Spindle & Rye: April 2015

Blogging HTML: Adding Social Media Links

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Are you new to blogging or just wanting to add a few new features to your existing sidebar? 

After sharing my new blog a few days ago, I received a few questions via email or Instagram about the design and some of it's features. I thought I'd try to help and answer most of those here with 
a Mini Blogging Series. 

I'll post a few "how to's" a week with some of the most popular blog add ons. How fun!

I, in no way, claim to be a html or blogging expert, but I have had my share of experience with other blogs I have managed and feel pretty confident that I can make my "way around" most html tasks.

I have learned that some can be pretty complicated, so I ALWAYS make a back up copy of my blog template in case things "go South" and I need to restore it. This is kind of one of those things that you really need to concentrate on while first learning. You might want to hide your cell phone & lock up the kiddos until you get the hang of it!

The definition of HTML is HyperText Markup Language.

HyperText  is the method by which you move around on the web — by clicking on special text called hyperlinks which bring you to the next page. The fact that it ishyper just means it is not linear — i.e. you can go to any place on the Internet whenever you want by clicking on links — there is no set order to do things in.
Markup  is what HTML tags do to the text inside them. They mark it as a certain type of text (italicized text, for example).
HTML is a Language, as it has code-words and syntax like any other language.

Now that we all know what it stands for, enough with the boring stuff......who wants to add some fun features to your blog sidebar? 

Blog Series #1: Social Media Links

I really love the social media links at the upper right hand side of my blog. Its a great way for a reader to be able to connect to all of your social media channels in one convenient place. I purposely set these at the top of the page because they are one of the first things you look at when the page opens......smart cookie I am:)

When you first open your Blogger blog dashboard , you should see something like this. Click on the "Layout" tab. Then click "Add a Gadget".

You will want to scroll through the gadget menu until you see the "HTML/Java Script" choice. Click  on that hot stuff.....you're now rocking HTML!

Once you click on "HTML/Java Script", this box will appear. It is HERE that you will input the social media html codes that I provide below. (I know I spelled the word "then" wrong....sorry friends.....I have fast, sticky fingers!)

Copy and paste these html codes directly into the box above. Yes, all of them in the same box. Click "save"

<div align="center">

<a href="URL TO YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE GOES HERE" title="Facebook" target="_blank"><i class="icon-facebook"></i></a>

<a href="URL TO YOUR TWITTER PAGE GOES HERE" title="Twitter" target="_blank"><i class="icon-twitter"></i></a>

<a href="URL TO YOUR PINTEREST PAGE GOES HERE" title="Pinterest" target="_blank"><span class="social"><i class="icon-pinterest"></i></span></a>

<a href="URL TO YOUR INSTAGRAM PROFILE GOES HERE/" title="Instagram" target="_blank"><i class="icon-instagram"></i></a>

<a href="mailto:YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS GOES HERE" title="Email Me" target="_blank"><span class="social"><i class="icon-email"></i></span></a>

" title="Etsy" target="_blank"><span class="etsy">E</span></a>


Here is what your html social media codes should look like once you replace my information with yours. Make sure you copy and paste the code exactly as it is above. If for some reason you think you may have accidentally deleted a character, it's just best to scratch what you copied, and start again.
Each quotation sign, parenthesis and < sign means SOMETHING to the code working correctly.

After you have added the codes to the box and clicked save, you will now need to click "save arrangement" in the orange box shown above.

You should now see your new titled gadget on the right hand side of your layout screen. You can click on it's box and drag into any order on the sidebar! Easey Peasey, right?

Next up?
Blog Series #2: Adding Instagram Photos to Your Sidebar

Spindle & Rye: New Blog!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hello friends, and welcome to my new blog, Spindle & Rye!

I know what some of you might be saying......"Ummm, didn't you just start your old blog in November?"......and yes, I did.

Truth be told, after sharing my #inspiremediy blog post yesterday, I took a long hard look at my blog Through the Front Door, and sadly realized it was fitting me like a pair of shoes two sizes too small. I didn't like the design, it wasn't very engaging, it didn't "fit me" and it hurt!.

Why would anyone want to visit my blog, when I myself, didn't really want to?  I got around to thinking........your blog is like your second home. The place where you live and feel comfortable. Why would you want to invest time in updating your home and making it the best it can be, when you don't like the space you're in to begin with?

I've had Blogger blogs in the past, and when it came time to start a new one, I decided on the Wordpress platform. That was my first mistake. I was very comfortable using Blogger, I knew it inside and out, and that comfort was immediately gone on Wordpress. Heck, I didn't even know there was a difference between Wordpress.org and Wordpress.com blogs until I thought about changing the template. Most of the templates I was interested in only worked on Wordpress.org hosted blogs, go figure.

