Shiny and new

Monday, February 25, 2013


Ta-da! Ain't she pretty? If you're reading this in an email or a reader, you should click through right now so you can experience the new design in all its pink, sparkly glory.

The Pretty

First, let's talk about the new look. My main goal for the whole thing was for it to feel light and airy, but not dull. So lots of white space, fresh colours, a classic layout but with a few little quirks here and there. I'll admit, the first draft of the redesign was significantly more classy than this coral-seafoam-glitter fiesta, but as soon as I found these glitter textures there was no stopping me. Here are a few of my inspiration pictures (and there are dozens more on my Pinterest board):


I've also packed in lots of little things that might not seem like much, but they make me inordinately happy (and took me hours). Like the way some bits change colour when your mouse rolls over them, and the little gold anchor that now shows up in the comments if people don't have a gravatar or comment anonymously. 99.9% of my anonymous comments are spam and I'm not sure the spammers deserve such luxury, but I've decided to forgive them since they're usually saying things like "your authored subject matter is stylish," and "this paragraph is a genuinely pleasant one." Um, thanks! Here, have a gold sparkly anchor!

From a practical point of view, I've made a few tweaks that will hopefully make the site a bit easier on the eye. I now have a nice clean navigation bar along the top to direct you to the most important pages (note how the anchor points directly down at the 'Subscribe' button like an arrow. I'm hoping this will send subliminal messages to make people sign up. Hey, it's worth a try.)

I've also gone for a wider main column for maximum impact: bigger pictures, more content. The funny things is, even though pictures are larger and the new header is much wider, it's also a lot shorter, so there's more room to breathe. In the old layout, you were halfway down the page before you even got to the top of the first post, like so:


The Nitty Gritty

As well as a new header, new colours and new bits-on-the-side, there have been some more fundamental shifts behind the scenes. The biggest (and let's be honest, dullest) job was recategorising every single post. If you've read more than one thing I've written, you'll know that I don't have a particular niche or topic that I post on. But when I read back through the archives, I could pick up lots of little threads of ideas and meaning running through everything.

My goal, then, was to weave these threads together into some kind of narrative, as opposed to grouping posts randomly based on whether I happened to mention shoes, or Smidgen, or blogging. Inspired by my abiding love of the Aardvark Manifesto, I've set these themes out as imperatives; not rules to live by, but ideas to live by, or to aim for at least. They're gathered together up at the top right, below my swanky new profile picture (thanks Lauren).

The downside of this new manifesto is that the blog will no doubt be littered with broken links to former labels that have now disappeared. If you happen to come across any links to nowhere, please drop me a line so I can redirect them. And don't worry, there are still plenty of random categories too - in fact there's a whole page of them.

The scary bit(ty)

And now we come to the part that kind of makes me cringe inside and want to hide under the duvet, but I've said I'd do it so I'm doing it, dammit.

I now have a Portfolio.

(Picture me making finger quotes around that.)

Basically it's just a collection of all the fun things I've done, in the tentative hope that people might want to do more fun things with me. There are the shoots for Jane Gowans, a couple of wedding-y things (I'm waiting for more pictures from Blonde Bridesmaid's wedding), the lookbook I did with Lauren, and I have some more bits and pieces in the pipeline to add soon. I've also added in a little "featured" section at the bottom, mainly so I could link to the Harvey Nichols website because I'm STILL SO PROUD ABOUT THAT.

To be clear, I'm not launching a business. I suppose I'm launching a hobby, if that's allowed? I just wanted to have everything in one place, should anyone ever ask. And I suppose I should put it out there that I would love to do more styling/planning/designing/organising/crafting/making pretty things. So if anyone has any exciting creative projects, or knows someone who does, than feel free to take a look at my (airquotes) Portfolio.

Obviously, if someone wanted to pay me, that would be great, but let's not get carried away. I'm currently accepting chocolate truffles and high fives as payment. Let's just say I'm pretty cheap.


So, there you have it. The brand-new, all-singing, all-dancing A Safe Mooring. Have a good nosy around and tell me what you think. If you find anything that doesn't work or looks weird, let me know. It's been a labour of love, and Fin has had to put up with many evenings of zero chat while I've been engrossed in learning CSS and swearing at Photoshop.

It's still not perfect, there are plenty of kinks that will need ironed out over time,  but for now it feels like a breath of fresh air. And that is exactly what I need.


Images: Top via Buckets and Bunches, bottom by Vapor.Qualquer

43 boats moored

  1. Oh wow, just wow. It is so pretty, and it looks so professional! Way to go! Also... I just wish you were here, or I could go to Edinburgh, I have some as yet secret plans to start a business... and I would love to do a fun photoshoot / styling with you. Unless you would like to come to The Netherlands in which case you have a room at our place :)
    Congrats ! I love it !

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  2. Lovely...think the gold lettering is prreetty!

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  3. Ooh Kirsty I love it! It's so you! I especially like the anchor as I have a pet hate of my avatar being a nothing.

