How an Oldie Learned to Build Web Pages
I am Diana Grant, Also Known as Gloriousconfusion
I retired from work in 2008, knowing very little about computing, except for straightforward documents in Microsoft Word and a little bit of Excel. I also used the Microsoft Outlook programme for my business as a lawyer. Other than that - zilch.
I knew that I wanted to write, and I paid for an online writer's course for a vast sum, £300. I never got past the second assignment, because I didn't like the assignment, which was something like going to a public festival and then writing about it. How wimpy and pathetic is that?
I decided to use a pen name, to keep my writer persona separate from my lawyer's persona, in case I said something unprofessional, or which might come back to plague me.
Anyway, when I retired, I joined Squidoo, a web page platform, just before Christmas 2009,HubPages not long after, and then I transferred most of my work on Squidoo over to HubPages in September 2014. Initially it was a bit of a bumpy ride learning how to put a web page together and it was a struggle making all my Squidoo pages transform to HubPages' requirements.
When I first started there were lots of articles by friendly computer-savvy people on Squidoo which helped me to pick up a little computer code, HTML and CSS. At the same time, with help, I set up a basic web page of my own using more code. It was magical and fascinating, but I still haven't been very successful at going it alone. I started on Coffee Cup and Kompozr and was always getting things wrong, with spacing going a bit mad, and columns which didn't quite work. But I loved learning, and seeing the fruits of my labour.
The writing part was easy, because playing with words is my stock-in-trade.
But web-building and the use of HTML code (Computing Code to those not in the know) was sheer hell. I think I've got the hang of it now.
It takes up a fair bit of my life, and I am updating and creating something on the web every day. It's become a bit of an obsession and rarely does a day go by without my writing something.
I drew this cartoon......okay, okay, I can almost hear you thinking "don't give up the day job!"
I learned how to design my logo myself - do you like it?
I took a photo of a garden fairy ornament, Photoshopped it a bit and added text.
I learned how to make coloured boxes and text, and I can use formatted text and add drawings and photos
I imagine I could still have learned great snippets of HTML and CSS code off by heart when I was younger, but, sadly, that faculty is no longer available to me as my brain has worn out.
Nonetheless, I learned how to frame my text in a blue box, and turn the text blue, and make it bigger, which used to be allowed on Squidoo for some years. It all took time, but I did it in the end.
HubPages doesn't allow so many whistles and bells, but learning a new skill was not wasted, as I learned how to organize all my new-found knowledge into folders on my computer, and it's there for the future. And, of course, I became more comfortable with using HTML.
Remember all you Under-45's to learn by heart as much as you can before you lose your faculties!
But I bet I could still win you at Scrabble (I won our local Scrabble Competition this year), and I can still write poetry, paint pictures and make my own Christmas cards, so I am still a force to be reckoned with.
I've also learnt to use Photoshop and have picked up a little about SEO (search engine optimization to those just starting out), and some fiendishly clever tips from other helpful Squidoo writers. I even learned to draw cartoons like the one on the right. Not brilliant, but at least I now have the confidence to put pen to paper or stylus to Waco Bamboo Tablet, when I need an illustration.
This is a Photograph I Like - Pussums
I used to use my digital Nikon Koolpix camera a lot when I first started
This is my tortoiseshell cat, Pussums - she would say hallo if she could be bothered to wake up.
I like the white-on-white in this picture.
I'm afraid she is a bit fatter now, and she's not allowed on the bed since we discovered jolly little jumping fleas. I quite miss her snuggling up, and her naughty habit of climbing up on the bedside table and knocking things down to wake us up at dawn.
This is my Christmas Polar bear
Then I got a smartphone - a Samsung Galaxy - and I discovered Photoshop
First I photographed it in 2013, in a shop window of Selfridges, Oxford Street, London - this was one of several fantastic window displays. Then I downloaded it to my computer, where the fun began in earnest.
Then I Photoshopped it, to crop the bits I didn't want and to give it a bit of color, and added the wording using ArtRage with my . All great fun. The techies in the family loved it, and the others just said "what is it?".....Philistines, they just don't appreciate great art when they see it. They would probably say they prefer Rembrandt or Edward Hopper. Wacom Bamboo pen tablet
You can buy all sorts of variations on Amazon. You can always graduate to one of the professional ranges once you've learned the basics
Adobe Photoshop - - This is such fun to work with
I must confess, I spend hours doodling about with Photoshop. There are expensive versions for professionals who use it for their work, and there are cheaper versions like the one below, which are for enthusiastic amateurs to get started.
You can buy all sorts of variations on Amazon.
You can always graduate to one of the professional ranges once you've learned the basics
I learned how to design products on Zazzle:
Some of my Zazzle Designs:
You can buy them from my Zazzle shop and get the designs on many other products such as mugs, aprons, shopping bags and T-shirts
Have you learned how to make web pages?
I learned how to take a photo (this one is a brooch) and then add text to suit my requirements:
You Can Also Find me on Other Websites - Here are a few of the places where I write
- Diana's Blog - Glorious Confusion
A blog about whatever I deem appropriate, such as politics, social issues, events, North London, photographs and poetry - all of life is there
- Zazzle Store - Glorious Confusion
Photo designs that you may have seen on my Squidoo pages, on T-shirts, cards, mouse mats, tote bags, bumper stickers and mugs
- Diana Grant on Pinterest
Lots of pictures and websites that you can follow
- Diana Grant on Hub Pages
My articles, questions and answers
- Diana Grant on Redgage
Articles and photographs
- Diana Grant on Facebook
- Diana Grant (@gloriousdiana) | Twitter