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Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Anatomy of a Header


Sometimes I hear bloggers discuss how they look at a post and all the photos are the same or there are only slight variations. Yup. That's happening here today. Whine away! (Or grab some lemon ginger  tea...that stuff is so good!)


I have had a few questions over the past month about what programs I use for photo editing and how I create a header. After several years of blogging, I have no great suggestions. I suppose that I am doing better than I did at the beginning, but not so much better as to be considered an expert. I still take lots of pictures and just try to go with the one that looks good to me. 

What do you do when creating your headers? Do you create your headers or work with one from a design blog? I like a good old-fashioned header so have only gone with a "canned" version a few times. I might change my mind someday and get a customized look. Ha! Fat chance. It is what it is around here.

I use Photoscape, a free photo editing program that one must download and which has a "less than satisfactory" version for Macs. 

I also use a free from the web version of Photoshop for many of the things that I can't do with Photoscape to include rotating the canvas by small degrees and saving the photo at the quality I prefer.

 PicMonkey is a great online photo editing program; however, many of the items are premium, which is why I have added the button over there to the side. I was asked to link my friends to PicMonkey so that they could receive a free day of premium services. In exchange, I'd receive some free time, too. It's how I did the header for March. If you've never tried it, have some fun!

Can you see the photo I took my header from?

post signature

p.s. for those missing the old header, which I found sweet by the way — both the missing of the header and the header itself:




57 comments:

  1. I'm so envious of your blog header...I wish I was more competent and could rearrange mine to look as interesting. I love the look of Green for March. Let's keep good thoughts for that to come true. Have a wonderful weekend with your family, XOXO

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  2. I only recently (as in in the past six months or so) discovered picmonkey. I'm pretty sure I heard about it from you. Until then, I didn't have anything but picasa. I make my own headers too (used to use picasa but now use picmonkey. They aren't anything fancy, and I would love a professional one. I even have the notion in my head that I want. I'm just too cheap to spend a buck right now.

    Yours looks wonderful for March. I just reused my old one from previous springs, but it's good enough for now.

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  3. Your headers are always great, but I attribute that to your photo skills and great eye to capture beauty in your surroundings! I love this one. I like lemon ginger tea, too. xo

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  4. I love this header with the lemon theme...I loved your "love" theme last month too. I am ashamed to say I have not changed my header in over two years. All of the picture in my header are from my old home, that we sold two years ago!

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  5. Your photos and collages are the perfect way to begin March ~ sunny, bright and cheerful. I'm looking forward to a free day with PicMonkey. I've often thought about subscribing to premium and now I can try it before purchasing.

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  6. I am only familiar with picmonkey. Thanks for this other info. Your photos are lovely. I will have to try the lemon ginger tea. I had a cuppa oolong last night.
    Wishing you an enjoyable day, Vee.

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  7. Beautiful and so fitting for the spring we know is coming. Thanks for following my 29 faces. I enjoyed it so much. I have used headers from free sites but enjoy doing my own with photos too. Looking forward to so great spring shots from your way.

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  8. Love your new header, Vee! Perfect for the month of March. I drink green tea with ginger every day (it's supposed to work against ovarian tumours) but I think a touch of lemon would make it nice. I'm going to try it today! Have a lovely weekend! xo

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  9. Before I changed to Apple products (best move ever for me), I used Photoscape and loved it. Still would but, as you say, it gets bad press for Macs. So, I use iPhoto on my Mac, plus the fabulous PicMonkey and I do pay the discounted annual fee for the Royale service - it's worth it - and so easy to use.

    I make all my own headers - easy to do on PicMonkey. I like to change my headers - don't really know why but I feel perhaps the blog gets a refresher with a new header now and then - and I just like designing collages.

    How does one get free Photoshop online Vee? I really would like to find a program with more vintage frames - PicMonkey does not have those yet - and perhaps Photoshop does.

    Love your current header - always ready for Stash tea offerings. Have you tried Harney & Sons teas? I'm currently loving their CARIBE blend - I don't usually like fruity tea but that one is awesome.

