20 November 2008

COLUMN: HOME SWEET HOME




I’m blowing on all my horns and whistles cause finally….FINALLY my Blog fits me right here *pounding on chest* Ten months or so ago a dear friend, Pearl, transferred herself from Weblog to Blogspot and I thought, nah, not going to happen. Leontine, I said to myself, you haven’t got all that much time left to set up a whole new Blog next to Myspace, Livespace and Weblog! But I did see possibilities for a new addition for our ROOB website, blogging is a hot thing to do with authors and we didn’t want to miss out on the fun. So in June Pearl gave me a Blogging 101 and I got going for Realms On Our Bookshelves, added a splash of color, a header, pimped the sidebar and we got rolling. As I was playing with the Blog of Realms I saw lots of opportunities to release all my inner creativity and then, many months ago on a Saturday, I was in an impulsive mood and deleted my Weblog with one click. A window pops up: Are you sure you want to delete your Blog??? “Yes” my mind roared. So gone were all my lists, my reviews, images and so on…and then I started thinking, did I just erase a year of energy in cultivating this Weblog to do what? Start a complete new one? Well, by that moment I didn’t have any choice left, I had deleted my Weblog and went to Blogspot.com. opened a new blog and got going. Now thankfully I already had a header just about finished, I knew how to work the page elements so my first draft was quickly created. I wanted something new and different though and started to work with my banner.

Now anyone who works with photoshop knows how much time it can take to create something like a banner. Do I choose to do something easy? Heck no, it always needs to link back to the passion for reading & books, also exude my personal flair and I loved those handwritten backgrounds I saw somewhere. So I thought why not add all the authors that are on my shelves…so I opened up another background layer and started to add the names of authors, each time adding another layer to my Header banner. But then I wanted certain author names to pop out of the banner with a shadow, stroke, outer glow and gradient overlay, in short…the whole package. I had the names in different font sizes too, so it would look more playful. I think I had myself about 40 layers or so and I practically got crazy from looking up the author names in all the layers. About two and a half hours later I finished up and added the header as you now see it to my Blog. In the mean time I started to add my reviews and let me tell ya adding a 115 reviews is a lot of work…I had a window open for amazon.com as I needed product information. My photoshop was open to do some last minute tweaking of images or shrinking covers to the right size. I had photobucket open and of course Realms On our Bookshelves website too since I have a lovely overview of my reviews there. I was dancing between many internet pages and programs to get the look of review posting as I have today LOL

That is when I started to read my reviews of waaaaaay back when I started and had multiple eek moments or a blush of embarrassment would glow my cheeks warm. Oh how far have I come *ROFL* I solemnly promised myself right there and then that if I would re-read Moning’s Highlander series and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series and a few more that I would re-review them! Anyway, I got crazy for a week and added just about every review I got and then thought, ok, reviews are check. That’s when my attention focused on my side bar, it needed some images, I’m just a visual kind-a-gal. My All-Time favorite novels needed to be showcased in a frame, so for a while I had my All-Time favorite novels displayed in a central line going down and demanded another 2 hours in photoshop. But last week I thought, nope, it ain’t working and had myself a creative moment again and added them in a gif flash element. This way my scroll finger got some more resting time. As I wanted all my page elements to have a self made header I got to work again on a Saturday and I think I had myself 4 different styles of headers. *Banged head to wall* I wanted the text to come out smooth and with a transparent background. I think I totally spent 2-3 days on the subject and then brother dear comes in, looks at want I want and says, “look sis, you can save them in PNG, that way you get what you want.” That was when my eye started twitching…

Have I already told you about the background of this Blog?? *scrolls back to read* nope…well I found this awesome Blog: http://gayabo.blogspot.com/ and this became my guru on all things HTML and how to pimp your Blog!!! This is how I found out how to adjust the background of the Blog with an image…well, I think I switched about a dozen times in images and the flow from header to background was just not to my liking. So after the, god knows how many tries, I decided to create one on my own. I wanted to do with the background what I did with my banner, but IMO text upon text is not the best of ideas. I just went for it, I think I added about 70 layers of author’s names to the background and worked for 5 hours straight, safe to say I was pooped by then. While the background worked for my Myspace it didn’t do the trick for my Blog and I was ready to pull hairs! So I left it for a day or two and started with a fresh look. That is when the opacity option finally blinked into existence and my current background, which I still love to bits, is at an opacity of 10% which gave the whole look I wanted and at those times I pound my chest in sheer rapture of accomplishment LOL

As I visited my round of other review Blogs in those months I noticed that they had a line with links added beneath the header, I wanted it too and went to my guru Blog again and though I had a few mistrials it was rather easy to do, along with adding a page element above the blog posts, adding an avatar to the post title and many other tiny things you can do with the HTML template version of the Blog. So the days turned into weeks, weeks into months and now I am ready to open a virtual champagne bottle to toast the final outcome of it all. I don’t want to know how many hours I spent in photoshop, looking for images on google, I don’t need to replay my own thoughts when things went south and I learned to save my HTML template as a backup if things DO go wrong.

I love to add my reviews to this Blog but I vaguely remember that a Blog is kinda like an online diary so I have three things I like to post regularly about: of course my reviews, and next to that I’m hoping I can frequently place a column/diary post on my ups and downs of life as a book addict. Also I have a thing in mind called reviews/books from the old box, there are so many books that I have read in Dutch but haven’t reviewed yet, if only to think on all my Nora Roberts books, Elizabeth Lowell with her Medieval trilogy, Anne Rice with her Witching Hour trilogy, Dan Brown with the obvious titles, Katherine Neville with The Eight and recently the sequel got published, and my old time favorite historical novels that I read as a teen-ager. Many will know the symptom: Too much to do, so little time but I hope to shape it all into the fact where I frequently post on this Blog and keep you all updated on my personal thoughts and feelings!

In the meantime birthday's has come and gone, I added another year to my age, America has elected another president, a financial crisis has hit the Netherlands, The euro/dollar balance tipped the scale like 30 cents, in favor of the dollar, I have read dozens of books and reviewed just as much, we had a meeting with Realms and celebrated ROOB's 2nd anniversary. Yet, here I am, in my new Blog home. I thought that after the first two weeks I could say hi and hello to everyone but I proven myself wrong, it took me five months but I finally can say: " This is truly The Realm Of Leontine!"


Hugs,
Leontine

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog! It looks great as does the Realms blog. I really admire your skill.

    ReplyDelete

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