Welcome to Valador Studios! I'll be posting a bunch of new designs, projects, inspirations, and more. You'll also find links to my various Print On Demand partners so you can purchase my fun designs on various merchandise. All the stuff that makes me go, 'Whee!'

What's Your Whee!?

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Star Wars Merchandise

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Star Trek Merchandise

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  • Sometimes I Pretend I'm.... Star Wars!

    Check out these fun Star Wars designs that are perfect for cosplayers, costuming fans, Troopers, Mandalorians, or anyone who loves the iconic characters of the Star Wars universe.

    I'm just getting started with this collection and I'd love to hear which character YOU pretend to be. Let me know in the comments or visit me on Facebook at facebook.com/WheeDesign.

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm Darth Vader

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm Darth Vader

    Shop Now

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm a Stormtrooper

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm a Stormtrooper

    Shop Now

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm Boba Fett

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm Boba Fett

    Shop Now

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm Luke Skywalker

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm Luke Skywalker

    Shop Now

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm Princess Leia

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm Princess Leia

    Shop Now

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm Han Solo

    Sometimes I Pretend I'm Han Solo

    Shop Now

  • Colin O'Donoghue #ManCrushMonday

    Is it the black leather? Is it the hook? Is it the eyebrow? Whatever it is, sexy Irishman Colin O'Donoghue aka Killian Jones aka Captain Hook from ABC's Once Upon a Time is definitely worthy of Man Crush Monday #MCM! You knew from the very beginning that Hook and Emma were going to get together no matter what Ms. Swan said. Will we see a Captain Swan wedding this season or will we have to wait until the next?

    Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook
    Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook
    Sexy Colin O'Donoghue with Open Shirt
    Sexy Colin O'Donoghue with Open Shirt
    Colin O'Donoghue Getting Wet in the Rain
    Colin O'Donoghue Getting Wet in the Rain
    Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook
    Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook
    Sexy Captain Hook Giving You the Look
    Sexy Captain Hook Giving You the Look
    Sexy Colin O'Donoghue Eyebrow Action
    Sexy Colin O'Donoghue Eyebrow Action
    Colin O'Donoghue as Killian Jones
    Colin O'Donoghue as Killian Jones
    Colin O'Donoghue Shirtless Modeling
    Colin O'Donoghue Shirtless Modeling

    Besides looking amazing, Colin also sings and plays guitar. Here's a quick clip of him playing at a Fairytales 3 Con as well as an audio only video of one of the songs from his movie The Dust Storm.

    Inspired by our man crush, Whee! Design has a couple of fun T-shirts designs, along with a LOT of other stuff, in the Once Upon a Time section of Whee! TV.

    Captain Guyliner T-Shirt

    Captain Guyliner T-Shirt

    Available at Whee.TV

    I Heart Hook T-Shirt

    I Heart Hook T-Shirt

    Available at Whee.TV

  • AdaBox003 Unboxing Video

    AdaBox003 is all about the Internet of Things! Adafruit partnered with DigiKey this time around to give us a bunch of stuff to add the internet to just about anything. I'm thinking maybe I'll use the components to make a motion sensor for my front porch so I can get a text notification anytime someone shows up. Or maybe I'll start on my weather station. We'll see.

    Join me as I crack open this edition of AdaBox and see what's inside!

    Don't forget to like the video and subscribe! Thanks!!

    Visit AdaFruit Check Out AdaBox DigiKey's maker.io

  • Getting Started with CafePress in 2017 #6 - Organizing Your Designs

    Using the My Designs section of CafePress is easy, but lacks in some simple organization. In this video I'll show you how to find and use the older Image Basket interface to upload and organize your designs.

    If you have any questions about using CafePress or the Image Basket, let me know in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them.

    Check out CafePress here:
    http://cafepress.com

    My main Whee! Design CafePress profile:
    http://www.cafepress.com/profile/wheedesign

    The Whee! Geek CafePress profile being built during these videos:
    http://www.cafepress.com/profile/whee.geek

    Disclaimer: While I sell my designs through CafePress, I am not employed by CafePress, nor am I compensated for these videos by CP in any way.

  • New Star Wars T-Shirt Design!

    We've just launched our first Officially Licensed Star Wars design through FanPrint. Be a Rebel. Join the Rebel Alliance with this distressed Rebel Alliance emblem. These designs will be available for a limited time. Order today and get $3 off the regular price. There are T-shirts for men, women, and kids as well as long sleeve tees, hoodies, and sweatshirts.

    Order Yours Today!

    Check out our other Star Wars designs here!

