RS Designs Is Now Berries and Cream Blog Design

by Revka ~ February 14th, 2009

RS Designs is now officially Berries and Cream Blog Design.

Please update your bookmarks and visit our blogsite and store for news, updates, and to order your custom blog design.

Blogspot 101: Keep Your Photos from Opening when People Left-Click on Them

by Revka ~ January 14th, 2009

*To view all of the posts in this series, either click on the following link, or type Blogger Tutorials into our search box.*

One of my most popular tutorials tells how to disable right-click at your site. However, several people have commented that while right-click is disabled at their Blogger blog, people are still able to left-click their pictures, which opens the picture in its own window from which the visitor can then download (steal) the picture.

I have the solution for your problem.  First, because people have asked, let me state that even if there was a way to do it, you would never want to disable left click.  Without left-click ability, links (including navigation links) would be useless, and you would lose readers faster than you can say boo.

The reason people can left click on your pictures and download the photo that appears that way is because when you upload an image Blogger automatically links your post image so that clicking on it brings up the image by itself.  You can fix this by doing the following for each picture. (I’m sorry there’s not a quick and easy fix that I know of.)

1. After you have uploaded the picture into your post, click on the Edit HTML tab of the writing area.
2. You should see code at the top of the page that looks something like this:
<a href="http://yoursiteurl.com/yourpicture.jpg"><img alt="S7302723" src="http://yoursiteurl.com/yourpicture.jpg" width="184" align="left" border="0" height="244"/></a>
3. Delete the following sections:
<a href="http://yoursiteurl.com/yourpicture.jpg">
and   </a>
Those are the parts that make the image into a link.
4. MAKE SURE you leave the img section:
<img alt="S7302723" src="http://yoursiteurl.com/yourpicture.jpg" width="184" align="left" border="0" height="244"/>
5. Preview your post.  If your image is still there and does not go to a separate page when you click on it, you did everything correctly and can
save your post or continue writing it.

You will have to make changes to each of your already published pictures individually, but if you really don’t want people to be able to bring them up on a separate page, it would be worth it.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments regarding this tutorial. I’d be happy to help you in any way that I can.

*To view all of the posts in this series, either click on the following link, or type Blogger Tutorials into our search box.*

Blogspot 101: Using a Non-Blogger Font in Your Template

by Revka ~ December 30th, 2008

*To view all of the posts in this series, either click on the following link, or type Blogger Tutorials into our search box.*

My last tutorial (it can’t possibly have been nearly 4 months ago when I published it!) told you how to use a non-Blogger font in a post.  But what if you want all of your posts to be written in a non-Blogger font, or what if you, like Daniel, want to change your blog title’s font?  It would be a big pain to have to code each post individually!  There is a much better way to change your universal fonts: change them in your blog’s template.

Important: Before I divulge the secret, please note that specifying a font does not necessarily mean that your reader will see that font.  A font will only be visible to a reader if they have that font already installed on their computer.  Have fun with this new trick, but make sure you specify several fonts to give your readers the best chance of seeing your blog as you intended.

On to the good part.  Here are the steps needed to change the universal fonts to something other than the default Blogger fonts:

  1. Login to your blog and go to Layout.
  2. Click on Edit HTML.
  3. Find the variables section.
  4. Find the variables that have font names.  You can change any or all of these. 
    Example
    – the Blog Title Font:
    <Variable name=”pagetitlefont” description=”Blog Title Font”
    type=”font” default=”normal normal 200% ‘Calisto MT’, ‘Bookman
    Old Style’, ‘Baskerville Old Face’, ‘Book Antiqua’, serif” value=”normal
    normal 200% ‘Calisto MT’, ‘Bookman Old Style’, ‘Baskerville Old Face’, ‘Book
    Antiqua’, serif”>
  5. (still using the example) Change the fonts in value=”normal normal 200% ‘Calisto MT’, ‘Bookman Old
    Style’, ‘Baskerville Old Face’, ‘Book Antiqua’, serif” to be want you want.
    Remember to specify several fonts so that visitors who don’t have one font
    can view it in another.  End with serif or sans-serif, depending on what
    type of fonts you chose.
  6. Preview your changes.
  7. If you like what you see, save your changes.

Please feel free to leave your questions and comments in the comments for this post or to contact us directly.

Featured Friday – Netfirms.com

by Revka ~ November 1st, 2008

Featured Friday buttonIf you need to purchase a domain name or hosting, you are going to be ecstatic when you read this post!

Because of a project that Linda and I have in the works, I decided to research where to buy cheap domain names and/or hosting.

Domain Name Discount Code Source

After reviewing prices from many different places, I decided to run a search to see if there were discount codes for any of the domain name registrars or hosts.  I found Retail Me Not‘s domain name discount code page.

