Taking the Plunge! It's Live!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

I knew I needed to change something. It was just starting to get boring, you know? Like I was just lugging around. I needed something bright and exciting. I need to be disciplined with consistently posting good content, but it also needs to be visually appealing. This is my creative outlet, which I love, and I wanted others to want to visit too, you know. Because it's pretty, among other things. It was time for a change. I needed to take a plunge. All I needed was a little push. That will come soon in explanation...
 
First we have my buttons. With this plunge, I went to Jane at Poppiness Designs because I loved her work with Elizabeth's blog at The Young Retiree. She even wrote a whole post about why she loved it and where the inspiration came from (Hence the idea to write this whole post!) Yes - her design matches her new favorite purse from Stella & Dot! (And yes she is a stylist and got a discount!) All that to say that with her new design, myself feeling like it was about time, and a little push known as winning a giveaway- free ad space on quite a few different blogs at different times - I knew I needed new, cute buttons to bring it all together. I just love this! Since there wasn't a design to go with at first, she chose a fun font, my favorite pictures, and the colors I wanted it to eventually turn into - blue and purple, of course.
 
 
Next, Jane was away from the design world for a while, and I was busy staring at my new buttons any chance I got. I just love them. I don't know, something about having someone else make them who actually knows what they're doing is probably part of it. When she came back, she started working on my design. I told her what I knew: I love the colors purple, blue, and yellow. I wanted a clean, white background. Something feminine, something mature. Something beach-y and fun and bright, too. I wanted to keep an element from the header I used to have - the dotted line between our home, Texas, and where we live now, California.  That's kind of the premise of this little blog. You can see she put that as the post divider, and I love that decision! I also really liked the wording I had in the header (yes, I made that on paint a while back) and really wanted to keep that - so she just incorporated those fonts with the title. I love it so much.


 
After I gave the ok for the basics of the design, she went to designing it. This is the first mock-up. At first glance, I really loved it. Like, I could have never pictured this myself. It's fun and different to have the blurb on the right instead of left side as it was previous, and I really like having our home state as another button choice. I loved the watercolor she added in the font in the buttons, so I knew I wanted that in the design and Jane delivered. How did she get me so well after just reading a few sentences in an email? Then  I thought about it. The wording of the blurb was off for me - let's fix that. Also, why not get a Facebook page for the blog to add to the social media icons? I am getting serious with this little blog, so that's the next step. Added that too. But those flowers at the top? I wasn't sure about that. And I didn't see the kind of beach-y that I was envisioning in the design. I wanted seashells, now that I think of it, in place of flowers. And the idea I had for pictures as different tag categories for each post? Love that, but I know I needed to narrow down my tags and add different pictures. Let's see how these changes went...

 
Ok, in love!! This is almost exactly how my blog looks now that the design is live, except that there is an extra tag category in there (Pets) - because I write so much about them I have to include it! And the button tags are off to the sidebar. Also soon to be added is a Best Of and Contact page at the top, for mine and readers' favorite posts, plus my contact information. I re-worded the blurb to something I love much better, now that there is time to think about it. And those flowers are gone and replaced with seashells - so much beach-y and so me.  I definitely wanted beach-y, and those shells plus the watercolor and color scheme in general deliver! A Pin-It hover button is also a great idea - Love Pinterest, and it is motivation to post more recipes and crafts! The post font was also changed to make it easier to read. I also added a Facebook page for the blog which is now live (at least right after I post this blog) and linked up with my social media, as you can see. Yes, once I started looking, I found/added a few social media outlets, so you can definitely see that under the blurb. My favorite? Instagram! And maybe my new Facebook blog page with the cutest header. Oh, and the Twitter graphics with the social media add-on are the cutest, too. I might as well show them here:
 
 
Of course, I'm not sure why those few screenshots are gray instead of white, but I digress. I'm no computer geek, this is why I went to Jane for a design! This will also be live on Twitter and Facebook by this evening, which is when my page will be live, and I will also post about it when it happens on here (As I am doing now). I've already starting editing it and am very excited/nervous about this big step!
 
Anything else I missed? Any other steps?
Well, now that you ask...
 
I am also getting business cards for this little blog. I'm planning on going to VistaPrint online for this. This is something I wish I had at the blogger brunch I went to last month, and something I will be ecstatic to have ready for when I go to a SpouseLink.org Focus Group in May. And if anything pops up in between all that, such as another San Diego Milspouse Blogger Meet-Up! Many of the other ladies in our group have business cards too, so it's only fitting that I hand them out there. Want to see the proof? Of course the FB url is different - since this blog now has it's own page, and all, y'know!
 
 
Ok, now I really do think that's it. Is there anything else I missed? At least not at this moment. Of course the next step is to get the business cards made this week with the files, be sure the new design is updated and perfect on my site, post here about the Facebook page when it goes live and continue to update it, and just stare for days at my new design since I love it so much. Every step of this process has been fantastic. Jane has been incredibly accommodating, and has taken all of my visions and crazy ideas and put them to life. To be honest, I was very vague and unsure of what I wanted when I started this journey, but after seeing each mock-up and design detail, I saw what I liked, what I wanted to change, and what I wanted to add. And Jane delivered, oh yes. I love it. Watercolor, beach, clean, and just plain cute and feminine. Yes, this will be my design for some time! Oh, I love it so!
I mean, really, I've been staring at the proofs and the mock-up site for days. I received this, and had to wait all weekend until I could get a response in and it can go live, so that I can really have my proofs not say "proof" all over them and put it to good use.
 
What do you think about it all? I, personally, love it!
 
 
 
 
All images are copyright Poppiness Designs, 2014.
 

7 comments:

  1. Love the new layout, ESPECIALLY the post divider!!

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  2. It looks great! Love everything about it =]

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  3. Looks great! Bombshell is one of my favorite fonts (it's on my blog, too)!

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  4. Love the new layout!! It look so cheery and totally you!

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  5. Love the new design! Purple is amazing :) haha

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  6. I LOVE THE NEW LOOK!!! So fantastic!!!

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