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Please Excuse the Twigs | Kestrel's Aerie

Please Excuse the Twigs | Kestrel's Aerie

Please Excuse the Twigs

…and the stray bits of string, or the occasional misplaced shiny…

As you may be able to tell, the Aerie is undergoing a bit of a renovation (no, really! don’t trip over any power cords or sawhorses!). One reason is because I’m reveling in the awesomeness that is the Thesis theme for WordPress: For a non-coder such as myself, the ability it easily change virtually every element of the site is like putting my wife in a quilting store with a blank check. Seriously.

Another reason is in keeping with the changes for the site I alluded to in early June: To redirect the Aerie into a more personal, but more broadly-based direction, rather than so narrowly focused on World of Warcraft. You can see some evidence of this new direction in the modified banner at the top of the site. The fonts are modernized, instead of the Celtic title font, and the tagline has been changed to reflect my vision for the Aerie: to present "An Eclectic Collection of Musings on Life, Living, and Blogging."

Sure, I could create a sandbox site and play with stuff there, out of sight (and not inflict some of my not-so-great design thoughts, no matter how transient, on the casual passer-by). But that involves a bit of work on its own. Instead, I’ve copied all the files I’ll be changing to my desktop, so at worst, I can revert to what I had here on August 2.

The current color scheme is very similar (especially the content column) to an earlier version of the Aerie; I’m sure some of you will remember it. I doubt it will remain close to what it is now, but these backgrounds are what I had that was working when I knocked off for the evening. (Yes, I know the footer’s a bit wonky, believe me! You should have seen some things that were going on with the header, too!) But the great thing is, I learned a couple small lessons about design here as I played around today. So the learning curve isn’t quite as steep as it was. (I do try to catch those thermal updrafts when I can, you know!)

For the next few days, there probably won’t be a lot of changes, for a couple reasons. First, I doubt I’ll have as much uninterrupted computer time as I’ve had the past two or three days. Second, I have homework. I’ve enlisted the aid of a consultant in the person of the lovely and superbly multitalented Tami Moore.1

I was flailing wildly today, and in desperation reached out to someone whose artistic sense I not only respect, but greatly admire. Tami was gracious enough to offer some suggestions that gave some direction to my flailings,2 but she also established some goals and expectations I need to work toward. (Since her assistance is pro bono, I decided I better follow her suggestions, or I expect she’ll either present me with a bill, or just give up on me. Or both.)

So while you’re here, go ahead and dust off a chair before you sit, and try to ignore the occasional outburst if I hit my thumb with a hammer. Again.

  1. When (not if) you follow the link to her site, don’t stop there: Continue on to Choose, Blue Moon, and the Saucy Wenches Podcast!
  2. I learned early on in my Air Force career that "all thrust but no vector" is a sure recipe for epic failure.
10 Responses to Please Excuse the Twigs
  1. Tami
    August 4, 2009 | 06:17

    *blushblush* Eek, that’s me!

    Seriously, it’s my pleasure to help! *hugs*
    Tami´s latest blog post is The Evil Internet My ComLuv Profile

    • Kestrel
      August 4, 2009 | 07:47

      Didja notice the ComLuv border this morning? ;)

  2. Hannah\Av
    August 4, 2009 | 06:52

    Looking good, very clean!

    • Kestrel
      August 4, 2009 | 07:48

      Thanks Hannah…hopefully, future changes will only get better. BTW…don’t forget to link your blog so you, too, can get some CommentLuv! :)

  3. Nyssa
    August 4, 2009 | 09:18

    I like it! Definitely cleaner.

    So, tell Mrs. Kestrel that I’m going with her when she goes to that quilting store..

    • Kestrel
      August 4, 2009 | 10:12

      Only if you’re the one with the blank check. :P

  4. Shayzani
    August 4, 2009 | 09:53

    I like that you’re not using a sandbox site. I think a lot about design issues and seeing how your site will evolve and change will be very interesting.

    I’m skeptical about Thesis to be honest. I wouldn’t want to pay that kind of money for it if it really didn’t let me have a lot of creative freedom with the looks and styles. With the way people talk about it, it seems too good to be true.
    Shayzani´s latest blog post is 3.2 Death Knight tank specs My ComLuv Profile

    • Kestrel
      August 4, 2009 | 10:09

      Believe me, you DO get all the creative freedom you want. Just as an example: 1 to 3 columns, ordered however you like. After that, you can hook into just about any location in your design to add elements.

      For instance, my subscription stuff (RSS, Twitter) is not part of either the header OR the sidebars! The Thesis ad above the sidebars is exactly that: In a multimedia box that is, once again, not part of the sidebars (and can be sized and positioned almost anywhere). Check out for a list of sites using Thesis: You will have a difficult time believing they are all using the same underlying theme!

      In fact, my current theme is almost a direct copy of a theme I was using before I went to Thesis…I simply recreated it (and yes, modified it) from within Thesis.

  5. Badger
    August 4, 2009 | 09:58

    Good luck with your redesign, Kes! The site certainly looks nice already. (Before you ask: New reader. I was referred here by Anna of “Too Many Annas.”)
    Badger´s latest blog post is The Role of Roles in RPGs My ComLuv Profile

    • Kestrel
      August 4, 2009 | 10:12

      Glad to have you here, Badger! Anna is a good friend (even better for pointing you here, whether directly or indirectly!). She gave me some input (not really sure I followed it :p) on the banner redesign.

      You won’t find any RP going on here (well, okay, I tend to roleplay a blogger passably well sometimes), but hopefully I can pique your interest in other areas. :)