SAME SITE, NEW LOOK. THE ART OF DOING STUFF 2.0

Please don’t be alarmed.  You are in the right place.  This is The Art of Doing Stuff.  I am Karen.  You may, at this very moment, be fearful.  Maybe you’re afraid that my site has been taken over by someone else.  That’s understandable and if you would just calm down for a second I can prove to you that this is indeed The Art of Doing Stuff and I am, for sure, Karen.   I don’t have any kind of computerized thumbprint recognition I can do or anything to prove that this is still my site and I am still me, but let me just say this: Snarklefart, asshead, shitshow, Cuddles and “I hate brussels sprouts”.  If that doesn’t convince you it is indeed me, Karen, writing this post then nothing will. Also Idris Elba is hot.  That last one there oughtta secure it for you.  So no one has taken over my blog and turned it into something different.

It’s just the new site redesign.

You’re liable to be feeling all kinds of things right now, and over the next few minutes you might in fact feel a whole array of things including violent, violent anger towards me and this new site.   It’s O.K.  Just go ahead and feel them.  Nobody likes change.  I mean, there are people who say they like change but those people are just trying to be show offs.  Like those people who claim they actually enjoy reading Russian literature.  As if.

Today I’m just going to take you on a little tour of the new look and show you what’s different about it so you’ll have an easier time navigating it.

 

Home-page

 

First off,  you’ll notice at the top of the page is my new logo designed by my friend graphic designer Russell Gibbs.  It’s simple and  graphic looking.   I had a few options but I liked this one right away and it was Russell’s favourite too.  With the logo, Russell wanted to emphasize that me, my life, this site is all about DOING.  The Art of Doing Stuff is not a lazing around letting someone else take care of it kind of place and I’m not that kind of person.  And neither are the people who read this site.

After living with my blog and watching it evolve over the past 5 years I developed a better idea of what my categories should really be. For one thing when I started this blog I didn’t even own chickens!  They came a year into my blogging career. So for the past 4 years of owning chickens and doing a LOT of posts on chickens I didn’t even have a Chicken category.

There is now a chicken category.

I also didn’t really know how much I was going to talk about myself when I started this blog or how often I’d just blabber as opposed to showing you how to do something.  Hence the NEW category, “My Life”.  That’s where you’ll find stories about me and my family (think Betty or my nieces hilarious Bikram Yoga experience).  My Life is also where you’ll find the things I recommend like product reviews or my series 5 Books I’ve Read, Plus 5 Books I’m Gonna Read, or 3 Shows You Should be Watching.  This is also where “Random Shit” goes, which are things that are great but don’t fit into one of my regular categories.

Another brand new category is the SHOP page.  There’s nothing to buy there right.  So that’s the most anti-climactic store opening ever. The Shop category is  eventually where I’ll sell my video courses,  maybe some tea towels, products that will be exclusive to The Art of Doing Stuff and of course my favourite things that I own and love.

 

quick-tips

 

As you can see, the categories I’ve decided to go with are Food, Garden, House, Chickens, Tips, DIY and My Life.  Each category has a sub-category  underneath.  Just hover your mouse over the category and the sub-categories will show up.  So Tips are sub-categorized into cleaning tips, cooking tips, decorating tips, organizing tips etc.  The DIY category has a drop down menu showing all of my individual holiday DIYs including Christmas, Halloween, Easter and more.  There’s also DIY sub-categories in flower arranging (which I used to do a LOT more posts on), and general DIY tutorials like How to Brace a Saggy Gate, How to Fold a Napkin, How to Stack Wood, How to Make Foaming Soap or any other step by step tutorial I’ve written.

 

recent-post

 

You’ll also notice that as you scroll down any page on my site that my menu will stay put up at the top. So if you scroll down to the bottom of a long post you don’t have to scroll all the way back up to go to the menu.  It’ll be right there for you.

 

sticky-menu

 

You can easily subscribe to get my emails sent to you every day by typing your email address into the subscribe box.

Wanna search something?  Hit the little search button at the top.  This is the one thing I’m a bit worried about. Not everyone knows that that little magnifying glass is the symbol for “search”.

