The blogging journey has ignited a love for coding in me.

I’m amazed how by just changing a tiny bit of code we can change the complete look of our blog.

Take for example if we want to change our blog background from white to black.

Find the code for the background (in your stylesheet)*, change it from #ffffff (white) to #000000 (black) and the background of our blog will change.  Use an HTML color chart or color scheme website and the possibilities are endless.

Today’s Lesson

That’s what I’ve been doing; not only coding, but changing the themes on both  The Blog Boutique,  and on my Observation Mountain blog.

Now that The Blog Boutique has had a face lift, complete with a slider to showcase some of the headers I’ve created, it’s time for the second drawing for four free advertising spots (see “Blogger’s Showcase” in the sidebar).

The rules are simple:

1) Visit The Blog Boutique and leave me a comment there. I currently have 13 14 posts (containing over 120 blog header backgrounds which are free to download)

2) Come back to here and leave me a comment and tell me if you want “in”.

It’s that simple. Two comments.

The drawing will end on Tuesday, May 11 at 11:00 p.m. PST (Pacific Standard Time). The four winners will be announced in my Wednesday post.

The prize is thirty days of free advertising of your blog, ebook, or services on The Blog Boutique. You can either furnish me with a 125×125 ad or I will create what I call an ADvatar, for you for free.

Pretty simple, hey?

Today’s Assignment

Speaking of coding, how much are you doing on your blog?

signature for blog post.

*Some blog themes use an image as a background. If that’s the case for your blog, changing the background will require additional tweaking. If you plan to make changes to the coding of your blog, be sure to back up your files first. As much as some of the coding can be easy, deleting and/or changing the wrong lines of coding can cause your blog to crash. (take it from me, I’ve done it). Proceed with caution and only if you feel comfortable doing so.

Note: This drawing is for bloggers. If your comment links to a site which contains offensive material or is a product sales site only, your entry will be disqualified.

To recap, the winners of the first drawing were:

  1. Janice of Sharing The Journey
  2. Julie of JBulie’s Blog
  3. Linda of Forced Green
  4. Barb Hartsook of Over Coffee
  5. Heather of Heather
  6. Deb of Sirius Graphix
Related Posts with Thumbnails
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Look Who's Talking
  1. Ok Barbara, I want in the competition 🙂 Now that thats crystal clear{me entering and wanting to win 😉 }…lets get to coding.
    I have learnt a wee bit of coding…just a little..but i love it so much. Playing with the colors makes me feel like a kid again….the only difference here is ..we arent getting our hands dirty with paints 🙂
    But our blogs are our creations right….so lets create with coding…
    Much love,

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      You’re in! 🙂

      I agree. Playing with coding is like being a kid. Such great fun!

  2. I’m in too! I would love to change my blog header, but as explained in the comment I left on your other blog, I don’t think it can be done because what I have now isn’t an image that can be changed to something else. It’s actually a series of thin color lines that form a gradient. I’m considering asking my theme author to help me change that, if possible, for a fee. I don’t feel comfortable trying to mess with it myself.
    .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: The Patriotic, Gas Pump Mailbox, Deer Hunting, Christmas in July, Tarp Covered Garbage Cans House of Horrors =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kathy,

      I’m counting you in.

      Re: Your header. You’re right. It’s been done in a gradient, and by looking at it, it is probably two pieces; the header and the “header background” (or named something similar). The one on this blog is constructed the same way.

      I’ll shoot you an email. I may be able to help you out.

