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How To Build An HTML Table And Decorate It Tastefully In 5 Easy Steps

December 5, 2012

WordPress editor Cheri Lucas was kind enough to feature me in The Daily Post recently. One of the things I talked about was using HTML, specifically an HTML table,
to create the portfolio thumbnails in my sidebar.

I was also interviewed by Luka Jake Morrell for her art student blog. I noted that even serious subjects can benefit from a light touch, and that I try to give my illustrations
a humorous twist.

It occurred to me that I’ve never seen a joke about an HTML table. There are hundreds
of HTML table tutorials on the web, but no jokes. Clearly this needs to be remedied. So without further ado, here’s how to build an HTML table and then decorate it– tastefully, of course– in 5 simple steps.
letters HTML set up as legs of a table for a visual gag and joke about constructing an HTML table by using the letters HTML to build the table instead of using actual HTML code

illustration showing the letters HTML as legs of a table with a slab on top of them for the table top for a joke about building an HTML table

gravatar of WordPress editor and Daily Post writer Cheri Lucas and how it was used to a create a caricature of Cheri Lucas

bric-a-brac used to decorate table including illustrator Mark Armstrong flower in ink vase, bowl of WordPress icons with letter W which look like oranges with flies buzzing around them, and framed autographed picture of WordPress editor Cheri Lucas

visual gag showing HTML table with letters HTML as table legs and bric-a-brac on table including Mark Armstrong flower, bowl of WordPress icon oranges, and autographed picture of WordPress editor Cheri Lucas

As you can see, building the table is pretty simple. Finding good bric-a-brac is the hard part.  : )
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What do you think? Do flowers really do well in ink? Am I gonna get in trouble for having those two flies buzzing around the WordPress icons? Hope you’ll leave a comment.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to get updates. Just click the Get Updates button in the sidebar below the Portfolio Thumbnails, or click + Follow in the blog menu bar.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

Bible Scholars Stunned: Forbidden Fruit May Have Been… A Shoe!

Look! Up In The Sky! It’s A… Clock??

Did The Animals Really Talk On Christmas Eve? No, They Jammed!

footer for all future blog posts showing picture of blog author Mark Armstrong, along with short bio and contact information

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26 Comments
  1. December 5, 2012 12:58 PM

    It’s brilliant even though I barely get it. Computer folks have to explain stuff to me. I’m not a luddite, really! (Says the girl who just got an iPhone a month ago……)

    • December 8, 2012 11:41 AM

      Ha! I think you may have summed up my entire body of work: It’s brilliant, but I barely get it… : )

      I must admit, HTML humor is definitely on the obscure side, not to mention an acquired taste. BTW: I don’t own a cell phone of any kind, so you’re way ahead of me in the tech-savvy department. Thanks, Amelie, for stopping by!

  2. December 5, 2012 2:36 PM

    Ha! this is great! and yours is the first joke I’ve seen about a HTML table!! congratulations!!

    • December 8, 2012 11:43 AM

      Another first for Mark Armstrong Illustration!!! A very dubious first, I might add… : P

      As ever, thanks so much for your very cheery support! : )

  3. December 5, 2012 6:57 PM

    Looks like I got an earlier cache of this post in my feed reader and e-mail notifications, so, hopefully this will make sense to you: no eyes glazing over here, but I may set some *other* eyes glassy if I explained that I *do* somewhat understand the concept of HyperText Markup Language, and also HyperText Transport Protocol (http://) and Universal Resource Lookup (URL).

    Hats off to you as a Mac user– Macs had some really great software to explain how hypertext works. And congrats on the interview. (p.s. re: how you set up your tables: that’s more or less how I learned HTML, too, copying, pasting, experimenting, trial & error!)

    • December 8, 2012 11:56 AM

      Ah– you must have read the little excerpt I wrote about the post: HTML => glazed peepers. And that’s certainly the case for me. In fact, I got a triple glaze when I read the last part of your first sentence above! I’m mightily impressed, Jak, that you have a good working knowledge of such concepts.

      I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m a trial-and-error guy. Very hard for me to learn things just by reading about them. Much better– for me, anyway– to jump in and start messing around, and learn thru failure, mishap, disaster, and catastrophe– four of the really great teachers… : P

      Many thanks for your kind comment, Jak. : )

  4. December 6, 2012 2:17 AM

    LUV all your work & totally agree that humour helps the hard stuff go down easier! ;-)

    • December 8, 2012 12:03 PM

      Thanks so much, Vanessa. Delightful to have you here, and I sincerely appreciate your very kind comment. I suppose there are occasions that call for complete seriousness, but humor always seems to introduce a needed element of tension-reduction; it helps us cope with dark times, and it makes us more receptive to new ideas during “regular” times. At least that’s been my own experience.