 

 

search-button

 

When you click the search button this will pop up,

 

search

 

There are other ways the site will change too.  The background will change throughout the seasons for instance.  There’s the slate background (which you can see on the site now), the butcherblock background and the foil background.  The foil background is special for the holidays and butcherblock will make it’s debut next fall.

Wanna hear something funny? I totally thought I’d be writing this post 10 months ago. It was over a year ago that I told you  The Art of Doing Stuff was going to be getting a new design because my old design was … old.   I figured I’d get it all wrapped up in 2 months and then in my mind gave myself a buffer of another month. So 3 months.  It took 13 months.   And I’d been thinking about it for 3 months prior to announcing it. So from the moment I thought about it to the moment my new site went live was 16 months.  If this were a gestation period I could have given birth to a whale.

The Art of Doing Stuff is also now “responsive”.  All that means is it will look good whether you’re checking it out on your laptop, phone or tablet.

I’m guessing there might be the odd hiccup over the next few weeks and maybe even a bit of indigestion. Some of you may even feel a little bit queasy right now.   It ain’t easy, giving birth to a whale.

And you and I, we have the easy part. We just have to get used to it.   All of the truly terrifying work was done by WayLay Design.  Selina is the one who actually had to somehow, miraculously turn my old site into my new site without skipping a beat (unless you’re counting my heartbeats in which case many, many beats were skipped).

Now you go browse around and I’ll go and work on that shop page.  And eat some chips.  (see?  It really is me.)

Have a good weekend!

 

signature2

 

 

 

 



192 Comments

  1. Noelle says:

    You win! I’ve been building a new site for 400 years or so, and it’s sort of live but not really but it’s hard to explain. I like yours, I’m jealous , but as I’ve likely said before I have irrational, teen angst jealousy about you in general. So, here you are, winning again. *sigh* I love it! Btw.. And I think I owe you money. Yay new site! Yay!

    • Karen says:

      Oh, you probably do. That’s one thing you have no need to be jealous of. My complete inability to bother with collecting money. ~ karen!

  2. connie says:

    LoL, ok, you convinced me – it IS you! Congratulations on the new design- looks great! Now if you’ll excuse me i’m going to go browse 🙂 (oh boy -this will be fun)

    • Karen says:

      I’m most excited about the fact that it’ll be easier for people to find stuff they’re looking for now and way easier to kind of get lost and just look around at stuff you may not have seen before. ~ karen!

  3. Jennie Lee says:

    Okay, I gotta know- what’s with the article that has something to do with flowers, beautiful wooden bowls and spoons, condiments, sadness, and what looks like LATIN? I really didn’t think you were anyone other than Karen, until I saw THAT!

    • Karen says:

      Ha!! That’s just a fake nothing post that was up while the site was being recoded. It was just in for reference. WordPress uses some weird latin language for fake posts all the time for some reason. NO idea why. 🙂 ~ Donna … uh … i mean Karen!

      • Jamieson says:

        I didn’t see the post but that might be Lorem Ipsum, not Latin. It’s a fake language used in layout approval so your eye pays attention to the design rather than get distracted by reading the words, but it still shows you what the layout looks like with type there.
        Welcome the world at last, new site design!!
        PS 2 more sleeps til dumplings, meine dumpling!

      • Nicole says:

        Yeah, it’s actually a garbled and altered piece of text from Cicero. The lorem ipsum thing is taken from ‘dolorem ipsum’ – ‘pain itself’ – you can see why designers use it, right?!

        Totally with you on the site redesign thing; I’ve been working on mine for three months, and each week I keep saying it will be done by the end of the week. Bah.

        Yours looks pretty swanky though, and worth the wait. I like how it’s organised – it appeals to my anally-retentive sense of order.

        One slight criticism though, if I may – the comment box went squiffy when I enlarged it, so I had to type this in Notepad, and then c&p it.

        By the way, I read Russian literature. The Master and Margarita (Bulgakov) is one of my favourite novels. I feel the need to point out however, that I also love Harry Potter, SciFi, videogames, and would like to see Idris Elba as the next Bond… although not, perhaps, as much as I would love to see Tom Hiddleston in that role. :-p

  4. Good jorb Karen! Love the new look!!

    • Karen says:

      Even if you’re just being nice and you don’t really love it yet Barbie, it’ll grow on you. 😉 I absolutely LOVE my new logo. It’s SO much easier to work with than my old one. The font of the old one only looked good when it was really big. Anything small and the words just disappeared. ~ karen!