  3. Sam LiuNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’d like in, I’m very happy that you’re holding another of your brilliant contests 🙂

    As far as coding goes, I’m no expert. I can, however, manipulate HTML to an extent. For instance, I know how to change colour, size, font and things like that. I would not, on the other hand, know how to dramatically change a blog’s design. I echo you crucial advice to any blogger who wants to edit their blog’s code: backup all your files! I’ve had experience of loosing things, and it truly is the most terrible feeling.
    .-= Check out Sam Liu´s awesome post: Hollow Reflections – A Poem =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sam,

      You’re in, too. 🙂

      Isn’t that maddening when we lose things while coding, or get those fatal error messages? When I see that, my heart feels like it stops. 🙁

  4. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I’m in! I am not big on being a code editor but when against the wall, I can get thru it! 😀
    .-= Check out Linda´s awesome post: Green Dome Sweet Home =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      I got your name, too.

      I like your attitude. When need be, you can do it. 🙂

  5. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I left a comment on blog boutique on the rushing waters post. Those are gorgeous. I would love to be entered into your contest.

    As for coding, I don’t really do much. Sometimes I look at the html code for spacing/formatting issues, but mostly just leave it alone for now.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Linda,

      I’ll include you, too.

      Your comment reminded me of how it’s important we look at the coding that goes on behind our blogs, but sometimes it’s best to leave it be.

  6. JonathanNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    You’ve been hard at work! Stumbled upon your site by accident, but I’m glad. I make a comment on your blog header site, so I guess I want in too!


    Check out Jonathan´s awesome post: The Law of Attraction Alphabet: How to Attract Amazing Things Into Your Life From A to Z

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      I’ve got you in the drawing, too.

      I’m happy you found me and my blogs. It’s great to meet you. Happy Blogging!

  7. It is amazing how tags and all the little code bits work — definitely a language all to its own. A couple weeks ago I was very irritated with my blog because it was only allowing me to work in HTML for a few hours. It got sorted out, but was actually a great experience for me — made me actually learn some new things!

    What a generous offer of prizes — whoo-hoo!! I left a comment on your “sour plums” post. Beautiful header art over there!! Please consider me “in” for a 30-day ad spot on that gorgeous Boutique site.

    And I will tweet this post.


    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Jannie Gets Bold =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jannie,

      You’re in.

      Yes. Coding is a language all its own. When I first started messing with it, I would look at each line and see how it corresponded to each part of my blog. How it all comes together to create what we see on the surface is very intriguing. It sounds like your experience got your interest piqued, as well.

      Thank you for the tweet. That’s very sweet of you.

  8. Linda ThomasNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I want in. I love the tranquil turquoise, it reminds of the vacation I want to take. I am taking baby steps in playing with the coding.
    Thanks for considering me in your awesome contest.


    Linda C. Thomas
    .-= Check out Linda Thomas´s awesome post: I’ve Got a Secret… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      I just realized we have three “Lindas” in this community. 🙂

      I’ll add your name to the list.

      Baby steps with coding is the best way to go. With so much to learn, I think it’s best to start with simple tweaks and then as we feel more comfortable, branch out.

      P.S. I use a test site to do all of my tweaking. If I crash that, it’s an easy fix.

  9. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I want in .. but not now! I toddled over and you’ve an amazing array of styles there .. aren’t they great -I looked at the plums, the lone tree, the waterfall .. and could have looked at others .. but away back here ..

    Everyone will so benefit from your generosity .. good for you – and one day I’ll get there .. it’s getting closer!

    Have a great Sunday – Mother’s Day .. happy day .. Hilary
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: The Okavango Delta – the perfect place to Safari or holiday? = Yes for me! Part 3/3 – Sights and sounds .. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      Have no fear. There will be more drawings to come.

      Happy Mother’s Day to you,Hilary and to your mom, too.

      And, I wish all of the moms out there who may be reading this a fabulous Mother’s Day.

      Take time for yourselves and enjoy being spoiled by your loved ones. Moms are truly a blessing. 🙂

  10. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara.
    I’d love to learn coding but don’t have the time right now (or the courage, lol). I played with it a little (with the help of Robin from Let’s Live Forever) when I first launched Shades of Crimson, to change the theme up a bit. It was great fun. It’s amazing what you can do just by changing a few numbers isn’t it? And, how easy it is to get caught up in the whole creative process.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Guest Post: Contemporary Muses =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      Yes. Coding is great fun. Like you said, it’s easy to get caught up in the whole creative process. When we think of blogging, we often only think “writing”, but then if we start playing behind the scenes with coding, it adds a whole new dimension to the sport.

