Photoshop has submitted. I have defeated the beast. I am now Beast Master, Slayer of Photoshop.
Well, hardly, but after completing the assignment’s in Kim’s three “week” class, I definitely have a better grasp (although, sometimes, it still feels like that grasp is weak, slipping away – ah!) of what I’m doing, and I decided to give Lemontines a makeover.
I switched from Blogger (Knit and the City) to my own url and WordPress because at the time, it was hard to find unique templates for Blogger, and every Blogger blog, aside from the header, pretty much looked the same. I thought, with WordPress, I would have more customizable options – and I do, but to a certain extent it’s limited by code. To some “code is poetry,” to me, its just code – and some of it is completely baffling and indecipherable. I would really like to switch to this template, Thesis, which uses it’s own code, “hooks,” is more user friendly, and has a ton of product support, but I can’t bring myself to plunk down money when there are so many free themes out there, that with a little tweaking, could probably give me the look I want. If this were a business, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second on spending the money, but since this is a tiny enterprise, with a small following, it seems a little over the top (although, you never know – I could have one of those what the heck moments, and hit that paypal button).
So, what do I want? Well, I want it to work. And, while my last theme was for the most part functional, it was really really hard to get my Scrapbook page to work, there was no double spacing between paragraphs (which is an easy fixed – which I thought I had fixed, but then the fix somehow disappeared), there was a huge gap between any slideshow and text and the end of the posts, and the posts often ran together at the bottom.
So functionality is key, as is a customizable header. You can throw your own header in just about any theme, but some are just easier than others. And, I wanted a nice, roomie header – and header real estate in WordPress templates is surprisingly hard to find. When I look at Blogger templates these days, I’m actually a little sorry I switched over – Blogger allows for just about any size header, and backgrounds are easily changed with a click of a button as well. My old theme, Paalm, is by this guy Sadish; all of his themes have a healthy sized, customizable header that to change is simply a click of a button. He has a few new themes that I hadn’t seen before I picked this one to play with – so you may see more changes in the coming weeks. But, after looking at what felt like a gazillion free WordPress themes, this header seemed the biggest, and easiest to change.
But, sigh, I’ve become picky – there are problems with this theme too – I don’t especially love the color scheme, I don’t like how there is no border space in the side bar boxes (that the text is scrunched up against the edge of the box), I don’t like how the footer doesn’t line up at the bottom, and I don’t like the text, lack of buttons, on the page navigation bar above. There are also two search bars, and I’m not sure why. Anyway, I will be working on fixing all of these things in the next couple of days, and if I don’t figure it out – I’ll probably be looking in themeland again, sigh.
So, the one thing I am really happy with about this makeover is my new header! You can look at the header as basically my “final” from Kim’s class — it pretty much incorporates all of the things she covers in the clas. It uses layers — there are textured layers, blending layers, color fill layers, and text layers. The photo of Lemon is cropped from another photo, and I applied an artistic filter – paint dabs I think, and it has it’s own layers pf texture and color before I ever placed it in the banner. And, once placed in the banner, there was only a little patch of grass, so I used some copying and pasting to have grass cover the entire banner. Then I used a patch tool and a smudge brush to hide the splice marks. It has special brushes (the butterfly stamps – free!) that I downloaded and installed, as well as a special font (also free!), that again, she teaches you how to install.
If anyone is interested in Kim’s class – which obviously, I can’t recommend enough, you can still sign up for it, and she has a new class opening up, “The Art of Texture” which I’m sure will be an awesome follow up to the Skinny, the beginner’s need to know course. As you may have noticed, I put “weeks” in quotes above, because you can do the class at your own pace. For instance, week 1 has five lessons, and a couple of bonuses. Working through those assignments took me most of the weekend (I did devote a lot of time to them – kind of obsessively), and then Week 2 and Week 3 went much faster because of the time spent practicing the skills from Week 1. Anyway, I’m all set for the next class!
I love class – and I’m thinking of taking another online e-course. This one, Bloom, a photo ecourse, is not photoshop, but actually photography. Photoshop is magic, but what comes out of your camera is where it all starts.
So, happy spring cleaning everyone – a makeover is always fun for everyone, even if it’s just a sweet lipstick!