  5. Kathleen says:

    BTW – I do like change… which will explain my slightly nomadic lifestyle! I do not like Russian literature though! 🙂
    I do however like the new look! Congrats on the birth of your “whale”. So where do I deliver the balloons to? 🙂
    Have an awesome weekend Karen.

  6. Mindy says:

    Alright, I’ll accept it. If I must.

  7. AB Karen says:

    I like it a lot, and I am not a fan of change. This just looks better. Time
    will tell, but I think you have a winner.

  8. Dagmar says:

    Hello Karen, 2.0. I don’t know whether this is considered a glitch or not, but all I see on the top of my page it the name of the site and the cleaver. Basically, I only see the right side. I admit that I am on my iPhone, since my iPad battery died watching all of season 2 of the “Call the Midwives.” P.S. I miss the old site, this cleaver reminds me of “Chopped.” And your blog is so much better. ?

  9. Tracie Berry says:

    While I did wonder for a very long time, is this really necessary??!! By the time I got to the end, I figured it out. It is pretty good, I have to say. And Idris Elba is hot…plus I do love the advantage of the drop down categories. Change is always good. Not always welcome at first, however…

  10. MissChris SA says:

    I like very much, but if I may, the only thing I thought as I was looking at your new page is that the “brightness” is missing. You are such a colourful person and though the previous design was not bright and full of colour it was lighter.

    Overall, I love it though!

  11. whitequeen96 says:

    Etiquette! You have posts on etiquette?! Oh boy, those must have been before I joined the group. I’ve got to check that out – any posts on the protocol of toot mufflers? 🙂

  12. Shauna says:

    Change is good, and I really like the way it looks in the pictures you included, but… I thought you would want to know that on my iPhone it doesn’t look like your pictures. Hopefully it’s just a minor glitch.

    • Mumo3kids says:

      You don’t see the stripey icon and the word ‘menu’? I’m on my iphone and that’s what I see…
      Love the new sans serif font by the way – so easy to read on a tiny screen!!!
      Julia

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shauna! That’s because you’re looking at the “responsive” portion. Basically it alters itself to make it so you can read it on an iPhone. ~ karen!

  13. Annie1946 says:

    Hi Karen,
    Had a quick boo and it looks great, I will now be able to check out the things I missed out on before I found your blog. I have to go to bed now (it’s 1.00am) but will check things out in depth tomorrow.
    Cheers,
    Anne

  14. Larraine says:

    I’ve been meaning to ask for a while about the Amazon.ca & Amazon.com ads because I faithfully used those (and pushed my husband to do so too) to add $0.00000001 to your coffers with each purchase. Then, as I was ready to place another order, they morphed to some uni-site ad and I couldn’t tell .ca from .com. Now, as I was finally working up to commenting on that problem, it’s solved because they’re gone completely!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Larraine! I may add something in, but for now as long as you go to Amazon from any of my links it will count as an order from me. And any of my links *should* take you to the proper site. So if you’re American you should be directed to the .com site and being Canadian you should be directed automatically to the .ca site. ~ karen!

      • Kim from Milwaukee says:

        You’re gonna get rich off of me then! I do tons of shopping thru Amazon, especially around the holidays!! Woohoo!!

        Love the look of the site…the grey is very easy on the eyes. I prefer darker backgrounds anyway and this looks very sharp. It’ll be easier to view on my phone as well. You’re always thinking, you are!

  15. holly says:

    I love it!! We change our website a few times a year, so I am used to change, but primarily worry about the end user finding their way around (retail site). This is so much more organized. I’ll be checking out the drop downs when I have time.

    Holly

  16. Violet Rose says:

    ‘I hate brussel sprouts’ IS your digital fingerprint.
    Slate grey – very cool. A very, as they say in the biz, trending colour.
    It manages to look urban, industrial and elegantly minimal.
    Love it.

  17. Violet Rose says:

    P.S.
    The meat cleaver has a kind of Sweeney Todd murderous look, so I approve of that too.

