Monday, October 11, 2010

Last Post At Blogger

We have moved BBD over to it's new home at, and the feed settings have not yet been totally fixed, so those who subscribed to are not getting the new posts in their blog readers. I hope to have that fixed soon.

We are celebrating the new design and new home with a fabulous giveaway from April Showers Designs. Please come visit us at the new, improved Beautiful Blog Designs!

Friday, October 1, 2010

New Home For BBD!

Well, it is getting to be about that time! The new design for Beautiful Blog Designs is live at! We will have a big launch at the beginning of next week and we are celebrating with some fun giveaways.

We would love for you to pop over and see us at our new home. If you are getting this post in a reader, you will need to subscribe or follow the new site's feed in order to keep getting new content.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How to use free backgrounds in Blogger's new template editor.

Posted by Dawn Farias

Have you tried using a fabulous free blog background on the new Blogger templates only to be disappointed with the final outcome?  I am going to help you with that today!

In the past, Blogger users have mostly chosen the Minima template when applying a free blog background.  It was nice and plain - everything you need to get the final look that you want.  The new Blogger templates have a bit too much.... character for that.  However, there is a shining star that promises the blank canvas that we were used to while allowing us to choose whichever column layout we'd like.  Three columns, one column, multiple footer options - this is what the new template designer has to offer so let the embracing begin!

Let's get started.

Step 0:  Download your current template first!!  Dashboard > Design > Edit HTML > Download full template. (This is an update to the original tutorial.)

Step 1:  Switch to the Simple template.
The path you want to follow is Dashboard > Design > Template Designer > Simple Template > Apply to blog.

You will see the change to your template happen live as you click around.

Step 2:  Find a 3 column free blog background  that you like.
A wide background will allow plenty of room for you to experiment with the different column layouts available.  Today I am suggesting the site Designer Blogs.  They have several 3 column backgrounds to choose from.  I am going with Green with Envy.

Step 3:  Copy the background code.

By clicking inside the code box a few times everything gets highlighted.  Then choose CTRL-C or COMMAND-C, depending on whether you are using a PC or a Mac.

Step 4:  Paste the code into an HTML widget from your Blogger Page Elements screen.
4a:  Design > Page Elements > Add a gadget > HTML/Javascript

4b:  Paste the code (CTRL-V or COMMAND-V) and save.

Step 5:  View.

Not quite what we want is it?  We need to get rid of the default blue color at top, a shading effect on the lower half, drop shadow effect on the post body and move the Designer Blogs logo to a better place.

Step 6:  Add the Fix It! code.
Design > Template Designer > Advanced > scroll down to Add CSS

Copy and paste the following Fix it! code and then click Apply To Blog.

.body-fauxcolumn-outer .cap-top, .body-fauxcolumn-outer .cap-top .cap-left, .body-fauxcolumn-outer .fauxcolumn-inner, .body-fauxcolumn-outer div {
  background: transparent;
.content-outer {
  -moz-box-shadow: 0 0 ;

Again, you see the change happen live before you actually save anything.  Also, see that green circle?  Those are all your options for changing link colors and other fun stuff like that.  Explore!

Step 6:  View.

I've moved the Designer Blogs logo to a better place and adjusted my template colors to match the background. Beautiful!!

Note:  I've purposefully chosen a background with a posting area that's very close to white.  In another post I will explore the column layout options with you and give tips for using backgrounds with a patterned or colored posting area.


You can find more from Dawn Farias at her site A Bit Bloggish - a place with digital scrapbooking kits, tutorials and tidbits on daily life.  Feel free to follow her on Twitter, too!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Beautiful Blog Series - A House Full of Moxie

Guest post by Dawn Farias

Today's Beautiful Blog is A House Full of Moxie, "a blog about being a small business owner, mom, wife and all around crafty kind of chick". That crafty chick is Lisa Bacon, founder of Moxie Pear, a graphic and web design boutique.

What I love about the design:

But there's also:
  • A prominent and succinct "about me" spot right in the upper right of the sidebar.
  • A tagline that lets you know immediately what's going on at this blog.
  • Perfectly coordinated, but not overwhelming, graphic details for labels, comments, social media, post series, and tweeting individual posts.
Lisa has paid attention to every small detail while still keeping her space clean and simple.  Go check out her blog, A House Full of Moxie, for tips on crafting, business ownership, cooking, indie shopping and photography.

Congratulations, Lisa, on having such a beautiful blog! Here is a button if you'd like to share this feature with your readers.


You can find more from Dawn Farias at her site A Bit Bloggish - a place with digital scrapbooking kits, tutorials and tidbits on daily life.  Feel free to follow her on Twitter, too!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What is the What Would Seth Godin Do plug-in for Wordpress?

Posted by Dawn Farias

OK, I admit it: the only things I know about Seth Godin are that he is bald and doesn't have a horizontal header on his blog.  He has a vertical one.  Both points can be easily illustrated.  Observe:

Actually, I should say that's all I knew about Seth Godin until recentlyBlogging with Amy published a post talking about how to use and optimize the What Would Seth Godin Do plug-in for Wordpress.  That's how I came to find out more about Seth Godin. But first, more about plug-ins.

A plug-in for Wordpress and Typepad is a lot like the header gadget for Blogger: a plug-and-play functionality that allows you to optimize your blog in a particular way while minimizing the amount of coding you have to know yourself.  Now, back to Seth Godin.

Mr. Godin publishes books, blogs, speaks in front of people and enlightens others about marketing, business and such.  He wrote about the unique-to-blogging problem of new visitors to your site being unclear about what was going on but how constantly clarifying things for them would bug out your old readers.  Richard K. Miller grabbed on to a bit in that post which recommends using browser cookies to show relevant information, in a prominent place, that changes depending on how many times the visitor has come to the site.

Would you like to see this plug-in in action?  Visit Musings of a Housewife.  Upon arriving, you'll see a message box under the post title:

When you visit, I want you to refresh your browser window a few times (three should do it). There. Now, you're no longer a new visitor and what you should see is this:

The message box is gone!

Removing the message completely for return visitors is only one way to customize this plug-in.  You could change the message after a few visits as Darcy at My 3 Boybarians does or leave the message the same for all visitors, new and old, as Theta Mom does.  Visit their sites and refresh your browser to gain Regular Reader status and see what happens to the messages.  You can even decide on the location of the box:  under the post title, under the post content, between the banner and content, and so on.

And now that you know what to look for, why don't you keep an eye out for this plug-in and leave a comment if you find any really clever ones?  I love seeing how creative people can be when given the exact same raw materials to work with.

Up next: What Would Seth Godin Do plug-in for Blogger


You can find more from Dawn Farias at her site A Bit Bloggish - a place with digital scrapbooking kits, tutorials and tidbits on daily life.  Feel free to follow her on Twitter, too!