Category Archives: Blog

New social media buttons – A sort-of tutorial

SD New social media buttons 2014-11-26 The blog just got new social media buttons. The colour is the Solsken Design signature grey and while I made them round at first, this theme makes a hovering effect under pictures. Even though the pictures were specifically made round (with this PicMonkey tutorial), the theme still added a square due to the hover effect. What a nuisance. At least I know how to make these buttons now, because I’ve made quite a few of them by now. It takes several steps, but isn’t horribly difficult and I’ve used the same method to add buttons to the side column before, so read along!

I started with a blank template, a grey circle, of the size 72×72 pixels. In PicMonkey, I then added the silhouettes (found here for free) as layers on top of the grey circle (with the help found in the same silhouette article). A tip is to upload the background picture only once, because after you’ve tweaked the silhouette to your liking – size, placement, and colour – you can save the button and then remove the silhouette only. Add the next one, tweak, save, and repeat. Finally I had six buttons 72×72 pixels large, so I resized them to 36×36 pixels. Once I noticed the white square underneath the grey button, I repeated all these steps with a grey 72×72 square.

Now the fun begins. I did exactly like in this video for WordPress blogs (Blogger blogs have their own video) until the stage of trying to center all the buttons at once. What happened wasn’t a neat row of buttons centered next to one another, but only the first one remained on the uppermost row with the rest jumping down a row.

Miraculously I clicked the same stuff, but with magic hands, and thereafter everything worked as it should. In the Text pane, you can see this opening code at the beginning, before the first a href thingy: <p style=”text-align:center;”> After all the button code, to close the centering code, there’s this: </p> Once I copy-pasted the whole text into a Text widget, all were aligned and centered. Neat.

Once you’ve uploaded media and added it to the post, all you have to do is click on the image edit button to see stuff viewer friendly, but it really pays off to look at the Text pane with its code, too. That’s how I learned how to open a linked page in a new window when clicking on a button. You need to add this: target=”_blank” But you won’t know where unless you compare what happens when checking versus leaving unchecked the box in the advanced image editing settings.

Also notice what happens when you add a link to the button, because if you leave it unlinked, it will show its own archiving URL on the WordPress server when a reader clicks on it and opens the image. That’s a bit silly, isn’t it.

It takes some time to learn these things, but it isn’t very difficult. If you can’t figure it out even after having watched the wonderful YouTube tutorial, ask a question in the comment and I’ll see if I can help you somehow.

Do you make your own buttons? If you don’t have time right now, maybe you can use some of these free and very lovely buttons?

Blog love…

I’m on bloglovin’ if you like using that platform to organise your blog reading. Follow my blog there if you like.

A break until Monday

Apologies about the missing posts this week. I’ve been under considerable pressure about a personal matter for quite some time and it finally came to an end yesterday – with the best possible outcome. While I’m pleased as punch, I’m also completely drained thanks to the fact that it’s been developing ever since August. Hence I’ll get back to posting on schedule as per Monday and in the meantime I wish everyone a lovely weekend!

You know that feeling?

You know that feeling of nothing being exciting about the thing that used to make you happy? It’s been a first for me and the reasons for my coming to a halt are more than I care to mention.

Out of my customers point of view, however, it’s important that I speak my peace regarding Etsy. It is a venue for handmade – or “handmade” as it is about to become officially now, not just unofficially – and I was a typical seller there, madly in love with all the closeness, friendliness, sharing, caring, lovely handmade things. At some point the pink glasses began to come off and within the first six months they had come off permanently.

Suffice to say I’ve never experienced an online service provider of any kind, who treat their customers as mind-bogglingly badly as Etsy staff do. People are “muted” left and right, and non-US sellers always get shop features (gift cards and direct checkout among others) months or a year later than those in the US, even though the same listing fees have been paid. Once you have been muted, you can’t post in the Bugs section of the forum even, but have to reach out via other sellers or send an email that with great likelihood never is responded to. I’ve heard more than one story of unfair treatment and it is simply not good enough.

The last nail in the coffin for myself was their announcement last week. Factory-made goods will now be allowed and the meaning of handmade has been re-written by Etsy. CEO Chad Dickerson’s speech caused a flood of sellers to branch out from Etsy or close their shops entirely. If you’re interested in a fairly neutral commentary on the situation, please read “Do Etsy’s changes risk making it like eBay?” published on Market Watch.

The small but upcoming venue Zibbet got the lion’s share of angry sellers, me included. Currently, my shop is still open on Etsy, but I’m working on moving the existing inventory to my website shop and the Zibbet shop. I will let the dust settle a bit before making further decisions regarding the future of the Etsy shop.

There have been other more personal reasons for my rare appearances here, but I’ve recently enrolled in some Craftsy classes on jewellery making and have eagerly learned a few new techniques, which I’m practicing as we speak. My little business came to a point where I had to decide whether to keep fiddling at level 1.0 or perhaps take it to 2.0 already.

I chose the second alternative and have during the past few days experienced an energy injection in the creativity department that I recognise only from the early days of making earrings!

Stay tuned for lots of lovely pieces in the shops as well as educational, inspirational, and/or funny output here on the blog and in the other social media (links in the column on the right side)! I might even announce a give-away very soon, but that’s a secret.

Blog post schedule

I think it is nice to know that one can expect fresh content on a regular basis and I’ve come up with a plan to cover a bit of this and that. There will be surprise topics as well as regularly occurring themes:

  • Monday: Jewellery components series
  • Wednesday: Weddings
  • Thursday: Links to interesting, helpful, useful, etc. blog articles found online
  • Saturday: Tutorials, giveaways and such

I hope you will like reading along as much as researching and writing brings me joy! Please don’t hesitate to ask, should you have any questions at all regarding the contents I will post. Constructive comments are also always welcome.

Solsken Design to blog at WordPress

The solskendesign.com domain is to be hosted at Big Cartel and the blog will be written here. A few posts have been published elsewhere online, but since it is impossible to import those texts from there, I will manually post a handful, starting with this little blurb:

Sunshine amidst grey skies and snow: My little corner of the internet is finally a reality. It doesn’t look like much yet, unless one would find a poetic resemblance between its vast whiteness and the remaining piles of snow scattered around Helsinki. I’m claiming it all the same and hope it will provide me with many moments of creativity, excitement and happiness. Welcome to Solsken Design!

This was published almost a year ago, on 24 March 2012.