  18. Laura says:

    Love it!! Worth the wait!!’

  19. Lindsay H says:

    I love the sticky header. And I’ll adjust to the new design. It’s like when your favorite TV show introduces a new character. I lovethe show…but he or she will take some getting used to…. *insert side-eye* ……. and then suddenly, you can’t imagine the show any other way!

    • Lindsay H says:

      Wait! You know what I miss about the old site???? Where is “abs of steel” Karen? Where’s the fish? What’s happening right now? Goddamit my world is upside down!!!!!

  20. robert says:

    Congratulations, it looks wonderful and I’m sure it would be very fun to explore the new categoriewhen I have the time

  21. Sarah says:

    There’s so much to love about the new design, but I think my favorite new thing is the sticky menu!

  22. Judy D. says:

    I absolutely LOVE the new layout. It was great before…but this is outstanding. As soon as I finish typing this ‘comment,’ I’m going to check out all the categories and have some fun. Thank you Karen.

  23. Grammy says:

    I’m old. I don’t generally like change. When I’m used to a website, I need it to stay that way so I don’t get confused. I love Brussels sprouts. I’m beginning to wonder why I put up with you and all this stuff. Okay, we agree on Idris Elba, so there’s that.

    But this — this new website design — is a thing of beauty. In more ways than one. Viewing on my iPad is a joy to behold, and that wasn’t the case before. The new logo is perfect. I spent several years as a graphic designer if it matters (I know, nobody cares) and everything that was changed with the logo is perfect. I’ll need to adapt to the slate gray, but it’s quite lovely and your pictures will be showcased much better with that as a backdrop. It lends a kind of elegant look to the whole place. The new categories are great, the drop-down menus are welcomed, and the site navigation is a thousand times better. I’m not seeing the sticky menu at the top as I scroll down, and I’d like that very much, so maybe a tweak is needed?

    And I think you shouldn’t lose any sleep about people knowing the search icon. Anybody who doesn’t know that universal symbol by now would just end up hurting themselves if they tried to do any things you show how to do, what with the use of sharp tools for some of them.

    Good on ya’ for having a pro do the nuts and bolts of this. We need your wacky self DOING stuff and telling us about it, not trying to do the complete site redesign and upgrade while there are things to plant and things to harvest and gifts to wrap and appliances that need fixing. Thanks for the tour!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Grammy! Thanks! I forgot to mention (there are so many things to mention) that the sticky menu only shows up on something the size of a laptop. On an iPhone or iPad you get the responsive version which is slimmed down a bit to make things easier to read on a smaller screen. ~ karen!

  24. Grammy says:

    Addendum: when I hit “post comment” the sticky menu reappeared, and I discovered that it only disappeared when the keyboard was showing on my iPad, but works perfectly if I’m not typing something. So no tweak needed. This whole damn new thing is pretty much perfect.

  25. Stephanie Hobson says:

    First thing I looked for was the “How to Open Spaghetti” video. Thank God I found it! Had it not been there I don’t know what I would have done. I swear that may be my most favorite video in all of the world! Just thinking about it makes me smile. lol

  26. MaggieB says:

    Hi Karen – did take a short intake of breath and then started breathing again when I realised you had not be blognapped. Love the slate blackground and logo. And love the smorgasbord of articles for the home page (will they change each day or are they static – just curious now, yes I know I could wait until tomorrow…)

    Things that are strange are I am getting a pale yellow rectangular block between the logo/sticky menu (love that!) (the logo/sticky menu NOT the pale yellow custard block) and the full article. And on my Android it’s super in portrait but when I turn to horizontal the text goes absolutely massive, so when you turn it back to portrait then a strange grey block appears in the top left corner of the screen as an overlay. After you scroll back to the top the logo appears as
    The Art
    Doi
    Stu
    and half a cleaver.

    I miss Karen and the fish picture too. But congratulations to you and the team, great job!

    • Karen says:

      Hmm. NO idea. I’ll send this comment to Selina but I know she’s busy and may not be able to get to it for a while. The yellow looking block is where an ad is supposed to go, so either Google isn’t serving that ad to you or you have ad blocker on your site. ~ karen!

