Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Elusive Free Blogger Template

Writing blog posts for 3 months has led me to a conclusion: I need to change Creative Blog, a free blogger template I downloaded at Deluxe Templates. My quest for a change has caused a month-long headache (can’t count how many times I grabbed and massaged my head because of disappointment and exhaustion). Finally it’s all over, but all the lessons I’ve learned are here to stay.

It’s not yet the end of the story. So why did my brain endure much pain anyway? Even though I’ve seen so many beautiful and free blogger templates, I kept asking each of them: are you the one? The answer was a resounding no. At first a blog template would seem about to put an end to the time-consuming search, but I would soon realize that something is lacking—it doesn’t fit my personality and liking. It doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the works of graphic artist, web designer, and programmer. Like an audience after the performance of an opera singer, I would give them a standing ovation. So what ceased my tiring hunt on the Internet?

I’m the only one who knows myself better, what I like and dislike. As written in the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley, “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.” Still with Henley’s words in mind, I started making my personalized and customized template. The post about 3 column Minima (a free blogger template) from Bloggerbuster has provided the simple-yet-suitable layout that I was looking for. My smattering of Photoshop CS2 and Paint Shop Pro 7 allowed me to put some skin on my soon-to-be Clumsy Fancy blog. Use what you have and practice what you know are the principles I bare in my mind all throughout these daunting tasks; but even such method, fall short whenever I’m battling with myself (as they say, oneself is one’s toughest enemy).

KISS (keep it simple silly) is an abbreviation that snuffed out confusion and doubt. It wasn’t given by a prince. I’ve learned this charming abbreviation when I was in college; I’ve read numerous computer books and authors often advice KISS in creating clean source code and attractive graphic. During the customization, every time I push myself too far and too hard, I inhale and exhale while repeatedly saying KISS. (And thinking of the chocolate brand, perhaps, has sweetened this bitter experience.)

Coding and customizing/designing for more than a month have made me realize that writing is the easiest part of blogging. I can’t wait to go back writing post, no matter how long or short than dealing with css, html, layers, hexadecimal code, and more headache-inducing concerns.

Now, you’re staring at my customized Clumsy Fancy based on my personality, preference, and of course—2 column Minima. So every time you visit my abode on the net, you’re witnessing a work filled with hard work, heart, and KISS (and headache).

Just for comparison, which one do you prefer: Creative Blog (left), the first template I used, or Clumsy Fancy (right)?

I really appreciate an honest opinion, so just take a pick.

You might be done reading but no need to rush; you may proceed a little further for more Clumsy Fancy Stuff!

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