Shiny and newMonday, 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 PrettyFirst, 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 GrittyAs 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