Great Discount on Domain Names and Hosting

I think you will have to agree that I found a great deal.  Sign up for one year of hosting through Netfirms Advantage plan, enter the coupon code MAX (all caps is a must), and receive 2 free domain names along with your year of hosting – all for just $10 for the first year.

Forget the hosting for a second; that comes out to $5 for each domain for one year – a good deal.

Worth a Try

I researched and read review after review about Netfirms’ hosting.  Although reviews are mixed, that was the case for every web host I researched.  Serious hosting reviewers generally gave Netfirms the thumbs up.

My conclusion is that I am excited about having purchased 2 domain names for $10, and I am even more excited to see what kind of experience I have with their hosting plan.

What Do You Think?

What domain registrar and/or host do you recommend?

In the Spotlight: Sparkle and Charm Boutique

by Revka ~ October 30th, 2008

In the Spotlight button I love finding new businesses to share with you, and I love even more when I get to create the design for a business that is spotlight-worthy.  Today’s featured business, Sparkle and Charm Boutique, makes me especially happy because it fulfills both of those loves.

Choosing a Designer:

When Kathryn decided to start a home-based business, she held a “Name That Business” contest at her personal blog, Overwhelmed with Joy.

When she announced the name, she also asked for designer recommendations.  One of my former clients recommended me.

Kathryn, being the savvy business woman that she is, contacted several designers, including myself, for quotes and even conducted some phone interviews.  In the end, I was privileged to be the designer she chose to create her online storefront.

Creating an Online Boutique

We decided to use self-hosted WordPress as the platform and turn the blog into a fully-functioning store front by using the WP E-commerce plugin.  (That is what we use here at RS Designs, too.)

I setup and designed the site from start to finish:

  • installed and setup the self-hosted WordPress platform in her hosting account
  • created the site design based upon Kathryn’s requests and ideas
  • installed, setup, and customized the WP E-commerce plugin and additional agreed-upon plugins
  • provided training on WP, the various plugins used (including the E-Commerce plugin), and other programs we decided to use

In the end, both Kathryn and I were more than pleased with her site’s design and functions.

Fabulous Products

The main point of In the Spotlight posts is to tell you what a business offers, and Sparkle and Charm Boutique offers top-quality products, most of which are handmade.

Here is their promise of excellence:

Please be assured that a great amount of attention to detail and love goes into everything we make.  We use quality materials to make excellent and unique products.  We heat seal our ribbon to prevent fraying on all our products.  We sew wherever possible, rather than just using glue, to ensure extra durability.  And we do our best to make a product that your little charmer is going to love for a long time to come!

Offerings include:

all product images courtesy of Sparkle and Charm Boutique and used with permission
Sparkle and Charm Boutique butterfly tutu Bow available at Sparkle and Charm Boutique Leopard Flip Flops available at Sparkle and Charm Boutique
Tutus Hair Accessories Flip Flops Beaded Bookmarks

Enter to Win Your Choice of 6 Pretty Clips

Uptown Collectionb clips available from Sparkle and Charm Boutique

Lucky for you, Kathryn is holding a contest right now.  As long as you follow the directions and enter by  October 31, you could be the lucky winner of your choice of 6 pretty clips from Sparkle and Charm Boutique‘s Uptown Collection.

Entrance is easy:

  • View the Uptown Collection and decide which six clips you would like. (You can choose 6 of one clip, multiple clips of various clips, or 6 different clip styles.)
  • Leave a comment at the giveaway post stating which clips you would like to win.

Featured Friday – Snipurl

by Revka ~ October 25th, 2008

Featured Friday buttonHave you ever sent someone a URL link but it ended up getting split into two lines because it was too long?   Or maybe it triggered the recipient’s spam catcher causing your e-mail to end up in their spam folder.

How about when you tried to leave a URL in a blog comment, but it was too long for the entire address to show?

Today’s Featured Friday (yeah, I know it’s Saturday) gives you the solution to that problem – Snipurl.

This free tool is simple to use.  Just enter the long URL in the box on the left, enter any optional information desired in the right, and click Snip It!

Presto!  You have a short URL that actually takes you to the long URL.

Do you have a favorite URL snipping tool?

Featured Friday – Protect Your E-mail Address Link

by Revka ~ October 17th, 2008

Featured Friday buttonHave you ever posted your e-mail address publicly on your blog or website? I have, and I bet that I am not the only one who saw an increase in spam e-mails after making my e-mail address public. What a pain!

I’ve got good news for you. Today’s Featured Friday shares with you a way to quickly and easily encrypt your e-mail address to protect it from the spambots.

Quickie Profits has a free tool to make your e-mail address invisible to spambots.  It’s very simple to use.  Enter your e-mail address in the appropriate field, and enter the text you want people to see (I often use “contact me”) in the other field.  Copy the code that appears in the big box, and paste it in your site where you want to use your e-mail address.

