20 March 2010

May I have your attention please!

Oh.  Good.  I see I already have it.

Killing A Fly has gone through some makeovers in its two and a half years.  It's seen the simple:

and the complex:

(This from Shannon of Eightcrazy Design).

But no makeover has been a LONG and as PAINFUL and as FRAUGHT with indecision as this one.  Because I did this one myself.

Some of my friends have been watching my Mucking Around Blog - the one I created so that I didn't ruin this one while I fiddled around with the template.  (However very few people know that I also made a Really Mucking Around Blog - I created it so I didn't ruin my Mucking Around Blog while I was fiddling around with it.  I confused even myself.)  And those poor friends who watched my Mucking Around Blog were subjected to the Awful followed by the Hideous followed by the Totally Laughable.

I now have a folder on my hard drive labelled "Total Failures."  Here are some of the files, renamed after the fact:

TotalFailure1.jpg - A starting point, showing my desire for a clear white background with my favourite colour blue featuring in there.  I had to learn a lot of Photoshop and HTML skills to even get to this point.  So although the blog looked quite amateurish, I was wildly proud of my achievements.

TotalFailure2.jpg - Still enjoying the handwriting fonts, but pinching the idea of parchment from my Crazy Sister, who was pondering her own blog layout at the time.  I was disappointed by how cramped the left side of the header looked compared to the right side.  It was the look I was going for, but I was sad to see it looking so wrong.

TotalFailure3.jpg - A complete change to blue was just awful.  But nowhere near as awful and the abomination awaiting me as I plumbed the depths of http://www.scrapblog.com/ to come up with my next horror of horrors ...

TotalFailure4.jpg - There is no excuse for this ghastly suggestion.  I recant.

TotalFailure5.jpg - Scrapblog, though fun, was giving me fluffy-looking ideas which were not in keeping with my title or my writing.  I enjoyed it while it lasted, then I went back to Photoshop.

TotalFailure6.jpg - I was enjoying the clear, unfettered sidebar look, but the cheesy de Elbas peeking out from the sunflowers was too weird, even for me.

TotalFailure7.jpg - This was cleaner and clearer, but there was truly no place for my ukulele or my fly.  And what is Killing A Fly With A Ukulele without either a ukulele or a fly?

At this point, I seemed to come to my senses.  White on black with no borders around the sidebars, and a main colour that makes me happy - hot pink!  I used a complementary green for an accent colour and we were in business.

Just one problem - I really wanted a Navigation Bar to make things interesting.  And to make me look clever.  However I'd need a Magic Navigation bar in order to do THAT, and I couldn't find any resources to help me build a magic one.  I did however find a few web pages that stepped me through the basics of writing a code for a Navbar.  But in the end, I needed help from a web designer (thanks again!) to format it so it looked right on my page.

If I was going to have a Navbar, I needed things to put in it.  It grew increasingly apparent I needed to have labels and this meant I'd need to label my posts which was something I've never bothered about.

There were 629 posts.  About 20 of them were drafts.  610 is still a large number of posts to read and label but the job was made made brighter by the joy of reading my old posts and by the wonderful irony of labelling groups of posts "unlabelled" while I systematically worked away at them.

New pseudonyms (see explanation in sidebar), a new post divider, and a cool idea for my blockquotes and we were in business.  And now, blow me down, this little blog that makes me so unreasonably happy looks really smart in its new fancy pants!

Something tells me that if you disagree, well I'm sorry, but I think you're wrong!


Givinya De Elba said...

My "About Me" page will be coming soon. I just can't think of what to write.

Heather said...

WOOHOO! Looks absolutely fantabulous! LOOOOOOOVE it!

Now I'm craving a real makeover on my blog, but I haven't the nerves of steel nor the heaps of courage lying about that you utilized in your redesign. Blue and white it shall remain for a while, I'm sad to say...

LOVE it!

stefanie said...

Wow! I love the endline or whatever you techie people call the signature thingy at the end. First time I ever thought a dead fly was cute. Ok, so it is fitting, and that makes it cute. Fantastic work.

Tracy P. said...

Whoa!! I'm so impressed! My favorite part is also the divider. So super fun! I'm a little jealous. ;-)

CraftyMummy said...

Thanks for the insight into the process! I don't think I'll be attempting such a thing anytime soon...

Joy said...

I'm so impressed. This looks great. How do you do it Wonder Woman! Love the ToyStory little people in the side bar. Totally adorable.
I need to figure out how to do a wider header at the top. What is the secret. I have a wide blog now, but couldn't figure out how to make a wider narrower header dealie.
♥ Joy

Hippomanic Jen said...

Well done, and this is amazing. I love it and it is certainly clean and clear (and cute - dead flies notwithstanding)

Crazy Sister said...

I liked Total Failure 1!

Your finished product is fantastic, and the new pseudonyms crack me up! You know that if you wind up with a 4th baby, it'll have to be Stinky Pete, which would be fantastic, especially for a little girl!

Emily Sue said...

Stinky Pete appears to be taken. Hypothetical Baby Number Four will have to be Mr or Mrs Potato Head. :)

Jen said...

I am SO impressed by people that can figure how to do this by themselves. You did a fabulous job! I love the new look you can up with.

And I am so glad that you decided not to go with the pink. ;)

Swift Jan said...

I love it :D

Givinya De Elba said...

Jen, you meant the pink and grey didn't you? Never fear, I was never going to go with that. It was something I made in Scrapblog to teach myself how the thang worked, and because I am such a cheapskate, I limited myself to the free layouts. I didn't even like it while I was doing it. And I hate it more now. Ghastly. I share it here because I know you all love me.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I love the new look! Crisp and clean.

Cazbam said...

I absolutely love it! It's simple and clean and gorgeous :D Love the fly :)