It Was Less of An Extreme Makeover & More Like Botox, But Still Feels Like a New Blog!

And unlike a Botox-injecting celebrity, I *do* want you to notice! How’s it look?

For the last few months, I have been absolutely dying to renovate this blog (mainly the background, because the shade of blue I had on here was driving me crazy), especially since I’ve seen some great makeovers on some of your blogs, like this one, this one, and this one. The problem? I had to work with my header, which I definitely wanted to keep because I think it’s absolutely perfect. And then it became a perfect problem when figuring out the rest…but I made it through.

I have been laboring away at this new look since Thursday, my only initial partner-in-crime being my not-so-evil German twin, Kat. (Thanks, Kat!) She has the patience of a saint, believe me! We exchanged rapid-fire e-mails for most of the day on Thursday after I sent her the link to my “Practice blog”, where I was nipping and tucking all over the place. Her straightforward, constructive criticism was invaluable to me during this scary process, since I am still a little new at just digging into html coding and making changes all willy-nilly.

By Friday I had to drag my real sister into the mix, to ask for her Photoshop advice since I’m also a novice in that area. With her fabulously worded instructions (i.e. Photoshop in Plain English) as well as her blunt honesty about the green textured background I had posted at that point in the day, I was able to fix that header of mine and frame it all cute and stuff, and then create the lovely cloud background you see here. (Thanks, Julesie!)

So, it’s done! Well, until I can figure out how to move the sidebars out a little further. I will be moving my “Greatest Hits” and “Creative Parenting 101” archive lists to my blogroll page later today or tomorrow, to declutter the look of this page. There will be a link to it on the right, eventually.

Now, on to the next project…



  • Kat

    It looks fabulos and you (and Jules) have done a wonderful job. It looks absolutely brilliant.

    Now I feel I want a new look too. Can you come and re-design mine? LOL

  • Anonymous

    METEOROLOGICALLY SPEAKING, nothing can be finer than some fair-weather cumulus! Well done, Melis(with one s)a!

    I want to know this: is there really a book called “Photoshop in Plain English” or are you just teasing me?

    Also, I think a trip to Chicago is in order just to do photo shop / blog stuff. I want to learn learn learn. I miss blogger… Does this mean that you have taught yourself html? (Pluck doesn’t allow us to fool with html – pluck is our crappy new blog server…)

    WK in DC and on TV

  • Melissa

    Nicely done! I find myself stuck in the same boat. I want to keep the header but would like to change my whole layout…not gonna happen!

    Yours looks mahvelous, dahling!

    WTG handling the HTML! I’m way impressed!

  • Michelle

    You did this yourself? Showoff! There was absolutely ZERO chance that I would be doing mine myself 😉 But thanks for the compliment on the makeover.

    So what IS the next project anyway?

  • Colleen - Mommy Always Wins

    LOVE IT! (And thanks for saying my blog was all pretty and stuff.)

    To make the sidebars bigger, you first have to increase the size of your main wrapper. Then you can define the width of the side bars (mine are 200px) and the body (mine is 600px). So long as the side bars + main = the size you put into the main wrapper, you’re golden. E-mail me if you get stuck!

  • Melisa

    Thanks for the nice comments, everybody!

    Weather Kim: You are hilarious. I love those fair-weather cumulus clouds. 🙂 And no, “Photoshop in Plain English” is a title I totally made up. And if you’re coming to Chicago, we’re doing alot more than blog business. You better wear comfy shoes, girlfriend. We’re painting the town! (and bring that marble ring. I want to borrow it)

    Michelle: I have a list of projects longer than the list Santa’s carrying around this year. I haven’t figured out what I’ll make the next one yet. 🙂

    Colleen: You’re a lifesaver. I did what you suggested, but will be e-mailing you for help on one more little nip/tuck on the margins, as well as widget assistance. Have you operators (er, I mean “mail people”??) standing by!

    Stacey: I KNOW. It was a pain in the butt.

  • flickrlovr

    Looks gorgeous! Nice clouds to match the cute header! This is my first time here…I’ll definitely be back!