{Exciting Website News} Insert Flailing Here ______.

I wanted to welcome all of the new readers who were directed over here from A Cup of Jo, one of my all-time favorite blogs that I have had on my Google Reader for years (as have over 50,000 other subscribers).

I seriously adore Joanna Goddard (and she’s technically a stranger, but still) and might have squealed like a lunatic when I noticed she posted the ginger’s handsome face on her blog today. I agree with all of the kind commenters who said Pete’s proposal was totally creative, sweet, and heartwarming. I also agree that he’s a “lovely looking bloke” as one reader put it.

Speaking of his loveliness, Pete was amazing enough to spend every night this week working until midnight on my website redesign. I have been wanting to merge my previous photography blog and my illustration portfolio into one big shabang, filled with my entire range of portfolio and services. I will be phasing out the company name “Fromage Photography” into just plain old “Shannon Collins Photography.” I am hoping this avoids confusion and gives me a stronger branding message, since most people who know I take photos don’t realize I’m also a writer or illustrator and vice versa.

We’re still working on some design elements, but here’s a peek of what it looks like today. I’m thrilled with the slider of header images and the crispness of the design. It’s a tough task trying to combine photography, illustration and writing portfolios, but I think Pete did a smashing job (especially since he humbly considers himself a web developer and not at all a designer). I’m excited to find out what you guys think, so feel free to comment with ideas or feedback!

Thanks again to all of the new readers who found their way here from A Cup of Jo and thanks again to Joanna for the sweet spotlight on Pete’s proposal! Also, thanks to Pete for putting our Breaking Bad marathon aside and launching a kick arse website for yours truly. Your reward shall be in the form of choco mint chip ice cream, beer, and more Jesse Pinkman than you can handle (are there readers out there who watch the show?).

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The redesign has launched!!

As you may recall, up until today, youwannatalkjive looked a little something like this:

The original design was thrown up there quickly because I wanted to transfer all of my posts from Blogger to WordPress. I didn’t have a chance to customize it, apart from adding a background pattern and a rushed header design. Luckily my boyfriend Pete offered his fantabulous design and coding skills and revamped my entire blog in a matter of days.

I provided Pete with a few illustration concepts (I wanted to include our pets in the header) and patterns I liked, but he really went above and beyond anything I could have expected from a personal blog. His attention to detail is fantastic—he immediately understood where I was coming from when I said I wanted to mix vintage patterns with playful graphics.

If you are considering giving your blog a makeover, be sure to contact him or find out more about pricing here. He offers all sorts of customizable packages so it’s pretty darn easy to personalize.

Do you have any new features you’d like to see around these parts? Don’t be shy with suggestions, now is the time to throw them out there! Thanks for visiting the new digs, let me know what you think of the fresh look!

Youwannatalkjive redesign to launch this week!

I’m excited to announce that the newly designed youwannatalkjive will be launching sometime this week, thanks to Pete at Philmadelphia. I’ve been really busy lately with photo shoots and work, but I plan on returning soon with much more rambling and posts from my lovely guest bloggers! If you’re interested in being a guest blogger feel free to shoot me an email and submit a topic idea. Also, this is the time to let me know of any new features you’d like to see on the website, so I (and by “I” I mean Pete) can make it happen!