Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Clouds on spring sky-photography

We had a beautiful sunny day today with blue sky and many beautiful clouds.
Blue sky with beautiful clouds
We are moving very slowly into spring.
Bare trees and beautiful sky
Trees are still bare, no spring leaves yet.
Spring is just starting
Visit My World Tuesday for beautiful photos from all around the world.
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Walking among tulip flowers-tulip pictures

I invite you to a walk on alleys with purple tulips, just purple today.
I love purple and I love tulips, so I have everything I need for this post.
Hope you love them too.
Beautiful purple tulips near an alley
White purple tulips
These are "Purple Dream" Lily Flowered Tulips. Their lily-like flowers with slightly reflexed, pointed petals are a delightful show.
Purple Dream - lily tulips
Macro Flowers Saturday badge 1This special purple fringed tulip macro is for Macro flowers Saturday. The lacy petals with the crystalline fringes on them add an artistic touch to these tulips.
This is the Blue Heron fringed tulip. Its blooms are of a violet-blue color, with delicately fringed edges of the flower petals.
Blue Heron fringed tulip-macro
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Friday, March 26, 2010

Reflection in an imperfection-reflection photos

I mean the imperfection of the window glass, not the church, of course.
Twisted is just the reflection of the church because of the poorly laminated window glass.
Reflection in an imperfectionThis is an office window of a cable (TV)provider and therefor there are no ornaments on the window. I have it all for my reflection photo.
The only problem is that there is a TV set inside, flashing all the time and trying to sabotage my photo.
I still managed to capture a few photos for Weekend Reflection and now I'm heading home, before someone asks me why am I photographing their window.
Even imperfection itself may have its ideal or perfect state.
~Thomas de Quincey~

Twisted reflection in a window glassVisit Weekend reflections hosted by James, for beautiful reflection photos.
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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Style static pages menu list-customize pagelist navigation in Blogger

This tutorial is about styling the pagelist for Blogger static pages, customizing the navigation list on layout templates!
For styling the Pageslist on new, Designer templates, read this post.
If you are not sure what template type your blog is using check your template type first.

The styling of the original pagelist is in an external style sheet, and we can't modify it.
Instead we can create a new style for this PageList navigation, inserting new code to the CSS of our template.
If you are new to static pages, you should read first this post about Different ways to display static pages list.

Styling PageList navigation for Blogger static pages.

At this point I assume that you already have your static pages created and the list widget too. Now all we have to do is to restyle the widget to look more like a menu.
Decide how do you want to display the pagelist: vertically, in the sidebar or horizontally, under the header? Now you can still drag it where you want it, but not after we style the list.

There are endless way to do this. Here are some basic lists for navigation, two vertical and two horizontal models. Choose one of them and let's start styling!

- First of all back up your template!
- Go to Layout >> Edit HTML.
- Find this piece of code: ]]></b:skin> and right above this code insert one of the following codes, just one.

1. Vertical menu in the sidebar:

CSS CODE for menu 1

.PageList UL {margin: 0;padding: 0;list-style-type: none;width: 9em;}.PageList LI {width: 12em;margin: 0 0 .2em 0;background-color: #292822;}.PageList A {display: block;color: #FFFFFF;padding: .2em .8em;text-decoration: none;}.PageList A:hover {background-color: #935E5E;color: yellow;}

This is the dark green one. See the screenshot.

Next is the Maroon, with some borders:
CSS CODE for menu 2
.PageList UL {list-style: none;margin: 0;padding: 0;}.PageList LI {width: 12em;background-color: #471818;border-top: solid 1px #471818;border-bottom: 1px solid #778899;border-right: 1px solid #778899;text-align: left;  margin: 0;}.PageList A{display: block;text-decoration: none;padding: .2em .8em;}a:hover, a:active { color: #000000; }a:hover { background-color: #935E5E; }

These two menus will always be vertical, you can't move them any more under the header in horizontal position, unless we transform it in a horizontal menu bar.

2. Horizontal navigation list:


CSS CODE for menu 3
.crosscol .PageList UL {list-style-type:none;margin:0;padding:0;overflow:hidden;float: left;text-align: center;border-top: 1px solid #998766;border-bottom: 1px solid #998766;}.crosscol .PageList LI {display: inline;padding: 0.5em;margin: 0em;background-color: #471818;border-right: 1px solid #998766;}.crosscol .PageList A{float: left;font-weight:bold;color:#FFFFFF;text-decoration:none;}.crosscol .PageList A:hover{background-color:#935E5E;color: yellow;}
In the third navigation lists the tabs are uneven. You can use longer words to link to your pages but the uneven tabs don't look so good. See another working example of uneven tabs here.

