Rehab in photos.
No,I am not a drunk blogger going to rehab though it would make for an interesting post. Instead this post chronicles my behind the scenes (blood, sweat and maybe a few swear words) blog renovation. It was not easy peasy to say the least, but well worth it. I invested a lot of time, energy and learning in creating the blog brand/home I have always wanted. This post might bust the mystique of pretty and polished blogs (yeah I am saying it. I think my blogs getting to my kind of pretty now. It's a work in process to say the least). But, those online homes take a lot of work! Now after my own re-do, it truly gives me a new appreciation for well-branded blogs. I love soaking it all in...how they uniquely convey who they are in a banner, font or even the sidebar content. It's become a mild creative obsession of mine. Making me even more eager to share my own process and the major appreciation I have for all the bloggers out there,who give so generously blogging info in posts and online workshops. *I will be doing some major shouting out in this post, while not compromising the hard work they do. In the hopes that you too could or should support their efforts!
I began blogging back in 2007 and I have been through a lot of transitions on my blog journey. A nice way of saying that some readers might think I have a personality disorder with all that damn changing things up:) but like any creative process I was seeking out my niche, vision and voice. Yes, I had different blog names (2). I tried many blog platforms (6) and countless redesigns. During all these transitions I had many readers, a few loyal ones and none at all. So, overall I have done a lot of fumbling in the name of blogging and with readers like you along for the ride:) BTW Thanks for being here. Now let's get started.1. Learn. Knowledge is power ladies and gentleman! One thing blogging has done for me over the years has created a virtual classroom of challenge. What is that? Simply blogging makes me want to learn, learn and learn. It takes me to people, places and things that I want to discover and write about here. Or in the case of this post. Learning grows my joy for design and challenges me to put my best foot forward. In life and the internet world.
-I love the feeling of learning a new technique or short cut in design. Right now besides the two courses I am taking, I am really making a effort in learning CSS or computer language like I like to call it. It helps me do what I love better.
-Taking online workshops and courses is another biggie for me. Right now I would have to say it is the biggest tool in my creative toolbox. I can't begin to tell you how much this gets my creativity juices flowing for this hobby. And I sooo appreciate the knowledge and insight shared. It's great to get another's perspective on what works and doesn't. It creates an atmosphere of looking at your own process and learning new ways to convey your own vision. This blog rehab was really fueled by taking a e-course by Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess. Blog Life:Learn to make a living doing what you love. Once immersed in all their valuable blogging material. I knew I had to step it up a notch or two. Ok maybe three. I have been blogging too long with amateur mindset. All this learning has created a sense of urgency and refocus on a hobby that means so much to me. I am downright passionate about it. I wake up and want to blog. I love the process of creating posts. Taking and editing photos. Imagining what my little brand is and could be. It is definitely my thing. But, with all this learning and the ideas it is inspiring. I needed a way to pull it together and be intentional and not be so on a whim. So, I put together a blog binder and began Creative Storming.
*My Learning bonus: a)Pinterest is a crazy resource for blogging tips. Just type in Blogging and a million articles will pop up. At night when I am winding down. I lay in bed browsing and adding quickly articles to a secret board I have Titled :blog ( I know a genius descriptive title:) Then in the morning and through out the day. I check out what I pinned and if it is useful. I keep it and if it is not I delete it from the board. I hope to soon create awesome public board to share with you soon. I will keep you posted. b)Other Generous Bloggers. Recently I went on a research tangent of ALT Summit after reading Elise Blaha Cripe's inspiring post on attending. First of all Elise is so so generous about sharing her personal take on blogging. She is amazing resource and most of all a joy to read. Like Pinterest, other bloggers are a fabulous wealth of knowledge. P.S. I also try to acknowledge their hard work by a thank you (email, comments or even snail mail) and linking with Love.
Calm before the creative storm.
2. Creative Storming. It's what I call my take on brain storming. Once I abruptly stopped Blog life (I can't wait to go back and finish now) and signed up for Blog Design Love 2.0. I realized I needed to build from the beginning again. Creating a blog home that was me to a T and had all the attributes to make my blogging soar to new levels. But, I had to plan, research and design. And Blog Design love 2.0 opened all those flood gates. Promise and Elise as on-line instructor are the best. Even though I had past knowledge of Photoshop (you do need this for the course) and design. The information was and is priceless. A true refresher course with a heaping dose of new material. Creating mood boards, tips for finding colors and fonts. The ins and outs of blog design. Just to name a few. My blog binder soon became filled to the brim.
-I approached this course as if I was back in school. Taking notes, printing out the PDF's and highlighting important points I wanted to remember and try. I even created a Project Life Lay-out as my physical Mood Board (I will delve more into that next week with a post I have in cue about Prop Styling my Blog Banner). I studied the information as if I was to be tested. But, instead my hard work was rewarded by Clicking complete after each Lesson:) and seeing the blog design I came up with by taking my creative storming to a new level.
-The creative storming formula for me is pretty tried and true. I have been doing it this way since I was a kid. A) Collect. Find what inspires me in magazines, Pinterest etc. B) Notes. I am a huge note-list taker. If I don't I will forget or get overwhelmed trying to remember. C) Organize. This is where my blog binder comes in handy. D) Refine. This is where I cut or keep ideas. Get more detailed in where I am going with my design. I break things down into major steps before executing my plans. This is where a lot of check marks and crossing out goes on:)
*My Creative Storming Bonus: Right next to my Blog Binder I have my handy dandy Russell+Hazel To-Do Adhesive Notes. I love their 4x6 size and jot down blog post ideas or anything else that comes to mind while working on the Blog Love Design 2.0 course. Once the note is filled I slap it on a page to visit later. So, I can stay focused on the course material and not be bogged down with million other blog ideas swirling around in my head. Now that I am finished with the course. I have a nice decent sized stack that I pulled out of the pages to compile.
I think this covers my rehab part 1. I don't want you to get too full quite yet. Let's think of this as a dinner. This was the Appetizer and perhaps pre-dinner cocktail:) Part 2 will be the main course of investment and implementation. Big words right:) but, I promise you will enjoy the main entree! Love, C.