Monday 30 September 2013

The Jewelled Web - September 2013 - Link Love

Jewelled web September link love
Perhaps it's a sign of impending autumn (and winter), and less outsidey-weather, but I've found lots of goodies to share on the web this month...

Sweet little bracelets to make with great photo instructions. These bracelets are great too, from the same blog.

Wonderful solution to keeping dust off your work surface, however long it's neglected for!

Ways to package jewellery, this and this.

When I finally get round to digging my polymer clay haul out, this stamp and roller DIY may come in handy. I am also a sucker for anything about handmade tools...

Questions to ask yourself about your newly crafted jewellery. Or anything.

If you can get to London between this October and April next year, then consider checking out the Cheapside Hoard, an amazing collection of Elizabethan and Stuart jewellery, and the mystery of who buried it centuries ago.

Such pretty beads!

Fantastic website and slightly unnerving jewellery by Julia Deville. Also check out this short feature about her in a great looking new Australian magazine (not sure if it delivers to the UK yet).

How wallpaper can look even better when squashed by a jewellery rolling machine.

Clever earrings made from paper.

And in non-jewellery news...

Love this tutorial for a beach hut cushion... it's like summer all over again...

Beautiful images, colours, and ideas - illustrations by Sanna Annukka

News via Folksy about the Post Office's Drop&Go service... not so good for those who live in the sticks with just the one counter in their local branch but still worth a read.

This print actually makes me look forward to winter and being cold and all that. Seriously.

I'm not sure what the taste of honey lavender macarons would quite be like, but the thought of them (and the beautiful photos) sounds pretty great right now.

Brr. Have you dug out your jumpers yet? A great selection of photos here to make you like the cold. Kind of.

Some rather pretty flowers made with old eggboxes, paint, and imagination/talent. (You can translate the site but the photos are very good and self-explanatory.)

Hope your month was good :)

Linking up with Handmade Harbour's Handmade Monday

Saturday 28 September 2013

How to create a Blogger Favicon

how to create a blogger favicon
You know when you open a blog in a tab, and you have a little icon to the left of the blog title in that same tab? Well, that's a favicon. It also shows up in bookmarks, and sometimes next to the blog name itself in the address bar on your browser.

If the blog is a Blogger blog, then the default setting for the favicon is a not-very-attractive white stylised 'B' on an orange background. This standard favicon is eye-catching but not necessarily for the right reasons...

Even if you do think that design is pretty, it still does nothing to distinguish your blog from any other Blogger blog someone may be reading. It just tells everyone your blog is a Blogger blog.

To help you stand out, and to make the overall design of your blog a little more cohesive, you can, using your own images, create your own favicon and use that to replace the Blogger one.


Read on...

Chose your image


You can use a stock image (either free or paid for, but do check conditions of use) for a favicon, but for the purposes of this post I'm going to assume you have a pile of your own photos that you use widely on your shop and blog. A good idea can be to take a detail from the header you use on your blog, and that way common colours and images it may display will also be apparent in your favicon.

Size is everything

Do bear in mind that favicons are tiny. I know, that's kind of obvious, but it does have a bearing if you wish to use an image of something specific, rather than just a colour or a letter - it needs to be well defined enough that people can recognise what it is. And if that isn't possible, then the colours it displays should make sense within your banner or blog colour scheme.

What I did... 


Chose a photo 


I decided to stick with my current muted colour-scheme of silver and grey, and so chose this image from my virtual stack of photos -


Edit the image

1. I uploaded it to picmonkey, rotated it, and then cropped it square.

I lost a little bit of the top and bottom of the leaf, but figured it would be easier to work with if it was a square photo from the outset, as favicons are always square. Making the dimensions exact can be tricky in picmonkey, so just get them as close to equal as you can.