CSS CODE for menu 4
.crosscol .PageList UL {list-style-type:none;margin:0;padding:0;overflow:hidden;}.crosscol .PageList LI {float: left;padding: 0.5em;margin: 0em;background-color: #471818;border-right: 1px solid #998766;}.crosscol .PageList A {display:block;width: 120px;font-weight:bold;color: #ffffff;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;}.crosscol .PageList A:hover {background-color: #935E5E;color: #FFD700;}
To make the tabs of even width we display the link as block and give it a width. Change the width of the link (marked with blue in the code) in accordance to the number of tabs and the width of the crosscol section.
Reorder the links in the list by editing the widget, if needed.
You can change all colors to your preference by changing the color code. Here is a link to HTML color values and codes supported by all browsers.

These are the basics about styling the existing menu (PageList) in Blogger, but you can make them very fancy just by playing with the colors, borders and list width (in blue).

With the new Blogger interface, now we have the option to add external links to this menu as well, not just those of static pages.
Also, we have the option not to display the default widget but create a new, custom navigation and include all the links here.

Please, let me know if there is something wrong with the code.
Your best teacher is your last mistake.
~Ralph Nader~
Related posts:
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Yellow Forsythia bushes in spring-landscape photos

Nature really knows how to be grateful for spring's arrival.
Trees, bushes, shrubs are wearing their most colorful clothes, like these yellow forsythia bushes.
These vibrant, golden-yellow bushes are among the first plants that light up the spring landscape, celebrating nature's rebirth.
Yellow bushes-spring colors
Yellow shrubs in spring

See more late spring-early summer flowering shrubs and bushes:
- yellow rose shrub - Canary Bird rose.
- St John's wort - Hypericum.
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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Beautiful pink peonies-close-up photos

All peonies are gorgeous spring flowering plants whose history goes back thousands of years.
The common peony or European peony (Paeonia officinalis) is cultivated in Europe for five hundred years and is still found growing wild in Europe.
Herbaceus peonies are flowering in May after tree peonies and Intersectional peonies.
Double pink peony flower-macro photo
Chinese Peony-Paeonia lactiflora, is the common garden peony, native to central and eastern Asia. They produce large flowers (8–16 cm diameter), with white, pink, or crimson petals and yellow stamens.
There are several hundred selected cultivars and crosses, bringing aditional, bright flower colors.
Pink peony close-up
After bloom season, the peony's foliage is still an attractive green shrub in gardens. In winter the foliage dies to the ground and comes out of dormancy next spring.
Pink peonies
Peonies are long lived, hardy flowering perennial plants and almost maintenance free.
The peony is one of the most venerated symbols in eastern art, a symbol for nobility and value.

See also these gorgeous tree peonies.
Visit Macro Flowers Saturday for beautiful macro flowers photos.
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Raindrop on a violet-reflection photos

With so much rain and snow this spring, outdoor reflections are out of question.
I still can find something to reflect indoors and go visit Weekend reflections hosted by James.
Here it goes: this is the middle of a violet, what else? Don't laugh!
Raindrop on a violet
Raindrop reflection
Water drop on a violet
Visit Weekend reflections hosted by James, for beautiful reflection photos.
Macro Flowers Saturday

Visit Macro Flowers Saturday, the new flower meme for beautiful macro flowers.

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Medieval Cluj-old pictures of the fortress

I've discovered some old picture of my town and I wanted to share it with you, together with some new pictures of what's left from the medieval Cluj (Kolozsvar-Hungarian name of the city).

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Fortress around Cluj (Kolozsvar)in 1666.

In the 13th century the first 45 fortified walls were built around the city of Cluj together with watch towers.

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Bastions and defense walls of Cluj (Kolozsvar).
The town is fortified during the 15th century when more walls, the bastions and the defense towers were added.
In the 15th century already existed 20 guilds and about the same number of watch towers. The towers were named after the guild owned, defended and took care of it.


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Tailor's bastion - old picture.
Nowadays there are only two towers left of all these.
The Tailors' Bastion is one of them. It was built in the 15th century and rebuilt between 1627 and 1629 and got its name, of course, after the Tailors Guild who defended this part of the city.




