Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Ten of 2012

I love seeing these posts by other bloggers and it's fun to review what posts were popular at A Jennuine Life for 2012.  Ironically, many of these weren't written in 2012 - I'm not sure if that means I'm off my game this year, or if I should be happy my older posts have such staying power?  If you want to go back and see, many of them also appear in Top Ten of 2011.

So, here goes - my most viewed posts for 2012 as provided by Google Analytics:

10.  Arden's Pink Party has been popular - I think the pink food is the main attractor:

9.  I whipped these adorable Baby Shoes out for Hadley while she slept in the Moby wrap - made for easy fittings!

8.  Born from necessity, I added some elastic and buttons to make a cute pair of shoes functional in a Shoe Rescue:

7.  While getting Hadley's nursery ready, I made this great Alphabet Wall Art using prints from an Etsy seller. 

6.  A Project Toddler Runway project - Plum Pleats Pinafore Top.  Look how little Arden is!

5.  A little Halloween fun with the Minion Costume I made for Arden.  I love that she chose a non-girly character!

4. A really fun (and mostly free!) project was the DIY Ladder Shelf from Reclaimed Wood I made shortly after Hadley was born.  This is being fully utilized in my sewing room.

3. My Twelve Days of Christmas Tree Skirt from 2010 has seen a spike in popularity due to Pinterest - love it!

2. My entry for the DecoArt challenge in One Month to Win It - Brag Blocks:

... and number one for 2012 which was actually from 2011 - Arden Refashioned Shirt Dress.  Hadley should be growing into these dresses shortly - yay!

Perhaps even more interesting than which posts were most popular, is how people arrived at A Jennuine Life:

* Pinterest is far and away the largest referrer with 33% of my referred traffic. 
* Google comes in next with 10%.  The most searched terms landing them here were:
  • Minion Costume
  • Pinafore Pattern
  • Baby Shoes Pattern
  • Christmas Tree Skirt
  • DIY Ladder Shelf
* After that, I get a really large number of hits from one off-handed referral to my Arden Refashioned Shirt Dress tutorial to help explain a step in her tutorial on Little Miss Southern Charm in July of 2011.  Thanks for the mention!

Thanks for stopping by to read, for pinning, and perhaps even sharing a comment or two. 

What will be popular in 2013?  Let's go see!


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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Blog Maintenance: LinkWithin

Here's a quick and easy one I've been meaning to add for some time.  Well, maybe not as quick and easy as it should've been.  The directions at LinkWithin are very easy and so I followed along and... nothing.  I sent an e-mail for support, but perhaps the folks at LinkWithin are spending the holidays with their families. 

No worries.

So I did a simple workaround and it went like in a snap.  Here's how I did it:

It's supposed to automatically add a widget to your blog (on Blogger) when you do this:

But that did absolutely nothing for me.  So today I clicked on the Edit Content button and grabbed the html code there.

Go into your Blogger layout and add an html widget and paste it in.  Then I dragged the new widget to the post bottom.

And now I get the cool thumbnails at the bottom of each post directing you to other (hopefully) cool stuff on my site!


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Friday, December 28, 2012

Blog Maintenance: Organizing Tutorials Page

Hoo!  This one was time consuming and a little frustrating, but in the end TOTALLY worth the time investment.  My brain is all frazzled with html!!

Again, heading to Pinterest where I have a board designated for blog managment, I chose a great tutorial by Laura's Crafty Life for creating an image gallery.  She gives full disclosure that it takes a while and she's right.  But... check out the results:


Collector's Vest

From Thrifty to Nifty: Sweater to Sweater Dress Refashion

Every Occasion Dress - Banded Apron

Every Occasion Dress - Ruffled Apron

Richly Ruffled Dress

Arden Refashioned Shirt Dress

Lil' Rascal Vest

Oroange Birdie Top

Plum Pleats Pinafore Top


Pottery Barn Kids + Hello Kitty Toddler Sleeping Bag

Nautical Flag Banner

Une Petit Pouffe

Kid's Duffel

I played around with the percentages she provides because three fit on my blog better, but aside from that and a LOT of copying and pasting I just chugged along.  Now go clean up your blog!


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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blog Maintenance: Signature

Continuing with my theme of trying to make the most of my enforced couch time, I've been wanting to add a signature to my posts for a while.  It was so super easy!

You can use Photoshop or Gimp, but I went with the easiest route for me and used Picmonkey.  Edit a picture (just pick any picture you have on your computer, you'll be covering it).  Go to overlays and select geometric.  Cover the image you imported and select the color you want - probably your blog background color.  Then add text in the font you'd like and size how large you'd like.  Crop the image to just beyond the text space and then flatten the image.  Save the file as a .png.  Then I uploaded my image to Photobucket and grabbed the html to put into my post template. 

Done in under ten minutes!


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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Blog Maintenance: New Social Media Buttons

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

I've been trying to be a good patient and spend lots of time on the sofa with my foot elevated and iced.  This lends itself to blog maintenance more than producing things to blog about, so I took the opportunity to continue trying to spiff up the old blog.

I searched Pinterest for "free social media icons" and found these great buttons in a variety of colors at Her New Leaf and a handy tutorial at Leelou Blogs.  Putting the buttons into a widget was quick and easy, the more difficult part was finding all the links for my stuff.  Hopefully everything works properly; let me know if something doesn't look right.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Two-Oh-One-Two

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I might pop in if I finish any more projects (Clementine and Rose have faces now) before the new year, and don't forget I'll be starting Thrifty to Nifty Thursdays on January 3rd. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Meet Clementine, Rose, & Some Pretty Bad Peg People

I shared the Black Apple doll I made for Hadley with you the other day.  I decided to call her Clementine because of her orange hair.  It seems like a good name for her.

We'll call Arden's pink haired dollie Rose.  Since Arden is nearly four, her doll gets a few additional details like ric rac trim, pigtails, and a removable skirt.

Looks like Clementine and Rose are hitting it off right away.  Now I still need to figure out the faces.  I'm tempted to leave them blank because I think they're pretty cute that way, but Arden will most definitely want hers to have at least eyes.  I'll probably do a couple of dry runs on scraps and then paint the faces tonight.

I also made our family in peg form for each of the girls.  We have most definitely ventured out of my skill set here.  I am not a painter unless it's a wall or a stencil involved.  For my level of skill I think they're reasonably recognizable and good enough that the girls will probably enjoy them.  Don't be looking for these to make an appearance in my Etsy shop - ha!

Arden is the one with the braid in the back and I have a ponytail that got partially painted over by my sweater.  I coated the entire peg in glossy Mod Podge to give it some shine and they look way better that way than right after they had been painted.

I've finished up nearly all of my last minute handmade Christmas gifts; I have just one more for Dave that should be a quick project.  My foot is doing really well; I've only had some pain where the incision was made.  Keeping Arden from taking off on my wheel around is another matter.  She sits on the knee pad and them rolls the wheels with her feet to move it.  Little stinker!

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