  • Distressed Whee! Exclamation Point T-Shirts Now Available!

    The new distressed exclamation point designs are now available from Whee! Design at Amazon.com!

    Live your life as an exclamation point! Get excited! Yell! Scream! Shout! Show the world that you are taking it by storm with this fun, bold, graphic t-shirt design featuring a distressed, grungy Whee! Design exclamation point.

    Available in a variety of colors. Get yours today!


    Rainbow Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt
    Rainbow Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt

    Order Today!

    CMYW Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt
    CMYW Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt

    Order Today!

    Cyan Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt
    Cyan Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt

    Order Today!

    Magenta Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt
    Magenta Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt

    Order Today!

    Yellow Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt
    Yellow Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt

    Order Today!

    White Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt
    White Distressed Exclamation Point T-Shirt

    Order Today!

  • Getting Started with CafePress in 2017 #5 - Full Bleed Designs

    This video is an introduction to working with full bleed images on CafePress. Put your designs on iPhone case, bags, shower curtains, stickers, button and more. See how to best layout your full bleed designs on CafePress to get them on the largest number of products.

    Full Bleed Test Image

    Download the Full Bleed Testing image here:
    https://valadorstudios.com/images/full-bleed-test.png

    Check out CafePress here:
    http://cafepress.com

    My main Whee! Design CafePress profile:
    http://www.cafepress.com/profile/wheedesign

    The Whee! Geek CafePress profile being built during these videos:
    http://www.cafepress.com/profile/whee.geek

    Disclaimer: While I sell my designs through CafePress, I am not employed by CafePress, nor am I compensated for these videos by CP in any way.

  • LED T-Shirt v2: Planning

    The Idea

    The original idea for the LED T-Shirt was inspired by things like TShirtOS from CuteCircuit and Ballantine's, Cho Jung Nam's LED T-Shirt shown here, as well as all of the cool wearable projects shown off at Adafruit.

    Valador Studios LED Spirit Hood
    I wanted to put together the shirt myself because I knew I would be spending a lot of money on it and being able to troubleshoot and fix things myself was a must. I wanted the design to be modular, so if and LED burned out or was damaged, I could easily replace it without starting from scratch. And I wanted to be able to re-use parts in other projects if it came to that. I'm very glad I designed the first shirt that way, as I was able to use the LED strips I had built in the creation of another project, my LED Spirit Hood.

    Here's a checklist of the things I need out of this project:

    • First, I need a cool t-shirt that I can wear to conventions, parties, and other geek events. :-)
    • The actual electronics will be on one shirt worn under other stuff. That way I can use a white t-shirt or a black t-shirt or even a printed t-shirt over it that allows the lights to shine through from underneath. I could even wear a hoodie or a dress shirt over the LEDs if I wanted to.)
    • I need to be able to control the animations/colors/effects on the shirt from my Android phone.)
    • The design needs to be modular, so I can replace, add, or remove individual strips of LEDs without cutting or desoldering anything. I also need to be able to replace controller boards, batteries, etc. as needed. Being able to reconfigure the layout of the LEDs would also be useful.)
    • I'll want to be able to add other sensors and/or devices to the project at a later date.)
    • Finally, and obviously, it needs to be completely portable and able to run for several hours at a time.)

    The Plan

    Given what I want, my previous experience, and all of the other videos, tutorials, and blog posts I've been through, I came up with the following plan.

    Adafruit NeoPixels
    For LED T-Shirt v2 I'll still be using NeoPixels from Adafruit which are WS2812 LED lights with controllers right in the LED. In this case they are in strips of 60 'pixels' per meter. Each LED is individually addressable and can be set to any one of 16,777,216 colors.


    Adafruit FadeCandy
    To control the LEDs, I'll be using the FadeCandy controller board and server system, also from Adafruit. The FadeCandy can connect to virtually any computer via USB and can handle up to 512 NeoPixels with dithering and color correction built in. It makes it very easy to control a large number of LEDs.


    Raspberry Pi Zero W
    To rescue me from a larger/bulkier Raspberry Pi 3 or even a Raspberry Pi Zero with Bluetooth dongle or add on board, comes the brand new Raspberry Pi Zero W!! Bluetooth and WiFi are both built in to the new tiny little computer. And it's only $10! The Pi will be controlling the FadeCandy/NeoPixel set up using Processing and/or Python code. The finished code will depend on my being able to get Bluetooth working in Processing and/or being able to get it working in Processing's Python mode. I already have Bluetooth working in straight Python, but it's much easier to code the graphics stuff I want to do in Processing. Using the FadeCandy and Processing on the Pi will make it easy to display images, videos, and algorithmic animations on the finished display.


