Gods, monsters, quills, web design, and etc.

Doesn't seem like I've been paying much attention to my site lately, has it? There is—fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint—much more going on behind the scenes than just a post here or there.

I am probably 85% ready to move to the new site design, which will finally allow me to design new skins for this site. I've been pecking away at these for a while, in an attempt to ensure that each design was one that could stand on its own, and not just as an accessory in a group of choices.I've put together a graphics-free version, as some of my friends use lynx at various times, and they'd like to be able to read the latest entries without a lot of clutter. Another is called "touch of grey," which is a simple, tabled layout and a few small greyscale graphics.

On the more artistic end are brad's-blues, which is a shockingly blue-on-blue skin, and one that I'm calling 'flowering' for lack of a better word. It's red and white.

But what of the current design, you ask? I'm not unhappy with it, and it will eventually join the list of the other skins. However, it needs to go into the shop for a bit of a retool; I've been putting it off while I worked on getting multiple skins ready for the big changeover. I have a few stylistic hacks left in the code of domesticat that I need to get rid of, and I can't get rid of the hacks unless I take the current design down and rework it a tad.

I asked some friends how many skins would be appropriate, and I still haven't decided. I originally said seven, but then I realized that three of the seven would be devoted to default or 'compromise' skins, leaving only four examples of actually inventive design.

I suspect that in the end, I will end up with more than seven skins for the site. I'll probably settle on some nice, round number, and as I create new ones, I'll rotate out the least worthy of the old ones. (Or, the ones that nobody's using.)

The design of that many skins will take some time, and a lot of effort. Brad, unfortunately, has been the recipient of much complaining and artistic questioning from myself; his long acquaintance with me has led to him seeing many of my designs over the years. He joked about us sharing a design brain, and I fear there is some element of truth to what he says; more often than not, I show him a design looking for confirmation of my opinion, not approval of my design.

I will generally show unfinished designs to others only when I am confident of the merits of the design. Brad, on the other hand, has seen designs that I've immediately apologized for afterward. The other night, I showed him one that he turned his nose up at. Two hours I'd spent working on specific parts of the design, desperately attempting to salvage something for my efforts.

He stated it was crap.

I put it aside, looked at it the next morning, and agreed. It was crap. Two days later, I took a particular graphic effect I'd used in that design and applied it to the design that has become the 'flowering' design you'll see in a few days.

Other news: tonight I watched Quills. Surprisingly strong acting and plot; think a gothic, sexual, perverse fairy tale. It had been on my to-see list for quite some time, and when I saw it in the video store the other day, I decided to rent it. Next up: Gods and Monsters.

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