You should feel proud. Those are great accomplishments!
We have some Video Tutorials that could help you with the upload process for the gallery. There are other great tutorials as well.
You can find them here:
For sizing....12 x 12 should be saved for web viewing at 600 x 600 no more than 150 kb. Since you do 8.5 x 11 you would need to adjust that.
We do not allow Outside linking to other sites.
You can give credit just by saying who the designer is of the product you used, but please do not link to their site if it is not a GDS product.
As far as the forums, we have a great section for newbie scrappers:
Hope this helps! Ask away if you have any more questions!