It’s true, chezerbey the blog is one year old. (Ok, disclaimer – we were on blogger before but it was basically a glorified flickr account.) We switched over to wordpress last year and bought It was a huge jump from the old layout, but there are a few things I’d like to do during year two:

1. Revamp the blog – I like wordpress and the “vigilance” theme, but it’s not quite how I want it. I figured out how to change the default text font to century gothic, but I’d like the images to be bigger and for the navigation to be different. I don’t need anything fancy but I do want more customization. Is there a training wheels version out there or do I just need to jump into the big scary world of CSS? I also want to totally change how the site is organized. Since we had been in the house for 3 years when I started this version of the blog, I did a lot of “back blogging”. I think the pages for each room are too long and start out with the crappy, before photos which probably doesn’t entice people to read on.

2.  Figure out a good way to show “inspiration photos” – I’d like a part of the site to be photos that we find inspiring or just awesome. I want to be able to right-click on an image and magically send it to a collector that will automatically link the image to its source. Is this Tumblr? Is this even possible?

3. Learn to use my camera better – Kyle and my fam pitched in last Christmas and got me a Canon Rebel XSi DSLR. I love it, but there is still so much to learn. I also want a wide-angle lens. And a tripod. I could also polish my Photoshop skills. Most of what I know is based on assembling architectural graphics and not for editing photos.

4. Blog more – while there has been a lot happening at chezerbey this year, there has not been a lot of time for blogging. As the big stuff finishes up and we transition to smaller, more manageable projects, we hope to do more posts that go from start to end and that include resources and costs.

Finally, thanks to all the readers and bloggers out there! We are constantly inspired by what people out there are doing and love that there is a forum to share both the high-fives and the headaches of homeownership. It’s been fun to hear people’s comments and feedback and often times reassures us that what we’re doing is not completely crazy.

So here’s to year two and making the rendering above a reality! Can’t wait!




18 Responses to “blogiversary”

  1. mark says:

    Hey guys! I’m a freelance wordpress-dev (who has a terribly boring wordpress theme! ha!) and I’ve been following y’all for a few months now. It’s exciting to see the transformation.
    By way of helping you achieve your goals, I can offer some suggestions. You mention a new menu format; WordPress 3.0 (with certain themes) allows for custom menu-creation under the “Appearance” section. With it, you can add in full categories or hide pages, basically make the menu be anything you want (1,2,3 or 100-level deep!)
    You also mentioned a “Hey I like this photo” side-blog. If you give s’more detail, or wanna talk about it with me more, I might be able to help you find a plugin that does what you’re after. If you’re referring to right-clicking on, say, an photo, that might be a browser-plugin. There’s things like which you can save a bookmark to, and then have WordPress pull-in.. Unless you wish to save the photo, flickr it, and then WP can pull that in too.. Lots of options. Feel free to eml me!

  2. Jeff says:

    I’ve been following the site for a long time (and hope to some day do something similar with my current home) and work on a lot of WordPress projects.

    If you can visualize what you are looking for in photoshop or just on paper, I would code it up into a theme for you.

  3. Dan says:

    Congrats! You’re doing a great job on the house and the blog! If it isn’t way too much trouble, would you mind sharing how you switched the font? I’ve looked into this but haven’t been able to figure it out!

    • zerbey says:

      Ok Dan, I’m not sure if this will work, but I’ve copied text from the last post in HTML format below. Try copying this into your post (under the “HTML” tab) and see if that works. You can see in the code where it says “Century Gothic”. Basically, everytime I create a new post I copy some HTML text from an old post and go from there. There is probably an easier way to do this, but it seems to work and isn’t too annoying. Let me know if you have problems though…I can poke around a bit more and see how I did it initially.

      It’s true, chezerbey the blog is one year old. (Ok, disclaimer – we were on blogger before but it was basically a glorified flickr account.) We switched over to wordpress last year and bought It was a huge jump from the old layout, but there are a few things I’d like to do during year two:

    • zerbey says:

      Argh, that didn’t work. I’ll forward you the e-mail that was sent to me on how to do it.

  4. katie says:

    happy blogiversary!!

  5. ModFruGal says:

    Congrats…Happy Blogiversary!

  6. We are working towards a wordpress revamp right now and its a mess…

    I gotta say I love Tumblr. Links back, works great and super easy to stash away inspirational images.

    Keep it up and congrats!

  7. Robin says:

    Yay congrats on your blogiversary! Your blog is already awesome but I can’t wait to see what you do with it. I’ve been working on my photography skills too (moving from Auto to Manual mode) and I highly recommend a book called “Understanding Your Exposure.” As far as your Photoshopping skills what are you looking to do exactly? I’ll admit I’m much better at photoshopping a picture than taking a good one. ; ) There are lots of websites, blogs, and videos for photoshopping but it depends on what version you have and what you’re looking to do. A simple explanation of the tools and some free actions could do the trick. Or you could mix both and start shooting in RAW and use a RAW conversion software where you can fix all of your photos from a similar shot at once… So many possibilities.

    • zerbey says:

      Thanks Robin, I’ll have to check out that book! I know the basic photoshop tools, but I don’t really use actions that often so maybe I should look more into that. I’m working with an ancient copy of Photoshop, so maybe upgrading is a good place to start. I’d love some CS4 in my life…but not sure it will be in the budget anytime soon!

  8. LauraC says:

    Congrats guys!

  9. EJ215 says:

    The blog already looks terrific — and your progress on the house is awesome and inspiring! Your shared organizational skills and perfectionism leave me (someone with a less organized and less perfectionist spouse) quite envious.

    Can I ask you to do a post on how you mastered Sketchup? I’ve fiddled around with it and find the learning curve pretty steep. Did you just use the Google tutorials, or did you have another source? Any tips on climbing that curve?

    Love the updates, even on electrical progress. Thanks for sharing all the nitty gritty and the setbacks, along with the spectacular results.

    • Kyle Z says:


      thanks, re: the sketchup really it’s something we’ve learned over the years as architects. Here are some other sketchup models I’ve done recently.

      I would suggest checking the sketchup forum whenever you have questions, I always try to use simple materials of a similar palette, mostly muted. There are also some lighting plugins such as kerkythea that I’ve experiemented with but they just take too much time. I like sketchup because it’s fast and easily updatable. The single biggest point I would have for you is to build in groups, whenever you build something that you don’t want to stick to everything else, make it a group or a component. There’s nothing worse that building a model where all the items are stuck to each other.

  10. Anna says:

    The rendering of your kitchen & photo from the same perspective are my favorite! I love seeing plans come to life.

  11. Nat says:

    Love your work-in progress kitchen. I’m re-doing my whole house. Not as much as you, but enough to make us a little crazy. Hope to see more of your home in the future.


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