Once upon a time…
Okay, so I announced on the previous teaser Tuesday that you would likely find the place was a little bit changed here at The Purple Booker. Or a lot changed, depending how you look at it. The bottom line though is after almost 11 years of this blog being a blog, it was time to really spruce up the place. And to work on getting a little more savvy with the times.
I have loved books my whole life. I am sure that is a statement that will strike a chord with just about any reader of this blog. Trips to the library growing up for me were like trips to mecca. Getting to go to the used bookstore and select a few books as a treat was better then any fancy doodad or pair of designer shoes that other kids preferred.
I simply devoured books from an early age, summers I was usually found curled up on the porch reading a book I would also beg my Mom to take me back to the library so I could swap out books. I read under the covers with a flashlight all the time. And finding out that I would never ever be able to read every book in the world was truly a sad event for me. It was an event that I literally grieved for.
In a cold place far away…
To this day the used bookstore is still a mecca for me. I absolutely love the smell of old books and new books alike. I was very anti kindle for a long time. Because I thought it was a betrayal to books and it didn’t smell like a book. Or feel like one either. Eventually though I came around and was able to see the benefits of the Kindle. More books! Free books! I still prefer a good old hardcover or paperback, but I love my kindle too. Books are built into my very fiber, they are part of me as much as my hair.
Even though in recent years I have not been devouring as many books as I used to. I still cherish them and think about them a lot. I mean one reason I actually got a kindle (at first) was for the text to speech. That way I could work on other projects or work while “reading”. I have given Audio books a solid chance because of this as well (turns out I am picky about the narrator, but I’ve found a few I like).
Where it all began…
When this blog first started I hosted it free on Blogger/BlogSpot, and I was far away from The Purple Booker at this point. I was a diehard BlogSpot user and just could never see myself moving to a different platform. I was a little blog naive at the time. This blog was even a different title back then, it was known as Fire & Ice not The Purple Booker.
When I took a step and paid for a custom blog design for that first version, oh boy let me tell you I thought I was gonna be some kind of special blogger. With a little help from the way back machine…I can even show you part of that first paid for design. The banner.
Yes, you see that right, there is a Twilight caption, and a picture of one Jasper Hale. I own it and I wouldn’t change that for anything. I fully admit to being a Twihard. Just as fully as I admit that the books did not have the best writing ever and the movies…..good entertainment but could have used a little help too. I didn’t care, see that line there resonated within me because I was battling the Big C and finding hope was super important.
You take your hope and your strength anywhere you can find it. I found it in the entertainment of being a Twihard and fully accepting it was not a perfect series, but I loved it anyways. I have always been Team Jasper because I would have loved to dive more into his backstory. Come on he was in the civil war Calvary!!!!! I always felt it was a bit of a loss that we didn’t get to explore that more, but hey that is what fan fiction is for right?
Something else, unexpected and interesting came from this early blogging and design work. The wonderful designer of said orginal desgins and I became friends. We aren’t BFF’s but I have been privileged enough to get to stay in touch and chat from time to time. Watching her beautiful Daughter come to being and watch as she grows and overall to be inspired by this lovely Lady and how she handles lemons in life, like we all get and is able to make lemonade and keep moving forward. I was reflecting on this the other day and couldn’t help but smile some at how the world works in general, I never would have gotten this privilege if I had not started my first blogging endeavors and had she not been the person I decided to go to about those designs. Life sure can be an interesting thing sometimes.
The end of 2012 & Start of 2013 saw me making the move to WordPress. I was not enjoying the way Blogger was acting up those days and while I knew it would be an adjustment WordPress seemed the right answer. That is when I got my own domain name Icewarmth.com (yeah fire & ice and all things close were taken so that was my solution lol) and a new design.
Honestly, aside from all the pink this was one of my favorite designs. I still kept Jasper, because I had too! Then added another hunk of a Vampire to the line up, one Eric Northman. A great play on Fire & Ice I thought. I kept with this theme for quite sometime, much like I did with the original one. I am a creature of habit, I did eventually however do another update. This one included a fantastic fun slider in the middle that flashed many of my favorite fictional characters.
This was the look I stayed with until I decided it was time to make another big change. So many big changes had happened in my life since the blog was created. I beat cancer, I moved from my home state to a place where I really didn’t know anyone. I got divorced and moved across the country to a place I had friends but still wasn’t really “home”. Among many other things. I just wasn’t the same person that started Fire & Ice. Most of all I wanted to start interjecting more of myself and who I am, into my book blog. So the first big step of that change was saying goodbye to Fire & Ice.
