Results of the Timothy Power Giveaway and Can I Haz Feedback?

What we didn't eat at my house last week

OMG, people, it’s so long since I’ve been here without structure and forethought, I’m not sure I know what to do any more in a normal blog post!

*pours coffee*

*taps microphone*

*clears throat*

Okay. First order of business is to ask how your holidays went? (I know most of you are American and just celebrated Thanksgiving.) I hope you had an awesome time, because your break from the Internet was most inconvenient for me. Most inconvenient. I have never had a year quite like this one when my social calendar is so entwined and dependent upon another culture’s and then blammo! Complete disconnect. Suddenly the people I rely upon for chats/information/laughs disappear en masse. It’s very disconcerting and I hope the time you took to reconnect to family and friends — to gratitude — was worth it.

Frankly, I’m skeptical.

Second, I need to announce the winner of the RNG draw for Timothy Power’s THE BOY WHO HOWLED:

Jennifer Walkup, congrats! Will you e-mail me your snail mail? 🙂

Third, are you guys in the mood to help me out with a website question? I’m writing again, and I’ll say more about that on Wednesday, but I procrastinate with the silliest thing: designing blog headers. You’re probably noticed that they’ve been changing faster than a politician’s loyalties, but I don’t feel like I’ve quite found the right one. I’d like to resolve this and move on, and I do value your opinions. I mean, you are the people who’ve helped me parent for the last year. (And our children are doing very well. Thank you for asking!)

I want to keep the oranges in a meaningful way. They’re vibrant and fresh and just feel like “me.” I’ve been trying to find a way to also work in the woman with the attitude and heart pillow — the one on my Twitter page and website. Problem is, the header’s dimensions make it a challenge. So below are the best I’ve come up with. I’d love to hear your preferences and/or thoughts. If you really don’t care, I’m okay to hear that too.

Please note that if you like a design but not the colors or font, these are all details I can work with.

Despite what would probably be smart marketing, I can’t rename my blog to Jan O’Hara’s Tartitude, or some such. I just can’t. Including my name in the header as a byline seems like a compromise I can live with. So…thoughts?

If you have a website, do you mess around with these kind of things? I thought I was the only person who tweaked all the time until I noticed a few other sites seem to do an overhaul pretty frequently.

Lastly, Wednesday I want to tell you about Velma. Will you remind me if I forget? Please?

14 thoughts on “Results of the Timothy Power Giveaway and Can I Haz Feedback?

  1. Hi Jan — I’m kind of digging this new one with just the oranges and your name; simple and easy on the eyes. However, I am a fan of the tarty lady legs, so my next choice would be #1.

    I wish I knew how to play around with my blog appearance — I have no technical skills. Definitely NEEDS an overhaul…do you work for hire 😉 ?

    1. In my Monday morning stupor, I didn’t notice the new header. When I got to the list of choices, I immediately picked #5 – then saw Elizabeth’s comment, scrolled up, and YES. A fast read, no clutter, some fun detail for people who aren’t in a stupor.

  2. Amanda, I like the appearance of your blog! It’s easy to navigate, clear to read, and you certainlyl have a large readership, so what you’re doing is working. 🙂 What is it that you want to change?

    To all three of you, thank you for the feedback! How lovely that you concur, too. I didn’t expect that. 🙂

    MJ, hope your stupor retreats!

    1. You are overly kind (and perhaps slightly vision-impaired 😉 I think my blog just doesn’t have that polished/finished/professional look. Yours does, and I say that in all seriousness.

      I also love that we all agree. Have a lovely day~

  3. I also like the one that’s up currently (with the red squiggly line). It’s simple, elegant, and has all the information (and the oranges) on it.

    I know the urge to fiddle with your website. I manage to hold myself down from changing the theme on mine until once a year, but only by sheer will-power.

    ~Lia

  4. Lia, too funny. I thought the feedback would be all over the place. I certainly didn’t expect consensus.

    As for willpower, you have more than me. Your website also has a lot of features I like. I assume you’re with WP.org and able to get more interesting widgets than we can here. 😉

    1. Yea, I do WordPress.org. My widgets mostly come with my themes, but I have a wider selection of themes to choose from (almost TOO wide sometimes. Indecision, I haz it.) which is why I chose to switch from WordPress.com originally.

      ~Lia

  5. Jan, I like the current header, and it caught my eye when I came over here today — before I knew you were going to ask my opinion! It is clear and clever and has a kind of simple pizzazz that I like. I also like how the curlicue leads the eye from the oranges, to your name, and then to the tagline in an effortless fashion.

    I like the woman with the red dress on the couch, but. . .she doesn’t seem to fit with your overall theme. 🙁 Maybe she can be brought out on special occasions instead. LOL

  6. Lia, yes, too much choice can be paralyzing. *shudder* I don’t think I dare temp myself with more options.

    Donna, sounds like we have a winner, then. Thank you for the feedback! What would I do without you guys? Red-dress chica will have to take a back seat, then. 😉

  7. I have to say I do like the current header as well — clean, simple, easy on the eyes, yet still maintains the element of citrus. The lady with the legs and attitude is great too…but I think I agree with Donna on that point.. : )

  8. How funny – I was expecting the blogosphere to slow down on Thanksgiving, and instead I was inundated for posts about what people were thankful for, what they were doing for Thanksgiving, how thoroughly they messed up their turkeys/cranberries/rolls, etc. Of course, the few days after that were completely dead. But still.

    As for headers, my vote is for the first one. It’s simple, clean, and colorful.

    1. I would have been smart to put up a Thanksgiving-theme-based post, but I wanted to give Timothy Power’s interview top exposure. Glad it worked out for you, though. 🙂

      And thank you for the feedback! You’re probably the freshest eyes here, so that’s good info for me to have.

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