Chalkdust v.3.0 is live!

Well, after considerable buildup, a lengthy wait, and a fair amount of radio silence, it’s finally finished–the third revision of Chalkdust, my most popular Tumblr theme, is now live on the Tumblr Theme Garden!

Chalkdust v.3.0

The Tumblr Theme Garden listing has a brief rundown of the theme’s details, but for the sake of completeness, here’s the scoop!


  • New sidebar allows for unlimited length on descriptions and links without cutting off content.
  • Added jQuery script to title display to scale type for any length of title. Go nuts!
  • Post widths are larger, and content for certain post types, such as video posts, now expands properly to fill its frame.


  • Customizations are still present as before–you can choose the color for your background, title scrap, and title scribble. In addition, you can select which “doodles” to use for your posts; the ever-contentious heart makes its comeback, along with a star as an alternative. Or turn them off entirely.
  • Toggle a sidebar display of your most recent “likes” to show off your impeccable taste.


  • Support for high-resolution (retina) graphics! If you’ve got a device that supports hi-res graphics, you’ll be served the correct graphics for your display.
  • Major CSS improvements, including embedded fonts throughout for consistent typography and CSS3 effects and transitions.
  • Optional support for Disqus commenting and infinite scrolling, as requested by users (thanks for your input)!

Known Issues:

  • Hi-res graphics have reportedly been disabled in the most recent builds of Firefox (18.x and 19.x) and will not be reimplemented until the next major release. The theme graphics will, of course, default back to their standard resolution counterparts, so you’ll have no problems viewing blogs that use the theme. Chrome and Safari have both been tested to work with hi-res graphics.

If you’ve modified your blog with custom HTML and aren’t seeing the changes propagating to your blog, be sure to remove all customizations and reload the unmodified theme. Once the updated theme has been applied properly, you can modify to your heart’s content (but tread lightly, as it’s a complete rewrite)!

As always, thanks so much for all of your feedback and support–I’d love to hear what you think of the new version! Feel free to leave me a comment here, on Tumblr, or on Twitter. I’m also happy to answer any questions anyone might have about customizations or edits; if I receive enough of the same questions, I’ll feature the answers here for everyone to read.

Enjoy it!

#theme  #tumblr  #updates  

Chalkdust v.3.0 pending + Tumblr theme questions

We’ll start with a little bit of good news: Chalkdust v.3.0 is finished and submitted to Tumblr for Theme Garden inclusion, so you should be seeing it pop up for your installing pleasure sometime (hopefully) soon! Yay!

The bad news, unfortunately, is that there’s no estimated turnaround time for the process, and theme updates going live are pretty much at the mercy of how quickly the queue is moving. It’s been submitted as a revision to v.2.0, and if you check out the install page for v.2.0 now, you’ll see the updated screenshot and info, but installing the theme to your blog will still apply the previous version. I admit that I find this behavior somewhat vexing, but it is what it is, and it’s out of my hands. I will, of course, post again when the changes have gone live, so anyone who’s been anticipating the update can hop right over as soon as it’s available. Thanks for being patient so far–it’s definitely appreciated!

In the meantime, I’d like to go ahead and use this space for some questions that I’ve been receiving over the past few months, because why not. Without further ado, then!

Q. How do I apply your theme to my blog?
A. My themes have been updated to display properly within the new Theme Garden format now, so hopefully this question won’t occur so frequently in the future. That said, if you’re having trouble finding the links, here are links to the respective install pages for Chalkdust and TumblOS. Make sure you’re logged in to the correct account, click Install, select your blog, and poof, magic!

Q. I’d like to change the font/background/colors/____ of your theme for my blog. Is that okay?
A. Absolutely! Any modifications or additions you’d like to make on your personal blog(s) are 100% okay–they’re public themes for public consumption, so please, enjoy them as you will!

Q. I’d like to make changes to your theme and resubmit it to the Tumblr Theme Garden. Is that okay?
A. Although my public themes are offered free of charge for anyone to install and modify for their own personal usage, they are not to be used as templates for your own theme designs. If you’d like a custom theme for your Tumblr and know a bit of HTML and CSS, Tumblr’s own theme documentation should cover all of the basics in development. Otherwise, feel free to contact me for a custom quote.