    Since a single FadeCandy can control up to 512 LEDs, and I only want to use one, I decided on a 20 x 24 LED array for a total of 480 LEDS which translates into 60 LEDs on each of the 8 FadeCandy pins. The FadeCandy software makes that easy to map to my 20 x 24 display.

    Finally, to control the whole thing, I'll be using my Android phone connected to the Pi over Bluetooth. I'm not an Android or Java coder, so I found an easy way to build the control app using Apache Cordova. Since I've a great deal of experience building web applications, this will be super easy for me.

    The Power

    In terms of power, it's time for a little simple math. Each NeoPixel draws up to 60 milliamps at maximum brightness of all three colors (red + green + blue = white). For 480 Neopixels that's 480 X 60mA or 28,800mA or 28Amps. That's a LOT of power. Since I know I will never have EVERY LED lit to full brightness, I can reduce this number. Adafruit recommends using 1/3 of that number as a gross estimate of actual power used or 9,600mA. This is still a lot to be pulling for a single battery source. So I will probably use more than one battery to power the LEDs. The Raspberry Pi will have it's own power source.

    My previous t-shirt had a smaller array of 320 NeoPixels. I ran that with a single Lithium Ion Battery Pack at 3.7V 6600mAh. I had the maximum LED brightness coded so that they would never go above 1/2 brightness. So using Adafruit's recommendations, 320 X 20mA = 6,400mA / 2 (my maximum) = 3,200mA. So theoretically, my 320 LEDs should have been able to run for 2 hours on that single battery. In real life, I got 3-4 hours out of it. My animations were simple and I often used static images as well so no more than 3/4 of those pixels were lit at any one time and more often only 1/4 of them were.

    In my Spirit Hood project I used the same battery to power a set of 224 Neopixels without any brightness limit. That project was running for a good 6 hours with no noticeable dip in brightness. In that case the animations frequently lit the entire string in a rainbow of colors.

    Because I want to try for a good 6 hour run, I'll wire the initial system to use 4 batteries to power the LED strips in the new project. 120 LEDs X 20mA = 2,400mA / 2 = 1,200mA. Maybe 5-6 hours using the 6,600mAH batteries. It's not going to be an optimal solution, but it should be workable. I'll test it with 4 batteries and maybe reduce it to 2 depending on the results I get. I just need to make sure I wire everything correctly.

    The Design

    Speaking of that, here is my initial layout/wiring plan.

    Valador Studios LED T-Shirt Layout/Wiring Diagram

    I've got 24 strips of 20 LEDs. A set of 3 of these strips will be wired together and controlled through a single pin pair from the FadeCandy. One pin is for data and the other for ground. I'll have 8 such groups of 3 strips. Each group of 3 is arranged in a zig-zag pattern. You can see the arrows at the ends of each strip in my diagram showing the direction of data flow. Because there is some voltage loss along the LED strip, I've decided to apply power to one end of the strip and ground to the other. This should provide the same amount of current to each pixel and avoid pixels dimming at the end of the strip if power and ground were applied to the same end. So each battery will power two of the 60 LED strip groups.

    Next up is putting all this hardware together.

    Please keep in mind that I am NOT an electrical engineer. I'm a geek hobbyist maker pushing himself to learn new things. Everything I'm doing here I've figured out through all of those videos, blog posts, tutorials and trial and error experiments I mentioned earlier. If you know of a better way to accomplish what I want to do, PLEASE feel free to share. K? Thx!

  • LED T-Shirt v2: Introduction

    I'm a big fan of blinky things and with my t-shirt design business going full swing, I wanted to combine the two things. So, about a year and a half ago, I built a t-shirt with an LED array on the front. It was a pretty complex set up using a Raspberry Pi 2 to control a FadeCandy NeoPixel driver board that in turn ran the Neopixel array. In order to control the display, I had a small wireless router set up and I had my Pi and my Android phone connected to my little mobile network. I used the TouchOSC Android app to send commands to the Pi over the wireless connection. It was a lot of stuff to carry considering I had to power all of it as well. I had a battery for the LEDs, one for the Pi, and one for the router.

    I didn't do a whole lot of documenting of the project and I've since reused the Neopixel strips in another project. I've put together a quick video of some Vine loops I made when testing the original project.


    All that being said, I've started putting together a brand new LED T-Shirt!! Whee!! And... I'll be doing a bunch of documentation this time around.

    Stay tuned for more fun stuff!!

  • CafePress Pro-Tip: Tagging Designs and Getting Them Seen

    Whether you're new to CafePress or a seasoned seller, there is always something you can learn to help get your designs seen in the CP Marketplace.

