New Blog Design!


At last it's up! I can't tell you how excited I am! There's still work to be done, like making a new grab button, and making a new facebook page image. But, I did it all by myself and it didn't cost me anything!

Here's how:
I started with a free header from The Cutest Blog on the Block. The chair and roses were already on it.
The pink frame is a freebie from Shabby Blogs. I Photoshopped a different fabric to fill it and added my text.
The brown paper in the background is a free French postcard from The Graphics Fairy.
For the notebook paper, I scanned a sheet of notebook paper, cropped it, and photoshopped it in.

At one time, I had a typewriter in there too, and more papers behind the frame. I like the more simplistic look better, but it took me hours and hours of fiddling before I came to that conclusion.

Hug a Designer
Creating my own blog design has helped me appreciate all that blog designers go through. Custom designs can seem expensive, but they really are a lot of work to put together, so if you have a custom design, tell your designer thank you today and send them a virtual hug.

I'm very grateful to Melanie of Elegant Custom Blogs for my previous design, and now I understand a little of all she went through to make it. If you liked the old design, don't worry, it might be back for fall!

About the Subtitle
Ever since I got serious about blogging last summer, I have struggled to come up with a tag line, a pitch, a subtitle type phrase for this blog. I write about a such wide variety of things. This blog has changed from being a place for me to keep a record of events and keep up with my family, to a place to meet new friends, learn, grow, encourage, and reach out to make a difference. But I still write about my goings-ons and share craft projects and the occasional recipe.

For awhile I came up with "Encouraging and challenging women to fulfill God's purpose for their lives." It's a good purpose, but I didn't feel like it fit with everything I posted, and it was really long, and hard to fit on the header.

This tag line came to me as I was reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I wish I could quote to you the exact moment when I it came to me, but I'm letting my sister borrow the book right now so I don't have it handy. However, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John and Staci Eldredge discusses at length why beauty matters. Beauty speaks to us about who God is. Beauty says all will be well and gives our souls rest. Beauty invites, captures, and draws the viewer in. God has given us a desire for beauty, because He is beautiful. Beauty comforts and beauty inspires.

But in a life filled with difficult, hard, painful, and ugly things, we have to find beauty. We have to look for it intentionally. Where? In everyday. In the midst of the stress, the pain, the loneliness, the joys, and the blessings.

That's what counting the gifts is about. The craft projects or decorating inspiration is all about creating beauty in your home.
"Every experience of beauty points to [eternity]." 
-Hans Urs Von  Balthasar, via  Captivating

So, what do you think of the new look? What do you think of the subtitle? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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