  27. Auntiepatch says:

    I don’t like the gray background. I’m having trouble reading words on it. Maybe you could use a larger font for us old fogies. Thanks –

    • Karen says:

      Hi Auntiepatch – You should be able to just make the font bigger (not just for my site but for all sites) on your computer or iPad. Maybe ask a young fogie for help, lol. ~ karen!

  28. A Guy says:

    Nice whale!

  29. Lindy says:

    What a thrilling start to the day. Congratulations on giving birth to your whale. It’s a whopper. All I need now is time to browse. But some of us have Russian literature and sprout plants to get back to.

  30. Arlie says:

    Don’t care for it, the grey looks like it needs cleaned.

    Sorry

    • Karen says:

      Hey Arlie! Sorry you don’t like it but it doesn’t look like you’ve ever left a comment before so a) you either don’t read the site very often or b) you’re the kind of person (sadly) who doesn’t speak up about anything until they have a complaint. ~ karen!

  31. Pam says:

    I remember way back when this whale was just a glimmer in your eye…so long ago that I kinda forgot this might actually happen. Overall this new baby beluga looks great! Navigation tools, sticky menu, magnifying glass icon. All good things. I do find the overall tone to be a bit dark, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. On a functional note I find the orange colored text quite difficult for my old, heavily corrected, extremely dry and judgey eyes, to read. Maybe a darker shade would be more ‘old-eye-friendly’. Really for a whale of this size those are just little niggly barnacles so all in all…Great Job!!

  32. Jacquie says:

    I like it, especially the fact that the menu stays at the top as you go down the page – well thought out. Unfortunately, I was still going through your old site reading every single article in order so I guest that’s buggered now 🙂

  33. Paula says:

    Looks great and the thought that went into it shines through!

  34. Jenny W says:

    Well look at you, all grown up 🙂
    Seriously, the site looks beautiful – well done!

  35. Karen Too! says:

    I like the baby whale a lot but I miss the fish. Much easier on the eyes. A lot of work, good work. I do love Russian literature the way…

  36. Ev Wilcox says:

    Ok, so far: Love the font, really like the crisp black and charcoal background, and glad you kept the cleaver. And Cuddles, that really removed the Rod Serling music for me-I knew for sure I was home!
    I am very happy for you that the long gestation is over! Seriously, it looks nice and when I get up again this morning (damn it, it’s 4:30 a and the wind woke me up and now it’s quiet and i will go back to bed soon) I will try out all the buttons and whistles. Congrats!

  37. Catt-in-Kentucky says:

    Love the new site design – cool looking and user friendly – great job!

  38. Rhonda Davis says:

    Humph…I’ll get used to it. I’ll miss the Kingfish, your lean mean arms and abs, etc. But you’re a big girl now and look so debonair holding Cuddles in your grown-up dress sitting on your kitchen counter (AKA do you know your ass is on your kitchen counter and you’re holding a live chicken in your lap and its probably not a very sanitary thing to do?) Never mind. You’re a bona fide blogger – congrats, friend. You’ve come a long way and probably will go farther and farther. Best for you.

  39. marilyn says:

    i think its great, easier to navigate but i too think its a bit dull, colour not content..lol you could never be dull Karen!

    • Karen says:

      I actually like the darkness, lol. (well clearly or I wouldn’t have gone for it). In general I don’t like dressing in colour, designing in colour or decorating in colour sooooo. 🙂 I like the dark moody. Having said that, don’t forget that the background changes with the seasons. So dark in the winter, lighter at other times. ~ karen!

  40. Wow! I really love this! But now I don’t even remember the old site to compare. Eh, who cares, enjoy! Glad you like your new logo so much, I changed mine a year ago, name, logo, colour scheme and never looked back. A change is as good as a rest they say, rest up dearie, the work has just begun!

  41. Maggie says:

    Congrats on the new site! I *love* the text and menus but just wanted to mention that I don’t think the background image is looking as it should on my iPhone or iPad. It’s all pixels and muddiness, not like the screenshot you posted. I do find the overall effect a bit less crisp and bright with all the grey (this from someone with a dark slate coloured house *and* dining room, but change is good and it’s really the background image that’s bugging me. It’s really just dark grey pixels on lighter grey pixel smudges on my devices

    • Pam says:

      Yes, it’s the same pixeliness on my iPad. Time to check it out on my laptop where the site probably reads better. Can’t beat the convenience of the iPad, though!

