Kristarella Studios & new design

After finishing my honours thesis at uni last year I knew I needed a break from science… I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do this year, but then I started getting emails asking if I was available for hire to customise websites. I even got an email from someone at uni asking me to take photographs of him and his fiancée. Websites and photography have been developing loves of mine for several years and the more I learn about them, the more exciting they get.

So, these emails were a real blessing for me; thank you to everyone who approached me, especially everyone in the Thesis community. Out of these emails and requests, Kristarella Studios has been created.

kristarella studios
Thanks for the logo Amy!

At the moment and for the foreseeable future that’s basically just me, but I thought I needed a name to tell the tax man where I get my moneyto mark this new stage that I’m entering into — helping you do want you want with your website.

So, along with the launch of Kristarella Studios, has got itself a brand spanking new look.

From this… in 2008 in 2008

To this… in 2009 in 2009

I’ve ditched a whole lot of stuff that I felt was a bit superfluous and wasn’t getting much use, including sidebars! If you think there’s something missing that you always like to see on sites or you miss something that was here before, let me know and I’ll see if it will fit in here. After all, this site isn’t only here for me!

Some of the new things include random backgrounds; a random, multi-lingual greeting on the home page (hover over it to see the language); latest posts, photoblog post and studio post on the front page, and as you view older blog posts from the front page, you get older photoblog posts too (simple but clever bit of code there, I was happy with that!).

Take a look around, check out my photo archive and have a looksee if there’s any categories or tags you’re interested in in the archives. Contact me if you’re interested in having me customise your website and subscribe to to stay up to date with my photos, tutorials and postings of all kinds. Also, let me know if there are any tutorials or post topics you think I should write on!

Just in case you were wondering, is running on the Thesis WordPress theme.

The Thesis Theme from Chris Pearson and DIYthemes


  1. says

    (Dont’ bother following my site link YET, but there will be a new Thesis-themed blog there shortly. Right now there’s just the old design.)

    Anyway, kudos to you for using the single-column layout. I plan to use that on a photoblog that will replace FotoFeed, my New Mexico photo site, shortly. Australia is so strange… I really must come visit before I die. (I have several Aussie friends.) New Mexico is LOTS more jaggedy.

    As for this comment, I’m really testing to see if my gravatar works. :-)

  2. says

    Kristarella I love the new design!

    I’m especially feelin’ the grid of posts on the front page and the single column layout, the floating boxes to the right are rockin’ too.

    All the best with Kristarella Studios, between what I see here and in your photoblog I’m sure it’ll be a hit!

  3. says

    Great Redesign!! I need to get cracking on updating my sites! Like wht you did with the single column. Good clean design choice

  4. says

    What a transformation! I love it! really well done, Kristarella. Who took the photo of you jumping, for the header image? You’ve got some cool implementations here, and one column design actually is quite user friendly ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Good luck with the Studios!

  5. says

    I love the new site design! You always make Thesis stand out on it’s own and yet customize it to the point that you can’t recognize it on the outside! It’s good to know the Thesis community has such a great artist like you. : )

  6. says

    The new layout is fantastic, and your idea to tie the photoblog and the portfolio/pitch into the home page is nothing short of sheer genius.

    Above, inspirationbit mentioned that the new design is “quite user friendly,” and she couldn’t be more correct. Because of the one column layout, the user is naturally forced down the page in a peaceful, decision-free process. As the user scrolls, she encounters very little visual noise until she reaches your sectional breaks, and you’ve packed a lot of punch into these key visual separators.

    Your accommodation of the photoblog is striking and, due to its placement, it becomes an even more visually dominating feature. From a user experience standpoint, it’s nice to scroll down and uncover something beautiful and unexpected like this, and I don’t think that kind of thing can be understated.

    Finally, you’ve closed with a tasteful, meaningful collection of tutorials for your soon-to-be-world-famous design skillz, and I am especially fond of the simple color balance and the use of images in this section.

    Oh, and maybe you can give the comment dd a specific width and a right float to keep text from wrapping under the avatar… I dunno for sure, thoughโ€”I haven’t tried it yet ๐Ÿ˜€

    Anyway, well done! Bravo! A killer, clever, excellent site design all around.

  7. Justin says

    I like the single column layout; I’ve had it implemented on Myspace for a while; not that you can do a heap with that in customization terms; but I managed to make something a bit different with it! :)

    I think the changing background image is good; the fact that it only shows a bit off the sides is cool..

    I could make a little Apple Touch Icon for you for those that wanna add the site to their home screen on iPhone if you’d like…

    But, incorporating everything into this; and implementing the single column is a swish move…
    I think we will be seeing more people follow our techniques :)

    Nice work!

  8. says

    Randa, David, Mitch, ruigato, SeekingFF, Terry, DoctorFu — Thank you for the compliments and encouragement. I really appreciate it! (And please forgive the mass reply!)

    inspirationbit — I’m not sure who took the photo actually. I went away for the weekend with my church and there were some large trampolines. I was taking photos of people in the air and then I had a go jumping and a few people were playing with my camera and taking photos, so I just ended up with it. :)

    Chris — thanks for the detailed response! I like how you identified that the single column makes for a decision-free process: so true! When you first added the single column to Thesis, I didn’t really pay much attention to it, but it just seemed like such a natural choice to cut down the noise:signal ratio on this site.
    Also, you are so right about the comment dd! I’ve been meaning to do it. Funnily enough, I just copied the meta styling from my previous thesis mods and that did have the dt and dl in separate blocks. Dunno if something changed or I just missed a line of CSS. Anywho, I’m making a list of tweaks to do.

    Justin — thanks mate :-) Good call on the touch icon too. I forgot about that again. I’ll make a crop of my logo and add it — it’s on the tweak list!

  9. Edwin says

    Nice work, Kristen. I feel like I should say something knowledgeable about your blog design, but we both know I’d just be making it up. I might need to pay next time I need some help… hope you don’t charge too much or I won’t be able to afford it!

    Start up the good work,

  10. Bill says

    Your work is TOP-NOTCH. The modifications you did for me are excellent. That said, I’m not liking the new site.

    Layout and functionality are very cool however, the colors are too severe and don’t reflect your persona… or at least the persona you project via email, flickr, twitter, etc.

    Maybe lighten up a bit? Literally and figuratively, cause this site is just a bit too dark… pun intended, :-).

    Good luck! Will be very happy to refer you.

  11. says

    Bill — thank you for the feed back. I’m really glad that you were happy with my work.
    Thanks for your honesty about the re-design too. That’s a fair enough opinion and is well reasoned. If I get the chance I’ll have a play with a lighter colour scheme/background idea. I can’t promise I’ll change anything though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The dark elements might have been a reaction to me being tired with the huge open whiteness of my previous design.

  12. says

    I haven’t been reading my feed reader for close to a month, but what a nice surprise! Congratulations for setting up Kristarella Studios! That means I won’t be getting free services in the future.. :(

  13. says

    Kristarella! Get look. I really love the way you work with small things like the centering of the background picture and changing it between pages. Very cool and how the heck do you do that?

    Great look.