New DIY Blogs

I just started some new blogs! This is quite bold of me, I know, but it gives me a virtual warehouse to stockpile my creative ideas. I will be sharing interesting and useful design concepts and craft projects that I find online, and in the future, posting my own tutorials and projects for inspiration.

Design & Style Inspiration for You and Your Home:
www.designerdiy.blogspot.com

Craft & DIY Projects:
www.athomediy.blogspot.com

Marin Handmade, a blog for our group art shows:
www.marinhandmade.blogspot.com

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Fancy Facebook

I’m offering customized Facebook Profile Pictures at $50. See an example live on one of my Fan Pages at: http://www.facebook.com/GstudioStyle. When you go to my page, you’ll see that I used a secret little trick that makes the image seem to extend up into the blue area. Cool, huh? Contact me for more info. [Note: this article is out of date, and my Facebook graphic has changed on the link provided.]

Customizing your profile picture is a good way to make your company, product or service on Facebook stand out, and look professional. You can also have a custom picture for your personal Facebook page… why not? No one’s stopping you from getting Fancy on Facebook!

By the way, if you visit my Facebook page, you might like the handbags I make. If so you can click Become a Fan for news and updates on my upcoming designs. Thanks!

Put Your Face on Facebook

Facebook offers limited options for customizing your page, graphically speaking…

The only area you have to work with is the photo area in the upper left corner of your profile page — but there are ways to put a more personal stamp on this small piece of real estate. Here are a few examples and tips:

AllFacebook.com: “How To Create An Irresistible Facebook Photo That Turns New Visitors Into Fans”

Something’s Happening

Its been a while. I’ve been doing my thang — designing graphics, creating pretty social networking pages, tweeting… but this time, its all for my new venture, Gstudio — and I simply have not had the time, nor the mojo to write about it. A list will do:

  1. Decided to get back on track with making more of the handbags I designed earlier this year…
  2. Opened a new shop on Etsy.com where I am listing the bags, and hoping it will fly!
  3. Started a new Fan Page on Facebook for my new bag business. People can sign up there to receive my news about new designs, sales, events, etc.
  4. Make sure I Tweet once in a while about bags or bag-related business…
  5. Designed and built a website for my new handbag business, which is, at the moment quite small, but will grow in my spare time.
  6. Just today set up a much-better-than-it-was studio in which I can make these magical items!

So, as you can see, not many thoughts on blogging about graphic design, but I will tell you that all of the above items are completely related to branding, so I’ll just ask you go to each of the links up there to see how I integrated my graphic identity throughout!

Hi-ho, hi-ho, its  off to work I go…

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!

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deliciousI’ve known that “delicious” existed for a while, but never really checked it out or expected it to be something I would use. Boy, was I wrong!

How many times have you been at a friend’s house or client’s office, wishing you could remember “that website” that you bookmarked at home. Well, I’ve been there many times. I finally took a few minutes to look at delicious.com, and signed up to experience it myself. On Delicious you save all of your own bookmarks to an online account so you can access them from any computer with an internet connection. You can also make all or just some of your bookmarks public, so anyone else can see what sites you like. Pretty darn cool.

Now I can have my cake and eat it too. How delicious!

“Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. With emphasis on the power of the community, Delicious greatly improves how people discover, remember and share on the Internet…

…bookmark any site on the Internet, and get to it from anywhere
…share your bookmarks, and get bookmarks in return
…discover the most useful and interesting bookmarks on the web”

Read more about delicious and why you should use it here.

Use Photography for Cool Backgrounds

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Textures, photos and graphics create different feelings, from moody to magical, and can make an otherwise boring print design, web page or blog banner more interesting. Careful not to go over the top — textures can also be inappropriate if they have nothing to do with your subject!

Max at Design Shard has taken a series of snapshots from around his house (example pictured above), which he is offering free of charge to use as background images. Check out his textures at DesignShard.com: 300+ Free HI-Res Grunge Textures You’ve Never Seen Before!
» Note: you want to download these, you have to click the long link names in the designshard.com website, then you will be taken to a Rapid Share download page, click free user, and your download will begin.

