Friday, April 29, 2011

Photo editing with Foto Fuse

Awesome photos sell your products! There are several photo editing software programs to help you. I used Foto Fuse and really liked the results. It is a free service.

I took a low resolution image from a clipart CD. And below are the Results.

I loved the way that I was able to remove the background completely. It was super easy. It would take me about 30 min to do this in photoshop, but in foto fuse I just highlighted the image and it took away the background completely.

Photo editing with Picnik

If you are selling your handmade products online then you must take great photos.

Here was an article from the ETSY blog about using a free software program called Picnik. The writer of this article frequents the front page often with her images. This is the method she uses for all of her photos. I signed up for picnik. It was free. I took the same ugly photo and edited it. It was just the push of one button and it was super easy. Picnik has lots of advanced features that are awesome. I use these same filters in photoshop and it takes me an hour to achieve the effects that Picnik achieves in an hour.It was really great when I realized you can take your photos from your facebook page and bring them into picnik for editing. I would say that Picnik is a great investment of your time. Look at the images below. Which necklace would you purchase



Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to change your fonts in Blogger

No one likes the plain boring fonts that are standard with every other standard blog. It is so much fun to change things up. Even if it is just the titles that are different. Always remember to choose something that you can read, because if you can't read it neither can anyone else.

You can change your font in several areas. In order to change your font you must click on DESIGN then on Template Maker. Then click the advanced button. All fonts can be altered in this tab and this tab only.

Page font

Blog Title…

Blog Description

Date header

Gadget Text

Gadget Title

Tabs Text.

You will also notice you can change font colors in these areas as well as font size

Monday, April 25, 2011

How to make a grab my button widget.

There are hundreds of how to'a on making a grab my button widget posted on line. I thought about making my own, but there are so many wonderful ones out there. I want to take a moment to explain somethings that will allow you to better understand these tutorials.
First I want to tell you that you must have a 125 x 125 image. That converts to .208 inches by .208 inches. You can use a square avatar that you use for Facebook, etsy or any other site. All of my stores include an avatar for you to use. I recommend on this to use a business avatar and NOT a photo of you. This is a mini advertisement. Here are some photo editing programs that you might find useful if you need to create something.
Picasa - Free photo editing software from Google #1 in my book.

Picnik - Online photo editing service

Aviary - Web-based photo editing with lots of fun tools

Gimp - Free image editor, alternative to Photoshop (this is perfect to make your own header)

You must host this avatar or image in an online album. That is the link that you need to post in the grab my button code. I am a huge deliver is gmail. I love gmail. If you have a gmail account and you look at the top of your page in your menu you will see the following. I recommend storing your image in photos.
If you don't have a gmail account there are several online photo storage company's that operate for free. such as flicker or snapfish.

If you need help designing an avatar or blog you can always see me on my etsy shop.

If you want your own you can try one of these free photo editing software pograms.

Here is a tutorial I think you will find helpful on making the grab my button code.

This one is also easy. I you can become familiar with the process.

When the above sites ask for Your website/blog URL: they mean your website address.
When the above sites ask for Your image URL: they mean what is the link where your image is located. Almost all online albums have a button that says link this image....and they you will be given a code.

I hope this was helpful.

Happy Blogging.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Social Media Buttons

I love cool it when blogs have the cool social media buttons. There are hundreds to choose from...Here are a few of my favorite places to look for free buttons.

Many of these sites you will find links to cut in paste. The same method to add these buttons are the same way I told you how to HERE. It is also simple to create your own to match your blog. It is just like creating an avatar. You can make them any size you want, but you don't want to make them larger than the width of your column.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to upload your own Blogger Header

UPDATED 6/2012

I think the blog header is the most important element of a blog. It says this is who and I am and what my blog is about. It draws your readers in.

My general rule about a blog header is DON'T put to much information on your banner. It should look more like a bumper sticker than an advertisement.

In my opinion the best banner option is with the Simple Template...(the one that looks like a bookcase..  The other templates can only look great when you are an advanced technical person. This is just my personal option. You can always change your layout later. I Recommend a JPG or PNG file

In order to make a fangtastic blog Header you will need to:

1.  Log on to your blogger account
2.  Set up the width of your blog...I recommend a width of 1000.  but do what you want...your banner must be 20 pixels less than your blog width.  This is where you set the margins on the side banners as well.  I recommend no less than 200.  THEN CLICK THE ORANGE BUTTON IN THE TOP RIGHT CORNER...THAT SAYS APPLY TO BLOG.. (DO NOT FORGET TO SAVE) Then click on the back to blogger link in that same corner.

You can change your sheet width by going under DESIGN, on the top right of your blog. Then click on TEMPLATE DESIGNER. Select a template if you haven't already...I recommend the The Simple Template The one that has a book background...

