Unfortunately, despite deleting and re-adding every widget and getting rid of fancy fonts, the site is still loading at about the speed of molasses. So that totally sucks. I've read lots of forum posts and help stuff out there to try to figure out what's wrong and I found Pingdom, which tells you how long each element of your page takes to load. Unfortunately, it's still telling me nothing's taking more a second or two to load, so that's not helping anymore... so if anyone knows what to do, has some ideas, please PLEASE let me know! Luckily, I think comments are finally fixed... what a crazy week in blog world! I would even pay someone to look at this and fix it, I just don't even know where to start or who to ask (though I am assuming this would be a less than $20 expenditure)... does anyone know anything about this though?
Anyways, enough of that... here's what I used and learned that can hopefully (maybe) benefit y'all!
I used the free program Gimp and this tutorial from Amanda (of KevinandAmanda.com). She takes you through how to make a scrapbook background using Photoshop, but she recommends Gimp and the tutorial totally worked... if I couldn't find something, I just used the help function and searched for it. But it was really simple. I went from the background to the header to the post divider and icon, Twitter background, etc...
This is the new icon (now on the facebook page and Twitter):
And this is a little peek at the Twitter site now (you should obviously check it out for real though!):
I found/used bits and pieces of awesome clip art and scrapbook downloads from:
- Kevin and Amanda's Free Digi-Scrap kit (I swear I've never used any digital scrapbooking anything until 2 days ago, but now I kind of want to start...)
- Pugly Pixel's clip art - especially the deco tape strips, the circles/dots (that are now bubbles coming out of the test tube/beakers)
- Free kits and downloads from Shabby Princess
- Design House Digital's blog hops, including Sara Schmutz (I'm not sure where these even start, but Sara's blog has lots of freebies and you can find parts of the blog hop to jump on here)
- Scrapbook Flair's free downloads
- Some of the Scrappy Freebies (but beware that I couldn't get a lot of these links to work... but some did and those were awesome!)
Hopefully something I learned can help one or two of you! I'll try to answer any questions you have though I will warn you that I am definitely NOT an expert and mostly did the trial and error (or Ctrl+Z, my favorite shortcut in real life and blogging/designing!) Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas for making the site load faster!