I am discovering that this blogging business isn't as simple as it looks, and that to be a succesful sewing blogger it isn't enough just to be a good sewist with inspirational ideas. You need so much more! You need to have a semi decent camera and know a little about photo composition and an eye for framing a shot, so you can take pictures that are visually appealing and don't look like something taken by a child on a mobile phone in a badly lit room. You need to be pretty good at using photo editing software like Photoshop, and if you are drafting patterns, a software like Adobe Illustrator to help draw them up nicely. You need to have an appealing writing style and be able to put your ideas across well on the page. You need to know your blogging platform well so you can customise and edit the 'style' of your blog, and have some HTML knowhow (or at least, know someone with HTML knowhow!). And amongst all this somehow you need to find the time to actually do some sewing! It is a tricky business for sure. No wonder there are so many failing craft blogs out there!
When I first started this blog I just wanted to get it rolling and then 'tweak' it along the way to make it look the way I wanted it to look. I quickly realised that that plan was not going to work. It is not that easy to change a blog's design without having to re-do a lot of work on the old images and posts, so I had to do it sooner rather than later.
Then I had a bit of a lightbulb moment the other night - I was looking at the blog and noticed all the empty white space on the right, where there was a column reserved for widgets. I am not a big fan of 'widgets' - also known as blog bling - as I think all the baubles and bells and whistles distract from the actual content of the blog itself. All that wasted space - which I could have used for bigger pictures showing more sewing detail. Also, I liked my original logo, but I wasn't 'in love' with it. It was a
bit too fussy and frumpy for my liking, I wanted something simpler, more modern, and, well, cuter.
So finally this weekend I put my sewing aside and sat down at my computer to re-style the blog. Those who know me well will tell you that I can be a bit of an
over-perfectionist when it comes to things. There are so many gorgeous
ready-made templates to choose from on my blogging platform, but oh no, I
had to design something from scratch so it would be 'just right'. So it took me all weekend! And with some help from my husband too. I have a little more fine tuning to do, but the fundamentals are all there. I have no doubt I will make further style changes along the way and fix problems as I learn more about blogging, and probably a major re-design or two will be on the cards sometime. But for now, I am happy with it. I hope you like it too.
There is only one final thing I need to do to complete the re-design - a half-decent photo of me and not one taken in a cafe on a mobile phone with daylight streaming in from behind! I am the photographer of the family so, believe it or not, that is the only semi-acceptable recent photo of me, on my own, without a cute kid or two hanging off me. I think I may have to take a mirror self-portrait soon.