You will then click on ADJUST WIDTHS. most buttons range between 150 px by 150px and no larger than 250 px. Knowing your widths from the beginning of your set up allows you to place all of your tools and widgets accordingly. You can always adjust when you need to to accommodate anything you need anytime you need.  If you set up a 1000 pixel width blog you will need a 980pixel banner...Set the height as you want...I thing anything over 300 is way to is hard to see the blog on an ipad...or kindle fire...

You will then see this screen. Click on EDIT

To configure your header this is the screen that will POP up...fill everything in completely.
  1. Blog Title: Your blog title. This will apear in the tabs at the top of the page when someone is visiting your blog
  2. Blog Description.....You know....what is your blog about
  3. Now choose your blog from your computer. If you notice at the bottom I circled a size. Blogger automaticlly tells you what size your header should be to fill the page. How helpful. Then click INSTEAD OF TITLE AND DESCRIPTION
  4. FROM WEB is when you use a free blogger from a site and just add the words to your blog....if you do this then you will click on the button behind title and description. There are lots of great sites for this. Shabby Blogs is the most Popular. The Cutest blog on the block works as well. I have never used either one so read that information before making any changes to your blog.
  5. Shrink to fit is used when your blog header doesn't really fit and you want to make it fit. I tested this out hopeing it would be helpful. It is not helpful. If you just need a little nudge no problem, but if your image is way to larger then this button will distort your banner.
I hope you found this HOW TO helpful. Please comment below if this helped you. I would love for you to follow my blog. I will be posting a HOW TO once a week, so you never know what is around the corner.

To create a banner I only charge about $5-$10, and I include a matching background and blog button... This can save you lots of time and headache. If you want to create a banner on your own it is a must to have a photo-editing software. I recommend Adobe Photoshop Elements. It is a great investment for your business.
But there are some free ones out there..

Monday, April 18, 2011

Image Link back buttons

One of the most common questions I am asked is how to make the images or avatars on your side bars link back to a website or etsy shop. This helps to promote your friends or in my case my graphic design clients.

First things first you need to have your image HOSTED on a online location. In an online album or on a website so the script below can pull your imag
e from a location for display.

Here are the steps.

  1. Click on DESIGN
  3. HTML/Java Script
  4. add Script and title if you desire. (look below)
  5. Then SAVE and you are done.


Friday, April 15, 2011

How to upload my Etsy Banner

Your Etsy banner design give your customer a good idea of what they will find in your shop, but until you upolad it no one will ever know. Uploading your banner is super easy....

Log on to your Etsy Shop. At the top left hand side of the screen click on YOUR ACCOUNT.

If you notice on the left hand of your screen you will see some menu options. If you look under SHOP SETTINGS you will find a button called info & appearance. Click on that ....
You will notice a new set of options...if you scroll down just a bit you will set a section c
alled SHOP BANNER IMAGE. All you need to do is chose your shop design from your desktop by clicking on your CHOOSE FILE button.
Don't have a Banner? Need one? Check out my ETSY shop.
Don't see what you like then just ask me for a special custom design.

Use this FREE design until you can find the right banner for you. Just right click and save on your desktop.

Upload your Etsy Profile Picture/Avatar

Profile Picutres are an important aspect of your etsy business. I feel that I want to use MY picture other than an image of my logo. The reason is because I am trying to sell myself. I am a real person selling my graphic design services to potential customers. Using your regular avatar is just as great. It is really a personal preference. Either way is great.

To change your profile image or avatar. Log on to your etsy account. At the top left handside of your screen click YOUR ACCOUNT.

You will notice your menu options have changed. One the left hand side of your screen you will see several menu options. CLICK ON public profile

Once you click on the public profile another image will apear on the left or your screen.

Click on choose file and find your avatar or profile image and upolad the image of your choice from your desktop....OR use your facebook Profile picture.

A Great Etsy Banner

You have just set up your Etsy Business and now you need a banner, and you are not sure what you want. Here are some tips:

  1. With your banner design give your customer a good idea of what they will find in your shop.
  2. Make sure your banner ties in with the colors and branding of your business. I love using images from the customers products.
  3. Use your banner to share more about your business WITHOUT making your banner to busy..Don't OVERFILL your banner with to much information.
  4. It is okay to look at all of the similar business banners out like your business. Don't try to imitate their designs make sure you do something DIFFERENT.
  5. A Great banner means nothing without a great product images. Make sure you take great photos. FotoFuse is an awesome tool.
Once you feel you have answered these questions Check out my etsy shop and
order a custom banner for yourself. Banners start at just $5 and you can add, matching blogs, product packaging labels, facebook and twitter banners and so much more.

Here is an example of an awesome banner I created that gives you an example of exactly who the artist is and what you will find in her shop. Stitches With Spirit

If you feel you must design your own shop but you don't have a photo editing software check out one of these. These are awesome for editing your product photos as well.

Picasa - Free photo editing software from Google #1 in my book.

Picnik - Online photo editing service

Aviary - Web-based photo editing with lots of fun tools

Gimp - Free image editor, alternative to Photoshop