      Thanks again for your good cheer and support! : )

  5. December 6, 2012 2:21 AM

    Perfect! I’d like to order three dozen of the Mark Armstrong flowers, please. :-)

    • December 8, 2012 12:08 PM

      Maddie, I’m going to personally wrap three dozen and ship them out today!! They’re guaranteed to wilt, but I suspect they will be entirely refreshed and revived by your considerable charm… : )

      Thank you for emphatically ringing the bell here at the Armstrong Flower Emporium!!

  6. December 6, 2012 9:38 AM

    You’re right Mark, life’s all about the bric-a-brac:-) I always love seeing how you put your masterpieces together!

    • December 8, 2012 12:14 PM

      There’s a scary thought: How much of life is actually bric-a-brac? 99%? 99.9%? 99.9999%?? Oh dear, probably higher… : (

      But hey, it makes the good stuff worth lookin’ for!! : )

      “Masterpieces”… you certainly have a wonderful way with words– and I appreciate it! Thanks, Tracey!!

  7. December 7, 2012 12:52 PM

    Well done, Mark, I enjoyed both interviews. It was good to see the ‘other side’ to Mark Armstrong the Illustrator…! We are very familiar with the light hearted man with the Photoshop pen; we don’t often get the opportunity to see the ‘worker’ behind the scenes.
    I must say I love your blog’s layout. It is colourful, and it is inviting. The comment you made regarding consistency in regard to the blog’s ‘face’ is so important. We (humans) do well with familiarity; most of us abhor change (me, not included)! To see your colourful and witty heading, for example, allows the reader to immediately relate to you as an illustrator, with all the entanglements of the ‘comic’ attached.
    In short, Mark; I’ve enjoyed meeting the man behind the illustrious illustrator..! ;)

    • December 10, 2012 2:20 PM

      What a lovely comment– thank you, my dear Carolyn, you have truly warmed the ol’ aorta… : )

      I’m glad you enjoyed the interviews, and I sincerely appreciate your interest. We all like to blab a bit about our work, and there are few things in this world more endearing than someone taking a genuine interest. I really can’t thank you enough.

      It’s a tricky business, trying to balance the new with the familiar. An artist would quickly lose his fans without new work, but I think people appreciate seeing the new in a familiar setting. Kinda like browsing for new finds in an old familiar bookshop. Hopefully, my blog creates a similar ambiance.

      Again, my sincere thanks, Carolyn, for your kindness and unparalleled support. : )

  8. December 7, 2012 6:54 PM

    I now want my own HTML table with a signed photograph of the one and only Mark Armstrong!!

    • December 10, 2012 2:49 PM

      A signed photo of the one and only Mark Armstrong?? My dear fellow, think what you’re asking– those have been known to go for thousands of dollars/pounds!!

      Oh wait, here are several dozen in a dumpster– I’ll clean one up and mail it off straight away… : P

  9. December 9, 2012 1:09 PM

    I’d say WordPress would be delighted with the flies because they’re all a-buzz about the good things going on in the blog world … in particular … your blog. Another hit, Mark!

    • December 10, 2012 1:49 PM

      I would say that this comment manages to combine an excellent pun with enormously endearing flattery and absolutely top-of-the-line support, all delivered by a truly excellent, enormously endearing, top-of-the-line personality.

      I’m typing this as I float on a cloud of bliss… thank you, my dear Judy!!!! : )

      • December 10, 2012 7:02 PM

        Mark, you truly make my day. I’m sure no one appreciates my SINCERE Blarney as much as you do. Thank you.

  10. December 9, 2012 4:49 PM

    Thanks for the shout, Mark!

  11. December 12, 2012 7:49 PM

    They’re flies? I thought they were tiny blue butterflies. Yowee. Gotta get that second eye done!

    LOL! Love the concept!!!!!
    ::applause::
    Unfortunately I don’t know much about HTML. Well, enough to get me into a lot of trouble.
    It’s the bold thing, right?
    (If that works, I’m going to cheer!!)

    Love this post, Mark!!!!!

    • December 17, 2012 11:26 AM

      Tiny Blue Butterflies… of course! Nix the flies– they’re definitely gonna be classed as tiny blue butterflies from now on!! : )

      Yes, yes, yes– the bold thing!! You got it! You’ve become an instant HTML expert! Now you’re more dangerous than ever!!

      Thanks for your lovely comment, Robin, especially for putting a wonderful new spin on the flying insects!! : P

  12. December 21, 2012 11:21 PM

    You’re definitely gonna get a trouble due to the flies :D
    Great idea with the flowers. :)

    • January 7, 2013 2:13 PM

      I always get in trouble with flies. I’ve got to remember to take a bath more often!! : P

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