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September 2016

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Retro Tree Pattern Free Art Printable / Freebie Fridays

Retro Tree Pattern Free Art Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Today I’m sharing a rendition of my retro trees, this time as a fun fall pattern.

I put this little pattern together the night of the presidential debate. I had to do something with my hands besides the Facebook comment dance.

Are you familiar with the Facebook comment dance?

It’s when you read a comment that you honestly cannot believe exists, and you feel the urge — no, the NEED — to respond with some semblance of rationality.

So you start typing: “Intelligent words here and here and here. Good point here and here and here. Zinger here and here and here.”

And then you delete.

You’re above all that noise! Why engage a friend of a friend of another friend in a pointless Internet debate?!

So you scroll through more infuriating Facebook posts and contemplate deleting everyone from your friends list.

Then you scroll back up to that original post and start to type again.

“Intelligent words here and here. Concise points here and here.”

Delete.

And repeat.

And repeat.

Until finally you decide to not post anything. Nor do you delete anyone because you want to prove you’re open-minded and above the fray. You just close out of Facebook, open up Photoshop, and create a red tree forest.

Retro Tree Pattern Free Art Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Because why not! Our political landscape might be fraught with landmines, but everyone can enjoy a harmless fall forest of retro trees, am I right?

I may need to seek professional help this election season.

Retro Tree Pattern Free Art Printable

Art is a horizontal 8.5×11 high-res PDF. For personal use only. Play nice. This version is watermarked with the Little Gold Pixel logo. Do not redistribute. Feel free to link back.

This version is watermarked with the Little Gold Pixel logo. Head to the store to find unwatermarked versions of my printables.

Retro Tree Pattern Free Art Printable • Little Gold Pixel

Download Red Tree Pattern

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Retro Tree Pattern Free Art Printable • Little Gold Pixel

4 Easy Edits That Will Change Your Instagram Game

4 Easy Instagram Edits That Will Change Everything • Little Gold Pixel

Do you ever look at your photos in Instagram and wish they were better?

I love all the photo editing apps on my phone, oh yes I do, because there are so many cool things you can do in each and every one.

BUT … what if I told you that you could make your photos look pro in 4 steps … without stepping a foot outside Instagram?

These are very simple but very powerful edits. The kind we use in magazines to make photos stand out stronger than before.

Ready?

4 Easy Instagram Edits

First, bring in your photo. You’ll notice it’s probably a little on the dark side, maybe yellow if your lighting conditions weren’t great. Perhaps you live in a light dungeon (raises hand).

4 Easy Instagram Edits That Will Change Everything • Little Gold Pixel • Little Gold Pixel

  1. Brightness
    Bring it up as bright as you want it, without blowing it out. For this example, I went up to 60.
  2. Structure
    Go up to around 15-20. You want to see some of the details start popping.
  3. Sharpen
    Anywhere up to 20. Never more.
  4. Lux (it’s that sunshine-looking symbol in the middle directly underneath the photo above)
    Just a little nudge, up to 10.

4 Easy Instagram Edits That Will Change Everything • Little Gold Pixel • Little Gold Pixel

And there you go, a brighter, sharper image without using any other apps!

Bookmark for later:

4 Easy Instagram Edits That Will Change Everything • Little Gold Pixel • Little Gold Pixel

P.S. I sent out this quick and easy tutorial to my newsletter friends earlier this year. Sign up to join the fun!

P.P.S. I love these iPhone apps — it may be time to add a few new ones. What are your fave apps?

Fall Gallery Wall: 12 Bold & Modern Free Printables

Some people welcome fall with pumpkin spice lattes. I welcome it by mocking up a fall gallery wall. Potay-to, Potah-to.

Fall Gallery Wall: 12 Bold & Modern Free Printables • Little Gold Pixel • #fallgallerywall #fallprintables #freeart #freeartprintables #freebies #halloween #autumn #october

This is my favorite time of the year to decorate. Maybe it’s the memory of taping skeletons to the front window when I was a kid. Or the 1970s wicker cornucopia that came out every fall season in our house.

My tastes have changed somewhat since then.

I love the idea of modern holiday-neutral fall gallery wall. One that brings in the traditional reds and burnt oranges of the season … but without hitting you over the head with Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Finding free offerings that fit this criteria takes a little bit of finesse. You may or may not be surprised how many of the fall printables skew sepia and dated — which would look excellent with that wicker cornucopia and a candy dish, I suppose. Just not the look I was going for.

Traditional nontraditional. A slightly more unexpected look.

Here are 12 free printables that work together to fit that description.

Fall Gallery Wall: 12 Bold & Modern Free Printables

Fall Gallery Wall: 12 Bold & Modern Free Printables • Little Gold Pixel • #fallgallerywall #fallprintables #freeart #freeartprintables #freebies #halloween #autumn #october

TrianglesBirds (+ more) • Apple (+ more options!) • ButterfliesMaple LeavesThree Leaves • Fall ListListen! QuoteColoring Page Leaf (4 options!) • Jane Austen quoteFall Arrows

Why this works: There’s a balance of printables with a lot of white space and some with a dark background, which adds a layer of moodiness that I always equate with fall. Also, I tried to balance the saturated colors with a neutral B&W for a modern sensibility.

