New Is Always Good

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hi, hi!

Notice anything...NEW around here?! I've been hard at work redesigning the look of It's Always Ruetten! When I began this blog last year, I was completely unfamiliar with HTML and CSS code, so I was reliant on (and thankful for) the Blogger templates. But as I've connect with other bloggers and visited countless blogs, I have been inspired to make It's Always Ruetten more... me. I also felt, that with the hands on experience of working on the "back-end" of my blog for a while (and the countless tutorials out there in the blogosphere) that I would be able to make the changes I wanted.


I really wanted to start by making my own header logo, but couldn't seem to come together with what I wanted. That is until I saw the awesome header logo at Newlyweds on a Budget:


I really fell in love with the loopy b into the D:


I knew as soon as I saw it, that I wanted the same loop in my blog logo (blogo?). But to create that, one actually needs graphic design skills... which I don't have (but I really want!). So, by utilizing Paint (yes, the Windows level 1 Paint) and Gimp I was able to create my own (lovely, if I do say) blog logo to insert as my header.


Here's how it came together... don't laugh...

I used Paint to cover up the top of the R with gray




Yay!

Some other things I did on my redesign: added a "Scroll to Top" button (bottom right corner), added social media icons (top right side), created a button to represent my blog (click on the Button tab to see it!), and moved some gadgets (Blogger term) to show up only on certain pages but not on the sidebar.

Do you use Blogger for your blog? Are there any things you see that I did that I could post a tutorial on? I really love the look and feel of my "new" blog. What do you think? I can't wait to hear your feedback!

I link with:


Weekend Bloggy Reading | Friday Flair Link Party | Photography Inspiration | Lovely Crafty Weekend | Pinworthy Projects | Anything Goes | Saturday Nite Special | Strut Your Stuff Saturday | Sundae Scoop | Show and Tell Saturday | Think Pink Sundays | Crafty Saturday | Finding the Pretty & Delicious | Nifty Thrifty Tuesday | Masterpiece Monday | Make the Scene Monday | Just Something I Whipped Up | Nifty Thrifty Sunday | Market Yourself Monday | 
Motivate Me Monday | Monday Funday | Sunday Showcase Party | Mad Skills Link Party | Made by you Monday Get Your Craft On | Your Gonna Love It | Anti-Procrastination Tuesday | Handmade Tuesdays | Show me What You Got | Tutorials and Tips Link Party | Take-A-Look Tuesday | The Inspiration Board | Show Me What Ya Got | Time to Shine | The DIY Dreamer | Show Me Wednesday | Lil Luna Link Party | Your Whims Wednesday | Whatever Goes Wednesdays | Show & Share | What I Whipped Up Wednesday | Creative Juice Thursday | Treasure Hunt Thursday | Under $100 Linky Party | Crafty Soiree | Blog Stalking Thursday | Delightfully Inspiring Thursday Party | Transformation Thursday | Crafty Soiree | DIY Thrifty Thursday | The 36th Avenue | Somewhat Simple Link Party | Catch a Glimpse Thursday | Thrifty to Nifty Thursdays | Everything But the Kitchen Sink | Chic and Crafty Party | Tickled Pink | Frugalicious Friday | BFF Open House Link Party | Simply Link Party | Redoux Link Party | Weekend Show Off Party | Keep Calm and Link Up

29 comments:

  1. I have never been to your blog, so I am not familiar with the before, but I do really love the after! It is so classy, simple and sophisticated! I would like that look for my blog! I have only been blogging for about a month though, so its gonna take me some time to get the hang of this kind of code stuff!:) Congrats on your new blog! It looks fantastic!

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    1. Hi Heather! First, thank you so much for stopping by! Second, you made my night! I am so happy because the words you used to describe my blog are the exact look I was going for! When you start to tackle your blog update, let me know if you have any questions. I would be happy to help (if I can). :-)

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  2. I love the open white space.

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    1. Thank you! I think it really lightens it up! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Victoria Roza2/16/2013

    It looks GREAT, Julia! (And Paint is highly under-rated, IMHO. I use it at work all the time for software mockups. I've tried a number of fancier applications but I can do most everything faster on Paint, esp. with tricks like pressing Ctrl and dragging to copy.)

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    1. Thanks, Vicki! I have wasted so much time in other programs trying to do something that in Paint would take me just a few minutes. I'm glad to hear others use it too! I hope you were able to stay out of the path of Nemo, but I'm sure it makes for a busy time at work for you.

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  4. I LOVE your header! I recently did a post on my blog makeover :o) One thing I would suggest for you is to remove the shadows from around your photos... this is standard with blogger, but you can remove them. I've put the link to the tutorial here. New follower... would love for you to follow back :o)
    http://www.nap-timecreations.com/2013/02/diy-blog-makeover.html

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    1. Hi Emily, Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate the suggestion. I've gone back and forth with the shadow and whether to remove it. At the end of my last blog design I had removed it and I'm not sure I was a fan. But I will certainly give it some thought! I love your signature with the flower, I would love to know if you upload that into each post or if you have some html/css code to upload it automatically for you.

