blogging

New Blog Features!

I guess we need to work on our readership.. which we are - it just takes time! Anyway, we played a little game.. sorta like where's waldo? or what's different about this picture? We asked if you had noticed what updates we made to our blog design and layout? Well, if you hadn't figured it out, here's a list of what's new:

  1. We added a new title and header design to our blog. If you remember from this previous post, we love to use the be.love.create mantra.. and it sorta became the essence of our blog! So, check it out above, it looks like this!

Screen shot of the new header.

  1. We moved the business logo into the shaded upper right quadrant of our blog layout - essentially we swapped the mantra with the logo, to shift the focus of the blog!

Screen shot of the new logo location

  1. We added a link to our facebook and twitter accounts! Sometimes when we get busy and haven't blogged for a number of days, we may have posted a status update on facebook or tweeted a quick design tip, so now our readers can get a little dose of us elsewhere. Yay!

Screen shot of the social networking buttons.

  1. And, probably the biggest change, although maybe least noticeable to our readers, was the complete overhaul of our categories! Like I mentioned in our last post. We realized our content was more varied than we thought it might be. So, we created new categories to fit the topics we blog about most.

Screen shot of the list of new catrgories.

And, I'm hoping to make a 5th change - and updated photo of me - so I'll let you know when I do so.

Well, feel free to let us know your thoughts on the changes!

Refreshing the Blog

We've been blogging for just a few months now, and we are enjoying getting into the swing of this new aspect of our business (and our lives, really). We, like a lot of things in life, are learning what works for us as we go along.. in this case, along our journey through the blogoshere! So, with only a few months under our belt, we saw a way to refresh and make our blog better, so we are already making just a few simple changes. I'll tell you what they are in just a sec, but if you've been reading you may have already noticed! Originally, the idea for our blog was to give StudioVB (our design business) a new means to connect with our clients (both current and future), to offer design ideas and advice to them and anyone who might stumble onto our blog, to simply offer a glimpse into our creative business - you know, to show more clearly and more genuinely who we are and what we do - and, of course, hopefully inspire our readers in some small way!

But, as I knew I would, I sorta fell in love with blogging. To me, this blog can be more than what it began as. Even though I am still finding the balance between work, play and blogging (since blogging is sort of a crossover, hehe), I am inspired to not only use blogging as I described above, but also to use it as a creative release as well - a place to share anything and everything (now, if only I had time). I know lots of people have personal blogs, but that's not really what we're going for here. However, as I look back over our posts, I was finding that a pretty good number of my posts were crossover topics as well.. but, I guess that's the way it goes when you live, work and play by doing what you love - it all blends! And, I feel blessed that I can say that.

So anyway, with the help of our web developer (my big brother), under the direction of our web designer (haha, that's me.. I like to think I can do it all), we made a few updates to fit the direction where the blog was headed! I know I told you I'd tell you what they are, but this could be fun - can you guess? what's changed? what's new?

Comment and tell us what you see that's new!

Our Blank Canvas

First, and totally off topic from this post, I have to say… Yay, Logan finally had some time to publish his first blog post! I’m looking forward to being able to post more often with two authors and give our readers (the few that may be out there) more updates, inspirations and ideas. Of course, it will be nice to hear all of this from two, often different, perspectives as well. So, yay for that! Anyway, back to the topic of this post. In a couple posts back, we introduced you to our home as it looked when we purchased it – nothing but the bare bones. But, I think it might be nice to show you how it looked right before we moved in (with the renovation complete), with freshly painted walls, newly refinished 100 year old floors, and all the standard conveniences of a modern home. Since we had made an offer on the house early in the renovation process, we were able to choose some of the finishes, but unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to customize that much. That would be up to us! We look at it like this - we just lucked out on not having to do any of the fun, but often difficult, renovations like wallpaper removal, floor refinishing, relocating plumbing, ripping up old tile, etc. ourselves – maybe we’ll tackle that in our next home, haha.

