Tai Chi Straight Sword Love

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Old Layouts

This is my archive of old layouts. It's unlikely that I will update these as the new version uses skins, and it is pointless for me to insert screenshots of every skin here. I may, however, showcase old skins here if I ever retire any of my designs.

Sparkle Zen Ver. 1 (child)Eternal Waves Ver. 1 (adolescent)Eternal Waves Ver. 2 (adolescent)Eternal Waves Ver. 3 (adolescent)Eternal Waves Ver. 4 (adolescent)

Sparkle Zen Ver. 1 (child)

(main screen)
(main screen)

This site only ever had one layout. The splash screen was of the night, ocean, and jumping dolphins, but I never had a screenshot of it. The title has no meaning. I was much more of a child when I first designed it, so I was at the stage where I didn't want to be defined in any way at all, not even to myself. I chose words that I thought would make it difficult to define me, and I put them together. This is the main screen comprising of more dolphins. No frames, just links back and forth. I finally moved away from that site simply because I'd become Christian, and many visitors I had were there to see the various astrology and Wicca links I had had when I was still on the exploring level and confused about what to believe in. Freeservers' ad banners and popups were also beginning to annoy me. I ditched the name because people started assuming I was still a Buddhist because of the "zen".

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Eternal Waves Ver. 1 (adolescent)

(splash screen 1.1)
(splash screen 1.1)

This was the first splash screen with the image fader. As the theme was "Eternal Waves", I used the image of waves lapping the shore, and the starry night sky - which to me has always represented eternity, and was a consolation. The window opened into popup, but many people who aimed instinctively at closing popups ended up not getting into the site as a result of that, so I changed it into a chromeless window.

(splash screen 1.2)
(splash screen 1.2)

With the second splash screen I added a NotifyList, in case anyone wanted email updates to the site. I also played around with the image to make it blend in a bit more with the background.

(start screen 1.1)
(start screen 1.1)

Again, the theme of the ocean. I was in a low mood but feeling creative, so I manipulated the original water picture into a whirpool with the words, "Beware...entering the pit...don't get swallowed..." Because it made the most sense, the entrance was the "[drown...]" at the bottom-right, near the swirling whirpool. People have told me I should put it at the centre, but it somehow made the page seem very off-balance and over-conforming.

(start screen 1.2)
(start screen 1.2)

I decided the stars at the centre looked too cut-and-paste and tacky, so I changed it to a semi-transparent white gif image.

(main screen 1.1)
(main screen 1.1)

As the site was a personal site, to show the many aspects of me, or my many selves, I used a "reflection" theme. The image came from Henry REVZIN's Photo-Gallery, and I edited it in Paint Shop Pro to blend it with the stars. The various parts of the face were the navigation, which opened up in the frame on the right, and I used tooltips as well as an explanation "[navigate the reflection to discover more of me...]" to clarify that.

(main screen 1.2)
(main screen 1.2)

I had complaints from people who still could not understand the navigation, so I added ugly text to the face to clarify.

(main screen 1.3)
(main screen 1.3)

I opted for a cleaner look, so I used a picture of me wearing a mask and edited it in Paint Shop Pro. I cut out the mask, put in a starry background, and cut out the eyes. This is based on the fact that our outside image, not just the physical appearance, is to a large extent a mask that packages our many selves.

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Eternal Waves Ver. 2 (adolescent)

(main screen 2.1)
(main screen 2.1)

For version 2, I opted for a relatively simple design. The background was made in Paint Shop Pro 7, as was the title. I wanted something that was abstract but essentially still resembled waves. Whether or not that was the case in the result is debatable. Tables within tables within tables. The links were to the left, and loaded in the semi-transparent iframe in the right. This also meant I did not have to think much about backgrounds and such for the other pages. The main page background is aligned bottom right, and the tables sizes were in percentages based on the window, so it is compatible with different resolutions. As you can see, however, with this version of the site, I changed my resolution to 1024*768, instead of 800*600.

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Eternal Waves Ver. 3 (adolescent)

(splash screen 3.1)
(splash screen 3.1)

I'm fickle, so I kept version 2 for only a short period of time. This layout was done on a whim but I found the images slightly more creative than the past. For this first time on this site, I provided two resolution options. This was because of the images used on the main pages. The title - I saw tonight, was an inspiration from a journal I wrote and uploaded onto my deviantART account, also on a whim.

(main screen 3.1)
(main screen 3.1)

Once again, I returned to the old waves/sky combination and internal frames. Still trying to keep things simple, all the pages loaded in the frame. The words above - "because in stillness waves are all one hears" - provided the navagation.

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Eternal Waves Ver. 4 (adolescent)

(splash screen 4.1)
(splash screen 4.1)

After spending time in Third Street Promenade on the 26th of July and taking lots of pictures, I was inspired and filled with an urge to create something artistic and unique that still uses standard conventions that might be a little more user-friendly than the image map I used for Eternal Waves Ver. 1 or the strange iframe system in Ver. 3. Because it's still a more creative and experimental layout, it wasn't as user-friendly as it could be, but I still very much loved the photographs I used. This was the first layout with definite photographs that were taken by me alone, and the first that featured myself in it. I felt a bit narcissitic, but later resigned myself to the idea that it might not be such a bad idea. The theme was "metropolitan life", and the description was as follows:

One final look before turning back down Third Street Promenade in the direction from which I came - I took one look and snapped two pictures just before I went back, so that I could weave this memory back together at home. I missed too much this metropolitan life - the pace of life in the little sleeping city on the hill, where I live, keeps me in a perpetual state of hazy-laziness. The life there that seems to spin by all-too-fast for the average person is my escape. There amidst the crowd and the music of street performers, the rhythm of the night and the freedom of my anonymity whisper a certain peace not unlike the natural flow of the waves. (Oh! The primitive, primitive nature of civilisation!) I could have preached of all the evils if I had cared to try to find them that night.

Long past midnight, and the streets, quietening down, were still full of life. The lights only got brighter in the night, who of course, had already her own rhythm to which to dance.

My mommy shivered and pulled my leather coat more tightly around herself. It was just a gesture, of course. A dancing couple tangled their legs in a fast-paced, familiar Argentine tango. She commented that even in the summer, the nights in Santa Monica were colder than she had thought. But it was just another comment, both of us had our eyes on the movement before us until they danced their last steps, took a bow, and introduced their school. The circumstance was so familiar, and in my head played a song from another world so far away and different from this: "I have often walked down this street before[...]"

Because an actual picture was my inspiration, I had an automatic solid idea of a colour scheme to use and an automatic theme. This made my job easier in many ways. For the first time, I also provided many more screen resolutions for the site, all added within the space of two months, to allow greater access.

(splash screen 4.2)
(splash screen 4.2)

I got bored with the centred look of the design, so I changed it to a more unconventional, modern, flowing design with the help of very customisable CSS.

(main screen 4.1)
(main screen 4.1)

Navigation was the vertical text to the right "Whispers of waves in the bright city lights". As always, I still emphasised the idea of eternity - something that is lasting and seems to continue on after the image is not directly there anymore, such as the sounds of waves or the atmospheric freedom of a city. Everything loaded in the iframe at the bottom, and with padding settings, I learned to set it just right so that the copyright would always show on the main page instead of on every page that loads in the iframe. It also meant that I had less to edit for the actual pages of content, because no images or special formatting were involved. The updates iframe was only added a few months after the layout went public, and throughout I played wtih the formattng of the navigation links. I stll used status bar descriptions, but then added acronym mouseover popups as well, to make things simpler for some people.

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