Quick, free, and simple.  Now that’s my idea of a good tool!

Do you have a way for visitors to contact you by e-mail?

Go Pink for October – free backgrounds for your blog or Twitter account

by Linda ~ October 8th, 2008

You haven’t missed that it is Breast Cancer awareness month this month have you? This is the month to indulge in pink but also to participate in a very important campaign; to help spread the word about breast cancer. Please visit Pink for October to show your support.

To help you go pink this month we have created a few special pink backgrounds for your blog or Twitter account.. By repeating the image it creates a seamless pattern that will work as a background. Credit: The backgrounds are all made with brushes from B. Silvia at Graphics-Illustration. Thanks!

They are all free but we would like to ask you that you blog or tweet about the backgrounds
quickly to help more people go pink for October.


Please read before downloading:

You may
These backgrounds are free for personal use only. You may use them on your personal blog
or on your Twitter account.
A link back to RS Designs is appreciated but not necessary.

You may not:
You may NOT re-distribute them or put on your website for sale or
claim you are the designer.
You may Not use them as part of any packages you intend to put up for sale.

Instructions: Save the image and upload to Photobucket or similar service. Insert the URL into your html body: Example:

body {
background: #ffffff url(“imageurl”) repeat;
}

Please do not hotlink.

Twitter: save the image and upload under design.

If you would like a custom background for your blog or twitter account please send us an email.
The backgrounds:
The backgrounds are number 1-5 starting from the left, the fifth one being the one in the middle.

Background #1

Background #2

Background #3

Background #4

Background #5

Want to add the above Pink for October button on your blog? You can find it here.

That’s it. If you need any help, send us an email and if you use the backgrounds or button we would appreciate a comment :)

5 Steps to Successfully Finishing Any Task

by Revka ~ October 6th, 2008

I was thinking about all I have to do – home schooling my children, being a wife and mother, caring for my house, cooking, teaching piano, blogging, and designing.  This post was born out of my realization that, without a plan of action, I will not be able to complete the things I need to do.

Here are my 5 Steps for Successfully Finishing Any Task:

  1. Be Selective – Don’t accept a task just because someone asks you to do it.
    Pastor Bill Wingard
    says some profound things, and one of my favorites is the following:

    “You can do just about anything in life that you want to do, but you can’t do everything.”

    I have found that to be absolutely true.  I want to help everybody, and I have a very hard time saying no to a request.  However, if I were to accept every job offered to me, I would be overwhelmed and would end up doing a poor job on every job.  If, instead, I carefully select which jobs I will accept, I will have time to give my best to each job.

  2. Be Realistic – Allow yourself enough time to be able to complete a task without having to sacrifice quality to be able to finish that job on time.
    I am an optimist, and that is not a good thing when it comes to determining how much time it will take me to finish a job.  I always think I can finish a job sooner than I really can, and I end up stressed out when the time comes that the job is supposed to be finished and it isn’t.  I’m learning to give myself double the time I think I need to finish the task.
  3. Be Organized – break a task into smaller portions and set goals for when you will complete each portion.
    When I work on a custom design package, I usually begin with the header and give myself 2 days to come up with 3-5 designs.  After a header is approved, I proceed to work on the background.  Then comes signatures, buttons, banners, and so on.  This keeps me motivated, because I can see the progress I have made when I check off another goal.
  4. Be Accountable – tell someone what you have and have not accomplished for your task.
    There is nothing like having to tell someone what you haven’t done to motivate you to get moving!  For me, this step means keeping my clients up to date on the progress of their design, including having to tell them if I am behind schedule.  Having to tell them they will have to wait a bit longer for a design is not a good feeling, and it motivates me to stay on track and keep working.
  5. Be Determined – don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked
    I have found that I accomplish more by only tackling one task at a time.  When I “multi-task,” all too often I waste valuable time trying to figure out where I had left off in each task.  Instead of multi-tasking, I need to focus on completing one task (or one goal for a task, like in step 3) before going on to something else.

When I follow these steps, I am able to completely finish my work (home, design, or otherwise) more quickly.

How about you?  What is your secret to gettings things done?

Featured Friday – morgueFile

by Revka ~ October 3rd, 2008

Featured Friday buttonIf you have been looking for a source for free high-resolution pictures, you will be happy to learn about morgueFile.

MorgueFile’s images are free for both commercial and personal use, and no registration is required to download images; however, if you’d like to contribute images to morgueFile, you will need to register to do so.

Why is it named morgueFile?  Morgue File is actually the term used by artists and publishers to store reference materials.  The site creator wanted to create a morguefile for the world wide web.  Thus, morgueFile was born.

Do you have a favorite free stock photo site?




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