ncharshaf handmade Adventures of a self taught bookbinder

18Nov/10Off

Decoding code: Adding a badge to your site

Having badges on your blog has become quite popular lately, and a great way to link to other websites or blogs in a more visually engaging way. Often, badges are used to show off if you have been featured somewhere, or to just link to a site or a cause that you support.

So, on to how to do them!

1. Find a badge that you like. For this example, I am going to use etsy's new "Every gift has a story" badge.

2. Generate the code Most places are generous enough to include everything that you need for the badge to allow you to just copy and paste, but lets pick this apart in case you ever want to modify, or build your own badge.

Here is the full code:

<a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/ncharshaf?ref=badge"><img src="http://www.etsy.com/images/community/resources/badges/holiday-2010-badge-EN.png" /></a>

I have color coded this into its two sections, the link, and the image

The link: The link has an opening, and a closing tag. In red is the only text you need to worry about changing if you want to modify where the link takes you, everything else stays the same.

The opening tag: <a href="http://www.etsy.com/shop/ncharshaf?ref=badge">

and the closing tag: </a>

The image: You want to put the image in between the opening and closing link tags, this "wraps" the image inside of the link, so people click on the image and it takes you to the specified link.

The image tag starts with <img src=" and is closed by "/> The part in between the quotes, highlighted in red is where you put the url that your image is at.

<img src="http://www.etsy.com/images/community/resources/badges/holiday-2010-badge-EN.png" />

Once you have this code, you just copy and paste it into your website where you would like it to show up, I can post a tutorial on this later if needed.

11Nov/10Off

Using Color Theory to Create a Cohesive Treasury

I only recently started creating treasuries, but I really love doing them. It gives a fantastic excuse to browse through etsy and discover new things, and I have also found that they are a unique way to express my creativity in a whole new way.

As a designer, color is extremely important to me, and I love creating a feeling, mood, or story using color, and treasuries are a great way to play with color.

So, before I show the treasury, I thought I would go over some basic color ideas, if this excites you like it does me, you can dive pretty deep into the rabbit hole...but for now lets keep it on the simpler side.

The color wheel:

Important terms (don't worry, no test!)

Primary colors: These are the colors that all other colors are created with

Red, Yellow, and Blue

Secondary colors: These colors are created by mixing two primary colors together

Orange, Green, and Purple

Tertiary colors: these colors are created by combining a primary, and a secondary color together.

Red-Orange, Yellow-Orange, Yellow-Green, Blue-Green, Blue-Purple, Red-Purple

Warm Colors: Reds, Oranges, and Yellows

Cool Colors: Greens, Blues, Purples

Hue: The color

Tint: Adding white to a color creates a tint

Tone: Color Adding gray to a color creates a tone

Shade: Color Adding black to a color creates a shade

Value: The lightness or darkness of a color.

Color Schemes:

There are some basic groupings of colors that are great guidelines for creating successful color schemes

Monochromatic: Using a variety of tones, shades, and values of the same color.

Complimentary: Using two colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel

Analogous: Using three colors that sit side by side to each other on the color wheel

Triadic: Using three colors that are equal distance apart on the color wheel.

Split Complementary: A variation on a complementary color scheme, picks the two colors adjacent to the complementary color.

With all of this in mind, I wanted to create a treasury that celebrated both Fall, and winter, which was a unique way to explore both warm, and cool colors with an emphasis on natural colors.

I looked for items to snuggle up in: hats, and scarves, reasons to snuggle up: books, and tea, as well as things to dress up in for upcoming holiday parties: jewelry and accessories.

Here is what I came up with:

I went with a natural base color of rich browns and grays to help unite and ground the selections. Most of the items contain some form of these two colors. (Keep in mind, I do not only look inside the item itself to build my color palette, for me the entire image is extremely important to if I will use the item or not).

I then chose a triadic color scheme of the three primary colors to use for accent colors, this creates an exciting color scheme, but it still feels very unified.

color diagrams from: http://www.tigercolor.com/color-lab/color-theory/color-harmonies.htm

20Jun/10Off

Building a lightbox

I have been working on different aspects of improving my etsy shop recently, working on tagging, descriptions, sorting, etc. It seemed that the last thing on my list was to work on my photographs. While I do not think my photographs are terrible, I think that there is room for improvement with them to make them more clear and engaging.

I had been toying with the idea of creating a lightbox, and after finding this guide today, I decided it was time to take the plunge.

I was amazed at how simple this process was, and also fairly inexpensive.

My materials:

Supplies needed to create my lightbox

  • 3 pieces of foam core -  $10.60: one thick piece for $5 for the bottom, and 2 thinner pieces that were slightly banged up, and sold "as is" for $2.80 a piece
  • 3 Clip on Shop Lights - $15
  • Bright White Light Bulbs - $8
  • Painters tape
  • Straight Edge
  • X-Acto knife
  • pen

Total Cost: $33.60

Step 1: Cut the foam core
It worked out pretty well that the thick piece that I bought for the bottom was a half sheet of the thinner pieces that I bought, meaning I could cut the 2 thin pieces in half  creating my 2 sides, back, and top. After cutting these in half, I trimmed a bit extra off to get rid of the bent corners that allowed me to get them for so cheap.

Step 2: Adhere the sides
Now, here is my admission, I hate measuring. Forget measuring twice and cutting once, I prefer to not do it at all. Instead, I took the thick bottom piece, and used it to trace the proper width for the sides. I then used my tape to attach the two sides to the bottom piece.

Adhering the sides to the lightbox

Step 3: Adhere the back
Ok, so my non measuring plan worked out really well for the sides, but as far as the back goes, I had not accounted for the extra width of the two side pieces. Luckily the back piece fit between those two pieces, so it ended up being ok. The height of this back piece was also a bit tall, so I marked off where the sides hit it and did a final cut. Finally I taped the back piece to the sides.

Lightbox with the back attached

Step 4: Adhere the top
The top came together pretty nicely, but I did need to call in my boyfriend to help me hold the piece up while I taped it, and then it was done and ready to attach the clamp lights!

Fully built lightbox - view from the back

Step 5: Insert paper into center of box at a curve
I bought a few pieces of paper as well to adhere to the box and create a curve to eliminate the seam at the back of the box. I bought standard large sheets of paper in black, grey and white to give a variety of background colors that I could easily switch out.

Finished lightbox with paper insert

Step 6: Photograph!
I wanted to test it out a bit, so so I grabbed my trusty X-Acto knife. I have a little bit of playing around to do with the exposure and white balance, but so far I am pleased, and looking forward to update my product photographs. I think that this was a great project that did not take a lot of effort but I believe will create good results.