2. Then I resized it to around 70px square, to make uploading it later on easier - it's only going to get smaller, so image quality loss isn't an issue here. Also, resizing at this stage gives you an idea of how small the photo is going to get, and how well, or not, your chosen image may work. Concentrate on light, shade, and colour and that should give the best result - you can always resize the image even smaller in picmonkey, to see how it works as a tiny image.

I saved the image to my computer in picmonkey, using a simple filename that made sense. Also I saved it to my desktop, somewhere I could easily find it again as I needed it straight away

Create the favicon

Next I opened up - this site helps you actually create the favicon itself, turning the small photo into a favicon.

3. On the left hand side of the page, I clicked on Import Image.

4. Then I was taken to an upload page - (this is why you need to know where you've stored the image) - to browse and find my edited photo.

Here I also chose Keep dimensions as I'd already made my photo square, but if you haven't cropped it already, you can chose Shrink to square icon - if you think your image is too far from square, despite your best cropping efforts, then chose this option, but do bear in mind it may well change the way it looks a little too much.

Next I clicked on Upload. My file size was small so this didn't take long.

5. The site took me back to its main page... and my extremely pixelated favicon...

This is normal. And correct. The favicon is so tiny that it can easily be shown pixel by pixel like this.

(It also gives you the opportunity to experiment with changing the colour of pixels, if you wish, by using the Color Picker to the right of the favicon. This is fun, if potentially disastrous! I couldn't find a back or undo button although I would imagine one exists somewhere.)

Save the favicon

Anyway, I then saved the favicon by scrolling down the page and clicking on Download Favicon. When given the option in the pop-up download screen, I clicked on save. (The file was saved to my downloads on my computer automatically - I wasn't given the option to chose where I wanted to save it, as happens on picmonkey. If you have trouble finding where your downloads are, and consequently the favicon, you're looking for a tiny file named favicon.ico)

Upload favicon to blog

The final thing I had to do was upload the favicon to my blog.

6. I went to layout in Blogger, and clicked on edit in the Favicon box

7. I then browsed to where the favicon.ico file was - I'd moved it to my desktop - and clicked on save to upload it to blogger.  

8. My new favicon showed up on my blogger layout screen straightaway but took a little longer to filter through the system and show up when I opened a new tab, so give it time if this delay also happens to you.

You can edit or change your favicon whenever you like. I redid mine after the first attempt looked vague and unclear when downsized to such a small size. I also edited using the pixels on the favicon site, adding brightness where the leaf was a little shady. I'm still not entirely convinced I'll stick with this one, but it's good enough to be getting on with.

Do leave a message if you've made a new favicon, I'd love to go and have a look at it!

More info

You can do a lot more with the website. You can find and use favicons that other people have created (click on Latest favicons and Top Rated favicons on the site), and that have been released under a CC (Creative Commons) license which means you are able to use other people's work. Or you can try creating your own favicon from scratch, by filling in pixels with various colours. If it's any good you can use it on your site or release it for others to download and use.

Happy pixelling!

Wednesday 25 September 2013

I not only make jewellery...

plum and apple crumble
... I also bake. Ok, not that often and sometimes not as often as I like, but I do do it sometimes, and I tend to enjoy it when I do. Sometimes anyway. Mainly if it's pudding.

Last week I had some plums (fresh and home-grown, although not at my home), and some little ramekin pots. I think you may know what this means!

Plum crumble. Mmmm. Although after I cooked them, the plums melted down into not-quite-enough so I added an apple as well. So plum and apple crumble. Or, as was suggested to me, Windfall Crumble.

They had a little too much plum juice in, hence it creeping up the sides, but I like it when home-baked things look home-baked. And, although it's me saying this, they did taste rather nice...

Saturday 21 September 2013

How to back up your blog content and template

how to backup your blog
One of the most important pieces of advice that I've been given is, before you even think of making any changes to your blog design, to back it up. And, perhaps more importantly, also back up your content. Here's why.

