Category Archives: Site Updates

Desktop Background – November 2011

Lone Ranger

Lone Ranger

I’m not ashamed to admit that I feel like I’m jumping on the bandwagon for this one, with my good friends, Dave Vernon and Stacy Hanna, not to mention the great David duChemin, putting out monthly desktop backgrounds and calendars. Even so, I have been wanting to do my own collection of downloadable desktop backgrounds for each month for a while now and I’ve finally taken the time to put together not only this month, but the whole next year!

I tried to stick to some seasonal themes for the most part, but either way, stop by at the beginning of every month for a new desktop background. I even did a little research into the most common sizes (including iPhone/Android and iPad) so I should have most of you covered. If I’m missing a size you want, just drop me a line and let me know. I’ll put one together and send it over!

Please Note: I’m trusting all of you with these images. They are copyrighted, but I wish they didn’t have to be. With that in mind, please use them for their intended purpose and please don’t “steal” them; stealing is bad. Thanks!

New Events Calendar

Final Harvest

Final Harvest

Slowly, but surely, I’ve been trudging on through with my photography resolutions for 2011. The main one that I’ve been focusing on (pun intended) over the past few months has been getting out and selling my fine art prints at local markets and fairs.

Well, right before I started down this path of wheeling and dealing, I met with my good friend, Stacy Peterson-Steiner, at the Peoria Art Guild and wracked her brain about everything I needed to know about art fairs, markets, setting up a booth, selling, marketing, and more. While I do work in marketing and design as a day job, the art world is a whole other ballgame so I wanted to be sure I had my bases covered (2 puns in one post? You betcha!).

Stacy was totally awesome and turned me on to a number of local art fairs, galleries, exhibits, and shows that I could dive into. And that is just what I did.

As long as it was reasonable and affordable to do (some of these things can be expensive to enter), I went ahead and paid entry fees, filled out forms, submitted prints on CD and online, and then waited for the letters and emails of acceptance or rejection to come along. I’ve been honored and blessed to not experience a rejection letter yet. I know one will come along eventually, but for now, I’m going to enjoy sitting up on here on this cloud with the silver lining.

So with all of that being said, I wanted to let all of you know where you could swing by and catch some of my prints on display. A small list of events is available at the end of this post, but before we get to that, take a look at the navigation at the top of the site.

You will now see a shiny new button for my Events Calendar. Need a quick view of what I have coming up? Take a look on the right side of the site and you can see an Upcoming Events list as well! Isn’t WordPress great? I think so.

Notable Events:

  • Peoria Public Library Art Gallery – June 11 through July 29
  • Peoria Art Guild Member Show – July 1 through July 12
  • Illinois State Fair Artisan’s Exhibit – August 12 through August 21
  • Washington Fine Arts Fair – August 12 and 13

Hump Day Update

Waiting For Rain

Waiting For Rain

That title kind of rhymes, doesn’t it? Totally unintentional, I swear…

So check this out… just when I thought I was going to be able to get a couple of posts written that I’ve had on my mind for a while now, I made a terrible mistake. I upgraded my version of WordPress to the latest version. Normally, you would think this is no big deal and is much needed to keep things maintained.

Well, let’s add in the “I am a total idiot” factor because… well… I am. I backed up my database so that I didn’t lose any posts, but I totally launched the upgrade without keeping a copy of my CSS files. There’s nothing more embarassing than having to rebuild your stylesheets from the ground up. But, with that being said, here I am now after only 6 hours or so of tackling that project (among other projects, of course), and now it’s time to put together this update.

I’ve been doing some major work on the blog and the website and I’m proud to finally announce a few new features. First of all, I came quickly to the conclusion that my main website was really not driving any more traffic to the places I needed folks to go. Instead, it was more of a gateway or “link farm” as we call it that just pushed everyone on to the blog, the Zenfolio store, or my contact forms.

With that realization in mind, I went ahead and trashed the website completely and shuffled files around so that my main website will now be this beautiful beast of a blog you see around you. Nice sidebars, plenty of features, and best of all, all my pages under one roof.

A couple of other goodies that are in this whole semi-facelift package are located in the menus and sidebars around you. I’ve installed an events calendar that allows all of you to see where I will be showing and selling my fine art pieces. I’ve also added a nice little social media widget over on the right side so you can easily find my social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and ModelMayhem.

And, let’s not forget one of my favorite new features that I finally put front and center… the RSS feed! Just click that little orange button over there on the right and subscribe to the photo blog… it’s that easy to get all the best images and news from yours truly.

Lastly, I went ahead and added some new navigation at the top to some of the standard pages I had before including some fresh links directly into each one of my galleries as well. I’ve also included a cool little gallery widget on the right that allows you to see some of the most recent photos I’ve featured in blog posts without reading the posts themselves.

So with all of these site updates going on, I want to hear your thoughts. What pieces of the site do you enjoy? Are the new features really doing what they should? Any ideas you might have for content, posts, or fun tools around the site? Let me know!

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