Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How to Make a Customized Blog Header

Let's "bling" it on ladies!!!!
*You can adapt this but I am using Photoshop Elements 7 and my blog is hosted through Blogger.
First, I am going to show you how to make a banner using a photo or background you already have saved.
1. Open Photoshop.
2. Go to FILE and NEW.

The grey box should pop up and make these changes:

You can leave the color mode as transparent, white or background color--it really does not matter. Now you may need to change width and height to something else you prefer or you could always resize the image later, but you want to leave the resolution at 72 px. Click OK.
3. So your blank canvas should show up...

4. Then I chose a picture from my computer I want as my background. (FILE then OPEN).

This is one I took myself but if you choose to use a stock image make sure it is for public use.
5. So it is way too large to fit into my tiny canvas. I need to resize it.

I resize my photo to the same size as my banner (800x300px)

Then I hit EDIT and SELECT ALL or just click my move tool (circled).

And I DRAG my photo to the canvas.

6. Now I want to add Text!
So I click the Text tool and pick a font I like (see free font list below if you want to download some cool ones)
Next, click on the banner canvas and type in the text. You can change font and size in the tool bar. You can also change color by double clicking on the white box in the tool window and picking what ever color you want from the pop-up menu.
7. Finished! And save.
I use a free hosting site at and put my images there so I can resize and edit as I please after I use Photoshop. Then it gives me the html codes to post my pics/images on sites, forums,etc.
OKAY so let's say you don't want to use a pic but want to use your own design or make a design.
1. Open Photoshop.
2. Go to FILE and NEW. Do the same as above--

The grey box should pop up and make these changes:
You can leave the color mode as transparent, white or background color--it really does not matter. Now you may need to change width and height to something else you prefer or you could always resize the image later, but you want to leave the resolution at 72 px. Click OK.
3. So your blank canvas should show up...

4. Now instead of opening a photo you will
Click the background color (circled on right of pic). And choose a color you want.
I want pink. I select the color I want and hit OK. See how the box on the right is pink now?
Then I click the PAINT BUCKET icon on the tool bar.
5. And dump it on my canvas by clicking on the blank canvas.
6. Now I have downloaded digital scrapbook stuff (that is okay for personal use--see links below).
And I go and open the files I want.
7. I select them and resize them if needed. Then I drag them to my banner/header canvas.
8. Save your header. Finished!
So what do I do after I make my header/banner???
-Upload to a host site like Photobucket or SmugMug.
Follow the instructions on their sites to upload your pictures.
-Sign into Blogger.
-Click LAYOUT on your dashboard of the blog you want to add it to.
-You will see a box at the top that says HEADER. Click EDIT in that box.
-Then click BROWSE-PICTURE if you are going to use the header from your pictures on C or F drive. BUT if you are hosting at Photobucket/somewhere else then Copy and Paste the URL {direct link} they give you in the URL box.
-Hit SAVE.
-Preview blog to see if you likey it.
-Now here is something I see a lot...someone has a nice banner but they aren't sure how to take Blogger's text off (it is superimposed over their banner).
-After saving everything above, go to LAYOUT again on your dashboard. Click the HEADER box where it says EDIT. See where it says PLACEMENT? Click the circle that says "instead of title and description". Then save changes and preview. Repeat if needed.
* I know it sounds like a lot of work but really I was very, very detailed with my steps. If you have any questions email me anytime at

Free Fonts


1001 Free Fonts

Urban Fonts

{How to Download a Font Tutorial here}

A good place to find free digital scrapbook freebies to download?

Ikea Goddess

Little Dreamer Designs


{How to Use/Open Digital Scrapbook Designs and basically how to do anything digital here}

Free Backgrounds for your Blogs

Gisele's Templates


Cutest Blog on the Block

Shabby Princess

Other Header/Banner Making Tutorials...

Paul's Link

YouTube Tutorial

Know of any other good links a about blogging or blog design? Put them in comments. :)


Monday, April 27, 2009

A Blog Story

Normally I only feature people on Fridays (aka Featured Fridays) but today I really wanted to take the time to talk about an awesome blog I love--Toddlercraft!!!!
Here is my interview with the blog owner-Onna. I think it is nice to get a blogging perspective from a fellow blogger. Plus, I {heart} her blog! She interviewed me and I interviewed her.


