Craftermath Redesign

Craftermath Redesign

It’s here!  It’s here!  My site redesign is here!  Now, on the surface, it looks a lot the same.  Part of that is because I put a lot of time and effort into getting the visual design I wanted right the first time.  But there was quite a bit of work that went into the little changes you see here.  Let me give you a tour of some of the changes.

old site newsite

(Old on the left, new on the right)

First, let’s take a look at the top nav bar.

old Nav

newnav

(Old on the top, new on the bottom)

The design is a little cleaner, and you’ll notice that there are a quite a few new categories there now!  I’ve switched my old archives to a gallery (since that’s what it’s really been all along) and added an archive to the sidebar on your right.  I’ve also rounded up all the silhouette FAQs and tips that I’ve shared and put them into a single place.  Plus you can ask even more questions there!  It’s one stop shopping for my help with the Silhouette.  I’ve also added a spot for my card walk through to prominently live.  Finally, I’ve added a policies page.  I just think it’s something every blogger should have.

Ok, onto the side bar.  See that spiffy Silhouette Challenge button?

500x200button (1)

Click it! Oh, wait!  Finish reading this post and then click it!  It will lead you to a list of all the SIlhouette Challenge posts I’ve done with the Facebook group I’m part of.  I’m so proud to be a part of such an amazingly talented and supportive group!  My friend Tori from Lil’ Miss Tori designed that button.  Isn’t she just amazing!!  I love how the colors fit perfectly with my blog, it’s like she made it just for me (even though I know she didn’t really.)

You’ll also notice an area for advertisements.  I’ve been iffy about adding adspace, as I really like the clean design that I have, but I figured I’d give it a shot.  We’ll see how it goes.  Plus, I do have to pay for my domain and webspace, not to mention the time I put into the blog.  So I figured it was finally time to see if I can at least break even.  And ads are a good place to start.  Sponsored posts are great too!  If you’re interested in sponsoring me, check out the Policies page to find out more!

Ok, on with the tour.  I changed my header up a bit to add my tagline and my logo.  Yes!  The KGD die* is now officially my logo.  Isn’t that awesome!  And if you take a peek at your tab, is that a favicon you see?  Yep!  It is indeed a custom icon for my webpage!  And it’s the KGD logo!  How cool is that!  And just for comparisons sake, let’s look at the two headers side by side.

oldheader newheader

(Old header on top, new header on the bottom)

Oh yeah!  I almost forgot!  I added a lightbox, so when you click on pictures they show up over the page content instead of stripping away everything but the image.  And I *think* I have it set up properly now so that if you comment here and someone else comments on your comment, you’ll get an email.  Isn’t that cool?!  Go ahead, click on any image.  I’ll even give you one right here to click on it.  Doooo it!

404

What is this image you ask?  Well, that just happens to be my new custom 404 error page.  I just love it.

I’ve also gone from a completely custom hand coded theme to working with Headway Themes.  Tori (the same Lil’ Miss Tori from above) pointed me towards them, and I’m so happy she did.  I love that their interface is extremely intuitive if you’ve got background in coding, simplifies most of the tasks that you work with on websites, but still allows for seriously custom coding as well.  The Project Gallery, for example, is something that I coded myself, but still works with everything else going on in Headway.  Often, when you find setups that allow point and click site creation, there is not very much room for the level of customization that Headway offers.  For example, I was able to either use their options for CSS coding or create my own sheet within their setup.  How cool is that?  If you’re not a coder, you might not understand they joy I get from having complete freedom while still being able to enjoy the structured setup for places where I don’t need the freedom.  But if you are, you’ll know that I’m in heaven right now.

Hmm… That’s most of it.  It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it was a ton of work.  And I feel like they’re all little things that will add up in the end.I’m not done with the tweaking the whole site just yet.  Plus, I love that things are starting to come together cohesively in that branding manner.  Now all I need are some business cards!