How to make this work for Halloween: Switch out the October quote and Fall List with some creepy skeletons or skulls, with a black background if possible. (Try: Halloween Movie Quotes and Geometric Halloween Printables)

How to make this work for Thanksgiving: Switch out the October quote and Fall List with Thanksgiving-themed printables with gold or bold elements and a light background. (Try: Gather & Be Grateful and So Thankful)

Bookmark for later:

Fall Gallery Wall: 12 Bold & Modern Free Printables • Little Gold Pixel • #fallgallerywall #fallprintables #freeart #freeartprintables #freebies #halloween #autumn #october

P.S. 20 more awesome free fall printables. Also, my Halloween roundup from last year.

How to Start a Blog (Learn from My Mistakes)

Recently I received an email that asked the question: “I was just wondering what your first few steps were to making this website happen?” How to start a blog, indeed.

Oh, what a loaded question! If only this nice person knew what a long, twisted road it has been to get to the Little Gold Pixel you see today.

Lucky for you, I can sum up the process fairly easily. AND you can learn from my mistakes along the way.

How to Start a Blog (Learn from My Mistakes) • Little Gold Pixel

Have you ever wanted to start a graphic design and/or home design blog? Do you find yourself overwhelmed when thinking about where to start or how to stand out? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back!

Read on, and I’ll get you set up on how to start a blog today.

How to Start a Blog (learn from my mistakes)

First, let’s go back to the very beginning. Kind of a cautionary story. But maybe a little bit of inspiration, because you do not have to go through all these steps.

When I first started blogging in the early 2000s, it was on a site called Diaryland, which I always mistyped “Dairyland.” Then I switched to Livejournal, which I always mistyped “Liverjournal.”

Mostly I wrote veiled accounts of my workday and weird/interesting stuff I noticed in my adventures. I made a lot of friends and even started a short-lived CD-swapping club (back in the days of burned MP3s!).

After these very private and anonymous personal blogs, I launched a free blog on Blogger, writing about my new Etsy business and everything under the sun that interested me. It wasn’t until I started to get serious about writing about graphic design and gallery wall art that I decided to make the leap to self-hosted WordPress.

So this is where I recommend you START. Self-hosted WordPress.org.

But how?

Step 1: Pick a domain name

This might be the lengthiest part of the entire process. How to choose a good name! One with longevity! One with oomph!

If I could go back in a time machine and change the name of my business/blog, would I? Perhaps. Although now it’s so much a part of me I can’t imagine naming my business something else.

Hindsight is 20/20, so make sure you are considering what you plan to write about when you choose a domain name. If you make a list of these topics, they could springboard ideas for your unique blog name.

Pro tip: The trend lately on how to start a blog is to use your own full name as a domain name, effectively making YOU the brand. The pros: If you choose to change the site’s focus, your name is always your name, so your site wouldn’t need a name change (if, say, you stop blogging about Scandinavian decor and start blogging about sci-fi novels). The cons: Your name is not going to have instant niche recognition without marketing.

Sites to help you come up with creative domain names:

Step 2: Register Your Domain Name

Once you’re done with the brainstorming process and have a good list of domain names, head over to Bluehost to see if your favorite is available.

Yes, I know, everyone recommends Bluehost. The question is: Is it really that good? I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, starting self-hosted, yes.

It couldn’t be easier to navigate the site, and customer service is pretty swift, considering a few other companies I tried to reach out to didn’t even return my messages for days.

Pro tip #1: Call and speak to a human if you have questions. You might have to wait a few extra minutes, but you will get better service than via chat.

Pro tip #2: In the future, if your traffic is increasing exponentially, what a great problem to have! Be proactive and call Bluehost to discuss upgrading your account so you don’t experience any hosting disruptions on your site. I say this speaking from first-hand experience.

Step 2.5: Set up your hosting account

Next, create an account and sign up for the plan of your choice. Generally speaking, you will get a better deal the more months you purchase at a time. Don’t worry — if you cancel before the time is up, you’ll get a refund for the difference.

The Basic plan is a good deal for a fresh blog just getting started.

How to Start a Blog (Learn from My Mistakes) • Little Gold Pixel

I would spring for the domain privacy protection so your personal contact information won’t be all over the web. I also think SiteLock is worth it if you’re inclined.

How to Start a Blog (Learn from My Mistakes) • Little Gold Pixel

Step 3: Install WordPress

Installing is super simple once you log into your CPanel. Find the “website” module and click “Install WordPress.”

How to Start a Blog (Learn from My Mistakes) • Little Gold Pixel

You’re going to start a brand new install. (This is where I’m jealous of you because I had to Import, and that was a liiiiittle bit more stressful.)

How to Start a Blog (Learn from My Mistakes) • Little Gold Pixel

Choose where you want to install (should be the domain you just created).

