My new muse

As most of you know, I’ve been working towards a revamp of my blog. It’s been fun and frustrating. But…there’s hope! Today I learned about a new tool that really knocked my socks off!! It is uberlicious in potential….eeeekeee….

It all started when I signed up for Kristen Lamb’s Blogging to Build Your Brand workshop. As I worked with the incredible #WANA711 group coming up with new content ideas and a posting schedule, I realized that content and consistency were only part of the blog picture for me. I felt I needed a new look to tie it all together; to make sure that visually, when you land on my blog you get a sense of me.

After having surfed and admired a ton of pretty spiffy blogs designs, I developed a serious case of blog envy. This wasn’t surprising for me. I am definitely drawn to colorful, pretty things. For instance, when I took up golf four years ago, I had to have cute, matching gear; a pink bag, pink clubs, and matching pink outfits and shoes (in the right shade of pink, no less). Yes, I even have the cutest pink shot counter. It’s an illness, what can I say?

Even hubby didn’t find it unusual when I started talking about wanting my blog look to match all the new, great content (not to mention my sparkling personality) that I had planned. But…how???

I use www.worpress.com for my blog and the great thing about it (other than it’s free), is that it’s very plug and play. You sign up; pick a template and BAM, your blog up is up and running in minutes. And there is some functionality you can to customize depending on the template such as the header, background, widgets etc.

But with all these great, fabulous designs visions floating in my head, I am finding the template thing kind of limiting. I have surfed and searched through all of them and nothing speaks to me. Nothing stands out. Nothing rocks my world. I mean what I have is ok, it’s nice; but it’s not me.

When I read Carrie Spencer’s post on domain names and WordPress, it became clear to me that to gain the freedom I want, I’ll have to make the move to www.wordpress.org at some point. Although it requires self-hosting, meaning there is a cost, it gives you true design freedom. However, even with the thousands of templates and plugins to choose from, I still feel like I’d still need some CSS or web design knowledge to take my blog design to the Natalie level I envision.

Well then Adobe steps up the plate with a whooper in my inbox this morning and I’ve fallen in love.

They have launched a new technology called Muse (beta form) that enables graphic designers to use familiar, free-form tools that we are used to in InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator to design and publish HTML and CSS websites—all without writing code or being restricted to templates.

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

Check out the videos at: http://muse.adobe.com and be prepared to have your socks blown off.

I downloaded the beta version immediately and am super psyched to get started playing around (stay tuned for my feedback in later posts). I mean, I am not graphic design genius but I certainly know my way around Adobe’s three design suites to perhaps pull something together.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t envision having my own blog designed from scratch tomorrow. I still have a lot to learn. I will stick with my plan and buy a premium theme this month to get the “pop” that I want while learning about web design via Muse. But at least now I feel like my web design learning curve may not be quite as steep as I thought. And that’s…uberlicious!

What do you think? Do you have enough graphics background to use this tool to take your design to the next level? Think you’ll try your hand at Adobe’s Muse?

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