Tuesday, January 25, 2011

BACKGROUND CHECK . . . Are You Ready for the New Twitter?

What is Twitter and why does it keep following me around?

The New Twitter . . .
What It Means for Your Custom Background

This past Fall Twitter announced the launch of a completely new design, and it won't be long before there will no longer be an option to use or access the old Twitter. 

What I want to focus on is how that new layout affects all the cool custom backgrounds many of you have. The truth is it’s going to mess them up when viewed on small to medium sized monitors. Why? Because the new Twitter is considerably wider and that means the sides (where the background shows) are narrower.

This is what my old background on the old Twitter looked like -

Now here’s a screen shot of how it looked on the new Twitter.  As I mentioned, on larger monitors the background would still look fine because there would be more space on each side.

With the new design, Twitter backgrounds have much less space. Twitter used to give us a lot of space to the left and right of the profiles to show off branding and creativity, but while there are many benefits to the New Twitter, background images are mostly hidden.

So if you already put in the time & effort to brand your Twitter profile to match your website and/or Blog, it's definitely time to take a hard look at how the narrow space now available for that purpose looks with that background!


There are a few points you need to keep in mind when designing or altering your Twitter background to fit into the new site:

1)  The new Twitter utilizes a fluid layout, meaning that the browser window or screen resolution can impact the width of some of the columns, as well as how much of the background image is visible.

2)  Know Your Space Limitations: Use between 41 – 108px for the left side’s “Content Area” of your Twitter Profile Background.

3)  Always Visible: 41px will always show on each side no matter what size the monitor.

     * 70%  of Modern Computers: 108px on each side
        (Requires about 1280x800px Screen Resolution or Higher)

     *  27% of Modern Computers: 200px on each side
        (Requires 1440x900px Screen Resolution or Higher)

     *  3% of Modern Computers: 312px on each side
        (Requires 1920×1080 Screen Resolution)

While there are many twitter users that will be able to easily change their background to fit the new twitter format, there are many who will not . . .  

Use a Built-in Twitter Theme Tool

The excellent Themeleon tool from COLOURlovers has been updated for the new Twitter. You can access the tool by either going directly to the site or by selecting Themeleon from the sidebar in the Design section of the Twitter settings page.

You can login to Twitter in the app and customize your colors and backgrounds. The great thing about the tool is that until you hit “save,” none of the changes take effect. Think of this as a great way to test out color combinations and various motifs.

COLOURlovers Themeleon Tool

A good Twitter background using your branding makes your Twitter profile look professional and shows that you care about the small details!  Not only that, why would you want to miss out on any chance you have to help build your brand identity?

jQ jewelry designs

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NICE TO MEET YOU . . . Krystals Jewelry!

Meet Krystal ... one of the newest faces in our Promotional Frenzy thread!

Krystal specializes in creating intricate jewelry pieces.  As you can tell from her work, she loves to work with all materials and explore different styles.  A huge perfectionist, she strives to make sure that each piece is handmade with quality and precision.  And as anybody can clearly see, she has indeed succeeded!

Krystals Jewelry available on Etsy

Krystal recently graduated from California State University of Northridge majoring in Business Marketing.  With her huge passion for handmade jewelry, she definitely wants to pursue this as a career.

One of the qualities that I personally admire in Krystal's jewelry, is her ability to draw on a wide variety of design elements and the quality of her componenets.  Her workmanship reflects that perfectionist personality of hers, and her pride in the designs she creates is clearly evident to all who read her Etsy Shop Profile.

I'd love to show you some of my personal favorites; stunning high-end designs that are sure to please ...

Lacrima Cluster Necklace

Carlee Red Briolette Earrings

Sylvia Multi Strand Purple Bracelet

Want a sneak peak at what one who creates Beauty considers Beautiful?  Take a look at a few of the items that Krystal has Favorited ...

More of Krystal's Favorites here

You may visit Krystal on Facebook and she has a blog for you to enjoy ...

Click banner to visit Krystal's facebook Business Page

Click banner to visit Krystal's Blog

As you can see, 'KrystalsJewelry' is just as lovely as Krystal is herself!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

BLOG BUTTONS ... and Other Free Stuff for Your Blog!

Felted Wool Button Brooch by Nimblejacks on Etsy
Looking for ways to make your Blog more efficient and user-friendly?  Or just want to get it looking a bit more spiffy?  Having spent a lot of time on the internet hunting for various buttons, badgets and widgets to add to my own blog, I've put together this list hoping that it will make your quest to improve your blog just a little sweeter ...

#1  Provide blog button code for your readers to use
      See the little 'jQ jewelry designs' button near the bottom on the right side of the page?
      It's for my blog readers or featured sellers to use. The code to add the buttons is
      underneath, and people can easily copy the code and paste it into an html blogger widget
      for their sidebar so that they can share your blog with a link to your site.  Learn how to
      set up your own blog button code here.

#2  Share this blog post on twitter, facebook, stumbleupon etc
       This button is available  at addthis and easily allows your readers to share blog blog
        posts they like.  You can see examples at the bottom of this blog post.

#3  Free 'Follow Me' Twitter Buttons
      You will find choices of Twitter buttons available to add to your blog at TwitterButtons.
      There are additional choices available here.

#4  Etsy Buttons and Badges
      You can get Etsy buttons and badges on the Community pages. There is also a good
      selection on the site of pre-made avatars and banners for you to choose from.

