mine). Among others.

I first discovered Canyon City via – a wonderful site to discover all kinds of fabulous creators (not just music but books are on there too).

I downloaded what was simply titled ‘Canyon City Full Catalog’ in April of 2016.

From the opening bars “Smoke and Ash”, I was hooked on Canyon City. Threw a CD mix together for my car that day and off I went to work in Campbelltown.

Canyon City provided a beautiful soundtrack for the 140 miles. Whenever I hear those earlier CC tracks now, it reminds me of that idyllic drive. Always.

If You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

Since discovering CC nearly two years ago, I’ve been playing tracks on my various radio shows, getting to “know him” via social media and keeping up to date via the Canyon City Mailing list.

That’s how I learned of the upcoming London show in February. Not wasting a moment, I immediately reached out and invited him to Glasgow. I said I’d book him a hotel room and find the venue. Basically “get yourself here and I’ll do the rest”. Somewhat surprisingly, he agreed.

My first thought was to host it at Celtic Music Radio (where I do the odd show), but then I decided the room where they have their living room shows was too small…

The next thought was Collabor8te. I wanted something different, and because it’s a great space, it’s central and, hey, it’s my second home in Glasgow…it was sorted. Teresa, Collabor8te’s owner, was delighted to host Canyon City as she’s always looking for innovative ways to both use her space and promote it to wider audiences.

Here’s a recent video to see Paul in action…

The Glasgow Gig

The Canyon City show in Glasgow is a FREE, private, intimate show. We’re the capping the guest list quite low. Though he doesn’t know it yet, I’ll likely interview him just as I would if he were appearing on my radio show. He’ll be playing an unplugged set – most likely without a mic or any amps (numbers permitting).

So if you’d like to come along to the Glasgow show you need to register on the Canyon City Glasgow Eventbrite link.

If you are within traveling distance of Glasgow then this is a show you won’t want to miss.

I guarantee you that the next time you see Canyon City in Glasgow, it will be to much larger crowds. Tuts. Barrowlands. Hydro. Larger. Mark my words friends, this show will be unmissable.

If you want to feature Canyon City in press or on the radio – please reach out to me on 0141 416 1492. Thanks!

Canyon City in Glasgow - Get Midnight Waves before the show!


In Case You Missed It…

Did you see my T-shirt Day 2017 post? Or the post about my new re-purposed Thea’s Things Facebook Page?

I have been remiss with my blogging but will endeavour to do better going forward in 2018. Until next time, I’m Thea saying “see ya”! 🙂

UPDATE: 10 JAN 2018

This brand new video was just shared on social media – premiering on The Blue Grass Station website – but as their video looks all wonky on the page, I thought I’d share the video here…straight from YT. It’s already added to Thea’s Canyon City Playlist on my YT channel.

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