Q. Are you associated with any blogs that use your themes?
A. I’ve received several emails intended for specific users that have installed my themes, so I want to clarify: I have no affiliation with any blogs that may display my themes! Please use reblogs or the “ask” option (if enabled) to contact individual blog owners. I can’t redirect your messages.

Please feel free to shoot me a message or leave a comment with any other burning questions you might have (theme-related or otherwise)! I’ll attend to them as quickly as I can!

New site design + Chalkdust feature requests

I’m still in a state of mild disbelief about it, but apparently it’s true–the last time I posted here, it was amid musings about birthday cake. And now, I’m back to post again, just a few days following this year’s birthday. I don’t even know what to say about that.

I’m sorry. That’s a good place to start, perhaps.

I hope you’re all doing well so far in this lovely year of two-thousand-and-twelve! I’ll dispense quickly with the business talk: I’ve done a major overhaul of the site for this year, which I hope you might take a peek at if you’ve a moment to spare! Among what you’ll find therein: HTML5/CSS3 pretties, new gallery setup with custom styling, and a wax seal power button that glows when you mouse over it. With credit to my handsome beau for that bit of inspiration–it’s a pretty cute effect, non?

Please do take a look if you’ve got a minute or two to spare! And as long as we’re talking site stuff, a big thanks to those of you who slipped below my radar and “liked” the site on Facebook, quietly before there was a button on my index page to rat you out. You sweet, sneaky things, you.

Okay, now, the fun stuff: Chalkdust update talk! No, it’s not ready yet. (Sorry. Again.) I’m compiling a list of feature requests to address, along with things I’d like to add on my own time. These are the ones that come to mind–if you’ve got a missing feature you’d like to see added to the next update, please leave me a message here or on Tumblr (link to my ask box), and I’ll add it to this post. I don’t anticipate that I’ll have to veto any reasonable requests, but there’s a chance that not every requested feature will make it to release. But you are, of course, free to modify your own personal install(s) of Chalkdust to your heart’s content! You don’t even have to ask!

My Desired Updates

  • Embedded fonts for consistent visuals
  • Reconfigured display for larger screen sizes
  • Larger side panel for links/long descriptions

Requested Features

  • Infinite scrolling
  • Disqus support

I’ll do my best to keep this post updated with feature requests and progress notes, but if you really want to keep up to tabs, your best bet is probably to follow me on Twitter. I’ll try to keep you all posted as best I can!

New gallery setup, iOS games, and some updates

Hi, lovelies! I’m ducking away from my current occupations (read as: crazy organization/cleaning bender) temporarily to mention a few things here. Because if I don’t, I think it will all be swept from my memory in a haze of Goodwill boxes and shredded paper.

First of all, it was my birthday on August 18th, and I got to have not one, but two different types of cake, so I was pretty happy about that.

Secondly, I’ve updated the design gallery setup recently with a new design that will make things more attractive and much quicker to navigate. I’ve employed (with modifications, of course) the lovely Coda Slider Effect script found at jQuery for Designers, and I love it very much and want to click on it all day.

Blog readers can hit the “design” button up top and check out the sidebar to begin browsing. For the rest of you, the direct gallery link is here!

I’m also adding some new portfolio pieces to populate the new gallery, the first of which is an iOS (iPhone/iPod touch) game prototype that I developed in April. It’s a simple side-scrolling/adventure concept and was my first real foray into the world of Objective-C coding, but in spite of the late nights, I had a lot of fun working on it. I hope to renew my iOS Developer credentials someday and get back to playing! Video game development and I go way back, so it was cool to dust off my old coding chops and produce something for the modern era.

I also made some small general improvements about the site, and for the most part, they’re things that you probably won’t notice at all. My résumé has been brought up to date, so if you’re in the market for contract or other work, please take a look!

Soon to come: things I’m enjoying lately, plugging my talented friends, Chalkdust and TumblOS updates, and the long-anticipated new Tumblr theme! It’s real. Promise. I have a folder on my desktop and everything.

Original Post

thediaryofabipolar asked: hi i came across your site and i saw the seene org is it up for grabs? i mean, i really would love to have it as my tumblr theme. your site's awesome btw!^o^

Hi! Thanks so much for your compliments!

Unfortunately, the design displayed on my site was a client commission done in 2008, and though it’s no longer in active use, the rights for usage still remain with the client. I’m sorry. :(

That said, if you’d like something similar for your theme, I am still offering custom Tumblr themes for a limited time at the extremely low rate of $5.00 each! You can read a little more about the limitations or submit an order here, or you’re welcome to contact me directly.

