World Flags and Country Name Tees

Auntie Shoe created these designs of national flags and group flags. They make great gifts for international holidays, birthdays, celebrations and, of course, Christmas.

World Flag and Country Name Tees
World Flag and Country Name Tees
by Auntie Shoe

Two of the Items Seen in This World Flags Collection

United Kingdom flag and Words in World Flags Collection
USA T-shirt in World Flags Collection

There are a variety of world flags from which to choose. Each one shows a particular flag. Underneath the flag is the name of the country or group. The name shows in the colors of the flag itself.

What ever possessed Auntie Shoe to create such designs and place them in such a collection? Well, not a lot to say on that note. Other than other cultures and ways of life have always interested your virtual Auntie. In college, she majored in political science, took a lot of history, and enjoyed any class that taught her about how other people live. It served her well in understanding people.

About twenty years ago, Auntie Shoe began a hobby. Obtaining a graphics program called Paint Shop Pro, she began to dabble in creating. It was fun and very enjoyable.

She opened a free graphics website, using free web space available in great quantity at the time. Soon, however, Auntie’s work was so popular that visits to her site exceeded the bandwidth allowed for free space. Now she had to make a decision. Close it or pay for it. After all the work she’d put in, and the number of people who emailed to say how much they depended on it for their own work, Auntie was hesitant to close it. But paying for it would not be cheap.

She bought a domain, ameriyank.com. And some web space and continued as usual. But, in the meantime, she had also found a new business called CafePress. For no money out-of-pocket, Auntie could sell original design on t-shirts, mugs and other things.

“Hmmmmmm”, thought Auntie, “Maybe I can earn enough to pay for this web space.” So, she started drawing flags in her graphics program. It kind of took off. And, happily, she was able to pay for her web space.

But a series of unfortunate events left Auntie unable to continue in her real estate career. The first was that she was, simply put, not happy in the business. But more importantly, bone spurs, carpal tunnel and a bunch of other ailments, from a variety of causes made it impossible for her to continue in that career.

Luckily, Auntie had found some success in the print-on-demand (POD) world. Limited as it was, it could grow in a way that would allow her to support herself, over time. And, well, it beat doing nothing and sittin’ on her disabled keister watching daytime TV.

So, Auntie Shoe worked a lot more with the world flags, creating several different designs. Some were just the flags themselves, others were, like the examples above, flags with the name of the country below it. Then came the heart shaped flags. Just all kinds of world flags were at Auntie Shoe’s disposal for creating interesting ways for people to share their travels, heritages, ethnicities and favorite cultures.

Soon, other POD sites opened like Zazzle and Spreadshirt and INKtastic. And, Auntie opened shops there as well.

Now your virtual Auntie has shops all over the place, with designs of all kinds, using world flags as part of the motif. Recently, Auntie started drawing penguins, angels and roses inspired by flags. All are original ideas that come from her imagination.

You can find various world flags designs at the following shops:
ink.flagnation.com
cafepress.com/ameriwear
zazzle.com/Flagnation
spoonflower.com/profiles/auntieshoe
redbubble.com/people/auntieshoe/

Creating the designs and adding them to various shops is quite time consuming, but fun. Using social media to promote items is tedious work. But for the most part, as a graphics designer online using POD, you spend about 90% of your time promoting yourself via blogs, Twitter Facebook, and the like.

Auntie likes Pinterest the best because it lets you create boards of interest. She does not have to create tons of accounts with a different country in each one, she just creates a board with the country and all goes well. Her followers can follow one country or all, as they see fit. That way she does not bore them to death with countries they are not interested in.

You can visit Auntie Shoe on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/auntieshoe/. Choose your boards and join the fun!

But, mostly, Auntie just likes to create the flags in her computer program and see how interesting and inspiring she can be. It is fun to see how the design turns out after Auntie has worked for hours to make it just right, and with variations to be sure it will look nice on the most amount of colors on T-shirts and other items.

