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Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

Tortured by Technology - A Collation of Tutorials: Part 1 - The Blog Button

Are you new to blogging? computers? the alien language that is html? Do you have very colourful, creative and 'best said quietly round the kids' names for your computer? that you shout very loudly (of course, because we are perfect parents, never around the kids!!)? Sound like you?  THEN THIS IS THE TUTORIAL FOR YOU!

Being new to computers (other than to read my emails and reply - now don't laugh but I didn't even know how to add a folder to my desktop!!) taking the plunge into the land of blogs felt like the land of bogs - you know, rather than spending my time talking to you I felt like all my time was bogged down in  figuring out how to talk to you.  So after many hours searching google and reading tutorial after tutorial I feel like I have taken a very looooong journey and would like to spare you some blogging techno bumps and bruises.

I am not going to re-invent the wheel - some wonderful how-to tutorials have already been written by very knowledgeable and generous souls.  Don't you love that about our blogging community?  Rather, I am going to collate the links I have found wonderfully simple and instructive and show examples where I have used them.  There is so much to impart to you that this tute needs to be in two parts.

Part 1 - The Blog Button

Would you love to create a button for your blog that others can add to their sidebars? Do you have a button but don't know how to resize it? The read on:

1.     Creating a Button
The tutorial I found at Ellison Lane Quilts is wonderfully simple and really well laid out. You are introduced to a great site - PicMonkey.  By following the steps set out in  The How to Create a Blog Button the Easy Way tutorial I created this little button -

The tutorial shows you how to choose images, choose different fonts and colours and add borders.  Just great and really simple.  No dramas!

2.     Resizing Your Button

You have made your snazzy new button but you want to put it somewhere else and the size is wrong.  You've decided to join in a Quilt-a-long and need to put the button provided in your sidebar but the size wrecks the wonderful symmetry you have worked so long to create for the look of your blog.  What to do?  Now you could go through the whole PicMonkey process again or ......

you could simply use a free demo by Persits Software that enables you to very simply, quickly and with no fuss and no codes do the work for you.  Have a go here.

3.     Add a Grab Box to your Button

Last but certainly not least you want to add a grab box to your buttons so others can spread the love of your blog or linky party or giveaway or .....

By googling (was there life before google !?!?!) you will find many, many tutorials that will explain this process through the use of html to you.  A particularly good one by Ellison Lane Quilts here.  However, I don't know why but I still get lost in the < > , href, target and all the other html jargon so I continued googling away and discovered a real little gem.


Sew Well Maide

(don't worry - on your sidebar the box will automatically fit itself inside the sidebar dimensions)
The Little Gem in question can be found here.  
Now there is a little to know to be able to use this well.  First and foremost is the location url address for your button.  Without this, even if the code is generated, no pretty picture will appear.  The way I do this (it may not be the best way but remember I am techno challenged so if I can do it this way then so can you!) is to first add your button as a picture (in the usual fashion for your blog type, blogger, wordpress, etc as a gadget or widget)  to the place on your blog where you want it to end up.  This could be a sidebar or on a particular page (as I have done in this example). By then right clicking on your picture your computer will give you some info - you will find the button url location here.  Simply copy this info and when you get to Grab My Button Code Generator just paste it into the correct box.
Next you need to know if you have a Blogger or Wordpress blog! There is a different box to select for these blogs - but don't worry the correct one to choose is spelled out for you.
You get to play around with colours too.  Have some fun before making your final choice.  Pretty simple.
When your code has been generated and you have copied it,  go back to your blog, add another gadget/widget, this time an html one and paste the code into the correct box.  Don't forget to save.  Voila -  all done! and not one bit of html necessary.  Don't forget to go back and remove the first button you added as a picture as you no longer need this.

Now do a little victory dance - you are a button master!

Until next time, happy quilting, knitting, sewing, crafting ....


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