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Monday, March 15, 2010

Our daily spring snowstorm-landscape photos

We are in the middle of March and there is no visible sign of spring outdoors.
I took these pictures ten minutes ago, we are just having our daily snow storm.
Snow falls almost horizontally and the other side of the road is barely visible.
The houses on the hill are clearly visible on sunny days but now they are wrapped in clouds.
The first is a raw picture but I cleared up the next two a bit.
Our daily spring snowstorm
Snow melts in the same time it falls to the ground, so I can have my puddles for great puddle shots.
Snowstorm for spring
A few minutes later the landscape is white again and I so much would like to change it to green and yellow, like dandelions and daffodils.
Still is is good to know that there are a few things left that humans can't fix, like weather.
Snowstorm in spring
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rose chafer-Cetonia Aurata on white tulip-macro photography

I took these tulip photos on a beautiful sunny weather, the favorite time for rose chafers to show up. They are feeding on the petals of the tulip.
The Rose Chafer, Cetonia Aurata, is a beautiful, shiny, emerald green, and quite large beetle.
White tulip with a rose chafer-macro
They are very beautifully colored insects and look like jewels with their metallic green and coppery back, shining in the sunlight. See that pattern (above) formed by the ragged white marks running width ways across the wing.
Rose chafer on a white-pink tulip
For some reason they only like white and light colored tulips; there was not one rose chafer on tulips of darker colors.
Visit the new macro flower meme at Macro Flowers Saturday for beautiful macro flowers.
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Reflections near a bridge-landscape photos

If it's Friday, it's reflection time!
I took these reflection photos near my favorite bridge.
It is my favorite because it is a five minutes walk from my place. I come often to this place to take photos from the bridge. Sunset reflecting in the river gives great photos.
Reflection of sky and buildingsThis is the old bridge, it is not beautiful but still useful.
Reflection of an old bridgeCheck out these beautiful autumn colors and sky reflections in a lake water.
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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Customize-style static pages,hide sidebar in Blogger

Now that we have static pages, you can make them stand out from the rest of your post pages.
In fact, you can customize any post page; the only advantage I see with static pages is that they are not archived and have no post footer, they are not visible to visitors unless you link to them from a menu or some other link.

This tutorial is applicable to layout templates. For designer templates (new templates), please read PART TWO.
If you are not sure what template type your blog is using check your template type first.

Hiding page elements, changing the layout of all static pages.

On some static pages you may want to hide some elements of the layout, like sidebar and footer. Why hide them? Let's say, you want a gallery page and you need more space on the page.
There are probably many ways to do this but in any case you have to make the changes in the template.
Here is how I customized some of my pages:

1. Hide the sidebar and footer on all static pages.

In this case all static pages, existent ones and those you will create in the future, will have the same layout but different from post pages.

In the code bellow, the sidebar and footer are hidden. As there will be no sidebar, we have to widen the main-wrapper by adding to it the width of the sidebar.
This works different, according to your existing template but here is the code that should work in all cases:

- From Dashboard go to Design/ Edit HTML.
- Back up your template!
- Look for the closing ]]></b:skin> tag in your template.
- Insert the following code right bellow (under) ]]></b:skin>:

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;static_page&quot;'>
<style>
.sidebar,.footer {display:none;}
#main-wrapper{width: 95%; float: none; margin: 0 auto;}
</style>
</b:if>
In this code you see the sidebar and footer classes in red. If you don't want to hide both, just delete from the code the one you want to keep. You can also hide more, like the crosscol section, where you have your main navigation or your header.
- Preview your blog first, to make sure you have no mistakes in your code and if it loads normally you can save your template. You will see the homepage in preview, not the static page.
Now go to your static page and see the changes.

2. Change the layout for each individual page.

In this case we use the conditional tag individually for each page url, so they will all be different one from another.

Demo 1 Demo 2

Tips for customizing and changing the layout of static pages.

