I wanted to add a header image to my site.  Didn’t know what I meant by this, but thought the top of the blog looked a bit bare.   It might be nice to have something, and if it didn’t work out can always revert to bare.

WordPress.com makes the process relatively easy and provides documentation for adding a Custom Header Image.  Maybe it  was easy because the theme, Libretto.  Didn’t look around at all of the available themes.  Wanted something simple and didn’t want to do a lot of thinking.

Looked at the images provided by WordPress for the theme.  Some are quite pretty, but none of them grabbed me.  Have the same problem when shopping for birthday and Christmas cards.  Usually look for the most annoying and loudly obnoxious a la hamster dance.  So decided, maybe construct an image.

The header image section said, “While you can crop images to your liking after clicking Add new image, your theme recommends a header size of 1600 × 275 pixels.”

Maybe I would draw something.  Being familiar with Adobe Illustrator from work, maybe could cobble together some simple things with it.  Work had a site license that retirement lacks.

So did a search and found this link  Alternative to Adobe IllustratorInkscape looks like a good choice, but it has more of a learning curve than I wanted to tackle at this time.   Had to monkey with Adobe Illustrator for a long time before I could do the simple things, and it was always a bit of a struggle.

Have used Adobe’s PhotoShop in the past to create collages, but the lack of Adobe site license bit me again.  Web to the rescue with  Gnu Image Manipulation Program aka GIMP.

Fired up the program and began the wrestling with the new learning curve.  Under the file menu there is a create option and logos.  Got sidetracked and played with the logos.  Of course didn’t know what to say in the logos.  The logos were built from text.  Played with  a bunch of them.

gimplogo1

gimplogo2

gimplogo3

There are a lot to choose from and lots of options on each logo style.

gimpmenuoptions

Of course, didn’t realize at the time that it would conflict with the title and tag line.  Text over text maybe not so good.

So tried create  Screenshot and took a little rectangle from the blog, just to get the background color(but it is all covered up now, so it could have been anything).  Then sized the image to 1600 x 275 pixels.  This became the base image.

Searched for images and imported them into another instance of the GIMP editor.  Cutting and pasting into the base image took a little trial and error to work.   It was very hard to manipulate a 2000 x 2000 pixel image pasted into the base image.  Needed to crop and resize the image to 275 pixels high before pasting into the base image.  Had to make sure the width and height of the image are locked when scaling the image to 275 pixels high, otherwise it looks all funny and distorted.

It was a welcome surprise that  I could apply brightness and color changes to selected rectangular regions in the base image.  Didn’t have to make these adjustments in another GIMP instance and re-paste them into the base image.  Don’t remember being able to do this in Photoshop, but it may be in the city of forgotten things.

So I copied the first image over the base image like so.

header-1

The second:

header-2

The third:

header-3

And so on until the total image was constructed:

header

For something as simple sounds as Adding a Header Image, there are hours of guessing and trying and error-ring and lots of searching and misunderstanding all in one tangled ball.  How can we document something like this, that varies by every little decision?   Oh well, if one size fitted all, we could all shop at Babys R Us.

Or as Alfred Habdank Skarbek Korzybski was fond of saying, “The map is not the territory”.