    Happy weekend - Skiing? Snowboarding? Ice Skating? Snow shoeing? You have a great choice of outdoor fun (hard work) up there in the North!
    Mary X

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    1. Hi there, Miz Mary! Adobe offers a free online Photoshop editor. I keep a link for it on my photo challenge blog's sidebar. Here's the web address: http://www.photoshop.com/tools?wf=editor

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  10. Good morning, Miss Vee. I LOVE your new header and all the photos in your post today! I agree with the other comments about all the cheerful green, and...I love the touch of yellow you've added with the lemon. I'm a real fan of citrus -- I love just about anything with a lemon or orange flavor. The ivy trailing onto the table is the perfect addition to the picture. Also Vee, I adore that shamrock cup and saucer!! I try to collect pieces of china with shamrock patterns when I get a chance, and yours is so pretty.

    As far as making headers for my blog, I always use Pikmonkey these days. I used to make mine in Picasa, and it was a real pain. Barbara who blogs at "21 Rosemary Lane" did a tutorial last year on how to make a blog header in Pikmonkey. It was an excellent tutorial; I just followed her instructions, and have used Pikmonkey since then. For regular photo editing, I love Picasa. I watermark my photos on Adobe Photoshop; my husband has been encouraging me to do all my editing in Photoshop, but I'm much more comfortable and familiar with Picasa.

    Your header and post today express what most of us are eagerly looking forward to -- the advent of spring. Have a wonderful weekend, Vee!

    Hugs,

    Denise at Forest Manor

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  11. It's so fresh and bright and cheery here at your place today. I love the colors and theme. Just gorgeous - a good dose of what we all need as we wait for spring. Happy March!

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  12. Love your lemon themed header. I use PicMonkey to edit all my photos and for making my header. I have not used Photoscape but will have to give that a try too.

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  13. You have a gift for creating beautiful collages. And I think it is terrific how you "work a shot." I typically take one or two shots of a scene and then quit because it's hard for me to think of different compositions that aren't repetitive. I'll have to try to premium Picmonkey sometime via your link. Thanks!

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  14. Vee, your header is gorgeous! So full of colour and spring's hope. I have been using pic monkey lately for my headers as they have one called Facebook Cover which seems to be the right size for my blog. I had a problem just before using this one trying to get my photo to fit. It took up the whole page top and I didn't like that. You make such lovely and homey vignettes. Beautiful!!

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  15. Vee, why are you doing this to me?! I loved your other header. Those orange sections and orange peel just cheered me to no end! Oh well, I do like this one too. Did I say I was resistant to change? I think the other one was lighter, brighter, or something. Okay, I'm not complaining. You do beautiful work and I'm just being a pill. BUT yes, I always do my own photo everything in making a header. I like to use my cranberry bush that's outside the office window. Are you going to keep up with the Downton Abbey Withdrawal Discussion? We could probably make that last until next January, don't you think? I'd be there every week. You did a marvelous job of hosting that discussion. And by the way, don't take me too seriously about your new, lovely header. xxoo

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  16. Love the bright fresh colors here. So nice to see. Happy Saturday to you.

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  17. Love the header Vee, thank you for this information, going to make some changes on my blog this weekend.Enjoy your day.

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  18. Well, THIS is a revelation ... never played with PicMonkey until now, but I just edited a picture of grasshopper pie and yowza!

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    1. Have you posted it? I want to see it!

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  19. I love your header Dee. I agree with you....I love it when everyone designs their own blog. It is a reflection of your personality and your own creativity! These are lovely photos!

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  20. I think it's the middle one on the top. Thanks for the advice on how to do this. I am a complete novice in headerland. I do make my header in PicMonkey with the collage thingy, BTW these photos are so very cheerful and colorful!!

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  21. Your blog header is very nice!! I just muddle through with a picture that I have taken. I have Microsoft Digital Imaging Pro which does a pretty good job. I would love to have Photoshop.