Back up content because it's valuable to us, we spend time writing and creating it, and it would be awful to lose it. Plus, if you blog on Blogger, then you don't own your blog site. This means that your blog could be removed without warning (not likely, but not impossible), or inadvertently deleted. Both of these would be catastrophic if you have no backups of work you've created in the blog.

To avoid this, backup your content, perhaps once a week, and that way your words and images will be safe. At present Blogger still hosts my photos but this is something I'm planning on changing soon. I do however hold onto copies of all the images I use on my blog. But I often write my posts in Blogger, from scratch, and don't have any separate copy of them unless I back up my blog. If anything does happen to my blog, I can start again, using the backups to rebuild the blog. That's the theory anyway. It's an insurance policy really, and chances are I, and you, will never have to use it.

Back up the template in case you inadvertently make alternations that you can't undo, and that change the look of your blog irreparably. Once it's done, it's done and such mistakes can happen even when you're trying to do something else. If you back up the template before you make any changes, even very simple ones, then you never have to worry about having to start from the beginning again.

I have made this mistake in the past, playing around with my blog and then discovering I couldn't change back what I'd done - this doesn't always involve opening the template up and editing it. Sometimes a simple widget addition can alter things in a way you don't want, so having a backed up template means you can retrace your steps with ease and not hours of angst instead...

Here's how to go about backing up your blog.

To backup the content

how to backup your blog - step 1
1. First, in your blog's Dashboard, click on Settings, and then Other.

how to backup your blog - step 2

2. Then click on Export blog - this will export all the posts, images, and comments from your blog in an .xml file - to open this again you'll need a blog platform, either Blogger, Wordpress, or Typepad perhaps. Other platforms are available!


how to backup your blog - step 3

3. Download your blog to your computer.

how to backup your blog - step 4

4. Save the file - it will save wherever your downloaded files normally save. I move my saved file to the folder I keep everything for my blog in, so I know where it is, and I rename it something I'll recognise easily. It's also worth putting it on a memory stick as well, as extra backup. Well, you never know...

To backup the template

how to backup your blog - part a
a. Find Template and click on it. Then click on Backup/Restore.

how to backup your blog - part b

b. Download full template - again, it will save to your downloaded files area. And again, it's worth moving it somewhere you know you'll be able to find it easily, renaming it, and backing it up yet again as extra insurance.

I think once you get into the habit of doing this, it doesn't take too much time and effort. We all know we should backup and we never do it enough. I know I have some photos on my computer that are only on my computer at the moment...and that makes me nervous. I must back up!

Hope this has been some help.

Further information  - Basic Google/Blogger instructions

Geekalicious -

Tuesday 17 September 2013


Things have been very quiet on the jewellery-making front for me lately, and for a while really. A combination of factors - health issues, other commitments, downright bad organisational skills... I also made the foolish mistake of packing everything up in a hurry when family were coming to stay and now, naturally, most things are in the wrong place, together with other things that were already in the wrong place, alongside the remaining things which are just...well, I'm not quite sure where they are.

So, yes, the noise of making jewellery has been ringing very, very quietly...

But a while back I was given some gems, all ready with the tops drilled out and bails fitted in.

Gorgeous gemstones

I then, slowly, added to my pile of ribbons and stringing materials with a few extra pieces of cord and faux suede... and, of course, nothing happened.

stringing threads
Faux suede in autumn-y shades

But now I'm making a concerted effort to do something with all these goodies. To that end, they're sitting out on a  table, reminding me that they need putting together, making into jewellery, and then good homes finding for them.

That's all that's needed.

Nothing much.

Well, aside from time, inspiration, energy... and a little more motivation it seems.

It'll get done. And soon.


I hope...

Monday 9 September 2013

No-reply blogger, no-reply comments, what does it mean?

Just so you know, this post is about using the Blogger/Blogspot platform. If you blog on TypePad, WordPress, Tumblr, or any other platform then this doesn't apply, but you can still read it if you fancy though... ;)

(Also, to avoid any confusion, if you use Google+ then your default setting is to be a no-reply blogger. Check out this tutorial and this one to help you change this situation.)