While creating a flag design with the name of the country in a solid color works well for many, what Auntie especially enjoys doing is taking the extra step to make the name of the country or group match, as much as possible, the flag in question. It can take several hours, or days, in rare cases, to make it just right, but it is worth it to create something extra-special.

Auntie Shoe loves knowing she helps provide just the right gift for that special friend, husband, wife, friend or family member. Her work continues to be challenging and rewarding in its nature.

The work of the particular collection for this post is some of her best ideas. The designs are meant to help you promote your favorite culture, whether it is your own or just one that inspires you. Wear a shirt from Sweden, Denmark, Greece, or the United Kingdom.

So, if you enjoy different cultures, as Auntie Shoe does, you might find her work inspiring. If not, you probably will not care to participate further.

But your Auntie loves nearly everybody. What more could you ask for? Yeah, I know, a million dollars and some real cash!

Anyway, here is hoping you enjoy the collection and its aftermath.

Angel Flags 2015 Gifting Supplies

Auntie Shoe created a bunch of angels all dressed in the flags of various countries of the world. This allows you to choose the ones that best fit your family. Some items make lovely gifts, or will decorate your present in a special way. they say that each blog post should be 1000 words. I am too tired for that right now, gonna call it day and go with this.

German Shamrock Test Thingy

This is a test to see if Auntie Shoe can use some particular code correctly. So far, looking good for Auntie.

For the test, Auntie Shoe chose to use code found on Zazzle for those who have shops there. Auntie Shoe only has about a gazillion shops. The newest one with any large amount of designs is Shamrock Flags found at www.zazzle.com/ShamrockFlags. It is pretty much what you would expect, shamrocks with flags in each leaf. Makes it easy for Irish Americans, who have more heritages than just Irish and American, to celebrate themselves.

All the designs in this series feature the flag of Ireland in the top leaf and the USA flag on the left leaf. The right leaf changes, depending on the country used.

German Shamrock Watch for Kids

In our test case here, it is the German flag that fills the leaf on the right. The product shown is a wrist watch for kids. in this case, a sparkling silver one all glittery and stuff. It has green numbers that are easy to see and the German Shamrock tilts a bit to the right. Just for a bit of whimsical fun.

German Shamrock Wrist Watch
German Shamrock Wrist Watch by shamrockflags
Look at more Watches online at Zazzle

Now, just because this is a test, is no reason for you not to rush off and take a closer look at this great gift for kids. Teach them about their heritages while you also teach them how to tell time. Remember the days when you said, “The big hand is on the …”

Bet you can laugh a lot about that now. But, WOW, was it serious business when you were 5! A lot has changed since then, with most clocks and watches being digital in nature.

But, now, your kids can do the same until they learn to actually tell time without a digital device.

Diabetic Cookie Recipe Oatmeal Raisin

And, folks, THEY AREN’T TERRIBLE. Really, they aren’t. This is an oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe that actually tastes good.

Your Auntie Shoe is a diabetic. So, she has to watch her sugar intake. Also, diabetics need to be careful of fat and salt so we don’t end up in the emergency room with heart failure. In essence, we are like everybody else, just needing to be a bit more careful.

Your Auntie Shoe misses cookies. And cakes. And pies. And, well, anything that tastes good. That said, Auntie read some stuff here and there including an interview with a Greek cook who uses Greek yogurt in place of butter in baked goods. Measures it like for like, she does. So, Auntie thought this was good information for her own oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe.

And, most importantly, your Auntie thought, “That I can remember”. Auntie Shoe likes stuff that is measured the same when substituted.

So, armed with this new information, Auntie Shoe went looking on the Internet for an oatmeal cookie recipe to alter. She wanted to get more carbs out of the recipe. This is hard because oatmeal and raisins have, naturally, a higher carb content than many other types of cookies.