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  22. Your headers are always pretty, Vee, and I love to see the ways you make them suit the season or occasion. I'm overdo for a new blog header, but I haven't made one in so long I'd have to re-learn the whole process again. I always have trouble making it go across the top. Since I don't use large margins my header always seems too small. If a blog designer offered me a free blog makeover, with all the bells and whistles, I'd probably jump at the opportunity, but I'm too frugal to pay for it..lol Like you said, Vee, "It is what it is" :) I'll have to try PicMonkey when I have some free time. Picasa is the only editing program I've ever used.

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  23. I remember awhile back..a long way back... you had mention Pic Monkey, I use that. I also use Be Funky..thanks for the Photoscape suggestion. I just love the pictures you take. I don't have a fancy camera, just a Nikon CoolPix L5, 7.2 mega pix, 5 x zoom, vibration reduction. I strive to take beautiful pictures like you and the other bloggers. Thanks Vee...you sure make me smile with your lovely pictures. Blessings

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  24. Your new header is nice, but I liked the other one, too. I make my own headers and love PicMonkey. I also use Photoscape and other editing programs, PicMonkey is my favorite. I must say that I like the headers bloggers make themselves instead of the plain ones with just a blog name, but that's just my humble opinion!

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  25. Your photos and header always look First Class. Mine looks like some two year old with crayons was doodling all over it. *smile* I'm using PicMonkey now then tweak it with my Corel Paint Shop Pro. Thanks for sharing the suggestions. Maybe someday my blog will look as classy as yours ... "and God didn't make little green apples and it don't rain in Minneapolis in the summer time ..." *lol* ~:)

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  26. Your headers always look great.
    I just take a picture and crop it and it shrinks down to fit in the header. I don't do much thinking about it.
    Looks like the picture you used is the top center.

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  27. I, too, prefer the old fashioned headers, using my own photos and the sometimes HIT and sometimes MISS in the use of PicMonkey. I love both PM and PhotoScape. In fact, if I lost PhotoScape, I'd have to stop blogging. I use it on almost every photo I publish.
    Now I am thirsty for that tea....:)

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  28. I'm envious of your lemon ginger tea. What's your recipe? Unless it's a tea bag.

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  29. I used Picassa before the crash of the laptop, it provided a very easy way to edit pics for headers. I had about ten different headers ready to go by seasons when I lost them all in the crash. Now I know to backup my pictures on one of those little thingies Christopher uses to save information on computers. I think there is at least one here somewhere...

    Will have to try one of those you suggested if I can't bring up Picassa again. But it has to be after the taxes are finished...

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  30. You will hear no whining from me, for I actually like to see the same subject from many different angles and perspectives.

    Your new header is lovely...so cheerful and bright! I enjoy seeing a change of headers. For a long time, I kept the same header collage. I had read somewhere that a consistent header made your blog recognizable. But I finally got bored with the same pictures month after month (even year after year) and I, as I am not using my blog for marketing purposes anyway, who cares if it is recognizable?! So now I change it when I feel like it. (Which I did today...needing a scene with a decidedly less wintry feel!)

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  31. Well, for personal reasons I went the professional route and hired a designer for my header and background.
    I like your new header, yours are always interesting and I think you have fun doing your own work.

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  32. Hi Vee, When I read your previous post, I commented and I meant to add that I liked your lemony header (but I forgot to add that). I still do like it, even more so after reading this post. Have a great wknd, Vee!

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  33. Your new header is so cheerful and full of lovely color...I love it! I like changing mine up....at least seasonally. I use picmonkey and I paid for the Royale version...it is so cheap and really adds a lot of extras. I also have picassa and use it for most of my editing...does exactly what picmonkey does except easier...except for the watermarks & signatures...I use picmonkey to add them. I look forward when it's time to change it my header...I really enjoy playing around with different arrangements and fonts too.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  34. LuV your photos - sooo cheery for spring's anticipation !
    HapPy weekending... ;)

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  35. I love the new header Vee! So sunny and pretty. I love to change things up a lot and I love when other people do too! I use picasa or picmonkey for my headers. I can't see paying for a custom one when I know I'll want to change it with the seasons. Thanks for a trial of the premium picmonkey. I know I'll be using it for my spring header:>)

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  36. Love the new header (and the old one)! I wish it was easy to change a header in WP. I usually have to hire someone to do it. I have the premium picmonkey and use it for all my photos - I think it's a great program and good price.

