Can you help a girl out?

One of my clients informed me a couple of days ago that her blog was nominated for “Best Eye Candy Blog” for the 2009 BlogLuxe Awards. I’m really wanting to help her win (by the way, if she wins, I win in a way too, since I designed it) – so I’m asking you, my dear faithful readers (all three of you!) to go here: BloxLuxe and look for the “Best Eye Candy” Category.

Then, you’ll want to look for “She Takes on The World” – which is currently second! You can vote once a day every day if you like…but seriously, we would just LOVE your vote!

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I’ve done a few blogs, yes.

One of my spiritual gifts is mercy. (Don’t laugh – it’s true, and no one was more surprised that me.) I have a hard time saying “no” to folks…and had taken two orders after my queue closed that I’m now smacking my forehead for taking. Although I need to earn the money, (My friend Kelli recently told me that the majority of designers surveyed, worked over 50 hrs a week and made less than $20K a year – I can testify to that!) I also need to be more available to my kids. My husband might like it if I actually cleaned the house once in a while too. 🙂

I haven’t updated my portfolio in ages…will get to that once I’m finished with my queue…only have 7 blogs left – I can’t believe I don’t have at least 20 in queue. I have to tell you – I have no idea how I’m going to manage it going forward. There has to be a way to keep it down to 1-2 per week, which is really all I can do and do right. I don’t want to do basic design anymore. Anyone can do that and you can find over 300 blog designers on the web who do the same thing. So I’m not sure what the future holds.

That said, here’s a few I’ve done recently, as well as some before and afters:

Living My Best Life (Before and After on Blogger):

Especially Heather (Custom Design, WordPress):

Jumpstart (WP Design):

Lisa B’s WP Guides Blog (header only – WP Design):

Literarily – Before and After (WP Header):

Literate Housewife (Custom Design, WP Before and After):

It’s Always a Production -Restyled Blogger (widgetized, widened, added third column):

Faith Co-op (WP Private Homeschool Multi-Author Blog):

It’s My Life…(Custom Blogger Before and After)

Did you know I’m also doing custom Twitter backgrounds?

Simply Amusing (wonder who this is?)


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The Broke Socialite Before and After

Here’s a before and after of a complete redesign that I did for Shameeka, of The Broke Socialite.

She wanted to use a chandelier as her focal point and really loves sophisticated but unpretentious design. We moved her blog from to Blogger to achieve some of the styling and widget effects that weren’t possible with the free version of WordPress. I custom coded her twitter box into her template so she’d have her very own unique Twitter box…I even colored the twitter bird to match her template.

If you love entertaining and decorating on a budget…she’s the gal for you. Seriously, that girl can find the best deals on things – it’s a gift. And one I don’t have. 🙂

Her before:

And the after:

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Before and After – Mommy Making Money

Gina is the blogger behind “Mommy Making Money“, who says that part of her job as a SAHM is to save money as a way of making money to contribute to their family budget. Gotta love that, huh?

She shares her strategies, tips for planning and organization, and ways to have FUN on a tight budget. She also does lots of great giveaways! Whether you’re a working mom, stay-at-home mom, or anyone else, these strategies can work for you – and I highly suggest you check her out if you’ve never visited her before.

Gina admitted that she was tired of the green on her blog and really desired a change. Since her blog was about saving money and shopping, sprinkled with tidbits of her life with her three children, she also suggested a mom with a shopping cart or some other illustration that represented a mom with children. Here’s what her old blog looked like:

The challenge was to find an illustration that was connotative of her decision to be frugal and wise with money in order to help her family out. I thought about owls and found this graphic, and the rest, as they say, was history. Check out the cute little RSS and Email graphics I created just for her blog too!

Gina emailed me the day I installed it – here’s an excerpt:

I saw the preview this morning and was FLOORED! You did such a beautiful job capturing me, I don’t know how you did it! I was so surprised by the colors and stripes, I took this picture so you could see what my girls were wearing this morning when they got up. How did you know??? 🙂

And the photo? How cute are these precious little owls?

If you get a chance, stop by Gina’s blog and say “hi!” today. She’s sick, the kids are sick – I’m sure she could use the encouragement. 🙂

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A Before and After

Since I moved my design blog, I haven’t posted any of the new designs I’ve done – I’ve been too busy trying to keep up with orders!

Here’s a before of a site I recently completed for Ashley of Sassy Gal Glamour. She wanted something fun and bright, with a retro/vintage feel.

This is her old blog after she moved from Blogger to

We kept the cowgirl, but I added some texture and used some paper elements from Farrah’s Creations (with her absolute permission, of course) for the background and then brushed and painted until I felt it had enough color and texture. A fellow designer friend helped me find the perfect font (since I couldn’t locate her old one) and I put a gradient overlay on the letters to add interest. I think the letters look good enough to eat (they remind me of the Brach’s candies…do you remember those? the coconut ones? yum!).

Here’s the finished product:

I even gave her a cute little signature to match her header – you know I have a thing for birds, right? They pervade almost everything I do. I think it’s a constant reminder for me that if God watches out for the sparrow, then I can rest assured He’s watching over me.

Here’s her siggie:

I thoroughly enjoyed this design from the beginning to the end. It was totally different that anything I’d done before and really stretched me.

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Eight Days a Week has never had more meaning to me..

Okay, so I’m not working eight days a week…I’m actually trying to take weekends off now so I can spend time with my kids (not that I don’t see them every day…but there’s a definite distinction between mom and teacher).

I designed a memorial blog for a friend’s daughter (and I must tell you there was no charge – it was for personal use – that’s so the bad guys don’t come and try to take me away!), and since I won’t be showing it in my portfolio (it was a freebie and made with items that are for non-commercial use, plus she’s my friend), I wanted to show it here. So Jeanette, this is for you, sister. I know you miss your sweet Lezlee Ann and it brought me great joy to do something for you so you can write her story on its pages.

I also finished and installed another design today – for Christy at The Road to Home, and I’ll be profiling it over on my design blog in the next day or two, but here’s a preview of what her new design looks like:

Ooh…and I’ve also been busy doing a few button projects:

Plus, I’ve taken in two more orders today…my queue is hopping and so am I. How’s it going in YOUR neck of the woods?

****PHOTOSHOP CS3 Giveaway ends Oct 31st – Have you entered? ****

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