Anyway, I dug (virtually) through photos to find some to share, and while we documented the renovation progress with hundreds of photos, it seems we failed to take good photos of the finished empty rooms, before we moved all our stuff in... bummer. Anyway, feel free to check out these pics from move-in day, but please forgive the cardboard boxes and random dropped placement of furnishings.

Empty living room.

Empty dining room area

Empty kitchen.

Empty bedroom

Empty hall.

Empty bathroom.

Bedroom with boxes and furniture.

Empty office.

So, our newly purchased house was pretty much a blank canvas for us to design and create into our own home. How exciting! I do remember being really excited, ha! Yet now, a little over a year later, I’d say we are still in the sketching stages of completing our work of art. But give us some time, after moving from a tiny studio apartment in New York City, we had very little furnishings to fill our home, and many of which we’d like to replace with “grown-up” pieces. We’ll get there slowly but surely. And if you know me, you’d know that I can make quick, innovative design decisions for anyone but myself – so imagine the analysis paralysis! If you’re not quite sure what I mean by that, I feel certain I’ll explore that in later posts! Stay tuned.

For now, we’ll hope to finish at least a few bits of our work of art (our home) and show you the progress as we go.

Ahh, the little things!

Hey! So, this is my first post. Valerie has been so diligent with posting (and having a great time doing it) that it has allowed for me to focus on a few other things while she types away. However, it’s time I get involved! Right now, Valerie is knee deep in an new design project, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to get my feet wet in the world of blogging and say hello. We are really excited about this blog and sharing our thoughts, feelings, ideas, inspirations, projects, and so on.

One of the many things that Valerie excels at, but I’m finding I have a hard time with, is knowing what, and what not, to blog about. In everything we do, she sees a blog opportunity. But, on the other hand, I'm not so sure you would want to hear about the turkey sandwich and diet coke I had for lunch. Therefore, I think I’ve been waiting for something huge to come along to share with the world : )

However, through this mini-struggle, and more specifically, throughout our everyday lives, I’ve learned that it’s not about the large seemingly profound things, but actually more about the little things.

So, something I’m going to be focusing on is remembering how important the little details are and how amazing it is to find beauty and inspiration in the smaller, or less world-changing and earth-shattering, things. Given this, I came across something small, (actually two small things) this week worthy of sharing in this blog post.

Our two cats silhouetted in the window.

So, I’m curious. What inspires you? What tiny thing, object, etc. made you smile today?

First Official Post!

Well hello there, welcome to our blog! This is the first post of our long-time-coming blog. Unfortunately, like lots of things in life, blogging got pushed aside as other things took priority. Nonetheless, it was our goal to get this thing launched before (or more realistically, at) the start of the New Year. With only a few days left of 2010, I thought I’d post a short introduction to get things rolling. So, who are we and what is this blog all about? Well, I’m Valerie and my husband and business partner, Logan, and I both plan to be authors of this blog (though I have a sneaky little feeling that I’ll be the one writing most often). Nonetheless, we are both creative, down-to-earth, driven and hopefully intriguing =). Discover more about us in the sidebar or in the ‘about’ section of the website!

Now, to answer the second part of the question, this blog is sprung from StudioVB (our interior design studio), so of course we’ll post often about topics related to interior design, our client projects, interesting finds, and quite frankly, anything artsy and creative. However, let’s face it, while we love what we do for a living, life is about a lot more than work. So, we’ll also write about the interesting, fun, strange and perhaps sometimes mundane happenings of our everyday life. This will, for sure, include our design and do-it-yourself adventures in our own home, which after purchasing last year, is still a work in progress.

You’ll see that we’ve given our blog the title be . love . create, not only summarizing the content of the blog, but named for the simple three word motto that directs our lives. Each word holds so much meaning, inspiration and possibility that we hope as we continue blogging might also inspire others. Stay tuned…