  11. Yup, I want in. 🙂

    I completely agree that it’s important to always backup before doing any major changes. Learned it the hard way, too. 🙂
    .-= Check out vered | professional blogger´s awesome post: Coping With Motherhood =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      I got your name in the hat, Vered,

      I don’t think “backing up files” can be stressed enough. Although we do come back from those crashes, it makes it so much easier if we have our back up files at our fingertips.

  12. Jaime-AnnNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I pop in and check out your blogs at least 2x a week. You always have the best interactive comments from your readers, I love it. Count me in on your drawing. With the up and coming launch of my website ( later this coming week I am sure to come here for resources, references, and conversation!

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jaime-Ann,

      Tell you what, if your site is up and running when I do the drawing tomorrow evening, I’ll definitely add your name. If not, I’ll be having more drawings in the future in which you can enter.

      In the meantime, have fun setting up the blog. 🙂

  13. Hi Barbra,
    Happy Mothers Day! I spent some time looking over your collection and commented. Very, very nice selection!
    As far as writing code, never have. Totally new the “Blog World”
    Finally made a list of priorities and a list of things “not to do”
    thanks to your blog and all of the great comments.


    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Bruce,

      I like how you put that; “made a list of things not to do”. That’s a great way to stay on the right track.

      I’m happy to hear you’re finding valuable information here. Hopefully it will help as you venture into blogging.

  14. Hi Barbara,
    You know I am such a fan of your blog boutique and your eye for all things beautiful that you create, capture, and/or manipulate into so many more wonderful images! Count me in on this 2nd chance winning!!
    .-= Check out Heather Villa´s awesome post: 6 Lessons that Moving Can Remind Us about Business =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Heather,

      You’re in.

      Thank you for your words of praise. As you know, I truly enjoy manipulating photos or graphics. I never know what I’ll come up with next. 🙂

  15. Keith DavisNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbar
    I’m not in but I would agree with you about learning a little html and CSS.
    Fortunately before I started using WordPress I’d set up a few static sites and became familiar with html and CSS.
    As you say it is useful to understand CSS in order to change colours / layout etc.

    One thing that does scare me is…PHP.
    Just writing it scares me!
    .-= Check out Keith Davis´s awesome post: Flying in formation =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Keith,

      Haha! PHP is what I’ve messed with in the beginning and crashed my sidebars so many times I lost count. Who knew one little symbol could make the difference between the sidebar working or not. Don’t you just hate those “fatal errors”?

  16. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – Your blog is beautiful – I love all the improvements you’ve made. I want in too.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Catherine,

      I’ll add your name to the list.

      BTW: It’s great to see you blogging again. 🙂

  17. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb! Count me in – I love contests and yes, I did the rule thing and commented on your other totally awesome blog! THIS one is fantastically “new” too! Code? My life is too jam packed! That’s why God created people like you who love to get into this! haha! Seriously, you have been blessed with this talent, I’ve no doubt about that!
    .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: Pampering – A Commandment in the Works! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re in Suzen,

      Contest are fun, aren’t they?

      You’re so sweet. I never thought blogging would lead me to love coding so much, but life works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?

  18. Hi Barbara,

    Lovely, lovely work there. I’ve been tweaking my site a bit but really don’t know how to mess with the headers and such to get it just the way I want.

    ** Edited to add that “I want in!”

    Things are slow here at work this week so I’m going to spend some time checking out your site(s) and seeing what kind of goodies you offer!

    Thanks for being so open about sharing your gifts!

    .-= Check out Lisa@Practically Intuitive´s awesome post: Update on Readings for Hope =-.