Besides hiding the sidebar, you can include further customization in the above code:
1.Use a new background image or color for your page. When using an image as background you have to find out or calculate the exact width of the main-wrapper, otherwise you will have some gaps at the sides of the page.
In the code bellow, the header, sidebar and footer are hidden and a background image is applied to the page specified in the url in red. This example is for the Minima template, width=660px.
<b:if cond='data:blog.url == &quot;your static page url&quot;'>
<style>
.header,.sidebar,.footer {display:none;}
#outer-wrapper {width: 660px; padding:0;}
#main-wrapper{background:url(background image url); width: 660px; margin: 0;}
</style>
</b:if>
- Replace the code in red (your static page url) with the url of the page where you want to change the layout.
- I would recommend a tileable background image because it loads faster and it is easier to install.
Search for free tileable background on image search, than upload your background image to an image host.
Picasa is my favorite image host and you already have an account at Picasa, hosting all your blog photos. You can use any other image host, note the photo url and replace the code in green with the new address.
2. Center the title and change the title font size: replace the percentage (blue) in the next code with your preferred value;
3. Change alignment for the new content, give some padding;

Here is the code for all three changes together:
<b:if cond='data:blog.url == &quot;your static page url&quot;'>
<style>
.header,.sidebar,.footer {display:none;}
#outer-wrapper {width: 660px; padding:0;}
#main-wrapper{background:url(background image url); width: 660px; margin: 0;}
.post {padding: 20px; }
.post h3 a {text-align: center; font-size:160%;}
</style>
</b:if>

Most of us have a wider template than 660px. If you don't know how to check the width of you main-wrapper, use percentage, like in the first code. Don't forget to put margin left/right to auto, for centering the page.

Be aware that this code will change the page layout only; any other content in your usual post pages, like ads in the post or Linkwithin widget, will also be visible, like in this page, or see another example!
You can hide these elements too, with some more work.
One more thing: when changing the background color of just certain post pages or static pages, the comment block background won't change, you have to change it yourself.

It is possible to change the layout of every other post page, not just static pages, using the <b:if conditional tag. Replace the code in red (your static page url) with the url of the page where you want to do the changes.
For example, all my posts about Blogger static pages have a different background color from the rest of the post pages.
Be creative, break the monotony of you blog by customizing your pages.

Related posts:

Update: There is a newer version of this tutorial, easier to implement and also explaining how to hide widgets in the main section.

For other templates, identify the elements you want to change and try to use Blogger template designer to add new styles. Go to Design > Template designer > Advanced > Add CSS.

I recommend installing Web Developer (add-on) for Firefox with various, excellent web developer tools, for identifying elements and their sizes.
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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Parrot tulips-macro photography

Parrot tulips with their exotic shape are the most spectacular of all tulips. Their twisted and wavy petals are splashed and striped with brilliant color combination make them of a unique beauty.
The tulip in the first close-up photo has fringed, bright red petals with yellow flames.
Red parrot tulip-macro photo
The second tulip has the same colors but inverted: golden - yellow, fringed petals with bright red flames.
Yellow-red parrot tulip-macroVisit Today's flowers for many beautiful flower photos and fabulous macro shot at Lisa's Macro Monday.
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Magnolia trees in bloom-Japanese magnolia pictures

The magnolia flower is such a magnificent bloom and we don't have many of them in our parts.
Though mentioned as Japanese magnolia - Magnolia liliiflora, this small tree or shrub is native to China, not Japan.
Known by various names like Tulip magnolia, red magnolia, Lily magnolia, this species is smaller than most other magnolias (to 4m) and blooms in early spring with large pink to purple showy flowers, before the leaves open.

This Japanese Magnolia tree, in our Botanical garden, is all covered with beautiful blossoms.

Japanese magnolia blossom

The upward-facing flowers resemble a tulip, having large firm petals colored in deep purple on the outside and much lighter, pinkish on the inside.

The very popular hybrid, the Saucer magnolia is one of the many descendant of the Tulip magnolia.

Japanese magnolia tree

This lovely bushy tree seems to be content with its sunny and partially shaded spot it is planted on. Being surrounded by other trees and shrubs, this magnolia tree is out of strong winds, and I hope we shall have it this beautiful, every year.

Blossoming Japanese magnolia tree

See pictures of the Japanese mountain magnolia (Magnolia kobus), one of the earliest magnolia species to bloom in spring.

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Winter reflections on a cloudy day

Reflections are very pour in color on a cloudy winter day.
These are some photos captured at our local parks lake.
They are the wordless definition of cool colors.

Winter reflections

I post an autumn shot too; to alternate the mood.

Autumn colors-reflection

I took some photos in autumn on the same spot and if you look at them, you will not believe it is the same place. The next is a winter shot too.

Winter reflections in the park

Weekend is reflection time and I can't wait to see other participants' photos at Weekend reflections, hosted by James.

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Search for photos, macro photos or paintings.

Archive

Do you want to create a separate archive page for your blog too?
If yes, click the link above to go to the tutorial.