How to Start a Blog (Learn from My Mistakes) • Little Gold Pixel

Then you create your password. This is where you need to be smart. Make sure your admin username is NOT just “admin.” And make your password very difficult to guess. Make it as hard for hackers as possible, essentially.

How to Start a Blog (Learn from My Mistakes) • Little Gold Pixel

After you’re done with that install, you can use your credentials to get into the WordPress platform.

How to Start a Blog (Learn from My Mistakes) • Little Gold Pixel

Step 4: Make It Yours

This next part is the most fun part of how to start a blog.

This is where you start creating content and choosing a theme to make your site truly look like YOUR site.

There are many capable free themes to choose from. I started with JustWrite.

It is worth it to shop around, though, and find the perfect theme for your needs. I recommend checking out Creative Market and searching their library. Also, Station Seven is highly recommended for a minimal vibe that really helps design sites pop. My fave of their offerings is the Coastal Theme:

coastal-stationseven

Right now, I’m rocking a theme by Solo Pine called Oleander. It’s been a lot of fun to customize, and I’ve also used Solo Pine’s Hickory theme in the past, so I can highly recommend this company, too.

oleander-solopine

Lastly, play around for a while and set up your virtual “home.”

Pro tip: Expect that there will be a learning curve if you’re never used WordPress before. You might get overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles. Give yourself time to figure it out. Some things may not be intuitive, but you’ll get used to it, I promise.

LOOK AT YOU — YOU HAVE A BLOG.

It’s really that simple. Yay, you!

Step 5: Rock It Out

A few places to find some inspiration for blog posts:

Secret weapons to grow your audience + get an email list started + create beautiful blog graphics + generally be a bad-ass:

Bookmark for later:

How to Start a Blog (Learn from My Mistakes) • Little Gold Pixel

 

Jumpstart Your Gallery Wall with a Red Theme

Welcome to my How to Decorate With Color series, starting with a red theme gallery wall. This series will explore the fun of decorating your gallery walls with different color themes. Shoot me an email or tweet me with suggestions on what color scheme you’d like to see next!

Red Theme Gallery Wall • How to Decorate With Color Series • Little Gold Pixel

Back when I lived in Myrtle Beach, we decorated our town home in all white. I’m not joking. White rugs, white slip covers on our couches, black and white photos on our walls.

I look back on this time fondly now, remembering the soft sweep of that white mohair rug. I loved that rug so much I used to lovingly roll it up when I did yoga in the living room. You know, so not a single drop of sweat would land upon it. Yes, it was a special relationship the rug and I had. It really pulled the room together.

Anyway, I think about this decor every time I get an email asking me how to decorate by color. I tend to gravitate toward eclectic, bright colors now, but there is something very appealing about a monochromatic space.

Today I’d like to explore the color red with three different red theme gallery walls, and give you a few tips for how to make the color theme feel organic and unforced.

Per usual, I rounded up several freebie options (denoted with a *). Something new, though. In the interest of providing more diverse artwork, I’ve branched out to premium printables (typically in the $5-$10 range) and even some finer art (prices vary, but I’m not a billionaire so I am not going to show you a Picasso or anything).

I hope you enjoy seeing what could be accomplished with a mixture of price points.

Red Theme Gallery Wall #1: A Pop of Pink

Red Theme Gallery Wall • How to Decorate With Color Series • Little Gold Pixel

*Coral illustrationThreaded rainbows Untitled 63 • *Get Shit DonePuma Illustration • *Abstract • *The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn • *KissesGeometric Line Art • Red peonies

Tip #1: One way to make a monochromatic wall seem more organic is to subtly insert an undercurrent tone. In this case, several of the pieces above have a pink undercurrent. So even though the overall effect is “RED,” it doesn’t feel forced or in your face.

Red Theme Gallery Wall #2: Bold and Graphic

Red Theme Gallery Wall • How to Decorate With Color Series • Little Gold Pixel

Girl with Green Glasses • *Damask patternYes Yes Yes • *Red octopusRed BalloonsShine OnRed 20 Abstract • Three CirclesWoman with Umbrella

Tip #2: Your reds do not have to match! What? Isn’t that blasphemy? Well, no. You can create a bit of interest with mixing and matching different tones.

Red Theme Gallery Wall #3: Soft and Softer

Red Theme Gallery Wall • How to Decorate With Color Series • Little Gold Pixel

Tropical Leaves • *It’s Gettin Hot in Herre • *FlamingoLove • *Red Trees • *CherriesGems • *Abstract Pattern

Tip #3: Love red but don’t want to overpower your room? Try finding some muted red pieces that have a light background. I like how the white background on the six center pieces make the gallery wall feel bright and airy, and the two saturated pieces on the outside anchor the whole thing so it doesn’t float away.

There you go! You’re well on your way to having a sweet-ass-sweet red theme gallery wall now. Tell me, which one is your favorite?

Bookmark Red Theme Gallery Wall for Later:

Red Theme Gallery Wall • How to Decorate With Color Series • Little Gold Pixel


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