Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Sea of Stars" Theme

John Marine | 9/24/2011 01:44:00 AM | | |
UPDATED: September 26, 2011

John's Blog Space didn't see any new posts recently because I was busy trying to modify this blog as much as possible. I modified its appearance by utilizing features from Wordpress blog templates, but still keeping true to Blogspot as possible. This required me to set up an experimental blog. And... that is its ONLY purpose- to test out blog templates while also coming up with newer template designs to dress up my own blogs. The fruits of my labor have culminated with this extensively-modified template. It has actually taken me a few days to extensively try to modify everything in preparation to unveil the latest changes to this blog. The trickle-down effect is that my other blogs will see similar renovations.

This blog post is simply an announcement of my newer theme for JBS.


SEP 26 2011 - misspelled "jQuery," added some more content

"Sea of Stars" Explained.

The new theme implemented on John's Blog Space is called "Sea of Stars." I was somehow convinced or influenced to come along with a nighttime-inspired design while also being inspired by water. The same blue and gold colors of most of my online content remains intact. However, I have introduced another color to my color scheme to have the underwater influence- teal. The sidebar has a new look to it. To provide the underwater effect, I made a bunch of filled circles to resemble bubbles when underwater. The only problem with this scheme is that my hyperlinked content in the sidebar can be a bit tough to read. I'll work on this and improve this in possible future edits.

In addition, I've done some rearranging to give the blog a fairly new feel. The usual header has been replaced by my first-ever usage of a background image for my blog. Because you're unable to link to images greater than 800px in length through Picasa, I had to cheat the rules a little bit. The background is actually a repeated image, and it is repeated horizontally. The sky to the image is one of my typical nighttime displays, and the watery display has lots of filled circles as it sparkles along with the sky.

BY THE WAY... I named this theme as the "Sea of Stars," but this name has absolutely NOTHING to do with, nor was inspired by the "Sea of Stars" cinema movie promotion by Pepsi in the Middle East.

The New Slider.

In case you haven't noticed, I have added a new slider showcasing all of my work. I may periodically showcase some of my content. Most jQuery sliders have five slides. I found one slide from one Wordpress-derived blog template that suited me best. And so, I've used it and edited it vastly to suit my blog. I was so pleased that it worked well in my primary blog that instead of having five slides for it, I put in ten. The slider will link you to many places you can find me online as well as see some of my own featured content. A blog is a website. As a website and as a blogger, I feel it is necessary to treat this blog like it's something special. So therefore, I've spared very few expenses to provide a different-looking experience of John's Blog Space.

I may regularly update the slider to reflect new changes, choose various featured labels and posts, and things like that. I have to edit this from HTML, though. These changes to the slider will not be as easy as editing HTML or JavaScript through the Layout menu. Here are what each slider represents (as of September 26, 2011):

• Welcome to John's Blog Space! - my welcome to everyone.
• Get Social With Me! - connect to other links of mine.
• Featured Label - I will pick a specific category/label to feature for all of my visitors.
• Featured Post - I will pick a certain blog post to feature for any of my interested readers.
• Subscribe and Follow! - make sure to subscribe and follow my work if you love JBS!
• JohnMarineTube - take a look at my YouTube channel.
• International Appeal - I share enjoying an international audience visit JBS.
• Houston-Galveston Love - the latest blog posts featuring my local-area topics.
• John's Gran Turismo Space - my blog about Gran Turismo and Tourist Trophy.
• Contact Me - if you have an inquiry about my blog, feel free to contact me.

I hope this will help give my blog a more professional touch while also welcoming new readers and visitors.

The Wordpress Influence.

Wordpress is used and utilized by more bloggers (including proper websites) than Blogger/Blogspot templates. I love the Blogger/Blogspot interface, but you can only do so much with it and templates for it. Utilizing elements from Wordpress blog templates I've downloaded and tested out, I was still very happy with this Stretch Denim template (yeah- the newer Blogger/Blogspot templates are slow. So I stayed classic) to where I wanted to modify this one extensively rather than completely go to a Wordpress template suited for the Blogger/Blogspot template.

I have downloaded several templates just to seek inspiration and find something that would fit my blog best. The things I learned helped me to mold my own blog and give it its own personality. I had to take elements from other templates to help build my own blog's template. Other blog templates inspire me to come up with my own designs for my own blog. It is very difficult to come up with a blog template from absolute scratch. While it may sound lazy, this is about the only way to make your own dream blog template without feeling like you need to have a completely different template altogether. You will need to take your current template and modify it extensively. Whatever template you're happy with can be extensively modified to suit your blog and your own tastes.

I hope you enjoy the changes I've made to this blog. There are many more to come. Here are some blog template websites you can visit if you want to modify your own Blogger/Blogspot blog with a different template. Or, you may see these other blog templates for inspiration:

Blogger Templates
Our Blogger Templates
Blogger Templates, Tricks, Tools, News.

I actually came across Our Blogger Templates through the Blogger/Blogspot blog, "Chekka Cuomova." Anyhow, those are sites I recommend if you are seeking your own Blogger/Blogspot templates. The best way to make your own blog stand out in looks is to take inspiration from other blog designs. That is, unless you are a pro at making your own unique blogs from scratch. I am still sampling code from other blog templates to help shape my own.

Thanks to my loyal readers for their comments on how I can modify the looks of John's Blog Space. These are not the only changes I am making. I am working on making more changes to help improve this blog for all of you. I may even retire (my term for "remove") some widgets. These changes (and more) will all come along to help further enhance my material. So if there are any suggestions, contact me.

The blog changes are going to be implemented in a piece-by-piece basis. I'll stop with modifying when I feel like I can't spice it up any further. I have more blog posts on more topics to come in the near future. So thanks for visiting John's Blog Space and thank you for reading!

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John B. Marine said...

I love the new theme John, it looks great!  That slider thing is reaally cool too. :)

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