Alternatively, many people have used TumblOS with custom “wallpaper” for a quick and free solution.

I hope some of that might be helpful to you! Best of luck in finding what you’re looking for! :)

#ask  #question  #tumblr  #theme  

Share This: social media vs. stranger danger

(Photo: "Sharing Is Caring - Fotosöndag" by Niklas Wikström)

It strikes me—particularly recently, though I’ve had the thought for some time—that we’ve somehow reared two very different breeds of internet user.

I don’t mean that in terms of generations, either. Obviously age demographics will show similarities among themselves and differences compared to other groupings. As a twenty-four-year-old P.Y.T. in the prime of shimmering youth (yes, yes), I don’t expect that my internet usage bears much in common with that of, say, my lovely great-aunt of… twenty-nine. Although, I suppose, we are both on Facebook in some capacity, but I honestly think she uses it more.

No, I mean in terms of sharing, particularly in the era of social media. There’s a stark divide between two stereotypes: the media-obsessed oversharers and the stranger-danger anonyms hiding behind HTTP proxies. Obviously these are a touch overblown (although I think I’ve seen at least a couple of each), but the separation does exist. At the same time that many have embraced the connectivity that New Internet offers, a great many others remain rooted in the old conventions and the relative security that they promise.

I admit to struggling a bit myself with finding a comfortable place in social media. Growing up online in the ’90s, the importance of anonymity was seriously stressed. Every chat contact a potential felon! My first offline meeting with an online friend was treated with all the seriousness of a hostage situation. Things are more laid-back these days, but the old conditioning runs deep. There’s still that hesitation… how much is too much? (I’m not sure that I’ll ever get around to using Foursquare or anything like it. Too creepy. Can you imagine trying to market that fifteen years ago?)

So I’m wondering where others might stand on this. Where do you draw the line? Did others coming to the internet in the early ’90s have similar experiences? Is Foursquare creepy or what? Talk to me. Even you, brave souls of the new media. Let’s reach across the aisle.

Original Post

Validate my existence by clicking buttons on the internet

Those of you viewing my posts on the blog itself may notice that I’ve added a handful of social media buttons to single post views. This is pretty much par for the course on most blogs, so I thought it was only appropriate that I append a few of my own. It’s not much—Facebook, for instance, is conspicuously absent, as their buttons are huge, unpleasant, and full of tracking code. But most people, myself included, probably have a personal system for sharing content to Facebook, anyway, so I just went with a Twitter, Google+, and StumbleUpon trifecta. These will probably become more useful once I start writing actual content, which is happening, I promise.

I spent some time and managed to assemble the buttons in a way that’s still valid XHTML, albeit a bit hack-y. It’s a regrettable compromise, as Google’s +1 button uses weird DOM implementation, and the only alternative is HTML5. (Twitter’s button is HTML5, as well.) Thanks to TVD at TechOctave for the base code for Twitter’s button!

I also had to go into the PHP for the Disqus plugin… again… to fix a validation error that surfaced after updating. Guys, you can make your plugin W3C-valid without my help. Promise! (That said, if you want to hire me to do it for you, I’m all ears.)

Alright, lunchtime. I’m out! Ciao, bella!

Original Post


(via thepillows)

athenability asked: why mia caro? :D

Oh, wow! I’ve never gotten a question like this about myself before! How fun!! :3

It is actually a play on my real name (Caroline), blended with the Italian “mia cara” (“my dear”). It’s a phrase I’ve always been fond of for some reason, even though I’m not Italian and I definitely don’t speak it. (I do know some Spanish, but not as much as I should. I apologize to my Puerto Rican relatives.)

I think it’s personally-identifying without being too dry, which I like. Also, random Italian (or almost-Italian) feels a little like flirting with the internet, which I think is kind of hilarious.

#ask  #question  #mia caro  #me  #italian  

ibanginmywhytea asked: Hello,
My name is mike. I recently found this theme that you made.
skyetheferret,tumblr,com (change to periods)
I was wondering if there was a link or code I could get from you so I could use this theme. Any help (or even you telling me no) would be appreciated.


Absolutely! That’s actually my TumblOS theme, which you can find in the Theme Garden. Install away!

#ask  #question  #tumblr  #theme