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I decided Ahhh-Design needed a bit of a refresh – surprise! Then I started wondering about all the hundreds of *refreshes* Ahhh Design has had over the years, little changes here and there. Below are some screenshots of the major changes. I bought the domain ahhh-design.com in 2005 to build a design portfolio to go along with my resume. My husband, then just a friend, helped me with the portfolio functionality and I hacked and hacked away at the CSS until it looked how I wanted it.


2007, August:

It stayed a portfolio until 2008 and blogging was really starting to take off for crafters. I’d had a Livejournal account for a few years but thought it was time to take the plunge! My DIY planner templates were also getting more popular and I wanted a place to organize them. First, I tried using the blog engine Chyrp. I ended up on WordPress though because of the large and very supportive community – great for someone just learning.

This was my 3rd WordPress theme customization, my first was in 2007. I also started working part-time for a web design firm in Jan of 2008 and was getting more and more comfortable with html/css and slicing up artwork.

2008, May:

I’ve always tried to not take this site too seriously, so it’ll stay a fun creative outlet. I make changes live so you might even stumble upon it looking like a total mess. As you can tell by these next screenshots, haha.

2009, March:

2009, April:

At this point I ditched Mimbo, the theme I’d learned on, for a new one. I wish I could remember the name… it’s heavily customized and doesn’t look much like the original. I was feeling much more comfortable with WordPress at this point and had created my first free theme for download!

2009, May:


In March of 2011 I custom built a new theme just for Ahhh Design – so proud! I’d also quit my job and started freelancing full-time, I think every job I’ve done through Little Bird has been WordPress. I LOVE WordPress, if you haven’t noticed. :)

2011, March:

2011, October:

And that leads us to today, the first refresh of 2012! May there be many, many more. Thanks for reading, xoxo.

2012, February:

In fall of 1997 I took my first graphic design class at New Mexico State University.
I wasn’t totally sold on pursuing graphic design as a profession. I was leaning towards it because it was more practical than being an artist but, being totally clueless at the time, I thought that graphic design was very boring and lacked emotion.

It so happened that the main design professor had the year off and a guy called Ronnie Garver was taking his place. He was a young guy who had just gone through the same program himself. Ronnie’s style was heavily influenced by Art Chantry and the Seattle grunge movement.

I instantly fell in love.

We had to keep an inspiration journal, as part of the class. For the first time I was looking at magazines as an artist and not as a silly teenager.

Buying my first copy of Raygun (above, cover by Chris Ashworth) cemented the fact that I was not only choosing graphic design, but I was BORN to do graphic design. I spent the whole semester creating projects in the middle of the night at Kinkos. Making copy after copy, with my scissors and glue stick ready to chop it all up and paste it back together again. I’d rip it up – run outside and scrape it against the asphalt till it was barely readable – tape it back together and make another copy.

A few months into the semester Ronnie announced that Art Chantry was actually coming to the campus to give a talk. The whole dept. would also be designing posters for a Von Zippers show that Chantry would see and discuss. (The poster to the left was designed/printed by Ronnie Garver & Chad Ballard for the event.) The talk Chantry gave was amazing and incredibly inspiring. Later he came into our classroom where a hundred posters were tacked to a large wall… one of my top five proudest moments of my life was when he pointed mine out!

And 13 years later, I just found it under the bed and scanned it in!

Anyways, that’s my story. Shout out to my mentor and the spark to all of this, Ronnie Garver. You rock dude, thank you.

Amanda Hawkins

Amanda Hawkins

Take care of little humans,
stare at tiny computer,
scribble on paper,
Maker of DIY Planners and 🎨 artist; front-end web developer and designer well-versed in CSS & WordPress. Make music with RBK & as Love Morris. Check out littlebird.ahhh.co if you're interested in hiring me for WordPress dev. Subscribe to a newsletter I never send out. Connect on Instagram & Twitter.

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