Seven Years of Expat in Cork Blog Headers

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September 29, 2015 by Evin

Over seven years ago, I shared my first public blog post about my impending relocation to Cork from the Silicon Valley in California. We thought we were moving for a year or two. Seven years has proven us wrong and we are still making Cork City our home. More about why I created this blog in THIS POST, but I wanted to write a little piece about how this blog has evolved from basic play-by-play of my move and settling into my new life to Cork happenings and events. I will detail the evolution with the various headers as visuals.

Here’s a stroll through memory lane at the past headers I’ve used in the various incarnations of this blog and why the name has changed over the years.

My first header went into use in May 2008 and is lost in my old files, but it was basic and unmemorable. I updated it once I arrived and had a better photo. I think the new headers started in September 2008, so we’ll start there.

This header was a tinted photo from St. Anne’s Shandon Clock Tower with a view southward. It was not that interesting, but served its purpose for a few weeks.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

Then in November or December 2008, I designed the header to address my newfound love of knitting and including those posts in the blog as well. I made the little sheep myself in Photoshop.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

My knitting posts and Cork posts were almost split evenly and I noticed much of my traffic was for people searching the web for the Slainté pub in Cork, so to respect the SEO of the pub, I change the blog’s name to Pints & Purls. This felt lighthearted and whimsical, so I liked it. The old pub feel was cosy for a winter header. Also, whenever I said “Slawncha Cork” to anyone asking for the name of my blog, they’d frown upon my American accent making mince of the Irish language, so something with English words was ideal.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

Spring arrived and I wanted to freshen the look up a bit so I brought in sorbet hues for the new design. I really loved the map in the background and the sheep, pint, and description. In hindsight, the two (or is that three?!) fonts of the title were a poor design choice.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

A few months later, I noticed a book titled Pints and Purls: Portable Projects for the Social Knitter (North Light Books, April 8, 2009) was published with the same name and I worried the publisher would hunt down use of the title elsewhere. So, I changed my blog name yet again. In hindsight, this is the single most regretted decision I’ve made in the existence of this blog. However, it eventually (circa 2011) ended up being a benefit to separate out my craft and knitting posts and pair them with my recipes (which merged over from content I previously dedicated to my food blog, Cooking Peas & Qs which was the blogification of my previous weekly newspaper recipe column in the States) and put them up on EvinOK.com.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

I felt the dots were too simple and wanted to show a glimpse of Cork in the header so I took this photo then photoshopped a wallpaper effect to widen it for the width of the banner measurements. I added description phrases/words to the right. I also tried it without the words on the side.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

I wanted to bring in cooler charcoal hues and after an August 2009 trip to Normandy and Paris, I fell in love with this photo I captured of a dog. Trivia: This photo was taken the week I joined Twitter.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

In 2010, I sketched the Shandon Clock Tower for the Cork Non-Fiction Writers’ Group blog site and decided to use it on my blog as well. I love the blue planks and green font. This design was to tie into the WordPress theme I chose.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

In 2011, I welcomed my son into the world and my life, so I felt it only right to reflect my evolving interests (parenting, food, knitting). At this point, I still had Cooking Peas & Qs and was about to launch EvinOK.com. This design also tied in with the new (and final) blog and header design for Cooking Peas & Qs. The Shandon Clock Tower remained prominent. As with my other headers, all the images were created in Photoshop by me from photos I took myself.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

In June 2012, I painted a landscape of Cork’s skyline for my husband as an anniversary gift (more on that in THIS POST on EvinOK.com). I loved it so much, I made it the header for a while. But it felt so schmaltzy and didn’t last long.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

Back to basics. This was around when I learned I needed open liver resection surgery to remove a giant tumor that had grown while I was pregnant. I needed bright, cheerful, and light so much as I faced major surgery that would sidetrack me for a month. After 22 days in the hospital, I was left with a scar the length of my abdomen and unable to lift my son for six weeks. But the tumor was cancer-free! I really liked this design.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

Six months after my liver surgery, I wanted to bring in more photography and depth to the header so I styled some seaglass while visiting a friend on Bere Island and took this photo, which became the header image I use now. I debated changing the blog’s name because 50 Shades of Grey came out.

Life in Cork City Ireland from an expat American's perspective

What’s next? I’m still deciding on a few things, like the future of this blog.

Which is your favorite header and why? What about blog name?

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Where to Eat Brunch in Cork City, Ireland
Life as an American in Ireland
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