Blog Header Q&A

Commenting on Saturday’s entry, Chickadee asked about the picture of my girls in the mountain meadow, and how I made it reach across, etc.  First, a disclaimer: Things can be done better and more simply than I do them–I just don’t know how to do it the easy way. I play around with the blog code, and with photoshop, but am a compete novice at both.  Through  tenacious trial and error I ultimately achieve what I want.  (Some people say I’m stubborn, but really I’m just persistent and determined. )

I host most my images in Photobucket, but I had better results uploading my blog header directly to homeschool blogger (click on “File Uploads” after you log in. Photobucket sometimes resized them, and ended up driving me bonkers when I wanted a specific size.

I decided that I wanted a picture in the header to be the same width as the lower tables in my blog, but I didn’t want it to be huge and tall.  I wanted some of the blog text to show without requiring the reader to scrolled down. Pictures in general are not quite so long and narrow, so that required photoshop.  Here’s the original photograph:

To make this picture stretch across would warp it horridly.  It is simply the wrong proportions.  So, I copied huge swatches of the grassy background and added onto the sides of the picture to get it WIDE.  Because I don’t know what I’m doing I made it wider than I needed.  (Whatever is outside the table you have defined just won’t show, so you can be generous.)  I then blended things in with the cloning tool (I think that is what it is called) to make it less obvious that I was repeating the background.  (You can still tell if you look closely enough and know what to look for.)

I saved my image with a different name than the original when I was happy with it, but before I messed with resizing.  (In case I made it too small and wanted it bigger again.)

Then I told photoshop to size the image to the width I guessed it should be, and make the height/width ratio stay consistent.  I downsized the pixels per inch to 120 so that it wouldn’t take up too much of my “file upload” space. Then I saved it under yet another name, and uploaded it here to my “File Uploads”.  I tried it in the template code, and decided whether it needed to be a hair bigger or smaller (the preview button is great for this!), so I went into photoshop again, resized slightly, and tried over.  It only took 2 or 3 tries to fine tune it. (I think my final one was 7.5 inches by photoshop’s calculations.)

(Your header table/picture CAN be a different width than the lower portion of your blog.  My friend Chautona’s blog is a lovely example of this.  To do that just change the values in your table, look in your blog code for something that looks like this (It may have different values though):

< table width = “900” height= “300”  border = “0” align = “center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ 

Then play with the height and width to get what you want.

One more note: Because I don’t entirely know what I’m doing, I always save a copy of my template code (by copying it into a worddoc) before I alter it. I could see myself intending to click the preview button, but telling it to save instead, after I’d done some experimenting that didn’t work.  I’ve been known to absent mindedly put the ice-cream away in the breadbox, so I need a few extra ‘checks and balances’ for my own protection.

Ok, I’m sure that was convoluted, and probably told you lots that you didn’t need to know while omitting what you do need to know.

I also wanted to respond to abrightnewdawn’s delightful comments on my blog.  I’ve been enjoying her participation here. She even said my family is normal.  I like her definition of normal!  Since she’s not yet a blogger I couldn’t get in touch with her any other way to say “thanks”, so I’ll give her a public hello!  I be looking for a blog from her and her hubby at www.homeschoolblogger.com/abrightnewdawn.

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One thought on “Blog Header Q&A

  1. you go girl!!! I have recently been called stubborn also. But I like the persistent and determined label better also. *smile*
    Getting pictures just the size I want them has become a challenge for me also.
    Thanks for sharing all of this great information.
    And for sharing how to grow the sprouts. I love them, they are so healthy, but expensive at the store.
    We’ll be growing some next week.
    Have a blessed weekend,
    Linda

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