31 Jan 2013

A New Look

It's here! This blog has a brand new look.  If you are reading in a reader or via email just click on through to see the big changes.

I did like my old template, but something about it just never felt right.  There was just something off.  I was longing for a cleaner, crisper look that I wasn't getting with the old design.  So, I took it upon myself to design a whole new look.

For some crazy reason (mostly because I am cheap), I took on the whole redesign by myself.  I am sure if you count the man hours that I spent coding, the design would have costs thousands of dollars, but not counting labour costs the whole new design was F-R-E-E.  And you know I love free!

Mr. Google became my new best friend as I leaned more about html coding than I ever thought I would need to know in my life.   It really is amazing what you can kind find on the internet!  Every time I ran into an issue I just typed my question into Google and boom, I could usually find an answer with just a few clicks.   I started with my old template, looked up where every image was hidden in the code and then made my adjustments from there.

Let me give you the grand tour....

The first big change is the width of the post area.  I widened it by almsot 200 pixels, so now I can make my pictures bigger.  Honestly, that was the one thing that promted this whole change - I couldn't modify the old design to accomodate wider images.

Obviously the header is new.  I don't have Photoshop, so I taught myself how to us Pixlr.  Once I got used to Pixlr I was totally addicted.  It's amazing what you can do with that program for free.  In case you are interested, the font is Mari & David, which you can download for free here.

The menu bar at the top has one new addition - the About Me page.

I've been hesitant to have an about me page.  Writing about yourself is hard!  Last month though I participated in the "What I Like About Your Blog" link up at Inspire Me Heather and the feedback I received was that readers wanted to know more about me.  So... reluctantly I wrote all about me/us.

The Projects page is still there, but it's been completely updated.  I was using the inLinkz Link Manager for my gallery before, but then they started charging for the links.  It was only a few dollars a month, but I figured I could save myself that few dollars by coding it myself.   At one point I think my computer was tired of having F bombs yelled at her.  Poor girl!  The Project Gallery was by far the most frustrating and time consuming part of the redesign.  Coding tables in html took a bit of learning.  I am happy with how it turned out though....now I just need to try and keep it updated.

There are amazingly talented graphic designers out there who offer a lot of their clip art for free.  If you are thinking of tackling your own blog design, I highly recommend checking out Pinterest for free digital scrapbook images.  The roses (that are my new post dividers), the polaroid frames and the date circle all came from Persnickety Prints.  I just downloaded the clip art and then played around with it in Pixlr until I had what I wanted.  Pugly Pixel is also a great site for cool free clip art (it's where the flower in my 13 Things series is from).

If you're into this sort of thing I do have a Pinterest board titled Blog Stuff, where I keep these types of resources.  The code to add the Pinterest hover button, how to make a grab button,  and the social media icons I used are there as well.  You're welcome to follow along :)

So there you have it! That's basically all I know about the world of blog design.  I am so happy with the way things turned out though - this design feels so much more me than the old one.

I have tested the layout in a few web browsers, but please do tell me if you see something funky going on so that I can fix it.  I also have a question for you....do you like the mobile sites that Blogger makes? I personally hate them as I like to see the design of the full site.  I still prefer to see the full blog on my phone or iPad instead of the abbreviated mobile version.  I was tempted to disable the mobile site,  but didn't want to do so if you guys like having it.  Any preference?

Would you be interested in a Pixlr tutorial, or how to make your own header?  I could try and wrangle my disjointed coding thoughts together to make a tutorial if you'd be interested.

Have a great weekend!  Chat with ya next week.


  1. it looks amazing! good for you for tackling such a big project.

    I participated in Heathers helpful party too, a while ago. I still havent found the courage to write about myelf, but I did put a photo up. LOL Maybe its something about being Canadian and being all humble and stuff. Ha ha.

  2. Thanks Mel. I was so terrified to participate in Heathers party but it turned out to be such a great experience. Baby steps with your pictures...baby steps :)

  3. I love the new look! It is absolutely beautiful! As for your question about mobile view, I like it when sites have a mobile version. However, your site is two columns, clean and easy to see where one section ends and another beings and I think it would look just fine as a full site on a mobile browser!

  4. Kelly - I love the new look!

    I am so impressed that you did all of the re-do with coding yourself. Gives me hope. Ive been stubbornly reading up on the sidelines little bits on things like that here and there.

    I laughed out loud when I read about all the f-bombs your pc had to endure in the process - too funny! That would definitely be something Id do. But it is so easy to see now that all your hard work has definitely paid off in the re-design.

    Thanks so much for all the insights and links, Ill probably be checking some of these out soon.

    And yes, Pixlr is awesome. I found out about that little gem in a post from Centsational Girl a while back. Love that site, so much fun!

    Congrats again on your web awards - I am not surprised one bit, they are well deserved!

    1. It really is like learning a whole new language...and way of thinking. It really is addicting when it starts to work. Unfortunately my computer is often the brunt of my swearing rampages - she has no hope since she cant fight back!
      Thanks very much regarding the awards - Im still flabbergasted that I won!
      have a great weekend. Thanks for your comment.

  5. I love the page, it looks really great and I cant believe youve done it all yourself! I cant wait to design my own page, but I have to buy the domain or whatever you call it first. I dont know why but I keep pushing that off. I love all of the little clip arts that you have going on and your "about me" page is really good so dont worry about it! =]

    1. You should so take the plunge and buy the domain name. I remember when I bought mine I was sort of miffed that I had to spend money on it, but now I am so happy that I did - and for me it was only $10 a year, so its really not that big of a deal. Have a great weekend.

  6. Hi just found your blog via better after. Very cute love your DIYs. Now following!


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