There are a few more things on my list:

  • Maybe doing some custom gravitars (those are the images that show up to your name when you comment)
  • Setting up my email to go through MailChimp – and maybe even doing a weekly email in addition to emails that go out when I post

And I’m sure there are a few more, but I think that list is good enough for now.

So, what do you think?  Do you guys like the changes?  Are there things you don’t like?  Or things you’d still like to see?  Let me know in the comments!

And before you go – don’t forget to enter to win the Giveaway for Starbuck gift cards and Adspace for the Frill of Life’s blogiversary celebration!!

Addendum: The Die Story!

And of course, silly old me didn’t even think to explain the KGD die.  (Thanks for pointing that out Lauren!)  There isn’t much of a story behind it, but I’ll go ahead and explain anyways.  I’m an avid player of pen and paper RPGS (role playing games).  The most famous of these is Dungeons and Dragons, which will always hold a place in my heart as it was my first RPG.  Currently I run a Pathfinder campaign and play in an occasional Dresden game (Fate system).  Of course, we also love to play board games and own so many games you probably haven’t heard of but are really really great.  Side note:  Evil Baby Orphanage is so much fun!! {Affiliate link}.

Ok, back to the die story.  At the core, these games are cooperative story telling games where one person (the Game Master) controls the environment, characters, and adversaries of the players, and each player has is own character that he or she customizes.  One of the halmarks of pen and paper RPGS is the use of multi-sided dice to determine if things happen.  Your character has statistics that modify the dice, so it’s a mix of luck (the dice) and skill (your stats) to determine if something you want to happen happens.  The game mechanics determine what fits in the real of possibility, what doesn’t, and what does, but you have to hit certain requirements first. For example, in DnD typically you either need wings or a spell to be able to fly.  However, in a super hero RPG those mechanics might be different.

Since dice are an intricate part of the game, many players have tons of dice (and Earl and I are no exception).  Some players even have lucky dice, or bad dice.  And you never accept dice from the GM (unless you do, and then nothing bad usually happens).  There’s a great book called The Bones: Us and Our Dice {affiliate link} that talks about all the various superstitions that people have about their dice.  And since dice are such and integral part of table top gaming, I wanted to include a die in my logo.  And since we’re talking dice, here’s my prized set of GenCon 2007 dice (from the last year that Gary Gygax attended).  We originally had two sets, but donated the second set as tribute to his passing the year after.  It seemed fitting.

IMAG0322

The die  you see in my logo is a 20 sided die.  In DnD, Pathfinder, and many other systems it’s one of the dies that helps to determine if anything happens.  A 1 almost always means you fail (hence the 1 die above for my 404 page).  A 20 almost always means you succeed.  Originally the die above was set to a 20 (cause who wouldn’t want a 20?).  But, I really wanted to include KGD in my logo somewhere.  Those are my initials, and most people know me as Kristy GD.  Why GD?  Well, my last name is ridiculously long, almost no one can pronounce, and and even fewer people can spell it.  Kristy GD is easy to remember, unique, and just works.  Plus, the use of the initials just kind of sticks in your mind (or at least, so I like to think).  So, I fiddled, mashed them together, and voila!  A symbol that represents me!  Add that to the die, and what do you get, but a KGD die!

kgdDie

 



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4 Responses to Craftermath Redesign

  1. Although I said it before, I’ll say it again: it all looks faaaaaabulous dahling! And I’m especially swooning over the custom 404 page and your oh so cute favicon. (And now I feel like a terrible blog friend because I don’t know what the KGD die is…well, I know what the picture is, but I don’t know the story behind it. Guess I’ll just head to your snazzy Project Gallery to find out!)

    A++ for you!
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet recently posted…Chill Pills Gag Gift & Silhouette GiveawayMy Profile

    • 😀 I can’t help but smile Lauren, you’re infectious! And don’t feel like a bad blog friend – I’ve never really told anyone! It’s something that sort of developed organically. I added the story above for you and anyone else who wants to know.

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