While I haven't written up a tutorial on how I used TypePad's Custom CSS to design this blog, the tutorials posted last week on Everything TypePad pretty much spell out the two fairly minor (but big impact) changes I made to the default CSS -- custom banner, blog background and the content background). I tweaked other values, as well, but you should be able to go along way with just those two customizations. The best thing about this design is that I'm using basic templates that didn't require me to touch any code other than the CSS.
For those who want to play along, check out the TypePad Design Assistant. Tip: I used the Asterisk Wide theme to get started.
Having my design spotlighted on these two sites makes me feel quite honored because after all these years at Six Apart doing a lot of different things and having a lot of different roles, I always can find my bliss pushing pixels in Photoshop.
And because everything in life comes full circle, today is the seven-year anniversary(!) of my launch of dollarshort.org.
I didn't win many awards as a kid. When I was seven, though, I awarded myself a homemade prize ribbon fashioned out of a raveling brown fabric remnant. And with my little white crayon, what did I scrawl on this ribbon? "Winner." That's it. Not "1st Place" or "Good Job!" Just "Winner." I guess I was trying to think of the exact opposite of the word loser, a word easily defined as a kid who has to make himself a award. Now, reward that inner loser in you! Welcome to dollarshort.org
That's how I began my very first blog, dollarshort.org, back in 2001. I was twenty-three at the time and figured that I wasn't going to be famous in the real world, so I might as well have a go at it online. Little did I know what I was getting into at the time.
Twenty-thee year-old Mena was a lot different than thirty year-old Mena, thankfully. I spent most of my twenties working on blogging software, reading blogs and helping run a blogging company. I went from being private, to public, to way too public and then to reclusive. Mind you, I was never the wearing-tissue-boxes-on-my-feet or collecting-my-urine-in-jars type of recluse -- just the type that focused on staying off the radar. But when some of the best experiences in my life have come from blogging -- as well as some of the worst -- it's hard to quit completely.
While I've been blogging consistently (and privately) for two years on my Vox blog, I missed doing the public blogging that introduced me into this crazy, often wonderful and sometimes cruel world.
Ultimately, the best experiences are why I'm back.
I'm, as the cliche goes, older and wiser, and amazingly I'm now a mother. My daughter, Penelope, is already growing up right before my eyes and, at five months-old, is such a joy. While the neurotic Mena of 2001 was coming to terms with a lifetime of a 'day late and a dollarshort' moments, the 2008 Mena is a lot more concerned with the day-to-day adventures of raising a daughter and working at Six Apart (after a six-month maternity leave, I now work from home or bring Penelope in with me).