What is your name and blog's name/url?

My name is Onna and my blog is called Toddlercraft.

How long have you been blogging?

I started my first blog in June which is about how I make money online through Freebie Trading. I started my Toddler Craft blog in February. I had wanted to start it sooner, but hadn't had the time.

Why did you start blogging?

Initially I started on my freebie blog to talk about how I got started and help others get started. I found I enjoyed it and wanted to write about the crafts and parenting ideas I had. I run a small home daycare with my kids and wanted to share some of our fun. I also like the fact that this let's me use my educator mind more!!

How would you describe your blog??
Toddler Craft is a blog dedicated to fun, educational & simple craft ideas for kids 1-7. It also features parenting tips and stories.

What do you do for a living? Is this your job, a hobby, etc.?

I was a school Counselor in a Middle School until my son was 2. I then left my job to be home with my kids until they are both in school. I run a small day care and make money online freebie trading. I hope to have my blog be my job one day!! I really love blogging and would like to dedicate more time to it!

Who is your typical blog reader? Can you describe him/her?

A mom/ dad or grandparent looking for fun, educational activities to do with their children. Also a parent looking for advice or other ideas on things like getting your child to sleep, potty training, stopping a bottle etc.

About how much time do you spend blogging per day?

A few hours.

Tell us why someone should subscribe to your blog.

I am always working on new ideas that are geared to the age group of 1-7. So there is always something new to learn about, ex a craft, activity, parenting tip. I try to make my content simple and to the point, we are all busy and it is better to get your ideas and then go work on them !!

What advice do you have for other bloggers?

Pick something you are passionate about. Learn from other bloggers, Read about the best practices for blogging. Connect with other bloggers.

What are your top 3 favorite blogs?

Makes and Takes- I love Marie's crafts.

2 Sets of Twins - Helen's writing cracks me up

The Freebie Guy - Leslie offers great information on freebie trading and getting started.

Be sure to visit Onna's blog to find fun crafts and parenting tips!
Thank you Onna!!!
Onna also tagged me on her blog. :)
This tag is called...Crazy Eights!

~Mention the person that tagged you.

Onna tagged me (

~Complete the lists of 8’s.
~Tag 8 blogger friends, go tell them you tagged them…

8 Things I Am Looking Forward To:

  1. Summer
  2. Swimming
  3. Always looking forward to paydays!!!
  4. National Scrapbooking Day! (this Saturday!!)
  5. Cinco de Mayo--going to see a mariachi band perform :)
  6. Gardening a lot
  7. Talking to my mom on the phone daily--always a perk!
  8. Sonic drinks--love Cherry Limeade!

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

  1. Worked!
  2. Took husband to dr. (had something in his eye from mowing)
  3. Facebook
  4. Laundry!
  5. watched Cloverfield
  6. gave my son a bath
  7. Loaded dishwasher
  8. Fed my pets

8 Things I Wish I Could do:

  1. Move lol! Just to another state...
  2. Wear a bikini!!!!
  3. Stop being shy!
  4. Read more!!
  5. Travel
  6. Become a better cook
  7. Spend more time with dh (date night--hello!)
  8. Eat whatever I wanted and not gain an ounce!!

8 Shows I Watch:

  1. Office
  2. Earl
  3. Monsterquest (I believe!)
  4. National news a lot
  5. Sprout tv--a lot (all their shows!)
  6. Lost
  7. Nancy Grace (sometimes)
  8. Spongebob

8 Favorite Fruits:

  1. Watermelon--love it!!!!
  2. Strawberries
  3. Oranges
  4. Pomengranate
  5. Raspberries
  6. Granny Smith Apples
  7. Cherries
  8. Kiwi

8 Places I’d Like to Travel:

  1. Colorado (again)
  2. Disneyworld or land
  3. France!
  4. New Zealand
  5. Texas (again)
  6. Alaska
  7. Ireland
  8. Anywhere on a cruise.

