My DIY New Header Artwork and Avatar

DIY New Header Cost Blood, Sweat, Tears and $29

You might have noticed that my header now magically fits. It’s all due to my good Twitter friend @IanChia who read my post and volunteered to fix all the size issues I had with my header plus added the snazzy shadowing effect. He also made the image clearer by fixing some pixel-ation problem that occurred during my insane process of copying, scanning, and shrinking. He’s one of the most helpful and knowledgeable Twitter friends I’ve made in the education space, so much so, that I thought he was some super educator dude down under.

It turns out that he’s much more than that. He’s a gaming tech heavy hitter with a passion for education that promotes creativity. His new venture is called Being Prudence and he’s creating “homemade” apps such as books and goods. Connect with him via TwitterFacebook . It’s good to have a friend like him who also doubles as a technical fairy godfather! Thank you Ian! Deep heartfelt thanks! And good night, because he did this in the middle of the night Aussie time, and now he’s off to bed.



I finally have a new header for my blog after thinking about it for over a year. It was one of those “To Do” list items that was fraught with obstacles up to the very end.

  • I didn’t have a vision as the “bookworm apple” idea was overdone.
  • I had to earn the money to pay for the artwork FROM MY BLOG before I would invest in it.
  • I tried to hire an illustrator but found buying the artwork outright to be too challenging (and expensive).
  • I am too spastic to concentrate.

So this is how my header idea came about …

I have a blogging group called the CoffeeShopBloggers: The S.O.S. for SEO made up of a group of bloggers who also happen to be moms at my elementary school. It is 2/3 therapy, 1/6 ass kicking, and 1/6 brainstorming. DesignTrackMind conceptualized the header (as she is wont to do; she’s super creative and we count on her for her visions).

Here’s the ass kicking part:

Her: “You are like a tornado. You should have a tornado with all the stuff in your life coming out of it.”

Me: “You guys are the best at giving me back-handed compliments! Thanks a lot!”

CapabilityMom chimes in. (She’s the nice one.)

Her: “But it’s calm in front of you. It’s not like you are a destructive tornado!”

Me: “Still remembering all the back-handed compliments you guys have given me.”


And still nothing happened for many months except me emailing a lot of illustrators and trying to negotiate price before throwing in the towel until I hired my Career Coach back. Sometimes I need professional ass kicking.

Coach Ariane: “So why do you think you need a perfect workspace to create your art? Let’s talk about that.”

Me: “OK, I don’t.”


But then I realized that my art training was more than a decade ago and I was having trouble with a lot of things: using the scanner (don’t know how), manipulating my photo (don’t have right software or know how to use correct software), drawing a tornado, drawing my face, getting the glue not to smear all over the page, getting the white out not to cover up my drawing, shrinking the image down without getting too fuzzy, and figuring out how to get the scan onto a server as a url (lots of hours with the nice help desk folks at GoDaddy over that one!). Arrgh!!!

My husband solved many of these issues including whipping out a swirly tornado and demonstrating how to use the scanner. It does come with a small price, however.

Two days later, after cutting, pasting, gluing, shrinking (images), and redoing it many, many times with my hands sticky with glue, dirt, and white out, I had a header. You might have seen earlier iterations on my blog? But you didn’t me screaming in frustration in the background!

It’s still not quite the right size. AND I had to hire my blogging template company to finally get the damn thing up for $29. Being spastic was probably the issue; I think I missed the flipping the switch button on my blog template.


I know it’s not quite right and I need to do it over but that will be another day next year!  What do you think? Was it worth it? Do you like it? Be kind, I’m a little sensitive about this. Thanks!

p.s. I am launching a new blog called JadeLuckClub: Celebrating Asian American Creativity! The header was tripping me up again in getting this off the ground, as usual, but I managed to find the perfect template. I want to explore new role models who have taken the path less traveled and learn what it means on a personal level to be Asian in America. Please check it out and tell me what you think. You don’t have to be Asian.

Follow PragmaticMom’s board Art with Kids on Pinterest.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Love it! Great job – maybe you can do this as a side gig 🙂

  2. The new blog is GORGEOUS. How do you have time to do both? And your fairygodfather did a great job. Love the top. Your site is really an anchor for me.

    • Hi Mama C,
      My fairy techy godfather is on Twitter @IanChia. Follow him and I’ll bet he’ll follow you back. He’s one of my favorite Twitter friends besides you!!! Thanks for the kind words about my new blog. My stats are not working on it… it shows that no one has viewed it for the last three days but I am thinking that at least you did? Oh well, probably best not to be so obsessed with stats! I love your blog also and I feel like you are my neighbors! Actually, I wish you were!

  3. I LOVE your new header! Nicely done, as always.

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