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  37. I love that header... so bright and spring like. I use picmonkey which I have paid for quite a bit for editing or picasa. I find them both to be great programs.

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  38. Your header is very pretty, Vee! I like pic monkey for making collages but I have never popped for the premium services either. I have an old version of Photoshop that I can do a lot with but it does take more and effort. Pic monkey makes it so easy.

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  39. A breath of fresh air...bright and cheerful! I keep thinking I must check out picmonkey but never have time. Maybe now is the time to go try it out! I use Picasa for the most part and never get too creative. Thanks for the tips!

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  40. Thanks for the information, Vee. I have never tried Picmonkey, but I need to venture out and expand my horizons. I love your bright, cheery photos and I must search for the lemon ginger tea. It look so pretty in the cup! xo

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  41. superb photos. The lighting is just lovely. You have done amazing photography here, Vee! I'd love to have a lesson from you.

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  42. Hi Vee, I love PicMonkey and I think paying the extra is worth it to me. Your new header is pretty. Feels like Spring....

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  43. I love this header and this discussion! I always read your comments because there is such great discussion and information in them!

    I loved the old header too by the way, I think it's the prettiness and cheeriness in both headers that make me smile.

    I just got my in-laws off to the airport. What a great visit we've had. My brother's family is heading home tomorrow. I got a text yesterday from the newlyweds. They needed me to do something for them that they forgot! ha ha…

    I like to use pic monkey as I use a Mac. I have been inspired over the last few years in making my own headers and backgrounds. It's fun.

    Deanna

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  44. I need to look into some of these great photo editing programs - the only one I know how to use is Picaso and I just do basic things like collages with that!! So much to learn.... Your headers always look lovely Vee.

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  45. I applaud you in your blog design!! Changing things scare me.....I usually make a mess and my daughter, Amber, has to come in and fix it all!! She is a professional and uses a Mac and programs I don't have a clue how to use so she can't really teach me to do my own! Maybe someday I will learn! I LOVE yours - the one now and all the ones I have seen in the past! They look warm and inviting and friendly! I use ribbet to edit my pics and add watermarks to the ones of the quads. Amber recommended it. I used that program that was so popular - picnic I think it was - and as soon as I upgraded it sold out to Google. They sent my $ back though. I tried to upgrade on ribbet but they said it was all complementary now. That works for me!

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  46. Love your header and the photos :)

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  47. I love the new header, I keep mine simple just using straight photos as I like to change them fairly often.

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  48. Everything going ok there, sister friend...??

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  49. Thanks for all the tips. I love your new header. It is so refreshing and bright.

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  50. But the all important question is - what kind of camera do you use?

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  51. I love the colors in your header and today's images. Very spring!!! I use pic monkey, but not the premium, so now I will have to check it out.

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  52. Thank you for the tips, Vee. Your new header looks so full of Spring time freshness, if you know what I mean.....
    I use picmonkey on a regular basis, it's fun to play around with.

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  53. I haven't a clue how to make an impressive header...I just wing it with my photos and slap a name on it in ipiccy...then hope it fits! I'm so backwards...maybe one day I'll actually read some instructions. LOL!

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  54. Well first, I am so sorry that you are ill. GET WELL now!

    Second, I always look forward to your pages/headers. I am a slob about keeping up.

    Sending love,
    Sharon

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  55. Vee,
    I hope you are feeling better today.. I always love your headers. You do such a beautiful job with them. I already us Pic Monkey but will try photoscape again and photoshop too..I am not satisfied with the way my words show up on headers...sigh..
    Get well and stay warm...
    such a pretty blog you have...
    Love, Mona

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Thank you!

DB