8 Places I’ve Lived:

  1. Oklahoma City,OK
  2. Fort Worth, TX
  3. My parent's house :)
  4. My house :)
  5. Grand Prairie, TX
  6. Calvillo, MX
  7. Cedar Hill, TX
  8. in a dorm room

If you’ve already played, disregard or send me a link so I can come see your list! Look forward to reading your crazy 8’s!

8 People I’m Tagging: (Click their names...)

1. Marie

2. Terrie


4. Madge

5. Kylie

6. Monica

7. Ginny

8. Kimi Starr!

*This Wednesday I am going to give a tutorial on making your own custom blog headers and places to find free blog backgrounds/graphics!!!! So bring the bling on!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Featured Friday!!!!-Mandee Gillen

This week's Featured Friday is someone near and dear to my heart! My online friend Mandee aka Madge!!! Check her out!

1. Madge,tell us a little about yourself!!



My name is Mandee Gillen but I am know by Madge or scrappinmadge.
Hmmmmmm.... There is so much to tell hahaha. I am 32 years old and am married to the love of my life. I have two beautiful girls and two awesome dogs. I love to spend time with my friends and family. Oh and did I mention that I love to scrap? Yup, I have to say that I love, love, love it:) My favorite color is Pink (any shade) I love this color because it makes me feel happy. My favorite song is (this is a hard ??? which one do I choose) well how about the song that best descibes me? Pocketfull of Sunshine by:Natasha Bendingfield. I love to read (mainly vampire series) love love love Twilight the series and the movie. Could Edward be any hotter? Geesh. My favorite movie of all time is drum roll please.............................................................."Nacho Libre" ha ha Jack Black gets me everytime.


Madge's "I'm 8" card!! I love how she has an eye for design!

2. What inspires you?

I have several things that inspire me. First of all my Husband and kids inspire me, they make me the person that I am today. Next I would have to say my friends. They are always coming up with so many ideas and funny things, they keep the air light and me remembering that life is to short to be serious relax and enjoy. Magazines: I love Scrapbook Trends Magazine, along with the card mag made by the same company.

Scrapbook Trends Magazine--great mag! I also like to browse the mag, Creating Keepsakes.
(They are the only mags that I subscribe to hee hee)

Elsie Flanningan's Book--52 Scrapbooking Challenges
Oh and who could forget the awesome Elsie Flannigan she roc
ks...visit her blog

A scrapbook page by Elsie!

3. What advice would you give to a beginner?

To find your own style and stick with it. Don't change your style to be like someone else find your nitch and stick with it. You can always adapt and make other styles work with yours.
Scrapping defines you and your personality, there is no wrong way to scrap!

4. So what is your favorite medium or tool to work with?

Circle punches. They are my all time fav, I have all of the sizes and use them so often

5. What is your favorite photo you have ever taken?

This photo is of my sweet daughter Januaree.

I love this pic!!!
She is so serious but yet it shines with her personality. Sassy, onry, tweenager and full of life:)

6. Do you set goals?

My goals, I would really like to get published using one of my layouts or cards. I have been submitting and hope that, that happens sooner than later, Also my goal is to make my mom a digital book using all of my grandmas old photos. In order to do this I have to find out where she is stashing them and then take them, scan them in and get them back before she would know they were gone. I was hoping by Moth
ers Day, but since that is quickly approching I have decided for Christmas of this year.

7. Madge, what is your process like when you start to create?

I just dive in. I usually do my best work in the middle of the night that's what I call when I am on a ROLL!! It is hard for me to get my engine working but when it does I go to town..

8. How would you describe your style?

Hmmmm... Isn't everyone unique in their own way? Let's see my style is hybrid, fun, bright, grunge, well lets just say if I had to choose who I scrap like that is a Scrap Celeb, it would be Elsie Flannigan.


"I love you" card. I {heart} this card!!!

9. What do you enjoy most about creating? What got you started?

I enjoy the finished product, to see friends and family come over and visit, to see them pick up a mini album or one of my big albu
ms it just makes my heart smile. That right there is the reason why I do what I do. (of course it is fun, relaxing and great for the brain to create) What got me started was my mom. Bless her heart, she has all of our pics from when we were little in a LARGE cardboard box not in any specific order just pure craziness. So when I was in high school I thought I would try and attempt to make me a "scrapbook" haha you know the kind that you peel back the plastic sheet and the page is sticky? I know they are a big no no now days and I have since redone alot of that album, but you all have done a scrapbook like that haven't you? Anyway ever since then, I swore that my kids wouldn't have to dig around in a big box of pics to see themselves when they were little. You know I love ya mom!!

