Friday, October 28, 2011

Icons - Make it and use it!

Have you noticed the nifty little icons that a lot of web pages have next to their tab?  Blogger has a white "B" in an orange square, Gmail has an envelope with their "M" incorporated, and Flickr has two little dots next to each other - blue and pink.
AnnaVirginia Fashion: Make an Icon for your Website

This option is not just for fancy, big-name companies!  Even small business entrepreneurs, family blogs and anyone can have their own icon.
For some web hosting sites, you'll need to switch to .ico format.  I love this site (http://favicon.htmlkit.com/favicon/) for converting an image from my computer into a .ico image.  This is also known as a FavIcon image.  If your web hosting requires an .ico image, any other format will not work (ex: .jpeg, .bmp, .png, etc.).  They have a video how-to if you need any help.  It will save the image to your downloads on your computer - and completely free!

Other web hosting sites (I know Blogger is this way) actually don't accept the .ico format (they convert it on their own).  This shouldn't be a problem, though, because they accept the common image formats, like .jpeg, .png, or .bmp.

Okay, now how to make it?  Here's how!

1. Find or make an image that would work with the theme of your site or blog.  It needs to look good at tiny sizes, so don't pick anything too complicated.
  • Don't pick photos - they don't look good when they are tiny!  Trust me, I tried.
  • Use a Letter (that's what Blogger, Etsy, Google, Facebook, and Pinterest all use!)
  • Or a Simple Drawing (not too many lines or fine details.  Images lose their quality in .ico format, so the simpler the better!)
  • And Use Bright, Bold Colors (So many big businesses use bright primary colors to get attention.  It's a well-known advertising trick.  Even online it's good to be bold - think of Flickr, Twitter, and again, Blogger, Etsy, Google, Facebook and Pinterest.  What do they have in common? Bright, bold colors.)
AnnaVirginia Fashion: Make an Icon for your Website
Here are some pics I compiled (in Paint - nothing fancy!)
2. Next, you'll need to make sure that your image is perfectly square.  If you're in Paint, Picasa or PhotoShop, you can edit the pixels.  These instructions are for Paint:
  • Click on Resize
  • When the window opens, select Pixels
  • Make sure the pixel numbers are equal.
AnnaVirginia Fashion: Make an Icon for your Website
I recommend somewhere between 100 sq. pixels and 400 sq. pixels.

3. If you are using a web hosting site that needs .ico format, it is now time to use the nifty tool at the FavIcon site.  It's very simple!  Again, if you need any help, they have a video to help you out on their main page.
If your site doesn't use .ico format, then go to step four.

4. Now it is time to upload!  You'll need to use the browse function to find where you saved the image.  In Blogger, it goes like this:
  • Go to Layout
  • Select Edit in the Favicon box (it should just be there - you don't have to add it as a gadget.)
  • Upload the image.
  • If this is your first time ever uploading, it shows up pretty fast in the tab.  However, I've noticed that sometimes it can take a few hours for a revised or different Favicon to show up in your tab.
AnnaVirginia Fashion: Make an Icon for your Website


5. Make sure you save any changes you have made, including the change of uploading an icon! 

AnnaVirginia Fashion: Make an Icon for your Website
-----------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tis the Season!

Winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere!

I'm happy to present my Ear Flap Hats yet again. Last year was the first year that I sold them and they have been so popular. I've sold them to neighbors, friends, and to buyers all over the country.

They are versatile in style - you can choose from a variety of colors! That way you can match baby's jacket or coat. They have a bit of stretch, which means that even with a growing baby, they fit all winter long, and maybe even another winter after that!
click to enlarge

They are made of 100% cotton yarn, which means they are soft. The "fabric of our lives" is less prone to cause itching, and provides warmth that natural fibers give best.

Tassels add a fun Peruvian look and pom poms add traditional winter charm. However, the hat can be made with or without the pom pom and with or without the tassels - it's up to you!




 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Crochet Band for Tutu!

A year and a half ago I purchased a tutu for my little girl.  She was about 6 months old then.  After a few months of not wearing it, I put it on her again, and realized that the elastic was stretched out!  I would not stay on her skinny little body without help.

I decided to check on Ravelry and see if there was anything I could crochet really quickly.  That way I'd avoid the stretched-out problem next time.  I found a very simple, easy pattern that I whipped up in a few minutes.  Then I removed the tulle from the old tutu and put it on the band.  It's a very pale pink.  I also had plum color tulle and a white tulle in my stash, so I included strips of that for more body.  I added decorative ribbon and then wove a ribbon through the band for a waist-tie and then put it to the test... She loves it! 

All pictures show her modeling the new tutu!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Better! Nylon Crochet Bag

I've been meaning to write a post about this bag for a long time!  I probably wasn't to pressured to do it too quickly, though, since I wrote a post about this one: Custom Bag - Inside and Out

This new-and-improved bag is made with the same pattern than I came up with for the first one.  However, this time around, I did Nylon Crochet thread #18.  It's a similar thickness to standard acrylic yarn (which is what I used the first time), but doesn't fray or get gross-dirty quite as quickly as the acrylic!  I'm okay with that!  I originally got the idea to find nylon cord when I was looking in a store at the crocheted purses sold there (like Walmart, Kohl's, Target, JCPenney, etc).

I love the result!  It's heavy, which means it's durable (masons, construction workers, etc. use this type of cord in their work.  The string is often measured in its capability to carry pounds of weight.).  It's shiny, because it's got a nice coated finish.  It's not getting nappy and hides stains well.  It also keeps the structure of the individual crochet stitches which gives it a "just-made" look for a long time!


On top of that, I also learned how to make round braids, so that I could make longer short-straps.  The ones I could find at the craft store were never what I wanted - too short, too hard, wrong color, etc.  So I looked up a bunch of sites and found one that worked for my understanding!  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtWWA6MQXGE)


My husband's little brother is working on leather creations (http://www.etsy.com/shop/shopannavirginia?section_id=10383591), and offered to make leather handles for my new-and-improved bag.  He stained them to match the brown cross-strap.


All in all, I think this bag has turned out very nice!  And I've finally found a couple of places with more selections of color for this type of crochet cord:
Creative Yarn Source most colors!
J.P.Coats nuetrals!
Red Heart at Walmart!