Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blogger's New Template Designer

Have you discovered the incredible time suck fabulous new tool, the Blogger Template Designer?

Yesterday, my afternoon began innocently enough when I decided to take a look and play around with my Pattern blog.  It has the least content and I knew that would make it easier ... and it was, quick and easy and I liked the result.

It went so well, in fact, that I moved on to the Block Lotto group blog.  That blog already had 2 sidebars and lots of information and links that I wanted to try to keep or bring above the fold. I can't help myself, I want it to be USABLE by the quilters who make lotto blocks and those who just visit.  And it had the photo of the Block Lotto Banner quilt that I made in the header.  Anyone who happened to check that blog more than once yesterday knows that I flipped, I flopped, I just couldn't make up my mind about templates, colors or background images.  I switched to three sidebars (with a really skinny body in the middle) and back again (multiple times). I just couldn't stop trying the many options.  I created three pages (which appear as tabs at the top) for some frequently accessed info: the Block Lotto Guidelines, some FAQs and the links to the block patterns for all the blocks we've made in the eight-plus years the block lotto has been around. At one point, I even blogged about my obsessive redecorating.   Finally, this morning, I settled here.

I still want to re-photograph the banner quilt and create an image that is square enough with the binding included (I cropped it out for the moment).  I also want to add another tab with the gallery of quilts that have been made from or inspired by the Block Lotto.  But, for the moment, I am determined to stop moving things around . . . for a while.

This afternoon, I felt like I had to update this blog, too  ....  I'd really like to use one of my own images as the background, but, unfortunately,  the Template Designer doesn't currently support it.  If you want to use your own image, you'll have to create your own template (and believe me, last night, I started seriously thinking about it ;-)

If you have the TIME and inclination, I encourage you to check it out.  There are many, many options and some interesting functionality.  Some of the background images actually  CHANGE COLORS, when you change the color palette (for titles, links, etc).  

If you do spend some time with this new toy tool and have some suggestions (like being able to use your own images for the background), you can visit the Google Product Ideas area for Template Designer and suggest them . . . and vote on the ideas that others have already suggested (like being able to use your own images for background ;-)


Clare said...

Love your header and the layout.

BTW you've missed a badge off :-)

sophie said...

I think I am missing a couple badges. I was waiting until I redesigned the blog . . . I guess the time is here, isn't it?

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