Messin’ Around With Themes

~Frequent visitors will notice a new look to the blog. Don’t be surprised if it keeps changing the next few days as I want the header and theme to reflect more of who-we-are. As a retired graphic and web design teacher, I often get antsy to change it up!  The problem is… blogging is to be a free endeavor for us. WordPress charges if you want to be able to fiddle with the code. I’ve already tried about 20 pre-designed themes and nothing is exactly right. Our old theme had just what I wanted EXCEPT the space for the header was too small and I’m tired of the color.  Hubs has told me to just pay the $$$ so I can fix it the way I want. Now I’m curious. Have any of you paid the $30 to WordPress so you can change the CSS? I’ve had problems with the Text tab coding when things don’t look the way I want. After paying the big bucks (LOL) will it really let me do the code?

Using Photoshop, this is how I made the header:

1. I found the perfect template at the The Coffeeshop Blog. I could design my own but why? Someone else had done all of the “boring” stuff.

2. It was important to me to have a texture for the solid color squares, so I found an online company which sells felt. I found one where the images of felt squares were large enough to cover the template squares. Using a clipping mask, the felt images were “attached” to the squares. There are TONS of sites which have tutorials on how to do this. In fact, Coffeeshop Blog has a tutorial.

3. Deciding on which of our images to use was the hard part. I think I found a selection of 5 that do a good job of describing our blog.  Since we take our pics using large resolutions, the   image sizes were changed to 4 inches and resolution to 72. I made sure to “save as” so I did not permanently alter the original. Again, a clipping mask was used for each picture.

4. Which fonts to use, it is important to only use 2 – 3 different fonts max. As I’d tell my students, to use too many different fonts makes it look as if it’s clown college! The fonts also need to be totally different from each other. There are 4 main categories of fonts: serif, non-serif, decorative or novelty, and script or handwriting. I love typography! I’m using my husband’s new Mac, the only problem is, it doesn’t have all of the fonts which are on my PC. Why aren’t I using my PC then? It’s the 97 degree temp in the upstairs studio where the computer is.  I refuse to go into that room.

  • Curls and Q = Boingo – I download for free from the Internet
  • A Journey of Creativity = Apple Chancery
  • Felt square’s text = Marker Felt

5. Using the eyedropper to match, the background color of the banner was changed to match the background of the original theme I had picked out which I REALLY liked. Tried to accept and save – turns out it is a premium so it isn’t free. Left the color which is an off-white.

6. Cropped to remove excess bottom and saved as a jpg. Imported into the theme as a header. Deleted the Title and Tag area of the pre-made theme.

7. Tried over 20 new themes, none of which seemed to be right. This one skews the banner. I’ll keep trying! Enjoy the ride until it’s the way I want.  I might give in and pay!

I couldn’t resist the cartoon image of myself. The hedgehog was included just because. I found a fun, free site for making cartoon images: WeeWorld. Forget about the kids, you’ll have fun making a cartoon of yourself.

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6 thoughts on “Messin’ Around With Themes

  1. I understand how you feel because I have changed mine dozens of times trying to find the right fit. It seems that each theme is deficient in something for good reason to get you to spend money. Personally, I like the magazine style theme because my blog is really a photo blog of all the knits made. I’m not big on writing but only want to describe the items made. I have settled on Suburbia by WPSHOWER.. I hope everyone likes it! The main point of a theme is to showcase and allow easy navigation of everything on the blog. Good luck!

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    • Thank you! The first reply disappeared so I’ll try again! I’ve seen your site undergo changes as I follow! 😎 You picked a good style for your blog. Except for our skewed banner, I think I’ve created a look I can live with for the next 6 months. 😎 Then who knows – I get antsy!

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    • Thank you! I think I have the final (at least for awhile) look! I can’t wait to see my grandkids to play with WeeMee! I know they’ll have a blast! They have changed their WII aviators so many times. 😎 Bet your kids love it!

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  2. I use the free self-hosted WordPress which is use with my web hosting package. Because of that, I can do whatever I want with WordPress. I like that type of control, and couldn’t get that (or many of the WP Plug ins that I love) with a free version of WP.

    With my old personal site I was fairly elaborate in what I did. I liked the fact that I have so much control. Eventually I’ll play around with a theme a bit more, and make changes to the site.

    And although Celebrate Life is my only personal site (I do have a few business sites) advertisements on CL have more than paid for my yearly web-hosting fee.

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