      • Maggie says:

        Looks great on my big computer screen at work! Not a muddy image like it shows on my devices (which is unfortunately where I normally do my home/fun browsing). Beautiful.

  42. jillian says:

    Lovely site Karen! I am filled with admiration (and some jealousy). I have been working on my new site for 2 years and have not launched. It has been one issue after another, mostly because of idiot people not following through or not knowing what they are doing and then learning code as I go so I can spot issues. I do plan of launching in the next few weeks, now that I have mastered coding lol, no not really.

    So how did you create and launch a new site without ever letting us know AND continued to release 3 newsletters a week, along with everything else that you do? I know you don’t have kids, but you still have just as much to do. Being self employed is slavery to freedom from a J.O.B. (not that I would ever give up being a slave to freedom, to being a slave to others lol) As an entrepreneur you know the to do list never ends and the paychecks don’t show up when you miss time. So tell us, tell us, how did you do it??? Maybe you could create a class on this and have it in your new Shop?

    Thank you again for all you do and share with the world!

  43. Debbie Bashford says:

    Sorry not a fan, it so does not fit your blogger personality in my opinion. It’s the only way I know you and it feels so out of place. I had no problems with the old site and loved how looking at a post would easily lead me to others with links. I find this harder to read and I do not see a search feature?? Do I now need to know exactly what I am looking for to navigate to it? If I have to work too hard to try and find articles I like, I won’t and would look somewhere else.

    • Alice says:

      As mentioned in the post, there is the little magnifying glass logo, top right corner, which is for search.

    • Karen says:

      That’s O.K. If you have to go you have to go. I expected as much from some people. I’m a pretty good judge of who I am and my personality (which is the same as either a blogger or a person) and this site is definitely a reflection of me. Also I included a pretty in depth explanation of where the search bar was including pictures so maybe you didn’t really read the post but just skimmed due to time. ~ karen!

    • Sheila says:

      Too bad – see ya!

      • Karen says:

        Now, now. Everybody calm down. It might just take some getting used to. ~ karen!

        • Debbie Bashford says:

          wow sorry I have a freakin opinion, but glad to see some true colours . I served 25 years in the military as did my father, and my grandfather to defend my right to state my opinion but sadly not surprised that I would be attacked for them so gladly will not return or recommend your site to anyone I know

          • Karen says:

            Debbie. You’re the one who said you were leaving my site to begin with because you wouldn’t be able to search for anything without a search bar. I told you that there is a search bar and that I wrote about it in the post. And then I told everyone to calm down. ~ karen!

  44. jainegayer says:

    I think I like it but right now I’m gonna get my coffee because this is a big change and I do not like changes but I like you so I will survive but I need coffee to handle this. OK, see you on Monday, Karen and have a good weekend.

  45. Carla says:

    Really like how organized it it. I think something funky is going on with the mobile version though. There is an American Express add that goes across the width of the page and your page got shrunk down to half the width of my phone. I can zoom in and use it fine, but it looks odd.

    • Karen says:

      It’s probably just the “responsive” version Carla. Everything has to shrink down and change a bit when it’s on an iPhone but I’ll have Selina check it to make sure everything is running O.K. ~ karen!

  46. Elen G says:

    Yeah. Love it.
    Love it. Love it. Love it.
    The sticky menu is brilliant.
    The logo is clean and fresh.
    And content is queen, so you’ve got that covered. 🙂

    Launching on Friday the 13th…… brave soul!

  47. Beckie says:

    I really like it! It’s easy to look at (on the eyes) and easy to navigate.

    I don’t see an archives menu. Am I missing that? I like to re-read blogs and an archives menu makes it easier to find where I left off reading.

  48. Maura says:

    Looks wonderful, clean,,easy to navigate, peaceful and pleasing to the eye.
    Thank you!

  49. Heather says:

    Love it. Nice clean lines.

  50. Laurie says:

    It looks great! Wish I could afford Selina! Maybe someday…

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