10. Where can we see more of your work??


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Felting 101

Better late than never. :) My camera died so I had to wait to recharge it to upload the pics.
According to this site,

"Felting is an age-old craft. Perhaps developed in the Middle East, perhaps the Far East, it is a process that has evolved with local traditions wherever it was used. And it is still used today, by kids in kindergarten to nomads on the great plains of Asia living in felt yurts.The technique is basic, requires very little experience or tools, and "mistakes" may well lead to interesting results."


I used this kit to try out felting. It is made by Dimensions Crafts.
I like that the kit came with everything in it. All I had to do was provide the time and scissors. It was super easy,too!!! I have always wanted to try felting but was too scared to just dive in. I also did not want to make a huge initial investment since I was not sure if felting and I would mesh into a wonderful crafty relationship.
This is what came in the kit:
~Blue felt with a pre-printed pattern on it.**
Roving. Pulls apart easily.
~Rose and Cranberry colored roving (roving is unspun wool).
~2 Felting Needles (have purple handles)
~Foam block (the type that comes in packing material, just styrofoam or an old mousepad would do).
~Black wool yarn
~2 Embroidery needles
~Sequins/thread (I chose not to use those on my ladybug).
All that for MSRP of $8!
**Felting does not always involve felt or a pattern--most often you free form something using roving. In one book it said merino wool works best. You can buy in bulk on etsy. :)
Now if you don't want to use a kit, you can find felting supplies very inexpensively at Hobby Lobby right next to the embroidery thread.
You will be *shocked* at how easy this was!
Styrofoam block
1.I place my pattern on top of the styrofoam block.
2. Pull a tiny bit of roving of the roving pile. A pinch will do it.
Place it on top of your foam block.
3. Grab your giant needle. (Watch your fingers!!)
4. Put the needle on top of the roving. Pull it needle up and down through the roving/pattern/styrofoam block.
5. Keep jabbing the wool into the foam block. Try to get the jabs as close as possible. This is a great stress reliever by the way! Make sure you move the needle straight up and down and not at an angle (that would make it break).
6. Move the styrofoam block as you work and also add bits of roving to fill in your pattern as you work. If it is too thick in one area, just keep jabbing it until desired. You can always add more wool if needed.
7. After doing the outline and filling in my ladybug, I cut around her but left about 4 inches of felt around her--just so it wouldn't be so bulky when doing my stitches.
8. I just did very simple stitches with black wool thread (or embroidery thread) to outline my ladybug and to make her polka dots/head.
Ma ladybug.
9. I opted out of adding the sequins because I liked her just the way she was.
I cut her out closer to the body. Cute! Now I have a felted applique to stick anywhere---on a tote bag, backpack, jeans, as a crafty brooch,etc.

Want to make felted balls? Do the same technique only using wool and a small styrofoam ball. I have seen necklaces made of them. Here's a different technique on making felted balls by Martha Stewart!
You can also dye your wool with koolaid, food coloring,etc to get custom colors. Have you seen neon food coloring? How cool would that be??
Check out Silje's hand dyed yarn lesson here!

And I wanna recommend a felting book I am reading...

Sweet Needle Felts

Happy Earth Day!!!
We are going to start our garden today in honor of Earth Day. :)
My mom started hers the other day:
We found a pleasant little treasure,too, hiding in the dirt.
It is a ceramic Indian. I am not sure if it is a toy or a decorative item (probably decorative).
The house I grew up in and my family still lives in was built in 1948. The original owners would burn their trash. As a child, when I was making mud volcanoes and hunting "Lion Ants" I would often find saucers or teacups, chipped, worn and dirty.
Yesterday we went to the "cherry bakery"--Atomic Cherry Cupcake Bakery here in Oklahoma City.
We rarely go there just because I could eat the whole menu--seriously.
A blurry picture of my little cookie monster snagging a cookie!
Baked goods are my frenemy!
Oh, and I have to show you a sundae Harrison made all by himself Saturday.