We wish to announce that Her Majesty, the Empress of Dirt, has a whole new look. Not that we didn’t love her as she was, but, after many years in the same outfit, it was time for a nice, fresh start.
First, let me give you a little history. Some of you have been following my blogs from the beginning (hello!) and remember these early years.
The Pioneer Days of Blogging
Back in the early 2000s, I had a blog called Pioneer Woman with Cell Phone. It was a place to share my love of old-fashioned life skills combined with a healthy appreciation for the usefulness and brilliance of modern inventions and conveniences. It’s quite a world we live in that we can sew clothes by hand and make bread from scratch, all while talking on a mini handheld computer known as a mobile phone.
Time to Grow
By 2005, I was ready for a change, and turned the blog into Empress of Dirt, with a new focus on my main love: life in the garden.
The name Empress of Dirt came to me after hearing a line in a song,
you can have it all, my empire of dirt.
It was Johnny Cash singing Hurt by Nine Inch Nails. If you are familiar with the lyrics, you may see how it struck me as a good name for a blog about (mostly) a love of gardening, frugality, making-do with what we have, and the contentment we can only find in nature—all sprinkled with a healthy dose of life-is-short, and we are stewards, not owners of this earth.
I hastily made up the logo with Queen Victoria as the Empress, thinking this would be temporary until I came up with the ‘real design’. I never anticipated it would take 12 years to get it done.
With no particular design or technical skills, I finally had the good sense to hire someone who does.
Alice Priestley is a ‘web designer / front-end developer with a background in book illustration‘ and the person who was able to turn my seemingly unrealistic dreams for this site into reality.
Alice provides the story of the creative development process here. Basically, I uttered some far-out ideas about the look and feel I was hoping for, and Alice disappeared with her magical sketchbook, fine coding skills, intuition, and a lovely determination to push the boundaries, and came back with something much better than I could have hoped for.
Art + Tech
In this era where a website must serve a tiny mobile screen and at the same time look right on a giant desktop computer monitor, it is no small task to design something that is playful and engaging yet technically proficient. Alice managed to capture the old-fashioned storybook feeling I was after yet still meet all the demands (and confinements) of a blog. I could not be more pleased, and, I hope, of course, that you will enjoy it too.
To explore more of the new artistry on the site, and see the Empress come to life, have a look at Grow, Make, and Ideas.
To find out who is the inspiration behind the Empress of Dirt character, you will enjoy Alice’s story here.
And, to see more of her work, including beloved children’s books and web designs, visit Alice here:
And thank you, Alice, for a beautiful new Empire of Dirt.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