This is what you do when you’re stuck in a hotel room on a rainy day. You mess around with your blog banner. Obsessively. Yesterday, I had to run out the door because I was playing around in PicMonkey and suddenly realized I had to be at rehearsal in 15 minutes.
I’ve been wanting to change the look of my header from the usual photo collage to something different. Last week I read this great post about how to make a banner/collage in PicMonkeyusing white space. (Thank you Bunny for writing to tell me about it!) And I got all excited about overlays and what I might be able to do. This is what I came up with when I first started playing around:
It’s not what I ultimately wanted because the flowers and button were PicMonkey’s and had nothing to do with my blog, but it was fun to do. You can add your own overlay in PicMonkey, so I thought about my McCoy Singing Bird and my little lamb with the hat, both of which have become familiar sights to readers of my blog. Perhaps they could become overlays? I wanted something that floated on a white background.
What next? I tried to figure out how to erase the background of a photo so that just the main image remained. I spent several days painstakingly trying to erase my backgrounds in Pixlrand got very frustrated. Yesterday, I finally did it! Then I added the images to the white space using PicMonkey’s overlay feature.
This was my first try (and what I was doing when I realized it was time to go to rehearsal.) It was just a test. I was unhappy with the color of the birds as they were too green when they are really aqua. So I uploaded them again and changed the color. I also played around with different fonts, but this (called Playball) is still my favorite so I went back to it. I made a new banner, using the recolored birds in a different configuration, along with my little lamb.
For now, it’s making me happy, so it will stay. I’m sure I’ll keep tweaking it. I never say never and who knows? I may end up going back to my photo collage banner. But not for a while.
Heck, that’s what is fun about having this little playground I call my blog. I can change things up when I want to. If I can figure out how to write a tutorial about all of this, including erasing the background in a photo, I will.
I’m sharing all of this with you because I encourage you to get in there and try new things. I almost always start with googling a question, like “how do I erase a background in Pixlr?” and go from there. It’s sort of like detective work. Then, once you find some sort of answer, go for it. Give it a try. You have nothing to lose. I play around with html on my blog a lot, too. There are all sorts of tutorials out there and, believe me, I’ve never not found an answer to a question. I’m not a blog designer. I don’t know a whole lot about coding, but I’ve learned enough to get by. The great thing about Blogger is that you can go into your template, change the html and preview. If you don’t like the results, all you have to do is hit delete edits and everything goes back to the way it was. I do that all the time.
Try playing around with your blog design. Or your banner design. It’s empowering! Every time I figure out how to do something, I feel great. You don’t have to rely on a designer. Play with PicMonkey, or iPiccy, or any one of a number of photo editing programs, some of which have much more available on their sites than just photo editing. Have fun!
Nothing better than working on the blog with Pandora playing Gershwin in the background!
The winner of a copy of The Paper Garden is Jen Kershner! Congratulations, Jen. I’ll drop you an email.