One step in front of the other, do you have your eyes shut as tightly as you can? Now, no peeking! Ok, deep breath in and out, and on the count of three open your eyes… one, two, three,
Welcome to Hopeful Honey!
Once those tiny, imaginary fireworks have subsided I invite you take a look around my new little hive, a place where for the past 5 years I’ve made myself a beautifully creative home and eagerly waited for you all to join me in an afternoon of crochet, wrapped in snuggly wools and yarns.
Back then, when I first decided to start documenting my crochet endeavours, I was blown away by the dozens of blog platforms but in the end decided to stay within my comfort zone and launch Hopeful Honey on Blogger. There’s no doubt that Blogger has served me very well other the years, we’ve become quite close friends (we did spend hours together everyday after all) as it was a wonderful way for me to easily share my inner crafter with the world in just a few simple clicks.
About a year and a half ago, I pushed my anxiety to the back-burner and decided to make the big move from Blogger to WordPress. It was time for change, and after days of research I knew that WordPress would be the ideal new home as it gives a lot more freedom and options, and would be a much better fit for how I blog. Once I had firmly decided this I knew there was no going back…
Unsure of how to proceed, I spent a good month delving into a long list of potential designers. None of them felt right, and just as I was about to give up I randomly stumbled onto Melissa and instantly knew she was the right one for me! Her unique, quirky and playful designs drew me in and I couldn’t help but excitedly reach out to her the very next day.
I cannot begin to to say what a dream it was to work with Melissa from Melissa Rose Design! As previously mentioned, for over a year I contemplated revamping my entire blog design, but the task of finding the perfect designer seemed very daunting to me… That was until I reached out to Melissa! From the get go she was a delight to work with, very professional and creative and made sure to take all my ideas on board so that I would be left with a new design that reflected my personality to all my readers. Not once did I feel that any questions I might have would be deemed as silly – She created a wonderful workspace for us where I could freely share my vision for my blog. As website design isn’t my forte, I was extremely grateful that she made sure not to overwhelm me with a ton of info, but instead worked with me step-by-step throughout the entire process. I couldn’t be more happy with my updated design, it’s more than I could have ever dreamed of!
Being very visual, I knew I wanted to redesign everything to make it more image-focused, meaning that you could easily see more projects at a first-glance.
I outlined what I wanted, and Melissa got to work turning my ideas into reality. First off, you might have already noticed the new Hopeful Honey logo popping up in the last few weeks. When it came to working on the new logo I knew I wanted watercolors (and in which shades), something bee/honey related and something very ME. Basically, that’s all I gave Melissa, yet somehow she didn’t just nail it, she hit it out of the ballpark! I had no idea what to expect, but when I saw the sneaky preview pop-up in my inbox I squealed with utter excitement. The yarn honeypot might just be my favourite element of logo, isn’t it just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?!
Secondly, Hopeful Honey now features a chic new gallery format! Pinterest is one of my greatest loves as the photos are front and centre, so I wanted to reflect this in my new design. Each blogpost is now an icon where you can see the featured photo and a brief description of what the post is about.
Something I felt very strongly about was making sure that this new design was user-friendly and easy to navigate. For quite some time I’d longed for a clean, crisp, dropdown menu and once again, Melissa delivered! I suggested added little sketches to the menu, which I’m so happy I did as not only is the menu very useful now, but also very cute. “Home” is written in yarn, “About” has a darling cloche hat (and as you all know, I love crocheting vintage-inspired pieces), “Patterns” features a sweet little honey dripper and crochet hook, “Tutorials” a watercolor video camera, “Shop” a dainty wire basket and last but not least, “Contact” a busy little bee buzzing around an envelope.
The functionality of the dropdown menu is exactly what I’d always wanted. I’ve divided up all my patterns into multiple categories, and if you click on each one you’ll be taken directly to that specific section! Some months ago I also did the painstaking job of meticulously re-filming all my crochet basics videos, which you can now find embed on the “Tutorials” pages, in US and UK crochet terms!.. Perfect for any crochet newbies.
Many of you already know, but for those of you that don’t, teaching people how to crochet is one of my biggest passions. From the meditative and cognitive benefits that crochet offers, you’ll not only reduce your stress and anxiety levels, but also be nurturing a sense of self-worth and fulfilment… A simple way to brighten every single day. I brainstormed long and hard about how to encourage people to learn a new art form, in a simple-to-follow way. With Melissa’s help and creativity, we came up with the ‘Crochet Box’! The ‘Crochet Box’ is inserted in every Stitchionary blogpost, and contains everything you’ll need to learn a new stitch or technique. From neatly formatted written instructions to clear and concise videos, it’s the perfect place for any newbie to learn and master something new!
There are so many subtle changes and touches to this design, I could write about them the whole day!.. But, part of the fun is discovering them for yourself, so don’t be shy and take a little look around at all the new functions!
After months of passing creative notes, sketches and ideas back and forth with Melissa, it was finally time to add life to the new design. With absolutely no idea on where to begin or look for a developer, Melissa was lovely enough to recommend Lauren, the founder and passionate driving force behind Once Coupled, a company dedicated to making website development stress-free (how can you not love the sound of that?). After releasing a massive sigh of relief, I contacted Lauren and within a day we were well on our way to working together to turn Hopeful Honey into something special.
Other than some basics I’ve learned over the years, coding is a foreign language to me. Lauren was just incredible, and took the time to explain each step in such detail that even a mere novice as myself easily understood every process involved in transforming my entire website. Professional, dedicated, thoughtful, and talented are only some of the words that come to mind when trying to describe Lauren. From the very first email her bubbly personality put me right at ease, and it’s only become more and more enjoyable to work with her from then on.
To put it simply, I LOVED working with Melissa and Lauren and would highly recommend both of them to anyone in search of a wonderful designer and/or developer!
Melissa’s thoughtfulness even extended beyond designing, as in celebration of my new branding she mailed this hoop (photo at the top of the post) with intricate embroidery in the delicate design of my new logo… I can’t wait to hang this gem up in my studio!
We’ve been working on this new blog design for the past 8 months, and we’re all so excited that it’s finally live!
Let me know what you think of this new hive of creativity in the comments below!
… After all, it’s yours too!