At the end of 2020 I decided to gift myself with a new laptop sleeve from my RedBubble shop! I like to order designs from my shop so I can showcase what my designs look like in print, and also test the quality of the items I'm selling for myself. Since my bad cats pattern became so popular in 2020, I decided this would be a good pattern to go with! This is not the first time I have ordered from RedBubble and not the first laptop sleeve - I ordered my first one back when I started my shops in 2015. I had been using that one for the past 5 years, and decided it was time for a change of design. So this isn't just a new laptop sleeve review, it's also a "check in" to show you how my old laptop sleeve has held up over the years!
A bit of background image on RedBubble laptop sleeves! First, they are available in 3 standard sizes for MacBooks (or any kind of laptop that is around the same size of a MacBook - they have a sizing chart on the product page so you can check!) - MacBook 12", MacBook Air / Pro / Retina 13", and MacBook Pro / Retina 15". I purchased the 15" size. The sleeve is made of polyester, with foam padding on the inside to protect your laptop from scratches and minor impacts. The inside of the sleeve is super plush and soft too. The sleeve closes fully with a black zipper, and features high quality print on the front, and a black panel on the back. The outer stitching and sides is all black, and the plush padding on the inside is black too.
I mentioned that I had purchased a laptop sleeve from RedBubble in 2015 too. You might be wondering - how did it hold up over time? How does it compare to the new 2020 one? I can tell you that over time my original sleeve has held up beautifully. The quality of my original sleeve matches the quality of the new one, so if you purchased one a while back and are unsure if a new one would be similar, rest assured that the quality has remained consistent over the years. I've brought it back and forth to work, with me on trips, and generally used it in the house to protect my laptop from any kinds of accidents. The print has not faded and remains crisp and vibrant through all this. The padding has slightly become more compressed over the years, and my new sleeve has much more of a cushion than my old sleeve. There are a couple of catches in the top design from cat claws, but other than that, no major rips or anything (my cat loves this sleeve lol). If it hadn't been for a want of a design change, I would go on using my original 2015 sleeve for many years to come!
The main draw of these laptop sleeves is being able to print completely unique designs on them. And the printing is top notch - despite being printed on fabric, the design is crisp and has minimal bleed. This means the smaller details that I added to my artwork are still visible in the printed product. My 2020 purchase features a simple black and white artwork, which printed as expected (the blacks were black thank goodness! :P ). My original 2015 laptop sleeve featured all the bright peacock blue tones that were in my original artwork, very accurate to the original!
Despite ordering over the Christmas rush, shipping was really quick. I got it within 12 days of ordering. It came via Canada Post too, so I was able to get it from my community mailbox instead of having to drive down to a depot because I missed a delivery.
Shipping is usually a pain point for me here in Canada. Some print on demand websites charge exuberant fees to deliver to Canada. Not only that but I've also been hit with duties and fees at the border - which is especially painful after paying large amounts of shipping. RedBubble is one of the only print on demand websites I have ordered from that have not resulted in me having to pay extra duties & taxes upon delivery, on any of my orders. RedBubble calculates their shipping costs based on the items that are being shipped, and where the order is being shipped to. They do not have a free shipping minimum or anything like that, so you will be paying shipping. I find the shipping costs are fair, and paired with the fact that I was not charged duties or taxes, I can't complain.
Rather than using USD they let you choose which currency you will be shopping with too. I like this because I was able to see what my purchase price will be in Canadian dollars. If any of my Canadian friends or family wants to purchase something from my shop, I always recommend they go through RedBubble because I find it more Canadian friendly for shipping (and I can stand behind the quality of their items).
Overall, I am incredibly pleased with my laptop sleeve purchase and am thrilled to have something in my bad cats knocking stuff over pattern! I've been using this sleeve for a month now, and I am confident that it will hold up as long as my original 2015 laptop sleeve has.
Have you purchased from RedBubble before? What was your experience like? Let me know in the comments below!
I recently purchased a carry all pouch from Society6! I purchased it for my mom, who wanted something to put in her purse & hold all the little things she has in there. There are 3 sizes of pouches available so I purchased the medium pouch, my mom wanted something that was a bit larger than what the small size would be, but also still small enough to fit in her purse. She wasn't picky on the design, but loved this quartz design that I made recently, so I decided on this one! I was curious to see how this design translates to print, as it is the first time I have used real photographs in my pattern. The photos used are macro shots of real white quartz.
Here is a bit of info on Society6 carry all pouches. These carry all pouches are made from a durable canvas-like material for the outside printed portion. The inside is crafted from soft 50/50 poly-cotton black interior lining. The zipper is a YKK zipper, and comes with a faux leather pull tab. Society6 has 3 sizes of pouches available on their website: Small (6" wide x 5" tall), Medium (9.5" wide x 6" tall) and large (12.5" wide x 8.5" tall). You can also purchase a pack of 3 matching pouches in all 3 sizes for a discounted price. Cleaning this pouch is easy - it is machine washable.
These pouches are called carry all pouches for a reason. With the variety of sizes you are bound to find one for whatever small items you need carried. They make a great idea for your toiletries during travels, for keeping all your makeup in one place, or can be used as a pencil case. The medium size, I found out, is large enough to hold my 2nd generation iPad mini, so it would make a fantastic iPad sleeve. The large pouch is big enough to fit the new iPad Pro as well! So it could be a really great pouch for all of the iPads and e-readers out there. The medium size pouch also features 2 mini pockets on the inside of the pouch, which could be good for separating smaller delicate items, such as jewellery or earphones.
