26 March 2007

Thinking Outloud

I'm redesigning me. I do some speaking, a retreat here, a small group there, a special event thrown in for good luck, and I love it. So I'm hoping to take this thing to the next level, which means a website. Not just a blog, but a real Pinnochio website with no strings. This website has to reflect me in all my glory. Here's how I see me (through rose colored glasses): whimsical, creative, yet professional, intelligent (or at least educated), contemplative, challenging, compassionate, fun (can I add health-conscious even though I've been getting into this horrible habit of eating ice cream every night? hey - no hydrogenated oils!). Okay, okay, so maybe that's more how I'd like to see me, how I would like others to see me.
I love green and orange and bold red and deep purple. My husband doesn't think the green and orange all that professional. What to do, what to do? I have a wonderful (and extremely talented) friend who is going to do some graphic arts for me for my up-and-coming website as well as for this blog (look for fun changes ahead!). What do I tell her? How can she embody me in one symbol (not symbol as in artist-formerly-known-as)? Any suggestions?
Here's what I like: books (huh, there's a surprise), theology (which includes study of Bible, study of history, and study of culture), anything tropical, beaches, music (Broadway, classical and jazz mostly), seeking to live an incarnational life. Now put this together to say: you want to hear me speak (and hopefully someday, you want to buy my books).
Here are some topics I've spoken on in the past: Ministering in today's world (ministering in an iPod world), Abraham and Sarah, Incarnational ministry (caring for the outcasts), Arts and theology, Women of the Bible - Mentors from the Text (in part or whole, looking at women such as Ruth and Naomi, Sarah and Hagar, Eve, Mary mother of Jesus, Miriam - not in chronological order here).
So, no, you didn't really need to be here for all of that. Just thinking outloud.
Isn't it sad that I started this post with a claim to redesigning me as if I'm going through some intrinsic, deep, philosophical, life-changing transformation and then talk strictly about website stuff? (Notice the tongue-in-cheek.)


Willowtree said...

Holy crap! I hope this template didn't appear too long ago, now that would be embarrassing for me! The truth is that I always read you through Bloglines, and that doesn't show the actual blog, just the post.

Anyway, I don't actually know you to talk to on the street, but as far as my impression of you (through blogging) goes, I think your description of you is a very accurate one.

I'm a bit confused about the symbol though. Are you talking about a graphic, or a picture of some kind, or is it in the form of a description or statement. I'd like to help but I'm not sure what you're after.

Robin said...

1) Heather...BIG smiles from me, for YOU, this sounds AWESOME!

2) I DO NOT LIKE THE WAY YOUR BLOG CURRENTLY LOOKS! It was NOT pleasing to the eye when the page loaded. Clearly, you're just in the beginning of changes, but dang......not what you want your readers to f e e l when they pull up your page.

3) So you plan on maintaining both a blog and a website? Is the blog your interactive vehicle with your current and prospective readers? Is your website to provide information for booking you (or w/e you call it), mainly informational, less so interactive?

This is a good characterization of how you've come across in the past. Since you're graphic artist friend has impressed you with her/his talent, the subjects you've mentioned should be sufficient to come up with a logo....

Can't wait to watch this evolution unfold! :)

Heather said...

wt - graphic (maybe conglemeration of pics, maybe not)
robin - don't hold back on me now! seriously, is it the plainness, the fact that changing the colors altered the template so that it has those gray rounder things, or the too-bright colors?

L.L. Barkat said...

I think it will be artsy... yes? That'd be good. I picture you in blacks and golds, with plum undertones. Got any thoughts for a central image? Maybe if you consider your personal writing mission....

Can't wait to see where it goes.

Kevin Stilley said...

I've always loved the blog, but those colors have got to go!

Heather said...

Okay, okay. I got rid of the colors. I reverted back to the classic template design for now and will find better colors later. How about reds? Anyone have anything against red? I love the boldness of red. Oooh - what about a Morrocan look? (Is it 2 r's and 1 c or 2 c's and 1 r?)
And I will have both blog and website - forgot to answer for Robin. Website will have info about speaking (and hopefully books someday). Blog will be the same as it is now.
LL - I love plum, although I'm not all that sure about black and gold, but I can mess with that. Definitel want artsy.

Robin said...

Heather, this is more pleasing to the eye now :).

I'm no artist, so I don't know the correct words to express this probably, but the colors were in competition with one another; they were distracting. I saw "color" rather than content--not what I think you're going for.

I'm all about bold color...I love red (done well). Go to blogging chicks or something and scroll through a ton of blogs; you'll begin to get a feel for what flows well, and for a look you DON'T want.

Ummmm, do you still want me to read through your first chapter again? I think so highly of you, I would never insult you by telling you what I think you'd want to hear....

If I came across as rude or too opinionated, I'll tone it down! Please forgive me if that was the case :)...please???

Heather said...

no worries, Robin! I'm glad you told me. my hubby tried to tell me the same thing, but i didn't listen to him. hate it when he's right!
the first chapters thing is over, i believe. the deadline for comments on mine was the 23rd. i would still love to get your feedback, though.

Gina said...

I love RED. Check out my site ginaconroy.com if you want to see how I've tried to pull it off.

I like L.L. Barkat's suggestion of the black and plum's. You might even be able to tie in green. That sounds really sophisticated, yet whimsical.

Now for design, God dropped mine in my lap. Actually, I saw it on a postcard for a women's ministry, but when I saw it I Knew that was my design. Then I searched the web for the exact photo and found it.

My website is a mixture of blogs (and it's still a work in progress, esp. my writing site) but it's so neat to know I can do almost anything I want with it.

I can't wait to see what God drops into your lap!

Kathleen Marie said...

I think this is an excellent idea. I look forward to seeing the transformation.

Hugs to you!

Jennifer said...

When I opened this page, I just sat and stared at it for a while. The new look just wasn't making sense.

I think that it is okay to be creative and use colors etc that are "unprofessional" because writing/speaking is more of an artsy thing. I apparently did not see your first try, because it's nice and muted now. However, I will say that if you are using a blog designer, they do a great job with color as well, and can pick the right tones that aren't too harsh.

Jenn said...

I'm with the folk here who like template option 2 better than the first one. I don't think bright colours are a problem, but you know, as your long-lost sibling, I feel that the previous one didn't do us justice.

Pamela said...

I missed something ???
I sea green, grey .... non descript.

I expect alot more flamboyant from L'Chaim.

I just don't like to read light letters on dark background.
(It has something to do with my beginning cataracts)

I will be interested to see your web site

Heather said...

yeah, pam. you missed the offensive green and orange.
i have two purses that i want to use as springboards cuz i love them. one is more earthy; one is red with a Chinese beaded pattern. If I think about it, I'll take pics and post later for more votes.

Jennifer Tiszai said...

I meant to tell you this last night, when I get my Mac back, I have a bunch of websites I've bookmarked for design purposes. I'll send you the links. Off the top of my head I think there's a few in there that could be good starting places for you.