Finally, your Auntie decided to use the recipe on the back of her aged oatmeal box, with some major alterations.

First, substitute the wheat flour for almond flour/meal. Auntie used Bob’s Red Mill. But next time she is going to use Trader Joe’s when she makes an oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe.

Next, add some xanthan gum. 1/4 teaspoon for every cup of flour. That’s what it says on the package. Got that from Bob, too. You have to add this because flour has gluten and almond meal does not. Cookies look icky otherwise. Taste fine, just crumble to nothing and look stupid. So far, so good for Auntie Shoe’s oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe.

Oh, yeah, remember the part about Auntie Shoe being a diabetic? Well, that means you substitute Monk Fruit for the sugar. Auntie used a brand name Monk Fruit in the Raw because it measures the same and Auntie didn’t have to do any fancy math, er, math at all, in her oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe.

One thing is no one makes a substitute for brown sugar. Sooo, Auntie just used the monk fruit stuff. Tastes fine. Some think too sweet. Others not sweet enough. So, you decide.

Auntie Shoe’s Soon-To-Be-Famous Oatmeal Raisin Diabetic Cookie Recipe

Anyway….here is the list of ingredients you will need for the oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe:

1 cup 2% Fat Greek Yogurt (Auntie used Trader Joe’s house brand. Make sure yours is 2% fat AND Greek, too.)

1 1/2 cups Monk Fruit in the Raw

4 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups almond flour or meal

3/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups oats NOT COOKED

1 Cup raisins

The Monk fruit sweetener is very, very, very light. When you mix it, it flies all over the place. Soooo, place the monk fruit in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, add the egg whites and vanilla. Stir a little bit. Add about half of the egg mixture to the monk fruit.

Stir SLOWLY. SERIOUSLY, VERY, VERY, VERY SLOOOOOOOWLY. See that big mess you have to clean up all over the counter because the monk fruit flew all over the place? Yeah, you didn’t do as your Auntie Shoe said, did you?

Add the rest and stir till blended. STILL, STIR SLOWLY.

Next, add the yogurt. Stir until fully blended. You can stir as fast as you like. Once the monk fruit is wet, it doesn’t fly all over your kitchen. And, you nevermind how Auntie Shoe got this information.

In another bowl, add the almond meal, xanthan gum, baking soda and cinnamon. Mix it.

Gradually add the almond meal mixture to the yogurt mixture. Next add the oats, one cup at a time. Lastly, mix in the raisins. Now the oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe is ready to be baked.

Drop them in rounded teaspoon fulls on a cookie sheet. Auntie used baking parchment paper on the sheet, not anything greasy or sprayed. Nothing stuck. Worked great. You can use your own judgement. THERE IS NO BUTTER IN THESE, SO THEY WILL STICK UNLESS YOU DO SOMETHING.

When the first batch baked, Auntie Shoe discovered that they do not spread like normal oatmeal cookies. DUH! No butter…Sooooo, in subsequent batches, Auntie used a spoon or her fingers to spread the cookie dough out a bit. ‘Cause, honey, those suckers do NOT budge unless you help them. Just be helpful to your lovely little cookies and all will be well. They pretty much look like any normal oatmeal raisin cookie.

Auntie Shoe read that cookies made with almond meal need a lower temperature for baking, as well as a lower time. This includes her oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe. Soooooo….

Oven at 335 degrees. Seriously, 335.

Baking time about 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies came out chewy and nice. Cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes before eating.

Even the person in the household that NEVER likes ANYTHING that is healthy, actually likes this oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe.

Keep them in the refrigerator. They have yogurt in them, not butter. Yogurt spoils faster.

Makes about 40.

Carb count? About 6 per cookie. That’s what it averaged when Auntie divided the number of cookies created into the total carbs for the entire oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe.

Calories? About 37 per cookie. Again, added up all the calories for all the ingredients and divided by the number of cookies baked.

