Inspiration, Life

MONDAY REFLECTIONS:  Thoughts on Retiring a BELOVED Blog Banner

For ten years the same banner has graced my blog. If you know the story behind it, you will understand why I’m feeling a bit sad and nostalgic today as I announce that it’s time to retire the banner and indeed to update my whole blog.

Ten years ago (and I can’t believe it’s been that long) I didn’t yet have a picture book out, but it was my dream. Having a blog presence was an important early step in creating a platform in the hope that someday my dream would come true. I chose a WordPress theme, played around with color and layout, and started drafting short, upbeat posts that celebrated reading, writing and life. 

Everything was set, but one thing. I needed a banner. But not just any banner. I wanted my banner to be hand drawn and full of color and creativity to reflect the joyful spirit and whimsy of my writing. And who would be the best person to create such a banner? There was only one person as far as I was concerned, my wonderful mom.

She embraced the assignment with love. Since the blog was to be called “Laura Sassi Tales”, the same name I chose across all my platforms, she and I thought it would be fitting to have animals welcome visitors to my blog with their tails prominently displayed.  She sketched and played with color. The result?  AMAZING! I still have her early sketches and treasure them. And, I LOVE the banner.  

A mere eighteen months after creating the banner, my mom passed away from ALS. We didn’t know she was sick when I started the blog, but the disease quickly progressed and she was only able to draw for maybe a year longer. Having her banner grace the blog has been a way to stay connected because her artistry has always inspired me and she was always such an encourager of my writing.

Now WordPress has retired my theme template. That means it’s time to pick a new one. A lot has changed in terms of my career as well. I’m no longer a pre-published picture book author. My seventh book will release in three months, followed by two more in 2023 and it’s time for my blog, which also serves as my website, to have a more book-ish look. So, in the next few weeks, I will re-launch with a whole new vibe – same address and same quality content (because it turns out I LOVE blogging) – but new layout and new banner. However, even though my mother’s banner will no longer grace the blog, it will remain here in this post, for as long as I have this blog, and her spirit of love and creativity will remain in me for a lifetime.

Happy Monday all!  

20 thoughts on “MONDAY REFLECTIONS:  Thoughts on Retiring a BELOVED Blog Banner”

  1. I knew your mom had drawn the banner, but I didn’t know the whole story. Thank you for sharing this sweet and thoughtful tribute to your mom.

  2. OOOH, I imagine this is hard for all the reasons that made this banner so special. Your mom’s blessings for you literary success continue, regardless.
    When my webhost forced me to retire my old site, designed by my then twelve year old daughter as a holiday gift, I was not thrilled. Even owning your own domain doesn’t protect us from these forced changes. But we must embrace them.
    Looking forward to seeing what your new digital home looks like.

  3. Such a bittersweet moment, Laura, and I’m so glad you memorialized it. I’m looking forward to your new look and if you find a way to keep an animal or two tucked in somewhere that would be sweet too.

  4. Oh, I feel your pain on that, Laura! My mom, too, instilled in me a spirit of love and creativity! She and I took our first couple writing courses together. She was an amazing artist. She passed about a week ago, and I am so thankful for the special bond we had attending classes and conferences together and bonding over our joy of creating. Her stories are a treasure I can pass on. My own daughter, who is ten, loves to write ‘books’ now, too. It’s a thread that weaves us together with love.

    1. Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. Yes, you will have that special bond forever and how precious that your 10 year old wants to write now too, a lovely tribute to your mom. My daughter, age 17, was 9 when my mom died and she, too, still feels that special bond with my mom when she draws. It was something special they shared. Maybe your daughter can make a book of grandma memories?

  5. Looking forward to seeing your new banner. I can see why you are reluctant to change it. What a blessing to have your mom’s artwork grace your blog for so many years!–
    Amy Houts

    1. Yes, the banner is very special. I like Kim’s idea to keep a couple of the animals tucked here and there and I’m thinking about how I might do that.

  6. Laura, I’ve always loved your banner. Even more so now that I know ‘the rest of the story.’ But how wonderful to reflect on what you’ve accomplished in ten years!!!

  7. Though you are changing the banner for your blog, I’m sure you’ll always treasure it as it reflects the beginning of your writing journey as well as the love and support of your mom.

  8. What a treasure your present banner is as a reminder of your Mom’s love and talent! I’m so sorry she is no longer here, but her banner will also remind you that she always cheered you on! I appreciate your sharing this story of your Mom’s love, Laura.

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