It Was Time For A New Look

Instead of chopping off all my hair last night, I changed my blog.

If this is your first time here, you have no idea how this space used to look. But if you're returning to my fine and dandy piece of real estate on Blog Planet, for a second there, you may have wondered if you'd clicked on the correct link.

Looks different, doesn't it? And if all you see is a bunch of yellow, that's one of the glitches I have to work out. It's not supposed to look like that!

Change is a scary thing sometimes, but it was just time to put the lighthouse template out of it's misery. I was chatting online with one of my friends a few hours ago and ran an initial "test" of this template past him. He totally called it when he said that the "lighthouse" template was never really me. And truly, I only picked it because it seemed less "ugly" than many of the other ones offered by Blogger when I started this space three years ago.

But this one, these colors, if you come to my house, these are the colors you'll see.

I'll confess, I had a lot of anxiety about changing this spot, not the least of which was a fear that my entire blog would disappear. That fear is no joke, no matter how many times I have this whole thing backed up. So for the past week, I've been doing a whole lot of reading and researching about templates and how to customize them. I know only the most basic HTML, like how to strikethru or bold something, and besides, Blogger Beta is in XML so it's a little bit more challenging to figure out what's what.

I got my feet wet by changing the template on my other blog, the sadly neglected Reading and Listening. When that one didn't completely fall apart, I made a brand new "test" blog to try out this template and experiment with the colors and fonts. The test blog was successful, but I still wasn't completely ready to take the leap. You see, when you switch templates, you lose all your widgets and links. I have a whole lot of you in my link list, and along with all the other tweaking I need to do (because it's still doing weird glitchy things), guess what I get to re-type today?

Uh huh! All the links to your blogs.

Anyway, are you bored yet with all this technical talk?

Yeah, me too. So if you're dying for something more interesting to read other than the play-by-play of changing my blog, head over to Anti-Racist Parent and read the article I wrote for them. It's called "Explaining Michael Jackson". Go check it out but don't go stalking me just because you now know about my last name.

Oh, and I'm only slightly kidding about the hair thing. I had the scissors in hand!


Jen said…
Hmmm... so far I'm only seeing the yellow. Good for you for change, though! I know all that template/code stuff can be tough.
Good luck with making the changes. I did that once I was so worried I would delete my entire blog.

I did have to re-enter my favorites links/websites but it was worth it. My old blog template was too somber.

Look forward to seeing the new colors.
Liz Dwyer said…
It started messing up when I began putting all my widgets back in so now I have to start all over! AAGH! I guess it's not a good idea to attempt these things at 3 AM, huh?

Me too! I look forward to seeing the way it's supposed to look! It's driving me crazy right now!
Jameil said…
please don't talk about cutting hair and scissors in hand b/c i just might do it!! i don't think the lighthouse was you, either. can't wait until you finish the page. i'm sure it will be muy fun!
Jon said…
I like the change. I vote for more character though, perhaps some "art" from the young ones to color the sides.
I'm glad you didn't hack at your hair. I thought of you this morning when I heard "I am not my hair". I heard it while I was reading about that poor Tarika Wilson and her 14 month old baby in Ohio. Such an awful tragedy.

I do love the colors! Yellow is teaching, writing, giving. That's totally you! I've become incredibly fond of cleaner and more simple design.

Well done Liz.
none said…
The change looks good. I like yellow. I've noticed that a lot of bloggers have been changing things up recently. Maybe I need to as well.
Liz Dwyer said…
First week of April, I think it's all coming off! I'm have my sister chop it and then run the 5K with my her. It'll be good!

I'm guessing you're in the "Can't see the butterfly and the script on the blog title" camp! I wouldn't mind putting a little art from the kids on there but they're all into drawing Darth Vader and Yoda these days so we might have to wait till they get into more "refined" artistic phases.

The hair hacking desire is because I stopped straightening my hair back in July so the curly hair is growing in and it's just having a moment where it does not want to get along with the straight ends of it. Plus all the rain and my running schedule has made the roots really puffy and...yeah, it makes me want to chop it off sometimes. But I get afraid since the shortest my hair's ever been is chin length and I hated it! I need to write a post about it updating you all on the hair journey thing.

Anyway, glad you like the yellow! It's supposed to be the yellow with a dark red border. I had it almost all finished but when I was adding in my last links and testing them out, something started going wrong. I want to get it fixed by the end of the day though!

Thank you! Can you see the butterfly? I wanted to change it for the new year. I suppose it's still January so I'm not too far behind!

Go ahead and change yours...I'm sure you'll pick something cool!

You know, if someone was really savvy, they'd start a little business customizing blogger templates and then changing it all for the blogger. I wish I could just pass it all off to someone else!
1969 said…
I only see yello but hey, I like yellow.

Anonymous said…
Oh dear, I preferred the old look, it was more welcoming somehow. The new look seems a bit cool and clinical. But maybe I'll acclimatise to it!
Liz Dwyer said…
My sister thinks the yellow is really funny because we actually got into a fight over pink or yellow for our bedroom when we were little. I was for pink, she was for yellow. I won.

I think with none of the graphics and the fonts the way I set them up, it does look a little...stark. But it'll all change. I've had such a busy morning responding to comments on my Michael Jackson article among other things, (and only two hours of sleep) so I left it alone for awhile. But I promise, it's going to evolve!
Brianna said…
i guess i'll have to check back because right now all i am reminded of is "mustard." :)
Anonymous said…
Hey liz,

Sorry I've been away from posting and reading for a bit.

How about practice on another hosting site? You can import without deleting.
Liz Dwyer said…
Mustard... tears are flowing!

No, just kidding. It is a little mustardy!

I've got a couple test blogs going right now... Let's hope I get this fixed by the end of the day! :)
the last noel said…
That Michael Jackson essay was amaaaaazing. Hey, let me know how your novel is coming along. E-mail me, k?
When I had to change templates because I really messed up my blog, I lost all my links. I had to visit every single blog I could remember liking to get their urls.

The next time it happened (Yes, sadly there WAS a next time,)I copied my link list and pasted it elsewhere so I could then copy it into my new template without all the legwork.

Good luck with your daring trapeze trick.
Back after reading your excellent article about MJ.

I also think that his attempts to change his race are one of the saddest transformations of all time. He was an adorable and unbelievably talented child who grew up to make musical history.

My youngest child also worshiped him during his Thriller days, but there is something ineffably tragic about the effect his physical changes must have on black children. I really wish he had thought of that, and been emotionally healthy enough to care.
Liz Dwyer said…
Best compliment ever. Noel A. said something I wrote was amazing! Let me print that out and frame it! ;)

I'll email you -- so sad that I've been so consumed by this template debacle that I've done almost zero writing this week.

I remember when that happened to you! Now I share your pain. I've been experimenting in my test blogs all morning so now I'm about to delete all the links and widgets on this one(backed up into notepad though), reload all the XML and then see what happens. Keeping my fingers crossed but secretly thinking disaster will strike. Ah, where is my sense of possibility?

As for Michael, growing up I never ever thought about how I'd have to explain the shifts in his appearance to my kids. I think future generations will look back on his with our plastic surgeries and blond hair weaves and confirm that this was one of the most insane times in history.

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