Welcome to the redesign!

June 12 , 2006

Once upon a time...

I met a bunch of great web developers and designers at SXSW interactive. They spoke about web standards, and a world where the pages would live harmonious in all browsers. They spoke about a mysterious language called CSS. I was curious about this language and started my path of investigating and learning about redesigning my own site.

Post-SXSW 2006

I came back from SXSW interactive with Veerle and Geert in tow. We walked around DC and I went to the Smithsonian Sackler Gallery of Art. They had an exhibit with Japanese scrolls. I turned to Geert, "what do you think about using that in my design? Too Asian?" Geert, "You are Asian." So that was the beginning of the redesign... one I swore I would see to completition. I had Andy Budd's book CSS Mastery (signed by him, Molly Holzschlag and Chris), Patrick Griffiths' site (HtmlDog), and of course my two wonderful tutors Veerle and Geert. I used every spare moment I had for instance borrowing Nicole's boyfriend Eric to explain how to write the html code at Starbucks one day.

The beginning of the CSS studying...

I would come home and use CSS Edit, a program that was created by MacRabbit (how could Design Rabbit resist another rabbit?) and BBEdit. So that was the beginning of me coding my page from scratch. Yes that's right my fellow designers.. once upon a time I used WYSIWYG programs to build sites and now I am coding from scratch. One day I actually sat at my dining table from 9am to 9pm coding. I couldn't have done this without Veerle and Geert proofing my code. I couldn't have done this without your guidance. My two angels, plus David figuring out the Apache vs Expression Engine conflicts. XOXO.


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 12.56 pm

David Cafaro

Congrats on the new website!  Looks sweet!  And you can leave comments! ;-)


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 02.41 pm

Veerle Pieters

Love what you did with your site. It’s so totally you :) Very colorful and uplifting just like your spirit. Congrats! :) Oh and wait, you will be able to check ‘Belgium’ in your Lifetime Todo list tomorrow YEAH!! Now get your ass on the plane! :o)


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 02.42 pm


What, I have to comment again because it didn’t take the first time? ;)

Couldn’t you try harder to put together a more ambitious design? Maybe incorporate some blues and purples? I’m even thinking a drawing of yourself in the upper right corner would look really nice. And speech bubbles…we need lots of speech bubbles if this is EVER going to work. :P

GREAT JOB, CINDY LI!!! See what weeks without sunlight, air or swing dancing can do for you?? ;)


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 02.46 pm

Geert Leyseele

Cindy, congrats on the redesign it looks fabulous. You did a great job here and I love the Asian touch ;)


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 02.47 pm


Congratulations, Cindy! It looks great! Now take a week or two off, run away to Europe, and relax! ;-)


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 02.47 pm

Daniel Morrison

Fantastic work and a beautiful site!

All we need now are t-shirts and action figures.


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 03.06 pm

valli ravindran

I reallly like the colors.. very bubbly.


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 03.19 pm


I really like it!  Great job, Cindy!


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 03.23 pm

Andrew Wilson

Nice work, kid. Looking good.


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 05.48 pm


well done. and you mentioned al the “tools” that i will/have been using as i move to EE and hopefully a really easy to implement css-site. again great work!


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 06.54 pm

Jeremy Keith

The site looks fantastic, Cindy! Congratulations on a job well done.


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 07.47 pm


Yay Cindy! Don’t go too crazy with all the Euros I gave you. ;) We’ll be watching your adventures unfold on flickr.


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 07.56 pm

Rob Weychert

Nice work, Cindy! The scrolls are a great touch.


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 08.13 pm


jesus, now that you’re finally done what will you have to obsess, cuss, and lose sleep over? i think i need to find another project for you. haha cheers on the great design, and have fun on your trip. its kinda quiet around here without you.


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 08.19 pm


Looking really good. See you tomorrow, and we’ll talk some more :)


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 08.45 pm


Great new design! Really fresh and colourful…

When in Belgium don’t forget to :

* Drink some real Belgian beer(s)
* Have some <s>french</s> Belgian fries
* Ask Veerle to take you to Hasselt (yeh yeh !)
* Have fun


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 09.20 pm

Matthew Anderson

Truly inspiring color scheme, Cindy. I think you did an amazing job with your first, hand-coded redesign!


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 09.43 pm

Josh Byers

Looks great!  I am in the middle of my first standards based site based on EE as well.  You’ve given me some great inspiration!


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 10.10 pm


:O! Omgosh. I was following you around on flickr and finally you’ve got yourself a, very smexy, new (not wordpress looking) website! I loveth it.


Tue Jun 13, 2006 at 10.16 pm

Denis Radenkovic

Wow, fantastic job!


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 01.20 am

Patrick Haney

Totally rocks.

