New Blog Look + My Handmade Logos

I updated my blog! (...again...)
I've been wanting to design my own logo and have things be a little more colorful. My moods change as the seasons change - during the fall and winter I was in a rustic frame of mind, so my blog was beige-y with a wooden banner. But now spring is coming up in a month or so, and I'm in the mood for flowers and color. Also I love watercoloring, so of course I had to include it in my header! 

I sketched out what I wanted, painted it, and lettered my blog name with ink. Then I took a photo of both logos, round and long, and edited them using Gimp. (I love Gimp). After they were edited, I vectorized them using Inkscape. This was slightly more technical and brought in some of my basic graphic design learning to figure it out. The program basically traced the logo for me and I did a few light editing touches (erasing a rogue line here and filling in a color there). After exporting to a PNG file, I made a few differently sized images in Inkscape, using a generic white background. 
And there you go!

Melmaria Designs Logo Round

Melmaria Designs Header Logo
I'm really happy with the results. Not perfect, but it's my handwriting and my painting, so it's totally me. 
I highly recommend Gimp and Inkscape to PC users, and anyone who doesn't want to pay the monthly fee (or vastly expensive total price) for Adobe Creative Suite. Both programs are great freeware alternatives to their Photoshop and Illustrator counterparts, and you can find hundreds of tutorials, actions, and ideas online to use with them.
Here's hoping my blog stays like this for a while! I like the look.  
Also, stay tuned for that new idea I talked about yesterday. I'm pretty excited about it and I hope it works out. If it does, I may have just found my place in the circle of life - uh, the online creative collective, I mean. 
Off to do some editing of photos and planning of blog posts and ideas! Also some eating of lunch. Ciao.