About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Something From Nothing
Weekend Herb Blogging
What's In A Name?
In A Bad Place
Marinara Sauce
Pantry Moth Allsorts
A Short Holiday
Leftover Surprise
Nose To Tail

1001 Dinners 1001 Nights
A Few of My Favourite Things
Abstract Gourmet
Apellation Australia
Becks and Posh
BurgerMary ATX
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Cooking Down Under
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Cooked And Bottled In Brunswick
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Eating Melbourne
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essjay eats
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I Eat Therefore I Am
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Kitchen Wench
Matt Bites
Melbourne Gastronome
My Kitchen in Half Cups
Nola Cuisine
Not Quite Nigella
Nourish Me
Seriously Good
Souvlaki For The Soul
Stone Soup
Syrup and Tang
Steve Don't Eat It!
That Jess Ho
The Elegant Sufficiency
The Perfect Pantry
The View From My Porch
Thyme for Cooking
Tumeric & Saffron
tummy rumbles
What I Cooked Last Night
where's the beef
Vicious Ange

Food Blog Resources
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I Eat I Drink I Work
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Food for Thought
Autism Victoria
Autism Vox
forget me now
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MOM - Not Otherwise Specified
St Kilda Today

Thursday, November 16, 2006
Look Mum, A New Header
Wow, my gorgeous new header.

I've been looking at it for over a month now and every time I saw it was flushed with pride, just like a new parent.

There was an idea in my head for a children's book and I asked my readers if they knew of any illustrators and Tanna from My Kitchen in Half Cups suggested I get in contact with Lobstersquad, who as you probably all know illustrates her own blog with the most wonderful drawings.

Unfortunately for the book idea, someone else got there first, but I continued to follow Lobstersquad wondering if there was a way we could collaborate on a project. A little while ago, after I spotted yet another blog with the name 'food for thought', I realized that I needed to change the name of my little blog, to give it a better identity.

Knowing that my blog was in desperate need of a makeover as well, I wondered about how best to achieve it. Well, what about a dinner party at my place to which all bloggers and blogger readers are invited! From this point the name 'at my table' came fairly easily, then all I needed was to create the atmosphere of a rocking, great dinner party.

The first guests I thought of were to be in animated discussion, a sure sign of a successful party. Then to represent the different time zones of the blogger world there is the sleeping guest who is also an allusion to a particular person who is a member of my food and wine club, who has been known to fall asleep at the table on more than one occasion! Because I also talk about autism from time to time, one of my daughters is seated at the table doing one of the things that she loves and holding her favourite doll, spot on Tanna.

Where I grew up, my best mates brother was gay as is my own brother, so to say that everyone is welcome at my table no matter who you are or what you believe, I asked Ximena to draw two gays, not explicitly but ambiguously and she achieved that effect perfectly.

As you all know, I tend to write about whatever catches my fancy, even if it's a bit quirky or non foodie, to that end I wanted an animal of some sort and gave four suggestions from which Ximena chose the duck, which made me very happy as a Melbourne boy who has grown up reading our famous cartoonist Luenig, whose depiction of a certain duck has reached iconic status.

So that was all the ideas I had for my dinner party, it was then just a case of deciding how big to make it and the header of Belly Timber seemed to be the perfect size, I hope Mrs D doesn't mind that I borrowed her dimensions!

And that was pretty much it. Ximena then sent a draft and a few different colour schemes to chose from. It was all pretty easy with only some minor changes along the way. If you would like to see the creative process from the other side, go here.

After the header was drawn I got in contact with Susie of Bluebird Blogs who put the whole package together in a stylish way fully in keeping with the header. It was her idea to morph the table into the page of the blog, very clever. I think Susie is quite proud of how it all turned out as she featured the blog on her own site.

So a great big thank-you to Ximena and Susie, a fantastic job, well done.
  posted at 7:25 am

At 9:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am very jealous of this fantastic new look, congratulations to you & all who put it together. Next year when I am a lady of leisure (planning on having very good baby) I will call on your help for a revamp of my own site - love it!

At 9:46 am, Anonymous Tanna said...

It is all so well tied together, connected beautifully. Most excellent and I am most pleased to have played some small part in it. Now I'm off to check the links.
Really Cooool! and I like the new name.

At 11:25 am, Blogger Sam said...


At 2:04 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi ange, but first you will have to catch up with your sleep! Would love to help.

Hi tanna, it's funny how some things come together. I'm pleased you like the name.

Hi sam, totally!

At 4:51 pm, Anonymous kitchen hand said...

Congartulations, Neil.

Is there anyone under the table or is it a bit early in the night?

At 5:37 pm, Anonymous jules said...

loving the new look and name

At 10:52 pm, Anonymous Ellie said...

I love the meanings behind the images, as well as the whole redesign - it looks amazing!

At 2:25 am, Anonymous Julie said...

I just came over from Ximena's blog to take a look. Very nice! I particularly like the little girl holding her doll and drawing.

Nice collaboration and perhaps you two will get another chance to work on a book sometime in the future.

At 7:40 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi kitchen hand, what happens under the table stays under the table!

Hi jules, thanks so much.

Hi ellie, don't you just love hidden meanings. Glad you like it.

Hi julie, thanks for popping over, Ximena & Susie did a great job. I have hinted to Ximena about something else, we'll see.

At 3:15 pm, Anonymous Matt said...

Hi Neil,

Must admit I haven't stopped by in a little while, but I'm glad I did. Love the new look and the concise organisation... looking very schmick.


At 5:43 pm, Blogger ilingc said...

hi neil,
your new layout looks absolutely fabulous! i've had people walking pass my office during lunch time stopping by asking what i was reading. :)

At 11:53 am, Blogger neil said...

Hi matt, thanks for that on behalf of the ladies, unlike you I have no idea how it works, just let me write and hit the publish button!

Hi ilingc, thank-you, it will be very interesting to see if the same old writing in a new layout attracts more hits.

At 6:19 pm, Blogger kitchenmage said...

Nice look, and nice explanation as well. I'm still working through my redesign, but you've given me things to think about. thx


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