Mac and Cheese and Cats

Peter

2 things happened today.  First, Peter figured out how to decapitate the toy on top of his favorite scratching post.

Peter

The second thing?  Working on an awesome recipe for Mac & Cheese for a little 4th of July contest we’re having.  Spicy Pumpkin Mascarpone and Cheddar Mac & Cheese.  This one was good.  Next one will be better.

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

I promise a much more interesting post tomorrow! And now, a beer. Ahhhh.

Site Launch – Lovely Indeed

Lovely Indeed

Actually it is a site relaunch, with a brand new design. Lovely Indeed is my wife’s blog about life, style, and all things lovely. She has been writing it for about 2 years now, and traffic is getting so heavy that we had to set up her own server just to handle the load. Chelsea is a graphic designer herself, so she did most of the visual work on the site while Nick and I coded it into a WordPress theme. She wanted something simple to showcase her photography and other beautiful images from around the web.

Lovely Indeed

This is by far our cleanest coding job to date, and some of the functions we put in here are awesome. Every time you reload the page, the little heart icon changes colors. Chelsea also made custom social media buttons to connect to all of her other identities online. Pinterest drives about 40% of Chelsea’s traffic to the site, so we wanted to make sure the integration was seamless. We ended up making a custom “Pin it” button that loads over every image of the site for easy pinning to the correct permalink.

Wahoo!

Go visit her site and put a little lovely in your life!

A site for sore eyes – Aaron Lazar

Aaron Lazar

This is an example of perfect minimalism in an actor’s website.  Aaron Lazar, who has made a name for himself as a leading man on Broadway and has some impressive film and television credits, has just a single page on his website.  On it, he presents all of the relevant information about his career and upcoming performances.  His one bit of multimedia is his reel, and the rest he leaves to facebook and twitter.

Aaron Lazar

While I appreciate this simple approach, it isn’t for everyone. Aaron is a big enough star that he doesn’t need to put a lot of information out there in order to seek new work. I am sure his fans would love to see more photos and hear more of his music, but this site is less about promotion and more about keeping control of his online identity. He is presenting a limited image online so that he can be anything he likes out in the real world.

Pinstagram

Instagram on iPad

I’m a little late to the Instagram game since I don’t have an iPhone.  I’m really happy that it was finally released on Android, but the experience just isn’t as easy to use, so I don’t use it that often.  One of the most annoying features about Instagram is the lack of web or iPad version.  There is no native way to view your network on anything but your smartphone screen.

Instagram on iPad

Another social network that is in severe need of an iPad app is Pinterest. I was an early user of Pinterest, back when I was one out of 100 guys on the entire network. So I was really excited to see when some rogue developers decided to mash up the two ideas and make Pinstagram.

Pinstagram on iPad

Pinstagram takes all of your Instagram photos and loads them up in a Pinterest-style grid. It is clean, easy to use, and so much nicer than any other Instagram web viewer out there. I highly recommend checking it out before it gets shut down for copyright infringement or something silly like that.  My one caveat for them, hire a logo designer.

Pinstagram logo

 

Aled Lewis – Toy Stories

Tyranosaurus Dodo

Tyranosaurus Dodo

My wife was playing with toys from the dollar store a few weeks ago. Doing crazy things like cutting toy animals in half and making magnets, chopping their heads off to turn them into bud vases, and photographing them and adding witty captions.  Today I stumbled on a series of the same idea that made me chuckle and I thought I would share.

Bull in a China Shop

Pegasus Stunt Double

Sheep

All images from Aled Lewis

Site Launch – Bridal Couture Magazine

Occasionally our clients need something a little different from the standard actor website; we try to cater to all creative industries and not just performers.

Mira Jantz runs a bridal shop out of Modesto, CA and also publishes her own bi-annual Bridal Couture Magazine.  For the past couple of years she has operated a blog that featured her magazine content on the web.  However, she was still using the pre-installed Twenty Ten WordPress theme, so we helped her take it to the next level with a fully customized site.

On the site she will be featuring photography, wedding advice, and bridal fashion. If you are a bride in California’s Central Valley, this blog is sure to be one of your sources for inspiration and guidance.  Some of our goals for the site were to fully integrate social media and to create a beautiful framework to feature all of the wonderful wedding photography that is coming from Mira’s exclusive sources.

Take a look around the site, and please show some love in the comments section to let her know you stopped by!

A site for sore eyes – Aaron J. Albano

Aaron Albano Home

I spend a lot of time clicking around the interwebs looking for inspiration from other actor sites. Occasionally, I run across a site that is an absolute breath of fresh air in comparison to most of the performer websites out there. I’m going to start featuring the best of the bunch here on the blog. First up is Aaron J. Albano:

Aaron Albano Home

Aaron is currently hoofing it as Finch in Disney’s NEWSIES on Broadway 8 shows a week. His site is a great example of a “box model” with clever design elements and photo integration. You get such a clear vision of his personality and who he is as a performer.

Aaron Albano Resume

His site was actually the inspiration for a lot of my early site designs, and you can still see the influence in my personal site. The “box model” has actually evolved nicely into modern design because of tablet computers. Sites like this fit perfectly onto an iPad screen.

Aaron Albano Media

Aaron’s site was built by Monogenes Designs, which sadly appears to have stopped operating. The designer’s real name is Angela Lin, another Broadway performer most recently seen in CHINGLISH. I hope she is still designing even if her portfolio site is down, as her sites are some of my favorites and I want to see more of them in the future.