Showing posts with label Pardon the Construction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pardon the Construction. Show all posts

Sunday, April 8, 2018

In Which I forgot About About the Blogiversary + Pardon the Construction...

As you can tell by the title of this post, I completely forgot about Our Thoughts Precisely’s blogiversary. What’s ironic is that last year I said I was going to do something different to celebrate March 15th (like a Q&A), and instead, I completely forgot about it until I started going back through the archive to get a scope for how many different graphics I would need to make before updating the look of the blog. Well, it’s April. The 15th of March has long since been over. And instead of a Q&A or some other type of commemorative post, my way of celebrating the blog turning 5 years old is to give it a completely updated appearance. Yes, I’m at it again—sorry Andrea, Adri...

A little backstory…

As I continue to work on my art, I’m paying closer attention to composition. And as the months rolled by, every time I looked at the latest header and disorganized design of the blog graphics, I kept having the same thought: “Wow, this is really unfocused.” Where was the composition? What part of the header did I want the eye to be drawn to? In fact, I didn’t know. And from there, I fell down the rabbit hole of searching every corner of the blog for the cohesiveness I wanted. And I didn’t find it. Last year, I changed the header and some of the graphics, but rather than update my entire arsenal of art, I mixed in the new stuff with images that I made back in the first, second, and third year of running the blog. The result was a mix-mashed collection of random graphics. It certainly wasn’t cohesive, which prompted me to make more changes. I told myself that I was only going to make little updates to make things match. Except, those small changes spiraled into an entirely different look that then required a lot of work and more time to make it into something I was happy with.

So…

The blog is 5 years old and has gone through a lot of changes over the years (the only consistent aspect about it is the name). And over the next 1 to 2 weeks, I’m going to be updating basically all corners of the blog. Some things may take longer than others as I go through the process of phasing out old graphics for the new ones. Somethings won't immediately change, for example the weekly meme graphics, because I'm currently in the process of working on those.

And I think that about covers it for today. Now, I’ve got some work to do....


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Pardon the Construction...

At the end of last year, I was pretty happy with the overall design of Our Thoughts Precisely. However, I’ve done a lot of thinking, especially about the direction I want to take this blog. I’ve had a lot of time to think and ultimately decided that change wasn’t just on the horizon, it was already here. If you’ve noticed, blog posts have been more sporadic than before, and I’ve taken a lot more week long breaks—between catching a cold back in May, reading slumps, and lack of motivation to write anything. Honestly, I haven’t been reading as much young adult or middle grade books as I used to. So, I haven’t really felt like I had as much to post on Our Thoughts Precisely. As part of my 2017 resolutions, I wanted to incorporate more of my interests into my blogging. And I didn’t feel like the old design of Our Thoughts Precisely really reflected that anymore. So, my first thought was to give the blog a new look.

I’m going to be honest: deciding how to change the header, the background, and the overall look of the blog wasn’t easy. Actually, the new header is the second one I made. The first one, well, I felt like it was too along the same sort of vein as the old look of Our Thoughts Precisely—i.e. a similar, if not identical color scheme and style. It took me a long time to make it, and I struggled with parts of it because I wasn’t totally happy with it. While, in hindsight, I later realized that I wanted something with cleaner lines, limited colors, and no solid background except for white. But, I also wanted to incorporate all the things that I associate with this blog—birdcages, teacups, skeleton keys, and birds. And the first redesign just didn’t fit that vision. So, I started over again and let me tell you, that was the best decision because I found it so much easier to just sit down and create the header.

About the new header…

The last couple of headers for the blog were pieces I drew on my computer, but recently I got a new Samsung Tablet that I now use for art. There’s one particular app that I use: MediBang Paint. This app is probably the best drawing app I’ve ever used (Adri and I plan to talk more about this app on a later post), and the standard brushes made it so easy to draw the design for this header. The one I specifically used to make the uncolored layer is the Rotation Symmetry Pen with these specific settings: opacity of 93%; width of 1px; 12 lines; color is black; and with “pen pressure size” and “opacity by pressure” checked (pictured below, click to enlarge). The Rotation Symmetry Pen is amazing. It’s my new favorite pen, because it makes patterns and backgrounds so much easier to draw.

Other changes…

Before I end this post, I want to talk about some of the other changes that I’m going to steadily incorporate onto the blog. I won’t stop writing reviews, participating in weekly memes, or writing about book related things—like book tags, lists, etc. However, the main change is that Our Thoughts Precisely isn’t going to be limited to just nonfiction, young adult, or middle grade anymore. I plan to do reviews for most of the books I read instead of limiting myself and what I can post to this blog. Other stuff includes just about anything I or my two co-bloggers want to write about. As such, I’ve changed the sort of byline for the header from “book blog” to just “a place for our thoughts”. What it comes down to is change. It’s easy to get comfortable with what I’m currently doing. However, sometimes comfortable is also stagnant, and that's exactly how I started to feel.

So, I think that about covers it. This post got a lot longer than I thought it would be, but once I started to write I figured out pretty quickly that I had a lot to say. I plan to overhaul a lot of the pages as well, and hope to be done with it soon. So, I'm going to spend the rest of the week making changes.
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