Twitter-to-Facebook Simplified

Stamp___Twitter_by_shadowed_light_waves Facebook_by_CyantreI have been avoiding the whole idea of allowing my tweets to show up on Facebook — I never thought it seemed very nice to make my friends read all my business-related tweets. On the other hand, I sometimes tweet info that I think anyone can benefit from, so the idea of being able to add just those tweets would be nice. I came across a blog post by David Meerman Scott that agrees, and offers a simple tutorial on using a Facebook application called Selective Twitter Status. Read David’s post, Selective Twitter Status Updates to Facebook: A tutorial.

Your feedback, please!

If you use Selective Twitter Status, please post a comment for me about what you think. I also encourage you to read the comments at the bottom of David’s post for others’ opinions. My understanding is that Tweetdeck also lets you do something similar. Post your comments on Tweetdeck/Facebook interface too, please. Many thanks!

4 Lessons on Changing Your Twitter Name

Stamp___Twitter_by_shadowed_light_wavesWhen I signed up on Twitter, I found out that someone was already using “my” name, (heathergraef), so I had to choose an alternate (heathergraefcom). So what happens if I want to change my name in the future? Will everything get messed up? The answer is yes…and no. Read on to for 4 stories about how people lost — and found their Twitter identities.

1. Problem

Blogger Ernesto Burden addresses how squatters can took his Twitter name:
http://ernesto.burdenfamily.net/2009/05/ever-wonder-what-happens-if-you-change-your-twitter-username-a-cautionary-tale%E2%80%A6/

2. Solution

Jon Bishop explains how he changed his Twitter name without losing followers:
http://www.jonbishop.com/2009/01/how-to-change-your-twitter-name/

3. Warning

Brad at Powered Production warns us on what NOT to do:
http://poweredproduction.com/news-events/how-to-twitter-name-change

4. Hope

TheNextWeb.com explains how to get a Twitter name that is already taken, but is currently inactive:
http://thenextweb.com/2009/01/08/how-to-snap-up-that-twitter-username-youve-always-wanted/

Social Networking Tips

Stamp___Twitter_by_shadowed_light_wavesNew to Social Networking?

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites can be quirky to figure out, but the more you dig, the more you can learn how to make these sites work best for you. For example, you may want more followers, or maybe you suddenly have too many! What do you do? What if you don’t like the name you chose? How do you post only the tweets you want on your Facebook page? Don’t like the Twitter background you got when you signed up? Are you aware of the privacy settings on Facebook? There are ways to deal with all this, and I am continually learning more.

Within this blog you will find tips on using social networking sites

Select category “Twitter Tips” or “Facebook Tips” in the the “Blog Article Topics” menu in the sidebar on this blog to find my posts on this subject. I share my own ideas about how to create great-looking pages from a design standpoint, and I post links to what others have to say about social networking practices.

Share Your Tips

If you have any Twitter secrets or tips to share, your comments on this blog. Simple, easy-to-understand comments are a big plus for readers who are new Tweeters. Thanks!

All a twitter about ‘Sweet Lorraine’

Stamp___Twitter_by_shadowed_light_wavesMy friend Lorraine from Canada persuaded me to get start using Twitter, which lead me to revisit my Facebook page, and subsequently, start this blog. Because of this gift Lorraine gave me, I have to give her a shout out! Here’s the skinny:

Lorraine’s love/hobby/part-time profession is belly dancing. You can find links to her favorite and fantastic music by following Lorraine (aka @Oldbellydancer) on Twitter.

…enter the ideal segway…

Which brings me to her other love, husband Geoff Lapp, popular Canadian jazz musician (aka  on Twitter). For more info about Geoff’s music visit GeoffLapp.com, follow @GeoffLappTrio on Twitter, or listen to Sweet Lorraine on CDBaby, and buy a DC there while you’re at it.

So, thanks Lorraine, for getting me into social networking. I guess this is what its all about!