As for the size, functions and materials, this pouch turned out to be exactly what I was hoping for. The materials I felt to be quite a nice quality, however the construction quality I was a bit iffy on. There was a few things that I did not like about the construction of this pouch. The outside for the most part looks great, except the Society6 tag on the side was stitched a bit too far in, so that you can't actually see the full Society6 name on the tag. Not a big deal, but since it's there, it would make sense to be able to read it. The inside of the pouch had some stitching that was incomplete near the zipper, one of the stitches ends half way through the pouch. The other thing I did not like about the inside of the pouch is that there was this huge giant tag stitched into it, which you have to cut out. I cut it out and it left pieces, to remove it completely I'd have to pull out the stitching. I wasn't too impressed by those things, but otherwise the outer part of the bag and the main stitching holding everything together looks good and feels sturdy.
On to the print. Overall I was pleased with the colours and overall clarity of my design on the fabric. This kind of design I think is most suited for glossy print items, due to the nature of the gold foil pattern and the "shininess" of the quartz. It printed well nonetheless and with minimal bleeding. The colours were a bit cooler in my print than they were in the mockup and my original design, my original definitely has more oranges and beige notes. But overall, the colours are quite close and with the sizing, placement, and general look of the design in print, I feel like I've received something that is very close to what I was expecting.
Overall, I would say I am pretty happy with how it turned out, the printing from Society6 always seems to be great and the actual construction materials of this bag were nice, as were the little details. I love the gold zipper, and loved the little faux leather tab on the zipper detail. The sizes are also very nice, allowing you to hold a wide variety of things - and since this one is going to my mom as a gift, I may have to get one of my own to use as a sleeve for my iPad. The only thing that cheapened the whole pouch for me was the giant tag stitched into the inside of the pouch, as well as the half finished random stitches on the inside. That was unexpected, and before I opened the pouch, my initial thoughts were that this was a good quality pouch. I think the next pouch I purchase, I'll purchase from my RedBubble shop - just to compare and see what a pouch is like from there.
Have you purchased a pouch from Society6 before? Share your experiences in the comments below!
So a while back I purchased a serving tray from Society6! I've shared photographs of it on instagram on a few occasions, but thought I'd finally right my official review of it. Society6 has bamboo and acrylic trays available, but I opted for the bamboo one as I quite like the light bamboo accents, and also the bamboo ones are available in larger sizes than the acrylic tray. The one I ordered is designed in my gold pineapple pattern. I chose this pattern because I thought it would make a great subtle accent piece for my coffee table, and since it is one of my best selling patterns, want to see how it looks on various products in print.
Here is a little info about Society6 serving trays. These serving trays are crafted with a 100% eco friendly bamboo wood frame, and feature a glossy high quality print to cover the interior of the tray. The tray includes cut out handles for easy carrying.
This versatile accessory can be used as a traditional serving tray, but it can also be used as an organizer for bathrooms, an accent piece for displaying decorative items on a table, a plant holder, a coffee table platter. With the artistic design, it makes a nice accent piece in any scenario you use it for. It would make a nice housewarming gift.
It comes in two sizes - Medium (18" L x 14" W x 1.75" H) and Large (22.5" L x 17.5" W x 2" H).
The one I ordered was the medium size. I wanted something that was large enough to sit my laptop in, but also wanted something that would not take up too much real estate on my coffee table. The medium size turned out to be perfect. As you can see from my photos, I usually use it to kind of tame the miscellaneous decorative things that end up on my table. My plants, candles and things that can roll off said table (I'm looking at you, Apple Pencil). It works quite well for this.
As for the quality of the serving tray, I was pleasantly surprised by it all. The bamboo frame looks exactly as it is shown on the website, and feels pretty sturdy. I've been using it for months, often carrying my laptop or food items from room to room and it still looks and feels as new as it did when I ordered it. It seems to be crafted well, there were no rough edges to the wood, no pieces sticking out, no adhesives visible. Overall impressed.
On to the print! I was very happy with how the printing turned out. The colours in my design look very close to what I got in print. The colours are slightly more subdued in print, but hardly noticeable. The design was printed nice and crisp with no bleeding or smudges. The sizing of my artwork was printed out exactly as I had formatted it on my serving tray mockup, so no surprises there. The surface that the artwork is printed on has a slightly glossy look to it, but not overly shiny. It works well with my design, being a faux-gold foil textured look. When the light shines on it, the slight gloss to the surface helps enhance that effect so that's a pleasant bonus.
Overall I am very happy with how this turned out, and would definitely order a serving tray from Society6 again. I also really liked my pineapple design on it, I thought it worked nicely with the soft wood shades in the bamboo.
My only one complaint is more of a Canadian specific complaint. :) Society6 products come from the USA, so when it arrived in Canada, it was sent to my nearest post office for me to pick up, because I had to pay duties on my purchase. It wouldn't stop me from purchasing again, but just keep this in mind when placing your Society6 order. I always order during sales or free shipping times to try and offset the cost of possible duties!
Have you purchased a society6 tray before? What did you think? Share your comments below!
Also a side note, you may have noticed my unimpressed cat planter. Where did I get it, you ask? From Home Sense, my favourite place! It was a candle, once upon a time. When I melted the candle down, I reused it as a planter for my cactus. Which is obviously now a CAT-CUS. :)