Meantime, the blog has a nag feature for a picture. This is the best your poor old Auntie can do Picture of oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe

Now for all the disclosure stuff…Auntie Shoe makes her living from selling items with designs she creates at various print-on-demand sites all over the Internet. She does NOT receive any compensation from any of the people whose ingredients she purchased to make the oatmeal raisin diabetic cookie recipe. Not a dime. Honest. These tradespeople have no idea Auntie even exists. She just went to various markets and stores in her vicinity and bought stuff like a normal person.

If you feel you must compensate Auntie Shoe for her lovely recipe, visit any of her shops. Just look at the menu above for “Auntie Shoe’s POD Shops”. Or click here for her shops at Zazzle.

Fabric! FAAAAABBBBBRRRRIIIIIIIC!

YAY! Zazzle Has Fabric

Zazzle has introduced fabric to its large array of product choices. That means, you can purchase fabric to match your favorite items, if the designer has chosen to add it to the design you love. COOL BEANS. Cool petunias, too.

(Note: If your designer hasn’t added fabric to your just-gotta-have-it design, use the ASK THE DESIGNER link and leave them a message.)

That said, what choices to you have?

Well, Zazzle lists seven fabric choices:

1) combed cotton
2) puma cotton
3) cotton twill
4) polyester poplin
5) polyester weave
6) ivory linen
7) natural linen

Just so you can compare, here is one design in combed cotton:

And, here is what the same design looks like in natural linen:
Australia Shamrock Fabric
Australia Shamrock Fabric by shamrockflags
Browse Australia Ireland USA shamrock flag Fabrics online at Zazzle.com

The above are Auntie Shoe’s creations. She is working hard to get all her shamrocks up on fabric as fast as she can. Please have patience. If your favorite country isn’t up yet, please use the ASK THE DESIGNER link, or add a comment to this blog post.

That said, what does this mean to the print-on-demand world? Well, your virtual Auntie (that would be Shoe, er, me), thinks it is a wonderful addition to Zazzle’s products.

There is another POD that does fabric. That’s Spoonflower. What makes Zazzle so great for designers is Spoonflower makes the designer purchase a swatch for approval before the design is allowed to sold. That is not unreasonable, considering the amount of money lost if the design doesn’t print well and is returned. But, for designers running a business on a very frayed shoestring, those few dollars keep them from adding to their shop.

At Zazzle, we can add whatever we like at no cost to us. At Spoonflower, every design added means an outgo of cash. It is not expensive, unless you have 1000 designs. Then it is astronomically expensive and out of the question.

This is why consumers, that would most probably be you, the reader, will most likely find a larger choice of fabric designs at Zazzle.com/fabric.

Another advantage at Zazzle is the ability to customize your own fabric. For example, say you just LOVE the Australian shamrocks shown above. But you want to add a name to the fabric to make it personal and very special. At Zazzle, you can do it yourself, no worries. Just click the CUSTOMIZE IT button and do your thing, hunny.

But if all that techy stuff scares you, just use the ASK THE DESIGNER links and tell your designer what you want. See, you have to tell us because most of us are very unpsychic. We just can’t read minds. So, you gotta speak up!

AND….drumroll….For a limited time, and to introduce fabric, Zazzle is having a 15% off sale. Just add the PROMO Code INTRO2FABRIC , at checkout time. So, save a bit of money and get some custom-made fabric at the same time. How cool are those beans? The petunias are pretty cool, too.

Just Testing

This is another test of the Auntie Shoe broadcasting system. We are attempting to ascertain whether or not one can actually create a proper blog post from one’s phone. Well, using it to post, anyway.

It is interesting to try this. Typing on a little teeeeeeeeeensy keyboard is quite the challenge. If it weren’t for autocorrect, I ┬ásure I would appear quite the fool.

Although, the absence of autocorrect has never protected Auntie from the appearance of foolishness.

