ANNOUNCEMENT:
Because of changes in my schedule, I am no longer updating this blog or taking on new clients. Previous clients are welcome to get in touch with me and I will consult my schedule to see if I have time to help you.
Thanks!
Pepper

Instant Downloads!

FYI: you can now download my black and white template directly from etsy for instant blog design satisfaction!

Right now, this is the only template I am offering as an instant download, but I'm going to try to offer all templates this way eventually.

Another Blog Under My Belt!

Yesterday I installed a beautiful new template on an awesome fashion blog, My Fair Leidy.  This was a fun site to work on because Leidy came to me with a sketch of exactly what she wanted the blog to look like, so it was a fun exercise of my coding skills to create a blog that matched her sketch perfectly.

What do you think?  Take a look at the cute links at the bottom of the posts "for more peek here" and "# of comments"... that actually took some pretty fancy coding to achieve that look and I think it turned out great!


Finding the Perfect Blog Planner

Blog Planners: do you use one?  I don't, but I recently decided that I need to start because this blog could use some organization.  So, I hit Pinterest to see what is out there and to try to find a planner that will work for me.  Here are some of my faves:

First up is Becky's planner on Infarrantly Creative:


I pinned this one a very long time ago, and I think it was the first time I had ever seen a blog planner.  Becky is an awesome blogger and I think she really nailed it with this planner.  I especially love the section called "Blogger to Encourage."  Why?  Because I often forget how important networking is, and I love the idea of putting a weekly reminder in there to reach out to a new person each week.

Next, I love Courtney's planner on Between U & Me and for sale in her etsy shop (although the shop appears to be down right now...)


Two things I really love about this planner that I think I could use are the pages to keep track of link parties and contacts.  Again, I'm bad about networking, so having that kind of stuff right there in my planner would be great for me.  I also love the post-planning page in there for two reasons: first, it has a little "follow up" box to remind you to go back to the post.  And second, it has a little SEO-friendly reminder to include internal links in your posts.  What I would really love to see in addition to those, are a little checklist to remind me to promote each post on social media.... like on the next planner.....

Here is Jolanthe's excellent planner from Homeschool Creations.


This planner is awesome.  I love the social media check boxes on each post and it also has a lot of other great pages... like a twitter hashtag tracker?  Genius!  And she even has a place to keep track of all your usernames and passwords... again, genius!  What's more, she's got a spot to track income and expenses and even mileage so you'll be ready when the tax-man comes calling.

Finally, I love this planner from the Digital Candy Shop on Etsy:


This planner is great because it tracks your blog AND your etsy shop at the same time, which is something that I probably need.  There are places to track your advertising, coupon codes, etc. for your etsy shop, plus the pages to track your blog as well.

So... after all this, which planner am I going to choose?  ... well, I think I'll make my own!  In addition to all the "obvious" stuff, here are the special features that I want in my planner:

MUST HAVE FEATURES IN MY BLOG PLANNER:
1.  Post entry sections that remind me to follow up on the post and to remind me to promote it on social media.
2.  Somewhere to track my weekly stats and maybe some other SEO stuff like keywords and traffic sources.
3.  Lots of reminders to network including a weekly reminder to reach out to at least one blogger and a contacts page where I can keep track of the bloggers I am building relationships with.
4.  A place to track stuff for my etsy shop at the same time that I track my bloggy stuff.
5.  Helpful pages in the back to keep track of stuff like link parties, passwords, etc.

FINALLY....
I want it all to be electronic rather than a pen & paper planner.

New: Live Blog Template Previews

I have a great collection of premade blog templates for sale in my etsy shop that is just about to get greater!  How so?  I'm adding LIVE previews of each of the templates so you can click around and see how they work.  I decided that the screenshots I'm posting on the listings just weren't enough to convey the beauty of the templates, so this was the next logical step.  I haven't set up the previews for all of the templates yet, but here are the links to the ones that are ready to go:

Chelsea: a lovely yellow and gray blog template.

Make Lemonade: a cheery bright teal and yellow blog template.

Pretty in Pink: a very girly, very pretty, and very pink blog template.

Black and White: a clean and simple black and white blog template for the minimalist.

I hope you have fun exploring this collection!

Creating a Beautiful Date Header in Blogger

I'm working on a custom blog design for a great new customer and I ran into a bit of a problem: we wanted some kind of divider between posts, but for some reason, every divider I tried just didn't look right.  I was kind of frustrated, then I had this idea to decorate the date header on the blog so it acts like a post divider.  As you can see, I centered the date header and put flourishes on either side:


What do you think?  I think it works really well.  Even if this design isn't something the client ends up going with, it's definitely something I'm going to put in my toolbox.

Super Simple Black and White Blog Template

Here is my latest addition to my premade blogger template collection in my etsy shop.  I'd say a lot of my premade templates are a little on the cutesy side, but this one is more serious - I made it for those of you who are looking for a truly minimalist blog template that will really show off your words or art.


Check out where I stashed the page navigation tabs?  I didn't want them to interfere with the simple lines of this blog, so I shrunk 'em down and stuck 'em up top!  You're welcome!

This template is super flexible: you can change this up from a two column to a three column design and adjust the widths to suit your fancy.  Because the header is text and not a graphic, you can change your blog title or tagline as much as you want.  I'm looking out for you!