What does being a no-reply blogger mean?

Like a lot of people, I only found out I was a no-reply blogger when someone told me. Before then I had just merrily posted and commented and had no idea of this other way of blogging that was going on around it. It may be the same for you. If you are a no-reply blogger then, when you leave a comment on another blog, it will be impossible for the blog writer to drop you an email, saying hello, thank you, or anything at all.

When you write a post on your own blog and some nice person leaves you a comment, then that comment is also emailed to the address that is connected to your blog. You can respond to their comment on your blog, but if you want to be sure they get your response (without returning to your blog) then you can email them straight from your inbox. Except... if on their blogger account they have no publicly visible email address. This means that they are a no-reply blogger.

How to find out if you're a no-reply blogger

A couple of ways exist to discover if you are a no-reply blogger -

1) You can leave yourself a test comment (don't worry, you can delete it afterwards) and then check your inbox - you'll have a notification of the comment you left, and if you are a no-reply blogger then you'll also be able to find the words '' next to it.

2) Another easy way to check your no-reply status is to click onto your blogger profile page.
To find this when you're logged in to Blogger, go to the top right hand of the page where it displays your name, your chosen icon, and a little downward facing arrow. If you click on this area a drop-down will appear, containing the words 'Blogger profile'. Click on this.

I am a replying blogger example
Hover your mouse on your profile page...
On the page that opens, beneath your photo on the left hand side, you should find an area which says 'Contact me'. Beneath this should be a link to your email address - if you hover over 'Email' (see image to the right) then your email address should appear in the bottom left hand corner of your screen. If it does, then you are NOT a no-reply blogger. You're okay, people can find you and contact you (and also spam you, but, hey, that's a whole other post).

How to stop being a no-reply blogger

If you have no email link, and you want to (because half the fun of blogging is contacting and chatting to other bloggers), then here's what to do.

In the top right hand corner of your blogger profile page you'll see a button that says 'Edit Profile'. Click on it. On the page that opens, the second line down will say 'Show my email address'. Tick the box next to this. Scroll down and click 'Save Profile'.

And that's it. Now when you leave comments, people can respond to you via your inbox.

A bit more info...

If you need anything clarifying then do contact me in the comments section and I'll try to help, or check out this post, this one, this one as well, and this one too, for other tutorials.

And if you're not sure you want to have people respond to your comments, then stay as you are - the web is a bog place, it takes all sorts, and you're as entitled to your view as anyone else!

Monday 2 September 2013

The Jewelled Web - August 2013 - Link Love

August was a busy month for me off the net, so my on-the-net life has been a bit quieter. I've still found a few gems (forgive the pun) that are worth sharing though... hope you enjoy clicking through.

Love this idea of make-your-own jewellery, by way of downloads and DIY construction.

Day Four from Create and Thrive's mini course in how to Grow Your Profits in your online handmade business. This part is about making items that are easily reproducible to help save time in terms of relisting, photographing, etc. The other days of the course are well worth reading too (follow the links within Day Four).

Beaded fairies and sweet photography. Aww...

Jewellery you can eat. It's made from chocolate. What more do you need, really...?

Indulge in Lorelei's big jewellery components buying spree - it's almost as good as doing it yourself!

Great post about exactly where to sell your jewellery online, good and bad, richer and poorer...

Beautiful resin jewellery, and a great blog find.

And a few non-jewellery-but-no-less-interesting items...

Stunning creation of a Green Man mask in glass... Check out the first part here too.

A handy collection of internet hints - a few I didn't know, and no.3 has been my lifesaver for a while now.

Love how sweet and inspiring this DIY calendar is, and how useful!

Also, have discovered and joined the Handmade Monday link-up  - well worth a look if you're seeking new craft blogs to read.

Hope your August was good too.