Reading the post back to oneself is not an easy task. Scrolling back does not seem to be encouraged by this particular way of posting. That said, it can now be put forth that posting to one’s blog via phone is, indeed possible

 

This is a Test

This is a test of the Auntie Shoe broadcasting system. I have accounta at Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and more. They are supposed to be set so that posts from this blog show on these accounts. Your Auntie Shoe wants to test this system to be sure that posts aren’t showing up on one account more than once. That’s annoying. Don’t want to annoy.

Toksie’s First Christmas

“WOW”, thought Toksie Turbie as she put away the last of her Christmas presents, “Christmas is very cool thing!”

This had been eight-year-old Toksie’s very first Christmas experience and it happened at the North Pole. Santa himself gave Toksie the first Christmas present she ever received. It was a doll. But, it was a very special doll, because just like Toksie, the doll could change colors. Her hair, teeth, skin, eyes, EVERYTHING about her could change color. And patterns, too. Toksie could have stripes and polka dots and paisleys and, OMGosh, just about anything. And, so could the doll that Santa gave her. It was pretty cool, indeed.

Christmas at the North Pole is a very laid back affair. Everyone is tired after Santa’s big ride. And the circus that Toksie now lived with, well, all those people were tired from performing for the elves all night while Santa delivered presents. So, about 6:00 PM everyone gathers in the Great Hall for dinner and a gift exchange. That’s because they have been sleeping all day.

Most of the elves and the circus people attend church beforehand. But everyone arrives in the Great Hall at six o’clock. They all dress in their best clothes, not tuxes and gowns, but very nicely dressed. Suits and ties for gents and fancy (not fancy-schmancy, just fancy) for the ladies.

The circus people were helping Toksie get a wardrobe that wasn’t all beige. They found her a lovely red pants suit and a green blouse to wear. She had new gold shoes and silver socks, too. Not real gold and silver, just the colors. She sure looked Christmassy. And, that was the idea.

Toksie Gets Some Cool Christmas Presents

Almost everyone was dressed in greens, reds, silvers, and golds. There was some white. A couple of people wore blue. And, lots of other things as well.

And EVERYONE had a present for Toksie. Some people had two or three presents for her. Every elf and every circus performer has something for Toksie. Everyone had gone to very special trouble to be sure Toksie’s first Christmas was memorable.

And it was. She was NEVER going to have to wear beige again, that was for sure. There were sweaters and pants and blouses and dresses and shoes and boots and necklaces and rings and bracelets and lockets and t-shirts and watches and sweatshirts and hoodies and OMGosh! There was so much stuff to open it wasn’t even funny.

And the TOYS! WOWSIE-ZOWIE COOL! Toksie had never seen toys before she got to the North Pole, they were illegal in Crudville. She had never played before. That was illegal, too. Children, as soon as they were old enough to understand, went right to work at something to bring in money. That’s it. Straight to work, no school. Nobody could read anyway. That was illegal in Crudville, too.

Still Toksie liked these toys. She got a yo-yo, a deck of cards, some balls of all different sizes and shapes, a tennis racket (with lessons, too), lots of dolls, some furniture for the dolls, a train set (WAY COOL!), drawing paper and pencils, some paints, video games (with LOTS and LOTS of batteries), a doll house, building blocks, building logs, plastic thingies to build stuff with, and just about every toy that anybody could have ever wanted to have.

And, she got a magical toy chest. “Magical?” you ask, “How?”

Well, that toy chest was just a normal looking sized storage place. Just big enough for an eight-year-old to carry. BUT EVERYTHING fit. YES, E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!!!! It was not bigger than a suitcase, but it fit all these toys. Honest. Really. It did. AND, it was LIGHT, too. All those toys should have been really heavy, but Toksie had no trouble picking it all up.

She got something Mrs. Claus called a “travelling closet”. It was the size of a HUGE closet. I mean, you never in your life saw a closet this big. Which was a good thing, because Toksie received a LOT of clothes. Of course, everything fit. But she wondered how she would ever get all this back to her room. The closet seemed bigger than the room, too.

