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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life is too short to have an ugly blog.

Guess what, everybody. Revelations are falling out of the sky and into my brain!

After three years of blogging, I have come to the sensible conclusion that I cannot design a blog to save my life.

This is no small matter.  If I'm going to be looking at my blog every day, I want something attractive to to look at.  Blogs may be more than skin-deep, but I'm a pro-skin kinda gal.  And, I like my surfaces shiny and pretty.

So!  I am stating two things here, in a very public way, so as to increase accountability.  Or something.  Is this how AA works?   If so, let's pretend you are a "Sponsor."  And I am the "Addict."  Addicted to blog laziness, only putting in the least amount of effort required to grow and sustain a readership.  I hope you're ready for the responsibility, Sponsors.

Here are my two promises to you:

1. I will freaking make over this blog.  It shocks me sometimes that anyone reads Austin Eavesdropper.  I know that sounds irritatingly like false modesty, but what I mean is, I know how many great blogs are out there.  Blogs that are fun to read, as well as gaze upon.

It's also dawned on me that perhaps this blog isn't as functional as it could be.  I never approached Austin Eavesdropper with a master plan, but maybe I should have.  The way it started was, I was sitting on the couch about three years ago, and said: "Looks like I've seen this Seinfeld rerun. Guess I'll make a blog." And then it appeared.

I had no idea what this blog would be "about," but then Austin revealed herself to be the glittering muse that she is, and soon I had a blog "theme." Since then I've mustered up the motivation to create little categories -- please refer to the mustaches on the right side of your screen -- but again, these are only halfway helpful, I think.  There are blogs I adore, like A Beautiful Mess and SF Girl By Bay, who have more extensive, easily navigable categories.  Austin Eavesdropper could (AND SHALL) benefit from their model.

2. This blogger needs a new camera.  Obviously.  I still love my baby Canon PowerShot, a wedding gift Ross and I received three years ago.  But if I'm going to devote this time in my life to documenting Austin, and my experience in this very special city, it's only appropriate to upgrade my tools.  When I look back, I want the soft gauze of this chapter to be created by nostalgia, not by pixelation.

Here is the camera I've got my eye on.  If you have a better suggestion by all means tell me.  (As long as it wouldn't require more photography knowledge than your average 3rd grader or for me to donate my existing limbs to science.)

In the meantime.  I've created a "vision board," so to speak, of images that I want to shape my blog's new design.  (Why do I always lapse into The Secret-like speech whenever I make goals?)  Here they are.

Images courtesy Design Crisis (run by two Austin ladies).  I love these muted colors, with the weird, almost collage-like compositions.

Left to my own devices, this might be how I would decorate a house. Because my husband is not gay, this probably won't come to pass.

I have looooooved Miranda July for a long time.  Ever since Me and You and Everyone We Know came out, and I realized she was part visual artist, part filmmaker, part sage. 

If I ever gain either A) influence or B) a genie, the first thing I do will be to invite Miranda July to my home, where we'll write on things and basically be awesome together.  In the meantime, she'll have to settle for my vision board.

I hope the subtlety hasn't been lost on you here; I really like birds.

What's with the recent fascination I've taken to birds?  I have one tattooed on my neck.  They've perched themselves on this blog's very header.  I have them all around my house in the form of wall decals and artwork.  I'm not sure where it's all come from, but one thing I do know: Birds will be a part of my new-and-improved blog.  They don't even have a choice!

(Thanks to Gennine's Art Blog for the images).

So there you have it.  Those are my creative goals for the next few months.  As the post title says, life is too short to have an ugly blog!  So ugly mine shall be no longer.  Or at least, not much longer.

what creative projects are you tackling right now?


elia // stylewaistland said...

I'm all for blog rejuvenation, but I do actually like the way your blog looks now! It's simple and clean (and I love the mustaches). Though I agree: birds are basically awesome and if they want to take over your blog design there's really not much you can do about!

I'd like it if my studio could re-organize itself. But since I don't think that's going to happen I might end up doing it myself. Not much of a "creative" project, more of a "why have you been so lazy, now get off your ass and organize this room" project. Shucks.

Mikael Behrens said...

Love it! You should come on my monthly neighborhood bird walk one of these days.

Christi @ Rumination Avenue said...

While I would argue with you about calling your blog design "ugly," I do think that periodic change to what we see can add to the feel of what you write.

I'm in the same conundrum since my level of expertise is non and need someone to design mine for me. I know a good local one if you need a recommendation. Gotta pay to play, right? Now, I've just got to save up...

I love inspiration boards and think they are crucial for direction. Can't wait to see what the new year brings at Eavesdropper!

Austin Eavesdropper said...

You guys are the best! I love how you immediately say, "your blog isn't ugly!" :) Thanks y'all. She's come a long way, it's true.

Hipstercrite said...

My resolution this year is to redesign my blog too! And soon. Otherwise I won't do it. And I don't know how anyways. So this should be interesting...

David Alan said...

You don't need a gay husband to fulfill your design fantasies, just a gay boyfriend

Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat said...

I love your blog design! But look forward to seeing what you come up with.

grrfeisty said...

hey lady! i'm excited to see your new design :)
i think your blog is awesome - i like the way you write :) but i know how you feel about wanting some sort of change for your site.
i use - and then tweak the html stuff a bit :)

as for your camera - love it! i have a canon rebel and it's an amazing camera, but not too overwhelming that it will take more than a few days to really get a feel for :D

good luck!

Angeliska said...

I'm in that boat with you, honey. The Gazette
needs an overhaul in a major way, and I'm hoping to make it happen in the new year. Design powers, activate! This was exciting and inspiring to read, and makes me curious to see the fruits of your design process. P.S. I really loved your posts about having kids + blogger fatigue, thank you for those! I meant to comment, but Santa ate all my time. xoxoxo

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Well looking forward to the revamp and even though I'm not gay, I hope it has a little gay. Cause gay's pretty.

Nicole Mlakar-Livingston said...

Tolly - I have a Canon 40D in perfect condition and I will throw in a zoom lens and extra battery. I am looking to sell it and I think it would be perfect for you.

I have the box and all the info. If you're interested email me:

Can't wait to see all you do in 2011!

nathan said...

awesome design concepts.

Cynthia Wenslow said...

Spend a little bit more and get the XSi. It's my everyday camera. Buy a reconditioned zoom lens and you'll be good to go.

Dad said...

Darlin' your blog is you. You, you, YOU! And it's all about your love --- Austin. What a wonderful place to live and blog about. Right? Remember our bullet train trip from London to Paris? Ah, Paris! But, Austin. Nothing compares to it. And no one does Austin like you do. Blog. Blog. BLOG! No one does it better.

bsimms8907 said...


How much are you wanting for it?

Anonymous said...

(It says "Anonymous" but it's really Tolly/Austin Eavesdropper. Am apparently not signed into Blogger right now and am too laaaaaazy to fix that)

Ok I am way behind on comment responses here, but I just wanted to express how cool it is that so many of us bloggers are doing redesigns for 2011! @Hipstercrite and @Angeliska, did you know that Maureen (at The Inglenook Decor - is doing a blog makeover, too?

How do you guys want to redesign yours?