      Thanks for stopping by! P.S. Your blog looks great. I love the theme and how you have it tied in throughout.

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  5. It looks great. My husband uses Paint all the time for photo-editing and is really good with it. I tend to use Picmonkey for photo-editing (although you can't do the kind of work you just did with it) instead. I love the loop and the little dots you did beside it.

    I use Blogger and have never been very good at getting the pages along the top to look right. I finally found out how to centre them, but I like how you have them in boxes. I would be interested in reading how you did that.

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    1. Hi Grace,

      So I'm with you on this. My old template didn't have dividers. I stopped by your blog and have to say, I really like what you have going.. it looks really nice. The way I was able to get the dividers on my pages was to utilize an "option" in the advanced template customization area. I am starting with a "Simple" template, then under "Advanced" go to "Accents" and it is the "Tabs Border Color." Let me know if that works for you or if I left out a step.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I like the clean look of your blog, and the loopy R is great! Where did you get the "scroll to the top" widget or whatever it's called? I also like your cute dots at the bottom of each post. I hope you'll stop by my blog and see what you think!

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    1. Hi Bonny!

      Thank you for stopping by! I have two places (and both I have used) that I got the "scroll to top" from. The first, which I prefer is here: http://www.weedemandreap.com/2012/07/tutorial-how-to-put-scroll-to-top.html. The reason I prefer this is because it only appears once the reader actually scrolls. The second, which is what I'm using, I like because you can use an image: http://www.egytricks.com/2012/11/easy-add-scroll-to-top-widget-to-blogger.html.

      I think you have a great blog. I love the color scheme! Thank you for stopping by!

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  7. Your blog is really clean looking. I've found that if there is anything that needs tweaking, there is always another plain speaking blogger who comes up trumps rather than one of the IT techie sites. Well done!

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    1. Chel,

      I 100% agree! Without our fellow bloggers, and the wonderful tutorials out there, I would never have been able to tackle this on my own.

      Thank you for stopping by and for commenting! Have a great week!

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  8. It is looking great! I've been working to makeover mine as well! It is a task!

    Jenna @ http://rainonatinroof.com

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    1. Hi Jenna!

      You are certainly true! This is not an easy task. But so worth it in the end! Can't wait to see your updates!

      Have a great week!

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  9. Looking good!

    I would LOVE a tutorial on making a Grab it button. I think this is one that I am most stumped by.

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    1. Hi Beverly! Thank you for stopping by! Are you looking for info on the Pin It button? I'd be happy to share the tutorial I followed. :-) If not, let me know what it is and I'll do my best to get you info on how to do it!

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  10. I love your new header. I am newbie blogger and have slowly been figuring out how to do things on my own. I can't see paying someone hundreds of dollars to design my blog when in time I could evolve into my own. And I want to be able to make changes as I see them necessary. I also use Paint for alot. And I have the "better" programs but have not taken the time to learn them.
    Thank you so much for linking up at Take-a-Look Tuesday. I am now following you via GFC.

    Sarah
    http://sarahmschultz.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. I can't wait for your big reveal. I have a (small but growing) Pinterest board with some of the tutorials I used to spruce up my blog. I don't know if it can be of any help to you, but it's always worth a shot: http://pinterest.com/jqruetten/blogger-tips/.

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  11. I am impressed with your skills.....I have no clue about html, but am in the process of having someone makeover my blog...

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    1. You'll have to let me know when the big "reveal" is! I love looking at blog designs. :-) Thank you for stopping by and leaving a nice comment!

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  12. Looks great! I love playing around with bits of blog design too!

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    1. Hi Steph! It is so addicting, especially when you find a great blog that is designed perfectly. Thank you for stopping by!

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  13. how do you add the social media icons? I want to do more with my blog, but I have no clue how. It is just a plane template from blogger.

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    1. Hi! The best tutorial (and the one I followed) can be found here: http://www.greatfun4kidsblog.com/2011/09/blog-tips-your-own-social-media-buttons.html. She really walks you through step by step. Good luck and let me know if you have any trouble getting them added... I'd be happy to help you out!

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  14. I also really love the "after" - You've done a great job. I think your blog looks very polished.

    I'm still a newbie blogger (only about a month of serious posting) but it's nice to hear about other bloggers who find the html intimidating at the start.

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  15. hey there - I'm on blogger too and just switch templates and now the template designer won't keep any of my changes (such as font color, size etc) for any of my elements - happening to you? it's like its frozen as I created it and won't update at all...ugh....I want to tweak....

    love what you did (the post separators, scroll to top, etc.) would be awesome to learn how to do! always something fun to learn & play with!

    http://www.northerncottage.net

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  16. Nice clean blog JQ! In the advertising world the mantra is 'white space' and to me lots of advertising and other things can clutter it up. Thanks for sharing how you enhanced things and I'm anxious to incorporate a few in my blog. Another tip is to create a new blog just for testing/practice until you achieve what you're looking for.

    http://wingandprayer.blogspot.com

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