    I do miss one thing though, and that's "Don't touch my cocktail".

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    1. I know! I liked that bit too. It doesn't really make sense without a cocktail glass in the profile picture, though... Who knows, maybe it will make a triumphant return one day.

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  4. Wolf-whistles over here! Looks fab, love it x

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    1. And the instant happiness button :) although the gif isn't showing up for me but could be because I'm not on a computer

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    2. The gif works for me (from a computer)... so I guess that could be it.

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  5. Kirsty, this is amazing! Seriously impressed that it actually sparkles! I know html and css, but I don't think I'd have the patience or the skill to do this, major kudos to you!

    (maybe I would blog more if my blog was pretty?)

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  6. GORGEOUS! seriously, seriously gorgeous!

    I'm incredibly impressed.

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  7. It looks wonderful Kirsty. V. impressed. I particularly the "Manifesto" as a way of organising the archives.

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  8. Beautiful! Such a pretty way to start a Monday morning. Very proud of you!xxx

    P.S. you are hired for the birthday party extravaganza - do you accept payment in cake?

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  9. This is just plain gorgeous. I now feel I need to learn a lot more html so I can try to make mine even a little bit as pretty as yours. I love the anchors and the header and the colours and the clean lines and everything. Such a pretty blog!

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  10. I want to stroke it! It's almost too pretty.

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  11. All very lovely!! Well done, I'm particularly impressed with your glittery social media icons - fancy stuff.

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  12. I looove it. The gold glitter makes the coral and sea green sing. xx

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  13. Kirsty, you've a gift! Just so very pretty.

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  14. You guys have made my day. Thank you so much, I'm so glad you like it!

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  15. Its a very lovely looking blog Kirsty. Well Done x

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  16. !!!!!!! It looks BEAUTIFUL!!!!! I love it!!!! Yay!!!

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  17. I love it! Go, you, with all that talent.

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  18. It looks so good! I reeeally love the header and all the gold glitter! Big well done, it's very inspiring - designing my blog has been on my to do list for ages, and i'm just learning photoshop now, so hopefully I'll get there soon!

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  19. its soooo fabulous. sending you more pics for your portfolio now. xxx

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  20. It looks great! I was worried last night because when I tried to visit blogger was all 'this blog is private' and I berated myself heartily for not commenting enough. I'm glad it isn't - I'd really miss your blog.

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    1. Aw, thank you! Yeah, my uncle was very concerned by the blog privatisation too. I probably should have given people more than twelve hours' notice!!

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  21. Absolutely stunning. As I said on Twitter, I doubted it could be prettier, but I was very very wrong. Well done xxx

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  22. your authored subject matter is stylish.

    lovely!

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  23. Gorgeous! You can never go wrong with adding some sparkle :-)

    always, koru kate

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  24. Amazing! You must share your how tos and resources. Am currently trying to do similar things, but finding the how to of it a bit of a slog.

    So pretty! Well done!

    x Elena @ Randomly Happy

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  25. This looks awesome! well done you! Many hours well spent. I particularly love the gold glitter/texture thing going on, and the wee anchor. x

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  26. Witness the fitness! At work we pay agencies A LOT of money to make websites look this good. You have a talent (well, it's one of many you have anyway!)

    Px

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  27. Excellent! I love the glitter. You're inspiring to take a critical look at my own blog!

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  28. All I can say is wow. Seriously, wow. I'm really impressed.

    I love your glitter icons! How did you create the glitter texture/where did you get it?

    I'm certainly sticking around this blog from now on.

    I'm looking forward to reading more!

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  29. shut the front door - this is BOSS. love it x

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  30. Kirsty, your authored subject matter *is* stylish!
    Love the redesign and that you've put your portfolio up.

    I'm trying to wean myself off air quoting myself - you don't need it, it all looks so great

    xx

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  31. Tres chic :) Glittery anchors are fabbo.

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    1. I only just noticed the glittery glasses by the search! They're my favourite. I want them for my face.

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  32. love the redesign, and the manifesto in particular!

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  33. Really gorgeous. Very easy on the eye blog.

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  34. This is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!! Every details is so well executed and amazing!! I LOVE your anchors and everything else you have done! LOVE LOVE LOVE the redesign!

    I found your blog through Pugly Pixel! Katrina is the BOMB!! She helped me code my most recent blog design but I'm contemplating another blog overhaul!! Would you mind sharing how you were able to create a portfolio page in blogger or what reference you used? I've been googling that forever!

    xo, sam 

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    1. No worries - I used the tutorial listed in the resources page to remove the sidebar on that one page, then I created a big HTML table with images instead of text in each box. I had to play about with image borders a bit to get the images to line up nicely, then Blogger's in-built lightbox works to enlarge them automatically when clicked. And that's it! Would love to do something a bit more fancy eventually, but you're right - there aren't many helpful resources or widgets out there for Blogger portfolio pages.

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