But then, Mrs. Claus told Toksie about her secret password. And, she showed Toksie where to whisper the secret password into the closet. Toksie did it and you will NEVER believe what happened. The closet shrunk. Down to almost nothing. Toksie could put the travelling closet in her pocket! All her clothes and shoes and jewelry and hats and caps and OMGosh EVERYTHING fit in her pocket.

So, now Toksie Turbie had a magic travelling closet and a magic toy chest. And then the really cool stuff started to come in. THE MAGIC STUFF.

Elves can do magic, and some of the circus people, they could, too. All of them wanted to make sure that a little girl like Toksie would be safe in the world because she was all on her own. The magic things they gave her were their way of making sure she was looked after, without her knowing it.

She got a hat that would give her three wishes. She got a jar of pills that would never get smaller but made her invisible when she took one. She got THREE magic wands, each had a different trick that would protect her if she was ever in danger. She got so many magical things for this that and the other thing, it is impossible to list it all. Most of them came with instructions, too. Some came with lessons (to be had later).

And, she got another magical storage crate for all her magical stuff. Everything fit. Then she said a magic word and it shrunk to fit in her other pocket.

Toksie couldn’t read. Never learned in Crudville. No school. Reading was illegal, so why have school?

But, a lovely grey elf named Waldorf had a very, very special gift for her. He gave her a book. When she protested that she couldn’t yet read (but really wanted to learn), Santa and Waldorf and all the other elves, told her to just open the book. So, she did as she was told. And Waldorf threw some special magic dust on her and low and behold…Toksie could read. She could read all the words in the magic book. She could read all the books she got for presents, too.

Waldorf the Elf with presents for Toksie.

And, yes, she also got a magical library for all her books. It was small, but everything fit. Just like the travelling closet and the magic toy chest and the magical crate.

After all that, Morty and Santa brought out some furniture for her. Just the stuff little girls love. Frills and stuff. A dresser with a mirror for her to dress at, and a bed with a canopy.

But the bed had special instructions. It came with a BOOK to read about how to use it. AND, it had a console in the headboard with a voice-activated computer in it. AND, are you ready for this? Are you sitting down? Can you take it? THE BED COULD FLY!

Yes, the bed could fly anywhere in the world, even beyond. It could go to the moon and the stars and other planets. Or, it could go down into the oceans and seas. It was the coolest bed you ever saw.

Morty explained how it worked. It was kind of like Santa’s sleigh. But where it was different it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay different. First, you could have as many people on it as you wanted. And, like the travelling closet and the toy chest and the magical library, whatever you put in it, fit. It just did.

Adults could not go on the bed. Well, they could. But something happened to them when they did. They became 12-years-old again. No one older than twelve was ever on the bed. As soon as they put a foot in, the foot became twelve. And, the rest of them followed as they went on the bed.

It was an amazing sight to see.

Toksie had a TERRIFIC first Christmas!

The flying bed was one of the greatest gifts Toksie got that first Christmas. Morty suggested that some of them take a ride on it, (just to try it out, of course), to the South Pole Village. Santa has a twin brother named Zanta. Every New Year’s most of the elves and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, take a trip to the South Pole Village to see the South Pole elves and Mr. and Mrs. Zanta Claus.

So, on New Year’s Day, everyone got ready to spend a week or so with the Zanta Clauses and their friends. Some people travelled by sleigh, with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Other people went via the flying bed with Toksie, Morty, Waldorf and a few other people.

Watch this space for the details of Toksie Turbie’s exciting trip to the South Pole.

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Just feeding the SEO Monster here. It wants a link, so this time we have the web site for a writer in Glascow, Scotland. His name is Graham Gibson. He writes for grown-ups and his web site is www.graemegibsonauthor.com. Do take some time and visit!