Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some Background

I was going to tell a story from my childhood, but decided to talk about a different kind of background instead.

I love seeing what blog layouts people choose.  I think it tells something about you, just like the clothes you wear or the movies you watch or the way you hang your toilet paper (I'm an "over" kind of girl, and what that says about me is that I have common sense.  J/K, unless you hang yours over too, in which case: high fives for your common sense!).  They (blog layouts, remember?) can be conservative, crazy, cutsie, crafty, classy or any of a variety of other adjectives beginning with c. 

I know many people swear by The Cutest Blog on the Block, as it is super fast and easy to change layouts and you don't have to redo anything in your sidebar.  Also there is quite a fair selection, and new ones available all the time.  And it's free.  But I will never use them, although I love guessing at people's personalities, based on the backgrounds they choose. 

Why will I never use them, you may ask.  Aren't they cute?  Yes, they're cute.  Many of them.  But they almost all are very scrapbooky/crafty looking.  I am neither scrapbooky nor crafty and it makes it impossible for me to identify with any of those layouts.

Before I move on to my own layout, I'll mention, or remind you all, that my favorite layout ever is Alison Wonderland's.  I like all of my friend's layouts, and really like many of them, but I loved hers at first sight, and it's one of the main reasons I visit her blog.  JUST KIDDING!!!  Of course. 

Well, I really like my own layout (I'm not one of those people who chose a layout that they can't stand), but it came with large (huge) Italian words at the heading of the sidebar and the other middle text part (I've got my blog terminology down pretty well, here, no?  At least I know "sidebar").  Greg had to perform all sorts of tricks to get rid of them and to make it so that I could change the color of my background at will (but it was too crazy hard to make it so I could change the lines on the borders).  He spent an entire afternoon in the summer doing it all for me (and added in the kids' names on the swirls as a surprise). 

That was so very, very good of him, because he hates this background.  But he hated my previous one (which I loved dearly) even more, so he was willing to do almost anything to get rid of it.  Even give up a lovely summer's afternoon staring at something he didn't like (this layout in its original sage green--pretty!).

Why does he dislike it so strongly, you may ask.  He thinks it looks like a tattoo.  The kind girls get on their lower back.  Actually, he swears that that is what it is meant to look like.  I tried to explain to him that those tattoos are created to look like a classical swirly-type pattern (see, there goes my overactive vocabulary again.  I hope you understood that sophisticated description) that you might see on curtains or a bedspread or something.  I don't know.  But he just KNOWS it's a tattoo.  And wonders why I chose a tattoo pattern for my blog, since I'm not the biggest fan of tattoos.

So I told him I would ask you all if you have ever thought the word, "tattoo" while looking at my layout, or more specifically at the pattern at the top of it.  I'm very interested to know. 

The other day I went with him to Alison's blog to watch her favorite commercial (which has since become our favorite commercial) and the first thing he said was, "Oh!  Now that is a nice background!"  So at least we agree on something.
*If you want to you can answer the poll in my sidebar about your layout.

26 comments:

JustRandi said...

I have a love/hate relationship with my blog. There are some days I really want to change it, but I guess I'm just not that creative, because I can never find any ideas that I really love.

I DO love your new background, though. Especially the kid's names. Way to go Greg.

And just for the record? I never once thought your old blog looked like a tramp stamp.

Kaylynn said...

It's a fun background. I have a custom made header, which I love, but it limits me on backgrounds that I can use.

Annette Lyon said...

I'm a wimp and I'm lazy. I'm terrified of what it would take to find and get a good background w/out destroying my whole blog and I'm too lazy to figure out how to do it right (cause I know it's totally doable).

Maybe some day I'll get up the guts to do it--at least get a decent header.

But no, "tattoo" didn't even cross my mind. You're right on this one.

And I'm an over the top TP person too. It only makes SENSE to do it that way!

Barbaloot said...

Honestly-I have never thought "tattoo" while looking at your blog. I think it's cuz the light green color is not conducive to such thoughts:)

I don't have much of a blog background. I think mine says I'm boring. And afraid of change. And technology.

Kazzy said...

I am really really interested in design, but I am more of a minimalist. My house is done in more of a modern style with low clean lines, etc. And I find myself attracted to anything designed in that style. And I mentioned to Heidi Ashworth lately that I like to look at peoples' front doors as a way of guessing their personalities.

Melissa said...

I have never thought "tattoo" when I've looked at your blog. I've always really enjoyed your swirlies.

Josi said...

I did my first blog layout about four months ago--until then I was like Annette--terrified of getting it screwed up. the one I used was just put into an HTML gadget on my sideboard. I'll probably keep it forever. It's fairly neutral and though it is scrapbooky, it's not over the top. Because I'm a writer, I liked that it looked paper-ish. And Tatoo never crossed my mind--I really like your background because it's also rather neutral and subtle, but still has some personality. I have to say some blogs are just over done. I no like that.

charrette said...

I love your backgrounds. Simple, elegant, just a little feminine, and smart. They look like you, i'm guessing. Just for the record, I hate the ones that look cluttered, take forever to load, and compete with the photos and text for attention!

I am horrified, however, that I am still sporting a standard Blogger background. I am a graphic designer by profession, but I don'tknow enough about html to do anything spectacular, so I haven't done anything at all. Kimberly has offered to help me. And I'm now too chicken to just paste in the new code. Truly pathetic. But there it is.

