Use Bootswatch themes with Museum Core to “skin” your site

I did a writeup on Museum Themes on how to use Bootstrap 3 themes with Museum Core (which this site uses) to get new “skins” for the Core theme. Note: I wouldn’t have even thought of this if it wasn’t for Shawn Wildermuth‘s Bootstrap 3 course on Pluralsight. If you want to check it out, I still have some trial codes to give away over here.

Use Bootswatch themes with Museum Core to “skin” your site – Museum Themes

What’s going on with this blog

So I haven’t posted anything in a long time. Part of it was the SOPA/PIPA thing and the protest and I said I’d leave the blackout page up until SOPA/PIPA was gone for good and it sort of is and sort of isn’t. But that became an excuse, really, because then I started working on a new blog design which I plan on launching in the next couple months. The design is done, it just needs to be coded, but then I needed to finish the Museum Core framework on which it would be built. Which I did. But then, because Museum Themes takes priority, I decided that we should — once and for all — port our Blogger templates over into WordPress themes, the first of which has been done (Grandma’s Hat Box). After that, I need to update all of our themes so they plug into the Core framework as child themes. Then I need to work on some kind of membership model that allows access to all of our themes for a monthly fee. Then I need to update the Museum Themes site and the Arcane Palette site and then I can work on coding the new site design for this site.

And that’s why I pulled down the SOPA/PIPA page, since the update isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

The new design for jazzsequence.com will be single column, responsive and feature my music and coding projects a lot more than the current (and past) designs. I uploaded some of the mockups a while back…

redesign continued -- revised nav for easier navigation (ligh... on Twitpic

redesign continued -- contact page, powered by @protocol_by, ... on Twitpic

redesign continued -- code page on Twitpic

redesign continued -- about page on Twitpic

redesign, continued -- Music page on Twitpic

Working on a new site redesign on Twitpic

thinking about redesign…again…

So now that Museum Themes is up, WordPress 3.0 is out, and web fonts have made huge strides in browser-integration, I’m thinking about redesigning jazzsequence.com.  Again.

discount browncoatOkay, yes, I am fully frakking aware that I redesign my site more frequently than a hooker gets checked for STDs, and even the Browncoat theme lasted longer than the current design.  But here’s the thing with both of these designs: both of them were just products of trends or ideas I was really into at the time.  This theme is sort of a failed experiment at making WordPress more like Facebook, except that the problem with that is that — from a content standpoint, Facebook sucks ass.  Who the fuck wants to read someone’s Facebook wall, I mean honestly?  I did this, I unlocked that, I’m listening to this stuff, help me with my Mafia, I need 4 nails, this is a cool article.  Twitter might be self-indulgent, but at least there’s some people out there (and I try to be one of them) that provides valuable and/or interesting links, direct interaction, possibly some witty or snarky commentary.  So, yeah, an endless stream of the stuff I happen to be doing right this second?  Probably best left as an interesting idea and that’s that.  There’s a reason why you don’t see the word “lifestream” around nearly so much now as you did a year or 6 months ago.

With Museum, I was building things into the themes that I thought was cool, like @font-face calls.  jazzsequence.com’s current theme (called ::metal:: in case you didn’t know) still relies on sIFR — an old font-rendering workaround that converts text into a Flash swf and displays that.  The problem is — in case you didn’t notice — sIFR can be slow as all hell, and everytime I load this site that pisses me off.  Especially when I know there’s a better way of doing it (namely, calling the freaking font).

There’s still stuff I like about ::metal::, don’t get me wrong, and I’ll include that stuff in whatever incarnation the design takes.  It’s just sort of lame lusting after WordPress themes I designed for other people and being frustrated with my own blog design.  And there’s so many things that WP 2.9.2 – 3.0 added that I’ve been dying to use instead of, or in addition to the things I’m doing now that it just drives me insane.

The problem, of course, is that my mind, inevitably, veers toward the function more than the form — which was the case with ::metal::.  I have no real idea what I want the new theme to look like (other than something else), I just know what I want it to act like.  At least with Browncoat I had an idea and I liked it, it just became limiting when what I wanted to do with the site broadened.  I think the main problem with where I went with the design for ::metal:: was that I was still thinking too much in-the-box.  I wasn’t looking at art, I was looking at BlueprintCSS and grid-based design, and that’s what I did.  I think this time around, I’m going to have to look at some frickin’ art.

Like this shiznit.