The New 2Summers

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, my blog changed.

Old 2Summers resized

 This is what my blog looked like yesterday. Big change today.

It’s been more than two years since I changed the design of my blog, mainly because I really liked the old design. And the last time I changed designs, in December 2011, was a very pivotal point in my life. I guess my old blog reminded me of that. I subconsciously struggled to let it go. But today was time.

My new blog header is the brain-child of Fiver Löcker. In addition to being a good friend, Fiver is one of my longest-running and most loyal blog-readers. I’ve always admired her online drawings and decided there was no better person to create the new 2Summers look.

banner for blog post

Fiver designed and drew this on her iPad. If you’d like to check out more of Fiver’s iPad drawings, visit her Tumblr feed. She also wrote a blog post about iPad drawing.

This header incorporates many of the things I love most about Joburg: boxing, minibus taxis, aloeshadedascoffee, sunsetsphotography, and of course the Joburg skyline and the Melville Cat. The banner even includes a broken iPhone, which isn’t exactly a happy thing but tells a good story.

My new image is fairly unusual in the blogosphere, I think. Most blogs are moving toward simple, minimalist designs and this is quite the opposite. That’s what I like about it. The tagline of my blog is “An American in Quirky Johannesburg”. This image is nothing if not quirky and I think it says a lot about my blog and my life. Big thanks to Fiver for working so hard and patiently enduring the endless cross-continental back-and-forth.

Now that I’ve finally taken the plunge and changed my blog, I can’t believe I waited such a long time. This is so exciting. It’s like I went shopping and bought a whole new wardrobe.

Please bear with me while I get the new blog running smoothly — it still has a few kinks and I’ll be making some more format changes. The site also seems to be loading slowly and I’m a bit concerned about that. (Please let me know if it loads slowly for you.) But I’m sure I’ll get it all worked out soon. In the meantime I’d love to hear what you think.

2summers and sun for blog

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39 Comments

  • Reply Sheryl R April 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Nice, I like it. Well done, look forward to more from 2 Summers 🙂

    • Reply 2summers April 10, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      I’m glad you like it, Sheryl.

  • Reply Timmee April 10, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Looks great on my desktop! Not slow at all from this side.

    • Reply 2summers April 10, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      That’s great to hear, Timmee. Maybe it was just slow at the beginning when I as messing with it so much.

      You’ll be hearing from me soon. I have lots of questions 🙂

  • Reply Gary De Beer April 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I think the new banner is fantastic and the whole site design is as quirky as you are.

    It did not take too long to load on fast work connection, but I did take a minute to ‘snoop’ under the hood as it were with my box of tricks. I wish I had done this on the old site for a point of comparison, but there is no going back now. 🙂

    The most obvious thing I noticed is that your wonderful new banner is a pretty large GIF file (to keep all its gloriousness intact hey..) but I bet you could cut its size by more than half without very noticeable loss of quality if you converted it to JPG.

    Of course you run a photo blog so a little bit extra in the page banner will probably mean nothing in relation to one of your more expansive posts, but every bit counts in the end I believe 😉

    There were some other things my profiler picked up but they are too nerdy to be discussed here so let me know if you do want to go into more of those details.

    Good luck and may you enjoy the new design for a long time to come.

    • Reply 2summers April 10, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Wow, Gary, thanks so much for the thoughtful analysis. I’ll definitely convert the file to a JPG — great advice. And I just might contact you for your other nerdy suggestions 🙂

      I’m glad you like the header!

      • Reply Dibbs_ZA April 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        My absolute pleasure.

  • Reply Justin April 10, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Looks Stunning!!! Thanx so much 😉

    • Reply 2summers April 11, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks Justin, glad you like it.

  • Reply catherine April 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I like it .Heather, and the loading was quick! it’s personal and happy looking and it’s YOU, at least the YOU we know online….long live to the new look!

    • Reply 2summers April 11, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks so much, Catherine, I really appreciate that.