November of 2016 was the big change…Fire & Ice became The Purple Booker. I thought it was a fun play on things, I know not everyone understands the inside reference and joke behind the name, that was okay by me because I knew. I’ll share of course, LOL, I won’t just leave you feeling in the dark. Purple is my color, if you know me for 5 seconds you soon find that out. I have loved the color purple for I don’t know how long. Say it is because I am a Prince fan, say it is because of the Minnesota Vikings, you can say it’s because of anything you like at all because even I don’t know when or why it became my color, it just always has been.
I dyed my hair purple after leaving my ex (after a short bright red stint…he forbid me to go red when we were together. ). And it has rarely been a different color since. Don’t worry I am not like that pink Lady in LA thoug. I do have other colors and I don’t dye my animals to match. Yikes! Purple just really does make me happy. So that is perhaps the easy part to explain.
Booker, is just a tad more eye brow lifting for some. It is a shout out to Booker T. Washington. It is not because I book anything for people. Nor is it a “covert” version of bookie (yes I was asked that once). It goes along with another thing about me that people notice about me. After a few minutes it’s clear, I always have crochet with me. I bring a project with me everywhere I go. I would even go as far as to say that crochet saved my life.
Eek, I’m sorry. This post is already starting to look like a novella, so I will try to summarize quickly.
I have tried to pick up knitting or crochet a few times in my life. Knitting just never really seemed to click. Crochet was not a homerun either, at the time. That was until I hit a crossroads and technology helped. At the end of 2013 start of 2014 things changed. That was the year (’14) that changed a great many things in my life. I was still fighting the good fight with the big C. My now ex was acting weirder and weirder and more distant, among other things, and I found myself needing something.
Anxiety became a huge issue in my life and was getting me down. Despite having a trip to look forwards to (London ’14…life changing event yes!), I needed something to help me calm my anxiety. I also had the need to feel productive. I decided to give crochet one more chance. This time instead of just a little book from the store I started watching YouTube tutorials and that as they say was that. I have barely set my hooks down since.
I won’t go into all the details about how far crochet has progressed for me. I will however say, it is one of my most Zen places. I’ve crocheted all over the States, (Thank you crochet for making flight delays easier to deal with), in several places in England and in Italy too. I have a half fleshed out idea to do a Where in the world is Amby crocheting type thing on my travel/little random blog The Purple Gypsy and overall, I just can’t get enough.
From the woman who never thought she would even be able to read a pattern. Whom would only make scarves or basic items from YouTube. To a woman who does projects freehand all the time and who has begun to design works. Who also has started to write her own patterns. Crochet now runs through my blood and fiber every bit as much as reading does.
A bloom appears…
Alright, so I took the long way around to get to the point (sorry). Believe me it could have taken longer. A common fun thing we say in crochet circles as a tongue and cheek thing is that we are Happy Hookers. It is always good for a laugh, especially when it’s said around those who don’t crochet. It is also a dead accurate saying. We use hooks to turn string into things and we are happy doing it. And that is why I decided to make a play on words with my new blog title and use the word Booker. Books after all make me just as happy as hooking (I couldn’t resist) so it seemed like the perfect combination of the two worlds.
This was of course also a great time for a new theme. I mean hello new name needed it. Which of course is the theme that most of you my lovely readers came to know first.
This is me…
I am not completely sure as to why I felt I needed to make another theme change to The Purple Booker. Maybe because it was the next step in putting more of myself into this blog. So I would be less of just another random blogger and more me. I did more hands on with the Purple Booker theme this time. A nice basic template that I learned to build into something custom. The new banner (That I ADORE) is completely my concept and even depicts a cartoon version of me. If I could have drawn it myself I would have, but I hand picked the artist for it. I even took the anxiety inducing (for me) step of taking a selfie and popping that baby up on the fresh clean layout front and center.
So, this is me. Quirky, sometimes chaotic, certainly long winded me. If you have made it this far into this post I applaud you. Thank you for that. Thank you for being here at my humble blog at all. It means a great deal to me. There are still a few finishing touches to put on the new “digs” but for the most part this is it. I love it, it feels like me. There is no doubt that there will be more evolution as the years go on, but for now I am one content booker when it comes to blog design. Now if only I could be as happy with how organized mount TBR is…..Rome wasn’t built in a day right?