Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Readership Survey and a Blog Link-Up Party!

With summer arriving, I  have more time to spend on A Splash of Ink, and I'm so excited for the future of this blog. This post features two things that I've been wanting to do for a really long time now:

A readership survey and a blog link-up party!

Although I know the importance of the blogger enjoying their own blog, I want to make my blog a (even) better place for my readers. In order to get this feed back, I decided to create a survey. At first I wasn't sure if anyone would bother to do it, but I decided to go for it anyways. If only a few people respond, then at least I'll have a few more opinions than I had before the survey. I recognize that I'm asking you to take some of your time and do this for no reward other than the pleasure of filling out a survey, so if you choose complete it, I sincerely thank you.

While we're on the topic of thank-yous, I just want to say that all my readers are really great. I've never once had a mean comment. You are awesome (but you are more awesome if you complete my survey, tehe).

Click here to take the survey.

For the first time ever on A Splash of Ink, I'm hosting a link-up party! I love participating in these, so I thought that it was high time that I hosted one. This link-up will run for three weeks, starting today and ending May 19. If you've been following SOI for awhile, you'll know that I have a small obsession with bookshelves. I love bragging talking about mine, and I want to hear everybody else's way of storing and displaying their books. 

The Prompt:
1. If you can, share a picture of your bookshelves (piles of books, boxes of books, anywhere you store your books) or describe the set-up you have. 
2. How do you sort your books? Author, genre, not at all?
3. Do you have any special trinkets or decorations on your shelves, or are they purely business?
4. What genre dominates your bookshelf? Or what genres make up your bookshelf?
5. Are there any books on your shelf that you're particularly proud of?
6. What is the ratio between read books and TBR books on your shelf?
7. What is the most recent addition to your bookshelf?
8. Describe your dream bookshelf setup.

I wanted to provide some questions to get you guys going, but this prompt is pretty general and you're welcome to deviate from it. You can also tack this onto the end of a book haul post, if you so desire. Answer some questions, answer all the questions, make up your own questions, just talk about bookshelves in some small way, and I'll be happy. 

I'm sure you all know how link-ups work, but in case you don't:
1. Write your post based off the prompt
2. Copy the bookshelf link-up graphic (above) and use it in your post
3. Link back to www.splash-of-ink.blogspot.ca
4. Come back and add your link to the link-up tool (below)

I'm excited (and nervous) to see everybody's response to these two new events on my blog. I'm also looking forward to putting up my own response to my link-up! I think this is going to be super fun. If you have any questions about the survey or the link-up, or notice some weird technical problem please leave me a comment.

Reading: Defy by Sara B. Larson
Watching: Gilmore Girls
Listening: Mumford and Sons

Thursday, April 23, 2015

How to Make a Personalized GIF

Today I wanted to talk about GIFS and how to utilize them on your blog. We all know about the fun GIFs of hopping bunnies or the kind that feed the fandoms.


Those are awesome and I love them. However, I've always been interested in the GIFs that act as a design element of a blog. These GIFs are the ones that are personalized to you and your blog. I've see them combining book haul pictures, as an animation of the blogger, and used as blog banners. the options are endless once you know how to make one of these sorta-picture-sorta-videos. Here's an example of a personalized GIF that I made for my "About Me" page:

This REALLY needs to be updated! 
I think that personalized GIFs are a design element that are under-used, because people don't know how to make them. So my goal for this post is to provide a fairly simple tutorial that doesn't require any fancy software. I will admit that I made that GIF above using Photoshop Elements. HOWEVER! It can be done without PSE. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How to Get Library Labels Off Books

I love buying second hand books, but I always have to pause when I'm looking at the book sale shelf at the public library. Sometimes they have really great titles that have been deleted, not because they're worn out, but because the library has too many copies. And they're ridiculously cheap, much cheaper than any other second hand store. That sounds like a steal, right?

There's just one tiny problem. They're covered with spine labels and other library paraphernalia. 

Call me shallow, but I want my books to look pretty on my bookshelves. I want my books to look nice, clean and not like I stole them from the library! Luckily, my library doesn't use marker or stamps on the sides of pages, so the only real issues I have are the spine labels and the barcode on the front cover. Sick of letting good books pass me by, I learned how to get rid of those ugly spine labels and I want to share my (extremely simple) technique with you.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Few Tips on Being a Master Essayist (or at least an adequate one)

Here's something that I don't talk about often on A Splash of Ink: academic writing.

That term might send you running in fear to your latest YA novel. That's certainly my reaction. Um, professor, could I write this in narrative form? What do you mean it's 3000 words long?! What is a critical book review anyways? 

Well, with my first year of university under my belt, I've learned a few things about academic writing (aka the dreaded papers). I written this post of a combination of tips to first of all myself (because I'll forget by September and make the same dumb mistakes) and for you guys, because I wish I had known this stuff earlier.

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