The new lay-out!

I am taking some sage advice about using my infrequent ‘down time’ to write a lot and parcel it out over time.  This is the only reason that I did not immediately write to gush about the new layout you see here in the blog!

As you likely remember, I had been using a portion of a painting by the superlatively talented Christi Belcourt as a header image.  As such, the header was stunning and I loved it dearly.

Even My Garden Knows What Peace is, by Christi Belcourt. A portion of this was my old header.

However, I felt it was time to give the blog a new look, and to ensure that the header was original work specifically created for this purpose.  Brett Dorrans is a Scottish illustrator and designer with whom I have had the pleasure of working with on a number of design projects.  Meaning, he does all the creative difficult stuff, and I get to enjoy the end product.

He worked on the new layout and design in his free time, which is terrible and should be avoided like the plague.  It took more time and effort than people not versed in design (such as myself) can possibly imagine, and would have netted him a hefty sum had he charged market price.  I provide you with these details in case you are in the kind of profession that experiences high volumes of requests for ‘freebies’.  Artists of all backgrounds are definitely in this group, as those of us who are not artists frequently lack any understanding of the work involved and figure you can whip up a masterpiece over coddled eggs and coffee.

I also put these details here to ensure that public shaming may kick in if my own sense of fairness falters down the line, as I fully intend to remunerate the excellent Mr. Dorrans to what extent I can as funds start trickling into my anemic bank account.

So I thank Brett Dorrans heartily for the work he has done, and I very much look forward to working with him again on future (paid) projects.  I hope my readers enjoy the new look, and if anyone encounters any bugs with the layout, please let me know.

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12 Responses to The new lay-out!

  1. I noticed the new layout at once, of course, and I really like it. I liked the old one, too, but this is just as lovely. And yes, I build websites and I am also a graphic artist who does free stuff all the time.

  2. Perry Bulwer says:

    For your new layout I have one little suggestion.

    Yesterday I was looking for one of your past posts where I had left a comment regarding the CBC so I could provide an update. I looked at your archive list in the side bar, and knowing it was in March clicked that and then looked through those results. But if it had been longer than a month ago I may have had more difficulty finding it.

    If this platform gives you the option of listing the titles of your posts in that archive list, that might make searching for specific articles a bit easier than just providing dates. But more than that, it might mean you get more traffic or page views. You have many interesting titles to your posts and visitors who come here the first time might stay a little longer or come back again to read some of your great archived posts if they see a provocative title that gets their interest. Just a thought.

    • Brett says:

      Hi Perry,

      If I’m understanding you correctly, you don’t mean listing article titles on the page the blog redirects you to once you’ve selected a month, right? If not, then something’s gone wrong as they should be there.

      If you mean listing article titles in the drop down box in the sidebar itself – I’m not sure if WordPress can do that, but I can certainly look into it.

      • Brett says:

        Alternatively, using the search feature at the top of the sidebar is probably the quickest way to find an article if you can remember what the title or content was about.

      • Perry Bulwer says:

        Brett, yes I was referring to drop down menus for the archive list in the side-bar. The way it works now is fine and I found what I was looking for, but if you can find a way to list even just the most recent post titles I think that would give more exposure to past posts.

        I’m basing my suggestion on my own browsing experiences, and limited blogging. I am not a designer or technician. When I discover a blogger for the first time and like what I read, I immediately search for past post titles to get a sense of what else the blogger writes about. On some blogs that is not easy to do, and if it requires even just a few clicks to find such a list I often just don’t bother. I think many people often just go to the front page of a blog or website and then move on, but if you can put provocative titles of past posts on the front page then you might get more traffic to the archived posts.

        If you want an example of what I’m talking about see the left-hand side bar of one of my blogs at

        It is a Blogger platform so you may not have the same options, but it provides a gadget to display the 5 most recent posts, and the 5 most recent comments. I could also put the 5 most popular posts if I wanted.

        The next list in my side bar is an All Post Titles list, which I created myself using one of the Blogger gadgets that is intended for other purposes.

        Finally, you can see at the bottom of the left side bar that the archives provide the post titles for the particular month you click on.

        All of these options allow readers of any particular post to see most of titles in my blog as they scroll down the page, so they are more likely to read another article or come back again.

        I’m not sure if any of this is helpful. I just thought I’ld pass on my own experiences and preferences.

  3. LunarCritter says:

    I REALLY love everything about the new layout. Brett is quite a talented artist.

  4. Eleanor Grant says:

    Very nice!

    There’s one small thing I wish you could find a way to add somewhere: a guide to how you would like your name pronounced. Most of us don’t understand the phonics and diacritical marks used to transliterate your name. Show us how to say your name with respect.


  5. Nokamis says:

    I really like your new layout – well put together!

  6. Rick Harp says:

    Love the new look, loving the blog! Excellent work and your consistency is enviable.

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