One of these days I will shock you all with something new though, I promise!

wendy said...

Mmmm, some good thought, I never gave any thought to peoples "layouts" , but it probably does describe a little about their peronalities. I kinda like ones that are pretty basic and not to "flowery" or dark where it is hard to read the words. But, the reason I "stalk" around is to see the variety in the blog layouts. It's like visiting a new resturant and seeing whats on the menu. What - you actually put toilet paper on a roll (J/K)

pam said...

With ya all the way, Lisa! I'm not so crafty either, and I enjoy finding someone who's happy to admit it. I love your simple, swirly, not-tatooish backgrounds, and I also love what you write in front of them.

Heidi Ashworth said...

I love your blog look, have never thought "tatoo", love the kids names in it (your husband is some kind of magic!) and pretty much have absotively no problem with anything you do whatsoever! Your previous blog is pretty but kind of hard to look at with these ancient and rheumy eyes of mine so I am glad you changed to this one. I love the fave commercial! Just darling! How neat!

Erin said...

I do love the kid names in the header. That is really cool. Good job Greg. And I agree that Alison Wonderland's is great too.

McEwens said...

That commercial was cute! The dad and the girl cheering!! I wish I could find a background I just loved.... maybe some day

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I use iWeb instead of Blogger or Wordpress and I really like the way my layout looks, which is what's holding me back to switching over to a bigger blogging platform with more features. Now that you mention it, I guess mine does look scrapbooky, and I do NOT scrapbook, or even journal well for that matter. But, I guess I like it because my blog is like my scrapbook substitute. It's the way I document my thoughts, photos, and memories... digitally. I love yours, too... We kind of have the same color scheme-- light blues and greens and white. And I also like Alisons. I was scouting out some wordpress layouts the other day and I recognized hers immediately. And about the tattoo question... nope, never thought it.

Moody said...

I certainly don't see or think tattoo when I look at the pretty swirls on your layout, but now I'm thinking of getting a tattoo just like it on my lower back, thanks for the idea! (just kidding, of course!)

Melissa Bastow said...

I wasn't really thinking tattoo at any point of seeing your background EVER. Just so you know.

Erin said...

I know mine is a bit crazy right now, but I am really excited about it because it is all things French. Pretty much the day I come home the background and banner are coming down. Then I'll be back to plain and simple, like me.

Melanie J said...

1) TP is over the top. Period. The other way doesn't make sense.

2) I LOVE your blog. But I admit the tattoo thing made me giggle.

3) I love the notebook part of my blog. I knew I wanted that before I even started my blog. The background behind it was lifted from some virtual scrapbooking paper from shabbyprincess.com and then modified. It feels peaceful to me now. I think I will forever keep the notebook, however much the colors may change. That notebook is so me and it took forever to find exactly what I wanted. But I love and collect spiral notebooks in real life, so it makes me super happy.

I'm easily pleased, I guess!

Jami said...

I love your layout! And the kids' names on the swirls. Genius! I am currently in the deeply pondering blog layout stage. As my current layout is hideous. OK merely, meh. Still hate it. Love yours!

Herb of Grace said...

(found you through Malanie...)

Totally agree with your observations about CBOTB....

Abra said...

I love looking at people's backgrounds too. I totally agree that it helps define a vison of what that person might be like!
i just use cutest because it's easy and I am so techno enept that I can't figure out how to do intricate crafty things like some other people (ahem, Kim, Heather...)
on an aside; Is it wrong if I'm a teensy bit jealous of that????

I like your background. I don't like it when it's too busy and or you can't see pictures if they're posted blah blah blah- listen to me tonight Woah! Abra, write your own post...

OnGod'sErrand said...

Well---I hadn't really thought tatoo, but now that it's been mentioned, I'll probably think it every time I see it now. But, I think it's totally you, Lisa. Classic!

I don't love my background, but it was easy and maybe fulfills my fantasy that I actually am cute and crafty.

Susan said...

I love this. My blog background matches my house and me. :) I love yours, Lis, and I think if I saw a tattoo like it it would be one of those where I say "wow, I don't really like tattoos, but that one is nice!"

I love Heidi's word absotively. I hope it's not patented or registered, cuz I'm gonna steal it!

Alison Wonderland said...

And now I'm all self concious. I feel compelled to admit that I can take nearly no credit for my layout as it's one of the standard ones offered by wordpress. Infact, you can't customize you layout at wordpress at all (aside from chosing one of their 50 or so options) without paying them. Which I've been tempted to do but now I'm not anymore since so many of you like my look. Actually, I quite like it myself.

And no, no tatoo.

Kimberly said...

I've just changed mine to one I don't just like, but love. Very happy with it.

For now.

I change my mind pretty frequently depending on what sort of mood I'm in.

www.btemplates.com has the best selection of easy to install blog templates I've found yet.

And I've never thought tattoo while looking at yours.

Jen said...

Actually, yours reminds me of my mother's wallpaper (in a good way) and yes, I've actually had that conscious thought.

And I'm totally with you on the scap-booky backgrounds. I think they're really cute for other people, but I could never go that route for myself - I'd get craft-headaches just from looking at my blog.