Hence the birth of Spindle & Rye!
I found my way back to Blogger and decided to change the entire look of my blog. It now has a new name, new platform, my Etsy store and design services are incorporated here, all in one fresh new space!
The name of the blog is derived from my pure love of antique wood spindles & rye bread....sorry, nothing fancy, it's just that simple:)

I've spent the last two days hunched over my kitchen island on a bar stool designing the header, coding forms and ad space blocks. I've created a Twitter account & Facebook page for the blog as well. I haven't posted anything to these pages yet, but if you have either, please feel free to follow me & I'll be able to see your accounts as well.  If you have a Pinterest page, you can find mine by clicking the social links at the upper right hand side of the blog home page.

It's so great to finally have everything in one spot! If you recently started following my other blog, please sign up for my new blog updates via email through the link in the sidebar on the home page.

I think your blog is a very personal space and most definitely an extension of you. Here, I feel comfortable. I feel like I'm "home".

Please take a few minutes to "click around", and I hope you love it as much as I do!

Inspire me DIY: Grow Your Own Herbs in a Can

Monday, April 27, 2015

Happy Monday friends!
If you follow me on Instagram (@colletteosuna) you already know that myself & nine other bloggers (<—–crazy talented by the way)
are participating in an Inspire Me DIY challenge hosted by the super sweet Kennesha of Restoration House.
Kennesha challenged us to show you how we Do it Yourself & hopefully inspire YOU to cross some projects off your own “to do lists”.
We want you to love your home right where it is, but with a little DIY upgrading.
Everyone has been hard at work on our projects, and today is the big reveal day!
Be sure to check out the other blogger links at the bottom of this post to peek at what they have been up to, & search the hashtag #inspiremediy to follow along for great inspiration on Instagram.
We can’t wait to see what YOU do!

I had a few DIY ideas that I considered for this challenge & finally decided on these fun “grow your own herbs in a can”.
The main reason being that I already had everything in my home to complete this project except the actual herbs, (I bet you do too) and of course they are super cute!

The inspiration for my DIY project came from these herb cans that I’ve walked by a gazillion times at Michaels’.  
I’ve seen photos of the store version flying around Instagram by others who love them as much as I do.

I thought they were adorable, but there was no way in you know where,  I was paying $14.99 for EACH can. They are super cute, but I just couldn’t see spending $45.00 on three cans of fake herbs.

I knew I could do a little better…..and for under $10.00, I was able to create my own knock off version with fresh herbs that I can use for cooking!

Supplies You Need:
Three tin cans from canned goods. I used tomatoes that I already had for .69 cents each
Spray paint in your choice of color. I used hammered copper paint that I got for FREE at Home Depot! My Home Depot store gives away free spray paint, you just have to ask if they have any at the paint counter. Very cool!
Twine (to thread the tag through and tie around the can)
Cardboard stars (or any other shape). I picked up mine at Michaels’ for under $1.00 using a 40% off coupon
Black Sharpie (for writing  herb names on the tag)
Black construction paper (cut into 3″ strips to wrap around the can)
Clear Tape (to hold the black construction paper in place on the can)
Three herbs of your choice (I used Dill, Parsley & Basil because we “rock out” these herbs at our house!)
This super easy DIY starts off with choosing your can size. I used 14.5 ounce cans, but you can use larger cans, depending on the herb size you want to grow. I removed the labels from the cans, washed the insides thoroughly, & soaked off any remaining label glue in hot water.
I turned the cans upside down and gave them a quick coat of Rustoleum Hammered Copper spray paint. Remember to stand about a foot away from the cans using quick, even strokes. After the paint dried overnight, I flipped them right side up & applied another coat of spray paint, being sure to paint the very top of the can rim and about 1/4″ inside the can.
In order to give my cans a more “authentic look” of the Michaels’ version, I cut black construction paper into 3″ strips & wrapped it around the center of each can. Use clear tape to secure it to the back of the can.
I labeled my star tags using a black Sharpie marker & threaded each one through a cut piece of twine, about 24″ long.
Holding the tag on the front of the can, wrap the twine around two times, and finish off  with a bow.
Finally, carefully remove your herbs from their containers & place gently inside each can.
I was able to find my herbs at a local garden center this weekend for the great price of $2.29 each!
There you have it…..a super simple DIY that anyone can do!
I really love how my herb cans turned out & I can’t wait to start using the fresh herbs in my Summer grilling recipes!