First off all, I’d like to start out with what is the biggest news to me. I got my button machine! It’s a lot of fun to print and make buttons, and I can’t wait to bring everything to the fair. My only issue is the paper punch that was included in the kit. It keeps ruining the edges when I punch the circles, and it looks horribly ugly. It’s not like you can see it once the buttons are done, but since I want to bring prints to the fair for people to punch their own buttons, it has to look good to be appealing, and right now it just doesn’t. Since I could provide proof of the faulty item, the company I ordered from has shipped a new one. I’m not fond of having to pay import taxes for yet another package, but I need a good circle punch, and I hope this one works. Else I’ll cut the ones I need for the fair with scissors.
As for the designs on the buttons, I chose some of my older drawings that I made for adoptables on DA. I never really got into the whole adoptables thing, and use the drawings as prints on Redbubble and Society6 instead. I had trouble finding a good background for them though. Not even paid sites that offer a lot of nice background files had what I was looking for, so for the first batch of buttons, I used a free one for all of them. To avoid this issue in the future, I sat down and made my own set of colorful and cute patterns.
And while we’re on that topic; I finally made a Ghosty pattern for Redbubble and Society6. Why ‘finally’? Because I’ve had it on my to-do list for at least half a year, but never got around to making one. It was fun though, and I uploaded it to all products where a pattern looks good. This made me kick my own butt, and also update my older patterns, in order for them to be featured on the new and very big products Society6 has gotten since I created them. Have a look at some of them right here:
Onwards to some more dry topics. I was bored one night while I couldn’t fall asleep, and decided to look around the statistics for this blog, since it’s now a bit over 3 years old. I saw an increase in visitors and site clicks, which is of course nice, but I also noticed that my most popular posts are anime reviews, although this isn’t exactly an anime page. Looking at what people searched for the most to end up here, I tried typing the same things into Google, and behold! I am actually ranking on the very first search page with my anime reviews. Now I feel guilty for not watching that many new anime lately, and thus not writing reviews here. All the fair stuff has occupied my mind for months now, and it also doesn’t help that I started re-watching Desperate Housewives instead of finishing season 2 of March comes in like a Lion. But hey, I think the statistics look very good, and I’m really glad that my reviews are being found and read! <3
As for the blog updates, I’ve tweaked a few things that aren’t really noticeable, but to me they mean a big difference. First of all, I got more and more daily spam, and it was getting really annoying always having to delete them, so I got a code for the .htaccess file that prevents comments from being posted directly from the comments page. This means, that if someone wants to comment, they have to actually visit a site with the comment function implemented. Bots access the comments site directly, and that’s no longer possible. I’ve not had a single spam comment for weeks now, and it’s lovely!
It made me think about the comments as a whole though, since they often don’t work, and for a long time, yes, I had been too frustrated and lazy to do anything about it, because every time I do, the fix only works for a short period. I decided to install a plugin for comments only, and now they seem to finally work for good.
I also took the liberty of installing the quite hated reading progress bar, which lets the reader see how long an article still is as they scroll down. I really like those, and don’t think they are as intrusive as many say they are. I made mine 5px and red, but if this bothers anyone, please do let me know.
I also decided to remove some widgets. I saw no reason to have a widget for affiliates, when they are already in the footer. The same goes for the galleries, so I removed both from the menu and moved my buttons to my social media and other links. I also changed the look of the icons while at it, since the green ones were so small and meh. The widgets are not available on portable devices, and that’s why I also have some of the links in the footer. I removed all these links on The Site & I to declutter that page a bit.
Last, but certainly not least, you might notice that I now feature ads after every post (not pages, only posts). These ads are the same as the ones on the Shop page, and lead to my designs on sites like Society6 and Redbubble. They are 100% maintained by me, and the links are safe to click. Sadly, I have no way of making these ads smartphone friendly, since the plugin only supports this option if I pay for it, and seeing as I’m not living off of my printed products (then I’d be dead by now), I see no reason to throw money after it. However, the ads are just images and text, and shouldn’t bother anyone, so just scroll past them if you’re on your phone and not interested. If you experience any trouble with them though, please let me know. I’m just a hobby artist and crafter who is trying to get my stuff out there 🙂