  • Reply Claire Sneed April 10, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Heath, I love your new blog layout and love reading your blog, both because it’s inspiring and because you sound so happy. I do miss you though. I’m around this weekend if you want to Skype! Love C Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Reply 2summers April 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      I miss you too. I have a crazy weekend but maybe Sunday eve? xx

  • Reply Wendell A. Brown April 10, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    I think its so very delightful, and reflects your happy spirit! We all need a change now and then, this is different in a fun way. God bless!

    • Reply 2summers April 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks so much Wendell, I appreciate the comment and I’m really glad you like it.

  • Reply eremophila April 10, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Love the new look!! It’s you!
    Yes, it does take a while to load, as I’ve usually only got a slow connection, but then again, your old page took a while to load also – compared to others I visit that is.

    • Reply 2summers April 11, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Yep. I think my blog just has too much content. Something I will have to deal with eventually. Sigh…Anyway, glad you like it!

  • Reply Owls April 11, 2014 at 3:07 am

    It’s beautiful!!! Loaded for me instantly. 🙂

    • Reply 2summers April 11, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks Drury, glad you like it. Sounds like it loads easily for peeps in the U.S. but there are some problems for those of us living with slow connections…But that’s life I guess.

  • Reply Gail Wilson April 11, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Stunning 🙂

  • Reply Alexi April 11, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Great! Change is always good!!!

  • Reply contrafacta April 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    I think the new design is really lovely, and I like everything EXCEPT for the tagline (and the tagline font). Great job, Fiver!

    • Reply 2summers April 12, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Thanks so much for the feedback. You’re actually the second person to say that about the tagline font. Just curious – how would you change it? I don’t have a good eye for fonts.

  • Reply Madeleine April 12, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Love your new look! Congratulations .

  • Reply Rachel April 14, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog faithfully ever since my 19-year old son volunteered to work in South Africa last year. He arrived in Johannesburg (well, Alexandra actually) last September and the very first thing he told me about were the hadedas in the garden. It was so much fun to read about them in your blog last week and I can’t wait to hear them for myself when we visit him in August! I love your new blog design by the way; Fiver is so talented!

    – and just for the record, I think it is you who is quirky, not (only) Johannesburg!

    • Reply 2summers April 14, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Thanks so much Rachel, I really appreciate the comments and I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the blog. I’m also glad to hear the blog loads quickly for you. Thanks for the font feedback, too. Which font are you referring to — the font for the tagline?

      I hope you have a wonderful time when you come to visit. Do you know where you’ll be staying yet? How cool that your son is volunteering in Alex.

      • Reply racheljschneider April 21, 2014 at 9:27 am

        Sorry, I’ve only just seen your reply and question. I was referring to the font on the bit which says “An American in quirky Johannesburg”.

        Thanks for your good wishes. We’ll be travelling around a fair bit in August and spending some time with my son in Alex.

  • Reply Rachel April 14, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    PS Your page loaded really quickly for me (in Germany). I love the content. Maybe you could use a font that reflects quirkiness a little more – Kristen ITC font, for example.

  • Reply Sunshinebright April 14, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I love it! Much better than the old one. This is so bright and airy and cheerful. Your posting tone is so much brighter, too. I can almost hear it in your voice, if I were able to hear you. Congratulations on this. Enjoy! 🙂

    • Reply 2summers April 16, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Thanks so much. I’m glad you like it. Interesting observation about the tone, too. Someone else made a similar observation this week.

  • Reply tenneymason April 18, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Looks great but it is loading slowly on my machine. Sometimes slower than others; but always long enough so that I am tempted to close out and try again.

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  • Reply Eugenia Parrish May 4, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    I tucked this away in my blogs-to-catch-up-on-later file and nearly forgot all about it. I wanted to say that at first I wasn’t sure I liked the ‘idea’ of the change since I did like the old design so much. But in the last few weeks I’ve realized how much it is just so you and how you write. So I admit that it was right to change, and Fiver did a magnificent job. And, no, I’ve never had any trouble loading it.

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