Great work Cindy. I knew you’d come up with something awesome, but I honestly didn’t expect it to be as good as it is. Welcome to the world of CSS.


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 03.04 am

Derek Featherstone

Still showing myself around - taking a tour so to speak, but loving it so far. Congrats!!


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 03.58 am

Kyle Bradshaw

Cindy this looks great! I’ve been eagerly anticipating the flexing of the CSS muscles :)


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 06.06 am

Medard KonopĂ­k

Wow! What a beautiful website :) It really looks cute & sexy.


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 07.32 am

Rene Kleizen

Wow, good job!


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 07.50 am

Allan Reyes

Congrats! Awesome redesign, love the colors, background and readability. :)


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 08.45 am

Kenneth Himschoot

wow. cool job.

Now I have to get mine finished. 

Hope to get some good ideas at @media and to the other visitors, I’m proud to say that I’m travelling together with Cindy to London :-)

This site is soo 100% Cindy indeed, love what you did with the colors, too! See you this afternoon.


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 08.50 am

Pete Lambert

Good work Cindy.  Great colours.  I love the comment treatment too.

Very nice stuff.


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 08.55 am

Richard Rutter

Wow! Looks great Cindy, nice work indeed. Does this mean you can tick off number 1 on your lifetime todo list?

Loving that scroll design btw - nice touch.


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 10.49 am

Zach Inglis


You finally got around to doing it!

Looks great.


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 11.35 am


Oooh, nice. This design works really well. Good work :)


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 12.20 pm

Shani elharrar

Hell of a design :)


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 01.03 pm


Really nice design. One thing to mention, your fonts are not readible. I tested it in Firefox and IE6. Title and header is redible,other parts are not readible.
Link to picture


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 04.53 pm


Congrat!!! U DID IT!! woo hoo go girl


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 05.24 pm


I’m on firefox and it looks perfect for me, vepa.  on IE, too.  I think that must having something to do with your “smooth edges of screen fonts” properties?  just a guess. 

great redesign, cindyli; I’m impressed that this is your first css-based layout.


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 05.59 pm

Erwin Heiser

Very impressive, especially if this is your first layout. Kudos for picking EE as well!


Wed Jun 14, 2006 at 07.41 pm


Great site indeed, well done. The font issue is a problem with an MS released version of Lucida Sans. If you change it to Lucida Sans Unicode you should be good. :)


Thu Jun 15, 2006 at 07.59 am


Problem with the font-rendering is MS Windows itself. The font-rendering on it is just plain crap. Most of the fonts render in a good way, but “Lucida is bad”. (related article : http://www.badboy.ro/articles/2005-12-29/index.php)

However when a user has ClearType installed (which is not by default) it does render correctly. Vista has this installed by default (as do the Beta releases of IE7 and Office 2007 have this implemented and enabled by default).

Never heard of Rob’s suggestion, but when checking it out in a quickie, it does actually work! Nice tip Rob!


Thu Jun 15, 2006 at 08.19 am


Great design. I don’t have the font issue as others explain, but I do have Cleartype enabled.

P.S. Tried it with Cleartype disabled and still looked good / readable (but not anti-aliased of course).


Thu Jun 15, 2006 at 04.01 pm


Nice job on your first hand coded design.  I say don’t worry about that font issue, and abandon MS support all together ;)

When selecting one of your navigation menus, I do see a strange dotted rectangle that extends from the menu selected all the way to the left (over your nice illustration).  I’m not sure if that is within your control to fix or not… (this was using Camino v1.0.1)


Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 03.05 am

Steve Ganz

Wow, Cindy. What a beautiful design on top of a solid foundation. Great job!


Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 01.08 pm

Matthew Strange

Nice illustrated kinda site, reminds me of sewing :p
Very slick! I find css is annoying lol


Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 06.07 pm


Very nice redesign, impressive. (But could you add labels to your contact form, thanks!)


Wed Jun 21, 2006 at 11.39 pm


:::hugs guys::::

The strange dots is an accessibility thing. I spoke to Roger of 456 Berea Street. He said its better to leave that on and so… well I will listen to him since he’s an expert on this. As for the font issue. I’ll take a loook at this when I have time after my trip!


Thu Jun 22, 2006 at 03.31 pm

angie the jantz

Cindy, your site is amazing.  I love it!  You have a great style and are an inspiration to finally get my shat together and redo my own blog. :D


Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 05.25 am


Amazing design! really impressive! I love it!


Sat Oct 28, 2006 at 02.38 am


Hi Cindy! I came to visit your site after a long while to look for your Halloween pictures (I’m going to be GoGo from Kill Bill this year!). The new site looks great!


Constantly, trying to learn new things, and on the way I get to meet some amazing people with my camera by my side. XOXO!

on Flickr