New Layout and the "Art and Food" Days

9/08/2013 09:36:00 PM

Hey hey! Let's talk new layout! It's a project I've had in the wings for months now, and I'm really excited to finally be launching it! Apart from changing the look, I've had a few issues that I've wanted to fix up for a while, but it was only recently that we found the time to sit down and actually implement them. A massive thanks to the amazing Sandra for her mad skills in setting it up! I spend so much time creating my posts - cooking, eating, photographing, writing, editing - that it's really quite an effort to find the extra time to do big structural or layout changes.

For anyone who's interested, the main changes (excluding the header artwork!) were:

  • fixing the issue where some browsers would only display two-thirds of my pictures. So now, even if you're using Firefox or IE, they should display correctly. (But seriously, if you're still using IE... why?)
  • fixing the email subscription. It stopped working for some reason but I've fixed it now! Subscribe, subscribe!
  • changing the layout of posts so that whole posts would display, rather than just little previews. We attempted enabling one of Blogger's dynamic views, but even though it looked great, it seemed to have problems loading fully and wouldn't always load the comment form. Dealbreaker! (Just quietly, I actually prefer the old-school style blog of sidebar and full posts!)

So, as I said in my last post, I commissioned an artist to create the header artwork. I had the idea to update my layout last year, and I really wanted to do something that was a bit different, but still simple and clean, and easy to maintain. Most importantly, I wanted it to be individual and to reflect my personality. This is where Zhen the artist came in. The sister of my friend An, Zhen is a really talented artist who creates (among other things!) fantastic line drawings, live charcoal animations and interactive tablet animations. I especially liked her cafe drawings, the style of which I felt would be a good fit for my blog - I liked the sense of warmth I got from them, and on a practical note, I thought that black and white would be super easy to co-ordinate. I was thrilled when she accepted my request to draw for me!

Late last year, we hosted two "Art and Food" days. We had a few friends over, I cooked and baked, Zhen drew, and then we all ate! It was really fun. Let's look at some photos and pictures from the days..

Original artwork by Zhen for Sarah Cooks

Original artwork by Zhen for Sarah Cooks

Original artwork by Zhen for Sarah Cooks


Original artwork by Zhen for Sarah Cooks

Original artwork by Zhen for Sarah Cooks

Meringues, vegetables, base for deconstructed cheesecake

Original artwork by Zhen for Sarah Cooks

Carrot Salad

Original artwork by Zhen for Sarah Cooks


Original artwork by Zhen for Sarah Cooks

Pumpkin bread with cream cheese glaze

Zhen animating the Pumpkin Bread

Animation by Zhen for Sarah Cooks

I hope y'all like the new layout, and that all the changes make it easier and more enjoyable for you!

Don't forget to check out Zhen's art!


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  1. How wonderful - I love the gif at the end.

  2. Love the drawings! The animation is super awesome too.

  3. Cute drawings! I wish I could draw! *sigh*

  4. I love the drawings!

    Yeah, I understand how difficult it is to find time to work on blog layout changes. I mean, as if work and blog writing - and not to mention social lives - don't take up enough time already! I've been telling myself to work on blog layout changes for more than six months now - hopefully I will actually get around to doing it before the end of the year, hah.

  5. What a darling idea! I love the fresh and clean layout you've got going on now :) Layout updates take so long, mine was so straight forward but I kept putting it off for ageessss. Feels good to have it done though doesn't it?

  6. Love it, I totally love it!



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.