     Adding  a graphic to your blog showing a selection of the items you're selling on Etsy is
     simple.  Make sure you're logged in and go to 'your etsy'.  Click on the 'promote' section
     on your left side panel, and there are intructions for adding an etsy mini. 

     You can also add a scrolling etsy gallery that allows people to add your items to their cart
     directly from your blog. The directions are available on craftcult, and another version at
     cr8tivity - type in your Etsy username. Then go to 'helpers' then 'widgets'. Copy and paste
     the longer code into your blog side bar in an html widget.  There are examples of both at
     the top and bottom of the right sidebar on my blog.

#5  RSS feed buttons, subscription counters and email subscription forms
       These buttons can be found at feedburner.

#6 Add a Facebook 'Like'  Business Page Box to your blog
     It's simple to add a 'Like' button that allows your readers to add themselves to your FB
     business page without leaving your blog!  To get this button go here, and be sure to log in.

#7  Your readers might be interested in other blog posts you've written
      Be sure to take advantage of the traffic that your older posts can bring to your blog.
      LinkWithin suggests previous blog posts that readers might like by presenting thumbnail
      pictures at the bottom of each blog post. See examples at the end of each of my posts.

#8  Spiff up your blog by adding a likeness of your latest Etsy Treasury
       Show off your Treasury skills!  Use the Treasury Widget on Craftcult to post live, clickable
       versions of your Etsy Treasury lists on your blog or website. 

Moody Girl by jQ jewelry designs 

#9  Request suggestions for blog topics etc from your readers
      You can have a box on your blog that will allow people to post questions on your blog.
      To add this option, visit Skribit.

#10  Allow readers to submit their links - for social networking, giveaway lists etc
        You can add a widget through MrLinky so that readers can add a link and details.

#11  Add the Following feature to your blog
         Find out how here.

#12  Assorted free stuff for your blog - buttons, gadgets, widgets, etc
         Here are some of the zillion sites with lots of cool goodies for your blog ...
         Blogger Widgets - Gadgets
         April Showers

Vintage Czech Glass Button by Galla15 on Etsy


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

STYLE EVOLUTION: Jewelry Trends in 2011

From the very first 'rocks' sported by early fashionistas the likes of Thelma Flinstone and her best friend Betty Rubble, jewelry has seen many a change. This article speaks to the latest & greatest of these ...

Peek Preview Jewelry Trends: Twenty-Eleven

Remember that old saying "less is more" . . . well it does not apply in the coming year!  The hottest trends in jewelry for the Spring 2011 season are the ones that make the biggest, boldest fashion statement.

 Spring 2011 - An interesting combination of both warm and cool tones
The colors designers have chosen for the spring season also make a bold statement.  They've created a unique intensity to color by cleverly combining complementary colors, those that are opposites on the color wheel.  These unique color combinations are nontraditional and combine unexpected warm and cool tones. Even Pantone's Color of the Year seems to be
hot & cold at the same time.

Color of the Year ...  Honeysuckle is a perfect post Winter pick-me-up


Stacked and Tangled Chains

Now it's are now very fashionable to have a mass of twisted jewelry around your wrist or neck. Remember how upsetting it used to be to get a kink in your necklaces or for them to become tangled? Well, no more!

Even if you choose not to tangle your jewelry together, stacking bangles with other bracelets, multiple rings, and multiple necklaces will also be very popular for the upcoming season.

Stacked and Layered Jewelry

'All Wrapped Up' Stacking Bracelets - IdaEstelle  on Etsy

Sterling Silver Beaded Stack Rings - LuckyStaar (L) and  FoxyGirlBoutique (R) on Etsy

Geode Jewelry

Crystals and gems are already starting to appear in costume jewelry rings and necklaces. By the time spring rolls around, geode jewelry is going to be on every fashionista's must-have jewelry list. Look for jagged cuts of gemstones and not the typical smoothed, sanded ones with rounded edgesCheck out Etsy to find a variety of crystal and gem geode jewelry including necklaces, pendants, earrings, rings, bracelets and brooches. 
Wisteria Charmed Stalactite Necklace - ErinGotz on Etsy

Feather Jewelry

Funky jewelry like feather earrings have been rapidly gaining popularity, but in the spring they are really going to start popping up everywhere!  I've already seen some bold, pheasant feather earrings out there that are long enough to brush your shoulders. Some designs are bright and colorful and some are toned down and neutral. JMHO, but as far as I'm concerned, Owlita is the best of the best.  Many Etsy sellers have been selling feather earrings for a while now, and the way I see it,  bethNOUVEAU stands out in a crowd.

Beautiful Feather Earrings by Owlita

Industrial Jewelry

Expect to see a lot of metal, spikes, and studs this spring. Alexander McQueen has skull drop earrings with a spike on the end for $285, and of course, Etsy has many talented jewelers who
design Industrial & Steampunk style pieces.  ClockworkZero has a real feel for this style, although her Etsy shop is currently on hiatus.

        Alexander McQueen Industrial-style Earrings                                    Industrial Pendulum by ClockworkZero
                                                                                                                           ~ Steampunk jewelry meets Dieselpunk ~

Remember, the Trend-setters of Spring 2011 are all about making a statement when it comes to jewelry. Choose bold pieces and don't be afraid to stack up your accessories or shy away from vibrant colors!

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