Happy Thanksgiving, lovely readers!
At the risk of being cheesy, I am indescribably grateful for all of you. I’m so happy I’m not just shouting into the void (although to get all philosophical, life itself is just a shout into the void) and there are people who are interested in what I’m saying. 🙂 I won’t waffle on about this, but I am super grateful for everyone who has ever visited Cogaroo Crafts, and especially to the wonderful folks who comment regularly. It makes my day. ♥︎
Okay, enough with the sentimentality. I don’t know what got into me.
Here’s a turkey I crocheted last year; the picture is lame because it’s freezing outside and I was too cowardly to brave the cold. Her name is Tobi, as suggested by ealserb. As you know, I don’t like to post without a picture, and it’s fitting for Thanksgiving – although I’m a vegetarian. 🙂
I thought it would be interesting to do a list of blog things I’m grateful for. Of course, you, my lovely followers are first on the list – but I’m talking about blogging services and things that can help format pictures, deal with spam, etc. I was thinking this wasn’t really a craft-related post, but writing is a craft, right? And blogging definitely involves writing. Plus, web design is kind of a form of art when you think about it. Sometimes when I contemplate a beautifully formatted website, I have a similar feeling to looking at an artistic masterpiece.
So here is a list of 5 things I’ve discovered in my three-ish years of blogging that I’m grateful for, in no particular order.
This should be an obvious one. When I started blogging, my dad recommended I use WordPress because it’s user-friendly. I know a lot of beautiful blogs that are hosted by Blogger, and that’s awesome as well. I’m just grateful to have a lovely free blogging platform, and I’m partial to WordPress because I’ve been using it for so long.
I also love the plethora of themes that WordPress has to choose from. You may notice I just renovated my blog to the “Button” theme. I like to change it up from time to time. 🙂
I discovered PicMonkey a few months ago, and it’s made an enormous difference in my photo editing. It’s free and you don’t have to sign up for anything, although you can do a Premium account and get special features you can’t use as a garden variety photo editor. You can do awesome textures like space, water, and fancy light trails, and do typical stuff like crop, blemish remover (great for when you have specks of dust on your photo surface), etc.
This is a service that comes with WordPress and basically stops all the spam on your site. Thanks to Akismet, I haven’t had to deal with any spam comments. Sometimes it puts comments in my spam queue for me to manually delete, but it gets rid of the vast majority. Of course no service is perfect and sometimes it puts a normal comment in the queue, but I can count those occasions on one hand, even if the hand was missing a couple of fingers. I like being able to spend time blogging, not worrying about my readers accidentally clicking some spammy link and having someone hack into their computers. I didn’t even have to set up Akismet because it came with my blog.
The only annoying thing is that WordPress thinks I’m misspelling it. You’d think they would teach their own software to recognize the name of one of their plugin things. Ah well.
4. Backgrounds Etc
I want to sing the praises of this site, because they have a ton of free backgrounds that are super easy to install on your blog. You may remember the space-themed backgrounds I had recently; they came from Backgrounds Etc. The great thing about the backgrounds is they tile perfectly and seem to fit with any blog theme. All you have to do is download the image, upload it to your WordPress media library, and set it as the background. It looks smooth and professional and awesome. There are about a million different categories you can choose from if you scroll down to the bottom of their site, and they’re free to use, no link-backs required. (But I wanted to link back because the whole point of this post is being grateful!)
5. “Grab My Button” Code Generator
You know those super cool blog buttons a lot of blogs have? The ones where you can copy the code from a box, paste it in your sidebar, and proudly display their image/link on your blog? I’ve struggled with making those in the past, because HTML and I don’t always get along. (Read: I can do basic links, and that’s about it.)
This site is really cool because you copy your image link and blog link into a text box, and it generates the code for you. You can also customize the size of the image. This is what I used to make my blog button.* You could use PicMonkey to edit a picture, too.
*I know my button looks a little weird right now, if you look in the sidebar. That’s because I just changed themes and had to re-add all of my sidebar widgets, and some of them got a little messed up. I’ll fix it when I get a chance. I just wanted to mention that it’s not the code generator’s fault; it’s my fault.
What about you? What are some things you’re thankful for, blogging or otherwise?
As I mentioned, I really am grateful for y’all. Thanks for stopping by, sharing my posts, commenting, liking my posts, and just being generally awesome people. I hope you’re having a fantastic Thanksgiving. 🙂