For now, the blog prettifying is complete. I have changed the background to an image from the Graphics Fairy, who I have posted about before - she has a separate page dedicated to background images that she makes and allows people to use for free. You can use them on your blog or desktop, and they're very pretty (she also has a projects site and a DIY projects site which are so cool!).
I also contacted the artist who painted "Patriot", the painting I have been using in my header since I started this blog, and asked for permission to use it (I know, I should have done it BEFORE I put it up, but at the time I didn't think anyone would ever read the blog!). He kindly agreed, and I created a little buttony link in the sidebar using his painting "Buttonmaker". I used picasa to put the title into the banner, as the tutorial at Clover Lane explains (I didn't even know you could use picasa for adding text! I blame only having had picasa for a little while!). One day when I have a good camera, I will add pretty photos to the banner using this tutorial too.
I added a favicon. This was the trickiest part of the 'redesign', but really shouldn't have been. I was trying to follow a tutorial at Mommy Moment (the site is aimed at mums, but the tutorials are fantastic!), and kept getting errors from the HTML editor on blogger. Finally I did a google search, and found out that the reason the tutorial didn't work was because it was written for the old blogger, and I am using the new templates. Eventually, I found this website that not only converts your image into a favicon, but hosts it and gives you the code to put it into your blog. At the moment I'm sticking with the very simple two colour favicon based on my banner, but someday I will upgrade to a picture of something. By the way, a useful link to have when playing around with the HTML on blogger is Blog Doctor's Error Messages post. This is where I found out why things wouldn't work, and it suggests ways to correct the errors.
Lastly, I used My Live Signatures to create a signature (see below). I don't think I'll use it every time I post, but isn't it pretty?
So now you know what I've been doing for a week (apart from working on a VERY overdue project for an engagement present). What have you been up to?