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Summer Blog Beautification Project!

I am not an expert by any means, but I've spent the last several years toying with the basics of blog design and the world of social media. I'm ready to renovate my own blog and I thought it would make a fun project to share. I've spoken with several others who want a new look to their blog, but are intimidated by the idea of doing it themselves. The word "code" can sound a bit scary at first, but trust me, you can do it! In fact, blogger has simplified a lot in the last year or so, making it possible to do plenty of impressive changes without even touching your code.

For the next 8 weeks, we're going to tackle projects that include:
  • Creating a blog header
  • Designing a footer signature
  • Creating Pages under your header
  • Fonts and readability
  • Tools of the Trade (design, Photo Storage, and more)
  • Social Media Platforms and benefits
  • Creating a blog button
  • Pinterest
I would also like to work on projects that you are curious about, so be sure to leave a comment if you think of something else you'd like to see!

Blog Beautification Project
Assignment #1

Determine the purpose of your room.

The foundational step for interior design is to determine what a room will be used for. This is necessary before ever starting to shop for curtains or paint walls. Is it for recreation? For work? Does it need to be comfortable or inspiring? Who will use it? Will they find cluttter comforting or distracting?

Your blog is your space. You invite people in to visit every morning over coffee. They aren't visiting your blog, they are visiting you. What will it feel like to settle in and visit? Why are they there?

First things first; determine the purpose of your blog. I lose sight of this frequently. My purpose is to encourage wives and moms. My most frequent readers are homeschool mamas and I like sharing curriculum reviews with them, but not all of my readers homeschool. Reviews are not my primary purpose. If they were, I would likely choose a sleek design with easy readability. Utilitarian. Moms planning out their curricula want to get down to business and stick to the facts. But that's not why I blog.

I blog because I love writing and I love teaching. Somehow I've found myself in the camp of "older women" who are first cautioned on how they should live and then told to

 urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

I blog to encourage wives and moms to live simple, happy lives that glorify God.

Why do you blog? What is the purpose of your room?

Blog Beautification Project
Assignment #2

Find your muse.

You may already know exactly what you like. You know your style and are ready to go. I still recommend this assignment; it will just be especially easy for you. You may be more like me. Your styles are very ecclectic. You have a hard time imagining where to start, and the idea of labeling any specific style for your design sounds too constricting. Perhaps you have a very consistent style...for a season,ut moods change and you are ready for frequent change.

This assignment is easy and helps you begin to see a pattern to the things you like. Perhaps you know what you like when you see it, but can't put your finger on the specifics that you would like to implement for yourself. This is perfect for you.

As an example, I love a cottage porch. I love the porch swing and the railings and the columns. I really love some, but I really can't stand others. I could not figure out why for the longest time. My husband wants to build me this dream porch, but was having a hard time understanding why I loved one and hated another when they were almost identical. We started looking at porches while on evening walks in town and after several weeks and dozens of porches, a pattern emerged. It's the tiniest thing and I'm embarassed to tell you how picky this makes me sound: It's the way the railing spindles attach to the top bar. All seem to have a bar going across the top, but many also attach at another board going behind the bars, at the top. I don't like these. At. All. It's 2" of board, but it makes all the difference in the look, for me.

Figure out what you like.

Begin bookmarking pages or pinning blogs to a pinterest board (here's mine) that you create just for blogs you like the look of. Over the course of the next week, try to pin or bookmark at least 50 blogs. Do not intentionally look for a certain style; just pin what looks good to you. You don't have to know why you like it or have any intention of designing your blog to look like it. Just pin it. Eventually, a pattern will emerge and you will know what to incorporate into your own design.

Link Up

Now, it's your turn to introduce yourself. The link-up below is not to link up this week's assignments. This is for your blog home page, so we can see who else is joining this project. We can encourage each other and offer ideas. We can show off our progress as we continue through the summer. If you are interested in reading through the assignments with me, please link up below so I can see who I'm sipping tea with.


  1. Oooh, I'm so excited! These are all things I need to know! It would be great if you would also learn about this and teach us:

    Since I know my wish is your command, and you have all this time on your hands, and everything. ;-) But seriously, I know you could explain it so I could understand it!

    1. Beth H. - the watercolor looks beautiful! I've never looked into it before, but I certainly will now!

  2. Excited to join you on this journey, Jenn! My two girls are dabbling in web site design and one is taking classes currently so we are going to work on this project together!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Michele, I'll probably be learning quite a bit from you and your girls at the same time then! I'm glad you're joining!

      (deleted the original because I left out a word.)

  3. I am up for some fun and challenges. I made a header last spring and love it. I probably need to spend some time working on a few other things. This will be fun to follow along. Here is a question -- I know you wrote you purpose here in this post but do you have it some place else in your blog?

    1. Beth, that's a great question! I had to stop and think about it. I went hunting to see if I did, and it is mentioned in the "About" the long version. It's one of those things that feels pretentious once I say it out loud, kwim? As if I have anything to teach someone else?

      What is your opinion? Should a blog purpose or mission statement be a visible thing? just a felt thing? What would be most effective do you think?

  4. I have my purpose/mission statement written down on paper. I don't think I have it in my blog. But like you I didn't want to sound pretentious. I think it is probably something that I need to review on a regular basis. So that I don't forget and wander away from that. Also if I keep that focus then I think it would help me to remember why I am writing this.

  5. I just changed my blog template a month ago and made my own header but I still need to work on the header and lots of other things. I am hoping to learn more about doing things myself and just enjoy learning from you and others.


"Man lives by affirmation even more than by bread." - Victor Hugo