    Here's a few tips from CafePress and myself on how to be smart when you tag your designs and help get your designs in front of viewers and maybe even get some sales.

    Check out this link, mentioned in the video, to see the CafePress Tagging Best Practices and Tips.

    Check out CafePress here: http://cafepress.com

    My main Whee! Design CafePress profile: http://www.cafepress.com/profile/wheedesign

    The Whee! Geek CafePress profile being built during these videos: http://www.cafepress.com/profile/whee.geek

    Disclaimer: While I sell my designs through CafePress, I am not employed by CafePress, nor am I compensated for these videos by CP in any way.

  • Getting Started with CafePress in 2017 #4 - Uploading Designs

    Upload your designs to CafePress for free. In this video I'll show you how to use the My Designs section to upload and manage your graphics.

    Make sure you give all of your designs a decent Name, Description, and set of Tags that relate to your design.

    Check out CafePress here: http://cafepress.com

    CP Terms of Service: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/popup/index.aspx?page=terms_policies

    My main Whee! Design CafePress profile: http://www.cafepress.com/profile/wheedesign

    The Whee! Geek CafePress profile being built during these videos: http://www.cafepress.com/profile/whee.geek

    Disclaimer: While I sell my designs through CafePress, I am not employed by CafePress, nor am I compensated for these videos by CP in any way.

  • Getting Started with CafePress in 2017 #3 - Graphics Recommendations & Tips

    In this video I share a few quick tips and recommendations about working with graphics for CafePress.

    I talk about the difference between no bleed and full bleed products and designs, the dimensions of the graphics I use for my designs as well as why using transparent PNG files are important.

    Check out CafePress here: http://cafepress.com

    CP Terms of Service: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/popup/index.aspx?page=terms_policies

    My main Whee! Design CafePress profile: http://www.cafepress.com/profile/wheedesign

    The Whee! Geek CafePress profile being built during these videos: http://www.cafepress.com/profile/whee.geek

    Disclaimer: While I sell my designs through CafePress, I am not employed by CafePress, nor am I compensated for these videos by CP in any way.

  • Star Wars Smuggler's Bounty Jan 2017 Unboxing

    I got my very first Star Wars Smuggler's Bounty Box! This month's theme is Empire Strikes Back and the exclusive Funko Pop is the super sized Hoth Han Solo with Tauntaun! Discover what else is in the box as I do.

    I was a little unhappy with the quantity of stuff in the box, but the quality of what was there is very good. I LOVE the Han Solo pop!

    You can subscribe to Smuggler's Bounty here: https://www.smugglersbounty.com/

    Next month's theme is Star Wars Rebels and you'll get the exclusive Rebels Darth Maul Pop.

  • Custom Candy Heart Designs for Valentine's Day

    This Valentine's Day or ANY day, say what YOU want! Our Candy Heart Designs can be customized to say virtually anything. Get your custom Valentine's Day t-shirts, hoodies, cards and Valentine's Day gifts here.

    Say I love you to someone special. If you're anti-Valentine's Day, then say I hate you! Be as sweet or as rude as you want. Personalized Hearts make great gifts for boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, bff's or just some guy down the street.

    It's easy to do! Just select and lick the color you want below, then select the product you want to personalize, then click the big orange 'Personalize' button. Fill in what you want your heart to say in the three lines, deleting any text you don't want to appear. Finally click, 'Let's See It!' Make sure you double check your spelling!

    Personalized Pink Candy Heart
    Pink Candy Heart

    Personalize

    Personalized Orange Candy Heart
    Orange Candy Heart

    Personalize

    Personalized Yellow Candy Heart
    Yellow Candy Heart

    Personalize

    Personalized Green Candy Heart
    Green Candy Heart

    Personalize

    Personalized Blue Candy Heart
    Blue Candy Heart

    Personalize

    Personalized Purple Candy Heart
    Purple Candy Heart

    Personalize

    Personalized White Candy Heart
    White Candy Heart

    Personalize

    Personalized Black Candy Heart
    Black Candy Heart

    Personalize

  • Killscreen Cinema Logo Commission

    This was a cool project that a friend commissioned for his video game movie themed pod cast, Killscreen Cinema. He wanted a parody of the Streets of Rage video game logo that featured the faces of his fellow pod casters. I had never done this kind of pixel art before, but it was a lot of fun. I'll probably be adding it to my repertoire of styles for t-shirt designs and other stuff.

    Check out Killscreen Cinema
    Note: This pod cast is not for kids.